Sunday, 13 November 2011

Should I Stay (In) Or Go (Out)?

Guess what? This week it was my Birthday. Yes, another year older – but possibly not wiser. Anyway, as far as I am concerned, my birthday is an excuse to get my friends together and have some fun. But what to do? Go out on the town, or party at home? Well, why not do both?
Which is exactly what I decided to do. Some of my friends had decided we were overdue a night of dancing. My birthday was the perfect excuse. So, on Friday, six of us headed to Angel for a bit of a boogie. We started off with dinner at Sacre Coeur on Theberton Street – delicious French food in a cosy atmosphere at a reasonable price. Sadly they have taken their Sauvignon Blanc Touraine off the wine list, but my starter of goat’s cheese and figs followed by roast partridge with pureed root vegetables did not disappoint.
Fed and well lubricated, we headed out to find a bar - one with cocktails and a dance floor. It was perfect, albeit a small incident that ended with me on my arse with my friend on top of me. Classy...
We rounded off the night at Lucky Voice – a karaoke bar with private booths. It was an inspired choice – an hour of howling along to Bon Jovi, Salt ‘n’ Peppa and Abba with yet more cocktails, inflatable guitars and afro wigs. We had a great time – and seeing the video footage of our performances the following day lead to even more hilarity.
Sadly, a night out in London comes at a price. We spent nearly £20 on a taxi there and back (eek!), and although dinner was reasonably priced, cocktails in Islington don’t come cheap at around £8-£10 a pop. As for the karaoke bar – well, that came in at a tenner each for an hour. Yes, really. £50 between those of us who were still standing. I just wish I had come up with the business idea first...
Of course, as my chums and I get older, not all of us are up for such mayhem. So, on Saturday I decided to invite some friends over for some (slightly more) sophisticated fun – paella and party games. It was great – I love cooking for my friends and was after an excuse to try a paella. I also love party games, and seeing some of my friends trying to hum along to tunes in Hummbug, act out TV shows in Charades and describe a variety of words without using “sounds like” in Articulate was decidedly amusing.
Having said that, throwing a party at home comes with its own problems. Firstly, you have to be organised and make sure you have everything in for dinner and enough booze to keep everyone jolly. In London this extends further; making sure you have enough parking permits for those who are driving and figuring out how you are going to fit all your guests into your tiny flat are other important considerations. By the time you have done all that, it is easy to be too knackered to participate in Twister. My advice? Always keep it simple.
So although a night out always has its place in London, it can be pricey – and certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. And whilst being the hostess with the mostest is generally less expensive and a slightly more relaxed affair, be aware of its pitfalls – lots of washing up (unless you have friends as good as mine) and a heck of a lot of leftovers to hoover up over the following weeks – a disaster for any pre-Christmas diet.
At the end of the day, as long as my mates are with me, I don’t really mind what we do. And as long as the wine is flowing and the laughs are coming, who really cares if you are out on the town or entertaining in the comfort of your own home?


  1. I stumbled upon your blog as I was doing some research on "More to life than shoes", and I like it very much. I'm currently living in the US (Philadelphia), originally from France, and keeping an eye on London as a possible next living destination; so your point of view is quite interesting to me.
    I shall be in London in December (hence my research on networking events) and I would love tips from a local...

  2. Hi Audrey,
    Glad you liked it! I've just started blogging for Anglo Info too - very much aimed at people moving to London - so please google it and take a look! My blog is called "Overground Underground".
    So what do you want to know? Tweet me at @lovehatelondon and we'll chat!