I woke up languidly this crisp and sunny morning to the voice of Scott Walker on Tilt - a sonorous voice by turns confrontational, febrile and melancholic, singing obliquely about cockfighting, the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini, and South American refugees, and backed by haunting instrumentation ranging from London Sinfonia strings, Central Methodist Hall Pipe Organ, hand cymbals, drums and electric guitar. His latest album The Drift is no less bleak, austere, chilling and breathtaking. I am simply in love with this man.
Last night, M emailed me at work and asked whether I'd like to go out for drinks at the Pearl Bar & Restaurant in Holborn. It wasn't planned and it felt like a date. We sipped morello cherry mojitos, cassis cocktails and lemongrass martinis under delicate pearl drop chandeliers and lofty grey marble columns and flirted and chatted and gossiped our way through a wonderful evening.
Pearl is a bar and restaurant from the creative team who designed Nobu and the Metropolitan. In a former life, it was the grand banking hall of the Pearl Assurance Building. We perused the menu, created by Jun Tanaka, and vowed to return for a special meal there.
Last night, though, we rushed through the rain to our favourite Korean restaurant Bi Won where, surrounded almost entirely with young Japanese, we ate seafood omelette, spicy pickled cabbage or kimchi, bi bim bab - a stew of vegetables, beef and chilli paste on a bed of rice and a raw egg broken on top, served sizzling hot in an earthenware bowl- miso soup with soft squares of tofu, and seafood soup. We had no room for dessert, but it was okay because Bi Won always serve you four slices of juicy sweet oranges at the end of your meal.