Last night I went to a girl’s night out organised by my boss’s wife (J). In the four years that she’s been in London, J has made some really lovely friends so I was happy to have been invited along to meet them.
We arranged to catch up at Crazy Bear restaurant & bar in the Fitzrovia neighbourhood – all new things for me. Naturally I walked in the wrong direction when I came out of the Tottenham Court Road station, but my trusty A-Z Guide saved the day – as it so often does. Once I was heading in the right direction, I found the restaurant without a problem.
Crazy Bear is one of those fancy-looking places that takes its fabulousness so seriously that it doesn’t even bother to advertise itself outside. You could so easily walk past it without even realising and perhaps that is the point. Maybe it’s a place only for patrons in the know? Fortunately last night I was one such patron and once I found the place and head inside, the décor is sleek and modern, offering its young & hip clientele some quirky footstool/ottoman chairs to sit on, some snug booths to hide in, and – best of all – dim lighting to add to the mystique. The wine list is great, the cocktails are strong and the yum cha are cheap and plentiful. No complaints on those fronts at all.
Hands down the craziest thing about Crazy Bear are the toilets. I’m serious! First of all, there is no signage on the toilet doors. In fact, there are no HANDLES on the toilet doors. You need to just feel your way along the wall, pushing it as you go, and hope that you get to the door. Then you hope (again) that you’ve pushed the door to the ladies – and not the alternative, as happened to me at least twice. If this isn’t anxiety-ridden enough, you go INSIDE the toilets and everything is dimly lit and mirrored. I ended up cross-eyed and totally confused. I couldn’t tell if the toilets were occupied; I couldn’t work out whether to push or pull the mirrored cubicle doors – it was like something out of Alice in Wonderland. With the job done, and time to wash your hands, the sink is some sort of temperamental sensor-driven, rainforest-inspired dribble of water that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. I was desperate to declare it all ridiculous, but I couldn’t – it was simply too fabulous for that.
I love places with character, don’t get me wrong. And Crazy Bear has character in spades. I certainly won’t be forgetting my visit any time soon. But perhaps there IS such a thing as too much fabulous?