Open House weekend in London saw hundreds of properties, normally closed to the public, throw open their doors for 2 days. This is so popular that many are booked up as soon as the programme is announced and others just have huge queues all day.
I decide to brave the Bank of England as it seemed rather topical given the economic crises they have been at the heart of recently. This definitely fell into the 'queues' category but I stuck it out and had a fascinating tour of the rooms such as the one where they meet monthly to decide what's happening to the base rate. It's all so ornate that it's hard to imagine it's a working building. And no I didn't get to see any money! I took a photo of the queue as it looked like there was a run on the bank....
Saturday night was comedy night as Mark Thomas was performing at the Tricycle. He's very funny and political and this year's tour is about coming up with a manifesto for change. The audience write out a new policy they'd like to see introduced and he bases his show on these including a vote for the best one - ours was a new law to ban MPs from lying (interesting to think that the audience assumes they won't stop unless it's illegal)! He's managed to persuade the GLA (London's governing body) to debate the top ones with him after the tour, which should be worth seeing. We bumped into him as we arrived and had a little chat - what a nice man...
We had fun at a local restaurant despite the enormous torrents of rain coming down all evening. Pix joined the Notting Hill restaurant scene and is very welcome. They are offering pintxos - Barcelona style tapas served on bread and secured with a skewer - in casual, comfortable, lively surroundings. You help yourself to skewers off the bar and they count them all up and charge you £2.50 each and they soon mount up as the food's very tasty and the owner John has done a great job bringing us something new.
On the food and drink trail, we had a good meal at the Butler's Wharf Chop House on the river and drinks beforehand in the cool bar at the nearby Gaucho. An added treat was a sight of Tower Bridge raised up to let a sailing boat in - see photo. I've only seen it raised a couple of times and it's amazing how quickly it works so you've got to be ready with the camera at all times!
Bye for now,