Posts tagged with “Roundhouse”

December 24

My daughter can't wait until Christmas!

If there is one phrase that has become the signature or catch phrase for this year it is "I can't wait until Christmas!". Fortunately it is spoken with such charm and variation in inflection and with a certain sense of timing that it has not become TOO wearing (yet!). I seem to have managed five hundred miles on Voyager before Christmas, which feels about right, though I have not worked out the daily average, which no doubt would disappoint me.... (Goes to check with a calculator - HMmmm eighteen and a half, not bad, but twenty would be better!). What did not disappoint was a classic ride across London yesterday to enjoy a pre-dawn descent from Haverstock Hill. I had forgotten that as I reached the end of this descent of course I re-entered my childhood, passing the roundhouse and Marine Ices at the top of Camden High Street! It was a real trip down memory lane, I was amazed at how prosperous the ice cream restaurant appeared. I had the rare privilege of checking out all of the Christmas lights from my bicycle earlier too, and enjoyed passing through the Belgravia gallery area and feasting my eyes on the art displayed in the windows too. I hope I shall be proven right, but this year is shaping up to be one of the really great Christmases for me to remember. Watch this space....
07:55 AM | 2 Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,
December 07

Memories - A restaurant called Manna

There's this restaurant in Primrose Hill and it is called "Manna".  When I was a young boy I had to eat there a LOT.  My abiding memory is of the glazed earthenware plates and the macrobiotic (IE unhusked) brown rice.  I was totally convinced that the plates were chipping and I was eating the glaze along with the rice!  It was a co-operative restaurant run largely by a hippy group of women so far as I could tell, but my father did spells as a "chef" there, hence the frequent occasions when I had to eat there.

I think it left me with a prejudice against vegetarian food that I have only recently shed!

There are good memories of those times too though and they all came flooding back when I had to traipse along Upper Street for a day of induction to the Christmas voluntary work I am doing with Quaker Homeless Action at the Union Chapel.  I got talking with a colleague who lived in Camden also back in those days (they were in a squat, more recently than my forty odd years ago! But they had no awareness of the rehabilitation of the Roundhouse).  I reassured them that Marine ices were still going strong though.

Anyway, coming back to Manna, as you can see from the website I linked, they are a million light years from the co-operative venture that enables them to bill themselves as "London's oldest Vegetarian restaurant".  The establishment is EXTREMELY posh and upmarket now, far from the rattan mats and pine furniture it sported when it opened.  I found a trip back there some eight years ago very depressing and sad.  No-one was interested in the fact I had dined there and my father was once a chef either.  So big thumbs down from me!

One thing though - I have a great memory of the condiment they placed on the tables in lieu of salt - it was the only thing I could use to make the rice edible and to this day I would like to know WHAT it was!  If anyone can help then please do comment - it seemed like orange flakes that one would sprinkle fairly liberally according to taste and I have not seen it since! 

07:35 PM | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , ,