Friday, 6 February 2009

Valentine's Cocoa Calendar

Wow, it’s nearly Valentine's already, can you believe it? While I’m not adverse to the season of love, I’m certainly not one of those hopeless romantics who go all out by ordering a trailer load of rose petals, shiny heart-shaped balloons, or anything equally crazy. *Shrugs*, I guess I've never really been that kinda girl. But anyway, I'm not complaining. As cheesy as it is a concept it's a day to get glammed up and head out for a night on the razz nonetheless. So for those celebrating in and around the capital, here are a few happenings going down that might entice you to battle the cold and go out and celebrate. 

Bamboo Grove

Bamboo Grove is a Caribbean restaurant located right in the heart of South Croydon.  Owned by renowned chef Anthony Cumberbatch, I visited for the first time last week and can personally vow that the food is truly lip-smacking. I usually frown upon words like “nouvelle cuisine” when applied to Caribbean food, but trust me, it definitely works. If like me, you're a seafood junkie, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the three fish curry. Little miss gluttony here devoured the whole plate entirely and has been routinely dreaming about it ever since. The braised oxtail is great too. Anthony will be creating a special Valentine's menu during the season of love, so check him out at 


Jazzie B & Soul II Soul - 14th Feb

Ready to go back to life, back to reality? Well join Jazzy B and his funky associates, Soul II Soul, as they take to the stage at the Jazz Café for one night only. The group are still going strong, having relocated to Antigua to create what sounds like some kinda of funky soul commune. I’m pretty certain revellers can expect a melange of classics such as “Keep On Movin’” and “Back 2 Life”, as well as more recent material. For further info visit 

Jodeci - 14th Feb

Well look what we have here, us Brits can’t get enough of Jodeci. Although the group haven’t had a hit in years, they still have a loyal fan base in the UK, and every Valentine's it's almost a given that they’ll roll into town for a series of gigs. This year they’ll be appearing at Wembley Arena alongside R&B singer, Joe. Provided that they all actually turn up, it should be an interesting gig. Visit for bookings. 


 Image by Flasch photography

Yolanda Brown - 14th & 15th Feb

Mobo award winning Jazz saxophonist, Yolanda Brown, is set to headline her own Valentine’s concert this month. Comprising of a full live band and special guests, Yolanda is one hell of a performer and a total sweetie. I have a sneaky suspicion that the gig on the 14th is sold out, but don’t take my word for it. Visit for info.

Rose Royce - 14th Feb

The group behind enduring soul/funk classics like ‘Car Wash’, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ and ‘Wishing on A Star’ head to the Indig02 this month for a Valentine's concert. I saw this Rose Royce randomly at Catford Broadway about four years ago and they are phenomenal live. Now reunited with lead singer Gwen Dickey, audience members will be in for a treat. Visit for ticket info.  

Mica Paris - 20th & 21st Feb

I'm such a Mica stan. The singer of 80's hits such as 'My One Temptation' and 'Where Is The Love' is sadly now known more as a TV personality/ reality TV star than the phenomenal soul singer that she was born to be. I've never seen her live so I'm particularly excited about her forthcoming shows at the Jazz Cafe. For details visit 

Freddie Jackson - 28th Feb

Soul crooner Freddie Jackson performs at the Indig02 this month. The man behind soul classics such as 'Rock Me Tonight' and 'You Are My Lady' hasn't performed in the UK for over 10 years, so I suspect lovers of old school soul will be out in their droves to see this one. Tickets are priced between £30-50, visit for further details. 

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.