Tuesday, 5 February 2008
So this weekend I went to the British Library for the Futurism exhibition. It was lovely; as a committed bibliophile, Kings Cross-dweller and lover of early 20th Century art, it was right up my street (literally and figuratively). Gorgeous and fascinating typefaces, sketches, film extracts and other assorted vignettes. As well as covering the history, ideology and more obscure European pockets of avant-garde publishing, there was also a significant section on Paris. I was in heaven. And what a lovely space, the British Library. Light, airy, with plenty of ergonomically-specific work areas, unusual artworks dotted about and the only the most erudite of clientele. This mixture of people and place makes the BL an absolute Staple for the aesthetically-minded. But this was a day that progressed into a brilliant evening. After lurking in Camino and the Big Chill House, we moved to a lovely authentic Thai place; dirt cheap and filling, just how it should be, and refreshingly lacking in pretension. Moving on to Old Street, we found the most fantastic bar I think I've ever been to. Hidden away in a basement on Great Eastern Street is a beautifully-designed, compact space, furnished simply in a vintage 1950s G-Plan furniture kind of way, playing fabulous foreign jazz and easy-listening music, with cocktails to die for and an atmosphere that most bars would kill for. Never too loud, or too dark, or too busy, thanks to a complete lack of standing space and a brilliant table-reservation system, this epitome of relaxed Saturday living was a cocoon of lovely people in a chilled bar genuinely enjoying themselves; kudos to Janine and Stuart for making the evening as perfect as it could have been. I feel I'm beng a little effusive, but rarely have I been somewhere that I could find no fault with, the perfectionist that I am. Which is why I'll not divulge the name; if you want to know, drop me a message, but for now, this bar is a secret that I'm keeping to myself. It's too good to share just yet. Keep your eyes peeled for your perfect bar; and once you've found it, keep it under your hat. Sometimes secrecy is the best Staple of all.