If you've been reading my blog for a while then you will be well aware that I am a UK based (London to be exact) Twin Peaks mega fan. So unfortunately, journeying to North Bend, Washington and eating some cherry pie at the real Double R Diner won't be happening any time soon for me. Although it is top of my life time 'to do' list. So in the meantime I have to find ways to escape to Twin Peaks as best I can in The Big Smoke.
Here are some of the places which help me do just that! Those marked with a * are particularly close to this year's Twin Peaks UK Festival venue (Picturehouse Central in the West End) so worth checking out if you are visiting and staying nearby for the event.
19 Beak Street, W1F 9RP
If you are in need of a damn fine cup of coffee, black as midnight on a moonless night, then this is the place to go. I love this little coffee shop where the staff take their caffeine very seriously. It has a great atmosphere and in the evening they serve fabulous espresso martinis (a cocktail which was invented in Soho in 1983). If you are loyal enough you might be given a Black Card which will entitle you to £5 cocktails on Mondays. Doesn't get better than that.
75 Beak Street, W1F 9SS
Also on Beak Street (I spend a lot of time in Soho so this post is slightly area bias) you will find a great little diner which serves delicious fried chicken (my weakness) but also has mini doughnuts and a rather good cherry pie on the menu. It's not easy to find cherry pie in the UK and I'm always on the look out. A good place for lunch or an afternoon treat.
3 Greek Street, W1D 4NX
Milroy's is a very old whisky shop, with a secret... at the back of the shop, down a staircase is a hidden little bar tucked behind a bookcase. The dingy basement and books made me instantly think of the Bookhouse Boy's hang out. And because not everyone knows it is there, it has an element of the mysterious about it. A great place to go for an intimate drink.
Monthly at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club & November 12th at the Twin Peaks UK Festival
If you live in London, or near enough, and are reading this blog, but have never been to one of The Double R Club's shows than you neighbour, are an IMBECILE! As soon as you do attend one of their club nights you will fully understand why my opinion is so severe. The moment you step inside you are transported into a Lynchian dreamworld... 52 card pick up girls freshly scented from the perfume counter welcome you, a black cat may cross your path and the performers descend to the stage throughout the evening like spirits from another place. You can feel the owls watching you... Benjamin Louche (whose wonderful blue rose poem I posted previously and can be read here) is the charming and alarming compere and glamorous Miss Rose Thorne runs the show with the warmest hospitality. Do not miss this monthly happening.
58-59 Great Marlborough Street & 92-100 Stoke Newington Road
This is my favourite place to browse for retro Peaksy clothing. The shops are laid out really well, the staff are friendly and helpful and no matter which character you are trying to vibe, you will find the garbs you need here. You'll find everything from a glamorous shoulder padded 80s frock to an array of off duty Agent Cooper plaid. You could channel Bobby Briggs in a baseball jacket or make like Lucy in a hilarious knitted jumper. Great clothing at great prices! Definitely worth popping into pre-fest for a last minute costume.
4 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DA
These doughnuts are incomparable to regular doughnuts. These are atisanal doughnuts and absolutely drool worthy. Unfortunately I do not have the high metabolism of a bumble bee Agent Cooper possesses so have to restrict my consumption but it is so worth denying yourself until you have one. These are the doughnuts of your dreams. Flavours include Coffee Custard, Cinnamon Sugar and Sea Salt Caramel Banana. I am salivating just thinking about it... You can also order online!
Of course the concrete jungle of London cannot come close to the majestic beauty of Twin Peaks. There isn't a Douglas Fir in sight. But if you drive out of the city, or hop on the tube, you can quite easily find yourself back to nature with a visit to stunning Richmond Park. Here you will encounter free roaming deer, ducks on the pond and quite easily find yourself lost in the woods. A good place to go to catch your breath, do a spot of fishing or lounge the afternoon away with a picnic. Alternatively, woo your sweetheart with a boat trip in the more accessible Hyde Park (Kensington area) just like Annie and Coop.
I'm sure there are many more places of Lynchian interest in and around London (it was the setting for The Elephant Man after all) and if you know of anything I have missed out and would highly recommend, please let me know!
Now that Autumn has settled in we have some exciting times ahead of us with the release of Mark Frost's much anticipated book The Secret History of Twin Peaks and then in November the Twin Peaks UK Fest is finally happening again. This Friday I'm going to see The Art Life documentary about David Lynch and then Blue Velvet Revisited on Sunday as part of the London Film Festival. I'll be sure to post some reviews of these next week. I'm so grateful for what this city has to offer us! It may not be North Bend but it isn't half bad...