Boopshi’s Schnitzel & After Work Cocktails In Fitzrovia

In spite of the slightly insane amount of work I have to do before I leave for France this time next week, circumstances conspired for me to end up having the day off because of lots of cancellations yesterday, so I took the time to probably get into the festive swing of things. After a spot of Christmas shopping in Canterbury and lunch at The Shakespeare with my Mummy, I headed into London to play around with my new camera before dinner. I’ve been using the same DSLR for the past 6 years, so having a new one is very, very strange. It has Wifi, and a flip screen. It is pretty awesome, but it feels like I have someone else’s camera in my hand. 

Mixing Cocktails at Simmons, Fitzrovia
Aside from being long overdue for the upgrade, the reason I’ve so badly wanted a new camera for a while is because I can’t photograph properly in the dark. My old, but still very much beloved Nikon D60 simply does not let enough light in; I can never get colours or focus right when I’m photographing in dark restaurants, which basically means at this time of the year I’m game over by 4pm every day. For all you camera geeks out there, it is another lightweight, professional standard Nikon DSLR. I have not used it enough yet to properly comment on its features, but what I can tell you about it now is it is relatively light compared to a lot of the other models on the market, the flip screen is really useful and the kit lens collapses to be really compact when you’re not using it. As the the Wifi, I can import pictures directly to my iPhone using a free downloaded app. You can see some shots I did like this on Instagram last night here and here.

Aside from getting to know my camera a bit last night, getting excited that I can finally shoot at night, I had a lovely time with a couple of my university friends in Fitzrovia last night, starting with schnitzel, bratwurst and spritz at one of my favourites, Boopshi’s, followed by a few cocktails at the newly opened Simmons bar which we were invited down to try. So, here are a few snapshots and recommendations for it you’re ever in the area.

Boopshi's Spritz

Boopshi’s have changed up the spritz’s on their menu since my last visit, so this time I went for their current #6: a pear, elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth, sherbet and prosecco number. It was delicious, and I expected none the less, but can we please start some sort of lobby group to bring back their original #6, which featured a delicious mixture of kirsch, pear & strawberry, sherbet and prosecco? Pretty please?

Boopshi's Pork Schnitzel with Duck Egg & Capers
Boopshi's Potato Salad

I decided to stick to the (still delicious) pork schnitzel To me, it always needs to be topped with capers, but I went for a fried duck egg rather than my usual anchovies. Still lovely, but I still think we need to go anchovy and caper for the win. (If you’d like to make your own schnitzel at home, I recently put together a Boopshi’s inspired recipe for my Borough Market column). My favourite side from last time was the potato salad so I ordered that again, and it did not disappoint. A must have for when you visit. Nicely balanced, and the flavour has really been allowed to seep into the potatoes, making it both a staple and special dish. 

Boopshi's Frites

Two more sides the three of us went for that were newbies were the Frites (I was very impressed, both light and crunchy, and nice and thin. Good, solid fries that were not just afterthoughts), and the pickles that packed a goof punch without being too overwhelming. Honestly, we were all pretty full after this, so we just forwent dessert in lieu of a brisk walk a few streets down in search of a few cocktails before heading home. 

Simmons, Fitzrovia

Sometimes it is nice to go somewhere that does not try too hard for cocktails after work, and Simmons really fit the bill. At the moment only the upstairs is open and it gets quite busy, but the bar manager took me down to where they are finishing off refurbishment of the building downstairs. There are some great little ‘caves’ you will be able to hire out, all with different themes, such as a disco room, a school yard. 

Simmons Happy Hour
Simmons Cocktail Menu
Mixing Sloe Sailors
Sloe Sailors at Simmons

Happy hour runs Sunday-Friday, 4pm-9pm where all cocktails are two of the same for £10, so naturally we took full advantage of this. Two of us started on ‘Sloe Sailors’ (sloe gin, Sailor Jerry rum, fresh strawberries, lemon and sugar syrup) as I automatically gravitate towards anything with Sloe Gin in, which were fresh, fruity but not too Summery that it felt odd to be drinking them in a crowded bar in the middle of November. 

Simmons Bar, Fitzrovia
Simmons Mixology
Simmons My Tie's

The Sloe Sailor remained my favourite, but we also sampled ‘Sex With A Lad’ (vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice and orange juice) which was a bit watered down for my tastes, but Eleanor loved, and a couple of ‘My Tie’ (rum, oregat syrup, cointreau, pineapple juice and fresh lime) which were not what I expected, but tasted like a nice, light Pina Colada. They also do cocktails in teapots, if you’re interested! 

In other, unrelated news if you’re at all interested in Black Friday sales today, the guys at rewardStyle have sent me a roundup of some of the best deals and discount codes around today to share with you all, so here goes: All Saints are offering 20% off of everything with the code CYBER today, ASOS are offering 20% off of everything on their site until the 2nd December with the code CYBERWKND20, Boden are offering 30% off of everything on their site with free shipping and returns until the 30th November, Gap are offering 30% off of everything today plus free shipping, Hobbs are offering 20% off with the code TREAT20America Only J.Crew are offering 30% off of all full price items and 40% off of all sale items with free shipping until 30th November with the code HOLIDAY, Madewell are offering 25% off of your entire shopping basket until 30th November with the code GIFTON, America Only Piperlime are offering 25% off site wide and entry to win a trip for 2 people to NYC for Fashion Week with the code IHEARTNYC, Selfridges are offering up to 20% off with the code SELF14, TOMS are offering 25% off of all non core collection or sale items with the code CHEER, Whistles are offering 30% off site wide and The White Company are offering 20% off until the 1st with the code AE620.

Happy shopping today, I hope you get some great deals and have a fantastic weekend. I’m off out rowing this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon, and then I should be hitting up Foodie Festival London with a group of friends on Sunday. If you’re around the festival, be sure to come over and say hi!