I like them – pretty cups – they make me smile. This isn’t a confession it’s just a statement of fact that I as a 33 year old man sometimes like fine porcelain as opposed to a thick workman’s mug or an interesting vintage glass to something I got free with petrol.
I like having unexpected things in them whether it’s a sazarac, oeuf en cocotte or popcorn. If you’re the same (there must be some of you out there?) then here’s a few links to feed the habit.
Booze In Pretty Cups is two Perth bartenders who like booze, in pretty cups (surprise!) and document this with minimal words and great photographs. I recently had my first Sazarac after reading their post. I named my hangover in its honour.
Rachel Khoo’s new show The Little Paris Kitchen is the first cookery show I’ve been able to engage with recently. It’s natural, she’s natural and importantly it doesn’t feel like it has been over produced (maybe just a sign of good production?). Oh yes and of course she uses pretty cups for oeuf en cocotte.
Finally in a bit of shameless self promotion I like popcorn in pretty cups. Popcorn with maple syrup, smoked paprika and salt, sometimes even bacon. A bit more on that here.
While posting yesterday about plans and thoughts for 2011 I realised that there were a few posts that got away from me in 2010. Fellow bloggers will doubtless have a heap of drafts that for whatever reason don’t reach you pushing publish. For me it’s often that I just can’t quite do justice to a situation or simply that time passes and I have new posts in mind. I then months later kick myself for not persevering. So to save me any further self flagellation here’s a selection of 2010 highlights that for whatever reason got away.
Rosebud, 11 bis rue Delambre, Paris… We all have our view of Parisien waitrs whether from experience or stereotype. A quick round of Dirty Martini’s and Whisky Sours looked as if to reinforce the stereotype, until the nose came out! With the skill of a circus clown the nose went on. A round to be remembered and a bar which we will visit again and again.
Berlin was the scene of a Supperclub farewell to Meister, before heading off for Oz. Basically four days of lots of beer and meat with Captain English as our guide of the best of East and West. There was the odd Karaoke debut, which the written word just doesn’t do justice too, and I’m assured the video evidence will not see the light of day (or YouTube). My rendition of The Gambler, Meisters take on Wild Thing, English’s Edwin Collins are all safely held by Silvio (under threat of legal action). We may have to return to the Punk bar, the name of which was annihaliated by the whisky, for another performance. If just to hear Silvio sing Kylie again.
Schleusenkrug, Tiergarten, Berlin: If there is a better place to quench a thirst than a Berlin beer garden then I don’t know it. After hours of criss-crossing Berlin on a Fat Tire bike the Schleusenkrug offered everything you could want: beer and pretzel.
A visit to Clause served to prove that not even free drinks can save a drinking experience. It was a slow Friday afternoon when Vernon suggested a few after work drinks and a catch up. Knowing little about Clause other than its name and location I soon formed a picture of what to expect: something on a par with a posh Slug and Lettuce. I wasn’t far wrong. Checking a review site the most I could derive apart from slow service, lack of draught and a wealth of “Essex totty” was that it was “a turd floating in the sewer of city bars”. Having always thought of myself as having an open mind I thought how bad could it be?
I arrived at Clause to find Vernon and another friend already settled at the bottom of the stairs with a bottle of cheap white wine. Ready for a quick exit (I hoped). Apparently the wine was free, which explained Vernon’s insistence on the venue. With the alternative overpriced bottled beer I poured a large glass. Immediate thoughts were that it would blend into the image of many bars that I have reluctantly agreed to meet friends in over the years (while dreaming of a decent pub). I’ll however have no trouble remembering it. Within an hour we had witnessed the same person fall from his chair three times, attempt a Haka, grab a female member of staff and finally exchange words with Vernon for repeatedly kicking his chair. At 6:30pm this is never a good sign, nor is the apparent blindness of the staff to his state.
Another bottle of now half priced wine followed as did the obligatory silver plate. Providing a £1 tip for a £7 bottle of wine was enough to turn a forced smile into a scowl. Ending the evening with a free jug of cocktails from the Essex girls on the next table (“we asked for Sex on the Beach but we got Tequila Sunrise”… A joke here would be just too easy) was enough to make me oblivious to the speaker above my head pumping out light RnB at a volume akin to standing next to an air raid siren.
The next morning I awoke with a thumping headache and ringing in my ears; not surprising when you think about mixing cheap white with even cheaper Tequila. There was a time when some free drinks were something to be applauded. In fact there has never be a substitute for good service, choice, music, clientelle… i could go on but I think the point is made. Would I describe it as “a turd floating in the sewer of city bars”? Not at all, I’d describe it as a City bar. I knew exactly what I was going to get. And I got it. If only I’d remember to get the aspirin as well.