Tag Archives: oxford circus

Bright Lights, Big City – Episode 2

So in the words of The Four Seasons, “Oh what a night!”

Hair was a flop, attempting the curly-do thing that a hairdresser had once made look so effortless was much harder to replicate than expected! After spending half an hour unsuccessfully curling my hair I had ended up with a dreadlock effect so then had to spend half an hour straightening it back out again! Skater dress was a bit too short.I wore thick black tights with it but still felt that it barely covered my behind, which was fine when walking along the road but up escalators and on windy platforms I felt like I was doing my own mini Burlesque show for fellow passengers!

Unperturbed by my appearance I headed up to Oxford Circus to meet my friend and onto the nearest cocktail bar adjacent to the restaurant we were dining in. The über glamorous door lady, or Concierge or whatever pretentious  title she awarded herself, showed us past the nice tables that were reserved by Made In Chelsea extras and to the non-reserved area which was basically a couple of carpet tiles at the end of the bar. I offered to buy the first round of Mojitos, the barman mixed a couple of measures of rum with mint leaves, sugar, lime and lots of crushed ice, we waited excitedly for our drinks and as I took my first sip of the delicious mix I was stung with a bar bill of £17! Seriously, £8.50 a drink, I glanced at the bottle of rum to make sure it wasn’t lined with gold and reluctantly passed over my debit card. With raised eyebrows we drunk our very expensive drinks, literally sucking the mint leaves dry as they were probably worth a £1 each of liquid.

Onto dinner which was an Indian restaurant in a very fancy setting. We opted for a set menu, both of us starving and was presented with a starter that I think was meant for an Oompa Loompa judging by its size. Still, it was delicious and even though the main course was only marginally larger, it satisfied us as we had eaten so much of the crushed ice from the Mojitos in an attempt to suck up the last of the cocktail. The silver lining was that the set menu came with half price cocktails, so feeling slightly less ripped off, meant we could go for two each guilt free!

Following dinner, we took a walk through a very bustling Soho, people crammed on the streets soaking up the last of the warmish day. It’s a great area and if you can take a small loan out beforehand, a great place to bar hop. We found a bar off the main drag so we could get a couple of vodkas for the bargain price of £4.50 each and relaxed into our people watching and reminiscing about Telegraph days and nights out.

We headed our separate ways about 11ish, my friend North London bound and me out to Essex, which involved a quick tube journey to Liverpool Street where I braced myself for the overhead train, otherwise known as The Vomit Comet after 11pm on a Friday night. I scanned the seat options for my 35 minute journey home to see who looked least likely to vom, or in fact talk to me at all. Due to lack of funds, I was feeling surprisingly sober and not up for any inane chit-chat with a group of drunken Romford brokers. I opted for a seat opposite a couple my parents age with theatre programmes, safe bet with an empty chair beside me. I exchanged smiles with theatre couple and engrossed myself in The Evening  Standard.

Arriving at Stratford a very odd, freakishly tall man got on, he scanned for available seats, ignored the empty ones behind me, took a long stare at a couple of young giggly office girls then laid his eyes on me and to my horror sat down beside me. He folded his legs into the small leg area much to the annoyance of theatre couple and proceeded to widen his legs to squash me up against the train wall whilst giving me a leering look. I hid myself behind my Standard and tried my best to not allow his leg to rest next to mine. Theatre woman leant forward as a bit of support giving pervy man a menacing look on my behalf, he seemed to enjoy this attention and continued to steal obvious glances my way, I exchanged uncomfortable looks with a sympathetic theatre woman, trying to work out if I could climb into the overhead rack unnoticed to get away from him. The next stop was the not-so-leafy Forest Gate and thankfully it was his stop, he got up by squashing me even more against the wall with a last little nudge and was gone. What a relief! Theatre woman told me “she had had my back and was keeping a close eye on him”. I thanked her and said I was glad I was no longer hemmed in by the weirdo. A young girl then sat in his place and theatre woman said I was able to relax for the rest of the journey now. And as she said it, right on cue, a trombone gave out an enormous noise and a Romanian band had boarded the train. The band consisted of a trombone, a trumpet and a man with a drum who doubled up as a singer. Unbelievable. I started to think maybe the Mojito’s were stronger than I first thought as the band squeezed through the seats playing their unique version of The Saints Go Marching In. Or as he sang “Oh wen the says go-a marshing in”.

I was glad to get off the train and back home to near normality. A great night with fab company and apart from Train Perv, one I would be happy to repeat.