Young Ladies About Town

The girls living and laughing their way around London, meeting lots of fascinating folk along the way...

A tipple aux toilettes

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 27 July 2015
It's usually time for the evening to end when you're considering a tipple aux toilettes. Ladies and Gentlemen in Kentish Town, however, has made an art out of lavatory libations. Once a disused underground Victorian loo, the bar was launched in January 2015 and has been attracting a steady stream of curious locals since. Descending the steep steps one Wednesday evening, I am greeted by a crowd of twenty-something hipsters, couples old and young, and what looks like one slightly confused hen party. They gather around marble tables or perch on bar stools, surrounded – inexplicably – by piles of paperback books.

Despite the potential for gimmicks, Ladies and Gentleman is surprisingly free of vestiges of its lavatorial past. The underground space resembles a speakeasy, with low lighting and soft jazz. Some china cisterns and conspicuous piping provide a few nods to the original Ladies and Gents, but the setting is understated and cosy.

The real reason for using the facilities, however, is the bar's innovative cocktail list. The selection is small – no more than ten cocktails – but each is carefully crafted from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and craft spirits. The enthusiasm of the friendly bar staff testifies to the quality of the drinks; when asked for a recommendation, our waiter replies, "Everything".

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Despite this tempting suggestion, we opt for one cocktail each – the fittingly named Royal Blooded Lady and an Affogato Martini. The drinks are served in beautiful glassware, with the margarita arriving in a cut glass beaker frosted with salt. The Affogato, in its deep martini glass, is garnished with coffee beans, and is more like a meal than a drink. An indulgent twist on the classic espresso martini, it is creamy with vanilla ice cream and rich with bitter coffee. The Lady margarita, meanwhile, is tart and fruity, the sweet hibiscus offsetting the tequila kick. With drinks priced between £8.50 and £10, you'll be spending more than a penny, but the relaxed atmosphere means that you can linger over your cocktail.

With three underground bars all within spitting distance of Kentish Town tube station, you might be forgiven for thinking that Camden Council had recently laid down some 1920s Prohibition law. However, Ladies and Gentleman looks set to withstand the competition. Emerging from the once dilapidated women's entrance, I was struck by the bar's transformation of a dead and derelict space. With its fun concept, intimate atmosphere and cutting edge cocktails, this quirky venue provides a very memorable visit to the Ladies.
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The London Shooting Club partners with Home House

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 17 July 2015
Trying to get that balance of Town / Country living is hard in London, especially if like me you want to get back into shooting but don't want to dedicate your whole weekend to it. Joining the London Shooting Club is a brilliant solution– based at West London Shooting School, located at the end of the central line at Northolt with a quick cab ride, or if you're driving, 20-40 minutes from West London. The school is based on a country house, the setting is low key in traditional way with a large wooden table for guns, cartridge bags and weekend papers when you walk in. Framed prints of country scenes and battered furniture make it a relaxed vibe, and lots of men – and I'm pleased to say an awful lot of women – walking around in tweed and jeans with cups of tea and coffee . There's a few dogs sniffing about – 2 of which I'd brought along, my Jack Russell puppy and his lab pal – both on their first introduction to shooting.

The London Shooting Club was hosting an event for Home House, the private member's club and I had joined them for a refresher day. Some guests had never picked up a gun before, whilst others wanted to recharge their skills. I'd shot a lot in my early twenties but latterly on various clay shoots in the country; for me it's wonderful way to keep my love of country sports but without the killing aspect. The tutors at West London are superb, - you're matched with a gun suitable for your skills, simple but vital. A gun that's too powerful will kick back on your shoulder and can cause serious damage over time. I was matched with a 20 bore – often called a 'ladies gun' it's small and light but does a neat job and is easily to handle . Those who regularly shoot can be snobby about using a 12 bore or particular make, but as some of the boys found out, my 20 bore outshot many of them. The skill lies with the shooter, not the gun!

The tutors at the school are patient in explaining all things to you, and work at your level – making some feel confident in handling the gun, in others correcting bad habits, and with all helping train that coordination so that everyone hit a decent amount of shots. A great trainer makes all the difference, Paul was our expert instructor and the care and appreciation for his sport made a huge impression on us all that day and I could definitely see a marked improvement on my shots as we moved along the different target ranges. The mix of 'rabbit' 'pheasant' and 'woodcock' clays that fly out of traps and behind trees tests all skills and reaction times and is also perfect if you want to use as warm up to game shooting.

By the end of the day the two teams were set head-to-head and the competitive nature ran rampant as the guests engaged in a flurry competition to finish. I'm pleased to say that if you look closely at the picture you'll see me on the right hitting the 'flare' orange clay, with much furore to some of the boys who hadn't even loaded !

If you've never tried clay shooting it's a great way to be sociable and know that you are in safe expert hands too. The London Shooting Club does a variety of shooting days and packages tailored for all skills and prices points; from a ladies day with Purdey to a grouse courses for the more advanced. They link with various estates for the full country experience and are happy to help with large groups. Will I be going back? I love the idea of a 'simulated shoot' they hold where you combine the full on formality of a traditional shoot but with clays. That's an ideal combination for me and the more I've learnt, the more I want to shoot. And my dogs? They haven't stopped talking about it yet !

www.londonshootingclub.com

BNP Tennis Classic at Hurlington

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 25 June 2015
Ah the sounds of summer and the BNP Paribas Hurlingham Tennis Classics; - the chink of champagne glasses, the gentle thump pf the tennis ball being lobbed across a net, me shouting “GORAN I LOVE YOU” as Mr Ivanisevic comes on court. I love this place and not just because my sporting crush gave me a wink, the big 6’4’ Croatian tease.

Hurlingham is the fabulous location for this secret pre-Wimbledon warm up, an oasis of duck ponds and 42 acres of gardens, manicured croquet lawns and a Georgian country house setting this is where the elite of South London come to get away from it all. Stepping into this private member’s club is like stepping into the private world of the tennis players and coaches where only the great and the good are allowed. Greats such as Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Maria Sharapova have previously played, legends this year including Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski will casually walk past you in the bar before playing a game by the rose garden. The up and coming ATP Players will sweat it out for those key extra games before Wimbledon starts; this is where the names of the future are made, and those of who carved out a slice of tennis history all come together.

The whole event is dreamy, we snuggled into our seats with some Pimms and watched a great opener of hot newcomer the 18 year old Grigor Dimitrov comfortably win his match, I say newcomer but he’s is the youngest player inside the World’s top 20, and in 2014 reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon painfully knocking out then defending Champion Andy Murray in straight sets. He’s a future legend in the making.

For the official legends double match the PR team very kindly giving me a seat directly behind the lusciousness of Goran – I was a whisker away from leaping over the fence and giving a big hug before security gave me a knowing look. The sun shone, we watched brilliant tennis and it was just all wonderfully relaxing. if you want to see great tennis up close and personal then come to Hurlingham, it’s exactly how a quintessentially British sports event should be run.

http://www.bnpparibastennisclassic.com
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Barts Sixth Birthday

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Last month speakeasy, Barts, in South Kensington celebrated their sixth birthday.

Barts was the first project from Inception Group (who also own Cahoots, Mr Fogg's and Maggie's) , and is credited with putting the American speakeasy trend firmly on the map in London, being one of the first of its kind to open in London.

I was lucky enough to go along to the evening and help celebrate by raising a glass (more like six!) of Moët & Chandon.
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Stress free cooking

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 01 May 2015
I love cooking. There really is nothing I love more than rustling something tasty up from scratch for myself or friends. But on a weeknight, after work, if I'm really honest, I usually find myself reaching for the pasta and a jar of pesto. Essentially, I really can't be bothered to cook something exciting, or from scratch, on a school night.

Luckily there are people out there who want to get us cooking great meals with less of the stress. And so Marley Spoon, the recipe kit delivery service, came to my rescue.

Recipe kits are nothing new but one of the great things I loved about this was there was the option of an evening delivery, meaning I wouldn't have to be late for work or leave early so I could wait for the delivery.

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I opted for the sticky chilli and ginger salmon with pak choi, rice and sesame seeds and the maple pork with sweet potato mash and greens.

When it arrived I loved that 90% of the contents came in cardboard or paper bag packaging – since living in my own place I've turned into a person who is obsessed with recycling so was (quite sadly I guess) excited about all the recyclables.

The salmon was the first dish my housemate and I decided to try. The recipe card, complete with step by step cooking guidelines accompanied with pictures, gives the preparation and cooking time for the dish. I found it took slightly less time on both accounts, but that might be because a) we were really hungry, of b) I have a fan assisted oven so things tend to cook quicker. I would like to have seen temperatures for fan assisted ovens on the recipe cards but it really wasn't the end of the world.

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We both loved the salmon and the portion sizes were really reasonable. You could easily have worked it to feed a third person if need be.

The second dish of the maple pork I had two friends around so decided to see if my theory that the dishes could stretch to make three good sized portions was right. We didn't use the winter greens that were sent to go with the dish. This is mainly because I had this dish a few days after the box arrived and the greens were looking a little worse for wear. Nothing some broccoli and asparagus from the local shop didn't sort though.

Unlike with the salmon, I found the pork needed slightly longer cooking but other than that the dish was once again incredibly easy to prepare and cook. You know how good a meal is when you're eating with friends but there is complete silence; the pork was totally epic. Out of the two dishes it was definitely my favourite. And I was totally right about the portions, we all had a healthy meal in front of us.

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Marley Spoon recipe kits come in at £5.50 per meal so they are definitely something I'd treat myself to every now and then. Even if my housemate and I didn't split the cost of a kit, it's still great value.

Thanks for a great dinner!

www.marleyspoon.co.uk

NB I was intending to take pictures of the dishes but on both occasions they looked so great, well I sort of...forgot. Huge apologies but considering I couldn't wait to dive in and try each dish is surely a sign that they were great meals!

Melonie Clarke


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