London Lantern

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Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

28/01/2003, By Jenny Walters

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 15242 votes

My Week - Starting 1st December: It was a relatively quiet new year for Carl and me, a stomach bug put an end to any of the parties we’d had lined up. I sensed though that there was something in the air and 2003 wouldn’t let me rest on my laurels. The partying started in earnest with friends of ours celebrating their engagement at a pub called the White Horse on Newburgh Street, just off Carnaby Street.

Carnaby Street is a spot tourists often head for on a trip to London after hearing about the reputation it gained in the swinging sixties with the likes of my mum going on about what a “fab” time there was to be had. But when the sixties were over visitors were faced with what actually turned out to be a street lined with a load of old tat. That seems to be all changing now with some rather trendy little shops and bars opening up in and around the Carnaby area.

A couple of days later we wrapped ourselves up (it’s freezing cold here in January) and took ourselves off to a birthday celebration in Greenwich. We met our friend Steve in the noodle bar in the centre of Greenwich. It’s always packed in there and particularly popular with students as it serves cheap, good food. After filling up on noodles we moved on to a wine bar, the Bar du Musée on Nelson Road. It’s everything you want from a wine bar, cosy and slightly shambolic with the lighting so dim you wouldn’t have to worry if you had spinach stuck in your teeth. The menu looked reasonable and they have recently covered over the garden with a marquee, which was where our large, rowdy party headed so as not to disturb those trying to impress their dates in the main bar.

I went to college near Greenwich about ten years ago and I am amazed by the changes that have been made there. It has become an ideal place to spend the day shopping, eating and sightseeing with the Cutty Sark being the main attraction.

My Week - Starting 8th December: It really, really snowed this week and I was full of the romance of it until I fell over on the way to a casting. I bruised my derriere and did a lot more damage to my ego. The casting turned out to be a humiliating affair in which grown adults were asked to wrestle one another on the cold floor. I complained, did it anyway (foolishly), got hurt and marched out in a mood. The director didn’t seem to notice and offered me the job. I turned it down.

So it was with great pleasure that I accepted Richard, Earl of Bradford’s offer to take Carl and I out to dinner at Porters English Restaurant later that evening. It was the ideal antidote to the cold miserable day I’d had. Our party was made up of Richard, his good lady wife, Joanne, Candice Castor and hubby Jack and Carl and me. Candice and Jack were over on holiday and amused us with stories of what they had been up to. Candice’s knowledge of London puts anyone living in Britain to shame and even listening to the timetable of events they had organised exhausted me! They had managed to see and do just about everything in London in the space of a few weeks.

We had a lovely evening, helped no doubt by a couple of bottles of the house wine! The food was very tasty, my favourite, good honest English grub and very reasonably priced. Richard explained that he hated the fact so many tourists who dined in London felt cheated when they saw the bill at the end of a meal as often extra charges had been added and it was certainly not something that Porters did. Very admirable.

Two Floors

We had a nightcap round the corner at the Lamb & Flag in Rose Street. At 300 years old it’s Covent Garden’s oldest pub and serves real ale and good British cheeses. It was lovely and quiet when we went, as it was January (a notoriously quiet time of year in London – ideal for sight seeing) but usually it is a bit of a fight to get to the bar.

My Week - Starting 15th December: Another birthday celebration this week, this time for my friend Ally. She works in media land which seems to be shifting itself towards Golden Square so we met in a bar near her work. She chose the Two Floors, a bar on Kingly Street. You could tell it was frequented by media folk because they were all young, achingly fashionable and didn’t smile. In fact the place was so cool it didn’t have a name on the outside. Which is fine if you have some sort of inbuilt radar, but I don’t and lurched about outside until I realised that it must be the right bar, wandered in meekly and lost about 1000 points on my cool-o-meter.

Candice invited us out for her last lunch in London before heading back home. She asked me to choose a venue and I decided on an old favourite of mine, Stanley’s (formally R.K Stanley’s, don’t know why they dropped the R.K) on Little Portland Street. I thought they might like some typically British food to end their holiday and Stanley’s was ideal. It serves sausages and mash all washed down with real ale.

They have many different flavours of sausages from venison to turkey. They are all made on the premises from free-range meat and are delicious. After Carl enthused about it for long enough Candice and Jack gamely tried a pint of English beer. I think it’s an acquired taste. One that Carl acquired a long time ago!

Jenny Walters

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Re: Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

By Art Presswell 02/02/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 14053 votes)

It looks like a good time was had by all, which is as it should be when visiting London. Too bad they didn't visit the Lord High Admiral pub; it has really had a facelift since we frequented the place in 1941 during the war. I wouldn't mind some of those sausage and mash right now or maybe pie and mash or some stewed eels. Good writeup.

Art from Canada.

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Re: Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

By Kim from the U.S 09/02/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 13928 votes)

I love reading about her adventures and hopefully she will see her name in the bright lights one day.

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Re: Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

By Deleted 21/02/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 14154 votes)

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Re: Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

By Richard Wyland 13/02/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 14048 votes)

I too love the diary accounts of life as a young actor ("actress" is a touchy term for some female thespians these days, at least on this side of the "Big Pond"). I'm an actor/abstract painter. I was in an indie film last May, "The Clay Woman" shot in Tucson, Arizona. Anyone in Blighty needing a 50-ish type, tons of enthusiasm, works cheap? All offers considered...especially those with clothing.

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