You know the bit about new financial year, good habits, pennies and punds etc....all those good bits of advice and clever budgeting to make savings......well all I can say is don't set foot out of the door! I've been in a bit of a bubble and thought a mid week evening out would do me good.
My usual modicome of awareness, sensibleness does seem to have had a dip. In fact a Met Bar bill of £29.25 and a Claridges bar bill of £31.08 dip in that order. Ok the Met Bar bill was worth it - the Claridges's one wasn't - more of this later.
The evening started so well, a jolly jaunt down South Molton street to the Kurt Geiger/Stella (Telegraph magazine) 20% off evening. Some refreshing pomegranate juice followed by a light champagne cocktail and the purchase of afore mentioned sandals (in white, navy has been withdrawn?). It was fun to encourage others in the purchase of a lovely azure blue Marc by Marc Jacobs large envelope clutch bag. It was all girlie and delightful and with my 20% off I should have skipped home.
But no...I'd brought a pal along, an American who is new to London and lovin' it! She's done the Jack the Ripper tour a few times already. So I though it would be nice for her to see Mayfair perhaps a little tipple at the Met Bar and then home.
Two martinis later I'm really ready to go home but my friend is only just starting. I've had nothing to eat and set about demolishing the wasabi peas and olives. I thought the wasabi peas were cheesy peas at first - and that was before the first martini. We vacate our bar stools at the Met and grab a taxi to Claridges bar as pal not been before. I'm happy to accomadate but point out pubs/restaurants on Shepard Street to no avail.
Taxi driver decides to pull up right outside Claridges Hotel and my friend and I get full on papped! I'm afraid it is my arse that gets the flash treatment as I pay cabbie - who along with other cabbie chums likes to sport with paps hence drop off outside hotel not bar entrance. It soon stopped when our nobody status was determined but if you do see an arse shot of wide legged denim jeans and black J Crew blazer then you know I've been a butt double for someone.
Then the joys of hotel bars were forced upon me - as in no joy only trouble. A few years ago a friend and I had innocently walked into the Harvey Nicks bar after a light supper in their cafe. It took us one drink and a few unwelcome stares from single women for us to realise that we'd inadvertently entered a hookers den. Ok, the old business men types should have alerted us as well, but a nice cocktail after burger and fat chips was all that was on our minds. Having never ventured back - obviously - I don't know what the newly refurbed Harvey Nicks bar is like now......but if it has changed, then then the girls have plonked themselves firmly in Claridges.
Again, it took one drink for me to get the measure of the place, the hard stares of single women and a rather old pinstripe number in our direction! Granted, there were some other groups, mainly men, one couple (they too were innocents abroad), Rupert the bear (foppish velvet jacket clad man who feigned Brideshead Revisited aura) and the staff. American friend was in mood to pour forth in between ordering drinks and asking me 'what those bitches were staring at' - full on American accent required.
By which time my pal was trollied and in for the night. I resigned myself to coffee, feigning indifference and keeping my fingers crossed. When two guys got too friendly I called for the bill/check and gathered giggling, crumpled friend up and firmly escorted her out of hotel via the foyer. This is the sanitised version believe me!
Moral of the story, choose Sky+ on a Wednesday night and a cup of coco - you'll be wealthier and less wise about the ways of the world. Mind you love the sandals!