The Empress Lands In London
posted May 7, 2012 10:48 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Thu May 31 at 7:00 PM, 69 Colebrook Row
69 Colebrooke Row, London, Greater London N1 8AA, UK (Map & Directions)
Good Mefites of London: last year when I visited London, and only gave myself three days, I said "I should come back next year and stay a bit longer." This year, I am indeed doing that (from 27 May to 2 June); it has been proposed we start with cocktails here, and then a meal after.
We'd be going on to Gem for dinner; there is another plan afoot to start things off at the London Canal Museum before this as well (link to its own thread).
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Meetup (74 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

That'd be lovely, I'd be happy to meet you.
posted by essexjan at 12:31 PM on May 7, 2012

posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:36 PM on May 7, 2012

If it helps narrow things down - I'm staying somewhere in the Marylebone area, about five blocks from Regent's Park, and I'm public-transit conversant.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:00 PM on May 7, 2012

Correction: I am staying in Fitzrovia. Although I'm used to walking great distances for the hell of it, so I doubt that really makes much difference....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:39 PM on May 7, 2012

Walking great distances across Central London for the hell of it is a splendid use of time. Or at least I, a yokel from an hour and a half down a railway line, think it is. I may be interested if I get a cheap train ticket.
posted by ambrosen at 2:05 PM on May 8, 2012

I'm well up for a meet up! I'm in Amsterdam until the 28th, but would be happy to join in sometime during that week. Maybe something at the Southbank Centre? An adventurous meal? A brisk walk around the M25?
posted by Chichibio at 5:30 AM on May 9, 2012

I throw myself in all y'all's hands for the "what" (although, "adventurous meal" is intriguing). In the interest of narrowing down dates, how about the 29th, 30th, or 31st?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:34 AM on May 9, 2012

Hello Empress! I too am up for this.
posted by freya_lamb at 4:28 PM on May 9, 2012

...on any of those dates.
posted by freya_lamb at 4:29 PM on May 9, 2012

Count me in potentially.
posted by Gordafarin at 12:02 AM on May 10, 2012

I can't do the 29th. Can maybe do the other two.
posted by permafrost at 4:20 AM on May 10, 2012

Throwing my hat into the ring. Will put my mind to coming up with ideas for adventure to suggest.
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:50 AM on May 10, 2012

... and I can't do the 30th (I'm going for an adventurous meal, as a matter of fact).
posted by HandfulOfDust at 5:50 AM on May 10, 2012

RESOLVED: The 31st, then! Let me see if I can edit this thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:08 PM on May 10, 2012

Okay, I can't input a date without also inputting a place. I am going to input something really obviously not-accurate as a placeholder.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:10 PM on May 10, 2012

After tea with Dave [shudder], here's a somewhat random suggestion: May 31st would be Heath Robinson's 140th birthday. He was born in Stroud Green. Adventurous dining nearby? Four minutes walk from the house he was born in we find Chez Liline, a Mauritian restaurant. It's not very central, but a complicated process should be required to achieve the desired result, no?

Pros: Everybody likes Heath Robinson and I personally have never eaten Mauritian cuisine. That makes it a little adventurous, at least for myself.
Cons: Requires buses, the overground, and usual London transport headaches to a pretty isolated location.

Does this get the ball rolling? It just needs to fall in the cup of tea, which will spill on the mouse, which will {you get the idea}...
posted by Chichibio at 11:59 AM on May 11, 2012

Chichibio - I love this idea, and the restaurant is not really isolated. It's ten minutes walk from Finsbury park tube, which is all of ten minutes underground from Holborn.
posted by freya_lamb at 7:08 AM on May 12, 2012

I don't know how far anything is from anything, so I'll let all y'all hammer a lot of this long as it's not wildly expensive, I would be able to hear conversation, and the food does not entirely consist of broccoli I'm happy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:48 PM on May 12, 2012

Oooh I've always wanted to go to Chez Liline - I lived round the corner from it for a couple of years but never made it across the threshold - and I think the idea of making the evening a sort of homage to Heath Robinson (as well as EC, of course) is really charming. As freya_lamb says, it's not that isolated at all - Finsbury Park's on the Victoria Line as well as the Piccadilly, which makes it easily accessible to those who live in South London (the poor things). The only warning bell I'd sound is that it's not a great restaurant for the anti-fish brigade (not me). Anyway, I'm up for it.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 9:06 AM on May 13, 2012

There's a small chance I might make it.

I have to say, I'm not so keen on wandering about near the Seven Sisters Road late at night. Also "Vegetarian dishes available on request" on the menu isn't usually the sign of a great meal in prospect.

But you shouldn't alter plans to suit me, because quite likely I won't make it anyway.
posted by philipy at 7:28 PM on May 13, 2012

....Reminding everyone apologetically that I was a theatrical stage manager for 10 years, and thus have some control-freak tendencies:

So, there's been one suggestion for Chez Liline, anyone else have any other ideas?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:29 AM on May 17, 2012

OK, here's an idea for some stuff out around Angel tube stop in Islington. I started out just looking for some quirky and interesting museum stuff that's not the usual fare and then looked around the neighborhood for other interesting places, although I'm already fond of 69 Colebrooke.

• A visit to the London Canal Museum. Sadly, there aren't tunnel boat tours on the 31st. It's not free, but it's just £4 for an adult. If that's not enough canal for you, we could also stroll along the nearby Regent's Canal.

• Perhaps then dinner at the nearby Afghan Kitchen?

• Finally, a nightcap at
69 Colebrooke Row, an establishment that specializes in cocktails. This last portion of my suggestion isn't that cheap, though. It would also probably require reservations.


Another idea I just had would be hitting up a boot sale somewhere in London and then doing brunch.

Yes? No?
posted by ursus_comiter at 4:26 PM on May 17, 2012

....dude, you've had an idea for an entire itinerary. I am intrigued.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:33 PM on May 17, 2012

I like all of ursus_comiter’s suggestions, too, but I’m only free in the evenings. The Afghan Kitchen is great, but absolutely tiny, so we’d definitely need to book if we decide to go there. In its favour, it’s a lot less pricey than Chez Liline, and the area’s a lot more salubrious.... Cocktails at Colebrooke Row would be fun, too. If we do decide to land in Islington, I can also recommend Gem on Upper Street, a Turkish/Kurdish place – it’s really reasonably priced, good fun, and there are plenty of vegetarian options too. So there’s another idea.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:46 AM on May 18, 2012

I'm actually leaning towards ursus' ideas -- partially because with three different stops, people could join or leave at any point, so people who are only free after [blank] o'clock could come for just the cocktails or what have you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:20 AM on May 18, 2012

I think it sounds like a great plan. I'd only be up for dinner and drinks, though...
posted by HandfulOfDust at 5:58 AM on May 18, 2012

Right, how does this sound --

a) I'm down for the Canal museum, but since it sounds like that'd be an afternoon thing that not everyone could make, ursus, I'll let you do that as a separate post (which I shall join, of course).

b) I'll amend this to reflect the dinner-and-then-drinks. What time, and should it be Afghan Kitchen or Gem?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 AM on May 18, 2012

Honestly, I'd be happy with either Afghan Kitchen or Gem! AK is much closer to 69 Colebrooke Row (Gem's about a ten minute walk away), so there's that. But AK is tiny wee, to the point where they might have trouble fitting us all in if there's more than about eight of us.

You're the guest, EC: which would you prefer?
posted by HandfulOfDust at 5:28 AM on May 19, 2012

It sounds like gem has more space and more vegetarian options. Unless anyone has a horror story of some sort, I say that.

How is 6 pm to meet there and then 8-ish for 69 colebrook row? I'll update this post later today and make it all official-like.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 AM on May 19, 2012

6pm might be a bit too much of an early kick-off for us poor workers. Could you bear to push it back a bit later – 6.30, or even 7.00, or are you liable to keel over with hunger before then?
posted by HandfulOfDust at 9:28 AM on May 19, 2012

I'll pop up a Canal based meetup in just a bit. Sounds like Gem is the better option to me, due to the space issues.
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:03 PM on May 19, 2012

posted by ursus_comiter at 2:17 PM on May 19, 2012

Gem sounds great - I do love me some Turkish food.
posted by essexjan at 12:17 AM on May 20, 2012

Sorry, I meant to add that 7pm is probably going to be better for me, due to work, the congestion charge (if I decide to drive) and parking restrictions, which are (generally) lifted at 6.30pm.
posted by essexjan at 12:30 AM on May 20, 2012

I'm down with ursus's plan (though I can't make the Canal Museum) but can we all promise to meet at Chez Liline in 2022?
posted by Chichibio at 2:11 AM on May 20, 2012

The day is starting to take a terrific shape; I'm sorry I can't make the Canal Museum.

One thing: is dinner followed by cocktails definitely the right way round? How about cocktails first and then a slightly woozy walk up Upper Street to Gem?

(Chichibio – I'm absolutely down for a trip to Chez Liline some other time, and much sooner than 2022.)
posted by HandfulOfDust at 6:46 AM on May 20, 2012

Keeping this at 7.

I'm more used to drinks after dinner, but what do y'all want?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 AM on May 20, 2012

I'm going to say pre-dinner drinks, if only because it means seven becomes a much softer, less stressful target for people who might arrive late. Also, if I recall correctly, 69 Colebrooke is a tiny little space; it might be more comfortable for six to ten of us to hang outside, as the sun doesn't set until just after nine?

It should be noted that there are lots of drinking spots around Angel, so boozing before and after is always an option for those who fancy it.

[HoD, if you can find an appropriate Stroud Green anniversary, I'm there!]
posted by Chichibio at 12:39 PM on May 20, 2012

good point re: starting with cocktails. I've changed things accordingly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:48 PM on May 20, 2012

Shall I book a table at Gem, or have you already done so?
posted by HandfulOfDust at 2:37 AM on May 21, 2012

One more to the table: my non-Metafilter SO (or, as she would have it, Metafilter Widow) has decided to join us. Should we set a deadline to book at Gem so folks can sort out if they can make it or not?
posted by Chichibio at 2:51 AM on May 21, 2012

We should probably book @ 69 Colebrooke too. I've been sadface in the past when failing to do so.
posted by ursus_comiter at 4:00 AM on May 21, 2012

I haven't booked anything - I have no idea when we should cut people off in here. If someone else wants to do that I would not complain in the slightest. (I'm still trying to figure out the whole "non-Euro passport holders wait for 3 hours at Heathrow" issue - I may need a hand here!)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on May 21, 2012

I've hit up my boss about the Heathrow immigrations thing (he just got back from a business trip), so that's sorted.

Does anyone else want to do the reservations? If not, I'll do that Thursday the 24th...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 AM on May 21, 2012

I'm happy to book Gem. Table for.... 12? We can always change the number up or down closer to the date. And what time? 8pm? 8.15? As I said upthread, it's about a ten-minute walk from 69 Colebrooke Row... But is an hour long enough for cocktails? Maybe we should kick off at Colebrooke Row at bit earlier??? Decisions, decisions.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 9:53 AM on May 21, 2012

I've gone ahead and booked a table at Gem for 12 from 8.15. Both elements are flexible!

ursus_comiter, will you book 69 Colebrooke Row?
posted by HandfulOfDust at 9:15 AM on May 22, 2012

I'm happy to show up at 69CR a little early, but since these aren't your grandad's pub prices I can't imagine having more than one delicious cocktail. 8:15 for dinner sounds very sensible.
posted by Chichibio at 11:12 AM on May 22, 2012

Good point; I'd probably only have one beverage at 69CR myself (dirty little secret; The Empress is a lightweight).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:46 AM on May 22, 2012

So the Stage Manager in me is wanting to recap the details for people who may be a bit at sea now:

* This is for Thursday the 31st.

* We're starting at 69 Colebrook Row at 7 pm. (Has anyone made reservations there? Want me to?)

* We're moving on to Gem at 8:15 - a reservation for 12 has been made, but we can adjust accordingly.

* I confessed that I'm a cheap drunk.

* There's a separate thread for people who want to start at the canal museum; the time's been proposed for 2:30, but that seems more flexible (I may not even be able to make it that soon).

And there we are.

(On a separate issue: the London Eye. Is that kind of a tacky, touristy thing, or something that is indeed genuinely cool? I'm the kind of person who's lived in New York for 20+ years and never wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty, so I'm not necessarily big on Obvious Landmarks.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:58 AM on May 23, 2012

I actually tend to favour time-in-pub, because more mobile and flexible, whereas once you're sitting down, you're sitting down. However, it's not my party.

Also, hello! Wil definitely look to be at some of this - will check schedules...
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:12 AM on May 24, 2012

Ending with food would be wisest for me, methinks; I've made plans for the following day that will require me to wake up at Stupid O'Clock, and that'd be harder to do if I was still hung over...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 AM on May 24, 2012

(Although, if anyone can't make this OR the canal museum thing, I'm also heading to yet another Mefite event at the beginning of the week.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on May 24, 2012

OK, booking attempted for 12 @ 69 Colebrooke for 7:00 PM. They don't usually take reservations for more than 6, but will be checking with the reservations manager and getting back to me tomorrow.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:17 PM on May 24, 2012

Booking confirmed, just from 7 to 8, but that's not a problem for us.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:36 AM on May 25, 2012

I happen to be visiting London too! I may be able to come to this!
posted by speicus at 5:52 AM on May 28, 2012

Gah, can't make it after all. Have a good one all!
posted by freya_lamb at 6:48 AM on May 28, 2012

I'll be trying to get to 69 Colebrooke since I am, at heart, a girl drink drunk. Probably not dinner, though.

Mine's a Black Russian, or always used to be.
posted by Grangousier at 2:01 PM on May 30, 2012

Change of plans: I can make it to 69CR!
posted by ersatz at 2:32 AM on May 31, 2012

It is now about 5:30 - I ended up cavorting around the British Museum and Library today, but am still somewhat footsore and will be holing up at my hotel for the next half hour before heading out. But I will be there!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:26 AM on May 31, 2012

Oh! This may be useful information:

I am about 5-foot-7, have dark blond sort of tousled hair, and am wearing a handknit white waistcoat over a white peasanty-looking blouse with a lot of flowers on it (it may sort of look like I got it at Camden Market, but it's actually from the Macy's in Brooklyn). I also have a lot of bangles on one wrist.

Or I could just talk to myself out loud a lot and hope the accent is a tipoff.

It is 6:15 and I am about to hurl myself onto the mercy of the bus system.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on May 31, 2012

I definitely won't make it.

Y'all have fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing some pics if anyone takes them.
posted by philipy at 10:23 AM on May 31, 2012

Anybody there yet?
posted by Grangousier at 10:50 AM on May 31, 2012

Running late so will see you at the restaurant.
posted by essexjan at 11:48 AM on May 31, 2012

I'm at Gem and they're getting a bit cross as they're having to turn other people away. Hurry up!
posted by essexjan at 12:26 PM on May 31, 2012

The rest should be arriving at Gem by now. Have fun!
posted by ersatz at 12:37 PM on May 31, 2012

See, this is why I propose meetups when I travel. Thank you all!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:55 PM on May 31, 2012

Empress - I was really looking forward to meeting you, and seeing everyone, and having an incredible cocktail and whatnot... a serious calendrical error on my part meant that I wasn't able to attend. Ugh. After all that.

But make me jealous and tell me about all the fun I missed! And please EC, make sure to come back our way sometime soon, OK?
posted by Chichibio at 4:08 PM on May 31, 2012

I'm at Gem and they're getting a bit cross as they're having to turn other people away. Hurry up!

I'm also very sorry if I caused some confusion at the restaurant.
posted by Chichibio at 4:11 PM on May 31, 2012

You missed a goodie, Chichibio, and we missed you! Great to meet you, Empress, and lovely to see all the rest of you too. We should do this more often – we really should.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 4:28 PM on May 31, 2012

Well that was fun. The food was wonderful and the company was stimulating. What more could I ask of a meetup?
posted by essexjan at 5:17 PM on May 31, 2012

What a brilliant meetup. Always great to see everybody (and doubly great to see some new faces); we must do it again soon!
...possibly on a weekend next time. The slow train to Rdg is slow indeed...
posted by Gordafarin at 12:55 AM on June 1, 2012

Coming in one more time to share a bigger link to something that "was like Hieronymous Bosch, only worse." Heh.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:18 AM on June 5, 2012

posted by HandfulOfDust at 3:50 PM on June 6, 2012

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