Sunday, 27 January 2008

Peter Cook & H.G Wells's House

Wandering around Hampstead village yesterday afternoon I went in search of Peter Cook (and HG Wells) house at 17 Church Row NW3 Map HERE
Wendy Cook, Peter Cooks wife talks about the house in 2006 - "I found our beautiful house in Church Row, Hampstead, in 1965 when I was pregnant with our second daughter, Daisy. Peter was entering one of the busiest and most creative moments of his career, making the first Not Only . . . But Also shows with Dudley Moore for the BBC. The plaudits were raining down.
I was in my element improving our new home. The nursery was on the third floor, and on the fourth floor was the study where Peter and Dudley would spend hours together in hysterics, improvising with the help of an impressive state-of-the-art recording machine.
Daisy has very early memories of being pushed about by Dudley in a wicker shopping basket on wheels. Sue Newling-Ward, our nanny at the time, remembers the growing celebrity element in our lives. Alan Bennett, in his usual self-deprecating way, says he was unsettled by these starry line-ups in our new house. “I remember coming to a party and the Beatles were there and I thought, ‘I am nothing really now’.”
We entertained around a large scrubbed pine table in the basement kitchen. When John and Cynthia Lennon were coming to dinner I made a special expedition down to the French butcher in Soho in order to do filet de boeuf en croûte — fillet of beef smothered in pâté de foie gras with truffles and wrapped in a jacket of puff pastry. It is the kind of thing that needs a quick blast in the oven and not to sit around after that.
The Lennons were invited for 8pm. The other guests — including Dudley and and his wife Suzy Kendall — were all there on time. Eight-thirty came and went. I retrieved the filet from the oven. Nine pm and we got a phone call from Lennon’s Rolls-Royce. Their driver was lost. It was nearer 10 when they arrived. My special meal eventually appeared, looking rather forlorn, and judging by the expression on John’s face I might as well have opened a can of beans.
The occasion made me realise the age of deference had passed; good manners and punctuality had flown out of the window. The fact that a lot of people smoked dope and did other drugs interfered with any sense of time too.
Paul McCartney was more able to adapt to good manners, including punctuality and keeping your elbows in at the table. Jane Asher, his girlfriend, was stunning and intelligent, and Paul always gave her a chance to join in the conversation, something Peter often failed to do with women. In fact, thinking about it now, the female guests were nearly always playing a supporting role at those dinner parties."

Friday, 25 January 2008

Brian Blessed Snooker Commentary....

What a great guy Brian Blessed is! Doncaster's only son! - We NEED MORE Brian Blessed's in this age of mediocrity! Here is a great clip of him with Paul Merton doing his own brand of snooker commentary - this is what we need on a Friday! Come to Hackney Empire Mr Blessed, you jaded old Colonel!!
I am reading his autobiography 'Dynamite Kid' about him growing up in a South Yorkshire council estate which you can get really cheap HERE

Monday, 21 January 2008

Bravo! Eric Charriaux !

Had a great meal on Saturday at Brasserie Blanc in the centre of Manchester - the food was wonderful but especially the cheese - it was outstanding! - I found out that The Premier Cheese Company supplies them with cheese - BRAVO! Mr Eric Charriaux - your choice was outstanding! - I found out they have a shop in London I'll be there soon - the selection was magnificent many thanks for the experience!

Colin & Me Visit the Hacienda Exhibition Manchester

Second visit to The Hacienda exhibition at Urbis in Manchester ending in 2 weeks slideshow below:)

Hacienda Exhibition 21/01/2008 17:56

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Rainy Manchester

Manchester is a great city full of music and energy - woke up here today with rain as usual - all good fun ! Love the view over the rooftops to the Manchester skyline - hoping to see Bernard Sumner in a bear outfit chasing small children into the canal!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Sunday Lunch at The Prince

We don't normally eat traditional pub food, as vegetarians its not always a very nice experience, however today we really enjoyed lunch at The Prince pub in Stoke Newington. The Vegetarian roast was really tasty with homemade horseradish sauce a bit pricey but the ambiance, food and staff made our experience one of the best we have experienced in East London. 
They have a nice dining room too but we ate in the main pub bit and will definitely be back soon.
I am really cynical about 'gastropubs' generally as you pay restaurant prices without cloth napkins, and just because they have stripped the walls back to the brickwork and hung a chandelier in front of a blackboard selling Neals Yard Cheeses doesn't make it that special to me! especially when so many places are doing the same, so many pubs in London have been changed like this in the end I suppose its a good thing.
Anyway if you are in the area its worth a pint!

The Prince
57 Kynaston Road
Stoke Newington
N16 0EB

Paris For Vegetarians

Here are a few tips on enjoying Paris - away from the tourists! We had a great weekend there 2 weeks ago. Don't bother going first class on the Eurostar - its not worth it especially as the journey is only just over 2 hours - spend the £100on slapping a mute dwarf with a damp wellie in the Pigalle! Book a few month early for cheaper prices.
Book the hotel separate and remember in Paris you don't get big rooms here are some lovely boutique hotels - perfect for disappointing your partner in (6 times a night dressed as Mussolini or Barry George).

Here are 2 great hotels in The Marais that I recommend, its the oldest part of Paris full of lovely streets and shops and cafe's etc but not too touristy. Hotel Bourg Tibourg Hotel Caron De Beaumarchais

For cheese and wine on an afternoon Le Verre Volé is great - and its next to Canal St Martin where Amelie skinned the stones! They love their wine and have encyclopedic knowledge of cheese and wine.,2.350988&spn=0.048274,0.111752&z=14&iwloc=A&om=1
Our favourite restaurant for dinner is Et Dans Mon Coeur Il Y A.... - beautiful food romantic and great vege selection as well as everything else - 150 Euros for a great blow with passion, full of locals and very special. You don't feel like you've got beri-beri as a vegetarian in Paris here!  Map on website link here; You must book ahead at least 2 weeks to make sure you will not be disappointed. (picture of inside at top of this post)
My other recommendation for dinner is The Maceo Restaurant - very central again booking is essential - they also have a 3 course vegetarian menu!
The Amelie cafe Café des Deux Moulins is great for lunch and breakfasts too - its not too touristy here despite the film and Montemartre is worth a visit where the cafe is situated.,2.350903&spn=0.096543,0.223503&z=13&iwloc=A&om=1

Things To Do
The Amelie walk is great if you liked the film, or even if you didn't! The Picasso Museum is really interesting and in The Marias our favourite area Just chill out in The Marais area loads of info here: Guide & Podcast of the Marais here;


Friday, 11 January 2008

Raymond Blanc

Raymond Blanc is my favourite chef, he treats vegetarians very well and his cooking is totally amazing - subtle and well combined ingeredients to surprise and delight. His cookery books too work really well in the home kitchen and he doesn't get involved much in celebritification which for me is totally refreshing. I hope he opens a Brassie Blanc in London as they are great value. My wife and I were very lucky to eat and stay at Le Manoir in Oxford last year which was inspirational (well worth getting knocked over by the cement mixer on the zebra crossing for!)
Here he is with John Lederer who runs Brasserie Blanc - very entertaining!

Blobby Heads For The Cheshunt Train!

This is Blobby on an escalator leaving Liverpool Street Station yesterday teatime. If you see him give him some gnocci with tomato sauce and 1 Litre of freshly squeezed orange juice from M&S and he'll come round to your house anytime you wish, and paint your shed dressed as Bobby Smith or even put some kitchen shelves up dressed as Alan Gilzean (but not Lee Dixon).

He is happily married to Gilbert and have a young baby called Robert who for some bizarre reason speaks with an Irish accent even though Gilbert is from St Lucia and Blobby from Waltham Cross. Blobby is house trained, likes travelling on motorways And being rodgered senseless by George in the old goods lift on cold winter mornings.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Transferring Vinyl To iTunes - Long job but well worth it.

One of My New Years resolutions was to put all my vinyl into iTunes with all labels scanned in as artwork. It takes ages but is well worth it - I'm doing all of Danny Tenaglia's remixes and productions I'm up to 146 tracks already with about 70-90 to go! the all backed up on hard-drive. and on DVD's too just in case. I can't believe that I can carry around on my iPod all these tracks and more when originally they are so heavy to carry (try carrying 3 boxes round Manchester on a Saturday night!) - now its easy thanks to technology:)

Watch Out For The Squirrel!!!!

Its behind you.....!!! - not many people know that the Squirrel is the chosen mascot of the Hilary Clinton campaign, I think today's result may have been governed by this dynamic alliance.

Where would we be without the Gaggia?

Off work with bug since Monday:( feeling a bit better had lousy sleep but having drunk water for the last 4 days really fancy a nice cup of coffee so hopefully feeling better I've had the Gaggia for 9 years now making great coffee - almost as good as Mellow Birds or Camp - Do the Italians make the best coffee? - its all a matter of opinions, opinions - it certainly makes weekend breakfasts so much better especially since we got an inside toilet. 
L went back to work today, she has also been ill with the same poor thing, no news yet today from Lacey for coffee!