7.15 am: I am rudely awoken by the Honey Badger’s alarm. I pretend to be asleep. It’s useless.
7.30 am: The Honey Badger presents me with a cappuccino. This is quite literally the highlight of my day and I go “Yeahhhh!” on a regular basis – like I’ve never seen a cup of bloomin’ coffee before.
8.30 am: After half an hour reading the news, I am at my desk. My clients all seem to either a) live in the US; or b) like working at midnight for some bizarre reason. So there’s always a mountain of email to get through (I am attempting not to answer mails after 7 pm in a bid to spend less time glued to screens – success is limited). I get in a good couple of hours of serious writing/editing/blog-posting before the social media ADD sucks me in…
…And suddenly it’s 11 am: I go for a run (on a good day) to work off all the food and wine I will later consume. I am pleased if I don’t hate it too much.
12 noon: I am, once again, starving hungry. Most days, I eat leftovers from the night before that are all tupperware’d up in the fridge. But today, I meet a friend who’s got the day off for lunch. We’re on the Van Woustraat and I have vague recollections of emails, Facebook posts, comments on my blog, press releases – all informing me of great places to eat in the area. I fail to remember any of them and instead we wander into the Vlaamsch Broodhuys. I am annoyed that I’m not trying anywhere new (I’ve been to the Vlaamsch Broodhuys on the Haarlemmerstraat before) and that with five locations it’s essentially a chain. But by this point I’m too hungry to care.
12.30 pm: The service is such that we are actually eating within 20 minutes of sitting down.
6 pm: It’s time for a beer. It must be time for a beer – right? I head to Checkpoint Charlie, this funny-looking new place that’s sprung up just south of the Westerpark (because, as we all know, if there’s one thing I like more than a drink in the evening, it’s a drink in the evening close to my house). I’m meeting a lady called Megan who does a pop-up called Pinch. This feels like a two-birds, one-stone situation: I get to try someplace new AND it’s always fun talking to foodie entrepreneurs.
8 pm: We’re two beers down and it’s clear that neither of us feels like going home to cook dinner. I peruse Google Maps, hoping to spot somewhere to eat that I’ve never been before. This is tough – as I said, we’re only a couple of blocks from Westerpark. I finally alight on Duende Dos – it’s a tapas place that I tried to go to once before but they were closed for a private party. It’s also 300 metres from where we’re sitting – bonus.
8.30 pm: Due to equally good service (I’m on a roll today), we’re halfway into our first glass of wine. By this point, Megan and I have covered pop-ups, politics and boys, so we’ve clearly not looked at the menu. Instead, we ask the waitress to bring us a few dishes of whatever she thinks is good.
9 pm: From the kitchen come a dish of merguez sausages and a spinach salad with plenty of fresh goat’s cheese. They’re both good, but nothing life-changing. The roasted vegetables are a little too sweet and oily for me, and the chorizo comes in rather unsatisfying thin slices rather than meaty chunks. Cheese in manchego-shaped slices appears (you know what I mean) with a block of membrillo; only it’s not manchego – it’s kind of rubbery, like a cross between a young gouda and a hard goat’s cheese.
11 pm: We spend about €30 each, including a full bottle of house red, and I feel bad that I already know I’m only giving this place three stars. The waitress was an absolute gem, and I wish that I’d decided 8 years ago to split out my ratings for food and service. Then I figure that Duende Dos has probably been in business longer than my website has, and I doubt they care all that much what I think. Good for them.
11.30 pm: I drag myself up the four flights of stairs to my apartment, wondering whether to pretend to be more sober than I am. Screw that. The Honey Badger wisely opts not to bother berating me for getting home so late without telling him where I am – we’ve been through this so many times before, he’s given up.
12 midnight: In bed. Ugh – this hangover is going to suck tomorrow. Rest and repeat.