London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

25/08/2003, By Jenny Walters

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 21861 votes


Bodeans

My Week - Starting 1st August: This is my final diary entry on to the Lantern website, yes I’m hanging up my writing hat, but certainly won’t be taking off my dancing shoes or my, er, trying to sort out my acting, um, trousers? This last month has been a corker.

It was my 7th wedding anniversary and my husband took me out to a restaurant called Gastro, 63-67 Venn Street, SW4. Gastro is a Parisian restaurant (in Clapham) and was perfect for the romantic evening ahead. We ordered oysters and chilled white wine and held hands over the white tablecloth in the dimly lit, cosy, smoky ambience. All was going swimmingly until I developed flu between the first course and the entrée. We never made it to desert.

When I’d recovered from the flu I met up with my sister after work and we went shopping on Oxford Street. I just want to dispel the myth that all women like shopping. Sarah and I are testament to the fact that at least two women do not. We gave up and went to grab a bite to eat, and sink a few beers. We chose Bodeans BBQ at 10 Poland Street, Soho. And I’m glad we did. Their speciality is barbecue smokehouse pork and chicken and we tucked into half a slab of ribs (a whole slab is huuuge) and some fries, absolutely gorgeous. And I particularly enjoyed the irony of the vegetarian restaurant positioned directly opposite.

Cafe de Paris

My Week - Starting 8th August: This week was my friend, Karen’s hen night. A group of girls gathered at Denim, a cocktail bar on Upper St Martin's Lane. It was an absolutely scorching day, one of the hottest recorded in London so the bar wasn’t too full. People in their right minds hadn’t tried to tackle the tube system in the heat. We had few tasty and (not unusually) pricey cocktails - £6 a glass.

Cocktails were followed by dinner at Café de Paris, 3 Coventry Street, W1. As we were a large party we had the round table in the middle of the room underneath the chandelier and at the bottom of the sweeping staircase, all very glamorous. I was surprised at the quality of the food, I thought that I would be paying for the plush velvet surroundings and the jazz band but the menu was actually pretty good quality. After dinner our table was moved away and the club began. The idea was that we stayed and danced the night away. But the drinks were a fortune and we’d all eaten a bit too much so we moved the party back to the hen’s house.

Cafe de Paris

Karen is getting married to Jim soon. Good luck you two and congratulations.

My Week - Starting 15th August: To celebrate my friend, Lally’s birthday she got some tickets to the Time Out party at the Serpentine in Kensington Gardens. For the last four years the Serpentine has built a pavilion for use as a venue and gallery; this year it was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. He created a structure of curves, concrete and glass and the results were stunning.

The evening was themed as a Brazilian Night and there were free cocktails, capoeira dancing and Brazilian DJs, it was a lovely way to spend a hot summer’s night.

We had wonderful weekend spent with friends in Brighton. A great way to take a breather from London, if you have time on your visit to England, I recommend a trip to this seaside town. It’s only an hour from London by train and in no time you’ll be eating seafood on the beach and playing on the pier.

Serpentine Gallery

On our return we got a call from Carl’s father and his wife who offered to take us out to dinner. Not one’s to turn down a good offer like that we went out to Cantuccio 143 St John's Hill, SW11. Cantuccio is a light and airy restaurant and was one of those places that made you feel you were on holiday in Italy.

The complimentary tomato bruschetta that we received as we were seated was a good sign of things to come. The antipasto was very tasty and never-ending. The main courses were robust and full of flavour. After desert we rounded the meal off with coffee and amaretto. I think Cantuccio is now my favourite restaurant in South London – this week anyway!

My Week - Starting 22nd August: I am now sitting at work looking out over a rainy London street. It hasn’t rained for weeks and it is still hot. Last week’s headlines reported record-breaking temperatures. People were rejoicing in the sunshine or collapsing with heat exhaustion. Now, on the first day of rain in ages, as I work I can overhear people, some people visiting from other countries, mumbling as they walk out of the door, “Oh, I can’t believe it, typical English weather”.

Jenny Walters

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

By Jerry Clune 01/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20720 votes)

I will miss your insights into the glamour spots of London. Keep enjoying life in the capital and I'm sure that big acting role will come soon.

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

By David Dealy 01/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20586 votes)

Jenny, THANK YOU! I'm arriving in London on the 25th and have very much enjoyed your topical and lively articles. I do have to look out for one bit, OK a lot of bit, of information you have kindly put forth. Restaurants! If I visit them all I'll be as big as a house and broke. Have a happy life and may all your aspirations be fulfilled.

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

By Anonymous 02/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20464 votes)

Good luck Jenny with your acting career. I shall miss your upbeat missives about swinging London. Maybe you ought to start your own journal about 'eating out in London'!?

Peter Horwood

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

By Phil. Pacey Tasmania Australia 02/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20606 votes)

Dear Jenny - Please rethink your retirement from the Lantern, I look forward to reading your adventures each month. Good luck for the future.

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

By Kim from Key West 02/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20605 votes)

I will truly miss your articles. You always made me feel like I was there with you in your adventures. I visited London two years ago and have missed it ever since. Reading your stories always took me back. Please reconsider. Best of luck in your career.
Kim from Key West

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

By Walker Baldwin 03/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20566 votes)

I certainly have enjoyed this writer. As a Yank, who is planning an extended holiday in London, I will certainly miss this column. I live in a waterfront community in Florida and enjoy the climate; but I am looking forward to the UK. With a drink in my hand and this aspiring actress guiding the way, I feel the atmosphere of the clubs and restaurants already! Thanks for a job well done!

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

By Jenny Walters 04/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20507 votes)

Thanks so much for your kind responses to my column. I've really enjoyed writing about London and I hope I've given visitors ideas of things to do in town, mostly eating and drinking it would appear! Isn't that what it's all about?

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

By Richard Royal 04/09/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 20523 votes)

Yes, I too will miss your articles, they are such fun and one feels they are sharing the joy and problems along with you, very well written. Maybe you should do a website of your own, I know that actors are doing this more and more as a promotion device. Break-A-Leg what ever the future holds for you.

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