04 November 2012

Bonfire Saturday SE16-Style

As a November baby, Bonfire Night has always been one of my favourite celebrations. As Papa's birthday was so close, we usually held a big fireworks party at our house, sometimes going down to the bonfire in the village. As London is much more awesome than The Shire, there are always a whole host of fun things to do on November 5 and the closest weekend. On Monday, we are going to see the fireworks display in Southwark Park, but this evening I walked over to Rotherhithe to meet the Bro and the SIL at the Brunel Museum.

Fiery fun at the Midnight Apothecary

A funny place to meet, you might think, but throughout the summer, they have been hosting the Midnight Apothecary on their rooftop gardens, serving cocktails infused with ingredients from the garden. Tonight, they were doing a Bonfire Night special edition. The place was heaving at 8.30, when we got there, but we only had to queue for about ten minutes to buy our cocktails and some sparklers. We then stood amid the mini fires, pumpkins and herbs drinking our drinks. The brief cocktail list left me with a choice between the Hot Buttered Rum (rum, ice cream, brown sugar, maple syrup and allspice) and the Marmalade Martini with popping candy (gin, Campari, lemon juice, marmalade, orange bitters). I knew I would probably like the former more but the popping candy persuaded me to opt for the latter, even though I knew the candy would already have popped. The cocktails weren't huge but at only £5 a pop, not bad value.

Top: The Bro's love; my Bex. Bottom: The SIL & I freestyling; my hearts

We then went on a "tour" of the grand entrance hall of the Thames Tunnel. This was actually just a talk held in the strange, subterranean chamber that used to form the gateway to the first tunnel beneath the river. It was pretty interesting, although the walking tours through the tunnel itself they plan to hold next year during planned engineering works would be more fun. In the meantime, the grand entrance hall is a quirky venue for gigs and other events. Well, the acoustics are great.

Fireworks over the London skyline

Afterwards, we lit our sparklers and tried to write love (the Bro and the SIL) and Bex (moi) quickly enough for my camera to detect, with varying degrees of success. I walked home along the Thames path, snapping a few photos of the London skyline. I was hoping to catch some big fireworks let off over Tower Bridge, but there was only the odd small-scale bang and flash of colour.

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