Friday was a good day.  I went out to lunch with the boys.  We went to the Cafe´ Royal, the Ten Room, which apparently offers, “British informal dining.”  What a fantastic meal!  It was one of those Amazon Local deals, so we’d paid for the three course meal and champagne cocktail beforehand.

I didn’t know quite what to expect with the champagne cocktails.  There were three of them, and I chose the Bloody Mary Champagne Cocktail with chilli.  The boys all chose a gin based one.  Obviously we did the mix and match, so we all tasted each other’s and they were all fab.  Very delicate, so that the spirits didn’t overpower the fizz, but you could taste the additions.

The service in the restaurant was excellent.  I don’t eat wheat, so when they brought up the best basket of bread in the whole world, Paul asked if they had any wheat free bread, which they did.  I chose squid for my main course – which came up without the batter, and it was so tender, the way it’s supposed to be but so rarely is.  Stephen had the squid as well, while Paul had the venison and Dave had the mushroom veloute´.

Three of us had chicken for the main course, Stephen had lamb, but we were all very happy with our choices.  They were all very well cooked.  The mash was delicious and creamy.  Then came desert….

The boys all had lemon tart, which was apparently fab.  I had cheese, without the biscuits.  Well, they (the kitchen staff) either felt sorry for me because I wasn’t having biscuits, or they thought it was worth trying to tap into my life insurance because there was so much cheese on my cheese board, Stephen and I couldn’t finish it.  I told the waiter that I’d done my best to get my cholesterol levels up to dangerous levels but couldn’t quite manage it…

The Cafe´ Royal has been there since 1865 and is a Grade I listed building.  Although it was closed in 2008 and the majority of its furniture and fittings were sold off, it was refurbished and parts have been designed to reflect the original building. I hope one day to be able to afford to stay there.

I’ll say it again, the food was excellent and the service was excellent.  I wholeheartedly recommend it.  And, of course, we went for a little drinkette in a local pub afterwards.  A very good time was had by all, and if I had one criticism, it was that the seats in the restaurant were too low, but that’s so minor in the scheme of it all.

Take a look at the link for further info:

The Thames at Greenwich
The Thames at Greenwich

Yesterday, I went to Greenwich to see the Tall Ships that had raced up from Falmouth.  I’ll be honest, I was disappointed.  I’d checked the website, and it said that ships would be moored between 2pm and 5pm, and it would be possible to go on board to have a look around.  I arrived at North Greenwich at about 3pm, which is Greenwich Peninsula.  There were plenty of stewards to show the way, but once you got past the main drag at the O2 itself, they weren’t very helpful, no maps and I went the wrong way.  I saw a tall ship sail by, but it was too far off for me to get a photograph.  I use a Panasonic Lumix FS45, but I’m saving up for a higher spec one, something that has a better zoom.  I think I know what I want, but I’ll save it until I buy it before I mention it. You can see that my photographs are ok, but not the best in the world.

The Thames with the tide out - so you know why it always looks dirty, it's the muddy base
The Thames with the tide out – so you know why it always looks dirty, it’s the muddy base

I walked a good couple of miles and was on my way home when I eventually got a map, and actually found where some of the ships were moored. Still, at least I managed way over 10,000 steps…

When I found the ships, there was quite a bit going on:  a number of actors and actresses dressed in period costume, and a number of stalls serving food and souvenirs.  I understand that there are more events going on during the rest of the week, but I hope that they are sign posted better and that the people giving out maps are where they need to be.



Just so that you know, there are four sites involved in the festival:

Maritime Greenwich, which is the south side of the river, and seems to be the main site;

Royal Arsenal Woolwich, the second main site;

Greenwich Peninsula, just the site of ship visits;

Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf, another site of ship visits.

©Susan Shirley 2014


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