Hiding behind The Old Lady Of Threadneedle Street's skirts, new bar The Arbitrager is considerably smaller than I imagine the averag...
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Like fraught fellow dipso Blanche Du Bois, as imagined by Tennessee Williams, I too have "always depended on the kindness of strangers." A free meal here, a Press trip there, the occasional (sole) useable content of a goody bag, and a bottle of a client's dubious rocket fuel, palmed off on me by their hopeful PR. Vile booze that is finally succumbed to in desperation - faute de mieux at 4am - unleashing a one-man Country and Western cat's chorus and much hollering from those poor bastards I've just woken up, fellow slum dwellers in a ramshackle tenement that , anywhere else but in K and C, would be rented out for 10 quid a month - 'roach spray not included. Yes, I really should have stuck with that 'promising job' in the City but. oh now-long-dead sneery old careers master - you who sniffily suggested this pupil woulds be lucky to get a job flogging lucky bags at his local tuck shop - would life, however precarious, have been so much fun? And just how many duvet days can a high-paid/ bored rigid wage slave at Deloitte take without getting fired, by the way? Tonight, in a fairly faithful pastiche of a steamy seen-better-days Big Easy pile, I am relying on the kindness of a lovely Big Apple-born door whore called Elle to score me drinks at a bar besieged by greedy hooch Hoovers. Result! Not only does said stranger/ guardian angel set up me up with a nob-stiffeningly sexy sazerac, the barman recognises me from God-knows-where and decides I'm cool enough to be plied with de la Louisiane and similar New Orleans swallows. Joy! Meanwhile, Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd - flown in for tonight's heaving launch party - whips the place into a frenzy with his roisterous line in boogie woogie and hellcat rock. The launch is a happy-fuzzy blur but I've been back since. All in all, I find myself most taken with NOLA, a bar that comes on like a crazy Shoreditch night back in the days before dick-head ad agencies moved in and - always the kiss of death, this - Italian Vogue latched on (about 3 months before the blonde breadsticks at British Vogue did, I shouldn't wonder). Take the Overground Train Named Desire to the ' Ditch. Yes, even if you're well over the ol' 'hood, I urge you to check out this peeling sepia tone Basin Street film set, not least for its fine range of drinks inspired by that other fact of N'Orleans life - hurricanes: in NOLA's case, stiff breezers fit to blow your toupee off.
66 Rivington Street EC2A 3AY http://nola-london.com/