A View From The Tower

Music: Old VS New

October 28th, 2014 by Raven Garcia

I was recently involved in a debate on a Facebook group which a few of my friends are members of, and took fire for making a statement along the lines of “If it was recorded after 1990, chances are it sucks”.

Obviously I’m not implying that ALL music recorded after 1990 sucks, although this was how it was interpreted by most of the people on the group. I am simply of the view that although most things do improve over time, music (in general) is not one of them.

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9 Things I Hate About Food

September 10th, 2014 by Raven Garcia

Some of you may have seen my 10 Crimes Against Food article. I’d been toying with the idea of writing a sequel to that, but couldn’t find enough that truly were crimes against food. Most of them were petty annoyances at best. But then I noticed how many trends, and “buzzwords” there are flying about at the moment that piss me off. So I decided to put them all together into a list of culinary annoyances, buzzwords, clichés, and things that people in the food industry should just stop doing.

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September 8th, 2014 by Raven Garcia

Chinatown’s Newcomer Turns Up The Heat

Barshu Restaurant
28 Frith Street, London W1D 5LF
Barshu Front

Regional Chinese cuisine is really taking off. Scores of Brits are finally waking up to the fact that China is actually pretty big, and made up of lots of different parts rather than being just a homogenised MSG-laden lump – a luminous, sticky sweet and sour stain on the world’s culinary map, as imagined by those of us with the more undeucated palates. Those of us whose palates passed their GCSE’s and went on to further education will know that there is so much more to Chinese food than can be found on the menu of your local takeaway.
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February 13th, 2014 by Raven Garcia

I’ll skip over the fact that I’ve not written anything on here since July last year. That’ll all be covered in a later post. Maybe. Instead I’ll be telling you about my recent visit to Liverpool, because a) that’s more interesting and b) it’s certainly fresher in my mind. Since me and my girlfriend Alison founded Red Army Fiction last May I’ve been meaning to get away somewhere to see if it would help my writing, and it has. I don’t know if it was just being away from London or whether it was something about Liverpool in particular that did it, but over the last few days I’ve not been able to put my pen down.

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Sobranie Russian Restaurant & Bar

July 17th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

A Meal Fit For A Tzar

Sobranie Russian Restaurant and Bar
8 Fountain Square, London SW1W 9SH

As some of you are aware, I now host a spoken word night called Red Army Fiction. My co-organiser, a wonderful lady called Alison, said she’d take me out for dinner to celebrate the success of our first event back in May. So last Thursday, we took advantage of a Groupon voucher Alison had acquired for a Russian restaurant in Victoria, which I thought was quite fitting, given the name of our event.

Russian food is full of so many familiar flavours and yet to some can still seem so alien. In my Shaka Zulu review I called African food ‘the last culinary frontier’. Perhaps Russian cuisine also has a claim to that title, because so far my search for a truly authentic Russian dining experience in London has eluded me. So I got the tube over to Victoria with Alison hoping that would change.

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Red Army Fiction

May 31st, 2013 by Raven Garcia

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been very busy recently and haven’t had the chance to write much as of late. Well, I have written a couple of things but not for the website. I’ve been co-organising a spoken word night which happened last week at the Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green. (I’ve also been busy with other stuff, and I cracked my rib about a month ago and that’s only just healed, so that didn’t help). So forgive me if this article seems a little rushed – it’s because it is.

So yeah, the spoken word thing. Well, myself and a lovely lady called Alison have been talking about doing something like this for some time now. We did it to raise money for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which is a cause we both care very deeply about, and if you’ve never heard of it then I’m sure you’ll see why when you visit the website. Read the rest of this entry »

Boots Are Made For Walking

May 8th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit some distant relatives out in the countryside. They have a piano in their lounge which is incredibly cool. We were sitting around playing the piano for about half an hour when I got up to get a drink. As I made my way to the kitchen I tripped over a huge pair of boots which were standing in the hallway. From the look of them I guessed that they were women’s boots, as they were made of black leather and looked to come up to the knee. But in fact she informed me that they were boys riding boots. I now have a huge bump on my forehead where I knocked it against the bannisters. That’s the first time I’ve ever been injured by equestrian equipment. Stupid boots. Boots are made for walking, not riding, and certainly not causing injuries in corridors.


May 1st, 2013 by Raven Garcia

Italian In The Heart Of… Homerton??

Venerdi, 9 Chatsworth Road, London E5 0LH22

Last Thursday, my mum decided to treat me to a meal out for my birthday. She’d heard about a place close to Homerton Hospital where she works, an Italian place which is quite popular among the staff at the hospital (I’m not surprised, seeing as they get a 15% discount).

The weather had been lovely all day, a sign that Winter was finally over. I’d been up Tottenham Court Road earlier in the day to buy some new threads, and had not eaten much apart from a light breakfast. So now I was hungry. By the time my mum, her boyfriend and I arrived, I could hear my stomach grumbling and some of the aromas coming from the semi-open kitchen tantalised me even more.

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Truck And Cover!!

May 1st, 2013 by Raven Garcia

Yesterday I went on a very entertaining journey with my cousin, to buy a cover for his pickup truck. Yes, you heard me right. I thought it would be a simple case of driving half a mile down the road to the local auto store and picking something up, however we drove to FOUR different retailers before we found one that he liked! This is my cousin all over, he would rather spend lots of money on a fancy hi-tech cover than just cover ford truck with an old bedsheet like I would. Still, he seemed happy with it, so I guess each to their own. Although I could have thought of much more entertaining ways to spend my Tuesday afternoon.

SH#4: Coming Of Age

April 25th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

Coming Of Age – Still Here #4

“Still Here” is a reference to Steve McQueen’s portrayal of the titular character in the film “Papillon”, particularly the scenes where, despite all of the ordeals he faces throughout the film, he looks defiantly up at the heavens and says “I’m still here, you bastards!!”

I may not have been through as many horrifying ordeals as Steve, but I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, and I’m still here. This could loosely be called a collection of my memoirs.


Ah, the 18th birthday. An occasion that’s meant to be something you remember for the rest of your life, right?? Well, I won’t forget mine. And here’s why…

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