@HonkyTonkLondon…. *sigh*

honky-tonk [ˈhɒŋkɪˌtɒŋk]n

1. US and Canadian slang

a.  a cheap disreputable nightclub, bar, etc.
b.  (as modifier) a honky-tonk district
2. (Music) a style of ragtime piano-playing, esp on a tinny-sounding piano
3. (Music, other) a type of country music, usually performed by a small band with electric and steel guitars
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Chelsea, London: “Chelsea is an upmarket neighbourhood equivalent to that of New York’s Upper East Side, Los Angeles’ Beveryly Hills or the 16th arrondissement of Paris. This is shown in the average housing price in Chelsea which is above £1.3 million” says Wikipedia…
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A very discombobulated establishment.
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Honky Tonk is divided into two areas; the bar and the restaurant. The lights are dim and the exposed brick walls add to the ambiance. At the entrance, up against the window, there is a small space for live singing. I found it to be awkwardly intimate for that room, but I can see how other people would enjoy it.

The purpose of my visit was for dinner, but unfortunately the first 5 minutes were absolute torture. Both me and my dinner companion found it difficult to endure the unpleasant live singing in the bar area and to make matters worse, the dreaded sound made its way to the speakers in the restaurant area…. above our table. Thankfully we caught the end of the “show” and the real music came on, which was consistently awesome throughout the night.

The food was average, nothing to rave about. Chicken wings were decent, beef ribs were an unsuccessful attempt and the burger was good. The Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese was the best thing we ordered. Our very polite waitress recommended The Gringo from the cocktail menu, which was both light and refreshing, making it the highlight of the meal. 

I have mixed feelings about Honky Tonk. On the one hand, I appreciate the effort put into opening this place up, and I must admit that I loved the music they played all night (NOT THE LIVE SINGING, that was awful). On the other hand, its impossible to overlook the fact that the crowd did not reflect the decor or the general theme at all. When waitresses dressed like Daisy Duke , serve BBQ chicken wings to crowds dressed as if they are going into a business conference….it just looks wrong. The vibe in the room was slightly uptight, and it was evident that this sort of place was not the norm for some. In all honesty, the music and our attentive waitress made the evening a success.

I would probably go back for drinks…but I’m still not sure if Honky Tonk will become a hangout for other types of people aside from the “Sloane Rangers” that frequent the area. Does the interior have a New York feel to it? Sure. Do you feel like you’re in New York when your there? Absolutely not.

Honky Tonk – #6, HOLLYWOOD ROAD, LONDON SW10 9HY

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Burnt Out

I don’t tend to complain much…and I can’t say I am as observant as The Critical Eye. But I really appreciate it when people don’t challenge my intelligence. I’m not much of a cook either but I really do enjoy good food. So when someone serves me black eggs and claims that’s how they are meant to be eaten, then be sure I will speak up!

That little incident happened a couple of months ago at Megan’s – a cozy little Chelsea joint renowned for its ‘atmosphere’ and ‘home cooked food’. With its lovely decor and welcoming feel, my flatmate and I sat at the table, starving and ready to eat a hearty brunch. Almost 20 minutes after putting in our order we finally received out lattes (yes 20 minutes later). The mugs were stained from the outside and the coffee did not taste great. I thought ‘ok’ I will let this slide – as I said I don’t like to complain much. But then came the ‘meal’. My English breakfast – served with bacon, toast, beans and a large portion of black scrambled eggs. (Yes black.) I of course called over the waitress to ask her what had happened. She apologized and took my plate away towards the kitchen. She returned a few minutes later, with what seemed a new portion but when I looked down, there they were again…black eggs. She relayed the chef’s message to me: ‘that’s how these eggs are’. I said, ‘really now..?’ and told her to get me the manager. The manager of course apologized again and told us that they had just gotten a new supplier and perhaps that was the reason why these eggs were not normal looking. He also told us he had a taste and that they tasted a bit off.  With an empty stomach and following this huge disappointment, my friend and I left Megan’s, never to return again. (Poor and ignorant people around us continued to eat their meals.. I only hope no one ended up at the hospital.)

And now we come to today.

This evening I ordered some pizza, chicken strips and choc chip cookies from my local Domino’s. My flatmate and I were bored to cook and this seemed like a safe choice. Not expecting much from the pizza, we ate it and an hour later were ready to enjoy the dessert. We opened the box of cookies only to find that the cookies were burnt. So here we were again. Disappointed and unsatisfied. My friend phoned the local store and politely asked them to replace them. Shortly after, the 2nd batch of cookies  arrived. I went downstairs to greet the delivery guy and much to my surprise saw that the new portion of cookies were equally burnt – if not more! At that point you can imagine I was quite frustrated and annoyed. I called the guy at the store right in front of the poor delivery guy and told him that this was getting a little ridiculous. And guess what the Domino’s employee said to me on the phone? ‘Please miss just take a bite and I promise you won’t get food poisoning.’ (!) I did not find this funny in the least. He also tried to convince me that they were not burnt and that this is the way they were usually made. He said we always serve them this way. Again this stupid phrase ‘oh that’s how they are meant to be’.. Well here is some news for you. NO ITS NOT HOW THEY ARE MEANT TO BE. Cookies are NOT meant to be burnt, eggs are NOT meant to be black and there NEEDS to be a better freaking standard of quality in this country!

P.S. This is how Domino’s Pizza describes their cookies: “Domino’s Cookies – 4 crunchy chewy warm & gooey cookies loaded with choc chips”…No mention of burnt cookies anywhere.

Faith No More.

“The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world.

They can sit at their ease and gape at the play.

If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.”

Oscar Wilde

Image taken from Dutch Uncle Agency / London

In other words : “Ignorance is Bliss”…and I have come to accept that it truly is. Unfortunately for me, I am not Ignorant, therefore I cannot experience Bliss. Lately, I wake up before the alarm goes off, and lay in bed staring at the clock, waiting for it to go off. Why do I do this? Because, I’ve lost faith in the world and it’s seeming increasingly difficult to restore…

How I dread leaving the house and entering a world where the stupid, ignorant and undeserving seem to be in charge. When did we give up our power to them? What happened and who put them in charge? I’m tired of meeting people who don’t do their jobs well, or don’t know HOW to do their jobs well…either because nobody showed them how, or they just don’t care to find out… I’m sick of talking to bland, boring and uninteresting people who hold positions WAY above their capabilities… It makes me nauseous when I realize (after 5 minutes of conversation) that someone is as uncultured as a tomato, and should never be let out of their house… I hate it when businesses are INCONSISTENT and fail, every second of every day, to meet their true potential… I despise the idea that the WRONG people are in the RIGHT positions… BUT what really makes my skin crawl is when I meet rich people with power, that shouldn’t have a penny to their name and should be shunned by society as a whole.

Society is grossly disillusioned, in every aspect. Money goes down the drain on a daily basis because salaries are paid to the useless and start-ups go up in flames due to lack of knowledge by all the participants. Businesses, governments and entire countries are run by idiots that have been put there for all the wrong reasons. Nobody wants to listen to those who know better…they prefer to blindly follow…the blind. How many times do you have to think “I could do your job in my sleep” before you lose your cool…? Is it just me that feels this way?

Where are all the inspiring, cultured and deserving people to give me an ounce of hope? If you are one of the rare few, please speak up, tell us why and scream out to the world ” HEY! HERE I AM, I DO STILL EXIST!”…

We Are Animals.

In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense – not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.

Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), Conclusion.