Keep an Eye on London

By The Editor

Rye is the greatest place on this earth but there are times when it can make a nice change to get away for a day.

London is another exciting place and a day’s entertainment there is pretty well guaranteed if a few simple rules are followed. The important thing is not to book in front. Booking ahead means meeting time deadlines and doing things even if the weather is not suitable. A cruise up the Thames or a ride on the London Eye are miserable affairs in driving rain, similarly, sitting in a cinema at noon in a heatwave is a waste of good weather.

Jo’ and I spent a day in the big city recently. Leaving the car at Ashford Station and going from there by train. Driving in London is not fun and the train from Rye is no good as the last connection from Charring Cross leaves at 9.30pm, too early to catch an evening show.

We were ticketed to Charring Cross but got off at London Bridge and walked a few hundred yards to the London Eye. Bookings were not necessary, a five minute queue and we were walking up the ramp. What a spectacular view. The circuit takes 30 minutes and the capsules are roomy and comfortable. This is a trip that everyone should take at least once in a lifetime. The cost per person is £10.

The Thames
The Thames

Then a half hours walk along the embankment brought us to the ‘Tate Modern”, five floors of spectacular modern art, mostly free to view. We enjoyed tea one of the two Tate Modern Restaraunts with view across the Thames to St. Pauls.

A taxi next, to Leicester Square and the theatre booking office. Tickets for Mamma Mia were available there, even though the show has been running to full houses for the past four years. Refreshments before the show at a pavement cafe’ in Leicester Square left just enough time to walk to the Prince Edward Theatre in Old Compton Street.

The Musical, based on the Songs of Abba, was brilliant from start to finish. Louise Plowright, Alexanda Jay, Samuel Board, Myra McFadyen and David J. Higgins brought the old Abba hits back to life in spectacular fashion and an ensemble with amazing energy and precision, notably the dancing of vivacious Victoria Hamilton-Barritt added much to the wonderful performance which enjoyed a fifteen minute standing ovation at the conclusion.

Out into the warm air of a summer evening and it was time for another adventure. There were no taxi’s but a row of pedal driven rickshaws were available. Our choice was good, a young Polish lad gave us the ride of our lives, screaming at crowds of pedestrians “No brakes, no brakes!” he manouvered the ‘devil’s go cart’ through people and traffic, getting us to Charring Cross in time to catch the 10.30 back to Ashford and a drive home to Rye.

Rye’s Own August 2003

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