Friday, February 8th 2013
Sometimes, we go shopping on Friday evening in order to keep the weekend free. As a reward for doing the shopping, we have supper out, perhaps at Itsu or a similar eatery. This evening, however, we felt disinclined to do the shopping but we thought we would take the reward just the same! But where?
Finding ourselves in the City, in Bishopsgate, we looked around there for a suitable restaurant or cafe.
In Middlesex Street we found the Shooting Star, a well run city pub. Being slightly off the beaten track, it wasn’t as packed as some of the pubs on Bishopsgate itself, though it became more crowded by the time we left. We had a look at the menu affixed to the wall outside and our eyes lit up when we spied “Sausage and Mash (Vegetarian option available” on the list. We started with leek and potato soup, followed by the sausage and mash. The vegetarian sausages were not brilliant but the mash was fine and so was the gravy.
In the above photo, you can see a clock bearing the legend “Astral House”. The clock doesn’t work, unfortunately. Astral House, of which the Shooting Star forms a part, is now an apartment block but the blue plaque on the pub wall refers to an earlier period when the building had another use: between 1896 and 1956 it was occupied by The Board of Guardians & Trustees for the Jewish Poor. A plaque was installed in 1989 to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the founding the the Board.
Afterwards we went back towards Liverpool Street station to catch a bus home. While we had been in the pub, it had rained and the ground was wet, reflecting the lights. I decided to take a few photos even though it was rather dark. I just hoped that the lights and and colours would compensate for the inevitable blurring owing to long exposures.
This area of the City is accumulating tall buildings. In my view, quite a few are out of proportion but I suppose we will get used to them. Also, at night, the bright lights make the scene more magical. In the top left corner, you can see part of the Heron Tower and in the background, surrounded by sky, is the Broadgate Tower, another oversize glass mountain. It is almost hidden by the building in front of it, though this is a mere 26 storeys tall. Strangely enough, it doesn’t have a name and seems to be called simply “99 Broadgate”.
In the above photo, we are looking back along Middlesex Street, where the Shooting Star resides, with, in the background another tall tower. This one is a student accommodation block in Spitalfields, one of the many built by Nido.
I took my last photo from the bus stop beside Liverpool Street station. There was a lot of movement, resulting in blurring but I quite like it as the effect is a little like an impressionist painting. At this time of day, Bishopsgate is very busy as the glass towers disgorge their employees and others arrive on buses to join trains in the station to my left. Not everyone is rushing home, of course, and the pubs are crowded, especially on Fridays as people put the week behind them and celebrate the onset of the weekend. Our bus soon arrived, curtailing further photographic activity.