London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

29/05/2003, By Jenny Walters

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 13880 votes

My Week - Starting 1st May: This week my glamorous friend Sue threw her second annual Fabaret. It is essentially a cabaret but more fabulous. The evening was made up of acts trying to outdo the previous one in bizarreness, hilarity and sometimes talent.

This spectacular event was held at The Spitz which is a venue based at Spitalfields Market, Commercial St N1. Spitalfields is a great indoor market during the day that attracts a lot of tourists. There is an international organic food hall and stalls selling clothes, rare collectibles and artwork. There are many cafes and places to eat and drink all under the same roof and you can spend a good day out there. After the market has closed up for the day it springs to life in the evening as music venues and restaurants fill up.

Carl and I performed at Fabaret in 2002 and Sue foolishly asked us to perform again this year. Our act was based around ‘The Antiques Roadshow’ and is too bizarre to try to explain! It went down very well and we are looking forward to next year.

My Week - Starting 8th May: Carl came to meet me for lunch whilst I was temping in Farringdon. We wandered round the corner and came across the Jerusalem Tavern, 55 Britton St, EC1.

The Jerusalem Tavern is owned by St. Peter’s Brewery, based in Suffolk and is their only London pub. It is a really cosy place divided up into intimate booths and reminded me of how pubs used to be – when I was too young to drink in them! I asked the friendly barman about the history of the place and I was surprised to find out that although the building dates back to the 1720’s, the pub has only been around since the mid-nineteen nineties.

We snuggled up next to the fire and had our lunch. The food was not bad but the draw of the place is definitely the surroundings and the gorgeous St. Peter’s ale.

The next morning I went up to town for a commercial casting. The temping agency didn’t have any reception work for me for the rest of the day so I decided to make use of my travel card and treat myself to a good day out in London.

I began at Rigby & Peller in Knightsbridge, 2 Hans Road, SW3. This is the best lingerie shop I have ever been to and I would recommend a visit to any woman coming to London. The underwear is not cheap but is beautifully made and the expert sales assistant that fitted me told me that I was wearing completely the wrong size of bra, as do 85% of women who walk through the door of the shop.

After making my purchase I headed down to the V&A museum to look at the Art Deco exhibition. Due to the popularity of the event the entry times were staggered and I arrived a little early for the next viewing. It was a beautiful day so I bought a sandwich and took myself off to Hyde Park, across the road for my lunch.

When I returned to the museum the queue for the exhibition was huge, I was lucky to have got a ticket. The V&A recommends that visitors book in advance, it is open until June 20th.

The exhibition was excellent. Most impressive was the glass staircase featuring a mirrored revolving door, which was rescued by the V&A from the Strand Palace Hotel Foyer when the hotel was redeveloped 30 years ago.

Although it felt like an indulgent treat to be surrounded by such opulence and glamour, the exhibition was also informative; a real education in design and the socio-economic reasons that made Art Deco such a major influence at the turn of the 20th century.

My Week - Starting 15th May: My Auntie Maggie and a group of her friends, who are all rather talented in the painting and drawing department put on an exhibition of their work at Gallery on the Green, Chelsea Green on behalf of the Museum of Garden History.

It was an exhibition of beautifully detailed botanical drawings and watercolours done by people with fantastic names such as Serena, Lizabeth and Flappy. Marvellous stuff. There are lots of little galleries dotted around London who will happily let you look round for free. Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll round town.

It was Carl’s birthday this week and I booked a table for us at Gordon Ramsey at Claridges, Brook St W1. I had been well prepared and booked 5 months in advance to guarantee us an 8.00pm sitting on a Friday night! This restaurant is one of the most popular in London at the moment so I would definitely advise booking well ahead.

We arrived early and went into the Hotel bar for an aperitif but it was absolutely heaving so we decided to take in the surroundings in the foyer.

It was easy to see why Claridges is so popular. Gordon Ramsey is England's only three-starred Michelin chef and course after course of beautiful European food was served in very elegant and lavish surroundings. The hotel is a great example of Art Deco design (I bored Carl with my new found knowledge) and the dining room has been recently sympathetically redesigned by New York architect Thierry Despont. We had a wonderful evening, one I will always remember and to save money we got the night bus home!

Jenny Walters

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

By Jerry Clune 31/05/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 12753 votes)

I just love reading about your 'adventures' Jenny. Keep up the good work - and happy birthday Carl!

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

By Edward Shackelford (Edward IX) 02/06/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 12562 votes)

I, too, have enjoyed this series of articles, and, while an old man, have definitely picked up a few "must sees" for my next trip to London, later this year.

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

By David Baker 11/06/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 12563 votes)

Fantastic as always, Jenny you should write a book about your London Diary.

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