Broken Bell Coffee

I’m visiting our London office for a few days, so the amount of interesting things I’m posting about may decrease a little as most of my day will be consumed with work related items. However I did of course get out for my daily coffee which was had at the cafe in the bottom of the Gherkin so I’m able to combine the obligatory daily gherkin with the coffee report. Winning !

Whilst I was at work Sharon and Emma had breakfast then went up to Fortnum and Mason and Hatchard’s book shop.  Emma spent a few hours at dance classes with Pineapple Dance in Covent Garden. Participating in a dance lesson here will likely be one of the highlights of her trip. Sharon popped into the Nag’s Head at Covent Garden for a G&T and when Emma had finished dancing went off to the M&M store and the Lego store.

Disaster has also struck here in London, the favourite watering hole of the office, “The Bell” had a car drive into it over the weekend and is out of action for a while. We paid them a visit over lunch and they are not sure when they will be trading again, its with the insurance company to work that out. We are all devastated, it’s just not the same with the Bell out of action.

After work we met up with my Cousin Kristy and her partner Mark for a fantastic dinner at Blanchette on Brick Lane. Fantastic French / North African fusion food.

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Bus ride up Bishopsgate Road, top level

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Coffee Bombs & Pestilence

Coffee today was had down at the Imperial War Museum near Elephant and Castle station. The IWM has five locations in the UK, three of them are in London (The other two are the Churchill War Rooms and the HMS Belfast). The IWM is on the old site of the Bethlam Royal Hospital (Often referred to as Bedlam). Coffee was 6.5/10

The museum has 5 levels of displays, the bottom level focused on WW1. This is where we spent the most time as it was relevant to some school assignments Emma was working on. Its interesting to compare the WW1 display here with what we have in Canberra. Here in the London museum, Gallipoli is barely covered and only warrants a small mention where for Australia its a nation defining moment and warrants significant space in our National War Memorial.

After a few hours at the museum we headed back to the apartment, grabbed some sandwiches for lunch then headed out on a Fire, Pestilence & Plague walking tour organised by http://freelondonwalkingtours.com. The tour was very good starting at the fire monument and ending up near St Paul’s. The tour covered much about the fire and plauge

  • How and where the fire started
  • How building methods contributed to the deadly ferocity
  • Why it spread
  • The incompetence of the authorities that allowed it spread as far as it did,
  • how the French & Dutch were initially blamed (with one person hanged)
  • Where it eventually stopped
  • The spark the started the London Banking, Finance & Insurance industries
  • How many streets got their name
  • Why pudding lane should really be called Rotting Animal Guts Lane
  • Where and when the plague took hold
  • Where the burial plots are

The tour was well worth doing, its “free”, however nothing in life is free and especially not in London. The guide explains that its expected that if you enjoy the walk you will leave a tip. No problems with that, it was a fantastic two hour tour. We also learnt about a massive Roman amphitheatre that was discovered where the public can view the ruins on a Thursday.

After the tour we walked across the Millennium Bridge for a drink at a pub along the river, then off to Brick Lane for a curry at City Spice

This is the third year in a row we have been to city spice.

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Not everyday you see someone riding a 1970s chopper bicycle in the middle of London ! I just love this city.

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The ODG (Obligatory Daily Gherkin)

Once on the way to dinner, the other from an Uber on the way back