One of the amazing things about now working in London, is the fact that the social scene is so good. Never one to shy away from being a social butterfly, as well as enjoying my actual job, I feel like I have truly found my place – somewhere that let’s you network while drinking alcohol. When Taboola invited us to their party at City Summer House in Brick Lane, I couldn’t help a cheeky Twitter stalk to find out what it was like (OK, that’s underplaying it a bit. Twitter, Instagram, their website, a Google image search and trying to find as many pics on Facebook as I could).
What first impressed me, was giant Jenga. I mean how can you not want to play giant Jenga? They also had giant Connect Four, which actually ended up being a lot more complicated to play than giant Jenga, which was a surprise that was not welcome after attempting to give it a go after a gin Mojito and a generous serving of Pimms.
The premise of the City Summer House, is that it is run and organised by Awesome Events. For a certain period in each year, they get it all set up, and people wanting to host a seriously British summer party can hire it out with food and drinks included.
The venue, spectaularly immersed in the middle of the thriving loins of Brick Lane, makes up for being smaller sized than you would imagine with it’s incredibly jaunty, hipster decor. You may be forgiven, aside from the deckchairs, for thinking you have accidently strolled into a warehouse, mid-industrial revuloution when you first walk in, but a wander to the back bar will take you through one of the best fake grass set up’s you’ll probably ever see. There’s a lot to be said for fake grass. It’s doesn’t need mowing, and when it does get a bit shabby, you can do what my friend does and hoover it.
Two bars, dressed up slightly tackily like tiki huts form the central piece of the seasonal installation.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a Pimms, only for the bartender to come back out with a Gin Mojito he insisted we tried. This was probably the first thing that swayed me towards a positive review. After all, I have been trying to cut down on my drunk mess-ness, but if someone is going to basically force feed me Gin, it would be incredibly non – British and rude to refuse.
Pottering out into the garden area, the first thing we noticed was that most of it was under cover. Well played Awesome Events, as it was actually spitting that day. Unfortunately I kept finding myself on the area of the table, the only 4 or 5 centimetres in the entire venue, that actually still had rain pouring onto it, so I still got wet, but the blame for that doesn’t lie on the City Summer House, it lays on me for being a drip – in more ways than one.
The giant Jenga and Connect four were located towards the back, still covered, so you could make the most of a game even if the weather wasn’t being your friend at that point in time. As much as I loved the venue, the only thing that slightly disappointed me was the fact that the giant Jenga was not as giant as I imaged. Alas, it is not the first time I have been disappointed by over calculating expected size, but it still doesn’t make the experience any less bitter.
As an unobservant person, I rarely notice the smaller details. If I work with you and I see you every day, and you come in one day with your head shaved, I’ll still greet you in exactly the same way I do every morning, without batting an eyelid, perhaps not even noticing until the afternoon when I’m on my second coconut flat white from Pret. This would explain why, it took me a little while to notice the steel drummers. Not a long time, like not enough time for someone to watch Titanic in, but probably not as quickly as everyone had clocked that they were there playing live. I think the steel drums are absolutely wonderful. In fact, they always bring back memories of my carnival going days, before I got too old to drink through the crippling anxiety crowds give me without feeling like death for three days after.
My declaration when I did notice was that “I would of got a DJ”, which is part because I do DJ and part because all of my partying experienced is based on the very Essexy ‘LADS LADS LADS’ nights out you have in Bas Vegas. But thinking about it, steel drums were perfect. People could still listen to music, and people could still chat. Good balance.
As the giant hog roast at the back of the garden would indicate – there was going to be food.
As a 29 year old woman, I am still trying to work out what part of food it is I enjoy the most. Is it the anticipation? The pure excitement of knowing food is coming and having no idea if it is the best meal you could ever eat in your life? Is it the eating? Am I actually hungry and filling a gap, or do I just enjoy the flavours? (my waistline would indicate that this is the first one, and for some reason I appear to have gone from a fussy child who would eat next to nothing to a fat adult who will nothing nothing of eating some cheese that I have dropped on the kitchen floor). Either way, seeing the staff do the wonderful dance staff at these types of things do with hot trays, plates, salad bowls and various other food paraphernalia made me expect and look forward to some good food.
A common known fact is, it’s the law that every third person in marketing has to be Vegan, they had a selection that catered for pretty much everyone. I was off carbs in prep for my holiday, I just opted for some meat and salad. The pulled pork and chicken were amazing, and I haven’t had a sausage that good for a long time (euphemisms included).
If you are going to a party at the City Summer House this year, definitely don’t long it off to sit in your pyjamas eating Ben and Jerry’s watching 13 Reasons Why. If you are a company, and you still haven’t decided where to have your bash, book it, and book it soon.