Lunching, and other depravities

   Well, what a fun weekend last weekend was. Katie Smith, a sweet and very pretty friend of mine, came to stay for two nights and we had planned various outings in London. On Friday we started our day at the South Bank, firstly with a coffee at Vergnano’s by the Royal Festival Hall. They really do make the best coffee in London. However, I was irritated and surprised in such an upmarket establishment, that the woman before me in the ladies, who’d chatted to me a bit whilst queuing, had peed all over the seat and not flushed either. And they say men are like that! They are nice loos, though, despite certain clients!

   We strolled round the German-style Christmas market by the Millennium footbridges which is very pretty and merits a closer look when there’s more time. Then we walked to Soho to eat at Bistro 1 in Frith Street where I had booked a table. Our friends Irene and Helena joined us. The food was good as ever, and great value, and the wine was decent. Katie and I went with Irene to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on the Mall where the exhibition was, I’m sorry to say, the worst of pretentious modern art. Oh, well, at least we had a dose of culture!

   Irene left us and Katie and I went to Covent Garden to look at the market stalls – I get so much of my jewellery there. We also dropped into Charles Fox for makeup. Katie had never been to the Kurt Geiger shop on the corner of Covent Garden piazza and James Street, so we had to go in. She loved the mirrors and I loved the bargain pale grey ankle boots that I just had to buy. We were aiming for Oxford Street but I needed a rest so we stopped at Lick in Greek St for a cup of tea. The gorgeous-looking ice creams would have been tempting on a warmer day. Susan Sometimes texted me and she was, incredibly, at Cambridge Circus just round the corner so she met us there. CafĂ© Boheme, which Susan suggested, was quite full so instead we went to the downstairs bar at the Curzon cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue and ended up spending three hours there as it was so enjoyable just nattering and sipping strawberry cider, amaretto, winter warmer cider … perfect! Such a simple and relaxing day, yet we did a lot.

   On Saturday I had to work but we’d decided to go to the Way Out Club in the City of London that evening. Now, this is one of the few London trans clubs and, as I’ve never visited any, this was an Important Event, like I was now going to qualify for my tranny license at last!

   We got there quite early, about 10.45, so got in cheap and got our complimentary cocktail (which is, as Helena had warned, like orange squash with a tiny drop of vodka). Oh, well, never turn down a freebie! The bar staff are pretty efficient there, to be fair. Irene was there and later my great friend Joanne Frost and Michelle Collins joined us. The club isn’t a patch on somewhere like Pink Punters, and the ‘admirers’ really are the scrapings of the barrel. Dear God! What a bunch of ugly, fat, scruffy, sad losers! The Thai and Filipino girls there do, however, put the rest of us to shame for their fabulous looks, and for their charity in talking to the ugly, sad, scruffy, fat losers! (though I suspect most of the ‘admirers’ have to pay for the attention). I quite enjoyed the floor show, Vicky Lee introducing her disabled nephew who made a good ‘sit-down’ comedian, and then two singers, one of whom was Vicki Vivacious (I shall remember the other’s name in due course and add it. ... ADD: it was Vanilla Lush). I thought they were quite good. And had fab legs, of course. It does all have an air of an am dram production, though. Katie and I sat around for a bit looking at outfits, watching spontaneous pole dancing girls and taking photos of each other (hey, we’re T-Girls, what do you expect). I’m glad I went and saw the place, but honestly the tranny clubs in Leeds, Manchester and Milton Keynes are much better.

   Sadly, the evening had to come to an end and we went back to Katie’s hotel room where it was much easier for us to stay rather than trying to venture back to my home in the suburbs at 3am via the lovely night bus network.

   On Sunday, Katie and I went our separate ways home. Mid-afternoon, though, I went out again to the Cambridge pub on Cambridge Circus where Joanne had agreed to meet me and Michelle. I had a mulled wine, which was just nice on a cold day. We decided to choose a previously untried Soho restaurant at random and went to Piccolo Diavolo in Old Compton Street. The food was OK, but nothing special. The Italian chardonnay, another random choice, was surprisingly good, though. We finished with a warming Irish coffee in a pub just off Southampton Row.

  All in all, a very sociable and nice weekend.

   Many thanks to Irene, Helena Love, Susan Sometimes, Joanne Frost and Michelle Collins for making it such fun and for being such good company, and an especial thanks to Katie Smith for being such a perfect companion.

Sue x