Yesterday was not a nice day unfortunately.
It was rainy, and cold, and generally unpleasant.
The one fortunate side effect that this had was that Chinatown was surprisingly quiet. Not that this means it was actually quiet, but considering this is the LARGEST Chinese New Year celebration anywhere outside of China, it was practically a ghost town compared to what I experienced last year (aka one giant human tin of sardines that took over all of Soho, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown).
A lot of effort always goes into the celebrations, with a parade, stages with dancers, singers and other cultural shenanigans, stalls selling good luck items or Chinese themed stuff, as well as food and games.
I won a cluster of…well I’m not sure what they are. Koi carp maybe? (Not real ones. Stitched ones. I’d be a bit freaked out if I was handed a clutch of wiggling, living fish in response to throwing a ball through a snake’s mouth.) I very much like them though! Free pen too. Awesomesauce.
There was a wishing well, a dragon with which to take photos – and coolest of all, lion dancers. I always have loved lion dancers. They dance through the streets of Chinatown, dipping into restaurants and grabbing a lettuce or something of that ilk, and ‘eating’ it before ‘spitting’ it back out into the restaurant…usually at a small child staring in awe at the giant, jingling, bouncing, eye rolling beast they’re suddenly confronted with. Either to their great amusement or their terror.
Surprisingly we managed to find somewhere to eat – which would have been difficult almost any other year. The weather really did put off a lot of people. Chinese buffet, £13.50 for all you can eat. I think it was literally called Chinese buffet too! Was nice, although they don’t like food waste: 50p surcharge for every 100g wasted. A novel concept, but one I actually quite like; I’m not a fan of food waste either. So that’s an interesting way of curbing it.
Onwards we went, straight to a bar. We would have stayed to watch the fireworks (which I’m guessing were pretty cool, unless the rain put paid to that?) but we were still soggy and cold and wanted to find somewhere warm
First we tried Slug and Lettuce, but it was unsurprisingly packed, so on we went to Ku Klub…’London’s Award Winning Gay Bar’. Nice bar tenders and staff who were very friendly, a bit quieter than the rest and a nice seated area. Be aware the ladies toilets do not necessarily mean ladies toilets though. I actually thought perhaps there wasn’t a men’s but who knows? Not that I care. It just amused me.
Had a shot of something called ‘Blowjob’. Baileys I think, with cream on top…delicious and only a pound. And the name? Well that’s just a bonus.
I had photos. But my memory card decided to short out. So here’s a dragon:
And sadly, that’s all I have. Sorry
But Chinese New Year in London? Always worth a shot. Even in the pouring rain (I cannot stress enough how bad this weather was) there was an amazing turn out, despite being slightly fewer folks than normal, which frankly was only a good thing!
And Ku Klub seems like a nice way to pass an evening 🙂
Kung Hei Fat Choi everyone! Happy year of the snake…