I have a new favourite hotel in London the City Inn Westminster Hotel. We arrived about 8 on Friday night and were impressed by the lovely tea selection and the free iMAC/television in the room. The hotel is very smart, has a good looking restaurant and was only £100 for the night, which is OK for central London. We walked over the river to Barcode in Vauxhall for a couple of beers and to listen to the good DJs there. It was good to bump into Tony, an ex press officer at the RSC, who left a year or so ago. We headed around the corner about 11:30 to go naked clubbing at Stakers which was as good as always. The mix of men and women was better than in the past (that means more women!) and the atmosphere was very friendly. We left about 2.30 and it was really great to only have a 10 minute walk over the river to get to the hotel: no messing with late night buses.
We managed to get up and out the hotel by 11.30 on Saturday, missing breakfast because we were heading over for a meaty lunch at Santa María del Sur in Queenstown Road. It’s an authentic Argentinean restaurant that Michael’s been wanted to try for a while. We had a Parrillada Mixta, which is a mixed grill served on a charcoal braziers: Argentine-style pork sausage + Sirloin steak + black pudding + provolone cheese + mushroom. We started with a lovely pisco sour cocktail which helped us on our way to a great lunch. We left about 3 and took the bus back to central London to go to an evening at the Dragon Hall in Covent Garden, organised by the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA) to mark International Day Against Homophobia. The evening was commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the implementation of Clause 28, in May 1988, and also the official launch of the new LAGNA website www.lagna.org.uk.
There was an excellent exhibition of press material from the 80’s that reminded everyone just how horrible the press was towards gays during the AIDS/Section 28 period. We heard a couple of great lectures: Professor Jeffrey Weeks: the political context of Clause 28, and Lisa Power: the campaigns against the Clause. Followed by film footage, including the lesbian invasion of the BBC news studio on the day the Clause was passed. There was more to come in the evening, but stuffed full of Argentinean beef, wine and pisco sour, it was difficult to concentrate for too long, we se headed off about 6.30 to head back to Cambridge. It was a very good event, and it was good to get an invitation from Oliver.