20 Jan 2007

Load of Tripe

THE TRADITIONAL Blyde 'pre' birthday celebration (mine) today took the form of a breathtaking, long lunch at Arbutus, Frith Street. Whilst the cookie dough coloured dining rooms are minimalist, with hand cut table mats from New York and artfully concealed lighting, the toilettes buck the trend with a lovingly collected postcard pornocopia of buxom Edwardian nudes. Super!
The wine list has gaps, but is genuinely confidentally assembled, with most bins carafe offered at no extra cost, a splendid idea until someone splutters the word 'urologist'. Au Bon Climat Chardonnay fenced with a well priced Albarino. NZ Pinot Noir shouted at a Santenay. Tripe parcels made me nervous. Peanut parfait made perfect sense.
My recent award bestowed by Vinopolis colleagues, 'Best Conversationalist', has gone to my head. Having described me as "tinitus personnified", my normally reserved collaborator, Anna, actually locked me in the wine cellar. But I was not out of harms way! In fact during my all too brief tenure I got to sample Midori melon liquer with half a jar of cocktail olives.
I am off to Paris tomorrow for a few days to nurture a heavy heart, staying at the (wait for it) 'Peace and Love' hostel, world infamous for its see-through glass shower cubicle doors in the mixed dorms. I quote a Trip Advisor reviewee:

'...when you got up off the toilet, your head was sticking half way in to the shower...it was damn small. the bloody electricity didnt work. did i mention the bugs, they were crawling all over the mattress....filth. the wardrobe was stuffed with peoples belongings that had been left behind. plus in some rooms the shower was situated in the actual room. random, bloody useless place. DONT STAY THERE'

I may yet be rescued by a discerning Frenchie colleague keen for me to be 'pen-friended' off in a more salubrious part of town. Perhaps the Vinopolis brother/sisterhood are keen to recover the sound of silence in my absence?