Uber. It's an interesting name for a cab company but one that fits the sleek high-class image that the company is aiming for. After being introduced to it at the Yelp Underground event, I was mildly interested in trying it out. I tend to cycle everywhere (no matter what time) and avoid cabs due to the expense so opportunities are few and far between. That being said, the £20 credit given out at the Yelp Underground Event was a pretty good incentive.
My chance arose when I needed to transport myself and a considerable amount of alcohol (thanks Tracy L!) back home at 3am one Saturday night. This was probably the only time that I'd gone out for a night on the town and ended up with much more booze than I started. But that's beside the point. I flicked on the Uber app on my trusty iPhone, used the location button to automatically identify my pick up address, and within minutes the cab had arrived.
The Mess Hall courtesy of Erica U
Meat and music? Sounds like a brilliant combination to me! After hearing quite a bit about Battersea Mess & Music Hall (“BMMH”) from Erica U, I took her up on her invitation for a Sunday Roast, some Scrabble, and potentially a few tunes. This was made even more impressive by the fact that her invite (and my acceptance) was made at roughly 2am on a Sunday morning when we were both a few sheets to the wind. I think the sheer fact that our texts were mostly in English is cause for celebration and maybe a medal or two. But I digress.
BMMH has that feel of a place with more regulars that walk-ins and it’s easy to see why after spending a little time there. There is plenty of seating and you get a great feel of space. The noise level rarely gets above a background buzz and the wait staff have found that perfect balance of being attentive but not obtrusive and somehow always have a soft smile for you.
The key bits to note:
1) If you want to get a roast, make sure you call up in the morning to reserve sufficient quantities. The roast is so popular that they frequently sell out but they are happy to hold some for you until the evening hours if you so desire
2) Yes, the roast (£12-13) is as good as the hype although after the anticipation I was so hungry that I’m pretty sure I could have eaten two
3) They have tons of board games but you are welcome to bring your own
4) There is live music every Sunday which you can enjoy after your roast for £4 entry
Let the Yelpness begin!
82 Dalston Ln
London E8 3AH
020 3490 5061http://www.avohotel.com
Disclaimer: I haven't stayed a night in the Avo Hotel and instead have just been spoiled by the awesome crew that makes it a reality. It's definitely one of my top recommendations after having seen the rooms and met the owners, plus you just can't get such a quality room for the price in London!
Woohoo! Thanks to Sunny and the crew at The Avo Hotel for hosting a considerable number of Yelpers for pancakes and cupcakes! Also special mention to Brian for making such delicious pancakes and to Alex S of course for organising and bringing us all together once again.
One of the well-appointed rooms.
First off, a quick blurb about The Avo Hotel. Located just a few minutes away from Dalston Junction, this small boutique hotel is perfect for those looking to get away from the touristy traps of the West End and discover the wonders of the East. The rooms are well designed with luxurious yet refined furnishings and absolutely gorgeous bathrooms with monsoon showers. With prices ranging from 79-129 squids, you'd be hard pressed to find such posh accommodation for such good value! For you locals, The Avo also offers a 10% discount so perfect when you have guests but still want to have some space.
56-58 Tooley Street
London SE1 2SZ
Area: London Bridge
020 7403 6388
A relatively new addition to the Tooley street line up, Platform is one of the new breed of gastrobars hitting London. It's about 2 years old now (hence the relatively part) and is proving to be very popular as a drinking spot and moderately intriguing as a place to dine.
The menu is mostly British with a slight European influence. It's not terribly extensive (or expensive for that matter) but it has sufficient variety so that everyone can find something to suit (even my picky housemate!). I opted for the deep fried pig's cheeks in order to keep to the goal of trying something new and usual if it's on the menu. The waitress's enthusiastic endorsement of the choice further enhanced my excitement for trying this out. For my main, I opted for a seared chard with polenta cakes and a creamy mushroom sauce. I had no idea what chard was but more on that later.
Unfortunately, the pigs' cheeks turned out to be the McNuggets that don't make the cut. Small pieces of dark meat, they are battered in plain flour and deep fried to an inch of their gastronomic life. All flavour was sucked out and even the creamy sauce they were served with seemed to lose its taste to the oil soaked void of the batter. I couldn't even finish the small serving I had from sheer boredom and the feeling each bite was taking 6 months of my life.
The mains arrived and I discovered to my surprise and disappointment that chard is a vegetable. Why oh why didn't I google this first? Still, undeterred (and very hungry) I dug in. I'll admit, the chard and polenta were actually quite good and filling. It probably needed a bit more salt (and a lot more spice) but that's more my personal taste. Despite the lack of meat, I did enjoy this dish and would recommend it, especially to my veggie friends. The chicken my housemate had looked pretty damn good and the thick cut chips were deliciously crunchy.
Other thoughts: The old fashioned was excellent but the bellini the housemate had tasted like Miller Lite. So it's hit or miss on the cocktails apparently. The atmosphere is nice with the dining room being sufficiently high to allow for conversation. The soft rumble of the trains overhead is not much of a distraction until you realise that means many tons of metal are right above you and you hope they got the strength of the roof right!
Overall, pretty good value especially for the location. I think I'll opt to stick with the drinks and head to Suchard for my food fixes when in the area!
The ever so cool Alex S
The term "Elite Event" doesn't quite do this justice. Instead, "Epic Elite Party" would be an more apt term, I think. Because, let's be honest, that's just what Alex S threw us as his first official Elite event in London took shape.
We were ushered down into the Old Vic Tunnels (which contrary to my perception are not entered into from the Old Vic Theatre) and within minutes offered a variety of drinks, snacks, schwag, and even a chance to get tattooed up henna style (I opted against that last one despite the peer pressure to get my skull decorated).
A virtual flood of vendors were on hand to make sure we had a properly great time. A quick rundown follows...