19/05/2015

3. Gelato: Gelupo

Gelupo

They have a wolf as the logo, this is a good sign.

This is my friend DonkeyB's favorite gelato place so we've eaten here a few times. I normally order a small cup but this time as I was sharing I opted for a large and got to try four flavours. The Banana and honeycomb was the absolute best banana gelato I've EVER had.
Yes better than Italy.

In fact when it comes to tasty this place doesn't really get it wrong.

However there are two things that mark it down. Firstly you can't see any of the offerings before you try them which for me loses an experience point, part of the fun is being delighted by seeming all the yummies before you get to taste them. The second point is that this is one of the most expensive places around. A lesser point this that if you eat in the chairs are slippy, especially the stools.

I should say that my guests think that this is the best gelato in London.

Flavour: Dark Chocolate - 4 | Banana - 5 | Hazelnut - 5 | Pistachio - 5
Texture: Silky & Creamy - 5
Price: £4.00 - 3
Experience: 4
Venue: 5
Total Score: 4.3

07/05/2015

2. Gelato: Lick

Lick

Last night I went to Lick on Dean Street in Soho. I really wish I hadn't. The shop is pretty tiny so only a few seats but that didn't matter as it was pretty much deserted, I should of taken that as a warning.

The first issue I had is that you are only allowed one flavour for a small cup, not the end of the world but not wonderful either.
So I ordered the obligatory dark chocolate.

I'm a huge chocolate fan, hence this being my control group, the closer to 85% the happier I am. With this in mind I have to state what I was served was not chocolate.
You could barely discern and hint of chocolate.

Essential I had a cup of dark brown stuff that had a watery consistency. In an attempt to find taste I ate about 6 spoons, trying to dig to the centre. Eventually with no satisfaction I give up. It wasn't worth wasting calories or money on. My guest also tried two spoons before declaring it terrible and refusing to eat any more. There was much debate as to whether I should take the cup back.

I hope this explains the following scores:

Flavour: Dark Chocolate - 0
Texture: Watery - 0
Price: £3.50 - 3
Experience: 0
Venue: 2
Total Score: 1

It's rather a shame as I'd eaten in Lick a few times before and has a pleasant experienc.  It's sad and disappointing to see it go down hill.

05/05/2015

1. Gelato: Amorino & Snowflake

Anyone who knows me has probably been dragged to a gelato place at some point or another and seen me gorge on gallons of deliciousness.

In a brilliant excuse to let me eat more gelato, for the sake of science and public good I'm going to start reviewing each gelato place I visit. Fortunately London has a wonderful number of these establishments so bring on the scoops.

All scores are out of 5 and I'll be evaluating the following: Flavour Texture, Price, Experience and Venue.

Dark chocolate is my control grou,  yummy yummy.

To kick things off a double review of two fantastic places.

Amorino

I visited the Soho branch on Old Compton Street, there are often queues on weekend but don't be put off. The staff might take a little time to get to you but they make up for it in artistry as each cone is made to look like a flower. This is one of the few places that I'll order a cone over a cup, simply for the aesthetic value. Generally I find the cone can detract from the taste.
You pay first which is convenient, as it stops you trying to balance a purchase while hunting for money. The branch itself is very narrow and can get crowed. The descriptions are not very clear and if the store is busy you feel guilty trying too many before choosing. I had a dark chocolate and Cherry mix - my own black forest gateau. A unique point - they will let you have as many flavours as you can squeeze in to a cone cup. I tend to stick with two because I think too many can dull your palette and you forget to really taste each one properly, thus diminishing the experience.

Flavour: Cherry - 4 | Dark Chocolate - 4
Texture: Creamy, Smooth and Light - 4
Price (Small): £3.50 - 3
Experience: 3
Venue: 3
Total Score: 3.4

My guest ordered two sorbets - raspberry and mango and assured me they were delicious.


Snowflake

I tend to go to the branch on Wardour Street which has ample seating and very patient staff. The flavours do change around so don't be disappointed if they don't have your favorite in stock. The staff are always very patient when you want to try a variety before deciding on your final cup. The taste is second to none here, boasting my favorite dark chocolate with a yummy strawberry (yes I made Neapolitan).
A nice touch is they have thoughtfully designed labeling highlighting the milk free and guilt free scoops so if your lactose intolerance or just trying to be healthier you know which ones you can enjoy, without compromising taste. This is my preferred choice when in Soho and there is a lot of strong competition about.

Flavour: Strawberry - 4.5 | Dark Chocolate - 5
Texture: Moreish, Smooth, Creamy - 5
Price (Small): £3.20 - 4
Experience: 4
Venue: 5
Total Score: 4.5

One this occasion my guest ordered pear and almond - essentially replicating a pear and frangipane tart one of my favorite desserts - I order it next time and it was heavenly!




02/02/2014

So Bad I love it!

New devil to purge, it has to be said I love a good "Bad Film".

This is as divisive a prospect as asking how you feel about Marmite.

By the way Ozzies, in my humble opinion Veggiemite is awful too, but I digress.

What I really mean by my opening statement, is that we all have a guilty pleasure buried deep down. For me its those movies that my brain deems as below standard and are yet some how entertaining enough to watch repeatedly.

Exhibit 1: Tremors.
If there are people out there who don't like Tremors, then they must have an entirely alien sense of humor. This for me is the definition of a good, bad film. The effects are poor, the actors ham up every line and the plot barely makes any sense. The result pure movie giggling magic.

Plus I got it on DVD for 30p. Bargain.










Exhibit 2: Deep Blue Sea.
"The sharks got smarter"
All I'll say is - Samuel. L. Jackson has the best death ever.


 












Exhibit 3: The Mummy Returns. 
Firstly the Mummy is a brilliant film, I'll hear no bad words about it. However the sequel we can all agree isn't cinematic gold and at some points is so ludicrous you can only laugh. My friend, who was an aspiring actor turned to me in the cinema while we watched this and said "Don't laugh I'll probably be in the 5th installment".
I still liked it and yes I like the Scorpion King too.




This could go on all day so I'll stop here.
 




23/12/2013

2013 Closer to Fine

Retrospectives generally trigger a Team America style montage and nausea in my head so I'm not going to run over 2013 in an event by even fashion.

Those who've known me a while will probably understand why December is far from my favorite month of the year. Not to mention Mariah Carey's siren tones generally stir an large
bout of horror for me. *shudder*
But I assume she has this effect on everyone.

Back to topic, I wasn't looking forward to this 23rd December but picking a single day to be sad seems to me to be rather forced. Perhaps we should feel melancholy whenever it hits (remove pointy objects) and run with happiness while you have it.

To get to the point, this year has certainly been eventful.
Not one aspect of my life is the same as it was 7 months ago.
I still wake up and wonder where the hell I am.

Some of these changes are brilliant (new job, new flat, degree sort of done) while others are painful but for the best, like the divorce.

So much for planning ahead!
Thanks life didn't see this one coming.

However the over whelming care I've had from people, has been the most comforting and kind experience of my life.  Even when their own lives were in turmoil or they barely knew me. Amazing people gave me all thier time, generous hearts and patient ears.

How you all put up with is I'll never know...it was the free heroine wasn't it?

At one point I think I gave Paradise Beach a run for it's money.

Then there are so many interesting, funny and outright crazy people I've meet this year.
 I used to be to shy to answer the phone at work and would hide under the table rather then talk if there was more than one person present. Apparently daydreaming about being a megalomaniac socialist dictator is not going to win friends and influence people...or will it.

But getting out and actually talking to people seems to be working OK, not been stabbed yet!

All this is a really long way of saying let's eat a tonne of cake, shot zombies and not worry too much.
It's only life after all.

05/12/2013

Unlucky

http://www.threadless.com/product/4462/Unlucky
I've been having a run of bad luck lately.
Not going to divulge all the details, that would bore you and me.

Now the worst part of it all are two common comments I keep hearing...
1. "Bad things happen in threes" because that implies well now you've had one bad thing its ok, more is on the way! Just what you want to hear. However, how much of that is a self fulfilling prophecy? At the moment it would appear bad things happen in Nines, but why not Hundreds or Thousands?
2. "It'll be alright". It bloody well better be or I'm getting off this rock.

In truth I'm not really annoyed more bemused.

Time to buy a lottery ticket, can't get worse right?


07/09/2013

What it feels like

About 9 years ago I was given a copy of a book called "what it feels like". 

It was one of the most fascinating books I'd read and as imitation is the highest form of flattery I wrote a few pieces of my own over the years. Mostly as a bit of fun and sometime as an exercise to get through bouts of writers block. Nothing as exciting as losing fingers to frost bite (like Ranulph Fiennes) but then again I do like keeping my appendages.

Anyway here is one I wrote if anyone is interested
What it feels like to have a broken heart.
You get a stabbing pain in your chest that feels like someone is very slowly driving a blade through your ribs. Whatever was once beautiful in your mind now leads to tears and life seems like the shadow of a dream, too elusive to really remember.
You wonder if evey moment was a a twisted lie. Looking for all the hidden signs that were never there. A still hollowness takes the place of the world and all colour and sound seems some how muted. Every emotion is so intense you feel as if you are losing grip on reality, as day to day tasks require the utmost attention to barely hold on. 
At points your brain plays tricks on you allowing to hope or negotiate a resolution that will restore all you've lost. The meaning in everything is faded like an old watercolour landscape. If you eat at all food becomes a daunting task, a painful necessity that does nothing to sustain you. The hollowness never abates.
All people seem like merchants of judgement and sympathy. Every word is dissected and replayed on a torturous loop until you scream inside, blaming all on yourself. Part of you wants to feel angry but another feels too guilty to contemplate this. Nothing makes any sense. 
Then one day you wake up. 
The pain in your chest has given way to a silent barren wasteland.  
Emotionally vacant. 
Everything is replaced by a numbness that you know isn't right but easier to bear.

03/09/2013

Sister for sale?

Found a another devil to purge.

Today I heard a child about 7 or 8 ask when his new baby brother was going back to the shop.

Kids, far more cunning than you want to believe.
When I was a child I'd often thought about trading my sister for a troop of Camels. 
Before you judge me please note my sister is four years older than me and younger siblings should never be held to account for thinking of ways to depose their elders. Also camels would be far nicer than she and worth about £1, 000 each, I calculated that 10 would of been a fair trade. 

I mentioned this to my late father once, he initially agreed and then scolded me but I knew his heart wasn't it. In reality I'm sure he really did see the sense in my scheme. As you've guessed my sister remained part of our household and I settled on stealing her shoes from time to time as compensation. I think this is a most equitable remedy.