I considered starting this post off with a bunch of links about the fire at Sceaux Gardens, but so much has been written and said that it seems somewhat redundant. Here’s London Fire Brigade’s official statement. I notice also there’s a benefit gig in the Arts Bar (above the Funky Munky) on Thursday; does anyone have further details? Update: details here.
Okay, let’s move on to lighter topics.
My personal campaign to get a zoo opened in Burgess Park received a boost when I found out that there used to be a zoo in nearby Walworth. With this kind of historical connection, it can only be a matter of time until we have bears back in South East London.
Speaking of bears, I went to The Bear (ha!) a couple of weeks ago and had a fantastic Scottish beer called Trade Winds. The wife said it was the best beer she’d ever tasted, so we went back again this weekend for more. Unfortunately, they don’t sell it any more. A shame; you would have liked it.
Speaking of return visits, we tried out FM Mangal, the new Turkish restaurant on C. Church Street, after hearing so many people speak highly of it. They weren’t wrong; nice big portions of tasty meats cooked on their charcoal grill, and fairly priced. I had grilled lamb kebabs with yoghurt, which was great. They have their own bread in there as well, which comes free with the food and good enough to eat on its own; we almost ruined our appetites on it.
It was so good that we went back for a takeaway two nights later, on the way back from the pub.
Speaking of food (I know this sounds like we eat out all the time, but it’s just because I haven’t written about it for a while), we went for dinner at Pasha, the Kazakhstani hotel/restaurant on Walworth Road. It was crazy. First of all, you walk down a really, really long corridor through the hotel until you arrive in the restaurant at the back. This has a river in it, with fish and a turtle, and a little footbridge which you cross to get to the tables (you can sit on cushions on the floor, if you prefer).
Throughout the meal there was a guy on keyboads playing (what sounded like) Russian soft rock ballads; he was later joined by a lady who sang, then a woman who sang and played bazouki, and finally a belly dancer. When we asked for the bill at the end of the meal, the waitress asked that we wait a little longer as they wanted everyone to get up and dance. They weren’t joking; the belly dancer started a conga chain around the restaurant and literally dragged me from my table. I had to dance (not alone) to Hava Nagila (YouTube link) before they’d let me sit down again.
It was an awful lot of fun, and the staff were super-friendly. The food was ok. I recommend you go there on a Friday night to get the full experience.
Get out there and enjoy the long evenings.