S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

When things go well/Hawksmoor Seven Dials/Much Ado about Nothing

Sometimes, it all works out better than plannable. Friday was one of those nights. As of Wednesday morning, I could not have told you I would be at the sold-out Much Ado about Nothing at the Wyndham, but someone else's inconvenience was my fortune. (It was very generous of you to have a conflict, ashfae!)

I met C at work earlier than necessary, which meant we had enough time to do my improptu suggestion of eating at Hawksmoor Seven Dials en route to the pub to the collect the tickets. Despite other peoples' recommendations of the Hawksmoor restaurants for meat and cocktails for the last few years (especially billyabbott) we had never been. The early hour meant that we could even nab proper table space, despite not having a reservation. We needed to leave before most other people would arrive.

It was a fantastic meal. The server was happy to work with our time limitations, and convivial enough to ask why we knew about the restaurant in the first place. Bare tables, dark wood all over the place, comfortably low lighting - but not so much it was at all hard to read the menu, and lots of space in high enough demand that front-of-house had to debate where they could safely fit us in.

The burgers were the best I have ever had. Really. Rich beef, loosely pattied, but not so loose it fell apart too much. Loose enough that the mince was not problematically compressed. A moderately robust roll finished with the gloss of egg whites. Lettuce, tomato, and, in my case, the semi-crunchy spice of kimchi to spice it all up. The chips and side salad were exemplary - which is to say, exactly as they should be, no more, no less. C's cornflake milkshake was very nicely done (although I have even better memories of the cornflake ice cream from Momofuku Milk Bar), and my Hawksmoor Julep was beautifully presented in an icy-cold silver cup, with a spray of mint crowning the bed of crushed ice. We ate leisurely and were still finished with a good 15 minutes to spare. It's expensive, but at least, for the price, I had a satisfying and memorable meal.

After a little bit of suspense, we found L, who had the tickets. It required texting since it was a busy pub and we had not previously met her, and K, whom I do know, had gone to look for me when I was looking for her. L was a delight, and we had more time to get to know her and the rest of the group at another pub afterward. Anyways, the important thing is that it worked out just fine.

Much Ado about Nothing at the Wyndham sold out long since because it stars Catherine Tate and David Tennant as Beatrice and Benedict. It was a giddy romp of a production, adorable and delightful and ridiculous to the degree that the serious parts were often overshadowed. They often are in this play, but they particularly were in this version. The scene in which Hero tells Beatrice that Benedict loves her - I didn't hear a word of it because all attention was on the aerial hijinks of Beatrice. Poor Hero.

I wonder how many tunes there are out there for "Sigh no more, ladies". The Branagh movie had one. This version set in post-Falklands Gibralter had an '80s rendition (as, indeed, was the entire original soundtrack). These are surely not the only two. There were lots of '80s jokes/references/homages built into the visuals, from heavy Princess Di/Hero paralleling to an electronic keyboard to a Rubik's cube. I missed the Super Mario Brothers homage (a costume in the masked ball/dance), but there was one, apparently!

In any event, a really lovely evening.
Tags: eating in london, food, london, restaurants, theater

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