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Kensington Wine Rooms to Ealing Red Rooms. The journey.

February 16, 2013

Lovely evening out with a friend I qualified with and we had children around the same time. In fact she delivered the youngest. In the old days we used to meet up as families, then as couples and recently it has been just me and her after work. Non stop talk about everything and anything in civilised surroundings, great service and a plethora of wines by the glass in the aptly named Kensington Wine Rooms. Food was brasserie fare and perfectly acceptable. We went for the full three courses and stuffed ourselves.
The next night out was a slightly different ambience. Ealing Jazz Club. AKA The Red Rooms. We were there as part of the inaugaral festival to celebrate Ealing’s links with film and music. This is the club where British R and B was born, the Stones were introduced to each other and played their first gig. The Who played there, Mannfred Man, Rod Stewart – you get the idea. An historic venue. And one which we had never been to. Apparently in its usual guise of the Red Rooms it is a dive of a club but one of the few where you can get a drink at 2 am in Ealing. They let anyone in.
Down the steps we trot and I am surprised at how pleasant it is. I had expected much worse. Sticky floors and piss. But no. Admittedly the audience for this evening – where a live band will be playing – are not the usual punters I imagine. Mostly bearded blokes in leather jackets aged between 50 and 60. But it is pleasant enough and we sit with our friends and drink from plastic wine glasses. Its that kind of place. I had started drinking after lunch – at an informal work meeting (think saying informal was a bit unneccessary as I’d already mentioned the drinking), and then on to the hairdresser where I’d had three glasses of champagne. So I was fairly relaxed about the surroundings. In fact I rather like them – a bit of a cave-like feel with various rooms off rooms.
The band play and actually the blokes seem pretty good although they look like shit.It’s obviously all substance and no style for them. I don’t enjoy the female singers they bring on so much, too young, not enough cigarettes to have matured their larynxes yet. But we are there till they bring on the disco music and we bop around our table until it starts filling up with the usual lairy youngsters and suddenly the bouncers become noticeable and we decide to head back to ours.
It’s probably half one-ish at this point and we open the wine and pore over the vinyl albums for some reason. I can’t remember why but before I know it we are singing to the Dubliners “Seven Drunken Nights”. Husband used to sing it to the kids when they were little and they loved it. Great song. The albums come out, the wine still flows. I look to get something to eat as it is about half two now and we have the munchies. The cupboards are bare.
Some healthy snack shit beans husband has bought to try to keep us off the kettle chips. About one ounce of cheese. Shit crackers. I put a frozen garlic bread in and forget about it until it is black. We are literally down to slices of bread and butter and a packet of chocolate florentines left over from Christmas. It is appalling. We are the worst hosts in the world. My mother would be mortified, but I don’t care. Well, I do a bit but I know the people we are with will not judge us. Or probably more accurately, won’t remember that bit of the evening if we just keep plying the wine.
3:30 the cab comes to whisk our friends home. Bet they had a snack when they got in.

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