First floor tour of Harringay's Art Nouveau Hotel Salisbury

By Darren Atwater
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 1:43 PM

The Hotel Salisbury on the Grand Parade in Harringay is a beautiful 1899 monstrosity. Above is a tour of the little-seen first floor. As for the ground floor, Snipe suggests you drop by for pint and look for yourself. The video was created by Harringay Online

Edited 2 Feb 2012: Corrected the spelling of Harringay and added credit.

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Here's what the kids are into now: coffee bars

By Darren Atwater
Monday, 23 January 2012 1:24 PM

Über-Londoner Peter Watts at The Great Wen has found an amazing collection of the old Rank Organisation film series, Look at Life, that takes the viewer into such underground scenes as highrise living, private members’ clubs, and, above, the coffee bar, circa 1959. Click here for the collection.

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Punk brewery just as sexist and homophobic as the industry they rail against

By Darren Atwater
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 11:31 AM

The independent Scottish brewery Brewdog invited Snipe along with a few dozen other London food writers to a tasting and a creepy rant last night.

The location was the new Brewdog Camden pub, where founders James Watt and Martin Dickie planned to treat the assembled with a tasting of their beers and entertain us with the story of their four-year existence. That’s when it got creepy.

Watt encouraged us to talk to our beer, yes, out loud, to encourage it to ‘open up.’ He then gestured to one of the female servers and said that this is what he would do if he wanted her to ‘open up.’ Weird – but easily brushed away as a poor choice of words. He’s speaking off the cuff, with a beer in his hand, and presumably meant that he wanted the server to feel comfortable and share her thoughts.

Then Watt told us of he and Dickie’s experience at some young entrepreneur’s award interview. This ‘feminist,’ he complained, was upset at the portrayal of women in their marketing material, including the fetishisation of lesbians. Watt did not use the word fetishisation.

A feminist quizzed us on the appropriateness of calling a beer ‘Trashy Blonde’ and using the word ‘lesbian’ in some of our promotional material. To which Martin responded;
‘I have nothing against lesbians at all, in fact I have some DVDs at home of just lesbians’. It went down like a lead balloon and we did not win this award.

I don’t recall if that’s the exact quote or not – but close enough, it’s a cut and paste from the Brewdog blog.

Here’s the kind of marketing material that dirty feminist was speaking of:

“A titillating, neurotic, peroxide, punk of a pale ale. Combining attitude, style, substance and a little bit of low self esteem for good measure; what would your mother say?

You really should just leave it alone…

…but you just can’t get the compulsive malt body and gorgeous dirty blonde colour out of your head. The seductive lure of the sassy passion fruit hop proves too much to resist. All that is even before we get onto the fact that there are no additives preservatives, pasteurization or strings attached.

All wrapped up with the customary BrewDog bite and imaginative twist. This trashy blonde is going to get you into a lot of trouble.”

(From A FemALE View)

And it wasn’t a one off, this we’re-a-couple-of-losers-who-made-good schtick is a regular part of the show. They’ve told the same anecdote over and over to other audiences.

In the end, Brewdog’s ‘Beer for Punks’ is mere branding, as manufactured as their mid-90s David Carson aesthetic.

Beer school for girls: because we like our blondes trashy, not dumb

Update As we filed out, Tim ‘Masterchef’ Anderson appeared in the doorway, handing out pizza. Surreal.

There's no question that "Shamon Chicken" is how Michael Jackson would have liked to be commemorated

By Mike Pollitt
Friday, 11 November 2011 11:07 AM

Tonight’s Come Dine with Me features Keith Preddie, from Croydon.

“The Michael Jackson fanatic served a halloumi and chilli salad to start, “Shamon chicken” (with mozzarella in tomato sauce) for his main and “Dirty Diana” (banana delight, chocolate sponge and cream) for pudding.”

The starter sounds delicious.

“Guest Sarah-Marie Palmer [said] she would not serve his food to people in prison, her worst enemy or a dog.”

Source: This is Croydon

Meat Liquor and Tinseltown

By Darren Atwater
Thursday, 10 November 2011 4:49 PM

Meat, Liquor (left), Tinseltown (right)

Carnivores can celebrate the opening of two new meat houses in Central London.

The first, Tinseltown has long been the choice of drunks in Farringdon and Bayswater looking for something better than the local kebab shop. Large, American-style burgers and milkshakes keep the lines long, late into the night.

The other, Meat Liquor, is the third incarnation of burger bliss. Originally it was the Meat Wagon, a secretive truck that travelled throughout South London, creating fans in its wake. After the van was stolen, it re-generated as the MeatEasy, a pop-up atop a New Cross pub. Number three, Meat Liquor, is is located in an abandoned Italian resto, behind the Oxford Street House of Fraser, and beside Sophisticats, a venue that is neither sophisticated nor contains cats.

Tinseltown 35 Great Portland Street W1W 8QQ
Meat Liquor 74 Welbeck Street, W1G 0BA

The Marylebone Cafe

By Darren Atwater
Tuesday, 1 November 2011 1:07 PM

Marylebone is known for its selection of posh shops, carefully curated by the Howard de Walden and Portland Estates. Yet Marylebone Lane held a neighbourhood anomaly, the Marylebone Cafe, a straight-up greasy spoon that would be unremarkable almost anywhere in London but existed as a gutsy rebel in Michelin star land.

But now it’s over. The Marylebone Cafe quietly closed their doors last week and cleared out, without even a chance for a goodbye bubble and squeak.

It wasn’t merely Maryleboners jonesing for an undeconstructed full English and tea in a proper cafe mug that enjoyed the Marylebone Cafe, guests at the old Marylebone Jail (now a car park) sometimes enjoyed the cafe’s delivery service.

From Peter Negri at a good place for a cup of tea and a think

I remember seeing my auntie Brenda on the evening TV news in 1963, crossing Wigmore Street, with a tray of tea and biscuits. They were for Christine Keeler and John Profumo when they had just been arrested.

The Howard de Walden estate hasn’t returned Snipe’s call about the future of the location. But a clue maybe found in the March 2011 newsletter of the Marylebone Association:

Howard de Walden have plans to revitalise Marylebone Lane and to make this the natural walking route from the top of St Christopher Place up to Marylebone High Street.

Translation: more posh shops.

Cheers to Peter for the Keeler/Profumo info

Deadpool is Snipe’s obituary column for old London. Send candidates for inclusion to

1,500 words on how to make the best Welsh Rarebit

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