Girl About Town

Posted on April 29, 2007 in Uncategorized


Girl About Town started the month with a very exciting party for the launch of Teenage by Jon Savage, held at the Waterloo Sunset Pavilion in the Hayward Gallery. This was a lively party accompanied by music through the decades chosen by the author. Journalists and record label employees, including the very tall Janet Street Porter, mixed with famous faces from the music world: Edwyn Collins, Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers), Colin Newman (Wire), and a personal hero of GAT’s from her formative years – Johnny Marr (ex The Smiths, now with Modest Mouse). GAT is slightly embarrassed to admit she blushed like a schoolgirl when he shook her hand…

Place: Waterloo Sunset Pavilion in the Hayward Gallery

We drank: red wine, and plenty of it

We ate: Though several of the beautiful people forsook eating in favour of smoking languidly on the balcony terrace, the delicious canapés included olive tapenade & sundried tomato on mini cheese breads, smoked salmon & horseradish cream on mini toasts,Teriyaki salmon & sweet chilli dip, Parma ham & baba ganouche on garlic toasts, and onion tartlets.

Being a lover of all things dramatic, GAT went along to the Theatre Book Prize announcement at the Theatre Museum, Covent Garden. Thesps and journalists drank wine and mingled until the winner announcement, and GAT spotted Sir Donald Sinden, John Woodvine, and former National Theatre director Bill Bryden enjoying the party. The winner – John Heilpern’s biography of John Osborne – was announced amidst a frenzy of flashing cameras by Harry Potter and Equus star Daniel Radcliffe.

Place: The Theatre Museum, Covent Garden

The most unusual literary launch of the month was for Stuff by Martin Rowson. Held at the morbidly compelling Hunterian Museum (part of the Royal College of Surgeons) in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which houses a vast collection of specimens covering anatomy, pathology, osteology and natural history. Basically, if that means as little to you as it does to me, plenty of stomach-churning and yet hugely compelling jars filled with insect, animal and human body parts! One particular exhibit drawing gasps from the many guests was the unfeasibly large skeleton of Charles Byrne, the famous 1880s ‘Irish Giant’.

Place: The Hunterian Museum

We drank: champagne and wine

We ate: savoury snacks were dotted around the exhibits, but many people mysteriously lost their appetites..!

GAT also went to a few parties at the London Book Fair, the first of which was the launch of the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2008 held at Earl’s Court, which takes place in Harrogate in July. After mingling with authors, agents and publishers, GAT was delighted to find there were complimentary bottles of Theakston’s to take away, and subsequently wished she had brought a substantially larger handbag…

GAT followed this with a party for Virgin books, held at the Babylon Roof Gardens in Kensington. GAT chatted tipsily with publishing and journalist acquaintances over the free drinks and canapés, and spotted Jo Brand and Anthea Turner amongst the guests.

We drank: gallons… after copious glasses of red wine, white wine, champagne and beer, GAT started to become a little sluggish in her observations, I’m afraid…

We ate: Parmesan baskets with Parma ham and sour cream, olive tapenade on toasted polenta, and mini arancini stuffed rice balls.

A rather more provocative party was the launch of a novel about Glasgow swingers, Swung by Ewan Morrison, the self-proclaimed ‘Scottish purveyor of erudite filth’, held at the Ten Bells on Commercial Street. The installation of ‘sex furniture’ (a rather beautiful swing suspended from the ceiling, I won’t go into explanations here, I’m a lady…) and a particularly explicit reading by Ewan certainly raised the temperature. Or maybe that was just the hot pink walls plastered with the saucy book jacket and the free-flowing wine..?

Place: Ten Bells, Commercial Street

We drank: red wine, white wine and beer