But Now You’ve Sucked Your Lemon Peel Dry…0


As my friend Sohaib emailed me tonight upon news of Lou Reed’s passing, “you can’t be too sad, because *that* was a life LIVED. Be sad for a moment, yes, but celebrate an inspiration.”

So many famous-for-something people’s deaths are mourned in varying states of authenticity on social networking sites, and I’ll be honest, most of them pass me by. There’s just something rather ghoulish and self-serving about sticking three letters up next to someone’s name in a public cry of what’s usually just recognition for the person’s former existence, but tonight, while juggling the roasting of an apricot and date chicken and making baba ganoush (what can I say, I was inspired by a few days spent in Abu Dhabi last week for work), I felt an actual tug at my heart reading Rolling Stone’s words that Lou Reed had passed away.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just as guilty as the mourners I mentioned above.

I can’t share recollections of how I felt when I first heard his solo stuff, or that of the Velvet Underground, as I honestly can’t remember when my aural canals first sucked his work in, but what I do recall is playing a mixed CD I’d burnt for my high school art class when I was 16 (I very selfishly monopolised the CD player during those lessons, lest one of my peers got their way and played John Mayer or whatever painful music was popular back then), following Perfect Day with Squarepusher’s My Red Hot Car (I don’t think I paid much attention to mixtape ordering back then…or still do, in fact) and being admonished by an older girl in the class for absentmindedly singing Reed’s lyrics over the top of Squarepusher’s beats.

Such is the draw of his dusky drawl. Enjoy getting high-igh-igh, Lou.

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But Tonight We Play I Think0


Oh, I do adore this little silk/viscose playsuit from & Other Stories. Not for me (especially with our impending Autumn), but maybe for you? £95.

- Title from Play For Today by The Cure

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Mixing Cocktails at The Folly1


Goldfish In the Bag, and a Damson In Distress, behind it

The Bank area isn’t the first place I’d head to for a couple of drinks, but when The Folly invited my food-blogger friend Tash and I down to try out their mixology class, I definitely didn’t think twice — booze; booze-education; boozing in a different part of London…sounds dreamy, right?

All manner of spirits, syrups and splashes were stocked on the workshop stations; mixologist Cuan went into great detail about each spirit we used on the day. Booze AND education!

Far from being the sort of bar you’d expect to see the city’s suits chugging back pints in after a successful day’s economy destroying/restoring, The Folly looks like it’s been styled by whoever handles the artistic vision for Anthropologie. Vintage finds dotted the walls; flowers bloomed from all areas, and if it wasn’t for the boutique cocktails being clutched by the drinkers, you could’ve almost assumed you had walked into a lifestyle shoot for an interiors magazine.


Chief mixologist Cuan, talking to a customer behind one of the workshop stations

Cuan, our Ryan Gosling-resembling mixologist, was both equally skilled with cocktail-making as he was the small-talk. Telling us all sorts of stories about the cocktail world (including a recent education trip to Paris with his workmates, where he visited something like 25 cocktail bars in one day), he also deftly showed us how to make two really summery cocktails, the Smoke & Mirrors and Fairground Millionaire, which feature on The Folly’s carnival-themed summer menu.

Smoke & Mirrors; a masculine cocktail with rum, mescal and passionfruit syrup

As a sister bar/restaurant to Southwark’s The Refinery; Canary Wharf’s The Parlour; the Heron Tower’s The Drift, and the City’s The Anthologist, The Folly’s billing as a secret garden within the city certainly seems apt, and given it’s far from the maddening crowd of Soho, the fact Cuan and his colleagues cater for hen dos keen to learn a cocktail recipe or two seemed rather more appealing than the usual options. I’d be concerned what the bar would look like when it’s at capacity though — the place is absolutely cavernous, with various rooms downstairs catering perfectly for a corporate event (or even wedding reception, which they do offer), so it may be difficult straining to hear every word of the class if that was the case.

Fairground Millionaire, which was my personal favourite — a given, considering it consisted of sloe gin, rum, and apricot brandy. As you can see, it’s served on a printed-out dollah dollah bill, yo

The cocktail classes cost £20 per person, and include two cocktails (which you make), so are priced pretty fairly I would say. While it’s not the usual sort of bar I would choose to drink in, mostly because of its location,  I’d definitely recommend it for a work function or hen ‘do or something, given its really pretty theme and huge size. Plus, the cocktails were stonkingly tasty — so much so, Tash and I stuck around for a third one, ordering from the bar this time, which provided me with the perfect excuse to plump for the novelty Goldfish In The Bag; a G&T served in a Tesco freezer bag with grapefruit peel goldfish. I reckon if I’d have had one more drink in my system by that point, that goldfish would’ve gone home with me. Ooer.

Tash, and a bouquet of beautiful roses

The Folly was kind enough to serve us food during our class; this chorizo flatbread was incredible

One of the “speakeasy” rooms downstairs, which would make for a most excellent private event

Even the bathroom was beautiful…

Fairground millionaire recipe

Ingredients
20ml Haymans Sloe Gin
20ml Pampero Blanco Rum
20ml Bitter Truth Apricot Brandy
15ml Lime Juice
10ml Gomme Syrup

Garnish
Dollar bill and lemon peel

Method
Add all the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice & shake.
Double strain cocktail into a coupe/champagne glass.
Serve with a dollar bill and garnish with lemon peel, which you have rubbed around the rim of the glass.

Tash and I attended The Folly’s class as guests, but as usual, all reviews are completely impartial.

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I Found Myself Lost, By the Station Called King’s Cross0

Waking up to a cold, I wandered, lost and slightly dazed, around King’s Cross this evening — hoping the warm heat would stave off the germs; the open air would clear my housebound-head, and with the undercurrent desire of wanting to get to know my little patch of land better.

(Apologies for the overly-processed Kitcam filters from my iPhone 5 photos. What can I say…I still like having new-age fun with a vintage feel? Ugh, kill me now.)

Popped into Shrimpy’s (aka, King’s Cross Filling Station), where I couldn’t resist the lure of a Twin Peaks-named cherry pie and bottomless coffee deal (£5).

Sat by the canal as I finished up some work, I may just have found the perfect working-from-home venue. The nesting swan and swimming ducklings below me made for the perfect colleagues.

The newish Central Saint Martins college campus, which opened in 2011 after a £200m renovation from the architect firm Stanton Williams of what was an old granary building, dating back to 1851.

Walking through the campus’ outdoor area, which has several ping pong tables set up, both of which were in use.

Couldn’t help but be drawn into the college for a little nose around — old London brickwork with steel, glass and general Giles Gilbert Scott-vibes (though the Tate Modern was built about 100 years after the Granary Building) always grab me.

Spring light is so beautiful.

I wasn’t the only person out enjoying the sun; many joggers, dog-walkers and students were milling about too.

The college’s Grain Store restaurant, which had a sign up saying it would open June 11th, but seemed to already be seating people?

Students, watching the fountains dart about.

Cranes reaching for the clouds.

Behind the campus lies some moveable allotments, and a smurf-coloured basketball court.

Just love that brickwork.

It was the perfect evening for a canal-side picnic, as this group of friends show.

Snaking my way through the campus, and up King’s Cross station’s rear.

To further illustrate how old and boring I’ve become (really Kat, an evening spent looking at buildings?), I made myself a roasted vegetable and smoked salmon quinoa salad when I got home.

I’ve certainly had more rock ‘n roll days, that much is certain.

- Title from King’s Cross by Pet Shop Boys

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Annie Hall’s Hallmark Marks In Annie Hall0

Along with containing one hell of a line from a Jeff Goldblum cameo (“Hi, this is Davis…I forgot my mantra”; over the phone to what’s presumably his psychiatrist, as that’s just the kind of film this is), Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall trots out a fine line in the kind of ’70s silhouettes that make you recall Katharine Hepburn’s willowy frame…only with ’70s boobs, I suppose.

Cuttingly cool rather than sexy, it’s just the kind of look I aspire to. Now, if I were several inches taller and more resembled Keaton than, say, Danny De Vito, I’d be rummaging in the chazzas for oversized tweed blazers with which to poke my arms into. But alas, I’ll have to make do with threading a scarf under a lapel and sticking with some (admittedly bang on) sepia-tinted sunglasses when the days start growing longer before too long. (93 minutes of a wry look at a doomed relationship have got me feeling even more blue than a normal Sunday night would see, as that pessimistic last line would demonstrate.)

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Not the first popped collar you’ll see in the film, this scene most struck me (and here’s where my OCD / slight autism rears its head, I suppose) thanks to the neat symmetry in hem lengths of Annie; her friend, and Woody Allen’s Alvy’s pal Rob. In fact, it’s only Alvy whose shorts are longer and more crumpled, fingering him as the social outcast and oddball he is. Ooh, it’s like I just stepped back into year 12 English class.

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Another popped collar; Annie’s outfit for her first stint as a lounge singer is effortlessly cool. Did Princess Diana wear a lot of upturned collars? As this look really makes me think of her. Maybe because of the Elvis gown?

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Probably my favourite look from the film; Annie’s buttoned-up shirt and oversized glasses feel very current. She almost looks like an off-duty Victoria Beckham here, actually. Though that might be because of the patented paparazzi-aversion downwards stare.

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I’m not so keen on the mum-like dress, but that paisley scarf has got me feeling hot under the collar (lame pun intentional, as, well, this is me after all…)

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A very-Hepburn androgynous look for Annie, complete with Dunlop tennis racket tucked under her arm (naturally Hepburn played tennis too…)

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Another buttoned-up shirt with sharp ’70s collar and lapelled tweed; I also love her little topknot hair do, too.

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Calicos and linens for the first (and presumably last) maternal and paternal visit.

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It was around this point in the film that Annie started drifting away from Alvy, as did the strong sense of self she’d erected sartorially. It was almost like she gave up, and started dressing more similarly to Alvy…I won’t bore you with the screengrabs, but even her hair lost its way.

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As Alvy and Annie’s relationship reaches its final pages, it’s a cruel twist that their outfits match so perfectly here. Annie’s reverted back to her sharp tailoring with scarf slung around her neck, and with Alvy’s similar palette, it’s almost a promise that we’ll see them meet up once more. After all…with two such complementary costumes, how can their lives not be entwined once again?

All screengrabs from Netflix.

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