Saturday, 19 December 2015
Thursday, 10 December 2015
I visited Gibside Estate today for a short meeting. It is one of the most popular National Trust properties in the North East. I spotted work taking place on Gibside Chapel. Apparently, the roof had sprung a leak and was undergoing repairs which are expected to be completed before Christmas.
Sadly, I didn't have time today to look around the rest of the Estate, though I have visited it a number of times before.
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Segedunum is the Roman fort that stood at the eastern end of the Roman Wall at Wallsend (the clues in the name). I visited Segedunum recently for a meeting but took the opportunity to have a look at a recently exposed stretch of the Roman Wall, just outside of the site. The excavation is now complete.
The newly exposed section of Roman Wall.
A recreated section of Roman Wall, next to the exposed original.
I got back from London to the North East on Saturday just in time to go out for Christmas dinner at the Stone Trough on Durham Road, Chowdene, Gateshead.
The cost was about £15 a person, plus drinks. Quality was good. The place was packed, suggesting it's a popular establishment for eating and drinking.
I returned from London to the North East on Saturday morning but not before having breakfast at Brown and Green cafe at Crystal Palace Station. I had used the cafe one before, to get a coffee and a piece of cake, but this was the first time I had sat down there for breakfast which came as both meat and veggie. It's not cheap but quality was good.
I took a walk through Crystal Palace Park in London last Friday. It's near my flat so it takes only a few minutes to get there by foot. The park is famous for its dinosaur statues next to the lake. They date back to the mid Victoria period when the Crystal Palace was moved there after the 1851 Great Exhibition (which had been held in Hyde Park). Modern dinosaur experts would have come up with different designs but the dinosaur statues are fun anyway.
The lake itself seems to be fed by a culverted steam. It you look at the landscape around Anerley Hill, it is possible to track the route of the stream. The lake was created by building a dam in front of where the park cafe now stands.
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Cafe Latino in the Triangle at Crystal Palace is a Venezuelan outlet which I visited for the first time on Friday last week for breakfast. The small size of the cafe does not detract from the good quality of the food.
And if you are into colourful masks, this is the place to buy them!
I definitely recommend a visit to this fish and chip restaurant at which I ate on Thursday evening last week. The Seacow is on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich. Very unpretentious but excellent food at reasonable prices.
We had the salmon and the tuna stakes.
New potatoes as an alternative to chips.
I visited the Palmerston pub on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich last week when I was in London. An interesting pub with heavy wood paneling, I opted for a pint of Orchard Hog, a very pleasant cider.
Food is served here but we were planning to eat elsewhere. From what we saw of other people's meals, they looked good.
Friday, 4 December 2015
I met up with a friend last night in Forest Hill, Lewisham. He selected the Signal pub as the meeting point. I could see why. It was opposite the railway station. All I had to do was negotiate a very busy road to get to the pub.
Apparently the Signal was renovated recently. We were there for only one drink and then headed off to East Dulwich.
You can't beat Wetherspoons for a cheap, filling meal! Since I had no food in the kitchen of our home in Crystal Palace yesterday, I headed up to the Triangle to the Postal Order, a Wetherspoon pub which serves good and cheap breakfasts. Sadly, it seems I was too late for the breakfast menu. I had a burger instead.
I am down in London again and on Wednesday evening we visited a new pizzeria near my home in Crystal Palace. The Godfather, on Westow Hill, has its own wood fired pizza oven.
Food was reasonable and competitively priced. Friendly service. Worth a visit.
Thursday, 3 December 2015
I had lunch with a friend at the Waggon Team at Lobley Hill in Gateshead on Saturday 28th November. Though this is an establishment almost on my doorstep, I had not previously visited it.
Admittedly, it was a very busy day though management planning can cope with that. We ordered food. 45 minutes later we returned to the bar to ask if there was any news of our meal. The food after all was mass produced and simply needed to be deep fried. (I was having scampi and chips.) We were informed that the kitchen was about to make our meal. Five minutes later, it arrived.
The food was okay though the mushy peas were at best warm. I suspect they had been left standing during the 45 minutes nothing was happening to the scampi. Alas, I won't be rushing back to the Waggon Team.
Sunday, 29 November 2015
I was in Sunderland last weekend to meet friends and we decided to have lunch in a restaurant/bar called Dandy Longlegs in Millfield. Pleasant enough but the food was a bit slow. Prices are reasonable however. I went for the Blackadder burger (it included black pudding).
I was meeting a few friends recently so we opted to have coffees in the Staiths Cafe, near the Dunston Staiths in Gateshead. It was my first visit. Quite a pleasant establishment with modest prices. There was live music when we were there, which meant our conversation was in direct competition. We were there on a dark, cold and wet evening but I will probably return in the summer to enjoy the view over the Tyne.