Seeing: Nice Fish – a play starring Mark Rylance based on two fishing friends talking on a frozen Minnesota lake. It’s possibly the worst play I’ve ever seen; not funny or remotely interesting and the only good thing I can say about it is that it is only an hour an half long. My friend’s observation that there is no interval because nobody would come back is all you need to know. It was so bad, we ended up with the giggles.
Dinner At: Asia de Cuba in the St Martin’s Lane Hotel. This is Cuban-Asian fusion food which sounds awfully fancy but think perfectly prepared ceviche followed by donuts dipped in chocolate sauce: it’s the best of all things. We had the set menu which gives you a choice of four for each of three course so because we were four, we ordered everything and shared. Star of the show (if you don’t include the donuts) is the Crispy Calamari salad – banana, cashews, palm hearts and fried calamari in an orange-sesame vinaigrette. They have a great wine list and surprised us with a complimentary super-strength mini Mojito (45 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4HX 020 7300 5588).
Tea At: The Corinthia. Every year we take Mr BBB’s aunt for a Christmas tea – she doesn’t really want any gifts so it’s the perfect way to treat her to something, and we love our annual tradition, too. I had the gluten free option because even though I’m having more gluten these days, a tea is too much. The sandwiches were okay (a lot of bread and not much filling) but the gluten free scones were the worst I’ve ever had. On the plus, the festive environment was based on Swan Lake, as was the tea, hence the pretty, mousse filled chocolate swans and the service was immaculate so it felt like a proper treat. I’d definitely recommend if you aren’t gluten free (Whitehall Place London SW1A 2BD, Reservation HERE).
Watching: There has been some Twitter chat about the 8 part Storyville documentary, Death on The Staircase, about the trial of American writer, Michael Peterson, in connection with his second wife’s death. This was filmed in 2004, so an early adopter of the ‘Making of A Murderer’ genre of documentaries, and it’s absolutely riveting. I mentioned it last week and have seen all the episodes now. There are so many surprises and shocks along the way that right up until the very last moment, you have no idea which way the verdict will go. I’d suggest that you don’t Google it because it will tell you straight away, but instead go to BBC iplayer where you will easily find it.
Visiting: National Portrait Gallery. I find galleries a bit overwhelming – if you’re not going to see a particular exhibition, where do you start! The National Portrait Gallery have a series of ‘trails’ – we did the Height of Fashion Trail penned by Lucinda Chambers, Fashion Director of British Vogue that, with the aid of a map, sends you on a short journey to look at specific paintings that have some fashion relevance. There are nine main paintings but the trail sends you through various rooms so you can see everything but have a purpose while doing so. It only takes half an hour or so and is free.
Coveting: Vogue Colouring Books. I’ve never quite got into the colouring in for grown-ups. I have some books and I’ve made some effort but can’t just mindlessly colour for the sake of it – I really need something that I really want to colour. When I was a child, all I ever drew was dresses and shoes so the newest Vogue Colouring Book HERE (£7.49) is full of hand drawn sketches curated by RCA professor Iain R Webb. It covers the 1950’s so there is plenty of volume, layering and diamante shoes to get inspired by as well as inspirations from Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Chanel. I like water-colour felt pens (HERE) because they’re flowy and you can blend and shade rather than block colour.
Considering: Pom Pom Hat from Topshop. Shove a pom pom on anything, more or less, and I’m in! I love this yellow (fake) fur tipped beanie for being a little ray of sunshine on a cold, grey day. It’s £14 HERE.