Maybe you’re a Briton living in New York. Or maybe you’re just an Anglophile with a fondness for Morrissey, an unhealthy interest in Prince William, and a bad habit of spelling “colors as “colours.” Either way, this is your guide to living Britishly in Brooklyn. From partying to eating to shopping, here’s how to maximize your U.K. experience without ever leaving the borough.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November
Brooklyn Based is sponsoring a Guy Fawkes Day party in the front lounge of the Bell House next Thursday, November 5th. Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night, is a British holiday commemorating a conspiracy’s thwarted attempt to blow up English Parliament in 1605. Traditionally, this holiday is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks, and late night revelry. We’ll be skipping the pyrotechnics and going straight for the revelry: Britpop DJs, V for Vendetta, drink specials on Newcastle Brown Ale, Walkers crisps (potato chips to us) from the Chip Shop, and everything else you need for the best Guy Fawkes party on this side of the Atlantic.
Hungry (and thirsty) like the wolf
The Chip Shop (on Atlantic Ave. and in the Slope) has the satisfying beer battered fish and malt vinegared fries combo down. It’s also the place to go if you need a fried Mars Bar (What are you scared of–heart attacks? Take a risk!).
For the London gastropub experience, check out Park Slope’s Alchemy. To get your bangers and mash fix, visit Gordon Bennett, a new English/Scottish bar and restaurant in Williamsburg. And starting this weekend, the South Slope’s Black Horse Pub will be serving a full English breakfast and a proper Sunday roast. They promise all the trimmings, right down to the Yorkshire pudding. (We talked about the Black Horse Pub before.)
Sample in Cobble Hill will fix a fine Pimm’s Cup (even in the dead of winter). Spuyten Duyvil has many British beers on its bottle list like the popular Ridgeway Ivanhoe, a classic English Pale Ale. And next Thursday, Beer Table will be tapping a special cask of J.W. Lees’ Harvest Ale, a barley wine from Manchester that pours like honey. Have a glass before or after the Guy Fawkes Day Party.
If you just need to pick up some marmite or HobNobs, the Victory Cafe in downtown Brooklyn has a fine selection of British groceries. Surprisingly, the Key Food on Fifth and Baltic in the Slope also stocks English treats like biscuits, crisps, and canned spotted dick (those Brits really have a way with words). And for addictive British candy bars like Cadbury’s Crunchie, head to Marlow and Daughters in the ‘Burg.
Bedford Cheese Shop and Stinky Bklyn have ample selections of Neal’s Yard Dairy and English farmstead cheeses, like creamy Cornish Yarg and the crumbly, earthy Stichleton, a raw milk Stilton. Do as the British do, and serve them after dinner.
Arsenal Vs. Chelsea
Football–or “footy,” if you want to sound affected–is a beloved sport in every nation except our own. (We’re also the only ones who insist on calling it soccer). Iona, in Williamsburg, shows all the English Premier League games, plus it has a lovely outdoor patio if you want to skip the fanaticism and move straight to drinking outside (another popular British pastime). Black Horse Pub also shows football matches.
Manhattan may have the Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, and Topshop stores, but we have the Paul Smith sale store. If you are a dapper, fashionable man in search of dapper, fashionable clothes on the cheap (read: still rather pricey), then you should get your dapper, fashionable self over to Grand Street.
Blue Ribbon General Store carries these attractive, stress-diffusing prints with the WWII slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Look for similar “plasters” (translation: Band-Aids) and mugs in the store soon.
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
With their dancey indiepop tunes, the Answering Machine was one of our favorite bands at this year’s CMJ. In the grand tradition of Good Shoes, the Maccabees, and the Cribs, this is music for having fun to. If you missed them during the festival, catch the Answering Machine before they fly back to Manchester: They play Coco66 next Wednesday, November 4th.
Feeling Gloomy, a long-running U.K. club night, is perhaps London’s best opportunity to dance to the Pet Shop Boys and think about how miserable you are. Tonight (Thursday, October 29), this DJ duo brings their gloom-and-doom action stateside to Glasslands.
On Halloween, NYC’s premier Britpop and indiepop dance night, Mondo, throws down at Huckleberry Bar. They’re calling it “Mondoween,” and it’s likely to be the most Brit-tastic Halloween party in town.
If Northern Soul is more your musical milieu, then Subway Soul is for you. Their next event is November 20 at Public Assembly, and it promises to be an excellent opportunity to pretend like you are a mod living in England in the 1960s. (And doesn’t everyone want to pretend that?)
BB+BAM Offer: “Punk ballerina” Karole Armitage teamed up with West African electronica band Burkina Electric and artist Philip Taaffe to direct and choreograph the African dance-electronica mashup, Itutu. It premieres at BAM next week, Nov. 4, 6, & 7 and we have a pair of free tickets to the opening night–just email us with the subject “Polyrhythmic” and we’ll pick a random winner on Monday.