Culture and stuff

To London yesterday, in a chill February wind, to meet a friend. The plan was to meet at Baker Street but dozens of police officers and a couple of fire engines put paid to that: some kind of alert meant a mumbled apology from the tube driver and we trundled past Baker Street to Edgeware Road.

Tannoy man at that station told us to walk back down Marylebone Road to Baker Street. All very well if you could find Marylebone Road and then know which way to walk. Humorously the iPhone Maps application had the hump and wouldn’t even find London let alone Edgeware Road. I followed my instincts; reading signs helped.

Friend located and bags dumped, we went to the Dinosaurs and Pushchairs ConventionNatural History Museum for the Wildlife Photography of the Year Exhibition. Some stunning photos. Inspiring stuff.

From there, via a cup of peppermint tea, to Mildred’s in Lexington Street. An all-veggie cafe/restaurant, packed out. We were warned it might take 30 minutes for a table but were seated in five: very lucky. The food was outstandingly good and the service quick and cheerful. I had the chargrilled artichoke crostini with lemon aioli to start: artichokes on toast, in other words. To follow, sundried tomato, bean and tarragon sausages served with grain mustard mash, green beans and a red wine and onion gravy. Absolutely delicious.

Avaragado’s rating: garlic on toast

We chose a pub-based dessert, in a place whose name I forget but which is apparently a haunt for post-performance actors etc. It turns into a members-only establishment at some point in the evening, but we arrived early enough to get in for free. Celebs spotted: zero. Another pub followed before we walked back along rapidly icing streets to the hotel.

This morning we went to see The Wallace Collection, full of those fiddly bits of furniture adorned with cherubim and seraphim and slathered in gold leaf that were all the rage in pre-revolutionary France. First stop was the posh cafe for breakfast – mint tea and an omelette – to steel ourselves for the onslaught of ostentation.

The museum included only one example of the Loud American, thankfully. Highlights included an infinite number of portraits of women with rosy cheeks and big hair, a job lot of Canalettos of Venice, and yer actual Laughing Cavalier. Very little tat, and not a patch on the Vatican Museum for sheer greed.

Avaragado’s rating: one bowl of fruit with a gratuitous monkey

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Culture and stuff

  1. Anonymous

    Edgeware Road?

    I think you’ll find that Edgware Road has no E in the middle!

    • Re: Edgeware Road?

      So it doesn’t! Still, that doesn’t explain why the iPhone couldn’t locate London.

      I suspect it just couldn’t get a decent signal and was afraid to tell me.

      • Anonymous

        Re: Edgeware Road?

        London is a rather small place, and easily overlooked.

        • Anonymous

          Re: Edgeware Road?

          Maybe it is US centric. Alabama has two different Londons! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_%28disambiguation%29

          • Re: Edgeware Road?

            Oh, it was fine when I knew where I was. When I didn’t need directions it could pinpoint the street I was on, through the magic of not-GPS.

          • Anonymous

            Re: Edgeware Road?

            It is strange how Apple randomly cripples things. They obviously do follow the whole “make things as simple as possible but no simpler” mantra, but sometimes go too far such as omitting GPS from the iPhone. Almost every Air review says they went too far.

            But behind this all I suspect there is a law that should be named after someone. Basically electronic products do too much when you don’t them to (eg already knowing where you are) but fail the simple things when you really need them. One variant of this is demos failing. Another consequence is that people have backups. eg when I had a Palm Pilot and was travelling I would also have paper backups of the details. It turned out to be faster to use the paper anyway hence the Palm ended up gathering dust.

          • Re: Edgeware Road?

            I’m sure GPS was left out to save space and power, and also to make the product simpler and thus easier/faster to ship. I expect the next generation of iPhone will have GPS and 3G.

            The Air seems to have polarised people. I’m not getting one – I’d rather have an upgraded Pro. But many people who’ve got one say they don’t miss the various features it doesn’t have. Dunno.

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