Thursday, August 28

WC in Clapham

WC in Clapham

It might not sound like a rocking Saturday night, but last weekend I had a girls' night out at a public loo in Clapham. The loo in particular is called WC and it's actually a trendy new wine bar.

WC in Clapham

WC in Clapham (which stands for Wine and Charcuterie and not water closet)  is one of many London public toilet turned bar. This one also has outdoor space, enclosed by one of those American style white picket fences. This would've been a fantastic al fresco terrace if it hadn't been for the fact that you're actually sitting on a traffic island, surrounded by busy Clapham traffic and flanked by a bus stop.

WC in Clapham

To get to the bar itself, you walk down the steps just next to the Clapham Common tube entrance. It still looks and feels as if you're descending into a public toilet, but it smells a lot more inviting. Inside you the likeness to a public convenience is less obvious. There are cosy booths on one side and high tables and stools on the other. There are plenty of old Victoriana fictures and fittings in this low-lit bar, which give WC an intimate feel.
WC in Clapham


The menu is quite appealing as well. There is a wide variety of wine from different parts of the world and a good few cheese and charcuterie platters. We opted for a mixed platter with cheeses from both the UK and France and some fine hams.


We had a great night out and we will certainly pay another visit. Pun intended.
You can find more info on the WC website.

Tuesday, August 26

London Eats World: France

In my London Eats World blog series, I'm eating my way around the world without leaving London and this week it's France.

London Eats World: France

This one had to be a good one, because the French know food, right? So for an evening filled with haute cuisine, I headed to Pierre Victoire in Soho. Pierre Victoire could only be more French if it was really in France. There's French art hanging on the walls, French music playing in the background and French wait staff welcoming the guests. The view, however, is not so French as you look straight onto the construction site of Crossrail, but that will improve. Or so I hope.

The music on this occasion was very live and loud and could've been slightly more French and a little less old New York. Actually I could've done without as we were reduced to communicating in sign-language.

London Eats World: France

The menu is anything but concise and contains French favourites like steak tartare, tartiflette, and foie gras, lots of different salads, and lots of different steaks. And if you come early, you can have the pre-theatre two course set menu for £12.90.

London Eats World: France

We opted for the asparagus wrapped in pancetta with a soft boiled egg for a starter and the steak frites for our mains. I loved the starter, but then again I love asparagus. The steak would've been good if it hadn't been doused in oniony gravy which made my French frites a tad soggy. We didn't try any of the desserts as I can only handle two courses.

London Eats World: France

Overall I had an enjoyable, albeit loud evening at Pierre Victoire and next time I will opt for a table away from the piano. And something that doesn't come with gravy.

Saturday, August 23

Balinese Offerings

Balinese Offerings

When I travelled to Bali for the first time, I noticed that every morning, while I was having my breakfast on the porch of my B&B, that one of the girls went around the house dressed in sarong and carrying a tray loaded with small weaved baskets filled with flowers.

Balinese Offerings

She would put one small basket and incense on a small shrine hanging from the wall next to my room, sprinkle it with what I think was water and incense smoke. Then she'd placed one in front of the small garden pond where she repeated the ritual and then one one out front on the doorstep.

Balinese Offerings

When walking around the streets of Bali, I noticed these small baskets were everywhere on the ground in front of shops, residences on statues and in temples. I later found out that these small weaved baskets are called canang sari and that they are daily offerings to thank the gods.

Balinese Offerings

The baskets which are usually made of banana leaves and handmade, can contain rice, meat, flowers, sweets and even some money. They are laid in the mornings and in the late afternoons and left to wither in the sun, or washed away by the rain or even be eaten by street dogs or even rats. Till the next day, when the ritual is repeated all over again.

Balinese Offerings

 It was such a lovely daily routine to watch in the early hours of the day and early evenings and one of the things that make Bali's culture so special and unique.

Thursday, August 21

Aqua at the Shard

Have you been wanting to go up to The View at the Shard in London, but don't really fancy dishing out the sky-high entrance fee? Then here's an insider tip for you. Head on up to Aqua bar and restaurant at the Shard for absolutely free. That's right, free, nada, zilch.


The views are pretty much the same as from The View platform albeit it from a couple of floors lower, however for the same price you get a table with a view and 4 glasses of wine, or 4 beers, or 2 cocktails. Whatever tickles your fancy.


We went there at around 6 o'clock which is the best time to avoid any queues that are likely to form the later into the week and into the evening you get. We were able to walk into the lift to be whooshed straight up to the 31st floor. There were no free tables when we arrived, but after we ordered our drinks at the bar and lingered around for a bit, we spotted a couple getting up to leave and we swooped right in to confiscate their table.


Aqua also serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea, which admittedly are a bit on the pricey side. But if you ask me, whatever you order at Aqua to go with the incredible view across the world's best city, is better value than The View, where you just get er... a view.

Photo by Chris Pople under Creative Commons Licence