I’m sure everyone is totally sick of hearing about Tooting. But I just love it. I’ve lived here since September 2000 so celebrate 16 years in the area. And what better way with a weekend of wrestling and Tootopia 2016.
At the start of the month Das, myself and another couple met in Tooting and started with lunch at Mesa. We’ve not been there for some time so it was nice to return and to enjoy a delicious meal. The food was a good as I remember it. Then after that it was off to watch some cage wrestling run by BEW – British Empire Wrestling. I was totally sceptical about this but ended up having a great time. Wow, even though the wrestling is ‘fake’, they certainly take a beating – and given we were so close you can really feel (and hear!) every hit they take.
Then this weekend just gone it was Tootopia weekend. I wrote a blog about this last year, so this link takes you to that post and explains what it’s all about – but really it’s just a celebration of all that is good in the area.
However before I get to Tootopia, let’s go to the Friday night as we had a lovely evening in town. First stop was Opium, a really cool cocktail bar in the centre of china town. Not our first time here and a really chilled place to enjoy a drink or two. And then on to the Curzon Soho – a fab cinema (that’s currently in danger of closing down, like it’s sister venue Curzon Mayfair). What a super cool place to watch a movie – we could buy a bottle of prosecco and enjoy that whilst watching the movie, with plenty of leg room and comfy chairs. So what were we seeing? Hunt for the Wilderpeople – a fantastic kiwi movie with Sam Neill. It was so awesome! The scenery was spectacular, the acting incredible, the storyline fabulous. Go! Then after the movie we wandered along the back streets to Pic Circus to get to Brewer St – I forgot how much of a buzz London has on a Friday night, and that whole area around there has totally changed – there were restaurants and bars with bifolding doors flung open, laughter floating out and smiles on everyone’s faces. So cool. Anyway, back to Taro, our favourite Japanese café for a brilliant veggie bento box. We left having eaten way too much.
So Saturday saw us heading to Graveney and Meadow, their garden bar transformed in to a street food area. We got there around 1230 and it was PACKED! A small craft market was also housed indoors (I bought some cool earrings and Das bought us a slice of vegan choc cake made by a member of the WI). We bought a beer and just waited in the sun until a table became free. It didn’t take long and we shared a table with some friendly guys and settled in to enjoy a host of Beavertown beers and a delicious tofu bahn mi (Vietnamese baguette which is a name that doesn’t give it justice as it was so full of flavour). It started to get really busy with people standing inbetween the tables so slightly uncomfortable so we then headed off to Unwined, a wine bar – stopping at New Look for a cheap scarf as the evening had turned chilly. Tooting Market was buzzing! Unwined and We Brought Beer were crowded so we headed to the end of the market and The Secret Bar, a tiny little place that was cosy and warm and just the ticket. We sat in here for a couple of hours, before Das did a reccie to see if Franco Manca was free – massive queue. Also there were going to play True Romance in the market, but couldn’t get it working so decided to show Pulp Fiction, but being only 8pm and with lots of children still around, after 10mins they decided it might not be child friendly so stopped it! The organisers told the DJ just to do his thing! Well we had True Romance stored on the Sky Box (I’d never seen it) so we went home to make our own dinner and watch the movie. Great day!
Sunday we continued with the Tootopia theme by heading to the Grenada – the old awesome cinema that is now a bingo hall (better than just being left to decay – it has Grade I listing). I’d seen it last year but as Das had been away he’d missed out. He was blown away, as much as I was the first time I’d been in. Also this time it was even better as the bingo hadn’t started so we had free reign to wander around and also, as a treat, someone had come in from Pinner to hoist up the old Wurlitzer from under the stage floor. Apparently it’s a famous Wurlitzer, it’s very cool! After that we needed brunch so back to Graveney and Meadow for their special brunch menu – sadly though they had counted on so many people so they weren’t taking any food orders – 20mins to get a coffee! So off to Sainsburys to buy sourdough bread, avocados, tomatoes and mushrooms to make our own brunch at home 🙂 Yum.
Tooting you just keep on getting better!