Hi you. I'm back.
I'm now post London. Post Hamlet. Post Cumberbatch. Although, as you'll see from where this post finishes up ... it's fair to say I'm never entirely post-Cumberbatch; I'm more a case of 'permanently in between Cumberbatches'.
But until the next batch comes along [a few paragraphs down in fact] ... let's talk about the serendipity I stumbled over in the big smoke; let's talk about things that pop-up with the power to delight, and let's talk about finding gnomes, and Holmes, where you'd least expect them ...
While I may not live in or even particularly close to a city I still like to think of myself as pretty up-to-date with what's what, with what's on the up, with what's going down.
I may live 250 miles from the capital but, for several reasons, I don't live under a rock with a whippet for company. Heck, I read; I can use a hashtag; I have at least 5 kinds of tea in the cupboard, I watch SkyArts documentaries for pleasure and I can even use the manual settings on my camera.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, as my Grandma would've put it: I'm not as green as I'm cabbage-looking. And yet, until last week I'd never been to a pop-up restaurant [they tend to be such city-style phenomena don't they?] so when we stumbled across one in 'real life', in the OXO building on London's south bank, just metres from our hotel, dare I admit that I really felt I had to go? Perhaps so that, at the very least, I could later proclaim, like, in a blog post or something [ahem] that: "I went to a pop-up restaurant ... in London".
And while I was really looking forward to it I found myself being slightly unsure at the same time ... and began to feel like maybe there was slightly more green around my cabbage leaves as I'd been willing to accept!
Which was only appropriate considering the theme of this particular pop-up:
The Garden Gate at OXO2 [open until August 30th] is decorated like part summer fete, part English garden, part woodland picnic:
And what's better for lifting a crafty, kitsch-loving girl's spirits than sitting her on a gingham covered tree trunk next to a wall of fake hedging and artificial flowers?
You can just make out here - behind me - the shelf where the donated gnomes end up:
And to continue the theme, cocktails [which I didn't have ... like my heightened Hamlet-influenced-emotional state needed any alcoholic encouragement to tip over into hysteria ...] were served in watering cans. And the food ... well ...
... my black bean burger with guacamole [which was the best thing I've eaten all month] was presented in a wooden garden crate complete with fries [again, amazing] in a plant pot!
After having paid £80.00 elsewhere for our first meal in the big bustling we-can-charge-anything-if-you-can-see-the-Thames-while-you're-eating-it metropolis, this couldn't have been a more pleasant and welcome end our stay.
So, if you're anywhere near the south bank in the next 5 days I can't recommend a trip to The Garden Gate highly enough. And don't forget to take a gnome with you!
And, while you're there you - like James - can look out for this ...
|Sherlock: The Great Game. Season 1 Ep. 3. BBC|
No, it's a screenshot of a scene in 'The Great Game' ,Season 1 Episode 3 of Sherlock, which was filmed on the south bank. A fact which ... thought I'm not entirely sure why ... had been lodged in James's head all the time we were there. And so ...
The [accidental, after-the-fact] Setlocking:
For the uninitiated 'setlock' is the hashtag used by those people who trek around London seeking out, finding, and generally loitering around the set of Sherlock while it's being filmed. And, while I love the show, I'm not so obsessed as to do that. Heck, we were in London for 3 days and I didn't even insist we go to Baker Street so, y'know, I'm not that much of a crazy-fan-girl ... [maybe next time?].
And so ... as we'd been walking along the riverside path each day James had been convinced that the scene, which he could clearly picture in his head, must have been filmed fairly near our hotel and/or the pop-up restaurant nearby.
- He knew you could see St.Paul's in the background and that there was a wooden jetty/wharf in shot.
- Meanwhile the main thing I could remember about the scene was a play on words between Lestrade and Sherlock [Sherlock: "Meretritious". Lestrade: "And a Happy New Year."] which had made me laugh. [Still does].
Once we'd settled back in at home we re-watched the episode so James could settle with himself, once and for all, if his savant-like location hunting had been correct ... well ... here's the scene again ... and there's the dome of St.Paul's on the left ... and the wharf on the right ...
And wouldn't it have been even more entertaining, and indeed a bit strange, if, entirely coincidentally, we'd walked along that very same wharf on our first night and if, James had stopped to take a photo of our hotel, and me [hoping my skirt didn't whip up in the breeze], while we were there?
Well, yes, that would be strange ... and yet ...
... otherwise you'd be beginning to think by now that I was a little bit of a Sherlock geek ... and, goodness me, we couldn't have that ... could we ...?
Thanks for taking time to read me today. Do feel free to:
- share your own experiences of pop-ups, or ..,
- let me know if you too have visited The Garden Gate, or London's south bank, or ...
- dare to admit you've setlocked ...
- or maybe you've visited locations where your own favourite shows/films were filmed. Whether you were aware of it at the time or not!
I'll be here, waiting to hear from you, mulling over my time in the big smoke, sneakily wiping away the Shakespearean tinged tears ...