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Nov 20, 2000 10:16 AM

Ozer, Birdcage, Spoon or Pasha ?

  • m

I've been assigned the task of finding, at this late date, a place for a bunch of Yanks to have a non-traditional Thanksgiving on Thursday night (the "real thing" will be served Saturday night...)

Parameters: Six-eight people; reasonably easy to get to from Hammersmith; Clerkenwell; City; no Italian.

These are the thought balloons posted by constituency.
Any thoughts? Or any substitutes?

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  1. s
    Simon Majumdar

    I would doubt you would get a table for 6-8 at the Birdcage at such a late hour and quite why anyone would want to go to Spoon when they could gouge their own spleen out with a rusty knife instead, I don't know.

    Have you thought about L'oranger in Picadilly? Very good if pricey

    Also, Christophers just off the Strand may be appropriate. Have not been there for a while so can't speak for how good it is

    An unusual one might be to try St John's in Clerkenwell with the nose to tail eating that is there speciality

    In Exmouth Market ( near Islington, just in case you didn't know ) is Moro. A very good modern spanish place.

    Club Gascon in Clerkenwell will be different and good

    The restaurant in High Holborn hotel has had some fantastic reviews but is still possible to get in to.

    No1 Blossom St near Spitalfields is new and quite wonderful. A great dining room.

    Alfreds in Shaftsbury Avenue is a returning fave at the moment and would be fun if you don't want a specifically Thanksgiving menu.

    I still love the Brakenbury in Hammersmith one of the few places that would make me cross over to that part of town

    Finally, in times like this I always find it is worth being a member of a club. My own is called The Agency ( opposite the English national Opera )and they serve very good if simple food and will always prepare the private dining room at short notice. There are lots of them around not including the truly ghastly Groucho and Soho House clubs and for a relatively low annual fee, they can be a great bolt hole. My favourites apart from my own place are Pegs, The Green Room and Two Bridges. I have belonged to them all over time but always come back to The Agency.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Simon Majumdar

      hey simon, which clubs are worth getting into? and, which ones will still take members? i'm about to pay a small ransom to sign up at queens club, but thats strictly a tennis thing. what'll be ideal is a spot with comfy leather chairs, soothing wood panelling, ale on tap, hushed voices and cigar smoke. any thoughts?

      1. re: howler
        Simon Majumdar

        The sort of clubs you are talking about are quite a differnt thing. I was a member of one famous one but left because of their policy on not letting women in ( how very 21st Century of me ) and there are lots of these still around; The Garrick, The RAC, The Overseas, The Atheneaum etc. I am not keen and find their atmosphere rather fustian

        The clubs I mentioned in the last post are a development of the last 10 years. a little more mid level, aimed at mid-high income people who do not want to fight their way through pubs and want a certain amout of cossetting without to much baggage. My own is a great place with a small library, a series of meetings rooms ( it is a very business minded club ) a billiard room and a decent dining room bar. They deliberately keep the fees down and have a tradition that whatever you pay as a fee per year when you join will be what you pay every year. The membership in most of these "new " clubs is 50/50 male and female and they are great places to arrange to meet friend and colleague alike. I always arrange to meet dates there as if I am late ( as usual ) they will be looked after as my tab is always left running and they owners ( now very good friends ) will ensure no one will bother them. Not that anyone has ever tried.

        Each has a different feel. The Green Room is Theatrical, Two Bridges, small and cosy, The Agency, Media based.

        There is a wonderful place near you called The Chelsea Arts Club. May be a bit difficult to get into but well worth the effort. Good food at a huge antique communal dining table and a varied membership of old and new Chelsea bohemians

      2. re: Simon Majumdar

        OK - I take your point about Spoon. No spleen gouging will occur. You seem to know from whence you speak!

        Re: Clerkenwell/Exmouth/Spitalfields etc. - those would be great for me (St John, and St Jeanne AKA French House are currently in my top 5- in fact I just picked up some bread from former!)

        But alas, those who work in Hammersmith and Chiswick would not be amused.

        I will try for Brackenbury & Christophers.

        Clubs are indeed great for many reasons, though I have yet to find one (except RAC & Hurlingham, where sadly, I am not a member) where dinner is anything far above mediocre-to-tries-very-hard-but-doesn't-quite-make-it...though cocktails, ambiance and sometimes lunch are a different story.

        Peg's and Groucho are just too, too for me. I have reciprocal privileges at a bunch - including the Reform Club, City U. Club & the Travelers Club. Love 'em for lunch, and for lots of other reasons...

        1. re: magnolia
          Simon Majumdar

          I also hear good things about Incognico on Shaftsbury Avenue and Teatro on there ( which is also a club ) is better than it has any right to be being run by a dodgy ex-footballer and a not very good actress

          1. re: Simon Majumdar

            Incognico - ok - not fab. Decent wine list but it was bait & switch because even though they'd only open for a little while, they were out of two wines we would have ordered, and left them on the list anyway...

            Haven't been to Teatro...this is getting to be more difficult by the minute!