One of my fondest childhood memories is of eating ‘soldiers and boiled eggs’ for breakfast. We had these red plastic egg-cups, which upon reflection were really quite cool and retro. Course, back then retro didn’t exist, or not for me at that age anyway. Over the years all those soldiers must have gone into battle and never returned because I can’t recall the last time I had that for breakfast.
So, it was with great excitement that I jumped at the opportunity to make ‘soldiers and eggs’ for breakfast at Gemma’s request this past weekend. Just as I was doing a bit of Googling to ensure I was doing exactly the right thing to get the egg just the right combination of solid white with runny yellow it occurred to me, I have no egg-cups, problem! Nah, not really, Google knows all and so I set about trying to find the perfect egg-cup. Nowhere could I find a red plastic one, preferably one that holds two eggs, so another plan had to be made. After not much luck online and surprisingly, an equally unsuccessful land based search at Selfridges, I eventually plied myself to the task more fully and discovered in the end what I am certain is the perfect egg-cup, err, cube. The “egg-cube” is a minimalistic masterpiece of design from British designer Kathleen Hills, a rising star in the world of design and owner and operator of Mul+i-Design. For me, it is the perfect synthesis of form and function. Go Kathleen!
For more information on Mul+i-Design, Kathleen Hills and the Egg-Cube, go to http://www.multidesign.info/
London is without question one of the great culinary capitals of the world. Whatever one may attribute this fact to, broad cultural diversity, an economically empowered clientele, or perhaps just a love of food, it is an undeniable fact and one which makes for a virtually unlimited number of possible dining experiences. I say experiences because the goal is not so much to eat, as to eat on a rooftop, at dusk, surrounded by cherry blossom trees with a piano player stroking the ebony somewhere in the background.
This past weekend, Gemma and I went in search of a dining experience both new and different. Gemma had mentioned she was feelin’ Japanese, so after some searching on toptable.co.uk and much deliberation, we decided on ‘Cocoon’. One of the things I love about London is the way all good things are hidden from view. The uber-trendy, uber-groovy places are mere ordinary doorways on a street next to other entirely ordinary doorways, but behind, they expand and unfurl, quite magically, into spaces unseen and unknown. Cocoon, despite its name, is just such a place, unfurling as it does from an unassuming doorway at number 65 Regent Street to the floor above street level and extending from there fully 6 luxurious oval dining rooms in length.
Without getting too much into the specifics, Cocoon impresses from the outset. The service is prompt and friendly, but not annoyingly so. The décor is embracingly luxurious, to the point where one feels like were you to hurl yourself, headlong, at anything, you’d come away feeling like a kid in a velvet jumping castle, but most importantly, the menu and preparation of the items therein is flawless, mixing several Asian cuisines to contribute something uniquely pan-Asian to London’s culinary choices. In short, Cocoon comes highly recommended and deservedly so. You must, I insist for your own good, go there!
65 Regent Street
From the famed author of Less Than Zero, American Psycho, Glamorama and The Rules of Attraction comes this latest work, Lunar Park. I haven’t read anything by Ellis in a while and when I noticed this attractively covered hardback in the window of a Books etc. in passing one day, I purchased it immediately, excited at the prospect of getting into the mind of Ellis once again, despite how fraught with horror (if you’ve read American Psycho you know what I mean) that pursuit might be. So, some days later, on a routine tube journey to work, the reading began. 30 minutes later I had already begun to form an opinion of this book, but decided to keep and open mind and reserve judgement until the end. Having finished Lunar Park yesterday, I feel I am qualified to offer an opinion. Without mincing words too much, this latest offering from Ellis is, in short, total unadulterated rubbish. It reads, at very best, like a first horror novel attempt from a 1st year university creative writing student, on meth. When embarking upon the reading of a new novel, I expect, not unreasonably I think, to be completely transported from the brightly coloured surroundings of whatever tube train I happen to be in, to an entirely alternate reality, in which only the characters and story matter, but from the very outset, Lunar Park fails to dissolve any amount of reality and worse, for the first 30 pages, spills forth narcissism in a way only an acclaimed writer on an alcohol and drug fuelled ego trip can. As if that isn’t bad enough, the story deteriorates, if that is possible, into a tangle of incongruous plot points, none of which seem to do any more than allude to the authors’ former creative glory. It is, amongst my best list of anti-superlatives, uninspiring, unentertaining and worst of all, unimportant. To quote from the book “Why Bret?”