D4D

Slapping the Stupid with Stun-Guns

Archive for the category “BurgerCrawl”

Reburgered

Last weekend, I went to one of my favourite food places in London, Mac and Wild. (OK, I went to a couple of my favourite places, but that’s a different story) They had a special burger on, which was only happening ’til yesterday, and I wanted to try it.

I ordered it (along with their cocktail of the month) and everything arrived and was lovely. As expected.

But then I saw other people’s photos of their Murray burgers, and mine was… different.  I had assumed that the black pudding was mixed into the patty, which gave it a really deep meaty taste without being a dollop of black pudding – but all the photos had a layer of black pudding on them.

So I mentioned this to Mac and Wild on Twitter, along with the above photo.  And within a couple of hours they’d come back to me, saying “Oops, looks like you had the Highlander instead of the Murray Mound. We’re really sorry – if you can make it in before the 15th, we’ll do you one for free“.  Note, I hadn’t asked for this, nor expected anything at all.  So already I’m pretty impressed.

As I was already planning to be back in London on Saturday, I took them up on that offer.

And bloody marvellous it was, too.

Now, I did pay for the burger – because I insisted on doing so.  Mistakes happen, and I’m fine with that. And I don’t feel like it was fair to get a freebie for a simple mistake – I love Mac and Wild anyway, so it was actually the simple offer, and the speed of it, that impressed me, rather than getting free food.

It’s that service (well, and the excellent food!) that keeps me going to places like Mac and Wild – they always give the impression that they give a damn. To have gone straight to “Oops, sorry” rather than arguing the toss, to accept and own the mistake and make amends for it, that’s impressive.

And long may that continue.

Final Weeks

We’re coming to the end of 2016, and things are (kind of) calming down a bit here.

Mind you, in the next month the main events are

  • Seeing Glenda Jackson in King Lear at the Old Vic in London
  • Seeing The Tempest in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • A Festive BurgerCrawl in London – only Christmas Special burgers allowed. (That’s pretty much planned already)
  • Meals at five Michelin-starred restaurants, including one for New Year’s Eve

and alongside that there’s also

  • at least one techie meetup/socialisation night
  • two social things with other friends and contacts
  • a minimum of three films (that’re already booked) including Rogue One and Passengers, plus any others I choose to see

That’s about it – except for the standard stuff around the Festering Season as well.

And yet still, that’s a lot quieter and calmer than a lot of the year has been. Which just goes to show, sometimes I can be a spectacularly busy idiot…

Mislaid Plans

Back at the start of the year, one of my stated aims was to put more money into savings.  I’d finally finished my bankruptcy’s payment plan at the end of 2015, so the plan was that I’d put that straight into savings instead of into the payment plan.

That aim has kind-of worked, but not to the extent I intended to.  Road to hell, Good intentions, and all that rot.

I looked back this week – coming to the last third of the year, I wanted to review where I was.  I’ve certainly added to the savings, but it’s not been to the full extent that it could/should have been.

There’s some reasoning behind it, when I looked into it and thought about it.  Primarily, it’s the first time in way too many years (certainly far preceding the bankruptcy) where I’ve had disposable income – and I can’t deny, I’ve been taking advantage of that this year.

It’s been one heck of a year, with a lot going on – as I’ve written about before – and some of that has been funded by the money that “should” have been getting funnelled into savings.  I can’t – and won’t – deny it, I should have been a bit better, a bit smarter about it, but well, I haven’t.

I’m already making plans for 2017 to be much calmer, to not be going quite so barmy about having time, space and money. From January, that money *will* be going to rebuild savings.

2016 has been a mad old year, with lots going on. 2017 is going to be a good year, but a bit more relaxed, a bit more sensible. Not perfect – I’m never going to claim that – but I know what needs to be done, and I intend to be doing it.

Quiet, Because Busy

It’s been a quiet week chez D4D™, although that’s primarily been because life has been idiotically busy instead. In fact, all of August and September are ridiculous, with very little in the way of spare time.  Weekday evenings are (generally, kinda/sorta) available, but weekends and so on are completely blocked out.

Last weekend was spent in London on the Saturday (including food at Benares, which was excellent) and then meeting friends on the Sunday.  During the week I was then at the cinema one evening, back in London on another, and handling all the standard domestic tat in the meantime – as well as work, which wasn’t an easy week, with lots of rewrites and rethinks of stuff that had been written a while back.

This weekend, today was spent (again) in London, visiting Blues Kitchen and MeatMarket, and then seeing Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre. Tomorrow is likely to be a daytrip somewhere, and walking round or whatever.

From here, there’s another meal (this time at Hibiscus) and then a concert, a birthday event, and the Threepenny Opera at the National.

September is even dafter, including :  Meatopia, watching The The’s “Infected” film, and seeing The Alchemist and Doctor Faustus – both at the Barbican, so I’m there three weeks on the trot, as I’ll use their parking for Meatopia as well. Finally, at the end of September, I actually have a week away, down in Cornwall. Much-needed currently, it has to be said.

I’ll be writing more stuff here to be going on with, but that’s why it’s been quiet round these parts over the last week or so.

Crawling

Today I’m off down to London with a couple of friends, doing another Burger Crawl.

It’s been organised by one of the others, so I’ve no idea what the full plan/route is yet, but it should be fun.

London – Meat and Hamlet

Last weekend, I was very lucky.  A friend had gained tickets for Hamlet (with Benedict Cumberbatch) at the Barbican for herself and a few others. As it turned out, one of those people couldn’t go, so the ticket was up for grabs. And I thought “Yeah, OK, go for that”. So I did.

I have to be honest, it’s not something I was eagerly wanting to see. I’m a bit of a philistine, and don’t really know Shakespeare’s stuff as much as I could/should.  Yes, I know Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet – plus bits of Tempest, but only because I’ve seen Return To Forbidden Planet.  I’d never been to see a Shakespeare play at the theatre, and really had no idea what to expect.

Anyway, things being as they are, I decided to make a day of it – and then both Honest and Blues Kitchen revealed new specials on their menus.  Well, it’d be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

The new special at Blues Kitchen

It turns out, you can park at the Barbican for the whole day on weekends for £8. That’s not far short of remarkable – and something I’ll definitely be taking advantage of again in the future.  I figured it would be ridiculously busy later in the day, so went up early, when the entire place was virtually empty.  (I’m glad I did, because the parking spaces are… entertaining, to say the least)

From Barbican, I could easily walk to everywhere else I wanted to be that day – bearing in mind, that’s “easily walk” in my terms, not necessarily those of anyone else/sane – so it was an easy day. A long one, as it turned out, but pretty easy.

I got to Barbican, parked up, and wandered. I knew where I was heading – but hadn’t actually clocked how close things were. It was about a mile, so not a long walk at all. (As always, for my values, not necessarily those of anyone else)  As a result, I was there far earlier than expected, and well before they actually opened. So – a further walk and explore was the result.

Once they opened, and I’d ordered, the Blues Kitchen burger was absolutely stonking. Best I’ve had in a long time…

The Pig KahunaThen a walk down to Honest – again, about a mile, maybe a bit further – and more of the same. I wasn’t overly taken with that special – it was still good, but not actually all that special.

From there, I had quite the wander – bits I didn’t know all that well, so spent some time mooching around, making discoveries, connecting parts of my mental map of London, and all that kind of thing.

post_burger_walkAnd then eventually back to Barbican, where I spent a very relaxed time on the Lakeside Terrace, reading and people-watching.

I’ll comment about Hamlet in another post – but safe to say, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Getting back was a doddle too – I’d expected the car park to fill up for the evening, which didn’t happen. So the performance finished at about 10.30, and I was home just after midnight. All told, a very civilised way to do a Saturday…

Burger Crawl

Over the weekend, I took part in a very silly event that I’d discussed and come up with – a Burger Crawl in London.

It started off with a conversation about alternatives to pub crawls – I can’t even remember why it came up – but it seemed like a fun idea.

Originally it was going to be four of us as a trial run, but two dropped out, so it ended up just being one friend and me doing it, but that was fine.

Because it was the first one, and my idea, it ended up being my plan for where to go. So I made the choice that it was going to be all new places, nowhere we’d been before, and all in a similar area of London, rather than roaming all over the place.

As it turned out, it almost started badly. The place I’d picked for the first one – breakfast at Honest Burger‘s place near Liverpool Street – wasn’t open, they only do breakfasts Monday to Friday.  So, a bit of a trip on the first hurdle, but we had other places on the list of possibles, and went for one of those instead.

So the final list was

We did well – much more food and it would’ve involved exploding stomachs – and was a brilliant day with all the new venues being excellent. I plan to return to all of them – just maybe not all in one day again.

Oh – and we covered a fair amount of distance as well, which probably helped in dealing with the amount of food…

Distance Covered

There will be more BurgerCrawls in the future – and we’ve had a couple of other related ideas too – but for a first go, it all went really well, and definitely a success.

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