Last night I hit the town with 'Fenella' to celebrate her birthday. It was lovely to glam up a little and do something a bit different as, apart from our theatre trips, we tend to stay fairly local.
Mr Misfit offered to be our cabbie for the night, despite the fact that we said we wouldn't give him a tip - other than telling him to avoid cyclists or keep further to the left. Top tip!
First we hit Cafe des Amis in Covent Garden and we were greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne as promised to me on Twitter for giving them a shout out for their excellent service in the past. What can I say about this restaurant? I love it - friendly staff, excellent and varied food and surprisingly good value for money, considering its location.
We'd planned to walk to our next venue but, having both worn heels for the first time in a while, we hailed a cab and set off to High Holborn and Scarfes Bar.
Scarfes is part of The Rosewood Hotel, a beautifully restored Grade II-listed building which you approach through an arch leading to an Edwardian courtyard. The entrance certainly has the WOW factor.
The bar itself has been ‘lovingly evolved into a living canvas by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’ and ‘meticulously designed’ by the renowned Martin Brudnizki. Think opulent gentleman's club without the stuffiness, with its roaring fire, bookcases filled with over 1,000 antique books (heaven!) hand-picked by a Portobello antique dealer, low-key lighting, plush velvet armchairs and sofa seating.
I was slightly surprised to find that many tables were reserved, despite the fact that I'd been told that there was a 'no reservation' policy (maybe we're not posh enough!) but we were lucky enough to find a cosy table for two with a good view of the entertainment. Admittedly, we almost fell off our beautifully upholstered leather arm chairs when we discovered that the House Wine was £50 a bottle! £50!!! I guess they have to pay their musicians somehow as there is no entrance fee but ...! Anyway, after we'd slithered back into upright positions we settled in for the night and chatted as we waited for The Nick and Kitty Trio to start.
We were not disappointed! With Nick Shankland on piano, accompanied by a trumpet player (sorry I have no name) Kitty LaRoar performed jazz standards with a voice that ran through us like deliciously thick whipped cream - what a talent! I love to listen to a singer and feel that I have complete confidence in them and as Kitty sang and scatted away, expertly playing her miniature drum kit, I felt in wonderfully safe hands. She was faultless. When her husband Nick joined her, the feeling continued - his tone is easy and smooth, like molten treacle. It's clear to see that they're married - wordless connections made their act classy and a joy to watch.
When other guests were presented with birthday cakes, Kitty sang Happy Birthday in a breathy Marilyn Monroe style which so suits her delightfully quirky look - a glamorous pocket rocket who makes you wonder where that huge (and sometimes small but incredibly effective) voice is kept.
If you want to listen for yourself, here's a sample:
It was a magical night. If you're in or around London, love live entertainment and are looking to do something a bit different, Scarfes Bar is like stepping back in time and will leave you feeling spoiled, if a little poorer!