It was their finest hour…

The highlight of this week was the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. There was a huge crowd packed around the Cabinet War Rooms to hear a reading of Churchill’s famous speech to Parliament with its unforgettable passages. It’s always moving to hear his words: ‘never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few’. They were read by Robert Hardy who has played Churchill in a TV series a while back. There was a very fast fly past of a Spitfire and Hurricane – very speedy in deed and tricky for photos but I guess that was the point back then! A few veterans were there for a photo call with Vera Lynn alongside a Spitfire replica. The veterans looked amazing for their age and one in particular, Geoffrey Wellum, did a walk about with the crowd, shaking hands (including mine!) and you could just imagine him as a dashing young pilot as he was still all smiles and charm, he’s the one at the front of the group photo in case you hadn’t guessed…


August has not brought us the wonderful weather that June and July were so generous with , but that has not stopped Londoners putting on their summer events. The good folk of Norfolk Square near Paddington station were not to be put off by a few dark clouds so they set up their summer fete for the children and had a good time. They had all the traditional stalls such as Punch and Judy and some unusual and wonderful ones such as a tall helter skelter and continuing the height theme, there was a group of singers who felt the need to make themselve at least 7 feet tall!



The restaurant report this week covers Marco Pierre White’s Kings Road Steakhouse. As usual we were on a special deal thanks to Toptable so there was a reasonably priced set menu with plenty of steak on it, tho my starter of beetroot with goats cheese with walnuts with a wonderful dessert of light cheesecake were worth a mention too. I took up my prize of a free dinner at Fire and Stone during this week and we went to their Covent Garden branch to eat as much as we could in their buzzing jolly room and cheery staff. We managed a shared starter, a large and tasty pizza and a shared brownie which sounds less than it felt at the time.


One final bit of London fun was a trip to Speakers Corner on Sunday morning. There were a
couple of guys drawing considerable crowds with their religious tracts. One was particularly good at engaging with the crowd which was not easy for him as one of the front row was quite a joker and got the crowd laughing. There was some very robust debate about the merits of christianity versus islam and the next crowd were being enlightened about judaism. The speakers just turn up with a set of steps or a chair and set off – a loud voice is definitely needed tho’. It’s a great institution and you have to love the freedom to rant!


Bye for now,

Days in and days out

Picking up the extras that were bounced out from last week’s bumper full list, we have days out in Cambridge and days in at the Cabinet War Rooms.


A day out to Cambridge from London is a great way to see a bit more of England and really do-able as the train takes about 45 minutes. You can see the famous colleges and can even go inside some of them, you can get run over by the masses of students on bicycles, go punting on the river and mooch around the old streets to your heart’s content. Cambridge is full of wonderful old buildings and we really enjoyed the sunshine too! Another treat was to see the famous Harry Potter platform at Kings Cross as my train to Cambridge left from platform 9. Here’s a selection of Cambridge photos and one from Kings Cross!


Back in London, Sunday was another beautifully sunny day so we walked along the Thames and then visited the Cabinet War Rooms where they have restored the actual rooms used by Churchill and the military to battle out the Second World War. They are marvellously evocative of a time of national peril and the courage of those who battled for our freedom. They’ve added a major Churchill exhibition making it a big visit. Here’s one photo of the Thames at it sparkling best, one of the outside of the Rooms and one of the Churchill’s underground kitchen – not sure he had much time for cooking though!

A couple of cinema trips this week to contrasting venues. One to the very newly opened Vue cinema at Westfields with spacious seats and a huge high quality screen (The White Ribbon was the film) and the other was the Coronet in Notting Hill, a independent cinema which began life as a Victorian theatre in 1898 (Shutter Island was showing here).
Restaurants visits this week included my local favourite, Aphrodite, where the Greek food is really high quality and the welcome is always warm. A trip to South Kensington saw visits to Brindisi for their tapas and to La Cave a Fromage for their wonderful smelly cheeses!
Bye for now,