Monday, January 29, 2007

London underground

If you are about to visit London here is a blog that will amuse you. It is about the day to day goings on of the London underground. Now it mostly works but trust me, when it goes wrong it goes wrong in a big way! Snow, hot weather, there being an "R" in the month, in fact anything, can cause the tube to go wrong. It is a very good read so don't waste any time, get off and read it!

Talking of the London underground I just want to tell you about the London Transport Museum here in London. The museum is undergoing major refurbishments at the moment but failing that there is the depot out to the west of London in Acton that has open weekends. I have been along to this and my son was thrilled to see very old trains dating back to the turn of the century and even old buses too. On the open weekends there are many activities going on to suit young and old alike. Check the website for details of the open days!

Unilever House, Blackfriars, London

Unilever house, Blackfriars, London

Now I have a real problem with this building! This is the most wonderful building on the embankment at Blackfriars and at the moment is under going a BIG refurbishment. It used to be the HQ of Unilever products but it seems the building was surplus to requirements and got sold off. I understand it will soon be yet another hotel.

The problem I have is a case of missing statues. There used to be on the front of the building some beautiful statues standing very proud looking out at London. Where are they now? Gone! I only hope that as this is a grade 2 listed building the statues are somewhere being restored and will soon be back in place looking wonderful!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Brick Lane and it's Beigal shops

Many years ago we discovered the Beigal Bake in Brick Lane. It was introduced to us by some friends after a long serious night out clubbing. We immediately fell in love with the place and go there if ever we are passing. Brick Lane is now such a buzzing place that there is always someone or something to watch. Down one end of Brick Lane are as many curry restaurants as you can shake a stick at and up the other end are the 2 beigal shops. Inbetween you have the Trueman brewery that is now a host of things including restuarants and exhibition be honest I went there a few years back to see The Body exhibition and can't for the life of me remember what else was there. I do know that whenever you drive past there is always a wonderful waft of great smelling food coming out at my nostrils. The restuarants on Brick Lane are all next door to each other and all in very hot competition with each other. They all have someone standing out on the street trying to coax new customers in. It's great fun to watch how they all carry on but a nightmare if driving through as they think nothing of running out into the road to poach a likely looking customer!

As you can see here, the 2 beigal shops more or less next door to each other. That in itself is fun. People who have never been before stand outside not knowing what one to go into. We always go into the Beigal Bake.....ALWAYS! We have never been in the other shop, don't know why either. On a Saturday night, after about 10pm, the next days Sunday newspapers are always on sale outside and this is when the long queue starts to form. It goes out of the shop! I have never seen a queue that long outside the Beigal Shop. We always have either salt beef sandwiches on rye bread or salt beef beigal that are just jam packed with steaming hot salt beef. In fact you could buy more beigals and get another lovely beigal to eat with all the meat that gets put in. They are rediculously cheap too! It seems that this place is a big draw for tourists too as there are always lots of them there. On a good day you could also seem film crews filming too and there have been a few documentaries made about the day to day happenings in the shop.

The whole area has become very trendy indeed despite being rather run down in some parts to being so upbeat in others. It is also Jack the Ripper territory but that is another story in itself. The whole area was originally a Jewish area and now that seems to have changed and favoured by Bangladesh families hence the wonderful food on sale!

I am now dribbling at the thought of a salt beef beigal and might just have to jump in the car and drive over there!