1. The Grafton Finally Opens (Softly) Tomorrow. Says co-owner Susie: ‘Folks can come down for a sneaky peek ahead of official launch on 28th (although please bear with us while we’re getting settled in!) We have 6 real ale pumps, a quirky spirit range and lots of craft beers. James will be cooking up simple fare, just 3 mains this week, a veggie, a fish and meat dish plus tasty sides and roasts on Sunday.’ Official launch details next week.
2. Brewery’s Winter Secrets Revealed. Further along Prince Of Wales, the cobbled brewing behemoth is fighting back, about to transform its whole damn mews with seasonal marquee and woodburners to warm revellers in those nippy autumnal months, according to softly-spoken boss bloke Jasper Cuppaidge. Expect the winter wonderland to pop up any minute (and certainly by October 1). Don’t forget it’s open all day Thurs-Sat now (although we keep nagging them for a daily service).
3. Giles Coren Reveals All. Yes, we have seduced one of NW5’s most notorious residents into divulging his thoughts on K-Town. Where are his six favourite hangouts? Which shop on Kentish Town Road did he ‘pull’ a girl in? Which local restaurant does he credit with first tasting his favourite ever dish? Don’t miss next Tuesday’s ‘Ich Bin Kentishtowner’.
4. Folksjam At The Hawley. We hardly ever visit these days, so we’re always surprised by how relaxed it is. And this weekend’s Folksjam gig (Sunday 4pm) sounds fun. Plus it’s for charidee. And free. Acts include ‘loop-pedal meister Chime Hours, lady bards Hannah Curwood and the Good Girls and Latino gypsy music from Los Pelos Rizos.’ Crikey.
5. Catch Camden’s Best at Aces & Eights. Another bar we simply don’t frequent enough is Aces & Eights. It’s gorgeous in a perfect divebar kinda way, with cocktails that can obliterate all memory of the hysterical time you actually had.
And for us a recent revelation is their downstairs room, where it now hosts weekly live music shindigs in association with Camden Brewery (them again!) We haven’t been yet, but hear it’s tres cool.
So let’s all support this coupling of two very compatible bedfellows. Horny, even.
6. Mario’s Cafe Is Open.
Mario emailed us to say Kentish Town’s legendary cafe, immortalized by Saint Etienne, is open, contrary to reports that it’s closed until November. He confesses he’s had a ‘pretty tough 8 months setting up a coffee shop in Stratford which didn’t live up to the Olympic dream surprise surprise.’ He explained that some regulars were worried about him abandoning Mario’s, but, if anything ‘it’s made me appreciate it more.’ Ahh. And the future? ‘I’m thinking of ways to improve Mario’s and take it to another level so watch this space…’ Intriguing!
7. Spice & Rice Have Bagged A Michelin Chef. Really they have! Or so they claim on the chalkboard outside the restaurant (we were on the bus, chatting, and had to actually get off to take this snap). And they’re under new management too, already. We have to say we really quite liked our experience there back in early summer, where the thai green curry was about as fragrant as they get. So we’re curious.