Bespoke in the East End

November 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm 11 comments

(Sunday S&M lunch…)

Can someone please tell me what in hell is up with this “bespoke” business? Lately I’ve been seeing it all over the place. The first time was in conjunction with a clothing establishment. Apparently this is no longer the situation. Because if it were, then anyone who frequents the East End of London could be in serious trouble, since everything there seems to be bespoken of these days. (So much for the traditional Cockney culture of wide boys and jellied eel.) It’s now posh all the way in the East End and, for that matter, in the famous Spitalfields Market. I mean, they even have bespoke pastry. Next thing you know it’ll be bespoke oysters, bespoke chocolate, bespoke toilets, and maybe even bespoke bangers and mash. Oh sorry, they don’t call them bangers and mash anymore. Not upmarket enough, apparently.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post: bangers (oops, I mean sausage!) and mash. What began as a covert mission on a late Sunday morning to collect my person from outside Liverpool Street station led to what could only be described as a low-speed pursuit, with my mate driving around the city for nearly an hour hunting for a place to safely deposit his car. He finally found a legal parking space a couple of blocks from St. Paul’s Cathedral… at which point we were forced to amend our plan. We would now have to get the tube from St. Paul’s, and return back to Liverpool Street (where we’d started out!), then walk in the rain to Spitalfields Market, which fortunately is covered. Unfortunately there was a big fly in our ointment – St. Paul’s tube station was shut. We made it to the market two hours later than initially planned.

Needless to say, by that time I was starving. In fact, I was SO starving that I didn’t even care anymore about perusing the goods for sale – most of which I considered vastly overpriced for what was supposed to be a traditional East End “market”. Well, at least anything I wanted to buy was overpriced. Hey, I’m a good haggler, but getting a 65 pound handbag down to the 20 quid I thought it was barely worth was likely not gonna happen. So much for all that bespoke business. Besides, I had to eat. And I had to eat something substantial. Now I ask you, what’s more substantial than Great British Grub? And there it was, mere steps away – a little cafe with steamed-up windows and a crowd of people inside and a crowd of people outside queueing to get inside. How bad could it be? Well, considering the name of the place…

Indeed, I must confess to being a wee bit concerned about entering an establishment that called itself “The S&M Cafe”. (Perhaps the owner had read one too many of my M. S. Valentine erotic novels.) And the steamed-up windows only added to my increasing sense of disquiet. However, they had on offer “The World’s Number One Comfort Food”… or so they claimed. Sounded just right for a rainy downer of a Sunday afternoon. If said comfort came in the form of a plate of sausage and mash, so be it.

Once it was established that the place was, in fact, a cafe specialising in one of England’s favourite traditional meals (at least I hoped the S&M in their name referred to sausage and mash), we went inside, where we were shown to a table by their non-traditional Turkish manager. By then I was hysterical with hunger, only to find myself in the predicament of not knowing which kind of sausage and mash to order. I perused the menu like a burglar casing out an expensive home – a menu which, of all things, also boasted an S&M Teatime. If that wasn’t worrisome enough, it was then that I noticed a card on our table that had a picture of Santa Claus with a balloon coming out of his head saying, “How about a little S&M at Christmas?”

Talk about Ho Ho Ho.

Let’s just say that my doubts as to the wisdom of entering this establishment were rapidly returning…

(Would I lie to you?)

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Beannachd Leibh (Scotland Part 3) Three Essex Boys and a Loft

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Claire Bates  |  November 4, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Genius! A writer who doesn’t know what bespoke means but who can spot the deliberate double entendre in the name of a trendy cafe chain. But really – rivetting stuff.

    Reply
  • 2. Stuart Burrell  |  November 4, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Very well written Mitzi. I think we Brits forget that some of our dishes are, well, unique.

    Reply
  • 3. Claire Bates  |  November 4, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    http://www.sandmcafe.co.uk/

    Reply
  • 4. Claire Bates  |  November 4, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    To avoid confusion I must point out that my first comment here referred to a line (below) that’s since been deleted by the author. I admire her speedy response to just criticism.

    I assumed bespoke meant “already spoken for” – as in used clothing

    Reply
  • 5. mitziszereto  |  November 4, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    actually not. it seems a couple of people didn’t get the bespoke joke, so i figured i’d avoid any further confusion and get rid of the reference!

    Reply
  • 6. F.Jeanette Cheezum  |  November 5, 2008 at 4:33 am

    I’m glad you’re back!

    Reply
  • 7. curiouser and curiouser  |  November 5, 2008 at 4:51 am

    cheers to a new day in the u.s. how very exciting to be a part of history! i was thinking of you…and i wanted to share…

    Reply
  • 8. Regina Samuel  |  November 5, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Congratulations!

    You´re fabulous…very well written, beautiful pictures,and very creative!!

    Hugs from Rio de Janeiro,

    Regina

    Reply
  • 9. Gill James  |  November 5, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    He, Mitzi, I know this place. Wonder we didn’t bump itnto each other
    My kids and I are often there.
    Re your problems wiht FB – I’ve had simmilar ones wiht bloggre and paypal and google ads – all solved except google ads who won’t talk to me.
    What a great Web 2.0 techy world .. that ain’t quite working. .

    Reply
  • 10. mikecane  |  November 5, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    You intend to do this from now on, do you? Not do another all-in-one post ever again, since that Scotland 3-parter I pimped at my blog.

    Now I will wait for the *conclusion* to pimp you — um, your blog entries.

    Reply
  • 11. mitziszereto  |  November 5, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    you mean i have to go back to the S&M Cafe??

    Reply

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What I Get Up To

I write, I blog, I Mitzi TV, I network, I breathe, I get my name in the press... I'm a true Renaissance lass! My books include IN SLEEPING BEAUTY'S BED: EROTIC FAIRY TALES; GETTING EVEN: REVENGE STORIES (crime); THE NEW BLACK LACE BOOK OF WOMEN'S SEXUAL FANTASIES (non-fiction/survey); DYING FOR IT: TALES OF SEX AND DEATH (multi-genre); THE WORLD’S BEST SEX WRITING 2005 (non-fiction/criticism); WICKED: SEXY TALES OF LEGENDARY LOVERS; the EROTIC TRAVEL TALES anthology series; the M. S. Valentine erotic novels; and a slew of titles available on Amazon Kindle. Find me on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Tumblr, Plurk, Social Median, and wherever else I might decide to turn up!

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