So I finally made it to the Wapping Project. It’s a former power station that’s been converted into a restaurant and exhibition space in – funnily enough – Wapping, which is right on the Thames, close the the oldest pub on the river, the Prospect of Whitby
It’s a beautiful, soaring building, as you can see from the photos. We didn’t stay for a meal, but it does Modern European (ie expensive) dinners, lunch and breakfast. For a review of the breakfast, here’s a recent write up from the trusty London Review of Breakfasts. What it lacks in detail it compensates with wit.
Strangely enough, in the middle of the downstairs exhibition space was a fully set-up editorial office, as Blueprint magazine was publishing their November issue there (they’ve now gone back to their normal office, though). Despite it being a Saturday, with work far from my mind, I was oddly drawn to the flatplans, marked up print-outs with those odd little editing marks and general scruffiness of the desks, and enjoyed looking through the layouts they had stuck to the walls.
Despite the rivalry and dramas of some editorial teams (the subject of my next novel, details to be confirmed when I actually write the thing), there is something very satisfying about working on a magazine. I think it’s because every month you start a project, finish it, then move onto the next. It all happens fast, and there’s none of that unfinished nagging admin you get with most jobs and projects and life in general.
Once that baby has gone to the printers you never have to think about it again (except during editorial ‘post mortem’ meetings when you bite your lip and hope no-one notices the ‘sister’ you captioned in a feature on Morroco has a moustache, because he’s a bloke, or that the headline To Boldy Go is missing a crucial ‘l’, or you’ve input copy incorrectly so it reads ‘mowing tulips’ rather than moving them (only one of those errors was mine, I should add).
You can read about the teams’ experience of working at Wapping in the November issue, which out now. Apparently they got fed every day at the restaurant. There were also a couple of pop-up shops selling British leather boots, bags and some furniture by Tracey Neuls, Ally Capellino and Van der Meersch and Weston respectively. (Seriously, what isn’t a pop-up these days?). Speaking of which, local Dalston artist Tony Hornecker has just put up more dates for his Pale Blue Door pop up restaurant nights, where he cooks you a meal in his studio installation. I am thinking of booking. Here is a review and a quote from the flyer:
Behind a pale blue door, in a darkened alley, on a night in the not so distant future, the magnificent depression laid the surrounding city silent. If you follow your nose and open your ears and let the breeze carry the waft of cigarette smoke and the whiff of moonshine, the promise of love will drive you on and with furtive looks you knock three times, a heavily lacquered hand reaches out. Light, love and laughter spill out into the night sky before the city falls back into its slumber, only turning slightly in its cold and guilty bed.
It’s worth going just for his prose, in fact I am going to book ASAP. Here’s a link to his blog…