“Always keep your hook in the water: where you least expect one, the fish will be found” (Ovid)
Thus it was that we discovered Fishworks Seafood Cafe last night on Marylebone High Street. The front section of Fishworks, in the manner of its Roman ancestor, is dedicated to the sale of fresh fish and shellfish. The aroma is almost opaque. You could spread it on toast. I’ve walked past here many a time without even realising that one can eat here. A small, unassuming white-lettered sign says ‘Seafood Cafe Open’ on the glass behind the fishmonger. The glass itself slides open to allow the freshness of the fish to be demonstrated to diners before they select it from the menu.
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We were seated (“You can have it for two hours”) fairly near to the fishier bit of the establishment, but our fears that the smell of the fishmonger’s would hang over us like the Great Stink of 1858 were happily just about unfounded.
The Guardian features an excellent article on the seemingly declining state of railway catering, and the passing of the traditional buffet car.
It poses the interesting question as to whether the often poor quality or indeed total absence of catering on-board trains actually puts travellers off travelling by railway. The same could I’m sure be applied to the aviation industry which, unlike the railway’s golden age of waitered on catering cast so seductively by the likes Agatha Christie, has always rather been a byword for substandard food. Of course one generally has more choice in the type of transport taken when considering to travel by train, whereas by plane you typically have to fly; it’s more a question of the carrier. I may also being entirely unfair on the aviation industry’s catering, given that I’ve never flown in the silver service first class standard.
Today we tried out one of Ragroof Theatre‘s 20s – 40s-themed tea dances at Finsbury Town Hall near Farringdon. We paid £6 each to get in and £1 for tea and cake, which they don’t tell you about explicitly, but which is well worth the money.
We arrived to find dancing already in progress, led by two chaps in white tie and various females in pseudo-period attire. The ballroom itself was superb, with all the moulding, angels and chandelierage one could desire. Either you got there early enough (or had friends who did…) and managed to bag a table or lurked around the edges of the room as near to the cake and booze as possible. As advertised, there was dancing for all levels of experience, with three very simple tutorials in the two-step, cha cha cha and passa doble interspersed with free-for-all rhumbas, foxtrots and waltzes. In addition, the dance leaders demonstrated some exciting routines and there was a very pleasant piano recital during High Tea.
I and fellow grammarians (visit the Apostrophe Protection Society here) have been ranting and raving about the current inability of the majority of the population to use apostrophes correctly for some time. Limited no longer to greengrocer’s (sic), the possessive has become Teutonicised into a simple ‘s’, minus apostrophe, or the apostrophe is thrust ardently into verbs that have absolutely no use for it and so on and so forth.
This practice seems particularly prevalent on signs (e.g. ‘Starbucks’, where the apostrophe is never used even in general company documentation, despite it being named in part after the character in Moby Dick), where you would have thought that the company producing them would have someone to proofread what they were being paid to compose. See also this pub sign from our local old men’s pub. This particular pub has been on the same site since the 16 century, but I suspect the sign is a much later addition!
However, walking around on days out I’ve started to notice that this isn’t just a modern phenomenon. I’m talking here more about the omission of apostrophes than their misapplication.
Dan and I were roped into a family outing to see the latest Bond this afternoon at the O2 Centre on Finchley Road. The revamp has gone well, incidentally: a fine new cafe (an Apostrophe) sits proudly in the centre of the ground floor of the building where once a much ignored fish tank and two massage chairs lumpenly stood; furthermore, Waterstone’s (formerly Books Etc) now boasts a much improved ancient history books section. We bought the Rough Guide to Italy (thinking of going to Sicily) and Tom Holland’s Persian Fire.
It was a good opening scene – Bond (Daniel Craig) and foe rattling round the tunnel on the edge of Lake Garda and what appeared to be the Carrera marble quarry with some geezer from the last film loaded into the boot in preparation for questioning by M (Judi Dench) back at the MI6 lair.
Who says advertising doesn’t work? While reviewing the Time Out London website for what’s on suggestions for the weekend my attention was drawn by a review of the best burgers in London. Having browsed the reviews and lazily opted for the higher scoring options we chose to settle for the most conveniently located option, Hache, round the corner from Camden Town tube. This choice was aided not least by a extremely tempting product photo:
So how did it fare?
As I walked to work this morning with a spring in my step following the US election results I was pleased to see that Dickensian London lives on still:
All blogs have to begin somewhere, and with one as ill thought through and diffuse in aim as this one an introduction to get things rolling was never going to prove an easy task. Yet, perhaps blogs are best left to their own devices and the meandering thoughts and whims of their authors. The two authors here can all but guarantee a fine degree of eclectic, meandering line of thought on a dumbfoundingly broad range and scope of subjects. True, some of the topics chosen may prove to be more dumb than dumbfounding, however we have aspirations towards thought-provoking content here, so do bear with us on our forages into making our mark on the blogosphere.