Posts Tagged ‘bars’

The romance of Wayne’s World

May 29, 2011 7 comments


I love Wayne’s World. I understand it’s not a to everyone’s tastes but it does have its moments.

It really spoke to me when I was younger, perhaps I was just at the right age when it came out that having long hair and talking about rock music seemed impossibly amazing.

I must have watched it a 100 times, I used to know all the dialogue in the film off by heart. I hadn’t seen it in years, so when The Theatre Producer mentioned that it was being shown at the Prince Charles cinema as a ‘Schwing Along’ I got a bit excited.

I emailed some chums to see if they wanted to go and they got excited too. However we missed out an important step. Actually buying tickets instantly and so it sold out before we could get organised.

However a vague plan was formed. The Theatre Producer and a chum were going and I could meet up with them afterwards for a drink. I watched Wayne’s World on DVD to get into the right frame of mind and then hopped on the tube to meet up with them.

They were in a lovely pub tucked away in a back street, before I’d even arrived they had got me a gin and tonic which rather set the tone for the evening.

The Theatre Producer was wearing a Stacey (from Wayne’s World)  inspired look. It involved a blue very swishy skirt, the dressing up theme continued as her chum was wearing an amazing body-con dress. We said hello and then talked about the cultural importance of Wayne’s World.

I got another round of drinks in, large drinks, well two rounds of large drinks because I feared the bar was going to close soon. We started drinking those but the bar closed so briskly that we had to fight to finish all our gin.

Then we went to another bar. I ordered a round, and then shots for nine people. There were three of us. In hindsight this could have been the point when the evening went a bit wrong.

There was a jukebox in the corner of the bar, full of lovely juke. We took it in turns to buy drinks and inflict our musical tastes on the bar people. There were even more shots and quite a bit of dancing.

Everyone was very mashed at this point.

A complicated matter of kissing

I was chatting away to the Theatre Producer’s friend about, well I don’t remember. I had been on a bit of a charm offensive because I had realised that The Theatre Producer made me feel a bit tingly and so I wanted her chums to be Pro-Toast.

The Theatre Producer had nipped to the loo. We were alone for a moment and The Theatre Producer’s chum kissed me. No tongues or anything just a kiss on the lips. I looked rather shocked not because it was unpleasant, but because it was a total surprise. I think I may have said blimes.

I then sort of told her off a bit about how kissing wasn’t allowed. In hindsight sounds a bit arsey but I did realise in my drunken state that if I kissed chums I probably wasn’t going to be allowed to ever kiss the Theatre Producer and that would make my tingles sad.

We had drunk an awful lot of booze at this point, and we’d even been talking about flirting so I can understand how perhaps I was sending out mixed signals.

The Theatre Producer returned and left the two of them to put more music on the jukebox. Foxy Lady to be exact.

There was some dancing, the Theatre Producer’s chum went to the loos and then the Theatre Producer said ‘So you’ve kissed X eh?’

‘Erm, well it was more like she kissed me. I told her not to do that anymore.’ I replied.

This continued for a bit. I can’t remember the exact words but I decided to kiss the Theatre Producer.

She didn’t say blimes and it was nice.

We had a brief chat about how this could be complicated because she knew about the blog. I said something about how while it did make things complicated I hoped it wouldn’t make things impossible. I think I may have said some slightly soppy things too.

We danced some more and even drank some more. It was time to head home. The Theatre Producer lived nearby so we said goodbye (with a little bit more kissing) and I fell into a cab home.

It had been a very surprising evening.

Grog and dressing up

May 29, 2011 3 comments


So after the first meeting with the Theatre Producer I emailed her a few times and suggested another, longer drink to talk about plays and writing. You know, like a proper business meeting.

This however ended up a business meeting with a dress-code. For some reason, we ended up having a competition to see who could dress like the most tragic hipster. I spent hours working on my outfit.

I arrived a little early at a bar near Old Street. It was underground and was like a speak easy. It was a Sunday so that was almost empty. It was a very cool place. Not the sort of place to be wearing an outfit that would make people wish for colour-blindness.

The Theatre Producer arrived, she was wearing a cape. Yes an actual cape and irresponsibly short shorts. Her hair was in a bun on the top of her head and she was wearing proper hipster glasses. She did admit that the glasses were fairly normal for her, but that the cape only came out on special occasions. She looked rather silly, but also stunning. I just looked like a spaz.

The drinking begins

We sat down in the corner and had a couple of cocktails. We chatted about everything apart from plays and writing. Then we ordered some grog. It was grog for eight people served in a funny wooden barrel/jug. It was extremely tasty.

We talked more, and more and more. We laughed while discussing families, friends and all the catching up stuff you do when you are starting to get to know someone. The Theatre Producer has done a lot of really impressive stuff.

I love conversations where one of you can have a silly idea and the other person understands it and then takes it one step further. You take it a little further and with in minutes you are laughing so much you feel a bit sick. We had a lot of those.

We also drank all the grog.

It was an excellent business meeting.

We talked about plays for about 30 seconds at the end.

I had put my card behind the bar earlier so asked for it and the bill. The bill arrived first so I had to ask for my card again. In the time between me asking and the card arriving the Theatre Producer had settled a bill. That has never happened to me before, ever.

It was a good business meeting, although I have to admit I had been a bit distracted by having too much fun.

Lovely gin in a pub near Regent’s Park

May 29, 2011 1 comment


This post is a bit late. This tends to happen when the post is hard to write or one of us gets distracted having a lovely time. This post (and the following ones) are late for both reasons.

I think I should probably start at the beginning. Remember when I met a friend of a friend who was a theatre producer? Well I think I may have slightly undersold how fun that meeting was.

It was just half an hour long, just a quick drink, but it raced by and I spent most of it giggling.

She was wearing a smashing frock, had a hat on and it was a beautiful spring day. We sat in a famously lovely pub just by Regent’s Park drinking gin and tonics. The bar was a collection of sunbeams and dark wood, because a wedding was going on nearby everyone who appeared was extremely well dressed.

It was only a brief meeting because she had to go to a wedding and I had to go to the zoo but it was enough for me to realise two important facts.

1) She was exactly my type. Intelligent, interesting, amusing and a beautiful, tall brunette.

2) I’d like to see her again, as chums. It had to be chums because she was a reader of the blog and thus forbidden.

(Cunning readers will have already worked out that the later half of two must have got a bit wavy because otherwise this post wouldn’t be here)

A date with a Serbian and a video camera

December 19, 2010 11 comments


I had another internet date. This was with a girl who contacted me first. I’ve been sort of relying on that for the last few months. This is a bad tactic to settle into. Be pro-active!

Anyway this girl contacted me. She was tall, with dark hair and seemed interesting in an intelligent, faintly fighty way. So yes all my weaknesses in one.

I had been invited to a party on Wednesday for, well I couldn’t really work out what it was for but there was going to be complimentary drinks, a magician and the possibility of winning a cool video camera. Ideal for a date.

We met in the rain on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. It was pleasingly dramatic. There was some confusion of exactly where we were meeting but after about half a dozen we had finally managed to find each other.

She was tall, and well she looked, well like her photos. She had a soft South African accent and you could tell her family originally were from Serbia by her fierce cheekbones. 

We hopped on the tube down to South West London. The bar was sort of in the middle of no-where so we had a reasonable walk to get there.

This was really good, because it gave us loads of time to talk. Before we had arrived we had covered, quantum physics, feminism, philosophy and how we were determined to win a camera.

The bar was dark and we were quickly shuttled into the VIP area where they served us dim-sum and other lovely things. My luck, or skill was with my on the night too as I managed to win a video camera. I gave it to the girl. She was impressed.

Then I won another video camera, which also impressed the girl. I kept this one. The magic man turned up and did some really, really good magic and we drank more booze.

We got chatting to a chap to our left and while The Serbian was talking to him she started squeezing my leg. I raised an eyebrow to no-one in particular.

Leg squeezing seems to be the sign that a girl likes you these days, and my assumption was right because when our new friend went to the loo she lunged at my and kissed me on the face with tongues.

Clearly the way to a woman’s heart is expensive consumer electronics.

For some reason I was feeling a little bit cocky. I think the combination of a good tie, winning stuff and VIP areas at got to my head. I turned to her and said.

“I like you, we are going to go out again.”

“I’d like that,” she replied.

So there you go, sometimes you just have to tell a girl how it’s going to be.

There was some more kissing, and a bit more on the bus before we said goodbye. I will see her again, I mean I’ve given her a name and everything.

Marriage percentage: 20%

Lessons learned:
Rubbish first dates are over. It’s all about the swish dates
Winning girls stuff does impress them
If a girl squeezes your knee, she has designs on you.

Pork scratchings, balloons and The Virginian

September 28, 2010 11 comments


The previous date with The Virginian hadn’t gone brilliantly. There had been good moments but the whole affair had been slightly awkward. Not chew-your-own-tongue-bad just not as easy as it could have been.

However, she was new in town so she didn’t know many people, and since she had made me laugh I had invited her out on Saturday with Biscuit and I.

This is how I expected the evening to go

Imagined evening
We would have met up in a pub, had a slightly awkward hello and one drink. With that out-of-the-way we would have hopped onto the tube down to South London to a rock club. Biscuit had organised the trip to the venue to see some band he liked.

Since Biscuit loved the band he would have hit the mosh-pit and gone a bit mad, only appearing occasionally to drink booze and enthuse about how great the band were. The Virginian and I would prop up the bar and get steadily drunk while making cutting remarks about other people there.

At some point we would have had enough of the music (the club closed at 6am) and either leave without Biscuit or drag him away. There would the offer of some late night food and then we would part company. I would see the Virginian perhaps a couple of times, maybe as a plus one at a gallery launch but that was it.

Oh how wrong I was

What actually happened
Biscuit and I arrived at the pub a bit late. the Virginian was waiting with a drink. She was wearing a brilliant ensemble of a light leather jacket with coordinated handbag and lady-brogues. This was combined with a purple top and slightly faded jeans. Very rock chic.

She was pleased to see us and introductions were made. Biscuit and the Virginian hit it off, and almost immediately started mocking each other. There was a lot of mockery, and laughter. The whole thing was far more relaxed than the first date and so time flew by.

The first event of the evening involved pork scratchings. the Virginian had never tried them so Biscuit got a bowl and we forced her to eat one. I filmed it on my iPhone. Even it HD it’s hard to get across the full look of horror on the Virginian’s face.

This caused a wave of laughter, Biscuit and I were howling with mirth. So much so that a nearby table of visiting Slovakians asked what we were eating.

We shared the pork scratchings with them which caused a mixture of disgust and delight and they became our new friends.

To make up for the pork scratchings I bought a round of Guinness and then demonstrated how to down one.

The Virginian had previously said that she could handle her drink and that she would easily drink me under the table. I downed the pint in about seven seconds, this was also caught on video.

I think this was the point at which the evening turned silly.

Biscuit started making balloon animals and giving them to nearby tables. Or to put it more accurately nearby tables, full of people from a wide range of European countries, were demanding he made them animals. Or rude hats. The hats were VERY rude.

The Virginian grabbed my thigh under the table. I said ‘blimey’ and nearly choked on my pint.

We looked at each other, I raised my eyebrow in query.

Biscuit handed out another balloon animal to a waiting person.

The Virginian squeezed my leg again and smiled.

I did the only acceptable thing and squeezed her leg back.

Biscuit put an X-rated balloon hat on the head of nearby man.

Some more time passed. We had made life-long friends with the French couple on the next table and were even speaking bad school-boy French at them while Biscuit showed the man how to make a giraffe.

The Virginian leaned over and whispered in my ear ‘You should come home with me’

‘Okay’ I replied.

More time passed, there were more drinks and giggling and friends made with a couple of chaps from Finland.

Ding ding!

It was last orders, in a daze I stumbled out of the bar with the Virginian and said goodbye to Biscuit. We took the tube back to her house. On the escalators she kissed me a few times and then complimented me on my lips.

We arrived at her room in the student halls. There wasn’t a lot of talking and we ended up in bed. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next.

It’s the bit after that shocked me.

At first she asked me if I would rather stay or leave. I said stay. It was late, I was drunk and she was good company.

Then after a little bit she said ‘This isn’t working out for me. Would you mind if you left?’

I said ‘No of course not’. I did mind a bit, but I am British and so raised to be polite.

I pulled on my clothes. She got out of bed to say goodbye and fell over. We were both quite drunk. We said goodbye.  I stumbled out into the night and found a mini-cab company. The tubes were all closed.

As I waited for the mini-cab I realised not a lot of time had passed. As in, I hadn’t been at the Virginians place very long. It had been a flying visit.

In the cab on the way back I couldn’t decide if I felt used in a good way or a bad way.

Biscuit was still awake when I got back to his place and we ate hash browns and tried to work out if I’d be used. The jury is still out now

Marriage percentage: 30%
The Virginian gained a load of points by being far more amusing and eating things we gave her. However the whole late-night mini-cab ride cost her a lot of points too.

Lessons learned:

  • Sometimes people can be way more fun on a second date
  • The pub on the corner of Oxford Street is great for meeting people randomly
  • Everyone in Europe loves a good balloon animal
  • If a girls squeezes your leg she probably wants something.
  • The ‘Cab ride of pride’ can often be very confusing.

Toast’s pre-date planning

February 19, 2010 2 comments


I like going on dates, even disasters make entertaining stories. The good ones remain as a fond memory even if the relationship that followed fell to pieces.

I plan dates, not every second of them but I do think about them a lot, perhaps a little bit too much. Anywhere, here are the things I consider before I meet a girl.

This planning doesn’t always require weeks of preparation. Often it’s  just running through my head in the cab on the way to meet them.

First dates and blind dates (For example off the Internet) will be in a coffee place or perhaps a cocktail bar. Both of these are fairly non-committal so if it’s awful you can bail out fairly early on.

Anywhere that is part of a chain is ruled out, I try to take people to somewhere they have never been before. London is good for this because it’s got so many secret places and hidden corners. The venue shouldn’t be too noisy because you want to be able to hear what they are saying.

For second dates I to find some interesting activity or if that doesn’t work a really good restaurant. By really good I mean an interesting experience.

For either type of date I think carefully about what this venue says about me.

I want to look good. Part of the look will depend on the location that we are going to. Cocktail bars mean no jumpers but if we are going on a Ghost Walk (A great second date) then I’ll need to dress warm. Good shoes seem to be important to women. I don’t really wear t-shirts unless I’m in the gym so that leaves them out.

Underwear is a bit of a tricky one. Of course they should be good underpants but they shouldn’t be so flashy that they give the impression that I was assuming they would be seen (I’ve got in trouble for that before). I don’t think there is any excuse for bad underwear though. I should point out I’m not expecting anyone to see my pants on a first date.

Possible second location
If it is going really well then we are going to want to go to somewhere else. Another bar, a restaurant or if it’s going really well perhaps a private view at a gallery. I used to review restaurants in London for a living so thanks to that I know quite a few good places dotted around the capital. Sadly I don’t have the pull I used to have, so getting a last-minute table somewhere difficult is more tricky than it used to be.

If it’s a first date I’ll probably have some restaurants or bars in mind that we could go to, but this will change after I’ve met the girl and got an idea of the sort of things she like.

Get out / stay late excuse
If the date goes badly, what is my excuse to leave early? Or if it’s going really well, so well that I’m going to miss the last train home where will I stay?

And that’s even before I work out if I like them or  not.

Why this much planning? Because of the Wed or Dead Wager