New York – Day One

Trip to New York was a surprise birthday ‘present’ for Sues special birthday.

Left home 5am ish and arrived in New York JFK airport at about 5pm. Hour delay in leaving, due to waiting for other passengers, whose connecting flights had been delayed. Flight took 8 hours, head wind apparently. Had a couple of meals, wine, beer and watched a couple of films. Virgin Atlantic highly recommended.
Had to queue for over an hour to get through the immigration, picture and finger prints taken.

But managed to find the train to get out of the airport and the next train to get to Penn Station and sure enough came out of the subway, crossed the road and there was the hotel. http://www.newyorkerhotel.com/home Lovely Art Deco hotel.

We are on the 35th floor, views great.

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Went to the Tick Tock cafe for a burger and chocolate cake and coffee. This would be one many meals, especially breakfast that we would have here.

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Had a quick wander around a few shops, including Macys, almost a ‘town’ in its self.
But now nearly 1.00am in morning for us, 8:00pm over here. so called it a day.

The Squire Bassett – Revisited

Well another birthday come around, so decided to go to the Squire Bassett for a meal. Went there a few (Thirsty) Thursdays ago, the beer was good and got given a free sizzling Chicken Tikka dish.
As reported before this is now the Gurkha Village Nepalese Restaurant, have had a takeaway Madras curry from here which was nice but mighty hot.
But have heard that the Nepalese food is really nice.

After a couple of drinks, we had a few poppadums and the chutney tray to start and then a Chicken Kali Mirch, a Shangrila Chicken, leek & mushroom rice and a pilau rice with a sweet nan and Gurkha vegetable bahor side dish. With a couple of coffees the bill came to a very reasonable £39. Really nice food, both dishes had that little extra something than the usual Indian meal, the veggie side dish was particulary very tasty and fresh.

The service was excellent, the Hobgoblin beer was good too.

So it looks like the Squire Bassett has ‘arrived’ as a good ‘traditional’ pub with the addition of a great restaurant. We will be visiting again soon and we wish the pub well.

The Musical Box Hammersmith Apollo

Went to see the Genesis tribute band, The Musical Box, at the Hammersmith Odeon, London on Friday, 16th. This is a French-Canadian band. Went on the bus, only £14 return, a few pints in the pub walking down from Shepherds Bush and a quick Thai meal before the group started.

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The Musical Box played ‘their acclaimed reproduction of Genesis’ most loved album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’. Haven’t actually seen Genesis live, but apparently this is one of the most faithful renditions which is actually given performing rights by Peter Gabriel and Genesis, plus exclusive access to archives, audio tracks and original slideshow.
This is not actually my favourite album, I like the earlier ones best, But….

 

It was brilliant and after the album had been played in its entirety, the band continued with a version of The Musical Box and possibly my best Genesis track, Watcher of The Skies from the album Foxtrot.

Must ‘dust’ of my Genesis albums and have a re-listen. The early albums were, in my opinion, far the best, they kinda lost the plot and went a bit bland, 80’s pop trio, when Phil Collins took over.

The Charles Dickens Exhibition at the Museum of London

Museum LondonWent for a trip to London today, two reasons, one to meet Sues friend Brian, who we hadn’t seen for ages and the other to visit the Dickens Exhibition at the Museum of London.

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It is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens this year, well on the 7th February to be exact. There are lots of exhibitions on at present along and many of his books being adapted for TV.
This is a tremendous exhibition with lots of information about the man himself and the social history of London during his lifetime.

newgate_prison_largeThere is also the original door from the Newgate Prison, a model of a stagecoach and steam train, numerous old maps and pictures of London along with manuscripts from some of his novels.
Spent around two hours here before heading of to the Lord Raglan Pub for a good meal and pint of Doombar.

 

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The exhibition is open until the 10th June 2012.
Must pay another visit to the Museum itself soon.

Opposite is a picture of a floodlit St Pauls taken as we walked back to the tube station from the pub.

Weather was mighty cold, but sunny.

Great Day Out.

News of The Squire Bassett, Kidlington

After the nice couple who had the Squire were forced out by the brewery putting up the rent a few months ago. Shame as they had turned it in to a nice pub, good food and a few groups or the landlord and regulars doing an impromptu keyboard ‘jamming’ session.
It had now returned to a dark, unwelcoming, pub with nothing good going for it. 

It was, we thought, only a matter of time before it was sold and turned into a block of flats.

BUT, now apparently the owners of either the Everest Nepalese Restaurant in Howards Street, off the Cowley Road or the Yeti Restaurant in Cowley Road has taken a TEN ?? year lease over the Squire and is turning it, or part of it, in to a Nepalese Restaurant, the pub, drinking bit, will still stay open.

Anyway more will be revealed on Friday 3rd February when it re-opens, so the sign hung outside informs.

UPDATE – Well the food looked nice, but unfortunately the £10 a head buffet was all booked and the Hobgoblin (take a look at the brewers web site here) was well and truly off, will go there soon, the menu looked extensive, but could be having the Guinness I think, shame as Hobgoblin is a nice pint..

Warhorse

Went to the Vue Cinema, next to Oxford United’s ground to see Warhorse tonight.

Warhorse PosterThe storyline is –
Dartmoor,1914: To his wife’s dismay farmer Narracott buys a thoroughbred horse rather than a plough animal, but when his teenaged son Albert trains the horse and calls him Joey, the two becoming inseparable. When his harvest fails, the farmer has to sell Joey to the British cavalry and he is shipped to France where, after a disastrous offensive he is captured by the Germans and changes hands twice more before he is found, caught in the barbed wire in No Man’s Land four years later and freed. He is returned behind British lines where Albert, now a private, has been temporarily blinded by gas, but still recognizes his beloved Joey. However, as the Armistice is declared Joey is set to be auctioned off. After all they have been through will Albert and Joey return home together?

The horses are the best ‘actors’, but definitely a film to see and on the big screen as well.

Brakspear Oxford Ale Trail 2011

Today finished the annual Brakspears Ale Trail, with a trip to O’Neills, then the Four Candles, where we had a Christmas meal and a pint for £7.95 and finished at Far From The Madding Crowd, where I picked up the free T-shirt. The ‘Thursday Night Out’ lads have been doing this through out December, but I missed one Thursday so had to catch up today. Lots of lovely pints of Oxford Gold.

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Have sent off the completed form and hopefully should be receiving details of the free trip round the Wychwood brewery in Witney where amongst others (like Hobgoblin)  Brakspear beer is brewed.