Saturday, 23 May 2009

Ten rounds at the Ten Bells

Defining what and who is cool is a tricky thing. Of course there are some absolutes. Obama is cool. Gordon Brown is not. Samuel L Jackson is cool. Lenny Henry is not. Bat for Lashes are cool. Coldplay are not. London and New York are cool. New Zealand and Australia, and in fact anyone from there are / is not. That's what you get for being born in the Antipodes.
Friday night lights and the plan was to meet Scary Spice at Vinyl in Camden where her new boyfriend was hosting a club night. Excellent - a chance to strut my moves and embarrass myself in front of a new audience. Except a last minute call from Scary said there was a change of plan and we couldn't go. There were a lot of reasons she said. Not the right time, place etc. But reading between the many lines I think it's because although the Northerner is cool, yours truly is not. That's what you get for being born in New Zealand.
Undaunted, and feeling flush after a recent windfall the call went out and I met Heavy D and the Northerner at the Ten Bells on Commercial Street. This pub is apparently the local of Alexa Chung (who is cool) and others from the edgier music set. The place is full of graphic designer, fashion students, music heads and other creatives all of whom are most definitely cool. And Heavy D was there who most definitely is not. The pub was around in the time of Jack the Ripper, and to be honest, it looks as if little has been done in terms of decorations since then. The walls are still covered with the original tiles (very cool) with one area decorated with the most amazing handpainted mosaic. But of course you are there to spend a night on rather then admire the tiles, and the Bells comes up trumps on that front. The wine and beer selections are basic but decent, and with the now de rigeur 80's soundtrack pumping in the background (rock and goth that is cool, rather then pop that is not) this place kicks off. We stood outside with the other street urchins for the first half of the evening to make the most of the warm summer evening. Retreating inside around 830pm and the place was settling into that early doors delirium where the punters having long since abandoned their plans for the rest of the evening. Which include Heavy, the Northerner and yours truly ,who didn't leave as late as we might normally but were certainly worse for wear. I believe tired and emotional is the term.
The Bells is one of my favourite pubs in London and Friday didn't disappoint in terms of music, ambience, and festive spirit. That's why its taken me two days to write this blog. And who knows, if I go there often enough I might one day be mistaken for being cool.


  1. It's Alexa Chung not Alexis.

  2. you care a lot about being cool don't you.?.. that's not particulary cool..