Sunday, 30 September 2012

Nottingham: my third Invasion

As I’ve said before on these pages, the TGirls in Nottingham have really sorted themselves out and have a lot of activities to keep them amused and sane. The monthly Nottingham Invasion is one of the better monthly meets around the country mainly as there is no ‘gay ghetto’ to confine the wanderings of the trans posse. The Invasion bossladies, Sam and Maddy, are to be commended for making this such a success.

So, as previously, I stayed in the very pleasant New Gables hotel run by Debbie and Maria, and met some of my oldest and closest friends there. I booked a table at the recommended Noor Jahan restaurant where we ate a substantial, tasty and good value meal with attentive service. Recommended. I was particularly pleased with being addressed as Madam on the phone. My female voice is improving.

Good food and good company. At Noor Jahan with some of my closest friends. 
Left to right: Jo, me, Ange, Maddy and Tiff.

New Foresters pub is the gateway to the proceedings and where most of the girls meet first for a drink and a chat. We moved on to the Newmarket Inn, an Australian gay pub which I hadn’t visited before and which had a party on to celebrate its first birthday. I quite liked its traditional interior (see picture). The TGirls at the bar are really beautiful. On the down side, I found the karaoke too loud.

At the Newmarket Inn

Another venue I’d not visited before was the Queen of Clubs which was not bad apart from the deafening music throughout which makes conversation impossible except in the quite pleasant ladies’ loos. I jerked about a bit which is what passes for dancing with me.

And finally to the NG1 club which is my favourite Nottingham venue as it has an attractive bar area where you can have a conversation without having to shout over the music, which is confined to a completely separate dancefloor area.

So that's a brief summary of the venues we visited. For me it's not the locations that count but an opportunity to meet up with some really nice people and catch up with all our news.

Nottingham has really got a lot to offer the out-and-about TGirl and I now recommend it to all girls who want a good night out and are prepared to travel. Many thanks to Tiff, Maddy, Ange, Jo, Gayna, Lynn, Rachael S., Rachel K.S., Holly and all the girls for another great evening.

Sue x

Friday, 7 September 2012

Necessary research into pubs

So I have been doing some research into London pubs with the help of other TGirls. This is, naturally, principally for the benefit of TGirls who might like to know of a few decent places to visit if they ever find themselves thirsty in the big city. Big city thirst is a terrible affliction so I feel that our endeavours for the benefit of transkind will be appreciated in the true spirit of charity in which they were undertaken.

Last week my smiley friend Gillian came to mine to get ready and we drove to meet my lovely pal Grace at the Vauxhall Griffin in South London, a nice quiet comfortable pub with an array of varied seating and a teeny beer garden. The staff were friendly and the ladies’ loos are fantastic. A great place for a catch-up with both girls.

In the Vauxhall Griffin's tiny beer garden. (This is actually Gillian's photo which is even smilier than the ones on my camera)

Tuesday was a beautiful day and I really didn’t want to be indoors so I met Joanne (who features here regularly) on the roof terrace of the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, West London. (Hammersmith is where the Charing Cross Hospital is, home of one of the gender clinics.) I stupidly didn’t take a photo but it is nice up there with its wooden benches and tables and climbing plants away from the crowds and traffic. The chilled white wine slipped down very well in the sunshine.

We decided that a pub garden would be the ideal place for a bite to eat so we went to the Hampshire Hog further along King Street near Ravenscourt Park, which has a delightful beer garden. The white and rosé wines were very nice. I felt my bowl of pappardelle pasta with mixed veg created a very good mix of flavours and textures but all the food was pricey. So enjoy a drink there but eating, though decent, is not worth the money.

After just missing our friend Saffy who had just been discharged from the hospital (sorry, Saff, but lunch always takes priority), and after attending to other matters there, we set off by tube for the West End. The Wellington pub at the bottom of Wellington Street has tables outside where you can look along Waterloo Bridge or down the Strand. It’s always quite busy but serves a decent range of better quality drinks. I’m a sucker for fruit ciders and Nicholson’s pubs are well stocked with these.

You know, before I started going out as a TGirl the fear was put into me that pubs were full of transphobic yobs ready to knife any girl who ventured in. This is not true. At all. Earlier this year I thought of starting a new blog devoted to all places which were “trans-friendly” but I’ve realised that essentially anywhere is as welcoming to trans people as it is to any other customer. And the other punters just mind their own business, unless you chat to them and make friends, of course. So instead, when I get round to it, I shall simply put up a new blog about good places to eat, drink, visit, shop at and so on for the benefit of anyone who visits London.

Sue x