Post-work dinners with my girlfriends are an important part of my life and happiness. Back when we had no responsibilities and the smoking ban was unheard of, it was all far too many bottles of white wine and ciggies, and drunken dancing at the Roadhouse or similar; but now we’re older and apparently wiser, its about sharing nice meals and nattering – and always includes more wine and puddings than we originally set out to consume. It’s a mutual therapy session and appreciation society, and maybe because I’m off to see the Vagina Monologues tonight and a bit more “girl power” than usual, I’m feeling very blessed to be surrounded by such lovely friends. Anyhoo…
My previous girls’ night out was at the wonderful Terroirs, but last week, a small group plotting weddings, travels and new jobs went to Aurora – a highly-organised and largely veggy/pesky-tarian squad comprising Lady B, Lola, Scarlett, Pixie and myself (reminder: names have been changed, we aren’t 60s love children). Lexington Street is chocka with great-looking places – Andrew Edmunds all steamy windows and candles, veggie food at Mildred’s, drinks at Fernandez & Wells – I’ll definitely be back.
Aurora was lovely inside – great for groups of friends. They put us in a separate room with a nice big wooden table, interesting paintings, candles in wine bottles, books piled on side tables, lamps. I loved the atmosphere and it got a “ooooh” from every girl as they walked in.
We ordered bread and olives, and the mozzarella, pepper and rocket starters to share which were light and delicious. We ordered one, no two, oh go on then three, bottles of the viognier at £21.50 each which was easy to drink but with a greater depth than the usual female staple Pinot G, and went really well with the food.
Next, mains of aubergine tamale, swordfish, monkfish and steak. I had the monkfish which was delicious – served on a bed of beans and chorizo, the monkfish was thick and meaty. Everyone else loved their mains and the veggie option looked great.
Then we did what girls always do, and said we wouldn’t have a pudding, but OK maybe we should share one, but that won’t be enough so we’ll have two. Oh and cheese as well. The lemon tart, chocolate pud and cheese plate were all lovely – well worth having.
All in all, we spent about 4 hours in there, nattering wildly, crying and laughing both, singing along to that Glee song, and the total cost for mucho wine and food was £40 each – pretty good considering the time spent and calories consumed. I certainly ordered well as the monkfish was absolutely gorgeous, but some of the other plates looked good rather than amazing. HOWEVER, the service and relaxed atmosphere made it a fantastic place to bring friends if conversation is as important as the food (and shouldn’t it be??).
Out of interest, saw this cool wall painting on the way back along Carnaby Street…