05 November 2013

Taking the Fifth

For the second year running, my Southwark buddies and I headed to our borough's free fireworks display in Southwark Park tonight.

As ever, it was a nightmare meeting up inside, super muddy and took forever to get out thanks to the over-zealous crowd control techniques that seem to involve shutting all but one of the park gates. The queue to get out got a little more interesting when someone started letting off sub-standard Chinese lanterns, which was quite nice until one crash-landed on the crowd still on fire.

The fireworks were pretty impressive once again. The display lasted a decent amount of time and the finale was suitably grand, even to these Cambridge-May-Ball-trained eyes.

Once we had fought our way out of the park, we were in severe need of sustenance, and so we ended up at The Angel, a pub on the riverfront, on the Bermondsey–Rotherhithe borders. It was, unsurprisingly, rammed, probably thanks, in part, to the plug they got from the recent Londonist post on London's best pubs on the Thames. We snagged a table upstairs with a great view onto the Thames, down to Tower Bridge and The Shard. Three of us went down to order food and drinks, looking forward to some bangers and mash, fish and chips, and so on. It took nearly 15 minutes for us to get served and then the bartender looked nervous when we asked about food. Eventually she agreed to order us some food as long as all five of us had the same dish — and as long as we all had scampi. After asking for five drinks and two glasses of water, we thought we might be pushing our luck by complaining when she handed us some peanuts instead of the crisps we'd ordered.

The scampi and chips was fine, though, and it was nice to catch glimpses of much less impressive firework displays at various points along the river. Although I often walk or jog past The Angel, I'd definitely like to go back when I'm less ravenous and they're less busy (probably not on 23 November, then).

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