Sunday, April 08, 2012

Spring 2012 London trip – day #7

The theme for Easter Sunday has been Trains, Boats and Planes.

We started out with a visit to King George V lock so that Graham could see it from the land in daylight – the King George V lock last time he was here was on a TNC cruise that locked up into the dock with a collection of other narrowboats in the dark whilst sharing the lock with  HMS Grafton and associated tugs. As we crossed ‘Sir Steve Redgrave’ bridge  Landing at London Docklands(I bet he was under-whelmed with that one ;^) we watched the planes passing immediately overhead and  landing at London Docklands airport. Then it became a walking tour of the east end. We went to Limehouse and strolled around the basin admiring the yachts just like we do on more exotic holidays. Bonus of our ‘staycation’  as there were narrowboats and barges too! 

The Grapes The need for lunch led us to The Grapes where we had some good beer and food. The lunch menu was Sunday roast, pork or beef, with apple crumble, bread and butter pudding or ice cream – 3 scoops. The roast was very good served with an excellent cauliflower cheese and the best horseradish sauce I have tasted for years. Graham had what was the best bread and butter pudding we’ve come across, fragrant with vanilla, light and swimming in cream. I had ginger and lavender ice creams. As we finished, a local diner told us that Charles Dickens had lived in the building and had probably written ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ in the very room we were eating in. Revolution was in the air again as another diner was spotted with a plate of sticky toffee pudding. She was interrogated as to how she had come by it. It would appear that she had asked what was for dessert and had been offered it as one of the choices. They had forgotten to put it on the menu. The waitress returned to the room and we reminded her about the fatewalkway constructed over the river of Marie Antoinette over a few ill chosen dessert related words.

Back onto the Docklands light railway and up to Stratford to get a  good look at the Olympic site before too many tourists, sports fanatics and athletes clog up the view. We spotted why the Bow back-rivers have been closed to navigation. A section has been boarded over as it passes under a bridge in order to create an access path the full width of the waterway.

Then – off to see Westfield shopping centre just because. It was closed to shoppers and no worse for that. Not a place I would ever want to go again (If I need shops like that Birmingham beckons). Back to the tube and then the boat where there’s a cuppa and some washing to be done.


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