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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Let's go clubbing

OK, so, Friday night, as I mentioned, my mission was to check out Chinawhite with the previously introduced Hunky David (HD). (Lauren asked, “Can we see a picture of this guy to see if he’s as hunky as he says he is?” and I imagine others were wondering the same thing…)

Now, just to set the scene, here’s how Chinawhite is described on View London: The Londoner’s guide to London:

Famously known as London’s celebrity haunt, Chinawhite’s legendary status has witnessed partying from members of the royal family to Page 3 models alike.

You can read the rest of the review here:

Now, that first sentence sounds intriguing, right? However, the review also goes on to call Chinawhite “unquestionably overrated.” And here’s a photo so you get a bit of the ambience.

Nevertheless, when I told a few women at work that I was going there, they asked if I really knew what I was getting into and informed me it drew a much, er, faster crowd than they suspected I was looking for…however, when I explained that it was to be my only foray into the London club scene, they agreed I was definitely going straight to the top of the heap!

David and I made an early stop at a bar called Jewel, also in the Piccadilly Circus area, and then headed into the dark alley where Chinawhite is oh-so-discreetly located – i.e., no signage because if you have to ask where you are, you’re obviously not meant to be there. After our names were crossed off “the list,” we paid £3 each to check our coats (oh, I had some major shoe drama going on, as I couldn’t wear my sassy shoes on the tube – yes, girls, the JCs made it out on the town! – so I had a shoe bag with my ballet flats for walking).

So, remember, we’re there for a Swedish Junior Chamber of Commerce event, right? (They even gave us two free drink tickets, which saved us a good $40 each at the typical standard upper end £10/$20 cocktail standard. Honestly, those prices are enough to make you want to stop drinking alcohol, aren’t they?) Keep in mind David is Portuguese/South African, and neither of us look the least bit Swedish. So, the next thing we know, a blonde girl comes up and starts chatting away in Swedish…oops. We informed her that we were, in fact just friends with a Swede, and I was going to lie and say our friend was in the bathroom, but we ended up coming clean, and this girl (Anna) turned out to be our friend for the rest of the night.

Honestly, the evening itself was not particularly eventful; I’d describe the place as more of a lounge than a club, though people did start dancing as the night went on. I did have an interesting conversation with a Swedish/Russian guy named Anton, who was pretty unconventional and all into that sort of philosophical (as Leigh Ann calls it, my need to examine my belly button) conversation that I enjoy. And when I asked him what he was carrying around in his man purse, it was a copy of Candide by Voltaire and a sketch pad, among other things. (Oh, plus, he was CUTE, with very expressive eyes, a total baby face and this gorgeous thick dark hair.) So, naturally, I was all intrigued as I tend to be by these European types, and we chatted away for probably about 2 hours until we got into a conversation about whether children are inherently good, and he said, “Children are not inherently good. Children are neutral.” And maybe that is true, but it was just too much, and it was on top of the fact that he’d said I had “cute wrinkles,” and insisted on calling me Jennifer because he thought that was just the PERFECT name for me, so I bid him adieu and called it a night.

Nevertheless, I managed to exit Chinawhite having spent only the £3 to check my coat, which made me quite happy.

So, this morning I just enjoyed having a lazy Saturday with a pot of Earl Grey tea, then I went out for the spinach and brie tart that I enjoyed so much on my first weekend here. I meant to get out and do some sightseeing, but I just didn’t have the energy to go go go, so I decided to see Atonement. What a fantastic movie! It is much like the book, which I loved when I read it, so I highly recommend it. There were also a few London references/landmarks that I enjoyed noting. One of the best things about the movie is the score; the music really sets the mood for each scene.

This evening, Adam and I had made plans to eat a Yauatcha, (which took me all week to learn to spell, by the way, and just try looking up a restaurant online when you don’t know how to spell it). One of the girls at work had recommended it when Christy-Anne was here, and I’m sorry we didn’t check it out then, as it’s really cool. They serve mostly dim sum, and Fodor’s calls it a very “Sex and the City” atmosphere, which is probably as well as you can describe it…super hip and trendy, but the food was actually very tasty.

I had one of the yummiest cocktails I have ever tasted...I wish I could tell you what was in it besides grapes.
We let the waiter pick out 4 dim sum dishes for us -- lobster dumplings, vegetable dumplings, prawns, a really tasty ginger Chilean sea bass and then split crispy smoked duck with hoisin sauce and pancakes. Dessert was coconut rice pudding with mango and a burnt sugar crust, topped with a blob of what I would call Rice Krispie treat. Divine!! They have a tea room upstairs, with a pastry counter that looked amazing.

We stopped at a Borders on the way home, and I picked up a copy of American Psycho, which seems like a fun thing to read now that I am feeling so immersed in the big-city capitalist, consumptive frenzy here. (Adam thinks my phrase “Porsche Culture” would make a good book title.) Overall, it was just a very pleasant evening…oh, and we took this picture before dinner when we had a pint at a pub.

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