On Tuesday I ended up working two different jobs which was super fun but the longest day. I started in the morning doing the prep for a catering company and then legged it across London to help another catering company. The second job was a bit more interesting, a seated dinner for 350. I have never done anything like that in my life but it was all hands on deck and just making sure everything was ready on time. The kitchen was a makeshift one in a back room and we were working on trestle tables, it was mental but so much fun. We had a small army of waiters and with a mild smattering of swear words from the head chef everything managed to go out and we got through the service. I'm glad I wasn't in charge of that one!
Waking up the next day it was time to move on from Balham in the next stage in my current nomadic life across London. One step closer to permanent residency and not living out of 2 suitcases, 3 boxes, 3 weekend bags and 3 carrier bags (I travel light). Moving house never comes without drama and this was no different, luckily I'd convinced Dad he had nothing better to do with his newly retired days than to drive up to London to help me, which he did. What a good Daddy. As I was loading the car I got a phone call from Maddie, who is lucky enough to be my new roomie, to say that the keys didn't work. Considering the owners of said house lived in Norfolk, this was a less than ideal situation. After many phone calls to and fro it was discovered that we could actually intercept some keys that were traveling down with someone else that was sleeping at the house for a couple of nights. PHEW.
Our new street
After getting all settled, but not unpacking, (there isn't enough room for all my stuff), we went on a walk of Pimlico and across to Chelsea, then headed out to dinner in Soho.
We actually walked past the door of The Player several times and I'm pretty sure we were stood staring at the door for a while before we realised it was there. It's pretty unassuming.
We wandered downstairs and into the dark cosy bar area, it was pretty full but the waitress managed to squeeze us in. One of my favourite things was that they immediately bring you a glass of icy cold cucumber water without even asking. They have a pretty great cocktail menu which we perused whilst waiting for Lucy to turn up, but it was the food I was more interested in, obviously.
Mads went for a East 8 Hold Up which was vodka mixed pineapple, lime, aperol (whatever that is) and passionfruit. I went for a Bees Knees, gin lemon and honey.
Short but sweet
Food at the Player is sliders and tacos with lots of yummy goodies to be had on the side. As we were waiting for another friend of mine Issie, who's a Dorset gal up in London for a work course, we decided to order lots of food so she could dive in as well... I'm lying, I just ordered loads of food for myself, Issie had already said she would pass on dinner and meet us for drinks.
Mads and Lucy went for the fried loaded with cheese sauce and pulled short rib with some tacos. I went for a pulled pork slider (tiny burger) pork belly croquettes with a basil mayonnaise, and then some mint crunch fried chicken bits.
Fully loaded fries. These were delish but a dish on their own. You could quite happily be satisfied by these. Mads and Lucy let me dive in for a tasting.
Tiny little crispy triangles of pork belly. Soooooo tasty.
My Tiny Burger
I was dissapointed by this as burgers go. It seemed to stand so tall and proud, but as soon as I took a bite it was a soggy mess. There wasn't enough lettuce on the bottom to stop the bun from soaking up so much juice and it was a disappointing 3 bites. I'd stick with the tacos.
You get 2 per portion and they are little delicious mouthfuls. There is cod, chicken, jerked pork, pulled short rib or pulled pork to chose from. I'd choose them over a slider.
These were the little mint crunch chicken bits. I didn't really get the mint but I got the crunch, which was fantastic. With the sides you get so much for you money! We didn't manage to finish the chicken and I didn't really need to eat all the pork. I was impressed, usually you are left wondering what you paid for. We could have been happy with at least 2 less of what we'd chosen, which would have brought the bill down but £10 so all in all I'd say it was pretty good value for money as London goes!
We topped off our feast with a Fabulous Gay Wedding, which is that giant bucket of booze you see in the middle. Gin, cucumber, raspberries, strawberries, lime, honey and topped off with pink champagne. We all had a straw. Excellent.
Feeling really quite full we paid up and wandered off to a pub to meet up with Issie and Lucy's housemate to welcome Mads into London with a few more drinks.
Welcome to London Mads, you are now quite stuck with me for a while...