Posts Tagged ‘River Thames’

Coffee kiosk Hungerford Bridge

June 29, 2017

On the South Bank, at the foot of Hungerford Bridge, is a little coffee kiosk.

I asked where were the beans from, he told me the country of origin.

Who are the suppliers, the roastery?

The Roasting Party.

The reply immediately told me, they must know what they are doing if sourcing from The Roasting Party,  as used by Coffee Lab and The Dispensary Kitchen.  They must serve good coffee

I ordered a cappuccino and  was not disappointed.  Excellent cappuccino.

The little kiosk is called Beany Green, part of a little chain called Daisy Green.

If not Friday, Saturday or Sunday (or Monday if a Bank Holiday), when I would head for Ethiopian Coffee Roasters on the South Bank Street Food Market, this would be where I would head for a coffee.

Then walk across Hungerford Bridge for one of the best views in London looking down river.  Then cut through Embankment Gardens and up into Covent Garden, if that was where I was heading.

Excellent coffee.

— to be continued —

Sounds from a Room: Imogen Heap

June 22, 2012
Thames from Hungerford Bridge

Thames from Hungerford Bridge

working boats on The Thames

working boats on The Thames

A room for London: Thames and Hungerford Bridge

A room for London: Thames and Hungerford Bridge

Atop the buildings on the South Bank of The Thames is a boat.

An odd place for a boat. Part of an arts project A Room for London.

This evening, Imogen Heap live streamed over the net from the boat, and was shown on a large screen at Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre.

Three projects rolled into one: Heapsongs, the Listening Chair and Sounds From a Room.

Last week via the listening chair, Imogen Heap was collecting thoughts on The Thames, crowd sourcing for her new song You know where to find me, a perspective from The Thames.

Various themes came through which will be incorporated into the song:

  • Driftwood
  • Walking the Thames, Imogen has cycled the length
  • Quite strong, strong tide, but in slack does not move
  • Can we have a conversation with a river?
  • A him, Father Thames

Piano melody came in the early hours of the morning.

Storm hit during the night. The boat was rocking. Would it be blown off into The Thames?

Beautiful haunting piano melody.

Forgot the song, so new.

People stand around, just looking, can do this by a river.

A very public area with private thoughts.

Word cloud, distils thoughts.

Very little traffic on the river cf Thames River Pageant.

From the boat a view over the Thames and of Waterloo Bridge.

Does The Thames want to be young, blue and green?

Two hours sleep.

Pulled the lyrics together late morning.

You cannot force inspiration.

Just explain, not write, then relax.

Inspiration not on tap.

Used to live in a flat in Waterloo

Cannot write under pressure. Time lapse camera click click click …

Water a vital organ.

River has its off day, like us.

Artist’s favourite friend is procrastination.

Had hoped to finish the song, instead see the process.

Do you have a piano in Edinburgh? Filming will take place in Edinburgh.

Relationships, with the river, with each other.

Part will be filmed in Clore Ballroom after the live steaming.

Top Story in The Boatshed Essex Daily (Saturday 23 June 2012).

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

June 3, 2012
Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

London The Thames on Lord Mayor's Day - Canaletto

London The Thames on Lord Mayor’s Day – Canaletto

2-3 years in the planning, the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant that took place today on the River Thames in London to mark Queen Elisabeth 60 years on the throne is the largest event of its kind on the river since Handel performed his water Music over 300 years ago.

Over 1,000 boats took place, tens of thousands lined the banks of the Thames to watch.

In the morning trains to London were full, leaving passengers stranded at the stations. The organisers estimated 1.3 million people in London for the event, though how do they know?

The flotilla was led by row boats of all shapes and sizes. They came from all over the world. I was surprised to see Venetian gondoliers.

Also somewhere near the front was a floating belfry with church bells. One of many music boats. Church bells rang all along the route.

The row boats led the way and set the pace for the rest of the flotilla. The Royal Barge tucked in behind the row boats, all the other boats followed the Royal Barge.

Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) looked stunning. The epitome of style. A rarity with English women who lack style.

Kate was in Red. Queen Elisabeth in White. A wise choice as both colours stood out against the grey of the river and the increasingly greyness of the day.

The day started of with drizzle. The weather slowly deteriorated, so that by the time Tower Bridge was reached, it was chucking it down with rain.

The Royal Party on the Royal Barge stood during the entire journey, and remained standing whilst moored beyond Tower Bridge until ever single boat has passed.

The draw bridges of Tower Bridge each weigh 120,000 tons. They can be raised to 80 degrees in less than 60 seconds.

Coverage by BBC was excellent. No mean achievement in the rain. The commentary was excellent too. But did the BBC have to keep cutting to presenters in a studio with plastic smiles who kept talking moronic drivel?

When the Royal Barge passed under Tower Bridge an amazing manoeuvre by the captain. He must have cut the engines to come drifting in sideways to where he was moored. Brilliant timing.

I was on the Napa King last week. The Captain was able to come up to the pier backwards and stop within about a foot of the pier, and that was at sea.

The last boat was a music barge with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir. As they passed under Tower Bridge, Land of Hope and Glory (last night of the Proms), Jupiter (from Holst, The Planets) Rule Britannia and National Anthem.

The orchestra was under cover, but not the singers. They were on top of the barge, they must have been soaked to the skin, and yet they sang with enthusiasm.

A very memorable day, the like of which none of us are likely to see again in our lifetimes.

The inspiration for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant was a painting London: The Thames on Lord Mayor’s Day by Canaletto (from the Lobkowicz Collections, Czech Republic). Currently part of an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

The pageant put the forthcoming London Olympics to shame, and unlike the London 2012 Olympics, no corporate sponsors.

Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation was responsible for the day.

In the 1970s, I was in Cornwall, at a little village called Golant, where they had a jubilee celebration on the banks of the River Fowey on their little village green.

In the 1990s, another jubilee celebration. On the Hog’s Back overlooking Guildford, one of many beacons lit through the night.

Tomorrow, ie Tuesday, a big rock concert outside Buckingham Palace with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Robbie Williams, ending with a firework display and more than 4,000 beacons are due to be lit in the UK and around the world.