The venues: DoubleTree Hilton, Docklands and McQueen, Shoreditch
The Sunday dinners: Afternoon tea on Friday, brunch on Saturday
The price: £29 and £34
What a week. Not only did we have a general election, but I also waved Mr Jus off on his latest cycling endurance race thing along the Atlantic coast of Ireland, entertained my friend, fruitlessly searched for my next Celebrity Sunday Dinner Diary companion, and had my period. Let’s have a recap before I tell you all about how much I can’t stand the fucking sight of Prosecco.
We begin, last Sunday, with this:
I sent a friend request to my other compass points, in the hope that if we became Facebook friends, it could trigger some powerful union, which would kick into play the magical powers I believe are hidden deep within me, even though I still can’t make a pen move across a table just by staring at it. I’ve been trying, on and off, for 30 years now. I imagined, if we connected, it’d be a bit like Charmed for the WhatsApp generation.
Only Faye North replied, asking if we knew each other. I told her no and explained my quest. It warranted a ‘LOL’ and then an ‘LMAO’. I never heard from her again. Oh well. She was a woman of few words – just ridiculous acronyms – so it’s her loss, not mine. She can go fuck herself if she ever needs a hand summoning up a spirit.
I decided to stop twatting about on Monday, and got my politics on again. I signed up for something – I’m not sure what – outside the train station and was given a poster for my troubles, which Ripley appeared to support, despite her being a massive, daft racist.
On Tuesday, Mr Jus left for Ireland. He gave me a lovely card, in which he wrote that he loved me and my comedy and was pleased and proud I was with him and so forth. I absolutely love that kind of shit and it didn’t bother me (much) that it contained no money.
I’m very proud of him, you know. I’m impressed he has the stamina, energy and motivation to undertake such challenges. Plus he has rock hard, massive thighs, which are really hot. Like giant sex hams. Not that I have a meat fetish. I’m more into fish. That was a Finding Nemo cry-wank reference, by the way. I hope those of you who know about that incident appreciate it.
I’m such a weak, lazy waster in comparison. And that’s not me being hard on myself. By way of example, I managed to take my makeup off three nights on the spin this week, and congratulated myself for being at the top of my game. Still, I’m the one who’s got a fucking job, remember.
I spent the rest of the evening feeling anxious, while simultaneously looking for attention and validation on Facebook, as per usual.
On Wednesday, I whiled away the hours writing, then screen-shotting, then deleting, tweets I wanted to send to the celebrities who’ve done me wrong. Not that I remain angry and bitter, Spike.
1. Her friend bought her a large bush for a birthday present, which she had to negotiate back to Birmingham on a train and bus from Bewdley and it pissed her off, which delighted me as I could imagine her anger. Then I felt sad, because I remembered the time I met Mr Jus in Tokyo and he made me bring a giant bottle of sake and the clothes he wore when he had dysentery home with me, the stench of which ruined the lining of my case, while he fucked off cycling to New Zealand.
2. She went on a day trip to London for another friend’s birthday. One of the group gave a present at the station – a giant Shaun the Sheep. As you do. The birthday girl had never expressed an interest in Nick Park’s creations, nor did she want to carry a massive fucking teddy around the capital, so had to pay for it to be put in storage at Euston. I laughed away merrily. Then I felt sad, because I remembered the time Mr Jus bought me that 3D ceramic model of himself for Christmas. And how he’d bought his mum the same thing, which I then had to pay to post to her (£4.19), because he fucked off cycling to Argentina.
Here’s that ceramic model. I’ve positioned it next to the giant bottle of sake I mentioned. I’m not having a glass of wine while I write, despite what the photo might suggest.
Right. Let’s move on. But not before I tell Mr Jus, who I hope will read this, that I love him and miss him. I think you’re fantastic, my monkey, and I’m sorry that I sometimes reveal too much about us here, and I moan about not getting enough sex, but I write it just to be coarse, and in an attempt to be funny. And because it’s true.
Please stay safe and focused and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s annoying and boring, for starters. Be proud and strong and confident. You’re lovely, great, super, smashing, funny, hot and clever and I can handle the autism. I’m not pissed (I am), by the way.
Anyway, this week, I’m reviewing two of Wowcher’s Bottomless Prosecco deals. We all love a bit of Prosecco, don’t we lads?
The first venue was DoubleTree Hilton at Canary Wharf or Docklands or wherever. I’m not from round here. It was Linda’s birthday on Friday, so we had a bottle before we left the house at 10.48am. What a fine idea. But one that has made my memory of the afternoon’s proceedings somewhat sketchy. I’ll attempt to pull things together. Here’s the fodder:
I’d already started eating before I remembered this food blogging bullshit I attempt each week, so apologies for the half-eaten sandwich in the photo. Look how daintily I bite though. Here are the top five things you should know about this set up:
1. You have to get a boat. Made me feel a bit sick.
2. The sandwiches are cream cheese and cucumber, cream cheese and salmon, and fuck knows. Seriously, neither of us could identify its contents. A chicken paste, perhaps? Mustard seed? Haven’t. A. Fucking. Clue.
3. The waiter disappears after the first glass of Prosecco, so you can’t really enjoy things, because you’re wondering where he is and if he’ll ever return, and so you just up feeling really stressed and angry.
4. The carrot cake was a bit stale.
5. Everything is ok if you befriend people on a neighbouring table who are even more common than you. It’s hard to believe I can find them, I know. But I did. They’re the kind of people who are happy to just help themselves to drinks and get more for you too. We lucked out.
Needless to say, I was very drunk by the end of it. Which, in all honesty, was what I will always set out to achieve when partaking in a deal of that nature. For I am pathetic, immature, unmeasured and an alcoholic glutton. But I do have that job, remember.
For me, going ‘bottomless’ is a challenge. A mission. A bit like Mr Jus’ cycling, I suppose. We’re both clearly very goal-orientated.
All in all, it didn’t blow me away. Although I don’t remember getting home. The food was edible, although partly unidentifiable, and distinctly uninspiring. The Prosecco only flowed thanks to the sterling work of other patrons.
Final score: 19/33
On Saturday, we decided not to preload on booze, and soberly made our way over to Shoreditch. We strolled through Spitalfields and enjoyed the sunshine before heading to McQueen to enjoy its Chesterfield sofas, exposed brick walls and photos of Steve McQueen. Three things I also had in my bedroom as a teenager. That’s not quite true – I had posters of New Kids On The Block, who all rejected my advances on Twitter, because they’re selfish and ungrateful.
Linda likes Steve McQueen though. And I like exposed brick walls. We can take or leave Chesterfields.
We both chose burger and chips from the brunch menu. Here it is: It’s not winning too many points for presentation as it’s on a bastard chopping board and the burger appears to be on the piss, but hey, aren’t we all, lads?
Linda ordered a side salad, which incurred an extra charge. I tried not to visibly flinch. It was, in layman’s terms:
I tried not to let it get to me. I really did. I concentrated instead on how friendly, attentive, and, most importantly, present the staff were. My glass never ran dry. In fact, I’d go as far as to say they were almost too zealous, if that’s possible. I can assure it is possible if you still feel a bit ropey from the day before and are wondering how you could be such an idiot to have two deals in two days. It’s just asking for trouble.
I paced my drinking and set about the chopping board of chow. The burger was tasty and the chips a crispy delight. Linda didn’t eat all of the lettuce, which pissed me off a bit, so I thought about her struggling with a massive bush through the streets of Birmingham, and I kind of felt ok again.
The bar was packed with other Wowcher voucher users and had a nice buzz about it, with only one table of shrieking women regularly erupting into fits of laughter over shit all. I was pleased they were having a good time and have little time or respect for my ear drums as it is, so it was fine.
Linda felt the Prosecco was of a superior quality at this second venue and thoroughly enjoyed ogling Steve. I was more fascinated by the toilet cubicle, where I took this chilling photograph folllowing a hearty, yet slightly fizzy, piss. I think we can all see that my face is haunted by the price of that salad, I need to practice putting eyeliner on, and my pout is more ‘pursed lips of a moderate smoker’ than Angelina Jolie, but look – FUN BOG MIRRORS.
I enjoyed McQueen, you know. The food was good and the Prosecco flowed. Constantly. For one and a half hours. It was only an hour at The Hilton AND the waiter did his Lord Lucan trick there. So, for just £5 more, if you exclude service charge and that fucking salad, you get a much better deal and service. I’d happily go back, although I can’t actually stand the sight, let alone the taste, of Prosecco right now. I’ll need to give it a couple of days or maybe have a quick nap now and see how I feel come tea time.
Final score: 25/33