Greg, if you are reading this please stop here and don’t read the rest of the post. Actually if you are anyone who works with me please skip this blog. Look, if you know me in a work capacity just go and look at this picture of a puppy doing yoga instead.

Ok now that they have all gone, let me tell you how utterly stupid I’ve been recently.

I am a stupidly responsible person, I am uptight over most things but in particular being safe and looking after my possessions are my top two. Call it being single and having to get myself from A to B – I am accountable for my entire being. But no matter where this high level of responsibility comes from…I am the one you can give your handbag to when you go for a smoke.

So this is the awkward part…

I don’t know what the hell has happened to me recently, but I have left my work laptop in not one…but two bars in London. You can see why I told Greg the IT guy at work to stop reading, he would have a heart attack if he knew poor lamb.

The first incident was actually at a work function where we all went to learn how to make sushi. I got rather merry and wielded a knife with such artistry that I was named Queen of Sushi. Well, not quite but my sushi was judged the best out of the thirty or so people who were there and I won a sushi making kit.

My plan had been to head home for an early night but after my win the glory and the rice just went to my head. I ended up at an underground cocktail club necking gin and it wasn’t until I got home that with a sinking feeling I realised I didn’t have my laptop. Thankfully the sushi teacher had found it under a table and I was able to make a mad dash to collect it at lunchtime the next day.

I thought I had learned my lesson, I thought this was a once in 28years experience and it had scared me straight. I would never again lose my laptop (particularly not my work one) and I would return to my former responsible self.

And I did, for five whole weeks I did and then came the gin.

I was at the City of London Distillery which is one of my old haunts (it was the bar I went to for after work drinks when I was at my first London job). I made the rookie error of putting my handbag on the floor on one side of me, and my laptop on the floor on the other side of me. Two gins down I happily went on my way to meet a friend for dinner in Shoreditch.

It wasn’t till 1am that night when I sat bolt upright in bed realising I had once again left my laptop in a damn bar. Simple right? I could go and collect it the next day right? Haha what about me makes you think it would be that simple.

I realised the lack of laptop at 1am Saturday morning. I was flying out to Sweden for work on Sunday (where I would seriously need my laptop). The bar was closed on Sundays so Saturday was going to be my only time to pick it up, but two major problems…

  1. This is London and there was a high chance someone would just have walked off with it
  2. I was going to see both parts of Cursed Child (the Harry Potter play) on Saturday….and the only times the bar was open was when the play was on

I didn’t really sleep for the rest of the night, with the choice of missing the Harry Potter play or Greg being disappointed in me going round and round in my head.

From first thing Saturday morning it was a military style campaign of me ringing the bar every ten minutes to see if someone had handed it in. Turns out bars are not open first thing on a Saturday morning. I managed to get through to the bar at lunchtime just before leaving for part 1 of the play; after I ashamedly confirmed that my laptop was a Dell with an Apple sticker on it (don’t ask), they said they had found it!

First problem ticked off. But also who would have thought you could leave a laptop twice in London and people would hand it in?

Anyway the second problem had me running out of the doors at the end of Part 1 and flagging down a cab. Jumping in and shouting ‘Fleet Street’ at the driver is perhaps the most London I have ever felt. I made it to the bar and the lovely bar tender handed me my laptop with one hand and a G&T with the other (I think I was looking slightly harried). Fuelled by the power of gin I made it back to Harry in time for part 2 and to Sweden in time for work on Monday.

Moral of the story: think twice before leaving me with your handbag…maybe staple it to me somehow.

Toronto Cocktail at Nightjar

I know I know, this blog was meant to appear a few days ago. But this work travel malarkey has made my schedule a bit whackadoodle – and I’m not talking blog schedule, just general life schedule. I have 30 minutes till my gate opens (off to Shanghai this time) so I thought I would crouch on the floor of Heathrow near the only available power point and talk to you about a bar. I don’t normally do bars. I feel far too self-conscious, anxiety is at the max and drinks are expensive. Given this bar-apathy I thought my sister was insane for giving me a voucher to Nightjar for Christmas last year. Did she not know me at all? Ok fine, it turns out she knows me to my core because Nightjar is my kind of joint.

It is a speakeasy, so you have to book in advance then spend about fifteen minutes walking up and down City Road to find the nondescript door. After walking past it a minimum of seven times you then have to ask the random man standing outside a closed door if he knows where Nightjar is, he will say yes and let you in. No, none of that was part of some quirky London schtick, I just have a terrible sense of direction.

Gin cocktail at Nightjar

Anyway Nightjar is hidden downstairs and is table service only, so you don’t have to worry about competing for a bartender’s attention while firmly lodged in the armpit of a banker. Instead you sit at your little table (space is at a premium) and listen to the live music as you choose your cocktail. And oh the cocktails, they are the main event.

There is no food to speak of at Nightjar, so make sure you eat before you go. Because when you have ten pages of cocktails to get through, a well lined stomach is important. The cocktails are divided into pre-prohibition, prohibition, post war and signature and they are almost impossible to choose from. The combinations are so weird that you can’t quite picture in your head what it is going to end up tasting like, and even if you think you can you will be 100% surprised. Because I am an uber-dork I studied up beforehand and chose all the cocktails that were the prettiest. Yes I am that shallow. Someone buy me a pony.

My favourite by far (strangely enough for a gin based life form) was the Toronto which was Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Roasted Pecan & Coffee Maple Syrup, Fernet Branca and Smoked Candy Floss. The reason I loved it so much is that smoked candy floss hanging over it like a blimp, the idea is to take bits off and like a raccoon in a zoo drop them in the drink. This slowly sweetens the cocktail and you can get it perfectly to suit your taste buds. If the person that created it could please email me because I have a proposal of marriage waiting.

Cocktail with a cracker Nightjar

Nightjar feels intimate, it feels special. It is a perfect place to go with a best friend to fix all of the worlds problems, it’s the place to take your lush parents when you want to show them how amazing London is. At Nightjar you spend half your evening choosing cocktails and the other half exclaiming in surprise when it turns out you have chosen a cocktail that is essentially porridge with a cracker on top. I love this bar.

When your allotted time is up (do yourself a favour and book the maximum allowed, trust me here) you leave the notes of music and cocktails living behind you and find yourself once again spat out on the Old Street roundabout. It is a shock to the system after hiding away in the suspended reality of Nightjar, but as you walk to the Northern line you will be plotting the next time you can return and imbibe.

P.s. Love you Sister, turns out you are right about everything.