Day 1 of my London adventure was pretty manic. No sooner had I been reunited with Beardy at Euston Station, but we were hot footing it out east to Dalston Lane. As Beardy veered left off the pavement and skipped up some stairs to the entrance of a beautiful old school building (complete with pretty blue paintwork and gorgeous polished tiling), I wondered if maybe he was playing some cruel trick. He put the key in the lock of the big, heavy double door and guided me inside the foyer. With shiny wooden floors in the echoey hallways and the original blackboards still hanging on the walls, the My Fair Lady syndrome from the train experience returned – this time rendering me speechless and wide eyed like one of those weird meercat toys you see in tat shops. I hate that those things are both kinda cute and kinda shit all at the same time – but that is neither here nor there. I suppose some of the very best things are – cute AND shit, I mean. Not neither here nor there. That would be crazy.
We made our way up through the building until we reached the door of the apartment. Once inside, the My Fair Lady symptoms worsened as I explored our temporary home. I shan’t go into too much detail at the minute since I’d like to share some of my favourite features in a separate post but – needless to say, much gasping ensued.
With no time to waste, we found a hidey hole home for my luggage so as not to disrupt the casual yet considered, artsy yet homey displays of beautiful things around the space – then headed straight back outside in search of Mexican food – and the other three quarters of Schnapps.
The previous night, Schnapps played a show in Islington to a reassuringly responsive (and well sized) London crowd and had been celebrating their success (and bass player, Glenn’s birthday) since. We found the rest of the band out west, a few jugs of margherita and a tray of tequila down, in fairly swank but comfily unpretentious Mexican hangout, Wahaca. Still satisfied by my 3 course breakfast aboard the train, I plumped for some small dishes – delicious slow cooked pork nestled in soft taco rounds and a black bean quesadilla.
Having stuffed our heads and insides full of tortilla chips and guacamole, we bid Schnapps guitarist Leo a fond farewell and headed east again in the direction of Bethnal Green.
Jazz Domino Holly, founder of the country’s hippest W.I branch, craft columnist for Company magazine and daughter of rock’n'roll legend Joe Strummer – has only gone and trumped her already super-cool self and published a new crafty guide to doing it yourself. She’ll now be addressed as Queen of Crafts – don’t you know? ;) That’s what her book’s called you see – she hasn’t just decided to make her friends call her that for a lark. Though she oughta insist they do! I was thrilled to learn that my trip coincided with Jazz’s book launch party and was even MORE thrilled when London pal Leona Thriftola announced she’d be hosting a One Stop Vintage Haberdashery Shoppe at the event! Add to that a gripping live performance from all-girl choir Gaggle, delicious cake and sweet treats by Viva Cake AND live crafting from The Shoreditch Sisters and I do believe you’ve got yourself the recipe for the most rock’n'roll book party you ever did see. And by lord, we saw it. We saw it, we shopped it, we drank it, we ate it, we laughed it, we danced it and we lapped it right on up until the disgruntled door steward turned the music off and showed us the door :) However, we didn’t leave until Jazz signed copies of her book for us. I stopped at that (I’d already made quite the fool of myself stomping around to Woolly Bully on the dancefloor) but Jazz, the poor lamb, proceeded to meet requests to sign the chests of Schnappers Ian & Glenn. The perfect hostess! (I tried to find a suitable link for y’all to get acquainted with Jazz but I can’t really find one. You can ‘like’ Jazz’s Facebook page here. Find out about the Shoreditch Sisters here and buy The Queen of Crafts here.)
Now, wasn’t that a book party?!
The party’s cool cat contingent was high, but we soon lowered the tone with our group rendition of this 90s gem… Sung with such passion, too. It was an emotional sort of day!
Many new friends were made at Bethnal Green Social Club thanks to a shared appreciation of ‘perform the actions’ dancing.
One more tune! And this was it. Belter.
To top off a fabulous night at a fabulous party, turns out, Schnapper Glenn and Leona Thriftola only share the same birthday! I trust they each had a whale of a time. Happy birthday pals! :)