Thursday, 26 March 2020

Church Town, Godstone, Surrey

Built in 1872, the timber-framed almshouses of Church Town look a lot older. They were designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, a prolific Victorian architect who also worked on the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station, the Albert Memorial, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

View from Brenchley Gardens, South East London

From the footpath running through Brenchley Gardens, there are wide views over the Aquarius Golf Club, which was laid out in 1909 around and on the roof of the Beechcroft Reservoir, which was once Europe's largest underground reservoir.  The reservoir is still operational today and holds 55 million gallons of water.   Originally opened in 1928, Brenchley Gardens now incorporate the old track bed of the Crystal Palace High Level Railway, which was closed in 1954.

View from the General James Wolfe Statue, Greenwich Park, South East London

The view down the Thames towards the City of London competes with the vista of the classical symmetry of the Old Royal Naval College overlooked by the futuristic towers of Canary Wharf.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Blythe Hill Fields, South East London

A charismatic park in Lewisham, Blythe Hill Fields is high enough to provide 360 degree views of London, Surrey and Kent. Although the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf are the most visible, you can also survey the gleaming glass of the Shard and the distinctive profile of the Walkie Talkie.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

The Welkin, The National Theatre, The South Bank

Images from the National Theatre web site
With a dozen women on the stage for most of the play, The Welkin is an in-depth exploration of what it means to be a mother in a paternalistic, sexist and very unequal society. Set in rural Suffolk in 1759, the plot revolves around whether a young woman convicted of murdering a child is pregnant. If she is with child, she will be spared the gallows. Twelve matrons from across the social strata are drafted in by the courthouse to decide whether Sally Poppy should live or die. Prominent among them is a strident midwife who does all she can to save the downtrodden, yet defiant, Sally. Their deliberations proceed to highlight the wanton abuse of servants, their fragile status in society, and how the odds are stacked against children growing up in the wrong social class.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Hill Street, Mayfair, Central London

Laid out in the eighteenth century, Hill Street is home to numerous listed buildings that have housed dozens of lords and nobles over the past two centuries.

The Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens, Central London

Unveiled in 1872, The Albert Memorial commemorates the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, who died of typhoid fever at the age of 42.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Cycle from Herne Hill to Peckham Rye, South London

Burbage Road, Herne Hill, South London

This 3.5km ride takes you from Herne Hill to Peckham Rye, via Dulwich Village. Cycle down tree-lined Burbage Road, past the grand Edwardian houses, the mural of Elizabethan actor Richard Burbage underneath the railway bridge and the historic velodrome. At the roundabout in bucolic Dulwich Village, take the second exit on to College Road and then turn immediately left into Dulwich Park. Cycle directly across this rather plain park, noting the bizarre elliptical sculptures, and exit through the Court Lane gate. Continue in the same direction, riding up Eynella Road to the traffic lights at the cross-roads with Lordship Lane. Ride straight over on to Barry Road and then take the first right onto Etherow Street, before turning left onto Friern Road, which is lined with compact, but handsome late Victorian terraces. After about  a kilometre of cruising slightly down hill, cross straight over Upland Road, through the cycle cut and you'll soon emerge where Friern Road meets the green expanse of Peckham Rye.

Monday, 20 January 2020

The Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, South London

Grade II-listed, the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to educate the daughters of servicemen who died in the Crimean War. Today, it houses a mixture of flats, studios and workshops.

Winter on Wandsworth Common, South London

The view over Bellevue Field to Bellevue Road

Friday, 17 January 2020

The River Café, Rainville Road, Hammersmith, West London

It can be tough to secure a table for the winter set lunch at this famous west London eatery. But, if you can, you get a chance to eat reasonably-priced Michelin-starred food from a restaurant that is an intrinsic part of London's culinary folklore - you have a choice of two courses for £28, three courses for £34 or four courses for £42.  The menu changes daily, but with four varied dishes for antipasti, four for primi and four for secondi, you will likely be spoilt for choice. Although the portions aren't that big, you'll get some tasty focaccia rolls upfront, meaning three courses should be sufficient. The hand-cut tagliatelli with Parma ham and cream makes for a mouthwatering primi. For a secondi, the slow-cooked pork with soft polenta is both succulent and full of flavour. The ice cream for desert is good enough, but not exceptional. To drink, the Pinot Bianco, 2018 Cantina Terlano, (£29 for a 500ml carafe) is clean and pleasant.