Soho has got to be one of my favourite places in London. Yes, Hampstead Heath is stunning and Buckingham Palace makes you proud to be British, but nothing is quite as exciting as Soho. Jam-packed full of little restaurants, bars, performance spaces, creative agencies and the odd naughty shop, it is a hive of constant activity and inspiration. It’s also where the wonderful Mojo was set which I blogged about back in November.
|Neon on the ceiling of the Soho Theatre Bar|
It’s a favourite watering hole of mine so I often just pop in for a beverage even when I’m not seeing anything. The atmosphere is constantly changing as people head off to a show or come in excitedly chatting about what they've just seen. And if you’re an E4/BBC Three geek like me you may also spot the odd famous face amongst the pint swiggers....
But this week I was not there for the pints – I was there to see Nick Helm.....and then for pints. For those of you who don’t know of Nick, he is the ‘human car crash of light entertainment’. His words, not mine. He’s a singer-song-writer, actor, comedian type person thing. He’s blooming hilarious and I first came across him in Uncle which was on BBC Three recently. It’s a cracking combo of comedy and riotous rock songs. My friend Emma and I loved the show so when we saw that he was trying out material for his next BBC affair we grabbed tickets and popped it in the diary.
However, it turns out that the Nick of Uncle is not the true Nick - he's much more scary when he does stand up! His act is very angry and shouty...and all done in a husky growl. Think sex line meets anger management meets comedy. That is Nick Helm. It was a hilarious hour but boy did we need a drink afterwards! So we happily skipped down to the bar for a medicinal gin and tonic or two.
We caught up on on life (Emma recently got married and is moving house and is working on an incredible new blog - busy lady!) and gossiped. We talked lots about our respective blogs and the various merits of Blogger versus WordPress. What do you guys think?
And then to walk off the gin we went for a wonder through the streets before heading home. Emma doesn't spend a lot of time in Soho so I pointed out a few of my faves and you might like them too....
Dean Street Townhouse - a little on the pricey side but if you can snag a table outside under the heaters it's the most brilliant place to sit and watch the world go by.
Urban Tea Rooms - I'm a massive tea fan so anywhere that mixes earl grey with gin is a winner in my books.
El Camion - walk through the restaurant and down the stairs. You'll find a mexican drinking den with tequila done the proper way with spicy tomato chaser shots.
Rosa's - a no-frills thai restuarant that does a mean pad thai.
Pix - a tapas bar that does it the traditional way. A help-yourself bar of spanish delights with either short or long cocktail sticks in. Short costs £x, long costs £y. You pop them all into a pot on your table and count them up at the end to pay.
Bob Bob Ricard - a swanky restaurant where each table has a 'champagne button' - just press it and champers arrives!
FOR A LITTLE BIT MORE
Barrio Central - for when 'a couple of drinks' morphs into 'going out-out'.
Let me know if you'd like blogs on any of these places! Soho is full of little treasures.