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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 !!!


all photographs my own