This week’s blog brings some of the more unusual things you can enjoy in London: a Sunday canal wine tasting; an unusual station concert and a most unusual all night walk by women in bras – and some men too!
First we head to Camden for a wine tasting canal cruise. Run by a small independent wine shop and deli in Ealing, called Harrison’s, I was not sure what to expect but something called ‘Beaujolais Cru Cruise’ sounded worth a go. We boarded our canal narrow boat and found a warm welcome from the Harrison’s staff and the sight of loads of wine bottles and cheese and snacks laid out for us. Starting with a glass of sparkling red (yes!) we moved through whites, rose’s and reds. You can help yourself to as much or as little of each wine as you like and refill as many times as you want to and can manage. The ticket was £30 for all your wine and wonderful cheeses, pates, saucissons and breads and even Beaujolais region’s own pork scratchings!
Our route went from Camden Lock along the Regents Canal, past London Zoo, through Little Venice to Paddington Basin and back. It was a really enjoyable 4 hours on a wonderful sunny afternoon with a chance to get out at Paddington Basin to have a short wander around. We went with our own gang but also got chatting to lots of other folk on the trip so it was really sociable too and I even bumped into some old colleagues.
Photos are: the My Fair Lady; the first sighting of the wine challenge and these are just the reds!; our first lock; close encounters of the narrow boat kind; greenery en route; Paddington Basin; Little Venice; and, the tunnels – short and long with the light at the end.
I was passing through Paddington Station on a Friday evening and despite my hurry, had to stop and enjoy the playing of an amazing band. It seems they play between 7.30 and 9pm every Friday and have been there for years but I’d never heard of them! Going under the name of The Great Western Paddington Railway Band they are in the great world tradition of rail bands and are definitely worth not just stopping to see but going especially to see these dedicated, quality musicians!
My final unusual sight in London this week was the Moonwalk – a half or full marathon walk for breast cancer charities. Mostly women but also some men take to the streets of London and walk through the night to raise money for these charity and mostly are wearing bras and very little else on their tops! It was a really chilly night and I was volunteering by helping walkers cross the very busy traffic lights on Hyde Park corner. The traffic rushes past all night and we needed to make sure that walkers got across safely. I was wearing the unusual combination of tons of clothes to keep warm and a high vis jacket and hat so here’s a photo of yours truly in full gear. Millions of pounds are raised by the brave and hardy walkers and I was pleased to do what I could to help cheer them along and keep them safe.