Friday, 27 May 2011

Budgens, Banners & BOOM TISH. A stranger in Crouch End.

It was piddling down when I finally arrived in Crouch End.

I stepped out of the oversized black cab hailed from Kings Cross, into the busy London suburb, which until then had only existed in my mind as folklore of Londoners whom I'd met on my life's journey.

"COUCH End", one friend had called it, but I can't remember if that was due to an over-abundance of therapists or a propensity of coffee mornings amongst the good folk of suburbia.  Who knows, it could have been both or indeed neither and not that either or any which way matters.  I was simply looking forward to getting there and happy to have made it, not least to escape the cabbie's tale of his "amicable then not so amicable then gawd what I'd do to her" divorce.

I'd arrived early and didn't need to be at The Music Palace until 7.30pm.  It was the much anticipated launch of the new variety night BOOM TISH, which was being compered by my very good pal Abi.

I'd wanted to explore! But two and a half hours to fill in Crouch 5pm in the rain!  I could have planned it better.   With umberella up I paid the cabbie and tottered off to discover a new land....starting with Budgens!  Thorntons Budgens -  a supermarket with so many award-winning eco-credentials my visit could have easily been mistaken for a pilgrimage.  It even sells food grown on its roof you know, which is run by the amazing rooftop community garden initiative called Food from the Sky

But all glammed up in my waist-busting corset, I was neither prepared or suitably dressed for hanging about in a supermarket despite its oozing eco'ness.  I was in the mood for food and a chance to discover the eateries.  Well at least one would do, and it was only five minutes later on recommendation of an assistant in the Oxfam bookstore, I found myself perched at a table in a restaurant called Banners, in the same spot as the legendary Bob Dylan had allegedly once parked his derriere too.

A bronze plaque proclaimed the status..

"Bob Dylan sat at this table in 1993."

I couldn't help wondering how long he'd sat there.
The walls were decorated with old posters and the rest of the furniture was as eclectic as the wall covering .  It felt the kind of place where you could comfortably lose yourself in a good book. A rare guilt-free moment to indulge in a novel without interruption and it was by no coincidence that I'd dropped into the book store first. You could call it the first step in the defence of the dark art of sitting in a restaurant on one's own. 

Refuelled by 10 well-paced chapters, a Pinot Grigio and a classic Thai Green Curry, my time as a tourist in Crouch End was quickly up.

The Music Palace beckoned.

And so did BOOM TISH.

...with some extra surprises thrown into the mix.

But all that will have to wait until next time...........for now this woman needs sleep.

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