It’s felt like “Cool Britannia” this week, with the capital enveloped under a big blanket of grey cloud that almost seems as if it’s about to wrap you up. The weather, in the last seven days, has been as turbulent as the economy in this country, with food and fuel prices still on the rise. Better find some ration books, Jeeves. In fact, there’s even talk of a recession from my people on the ground in the City, which has seen thousands of jobs already slashed in the banking and finance sectors.
Meanwhile, Lou Lou has also had a rough week, with an array of practice exams before the real thing at the beginning of next week. However, she has successfully come through her “mocks” with an average of over 60%. The pass mark was 50%. Have you still got your fingers and toes crossed, ladies and gents? I’ve rarely seen so many books piled onto one table before, but one by one, she’s managing to smash, kick, and punch her way through like a well-trained ninja. In fact, the nerves are starting to jangle, and that’s just me. Unfortunately, she has to hold her breath for a while, as the results won’t be published (and on here too) till the end of August.
With Summer in full swing, I can’t keep but noticing the odd jogger fly past my window and ponder to myself whether or not it’s worth me joining them for an afternoon sprint. I mean, with all these long hours and sweaty tube journeys, it’s not surprising Londoners take to the streets in their masses when the sun peers through the sky. You really aren’t de rigueur in the Big Smoke if you’re not seen with an iPod in one pocket, bottle of water in the other, and wearing shorts that are more accustomed to lying in Kylie Minogue’s wardrobe. And with my penchant for Danish pastries, which brings into perspective the infamous phrase, “a minute on the lips, an eternity on the hips,” it might be time to dust off those sneakers and plug in my iPod charger. I’ll keep you posted.
Well folks, welcome to another edition of Lazarus on London that’s making its way like a Japanese high-speed bullet train across the shores. So what’s been making the headlines this week? Good news for our “Bobbies” on the beat, as the police have declared that crime in the UK has decreased by 9% up to March of this year, according to the latest figures released. News from the Commons reveals Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was “extremely pleased” with the overall results. Furthermore, an annual crime report saw last year that crime had dropped 48% since 1995.
Other highlights from the news week in brief include the back-from-the-dead canoeist. An incredible story which really defies belief: John and Anne Darwin from Teeside are in the docks for allegedly being involved in a plot to claim $500,000 in pension and insurance funds. The only twist is that Mr. Darwin faked his own death to hopefully reap the rewards.
Six years ago, John Darwin “mysteriously” disappeared from the sea near his home based in Hartlepool. The debris from the canoe was washed up close to the shore some weeks later. However, in December 2007, Mr. Darwin turned up at a police station claiming that he had been struck down with amnesia. A little out of the ordinary, wouldn’t you say? Yet he has admitted deception and will be sentenced after the denouement of his wife’s interrogations by the court. The 56-year-old denies both counts of deception and money-laundering charges. The trial continues.
In entertainment news, it’s not been a great week for old rocker Ronnie Wood, who has been admitted to a rehab centre. A spokeswoman for the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist has confirmed that he’s seeking help for his battle against alcoholism. This comes in the wake of further speculation about the state of Wood’s marriage to former model Jo Wood, which has so far lasted 23 years. His spokeswoman added, “Following Ronnie’s continued battle with alcohol, he has entered a period of rehab. His close family and friends say he is seeking help and look forward to his recovery.” I’m sure I’m not the only one in saying that all of us at Buzzine and beyond wish Ronnie well.
Other showbiz news hot off the press reveals Kinks front man Ray Davies may be treading the boards in his own musical. Come Dancing will premier to the public at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in September, and also features a new collection of songs penned by Davies himself. According to the art director Kerry Michael, “The Ray Davies musical is taking place. However, we can’t confirm yet whether Ray will actually be appearing in it himself.” Stay tuned to see if “Everyone’s Gonna Be Happy” on opening night.
And finally, if your surname is Mugabe, then you might be in for a torrid time, especially if you want your salary to be paid. Poor Sam Mugabe, a Londoner herself, had her wages frozen because the bank enforced sanctions for sharing her name with the tyrannical leader. According to The Sun, HSBC made the gaffe and froze her $2,400 wages after the bank thought she was related to Robert Mugabe. What a thought – I can just imagine a spot of tea round at the Mugabe’s. After her bosses arranged for the payment to go through again, it was rejected for the second time by HSBC. However, there is good news, as Sam has finally received her money after ten agonizing days – hurrah.
And if you want something you can always bank on, then check out these places below that are causing a stir in the capital:
Drink - Bartique. Located on the Fulham Road in the hub of SW10 life, Bartique is making a name for itself on the South Ken scene. This chic and sassy new cocktail lounge is stylish and comfortable, with an array of brown leather and an intriguing all-white bar. Owner Mike Filipi, responsible for setting up celeb favourite Boujis, has done it again, with a host of impressive cocktails and spirits that’s fit to adorn any drinks menu.
Highlights include a signature Tique, combining gin, apple schnapps, pomegranate liqueur, apple juice, and tamarind purée, while The Gigalo is a creation of gin, orgeat syrup, fresh lime juice, and mint. Apparently, one card from the impressive drinks pack is a bottle of Ace of Spades Champagne, which Bartique serves priced at $900. Tidbits from the snack menu comprise of a choice of sushi, sashimi, and tempura if you’re feeling a little peckish late on.
196-198 Fulham Road,
Dance - Egg. If you want to party the night away, then get yourself down to Egg Club. This three-floor venue based on York Way comes complete with garden and is pulling in the punters regularly. It’s slightly tricky to pinpoint, so the owners have come up with a nifty way of getting you there courtesy of the “Egg Bus,” a free shuttle service taking clubbers in their orderly droves from just outside The American Car Wash entrance located next to Kings Cross station. All you need now are some headbands and spandex leggings, and you’re guaranteed a fun evening.
Heavy house tunes are certainly the order of the day, whilst you’re also guaranteed a host of live acts and ‘90s house songs that will have you mashing it up in no time. Meanwhile, the garden area equipped with beanbags and funky furnishings ensures a chilled environment. Don’t miss out on the infamous Breakfast at Egg, a perfect hangover cure that’s served up to hungry Londoners every Sunday morning.
200 York Way,
Dine - Brasserie James. The brainchild of former head chef at Quaglino’s and Butlers Wharf Chop House, Craig James has taken to his new venture like a duck to water and opened Brasserie James. Situated on Balham Hill in the hub of trendy Clapham, this 46-seater restaurant serves up a delectable feast of modern British food, with a few classic French dishes thrown in for good measure.
The focus is certainly on locally sourced produce that’s also seasonal. Dishes that are aiming to strike the right gastronomic note include Cornish skate wing with salsify and chanterelle mushrooms, salt marsh lamb cutlets, poached salmon hollandaise, and fresh Kentish strawberries with a vanilla parfait. As for numbers, if you fancy popping in, then a three-course meal with wine works out at $60.
Address: Brasserie James
47 Balham Hill
Distraction - The Proms 2008
Where : Royal Albert Hall
When : 18th July – 13th September 2008
Hours : Check Site for details
Its Union Jack flags at the ready, and make sure you tune up your vocal chords for a rendition of “Jerusalem,” as the most renowned annual season of classical music returns to the Royal Albert Hall. With coverage on the BBC, Radio 3, and online, there’s a wealth of programmes to choose from. However, you better be quick off the blocks to purchase tickets, as there are only 500 standing tickets for each concert.
These can be bought on the door for as little as $10. Be dazzled by a range of orchestras from around the globe, solo acts, cellists, and more, with further chamber music concerts held in the Royal College of Music. You can also rock up to Hyde Park and other outdoor venues to take in the festivities. But make sure you have plenty of sustenance to hand, as you may have to queue through the night if you want to see even a twirl of a baton stick at the infamous “Last Night.”
Address: Royal Albert Hall,