Christmas and New Year feel like they quite some time ago, and yet last week was the first back in the office after the holidays. And a long, long week it was too. There’s all the email I ignored in the run up to Christmas, a book to write, a tax return to do and oh god VAT – is there a worse work hell than VAT returns?
However, I am sticking to my NY resolution of downing tools occasionally, instead of just working all day and then working all evening. (I need to accept that I will never finish everything, and therefore just stop working sometimes.) I managed a party, the ballet, and dinner and dancing last week, which is three nights more than I went out most weeks last year. (I know I have an issue when my assistant says I need to schedule in fun, and my agent starts muttering about my work/life balance.)
I thought I was doing well, but you know that things aren’t going all your way when your car number plate falls off on the way to the MOT test centre. (That means an automatic fail.)
Thank goodness for HR Owen, (who let me play with their Lamborghini last summer), as they saw my plight on Twitter, and offered to lend me a MINI Cooper, whilst my car was being serviced and MOTd. (For my US readers, the MOT is the annual government roadworthy car test, without which you cannot get insurance.)
They dropped it off on Friday (watching their 6ft driver perform human origami to fold himself into my low slung MX5 was impressive), and I took my temporary wheels on their maiden outing, all the way from Camden to Charlotte Street, for Tommi’s annual girls lunch at her restaurant Wahaca.
This time she asked Sam Roddick to give an inspirational talk to us, about CSR, feminism and spirituality. And we got to eat the most spectacular huitlacoche lasagne.
After a meeting at my agent’s office in town, I had to cancel drinks plans to head back to the office to sort out a tech issue. Of course I got distracted, and fitted in some more work, before headed back from whence I had come, to Soho House to finally meet Shayne and Rach.
We sank into a deep velvet sofa, drank red wine, and ordered fries. Very necessary end of week decompression. A couple of their friends were in town, so I wangled a late night table at one of my favourite places, Bob Bob Ricard, a few blocks away in Soho, so we could eat.
I love it not only for the Press for Champagne button, but for the Humble Pie, all truffles, barley and vegetables.
Here’s Shayne and Rach in BBR.
Then we hailed a cab to Mayfair, to The Arts Club for late night drinks and dancing. Quite a lot of Champagne, and quite a lot of dancing
Rach and me pre dance floor antics.
Rach stayed over, and next morning we took the MINI up to Kentish Town, for breakfast at Pizza East (our morning after ritual).
They serve one of the best, maybe the best, avocado on toast in London. Add on a whole oven baked flat mushroom, and a poached egg and you have the perfect hangover cure. (The avocados are packed full of EFAs, including oleic acid, which is thought to aid brain function and memory, the protein from the egg breaks down into amino acids, which are depleted by alcohol, and the carbs give you energy.)
On the other hand, black Americanos and squeezed juices may not be nutritionally sound, but they sure get you moving again…
Afterwards, I dropped Rach off at King’s Cross, ran Saturday-type errands, shopped for groceries, and Sunday lunch (I tracked down a massive hand and spring of pork at Harry’s Fine Foods, the organic butchers in Kentish Town), liberated the dog from my sister’s flat, and then happily spent the evening reading and cooking.