03 July, 2007

of Peter Pan, more houses, and a great pub

Oh, the school play last night was great. Our friend Amy made a superb Peter Pan, arms akimbo, full of bravery and defiance, and a beautiful voice. Avery was a very beautiful mermaid, whatever she said about the costume falling off and hating her green wig. It was really lovely to see the results of all the hard work, and dear Miss Potts so earnest at the piano. It was touch and go at first, though, as I forgot our tickets. "I hope someone I know is at the ticket desk," I moaned, and luckily it was Mrs Dalling, for whose Form Two classroom I read every Thursday, so I slid under the radar. I've been incredibly flattered the last few days by having the headmistress call me by my first name! So now she can be "Judy." A milestone.

We came home to the duckling that had been roasting while we were away, and simultaneously roasting beets, and a less-than successful pot of rice, but oh well, better than ordering a pizza. You can't do everything.

I feel guilty that we've never taken Avery to the bits in Kensington Garden that relate to Peter Pan. The most I've done is note the blue plaque near the skating rink denoting J.M. Barrie's house. Such a slacker mom. But you can go, and report to us on the charms of the statues (the one pictured above, for example) and suchlike, and then we'll go in the autumn.

The gulls gave a further performance this morning to "the littles," as Avery calls the Lower and Upper Kindergartens. Then we just dropped her off at the big school for her rehearsal for performance number three, this evening. Then it's all over until next year, when Avery's Form Six will have the leads. I can tell you right now that as of tomorrow, a major topic of conversation will be, "I wonder what play we'll do," followed closely by, "I wonder what part I'll get." We wonder, too.

Then today it was back down to earth to see yet two more houses, to further our sense of complete confusion. One a rather forgettable house with a terrible garden and a nasty dark lower floor, but a nice price. Another house with one standout feature: you walk in the lower ground floor and look ALL THE WAY UP at the ceiling of the ground floor, fully 22 feet above your head. The owners just decided to scrap that part of livable space for pure drama. And the funny thing too was that the renovation was very year millennium-style, as our New York loft was: lots of clean edges and lofty bits, and then when your eyes get to the ceiling, finally, you get all the original Victorian mouldings and cornices. Lovely. The rest of the house was far too modern, though, so another bust.

However, we parked our car next to a perfectly ordinary-looking pub and so at lunchtime took a peek at the menu and it looked unexpectedly nice and fresh, so we ordered fish and chips and a burger for me, and lo and behold: by far the best of either dish that we've had in London. Light, crispy fish, a delicious chunky homemade tartare sauce, and the burger slathered with melted cheddar, fried onions and a spicy piccallili. So... The Kensington, it's called. In Russell Gardens, W14. I'm trying to find any more information about it, and in fact emailed the manager hoping to get more of a sense of how they, let's see, how to phrase it diplomatically, leapt from the dire chasm of ordinary pub food to be so delicious? When I find out I'll let you know...

1 comment:

Jane said...

Hi Kristen
Are you not yet familiar with gastropubs? One of the best things about London! The list down the right hand side here:
is a good place to start, but they are springing up all over the place nowadays... even Gordon Ramsay now owns one! That one sounds good though and I will check it out if I am in the area. J