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Emergency Bitter @ 12 Bar London

Iniziamo dicendo che non é facile essere obbiettivi quando nel mezzo ci sono le amicizie. Quando un concerto giunge al culmine di una 2 giorni intensi e spettecolari, quando la musica in questione (punk) ti piace e quando sul palco ci sono 4 amici. Era tempo che avrei voluto vederli dal vivo, loro peró per scelta non suonavano dal vivo la sera che il Fulham giocava in casa…questa volta peró é successo e cosí dopo la partita e qualche pinta prendiamo la tube in direzione centro. Eh si, il 12 Bar Club London, famoso per il suo punk e per aver visto i primi passi di gruppi come i Sex Pistols, si trova dietro a Leicester Square. Il locale é piccolo, con diverse salette e abbastanza affollato da punk locali. Suonano vari gruppi ma evidentemente la mia attenzione si sposta su di loro “Emergency Bitter”. Daren, Joe, Alb e Phil sono carichi di energia e la loro musica contagia tutti. Daren canta in mezzo al pubblico saltando, ballando, pogando e facendo di tutto e di piú. Si inizia da “Wake Up” e si finisce con un medley che include la cover punk di “Beautiful” passando per le mie preferite “Daytime Drinking”, “Sold my Soul”, “Doris” e “Never growing up”. Il concerto passa volando e riconosco che vedere gli amici di bevute suonare dal vivo risulta essere emozionante.
Purtroppo come ogni cosa finisce peró lascia un bel ricordo e una bellissima serata.
So che tra di voi lettori ci sará qualche appassionato di musica, magari a qualcuno piace il punk a qualcun’altro no. Per la prima volta chiedo un favore a chi volesse, lascio il link dal quale si puó comprare il CD per 5 sterline, se vi interessasse potreste aiutare una band emergente che lavora duro e con l’aiuto puó continuare ad autoprodurre i suoi lavori. Ringrazio anticipatamente chi vorrá/potrá dare una mano!


The Bricklayer’s Arms


Acting and running a pub aren’t that dissimilar, really. It all comes down to performance and, if you don’t cut the Colman’s, the audience votes with its feet. Maybe that’s why landlady Becky Newman has gone down a storm at the Bricklayer’s. A former actress with stints in Casualty and The House of Eliott on her CV, she now treads the reclaimed Victorian floorboards of this Putney gem and the crowds are bringing the house down. When she took on the pub in 2005, she said it resembled “a Wandsworth nick reunion party”. The lags have moved on and among the real-ale buffs the regulars now include High Court judges, MPs, Fulham FC fans and a crowd from Sky Sports, just around the corner. Awards have been lobbed at it like bouquets from the gods. Situated down a side street a few minutes’ walk from Putney Bridge, the small, early Victorian Bricklayer’s is overshadowed by housing estates. Inside there’s a single bar and a long gallery at the back. There’s seating to suit all tastes, from wooden tables and stools, to comfy chairs and a pair of settles from a Welsh chapel. The flag-stoned beer garden is packed on sunny days. Beer makes the running at the Bricklayer’s, which usually offers the full range of Taylor’s Yorkshire ales, including its creamy Best Bitter and the magisterial Landlord (reputedly Madonna’s favourite pint). On the day we visited, a Cumbrian beer festival was in full swing and the perky Loweswater Pale Ale was a rousing refresher. Draught cider and perry come from Herefordshire and lager from the Czech Republic, and wine-drinkers can choose from a slim but sizzling list of crowd-pleasers

The Red Lion


As far as location is concerned the Red Lion is hard to beat, midway between the House of Commons and Downing Street. It is the closest to No.10, although it’s unlikely you’ll see the PM here. Perhaps the odd MP though as it has Parliamentary TV broadcasts from the House (thankfully mute) and there’s a division bell for those important votes, so MP’s needn’t miss a thing. This is a classic late 19th century pub. The long narrow bar was once divided into Public and Saloon, with the counter running along the back wall serving both. The solid hardwood fittings are broken up by carving or insets of decorative glass. The etched and cut mirrors are beautiful examples of the craft. The remaining wall space is covered with interesting and amusing prints with a political theme. The Red Lion serves as watering hole and dining room for civil servants and journalists, although the conversation is more likely to be about sport than politics. Curious tourists find there way here too, so it can get very busy especially when Parliament is sitting and finding a spot to eat can be difficult, although there is a dining room upstairs. The cellar bar hosts the Electric Mouse Comedy evening on Mondays, doors open at 7pm.

Byron Burgers


Simple to craft, difficult to master, a perfectly proportioned burger is still a thing of beauty to behold. Which may go some way to explaining why there are now 22 branches of Byron in central London alone, despite only being founded by fast food devotee Tom Byng in 2007. The venues vary hugely in style depending on the spaces they inhabit, from an elegant transformation of a pub in Rathbone Place to a bold, booth-heavy new site near Waterloo. Although largely sticking to a stark, six-choice menu, during its five years in the capital Byron has also experimented with limited-edition offerings, with varying results. A mayonnaise-heavy “Royale with cheese” didn’t live up to its Tarantino moniker but the Movember-funding, welsh rarebit-influenced “Gizz-Mo” collaboration was hugely successful. Byron has also tinkered with its drinks menu as well (including ditching Sierra Nevada pale ale for a more local Camden offering) and has even ventured out to festivals in a custom-built Shack (saving hungry gig-goers from a fate worse than falafel). Throughout London, more and more people are being given the choice of having a better burger. In the same way that Nando’s gave everyone a classier alternative to the colonel’s bucket, so Byron ensures you’ll never again have to settle for Ronald’s offcuts or Burger King’s latest attempt to corner the kebab market by selling lamb flatbreads. for one has high hopes for Byron’s new monachy-friendly Jubilee burger, which consists of single pattie topped with green chillis, cheese and chipotle mayo in a glazed bun. Whether it will reign supreme remains to be seen but we know what comfort food we’ll be sticking to in 2012: a medium-rare flagship Byron, a Kernal IPA and some mustard-laced courgette fries.



In the heart of London’s West End, next to the Odeon Cinema,Chiquito Leicester Square offers delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex food in a vibrant setting spread over 2 floors. St. Martin’s Theatre is a 5-minute walk away. All the vibrant colour and spice of Mexican cuisine is showcased on the Chiquito menu. Their legendary sizzling fajitas and tacos are made at the table by the diner, with fillings including Acapulco chicken, king prawns, and roasted vegetables for vegetarians. A range of Tex-Mex dishes are also served, as well as pasta and salads. Family-friendly options such as a kids menu and entertainment ensures a great atmosphere at Chiquito restaurant. Colourful cocktails and mocktails, a full wine list and a great tequila selection add a kick to any meal. A 2-minute walk from Leiceter Square Tube Station, London, Leicester Square Chiquito features an extensive Mexican and Tex- Mex menu. The National Gallery is a 4-minute walk away.


Smart yet relaxed, Kazan is a fine example of how a restaurant can showcase Turkish cuisine without being either a prosaic ocakbasi or an opulent Ottoman pastiche. Verdigris walls and just-so table settings immediately give the impression of a thoughtful operation; decor is restrained, with only a few screens, well-placed ornaments and hanging lanterns providing any clue of what’s on the menu.

Efficient, smiling staff bring upmarket renditions of meze and classic Mediterranean and Anatolian dishes: köfte, chops, moussaka, slow-cooked lentil stews and güveç. A few of these aren’t often seen and are worth seeking out. Delicately spiced lentil köfte comes with pearls of fresh pomegranate and molasses (and is described as ‘ladies’ navels’. Not men’s, of course – who would want to eat those?). Mualle is an aubergine-based vegetable stew with tomato and pepper that, although filling, perhaps could have been more assertive in taste; it required the proffered chilli sauce to enliven it.

Nevertheless, all freebies – bread, vegetable pilav, olives and pistachio turkish delight brought with the bill – are of a high quality. There’s a basement room for larger groups, which means the ground-floor atmosphere remains calm.

03-05.02.12 London Calling

La prima volta che sono andato a Londra é stato per la sciagurata finale della allora denominata Coppa dei Campioni tra Sampdoria e Barcelona. Da quel giorno, Londra, é sempre stata nei miei pensieri un pó come fosse una di quelle donne bellissime e irraggiungibili. Da li in poi non sono mai riuscito a smettere di andarci e ogni volta che mi trovo in aeroporto per lasciarla sto già pensando a quando ci tornerò. Londra mi attrae come una sirena attrae un marinaio, con la sua spocchia britannica, la sua moneta, le luci dei teatri del West End, i sui pub, i suoi negozi e quell’aria cosmopolita, aria di musica, birra e calcio. Mi piace viverla come un londinese, vagando senza una meta per le sue strade, bevendo birra nei pub o viaggiare nella metro per raggiungere le parti meno turistiche. Vivo in una delle città più belle del mondo, una città che ti da tutto….dal clima, al mare, al cibo, alle persone….peró Londra ha qualcosa di morbosamente contundente, qualcosa che chiama forte e mi fa correre…non importa quante volte attraverserò la Manica….quello che so é che non sarà mai abbastanza.
Così anno dopo anno ritorno nella City, con la sensazione di non essere mai andato via, con la sensazione di visitare un vecchio amico, quelli che passano gli anni ma sono sempre li pronti ad accoglierti ed a abbracciarti. Ho un grande amore e una grande passione che, anche se sembra assurdo, sento ricambiata. Sono appena rientrato alla base ma già sento quell’astinenza incredibile, la voglia di tornarci subito e la voglia di gridare….London, I miss you!