Pat and Cabbage are the type of bubbly suburban best friends you only see in sitcoms: they meet for morning jogs, midday pilates and afternoon coffee over the kitchen counter. They moan about their grown-up kids interfering in their lives and gossip about who they fancy and how big their bums are.
If you’re of the same age or going through a similar experience – that is: newly retired, newly single and free to flirt with men you meet while dropping your grandchild off at nursery – you might find the pair’s antics at least mildly diverting. Otherwise, it’s hard to see the comedy in Pat (Barbara Flynn) and the inexplicably named Cabbage (Cherie Lunghi) making off with a neighbour’s wheelie bin (apparently it was Pat’s) or parking up outside the house of a love interest like a couple of schoolgirls-cum-stalkers.
By the end of the first episode of this new ITV sitcom, you might share the sentiment of Pat’s daughter, who pointedly asks: ‘Why can’t you just go on a coach trip to see “Phantom of the Opera” like every other mother?’.
The Painted Lady
Located on a street that boasts APC and a Conran Hotel as neighbours, the Painted Lady could be forgiven for going a bit upmarket. However, this gently lit, cute little salon is much more interested than what was going on in 1950s hairdressing than the contemporary Shoreditch scene. As well as contemporary cuts and colour, the stylists at TPL specialise in screen-siren up-dos (£40) like Marilyn waves or Hepburn rolls. They even dispense lessons for groups in retro styling, so you can recreate the magic of the salon in your own bedroom.