Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Pizza, Tarts and Opium Dens

There have been a lot of 30th birthday parties recently and I had the pleasure of going up to London on Saturday for another one.  Lol is one of my oldest friends.  We went to Uni together, she was one of my bridesmaids and I don't get to see her and the other girls nearly as often as I would like to.  None of us really know why, life just seems to happen and before you know it 2 years have passed and you haven't had a hug from each other!

22 of us started off at Pizza East in Shoreditch where Lol had booked a huge table with tiny little pivoting stool chairs.  You use your ab muscles to stabilise yourself, thereby justifying the huge meal you are about to indulge in.  At least that was my excuse!
I was feeling a little delicate from the night before so kick started with one of the best Bloody Mary's I have ever had.  It was warm and sharp and peppery but not overpowering.  I'm drooling just thinking about it!
While we sipped on our drinks Lol got cracking on her cards and pressies
Then the food appeared.  We had gone for a taster sharing menu and dish after dish came flooding out of the kitchen. 

Parma ham, salami, various cheeses and rosemary bread with a light salt crust still warm from the oven.
Huge slabs of freshly baked bread dripping with garlic butter just waiting to be ripped.
 Lamb meatballs in a rich tomato sauce and crispy paprika calamari with caper aioli
 Pizza after pizza all with different toppings served with some seriously good salads
 We needed a breather for some photos before dessert showed up!
Out came the birthday cake.  Actually it was birthday salted caramel chocolate tart.  It was possibly the single most divine thing I have ever tasted.  This was making it onto my last meal list it was that good.
 Also on the dessert menu were hot cinnamon sugar doughnut balls with Amedei dipping chocolate
And roasted peaches with amaretto biscotti crumbled over the top sitting in a puddle of marscapone.
Stuffed we jumped into cabs and made our way to Hackney where Lol had booked the top room at Pub on the Park.  Lol is a hip little media chick-let and this is a hip little media hangout in London Fields (I felt so countryfied downstairs!) which took shabby chic to a whole different level.
More shabby than chic to be honest but it was a luxury to have somewhere we could just take over, nip downstairs for some drinks and listen to Lol's iPod on the ancient ghetto blaster.
Our room was a bit mysterious - you had to go through a door that said 'staff only', up a creaking winding wooden staircase, down a corridor and entered in the words of Lols' mum "our very own Opium den".
I loved the pop art posters lining the stairs and corridors.
Lol is off to New York now for the rest of her birthday.  It had better not be another 2 years before I see her!

By the way, the very pretty girl in the bottom picture but one?  That's Rohini.  You should check out her blog here.  Trust me - it's awesome.

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