The Comedy Loft, Camden, London


The Comedy Loft in Camden has got lots of things going for it.

It serves food; burgers, nachos, chicken wings, falafels – we ate and it was good quality.

The drinks are reasonably priced for central London – and you can pre-order them and have them delivered to your table during the intervals. Very sophisticated!

The show starts at 8pm, which is enough time to get a couple of drinks and chat before the start.

The 8 o’clock start means that the crowd is still restrained enough for the performers to deliver their acts without having to shout over drunks and sober enough that if there is a heckler there is a chance that they might be funny.

The reception and service were the best I’ve ever had in a comedy club.

The comedians were funny – that’s always good in a comedy show.

Finally, if after all this, you still haven’t had good night; it’s in Camden, so you are very likely to get offered drugs on your way back to the tube!



McQueen, Shoreditch, London


4 of us came here for dinner. We met in the bar first. The room is good, it feels light, bright and spacious. The music is a bit irritating, surely “café del mar” chill-out is past its sell-by date now, but at least it is not loud enough to disturb the conversation. The sofas are nice and the chairs comfortable.

The restaurant is designed in much the same manner as the bar – with big brown distressed leather chesterfields and smaller chairs opposite. We ate from the set menu, the starters were good – the smoked salmon was with a grapefruit salad, which suited it well. The mains were steak; lovely with nice jus and great chips, lamb: nicely cooked with mashed potato and green veg, cod which was also reportedly very good and a risotto that we didn’t try. Between us we tried the house red, white and rose – all were very nice.

They mention on their page on Time Out London that they do a bottomless brunch, and although I haven’t been able to find any details, it would suit the place very well. I can easily imagine reading the weekend papers in here with a giant cup of coffee or Bloody Mary, nursing a hangover…….

The service was very good. I liked all the old Steve McQueen posters around the place.I’d recommend it as somewhere to meet friends especially in the daylight when all the windows make the place so bright and airy.

Margin Call (dir. J.C. Chandler) 2011


Margin Call was filmed in 2010 and released at the Sundance film festival early 2011. It is very well made, has a great script and the cast is packed with famous actors, all of whom do a good job. Paul Bettany’s and Jeremy Irons’ performances, in particular, are excellent. Kevin Spacey is always good.

The farther away we get from its release date, the less impact this film has. It is a film about a very specific incident; the financial crisis of 2008/9 and the part that sub-prime mortgages had in this. This film sets out to be an insight into the companies involved and into the people running and working in those companies.

It feels like an independent festival movie because its prime motivation is to inform rather than entertain. It achieves this well, and it suited the market when it was released, shortly after the crash.

Now though, most people who would choose to watch this, already have the information that it imparts, and the story itself is good but not brilliant.