Monday, 11 December 2017

Dusk in Dulwich Park, South London

After  a day of rain, snow, sleet and more rain, the weather in south London clears to reveal a vibrant red sky

Friday, 8 December 2017

Trinity Restaurant, The Polygon, Clapham Old Town, south London

Images from Trinity's web site

Bringing a touch of West End class to Clapham's Old Town, Trinity Restaurant offers fine dining in tasteful and spacious surroundings, presided over by a small army of well-drilled waiting staff. The refined decor of the downstairs dining room is matched by the crisp white table cloths, smart crockery and generous tables and chairs. In the evening, you can opt for three or four courses from the set menu at a cost of £55 and £68 respectively, before a discretionary service charge of 12.5%. You'll also be served various appetisers, as well as some mouthwateringly light and warm bread rolls during the meal. To start, the tuna, served with crab salad, apple and smoked almond milk, is vibrantly fresh, while the second course of smoked eel pissaladiere, served with red wine, garlic and olive oil, also makes for a scintillating mix of flavours. Even better is a third course of raised beef short rib in a rich and sumptuous Bourguignon sauce - the slow cooked meat is a tender and time-honoured tribute to a French classic. For desert, the rum baba, served with Madagascan vanilla cream and semi dried grapes, makes for a lovely mix of textures and tastes. The wine list is very extensive, but also expensive, starting at around £30 a bottle. The Specogna Pinot Grigio (£52 a bottle) is surprisingly pink, but still crisp and dry. It is very pleasant, but over-priced. Although it could break the bank, Trinity Restaurant is a good option for a special occasion. An extraordinary amount of thought and care has gone into conceiving the dishes, the cooking and the on-plate presentation. Trinity is smart, but not stuffy. 8/10

Friday, 10 November 2017

Beginning, Dorfman Theatre, National Theatre, Southbank, Central London

Images from the National Theatre web site
A stripped-back production in many senses, Beginning involves just two actors, one set and one long, long scene. It can be intense. Depicting the aftermath of a house party, the play portrays an elaborate and feisty courtship between the hostess and a male guest she barely knows. One of the conceits is that the pair seem poorly-suited to each other - she is the managing director of some kind of agency with her own flat in Crouch End, while he still lives with his Mum in Essex. There is little chemistry. The result is long, awkward silences, twitchy body language, restless movement and continual shifts of position, as Laura and Danny manoeuvre around the open-plan lounge and kitchen, strewn with party debris, eating, drinking and trying to decide whether to touch each other.

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Park, Square Marie-Louise, Brussels

Near the centre of Brussels, the park in middle of the elegant Square Marie-Louise is dominated by a small lake with a fountain, an artificial cave and mature trees.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Darwin Forest Country Park, Darley Moor, Two Dales, Matlock, Derbyshire

A Center Parks-style camp on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Darwin Forest Country Park has rows of wooden lodges, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, tennis courts, an amusement arcade, a soft play area, an archery track, a restaurant and other activities on site. You have to pay to use these amenities, but the charges are pretty reasonable. Although the bedrooms can be very compact, the newly-built lodges, some of which have hot tubs on their verandas, are comfortable and well-equipped with spacious living areas. The site itself, which still has lots of tree cover, is adjacent to a patch of woodland with a 2km running track and a "trim trail".  Moreover, the attractive town of Matlock isn't far away. 7/10

Friday, 22 September 2017

Trafalgar Square, Central London

Now partly-pedestrianised and lined with grand buildings, Trafalgar Square has become a popular place to hang-out for tourists and locals alike

Kennington Road by Bike, South London

A tree-lined boulevard with a generous bus lane, Kennington Road is a popular route for cyclists heading to and from central London

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Sedona, Arizona

Surrounded by red rock and cowboy country, Sedona is a touristy town in the midst of some other-worldly scenery. One of the most popular activities involves off-road tours in pink jeeps.