Friday, 21 June 2013

A6: S5 - No-one Suspects a Wednesday...

I'm not sure whether it was the sunlight streaming through the blinds which woke me this morning, the sledgehammer headache doing its best to beat my eyeballs out of my head, or the swilling dizzy sickness dancing in my stomach... But aside from that, my first thought as I opened my eyes and looked around the room, was of complete and utter confusion.




I found myself lying on the sofa of an, albeit very beautiful, completely unknown flat, with Pistol sprawled out on the floor by my feet, snoring lightly.

I very delicately got to my feet, the unfamiliar room spinning dangerously around me, walked to the far side of the room and examined the photo frame on the mantelpiece, trying to get some indication of who's house we were in. The photo was of six very pretty blonde girls in cocktail dresses, none of which I recognised in the slightest.

My body protesting angrily, I sat back down on the sofa, to the sudden sound of movement in the flat.

I stared in anxious anticipation at the hallway, like those kids in the car in Jurassic Park when the water starts to tremble, hearing the rapidly approaching footsteps but having no idea what, or who, was going to be coming round the corner, and if they even knew that we were here.

"Come on, time to get up!"

A smiley blonde girl chirped, dress in a orange sundress and cream blazer with sunglasses on her head. Pistol grumbled and opened his bloodshot eyes with the same confusion I had upon waking, and gazed questionably up at the girl in the hallway.

"Oh... Fuck." He croaked, and suddenly the whole night came flooding back to me.

*

They day had begun so harmlessly.

In regards to the Cosmopolitan internship, I promised JK of The Wonder Crew, that if I managed to successfully get the job through the cupcakes, then I would personally hand deliver him a box of bespoke cupcakes to him at work.

Although I am just waiting for the final confirmation letter to sign, I got the job.

Ladies & Gentleman, that is how you get your dream job with cake!

Once I have that final confirmation, I shall do a big blog post about it.

I also had to pick up some Scarphelia stickers from Shoreditch, so I thought, to kill two birds with one stone, I'd go deliver JK his cupcakes, then head off to my favourite place in all the land, East London, and chill in Shoreditch for a bit.


The beautiful cupcakes, made again by the amazing Heaven is a Cupcake were a roaring success, and at about 4 in the afternoon, JK and I sat out on the steps in the courtyard of all the major banks and trading offices in Bishopsgate, looked down upon Liverpool Street Station in the sunshine, had a chat and munched on them.

There were four vanilla cupcakes with blue icing plaques on top, which read 'Thanks for being right, smartarse.' Which I knew would make him smile. I also picked the girliest box available, which was pretty much cake-ception, as it was designed to look like  mini cake shop.

After JK had returned to work, I decided to wander over into Shoreditch.

As I have blogged about extensively before, I feel very very at home in Shoreditch, and right now, there's no place in the world I want to live more. Coming from near Brighton, there's something about the narrow streets, brightly graffitied walls and endless vintage markets, coffee houses and art galleries, that instills me with this familiar sense of home, yet still with exotic and exciting twist.

I wandered down to Boxpark and picked up my new batch of Scarphelia stickers from the Moo shop.

These stickers were such a roaring success before, and I'm really excited to get this new batch out, as these are set to go international. So if you live somewhere exciting, or are going abroad soon, then let me know your address and I'll send you a batch of stickers for you to stick around and take a picture. The winning photo of a sticker in the most exciting place will also win a prize!

Buuuuuuuuuuut, back to the story.

After wandering for a while, I got a call from my darling best friend Pistol, who happened to be in town.

He sounded very excited and asked if I wanted to go for a drink with him and two of his friends who I'd never met before. One, which turned out to be the blonde girl, and one her American ex-flat mate.

I agreed and he said he'd meet me at Liverpool Street Station.

All along my journey I began sticking my stickers everywhere, like Hansel & Gretel leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. When I came out of the underground at Liverpool Street Station, Pistol was nowhere to be found. I tried calling him but it went straight to answerphone.

I began to get irritated as it was very hot and for some reason I thought it was a good idea to wear wedges, but then I noticed a text on my phone. As soon as I read that text, all my annoyance subsided instantly.

He'd done it on purpose.

For this part of the story, I shall change nothing but the name's of the places, as you'll come to see, secrecy is key.

"Come out of the right hand entrance of the station and turn left immediately. You will see a grotty looking bar called Filthy Fred's, take the second left after that. 
Then there's a little alley between an old photo processing shop and a Natwest cash machine. 
I need you to go down there. 
About twenty meters down, you'll see a small sixties diner. Go in there. Wait to be seated. When the waitress approaches you, ask for Henri. 
Wait for Henri, and then say to him nothing but 'I am here to see The Master.' We'll be waiting."

My heart fluttered with excitement and mischievousness.

I exited the station to the right, my eyes desperately scanning the buildings, then I spotted Filthy Fred's and my stomach jumped in excitement. I felt like I was on a secret treasure hunt.

Cautiously navigating the streets, I kept my eyes peeled for the next clues, all whilst trying not to fall over in my skyscraper heels. The sun was sinking ever lower in the sky, and I had a strange inkling feeling, that tonight wasn't going to be an ordinary night.



The thrill began to wear off as, for the life of me, I couldn't bloody find this old photo processing shop. I sat on the bench, tried to call Pistol again, and just as my eyes were wandering aimlessly over the buildings as I waited for him to pick up, I saw it, and nearly dropped my phone.

I immediately hung up and skip-wobbled over, finding the alley that Pistol had mentioned. And there was the diner.

I didn't really know what to expect, but to me, it just looked like a normal cafe. I looked up at the name. I'd certainly got the right place. I lingered outside for a moment, then looking up to my left, I saw something which reassured me that I definitely had the right place.


I smiled to myself and entered the cafe.

The place looked completely innocuous, with a few couples canoodling in the booths and a family by the window enjoying a meal.

"Table for one?" An unenthused Zooey Deschanel-looking waitress said, without even a hint of a smile. I looked around briefly.

"I'm here to see the Master."

"....Sorry?" She said, looking at me in complete confusion and distaste. My heartbeat quickened and I saw a guy eyeballing me suspiciously from the bar.

"I'm here to see the Master." I repeated in a low voice. Her confused expression immediately vanished and she turned her back to me. She whispered something to the suspicious-looking guy at the bar and then disappeared into the kitchen. The guy came up to me. I guessed he must have been Henri.

"Follow." He said quietly.

He led me about halfway down the restaurant to a giant white SMEG fridge that stood next to the kitchen. He shot a wary look around the restaurant, to see if anyone was looking, then looked at me, and nodded at the fridge. I felt like Harry Potter about to take his first trip to Diagon Alley or something.

Pretty much entirely clueless as to what I was going to find, I put my hand on the handle and opened the fridge.

But where there should've been plastic shelves and food, was just a gaping black hole.

It was not a fridge, it was a door.

Henri ushered me in quickly and pulled the door closed behind us. We were in an almost pitch black doorway, lit only by a giant neon sign in the shape of arrow that said 'Thrills', which pointed down a dark staircase. I could hear distant music and people.

"Have you ever been here before?"

I said that I hadn't and he smiled wickedly.

I told him Pistol and co were waiting for me.



We descended the dark staircase to a wooden door, next to it, a flickering candle in an old Victorian street lamp, wax dripping all down it and pooling on the floor.

"Enjoy." Said Henri, and disappeared back up the staircase.

Opening the door was a shockwave of sound, aromas, warmth and people.

The place was a dimly lit, seductive cocktail bar, the red brick walls adorned with moose heads, old fifties movie posters and a portrait of the Queen wearing gold chains and sunglasses, with the words 'Gran-master Flash' underneath. The tables were wooden crates and stools with candles in cat-food bowls.

I spotted Pistol.

"Well look who it is." He said as I pulled up a stool. I was introduced to the others.

"Welcome to Master M's Dungeon of Decadence. Did you find it okay?" I was still in awe of how exciting the place was. "There are rules for being here, look."

Pistol showed me the menu, on the back of which had a list of rules you had to abide by. For example, it was 'forbidden' to discuss the Dungeon outside of the Dungeon, once you leave you can not get back in again, and you must not, under any circumstances, exit through the fridge. Instead, there was a door marked 'Janitors Closet' that led up to the main restaurant's toilets, and you had to exit said toilets doing up your flies or smoothing down your dress, to retain the impression as if you had just actually been to the toilet, not a secret underground cocktail bar.

It was awesome. 

*


After about two hours of slugging back cocktail after cocktail, JK finished work and joined us too.

We all ordered Cosmopolitan's in celebration of me getting the job, and toasted to being successful and ridiculous humans. We ordered chilli chips and a big cheese board, both of which, were absolutely exceptional.

The Blonde girl told of this place called Evan's & Peel Detective Agency, which was a place similar to this, except to be granted access to the bar you had to make up an elaborate story of why you need to hire a private detective, and then inside the whole place was decorated like the a 1920's speakeasy. It excited my bones.

That's when I started thinking about my birthday, Scarphelia 21.

My ideas for the huge party fell through pretty quickly as I realised how expensive and unfeasible it was actually going to be. But this night excited me, and I started to formulate some plans in my head.

Instead of having a party for my 21st, we are going to go on one big ADVENTURE.

I am going to use my summer to seek out the most exciting and naughty places in London, such as Master M's Dungeon of Debauchery and Evans & Peel Detective Agency, and we are going to go to the very best places, on the adventure of a lifetime. Then we can end up at one big club, possibly Aquila in Camden, as Pistol is the club promoter there. I'm almost tempted to say let's do it in fancy dress, the boy's in Tuxedo's and the girls like we've just walked out of The Great Gatsby.

And as for 'we', anyone and everyone is invited. The only requirement is that you are in for the thrill. All the people who were going to come to Scarphelia 21, are more than welcome to join on the adventure.



























It wasn't long before we were all completely inebriated, laughing and shouting, comparing who the most attractive people were around us. But it didn't matter, as the atmosphere was electric.

It managed to somehow be completely intimate and yet still so open and sociable at the same time, every table full of smiling people, a combination of lucrative-looking businessmen in suits, hipster boys with tattoos and beanie hats and big groups of girl in their twenties, toasting their cocktails together.

We even managed to befriend one of the bartenders, a Swedish guy who's number I woke up to saved in my phone as 'Oscar Scaredycat' and roped him in to our debates about sexuality, attraction and various other explicit things.

We'd been in The Dungeon for almost four hours, when the subject of Karaoke came up, and suddenly it seemed like the best option in the entire universe and nothing could possibly even come close to beating it.

At this point, Pistol and I were still clinging to the vain illusion that we were going to get the last train home and sleep in our own beds tonight, but if anything we knew about our City adventures, we knew that that was highly unlikely to happen.

But holding out for the possibility, we decided to go to a karaoke place near to Kings Cross Station, which happened to be Karaoke Box in Farringdon.

Before we left, we all stuck a load of Scarphelia stickers in the toilets and even managed to get a QR sticker on Oscar's back.



After paying our ridiculous £187 bar tab and writing down my number for Oscar in lipliner on a napkin, we clambered drunkenly back up the dimly lit staircase, remembering how we were not allowed to exit through the fridge, and found the other door.

It was as though we were in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or a crazy house at a funfair, as opening the door led to another tiny corridor where the walls and ceiling were completely lined with My Little Pony wallpaper. There were two tiny toilet cubicles, and the door from which we came through had a picture of a mop and bucket painted on it and the words 'Janitors Closet'.

We got a taxi over to Farringdon and to my absolute delight, suddenly, members of the TWC started turning up out of nowhere, including Pistol's brother Marcus.

The night gets hazy from here, as a hell of a lot of celebratory Cosmopolitan's were consumed, but karaoke got out of control, in the most delightful way possible. We made the critical error of opening up an open tab, and soon the wine bottles came flowing in thick and fast.

We powered through Total Eclipse of the Heart, Elton John and Hairspray, drinks flying about the place, to the point where the guys who owned the place seemed happy to let us stay over our time, just for the entertainment we were providing them.

After two or three hours of singing our hearts out, drunken heart-to-hearts outside and arguing with a security guard who wouldn't agree with me that Pistol and I would have cute babies, we finally realised that not only was it 3am and we'd been drinking for about 10 hours straight, but also that Pistol and I were stranded pretty far from home.

Queue the life-saver from Fulham, Pistol's blonde friend who volunteered to put us up for the night.

So we got a taxi all the way from Farringdon to Fulham, which, for those of you who don't know London is a HELL of a cab ride, and eventually pulled up in this rich, sophisticated neighbourhood, similar to Jasmine's amazing flat in Warwick Avenue.


The flat was beautiful and her room was even more amazing, with a sweet little balcony which had the most beautiful view of the neighbouring houses. Some of the houses had landscaped gardens, verandas, barbecue terraces and pools - it was clearly a very affluent neighbourhood.

We sat out in the cool air debating about love and romance, telling stories from our pasts, completely inebriated to within an inch of our lives. In classic Pistol fashion, he was certain that he was going to be sleeping in the bed with the blonde girl, only to find himself only a few hours later waking up face down on the living room floor.

We sat on the balcony for about an hour, before the first pale glow of day began to peek into the skies, and we decided that perhaps, finally it was time to sleep.


The next morning was absolute hell.

The other two seemed relatively chipper and had decided to go to the theatre in Covent Garden to see Matilda the Musical at 9am.

The only thing musical about Pistol and I were out intermittent groans of self-pity as we tried to pull ourselves to our feet and resemble normal human beings.

After a brief visit to a smoothie shop, we stumbled onto the tube, me still wearing my heels that I now have an uncharacteristic LOATHING for because of such, had to wait a painful 10 consecutive stops on the stuffy underground, then endure Kings Cross deciding to test its emergency alarm system, and then finally I was granted my home, my bed and sweet, merciful sleep.

*


And that, is how delivery a cupcake and picking up some stickers took me on the most ridiculous adventure of my life.

And how I am now very, very much looking forward to my 21st birthday.

Are you in?

Scarlet-Ophelia.

9 comments :

  1. Love love LOVE the secret cocktail bar you went to!
    I'm heading to Vietnam and Australia in about 3 months, so more than happy to smack stickers everywhere out there!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Secret bars, how interesting! I suddenly remembered this idea my friend about something like this.

    ReplyDelete
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