Monday 10 May 2010

On reflection

Only in Chigwell...would you find a £120,000 sports car finished in chrome (yes it reflects just like your bath taps should)...with an advertising slogan for a local business down the sides. Chigwell is the most ridiculous place in the whole world, of that I am convinced!

On the other hand, I love East feels entirely real. And I'm lucky enough that when I wake up and feel energetic (admittedly not as often this year as last) I can cycle a full 30km to work - along the canals that wind their way through to the heart of London - I pop out just by the Rotherhithe tunnel. I have mentioned this before - although the distance has gone up somewhat this year (for reasons to be explained in the fullness of time). Along the canals, I see the old Matchbox toy factory - recently reduced to a pile of rubble, the Olympic site - going up so quickly, that you might think it'll be finished this year. And a big pink modern building with the sign H Forman on the side. I kept meaning to google it, but didn't. Fortunately, Griff Rhys Jones last year did a series on TV about our riverways and happened to head down this canal. It turns out that this is London's last salmon smokery and had been relocated after a fight with the Olympic organisers. I was pleased to know this, and yet more pleased when I cycled past and saw a banner declaring there is now a restaurant. We went there on Friday night, and it rocked - to get to it you drive through one of the eastend's old industrial estates - much in decline. The location is on Fish Island...I'm not sure it's an island, and strongly suspect the fish upped and left sometime ago...even though they're returning now. Naturally we had smoked salmon to start and the whole meal was absolutely delicious. As was the truffle mash, and the bubble and squeek I had with my lamb. The best restaurant I've been to for ages. But on Friday night, the place was practically empty - what a shame - no doubt it will begin to fill as 2012 nears, but I'm sure it should have more people now. You sit looking out over the canal directly over the Olympic stadium which is amazing - I hope that soon they will illuminate it and it will become a beacon. There's also an art gallery if you feel the need. They also do Saturday and Sunday I strongly suggest that if you get the opportunity, and can find your way, then give it a try. Formans. Here's a picture of the smoking clean as a whistle.