Thursday, 23 June 2011

Exercise Is For Fools (And Other Such Excuses)

By Cat McGovern.

(To my boyfriend) “How did I get home?”
Boyfriend: “I put you in a cab.”
Me: “What about the restaurant launch?”
Boyfriend: “We went and it was great.”
Me: “My head hurts.”
Boyfriend: “Yes dear, now go back to sleep.”

Normally when I go to new bar and restaurant launches I am composed, witty and attentive. I fear that my Irish roots, on this very rare occasion, had come to the surface and obliterated that carefully constructed image.

It all started by going to the gym before heading to the brand new west London restaurant, Baity Kitchen. This was my first mistake.

Exercise is for fools, it seems, as it causes dehydration, leaving you to reach for anything liquid. I chose Prosecco. Upon entering the calming vibes of Baity Kitchen - situated in one of the poshest parts of Chelsea and just round the corner from Bibendum - I was handed a flute of this delicious nectar and mistook it for water. Oh dear, one glass gone.

The manager explained that the food is Mediterranean/Arabic and is made fresh on site. All the ingredients are seasonal and, because of this, there isn’t really a fixed menu, just what the chef cooks up for that day. I have to say that, as my glass was topped up, the food in the cabinets looked fantastic, particularly the artichokes. This was when I probably should have eaten, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Their piece de resistance was the quaint terraced garden at the back. The billowing trees and subtle scent of lavender was an oasis of calm in the craziness of Chelsea. I decided this was the best place for me to be and make myself comfortable for the evening, right next to the blossoming strawberries growing there.

I started to feel a bit light-headed but thankfully samples of their menu were distributed around. Spoons, filled with a sort of steak tartare base, pleased my palate, as did the lamb koftas. However, these small bites did not aid with my tipsy feeling. Third glass down and now the PR lady was encouraging me to have another. Oh go on then, it was nearly the weekend, I jested; why not.

My boyfriend knows when I’ve had too many, so he rightfully guided me through the restaurant and to a black cab. Well done him.

The next morning, as I struggled to get ready for work, I noticed a Baity Kitchen tote. I peered inside and saw a big bag of herbs, raspberry jam and what appeared to be a cupcake in a jar. At first I thought it was loot that I had collected over the evening, however my boyfriend reassured me that it was indeed a parting gift of thanks. Phew.

And just so you know, the cupcake in a jar cured the hangover; along with gallons of water. I think next time I’ll skip the gym; it does more harm than good.

To find out about more brand new bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs in London, follow this link

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