Monday, 29 July 2013

London's latest US import: Five Guys Burgers, Covent Garden

"So, when you're in America you have to go to Five Guys." I was firmly told by someone before I went to the States back in May this year. "Their burgers are just insane. Err-MAZ-ing!".  But in two weeks on the other side of the pond I never got round to visiting this fabled burger chain.  However, on my return to the UK, the same burger fan joyously informed me that he'd heard the exciting news that Five Guys was following me back home.  On the Fourth of July - a national holiday back in the USA - Five Guys opened its first British branch down in Covent Garden.

And I was ready for it.  The burger fanatic had made sure of that!  I had even made contact with the charming lady at Five Guys who was heading up the launch.  Dammit, they were even expecting me on the first day, and delightfully offered to shout me lunch.  But when I arrived - accompanied by my salivating Five Guys-loving pal obviously - we were informed that if we wanted to partake of luncheon at this establishment - which is, in basic truth, really just a standard counter-service takeaway joint with seating - we would have to wait for 45 minutes IN THE STREET before we could get anywhere near a some meat in a bun and a portion of chips.  [Note from the Five Guys expert: apparently the lunchtime queue on the opening day ended up with the most hardcore of burger fans waiting 2 hours for a bite to eat!] That was not going to happen. However great those burgers were reported to be.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Accidental Londoner takes the stage at The UN, Geneva

I was pleasantly surprised to have made it through security quicker than I had at Heathrow earlier that day. I had been warned of long queues and rigorous checks, as well as the considerable paperwork and pre-arrival forms I'd had to complete and bring with me. Of course they'd wanted to see my passport too.  In the sticky heat, with my attempting-to-look-older-than-I-am shift dress sticking to me, my bags and myself were scanned and scrutinised.  But after a mere fifteen minutes there I was swiping a recently-printed pass featuring a squashed, serious face that sort of looked like me onto a gate that slid open, admitting me to the UN's Palais de Nations. 

If you are an aspiring rockstar your dream is to play Wembley or Madison Square Gardens. You imagine the day your name appears in lights above the door, and people queue round the block clutching photos of you, screaming your name. Being hustled in through the stage door you are on your way. And when you step out onto the main stage, you have arrived.  Until that moment however you are forced to tour dive-bars anywhere that will give you a microphone and a fifteen minute slot, slogging away at your craft, feeling like the road to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury or the O2 Arena is long and winding. And then you get a break. Someone comes down with laryngitis and scratches, and you find yourself on a stage far more high profile than you deserve. But you seize the opportunity and agree to fill their spot. You rehearse frantically, consider what you will wear to ensure no one exposes you for the talentless, inexperienced fraud that you are, rehearse some more, freak out a little bit. And then the day dawns. You show up, you find your spot, and you rock the hell out of that stage.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover