Thursday, 12 July 2018

DINNER with GANDALF and GORMLEY ..........

On Tuesday, after the RAF centenary flypast, we met my sister and brother in law at .....


The Grapes in Narrow Street, Limehouse. Docklands is blessed with an abundance of historic pubs, not least amongst them is The Grapes, owned by no less a personage than Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen !!!


The Grapes, originally The Bunch of Grapes, has stood on the pebbled Limehouse Reach, for nearly 500 years. From directly below The Grapes, Sir Walter Raleigh set sail.


Charles Dickens knew the area well and The Grapes appears in his novel ' Our Mutual Friend ' ..... in the back parlour there is a complete set of Dickens and he was thought to have danced on the tables of The Grapes after a few glasses !!!



There are a few references to Gandalf and, his original staff from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, stands proud amongst the gin bottles and pork scratchings !!!


Through the tiny Dickensian bar that probably hasn't changed much for hundreds of years, and up a very narrow staircase, you find the teensiest of restaurants that has about four tables, and double doors open out onto a petite balcony, overlooking The Thames and, there, standing proud, is Antony Gormley's sculpture, Another Time and, depending on the tide, the figure in the river is either stranded high above the water or part submerged in it ! 



Back into the little restaurant to eat my starter of fresh anchovies in lemon oil which were wonderful. As usual, I forgot to photograph my main course as all thoughts of photography went out of my head when the rare roast beef with a horseradish cream and caramelised onions arrived !!!


The tide was now coming in and Gormley's ' Another Time ' was beginning to get his feet wet !


In the garden of the building next door was the above sculpture ..... we weren't sure if it was a Gormley as well ..... we forgot to ask.


Making our way back to Docklands Light Railway, we passed beautiful houses.


..... the back end of St. Katherine's Dock,


and Limehouse Gallery and foundry where my niece { my sister and brother in laws daughter } who is a sculptor, gets her pieces cast.


..... and over a fabulous bridge.


We left my sister and brother in law at Bank station, walked by The Bank of England and back on the train and home !

The Grapes is a wonderful pub ..... the little dining room, candlelit and adorned with white linen and crystal glasses overlooks one of the great views of London, is unpretentious and serves great pub grub. 

We are going back !!!!   




For Maria !!!




XXXX




all photographs my own

Jackie

18 comments:

  1. Everything looks beautiful especially the fish dish; you know how to enjoy good food, Jackie! I like cren, horseradish but, can't eat it anymore.
    Oh, that poor seagull-pooped sculpture!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Oh Maria ..... the anchovies were so delicious and perfect for a Summer’s evening. Horseradish is sometimes a bit too hot for me but this was mild. It’s so annoying when we have to stop eating some things isn’t it Maria ? I expect it’s because of your illness that you can’t eat certain things .... I know chocolate now gives me heartburn which is a shame !!
      The sculpture was covered in seagull poo !!!! I have a photograph which I am going to add to the post just for you Maria !!!! XXXX

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    2. Haha! Thank you Jackie! It is considered good luck if a bird poos on your head here...so I see that as good luck!
      Yes, can't eat many things I used to love to eat anymore :) xx

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    3. Same here Maria ...... it's good luck if a bird poops on you ..... I'd rather avoid it myself !
      ..... and, my philosophy is is to just eat more of the things you can eat Maria !!! haha ! XXXX

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  2. You are making me yearn to live back in town again. I loved my time there, living in Bayswater, Chelsea, Fulham, and elsewhere. I was straight out of school, and it was heaven. However, I expect I'll have to settle for Brighton.

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    1. Cro ..... The Grapes is perfect for you and Tom maybe. There has been no titivating of it and it is pretty much how it was when built five hundred years ago. The food is lovely ..... my husband had shepherds pie and there was lots of English fayre with just a couple of dishes that were a little bit more upmarket !!!!!
      As you know, Brighton is a lovely place to live and also has some brilliant places to eat so, if you end up there, you will be fine ...... plus, it doesn’t take long to pop up to London. XXXX

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  3. I actually thought that the Gormley figure was you standing naked by the water with your long blonde hair streaming down your back! You visit just the sort of places which appeal to me.

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    1. Haha ! I am wont to standing naked by The Thames !
      I did think of you when we walked through the bar at The Grapes ...... you could imagine the scene in Georgian times ... candlelight, oysters,clay pipes, port and Madeira, gin and beer. It was really reasonable as well !!! XXXX

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  4. A lovely finish to the flypast day. It looks like my sort of place to stay if only it had rooms, "restaurant with rooms" as they call them in France.

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    1. It was and I think, along with Cro and Tom, you would like it as well. I don’t think there are rooms ..... it’s really tiny although there are five floors and probably a cellar so there might be rooms ... you never know ! XXXX

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  5. Oh Jackie, I can't believe I've missed this fabulous historic little pub/restaurant on my trips to London all those years my brother lived there when we visited often.
    He will be chastised about this - why didn't he take us there!
    To think I now live in Raleigh, NC and pass Sir Walter Raleigh (well his statue which the birds enjoy as a perch of course) whenever I am downtown, is a strange feeling.

    Hopefully we'll be back in London some day and the Grapes, along with visiting Sir. John Soames Museum, will be the two places at the top of my 'to do' list!

    Great photos from your special day out - thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Have a wonderful summer.
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Hi Mary ...... I guess we can’t know of all the good places to visit in London as there are so many ! I’ve been visiting London all of my 67 years and probably haven’t touched the surface !!!
      Also, if you do ever get back to London, don’t forget to visit Dennis Severs house as well ! I think you will like it .... a lot !!! Wishing you and yours a lovely Summer as well. XXXX

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  6. We all watched the ceremony on TV, the fly-by was spectacular. I'm looking forward to President Trump having tea with Queen Elizabeth. I do hope he will be charming, I know he will be awed. Just hoping Melania will be joining him. I love your posts showing so much of your lovely life! Sending a big big hug from HOT Texas.

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    1. Yes ..... he has arrived !!! He came into Stansted Airport which isn’t far from where we live. All the dignitaries fly into Stansted as they have the highest security ! I’m sure all will go well .. the Queen is very good at entertaining and is always very welcoming whoever it may be !
      Big hugs back Marsha. XXXX

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  7. Wonderful “bits and pieces” of your life you’ve shared Jackie . . .
    What a place to live . . .
    History, charm, art . . . and a glorious pub . . .
    Loved it all . . . maybe not the anchovies . . .

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    1. London is amazing ...... so much to see but then, where you live is amazing as are thousands of other places !
      Give the anchovies a go ..... they are delicious Lynne 😋 XXXX

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  8. What a wonderful place to be Jackie....you life in a wonderful country.....love from me Ria x ☀️

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    1. London is very special Ria ...... I love it. I also love your wonderful country as well . XXXX

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