Showers, Scooters, Sliders & Suede Shoes

As the rain falls this Sunday afternoon it seems an apt time to finish this post about a day when it really came down…

April to August 2012 was the third wettest on record in the South East with the largest daily rainfall hitting us on Saturday 25th August. Bank holiday weekend. Oblivious of the impending aqueous onslaught, three intrepid explorers set off for a day out and about.

It started innocuously enough with a rain-free trip over to Lower Marsh. Here we popped into the Scooter Caffè, a place adorned with all manner of different items and decorations not least a wall covered in old Decca Records posters for releases and concerts dating back to the 1920s as well as the vintage scooters and associated memorabilia that lend the place its name. Despite a decent selection of spirits and liqueurs I resisted the temptation for an early sharpener and settled for an espresso as we planned our day.

Scooter Caffè, Lower Marsh

It was at this point that the heavens opened for the first time. We were sat a few feet inside the door of the cafe, which also has a canopy outside and were still starting to get soaked by rain deflecting up off of the road! After shutting the door we ordered more drinks. We were there for the long haul it seemed.

The pictures really don’t do it justice – It were fair chookin’ it down!

As our second drinks disappeared however, so did the rain. Onwards and upwards! By the time we got to Soho it would nearly be lunchtime!

Graphic Bar

Graphic Bar would be our lunchtime destination. Cool, clean and modern with street artist Ben Eine’s signature lettering adorning the many shutters along one side, Graphic also has regular installations from guest artists. Incredibly, almost as we crossed the threshold the rain returned. Torrential, unrelenting rain…

Even the guy in the hood had absolutely no intention of going out there…

The timing was ridiculous (the next few people through the door were not quite as lucky as us!), we were in the favour of the rain gods it seemed!

Since our visit a new installation of 3D art by Jim Sharp has come to Graphic along with a new drinks menu which can be viewed here, whilst you can read more about the new 4D build-your-own Punch here. The trademark Paint Tin Punches are still available of course with the Gold one still being accompanied by the corresponding Spandau Ballet hit on the ghetto blaster (or performed by Tony Hadley himself for the princely sum of £15k!).

The drinks menu we met that day however can be found below – it should of course be mentioned that Graphic is also one of the premier spots for gin with over 130 different brands available (and counting).

Drinks Menu [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

Paint Tin Punch Menu [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

To accompany my slider I chose a Mitch-ell Martini, a play on Giovanni Burdi’s Mitch Martini from the Match Bar that replaces the Żubrówka with Woodford Reserve, the peach liqueur with lemon juice, and adds a fresh mint garnish (originally lemon). Presumably this was a creation of, or at least named after, former bar manager Sarah Mitchell (now with The London Cocktail Club).

Mitch-ell Martini with a Portobello, strong Gouda & rocket Slider

Mitch-ell Martini

Woodford Reserve bourbon, fresh mint, fresh lemon juice, pressed apple juice & passion fruit syrup.

Needless to say, it works wonderfully with the bourbon more than happy to play well with apple juice just as Żubrówka does.

By this point we must have expected the rain to stop just as we wanted to leave, and it dutifully did leaving us to jump over the puddles and standing water as we continued, still dry, about our business. So successfully had we avoided the rain, as well as any tube stations forced to close due to flooding, that  I later chose this day of all days to buy a pair of decidedly un-rainproof suede shoes! Blue suede shoes at that, just don’t step on them yeah?

The first single from Elvis Presley’s eponymous debut studio album, 1956
(The original was by Carl Perkins whilst the b-side Tutti-Frutti was a cover of Little Richard’s hugely influential rock and roll stormer)

So a day that begun admiring old Decca Records posters ended with some rock and roll footwear. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it – I definitely didn’t accidentally buy the same shoes Prince Harry had made infamous in Jamaica. Nope, not me!

Not Prince Harry wearing my shoes…

Ah well, if your going to accidentally buy the same piece of clothing as a royal (not something I would usually go out of my way to do) then doing it the same week that they were in the news for “a naked romp with several beauties” in Las Vegas is probably the very best time to do it!

Viva Las Vegas!