Thursday, November 30, 2017

'The Dickens Inn'

London The Unfinished City

It was while strolling around St Katharine Dock and Marina that I spotted this beautiful old converted warehouse. Intrigued by its name, and style, I decided to find out more about this fascinating building.

'The Grapes'

London The Unfinished City
Grape Expectations.

The first time I discovered The Grapes, it was too early in the day to pay it a visit, so I made a plan to return to it. Sure enough, two months later, I did return and I was not disappointed.

London The Unfinished City
The Grapes; A narrow pub on Narrow Street

It is a narrow space, but quite long, stretching back to a terrace, that overlooks the river. There is a spacious dining room, upstairs, where a mouth-watering selection of food can be savoured. I opted to eat downstairs, choosing from the pub grub menu; Cumberland sausage, creamy mash with a caramelised onion gravy, washed down with a pint of St. Edmunds. Beautiful.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Borough Market

London The Unfinished City
The finest food market in London.

I have come to love my visits to Borough Market, where I invariably stop off for a late breakfast or an early lunch. With a truly great selection of fresh produce, exotic meats and street food from around the globe, there is something here for everyone. It is a vibrant, busy market, where I always discover something new to try. 

Although the market is always busy, it is worth visiting on a Sunday, when the stalls are closed, as you get an even greater understanding of its size. Plus, if you are very lucky, you may just spot a Harris Hawk, and his handler, who patrols the market to keep the pigeons away. 

Science Museum

London The Unfinished City
Apollo 10 Capsule.

When I was a child I knew the Science Museum as London Buttons. It was a name that I gave it because some of the displays had buttons that, when pressed, made parts of the display move. 

When I took my daughters I found to my delight, and surprise, some of these interactive displays were still there.

Being much older, and considering how much the museum has expanded, I was surprised by many of the exhibits. Some of them I remembered, while others were new to me. The sheer wealth of artefacts, and history, on display, is amazing, making this a must on any museum list.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Orangery, Holland Park

Orangery and Gardens
Arches, Gardens and Tranquillity.

The Orangery
, Holland Park, is a unique place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, for the entire family. It is a place that I have visited on a number of occasions, but I had never truly appreciated its beauty, and history, until my latest visit.

It has always been a place that I was intrigued by, ever since I saw it used as a film location in the 1982 movie 'Who Dares Wins'.

Tower of London: White Tower

London The Unfinished City
A Christmas King builds a Norman Castle.

I have walked past the Tower of London on countless visits, to the Unfinished City, but I had only entered its historic grounds once, and that was over thirty years ago. 

This weekend I put that right by taking my family to wander around the walls and buildings. Soaking up its rich history and marvelling at its size, which even now, almost a 1.000 years later, is still intimidating, filled me with awe.

Monday, November 13, 2017

London Transport Museum

London The Unfinished City
'Old Bill' saw action in The Great War.

The London Transport Museum
is one of those museums that, at first thought, makes you think of musty old buses and trams. Maybe some stuffy uniforms and not much more. And you would be right, but, at the same time, wrong.

Yes, there are plenty of buses, trams and trains, but they are in no way musty. All of the exhibits are displayed in such a way as to show the evolution of transport in London. The majority of the exhibits are available for the public to climb aboard, while the remaining ones are too fragile. 

There is everything from Sedan chairs to an original Omnibus. Trams and Taxis. Steam Locomotives to the latest in Underground carriages. 

The museum also shows the history of how timetables, signage and posters changed throughout the years, and how transport embraced new technology. It is definitely one of the more hands-on museums that is perfect for the entire family.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

'The George Inn'

London The Unfinished City
The Unfinished City's last 'galleried' coaching inn.

The George Inn
is one of those places that has existed, in some form or another, in the great Unfinished City for centuries. Unlike some other places of this age, though, The George Inn still retains all of the character that you would associate with something of this bygone era. From walking through the bars, that were frequented by Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, to walking along the gallery, with its uneven and creaky floorboards, you get a real sense of history.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Marble Arch

London The Unfinished City

Marble Arch
is one of those iconic buildings, within the Unfinished City, that I find intriguing. Not because of its design, but because of its location, which is not where it was first installed.

Natural History Museum

London The Unfinished City
King of the Dinosaurs.

The Natural History Museum is one of my favourite museums, in the Unfinished City. Housed within a magnificent architectural building, in the heart of Kensington, and with some truly unique specimens on show, it is a wonderland of discovery and learning, for all ages.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

London MillenniuM Footbridge (MillenniuM Bridge)

London The Unfinished City
Wobbly Bridge? Not anymore!

Of the nearly twenty pedestrian footbridges, across the River Thames, this is, quite possibly, my favourite. Spanning the river from St Paul's Cathedral, in the north, to the Tate Modern, in the south, the views that can be seen from its deck are incredible. When looking north, from Bankside, you get a clear view of St Paul's Cathedral, framed by the bridge supports.

Unfortunately, I never got to cross it on its opening day, nor the following two days, when it began to sway and wobble.

Olympic Park Boat Tour, 2015

London The Unfinished City
Approaching the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

I never got to visit the 2012 Olympics, due to work commitments, but I have visited the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park many times since. 

On one such occasion we took a boat tour along the River Lea, which allows you to see many of the Olympic venues, not to mention the varied wildlife, from a truly unique perspective.

Our vessel for this trip was one of the Water Chariots that had transported passengers to the Olympic Games.