Sunday, 30 January 2011

'Tweetspiration', or '#charityshopandbeersaturday'

I'm in the bosom of my very, very messy home, recovering. I feel a little tired-of-head and I blame twitter! Specifically a Saturday-morning tweet by Retrochick with three very dangerous words in it: charity, shop & beer. Picture it: me, vaguely wondering what to do after my chores, seeing those words. It was a revelation I tell ye! A revelation. In spite of having spent Friday teaching a media studies class how the hypodermic syringe theory of audience reaction was all outdated bunkum in our media-savvy age, I saw those words and immediately texted my partner-in-crime. Who, strangely, was just texting me with the exact same suggestion. See, partners in crime. I shall call her Lilac Lady, to protect the identities of the innocent. She's a lady, and she suits lilac.

'Because our society believes every child should have a random scar
to brag about on the playground...'

We decided to meet up in Ealing, which is her manor and has a new pub in it. Not sure which of those two facts had more to do with it, but in Ealing we did meet. We followed our usual format of deciding a time and a place, then completely ignoring the agreement and meeting at a slightly different place (the 'health and safety shocker statue', as I like to call it) at a slightly different time (enabling me to, sadly, get sucked into Primarni and purchase items, to be fair, even Primarni can't mess up a square headscarf).

Nautical but nice. £1 each... can't go wrong. Or could, if
I put my head near a naked flame.
Once I was safely rescued from polyester hell, we went on our way shopping. Lilac Lady found some lovely (purple) scarfage and other nice things to wear. I did not. I did find some tweed plus-four type trousers. Tried them on: not a good look.

We went on to Fara (and excellent charity-chain, they even have a specialist vintage store: check out their website) and I found some buys at long last. Not clothes, but retro cook books, which I collect and adore. The first one caught my eye because, in the top corner of the first page there was a little message 'To Caroline, another 18th birthday present, love Nana'. Awwww! And now it was languishing alone on the charity shop bookshelf. I had to rehome it, bless:

Useful, and loved again. Note my kawaii jim-jams. Warmest things ever!
The other book had no such cute (or useful) factor. It was simply an unbelievable tonne of 80s fun. Superb! It also, with no indication anywhere, appears to have been written for the Irish market and sold in England (the local fayre chapter, for example, it exclusively Irish). It is so very, very 80s - makes fab retro reading! And it could be used to ward off unwanted attention at the disco, cause it does weigh in at a hefty 3 1/2 kilos!

The pink thing is a starter not a drink!

Loving the 'highlighter' effect on the chapter headings!
And, as I couldn't carry anything else (I even had to buy an extra-strong bag to carry the behemoth cookbook) we went off to try Ealing's newest pub, The Grove. I have hyperlinked to it, but their official website is rather confused: half for the new pub and half for the mock-Irish-gigs-and-sticky-floor student bar it used to be. Never fear, it's gotten all grown up. And even if you want mock-Irish-and-cover-bands, there's an O'Neill's a short stagger away.

But, to The Grove. It's a very well thought out pub, with a quirky vintage twist. Although a Greene King, it does have a variety of guest ales and ciders. Here's some photos:

Guess which handbag's mine? The ladylike one or the pink Hello Kitty...?
Eclectic chairs. Me like.
They do this in Central Europe for 'al fresco' drinkers (aka smokers).
It's a nice touch.
I am a cider drinker...
They do some really nice food, too...

Veggie 'fish and chips' - battered halloumi
Nachos. I was over-cautious in my choice, but it was nice nonetheless.
Having imbibed some of their excellent ales, we decided to move on to a pub of a similar vibe, the North Star. This is an Ealing favourite, it's pricy and totally full to the rafters all day every day, but it has the best range of drinks in the area and, to my mind, the best lampshades:

We snapped this one because it looks a bit rude!

Wall art, it's backlit but the flash negates the effect.

Hmm, blurry. Can't think why that should happen after a pint or three...

They served my drink in a proper dimpled glass as well. Excellent stuff!

So now I am off to sit around with a cuppa and read those retro cookbooks. What a nice end to the week. What would you tweet about this weekend, please drop us a comment and let us know...


  1. You must post some of the recipes from that book! The more hideous the better, obviously x

  2. Now that's what I call a day out! We've got the same planned for Friday but it'll be a Black Country Wetherspoon for food & I'll probably have the Veggie Nachos, too.
    Loving those insane cookery books, like Margaret says, you have to post some of the more bizarre ones. xxx

  3. looks like you had a fab day. I do like that Primark nautical scarf. I haven't been to Primark for ages, I can't cope with the amount of chavs shuffling about, but maybe I should brave it again soon x

  4. I'm only half way through the book- it's huge! Sadly several chapters on roast dinners and ways with grilled fish were non-contraversial, although I've discovered some dodgy tinned ham and smash involving pages! Including one involving soaking and boiling kidney beans then using tinned meat- how odd is that?

  5. Sounds like you had a grand day out!....
    Ooo, and I do like a good retro cook book with all the garish looking food in! Oh how food presentation has changed!
    Tups x
    p.s. I haven’t thanked you for my stylish blog award yet- so thanking you! Still trying to think up my 'seven things' but it’s sooooooooooo hard.:)

  6. I'm looking forward to those 7 things! :)

    Have just got to the motherload: 'canapes from your microwave'. Phew. I thought it was all roasts and pasta in tomato sauce there...

  7. Hi there-what a lovely day out, the cook books look fab and the pubs were a welcome pitstop after all that shopping! have a great week ahead too x

  8. love the Primark scarf..always find great deals on accesories..adorethe vintage cook books..your purse would be the Hello Kitty right?
    Mi Buddy loves the dimple beer mugs..we found a whole load at jumbo sale for 20 p each.

  9. I'm interested in the One Dish Meals. I like the idea of everything in one pot. Maybe it's because of saving on washing up. Not that I EVER do any as I have a machine. I do love a day involving the pub and shopping xx


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