Thursday, 26 April 2007

Tesco in Greenwich?

Any truth to the rumours of a Tesco opening on Trafalgar Road in Greenwich?

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Maritime Greenwich celebrates 10 Years as World Heritage Site

Maritime Greenwich, the vibrant heart of this beautiful corner of south east London, is celebrating the tenth anniversary since it was awarded World Heritage Site status in 1997 for its architectural, scientific, maritime and royal associations. Festivities start on 16 June with Greenwich Alive! twelve days of art, music and architecture and continue for the remainder of the year. More on this event in posts to come!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Greenwich in The News!

Headless Body Case in River Thames

According to News Shopper, police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a headless body was found in the river Thames. The female body, which is missing its head and both hands, was discovered in a laundry bag, floating in the South Dock Marina, a mile upstream from Greenwich on Thursday. For full story, click here. Other related articles, click here.

Travel chaos for marathon spectators

According to News Shopper, thousands of London Marathon spectators were left facing travel chaos after Docklands Light Railway services were suspended due to a failed train. Services between Greenwich and Crossharbour were suspended after a train broke down at Mudchute at 8.30 this morning. For full article, click here.

Flora London Marathon!

Cafe Sol (3/5)

If you're into Mexican food, you'll love this place. If you really really love Mexican food, then you'll disregard all else and remind yourself that you're there for the food. And good food it is!

Cafe Sol in Greenwich is probably one of the most busy cafes in the area. It's interior design has an American Wild West theme that comes complete with Boleros and material cacti. The tables are packed close together though and at times it feels as if they were all joined into one. But it does have a homey feel to it, and it is quite airy with a lot of light flooding the place.

The most prominent item on the menu are the ribs as are the Burritos. I do recommend the Nachos for starters although the portion is barely enough for sharing but to be honest you really can't go very wrong with them. Another recommendation would be the Chimichanga. Yummy! Another high scorer is the burgers; probably the best in town.

The only sore point of the menu though is the kid's section where clearly the idea has been lost on the owners. It is just a mini version of the original one; not really diverse enough for picky eaters who need to be kept happy for all to enjoy the meal. And the food, once it finally arrived, was too spicy for little ones.

The service on the other hand is another story. The waiters are too slow, extremely annoying and the place does not score big on hygiene. Remind yourself, you are there for the food though. The order took forever to arrive and the children's food always came last for some odd reason.

I would visit again if only for the food. But they honestly have to up the game and work on the staff.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

The Greenwich Clipper: Hair & Beauty

Beauty is very high up there on my list of priorities. Call me fickle if you like, but I do cherish my manicures and pedicures; My facials and my massages. I never flinch at the prices, and never ever bargain when it comes to good products. Having said all that, the bottom line is that I know what I want and I expect to get it when I book myself for a day of pampering. And book I did: a facial, manicure and pedicure.

Looking at the Clipper from the outside, you would assume a refreshing oasis awaited behind its inviting doors. In all fairness, it does pack the best products in the business: from Guinot to Aveda, Decleor, Dermalogica, Elemis, St. Tropez and Tigi, this shop has it all. They offer a wide range of body treatments that include sunbeds, reflexology and hair removal lasers. I was really looking forward to my day as lately I had been so busy and overworked. Oasis here I come.

I walked in and informed the receptionist that I was there for my appointment. She told me I had to go to the other shop (21) and wait there (the Greenwich Clipper occupies Nelson 20 & 21). Fine I thought and went out and into Nelson 21. The first floor as you go in is nicely decorated. The products are all on display and you are greeted with the smells of aromatherapy products as in most salons. I was asked to wait downstairs in the "waiting area" and X would come for me. Downstairs it is then, I thought.

Shock number one: the "waiting area" is a small cramped basement with two chairs propped against a wall. In an opening between the stairs and the floor is a stack of old over-read tabloids and magazines. And the entire area is filthy. Every single surface is layered with dust that has never met a duster since the day the place went into business. The floors are stained with droppings of wax, nail polish, and some odd looking marks that I could not even make out. Shoe prints were everywhere and it wasn't even raining outside. The place was miserable and dirty.

After a twenty-minute wait in which I debated with myself an odd twenty times whether to run or stay, X came and told me to choose my nail polish color and follow her into a room to start on my pedicure. Choosing from a dismal selection of nearly dry, completely dry and seems fit to use polish, I settled for one that seemed to have enough to finish the job (lucky I only wanted to color my toenails, I am doubtful that bottle of polish would have lasted all twenty nails).

The treatment room was hideous. The treatment bed had seen much better days and was also sticky. I opted to keep my clothes on and declined the offer to wear the robe hanging behind the door. The pedicure went fine with X and I chatting away. Then the manicure, which was a disaster. When it was finally over I had blood on three of my nails where X had clipped the skin of my cuticles. Ouch indeed. A part of me kept telling me that I was a fool to have accepted this and stayed. I couldn't wait till it was over.

The facial was more of a facial massage than a facial clean. I could feel that X clearly did not know what she was doing. She seemed to be too rushed and too flustered. It was a big disappointment and it did not come cheap. They had none of the new equipment being used in treatments these days. And I mean none. The only good things about my facial were the products themselves and definitely X's massage.

All in all, the experience was not pleasant. I did not feel pampered, the surroundings made me wince and I am dubious as to when and if the place is ever cleaned (although I did spot a bucket and mop stashed in the far corner of the basement). The waste baskets have no lids and there is hair and bits of tissue and paper all around. And the treatment rooms are poorly lit (I wondered how they saw well enough for a good wax). The treatments themselves were fine but you could get much better service and treatments for the same price at a much better kept place. They should literally clean up or move out.

Finally, I paid my hefty bill, declined a stack of products that X thought I should use (as if she knew what she was on about) and went home for a shower.

Guinot /Decleor/Elemis/Dermalogica Facial: from 47 pounds, 1 hour treatment
Hydradermie facial: 1 hour and 15 minutes, around 52 pounds
Maicure: 18.7 pounds
Pedicure: 24.75 pounds

Greenwich Clipper Hair & Beauty
20-21 Nelson Road, London
SE 10
Tel: 020- 88586742

Monday, 16 April 2007

Road Closure Details For Sunday 22 April

Here are more details regarding road closures in Greenwich on Sunday 22 April
Related Articles: here.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Pizza Express: New Kids' Menu Out Now!

Finally, a place in Greenwich that gives children the respect they deserve. The new Kids' Menu at Pizza Express on Greenwich Church Street is truly fantastic. The variety catered to suit any child's demands and comes with its own Bambinoccino (cocoa that comes in a beautiful ceramic coffee cup), just the touch to make young ones feel like a grown-up. The fixed price includes a starter, a main course, a dessert and the Bambinoccino. Give it a go! Your kids will thank you for it later. But expect them to want to come back very very soon.

Pizza Express
4 Greenwich Church Street
London SE10 9BG
Tel: 020 8853 2770

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Greenwich Events To Look Out For In April

April 14 & 29
In Stitches: Upper Deck National Maritime Museum: The African Families Foundation (TAFF) has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the making of a quilt entitled "In Stitches" made by women of British, African and African Carribean communities to commemorate the bicentenary of the parliamentary act to abolish slavery in Britain. See the quilt and find out how it was made. (Suitable for ages 10+). No booking required.

April 16-21
Greenwich Theatre: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Starring Peter Egan (Ever Decreasing Circles, Noises Off) as the master detective Sherlock Holmes and Philip Franks (Heartbeat, Journey's End) as his loyal assistant Dr Watson, promises to be a real Greenwich treat. Evenings at 7.30pm (£18-£25/£16-£23), matinees on Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm (£16-£23/£14-£21). Limited concessions between Thursday and Saturday; early booking recommended.(Address: Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill, London SE10 8ES).

April 22:

April 24 - 28
Greenwich Theatre: For one week only, Greenwich Theatre presents APRIL FOOLS, a unique line-up of some of today's finest comedians.

April 24: Kit & The Widow are two men and a piano £14, (8pm)

April 25: Mark Steel: A star who has performed as a stand-up comedian on the British comedy circuit and on national tours since 1983, £14 (8pm)

April 26: Jim Tavare & Rob Deering: According to the Independent these two are the one of the funniest and original around, £14 (8pm)

April 27: Gina Yashere: Her live sell-out appearances are legendary. Her, bombastic delivery, infectious personality and cheeky observations have wowed audiences around the world. She was named Best Female at the recent Black Comedy Awards, and has appeared on UK Television in The Lenny Henry Show, Jo Brand's Hot Potatoes, The Crouches, The Stand-Up Show, Live at Jongleurs and Celebrity Fame Academy. £14 (8pm)

April 28: Marcus Brigstocke: Marcus Brigstocke is an award-winning stand-up whose credits include BBC Four's The Late Edition, Radio 4's The Now Show and TV's We Are History, The Savages, and Have I Got News for You, £14 (8pm).

April 27
Greenwich Dance Agency (gDA): A place to sample a bit of everything from the world of dance, whilst enjoying table service in the fabulously atmospheric Borough Halls. Each event will feature it's own compere, working alongside Latin-jazz house band the Alex Wilson Trio. Tickets are £15.

April 29
  • Mayor of Greenwich's charity cycle ride: Join this year's ten-mile sponsored cycle ride and help the Demelza Hospice for Children and Greenwich MIND charities. It will start at 11am at the Old Royal Naval College (the Cutty Sark Gardens Entrance) and go right through to Thamesmead. Entry costs £5 per cyclist. There is no entry fee for under 12s. Download your forms from Greenwich Council website. You can also bring your completed form and £5 payment with you on the day, as long as you also email your details directly to by Friday 20 April 2007.

  • "Words of Freedom" Family Day: National Maritime Museum: from 10:30am-16:30pm: There will be story telling for under fives and for older children. Look at the power of the written and the spoken word to express freedom and identity. Join in creative writing activities for families to explore personal freedoms.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Travel Feature: Legoland Windsor

Only an hour and a half drive away from Greenwich (on a good day) Legoland Windsor is a promised land for funfair lovers. However, for someone who goes all queasy at the mere introduction of rides and funfairs in the same sentence and has since the age of ten boycotted them, I assured myself I was only there for the Lego and the ice-cream. However, being there as an adult, and a mother of a very enthusiastic phobia-free child proved to be an insightful journey of self-re-discovery.

We had bought our tickets online, and this served us well on two counts: you get to just walk in avoiding all box office queues, and you get to come back a second time FOR FREE. Mind you the ticket isn't cheap. We did pay close to eighty pounds for two adults and one child which includes going on as many rides as you want and as many times as you can. But it does not include the food and beverages which you pay for. Another option is to pack your own lunch as there are great well-equipped picnic spots.

The first impression you get as you walk through the iron gates is a stunning lasting one. You are met with the most amazing view of Windsor Castle perched regally at the top of the facing mountain and one of the most gorgeous landscapes I've witnessed. We were lucky it was a bright sunny day, and the horizon just seemed to go on forever. With a pound inserted in a tiny slot, you get to see it up close and personal. I scanned the sight underneath me of the park awaiting us and spotted the dreaded roller coaster. A small shiver, a gulp, and braving a smile, I decided to make the most of the day.

Peeling myself away from the scenery wasn't an easy task but unavoidable with a four-year-old wildly jumping up and down wanting to see it all and do it all. Mr. ChiChi junior had just found one of many large scale Lego dinosaurs. Made of thousands of pieces of Lego, this model proved a simple one as compared to those found in the section of the park appropriately dubbed MINI LAND; A city made entirely of Lego. The extensive work put into that city is tremendous. The laborious work of creating it all from blocks of all sizes and pieces leaves one gaping. I wanted to fast forward the entire day, skip the dreaded rides and just sit on a floor somewhere and get building. I was there for the Lego anyway wasn't I? Yeah, right.

We took the Train Hill down to our first destination, KNIGHT'S KINGDOM, where we embarked on the SPINNING SPIDER, a new attraction at the park in which you sit in barrels that go round and round as fast as you want them to with a huge Lego spider perched on top of you. Dizzy and checking I still had all my limbs attached in place, I was allowed to catch my breath after it as ChiChi Junior unfizzled by the ride had found the RAT TRAP, a place for young kids to explore on their own, a play area with slides and tunnels. A safe place for the kids, a resting place for the adults, and a smoking area for those who need it.

Then it was time for the PIRATE FALLS. This has always been the second dreaded ride on my dread list right after roller coasters. Thankfully we didn't get to try the JUNGLE COASTER which seemed like where the real thrill was (according to Mr. ChiChi) as Junior was too young for it (There must be an angel out there). The ride started out very easy until it started its climb on a steep incline. By this time Junior was somewhat anxiously asking what came next and I had to explain lightheartedly that we were about to slide down the slope on the other end assuring him it would be fun. Always with my brave smile plastered on. I couldn't believe I was actually going to do this.

He must have been reassured by my tone of voice as well as his father's as he was now excitedly willing the boat to get to the top quickly. Once there, my heart jumping out of my mouth, I just closed my eyes as our boat wildly slid downward to the awaiting water. We hit it with a splash, totally soaked. The drop to my utter amazement was not too bad and was quickly, even abruptly over, to my disappointment. Could it be that I actually enjoyed it? Things were beginning to take on a new light.

I had survived it and by the wild laughter and clapping of ChiChi Junior I suppose he did too. I breathed a sigh of relief that it was first over and that I had not failed as role model. Had I opted not to try it with him, I would have planted the first seeds of acquired fear that we accumulate along the years initially from the reactions of others (usually our mothers). For the time being, my darling was fine and I had contributed to his happiness. An overwhelming feeling of joy swept over me, which the rush from the ride just enhanced. The day was going splendidly.

All worked up now, it was one thing after another stopping only briefly for lunch and snacks. The DRAGON'S APPRENTICE, a mini version of the more advanced ride THE DRAGON, the FERRIS WHEEL, ice-cream break, DRIVING SCHOOL (where kids get a mock licence), hot dog break, LEGO CITY which are mainly dark lit rooms made up entirely of Lego-made characters, from Lego rabbits (in the Magic Theatre), to Lego Mummies (in the Orient Expedition) ending with Lego parrots and alligators (in the Explorer's Institute) among others. Some of the characters combine Lego design and robotic engineering (i.e: they move and talk). Could be a bit overwhelming for young ones. We also caught the City Harbour Adventurers' Show "the Secret of Scorpion Palace", a show that should not be missed. Splashing of the audience is involved. And like so the day proceeded.

There was so much to do and so little time and there will still be a lot more things to try next visit, but by the end of this day we were over tired, over fed, and overjoyed. It had been a successful day out. I, personally, had managed to conquer some of my phobias and have a good time at it too. With what remained of our cotton candy, and two fresh boxes of new Lego, we were ready to head back home. Junior was happily dozing off as the gates of Legoland faded behind us.

For more info, visit

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Greenwich in The News!

  • According to the News Shopper (Online Edition), an electrician says authorities "let down" his neighbour, who was found dead in her flat six weeks after he raised the alarm. James Spring was devastated to hear his 77-year-old neighbour Eileen Hersey had been dead in the adjacent flat for weeks. For more on this story, click here.

  • If you are frustrated with Greenwich Council, then you're not alone. However, this blog takes it a step further recording all the Council's Bloopers. Check out Greenwich Watch.

Road Closures Sunday 22nd April

The Greenwich Council were handing out these leaflets at the Weekend well in advance of the Flora London Marathon which is to take place On April 22, 2007. Don't get caught off guard, a lot of roads are closed for a good 4-5 hours on Sunday, so be prepared. More on road closure details in posts to come. But you can get your own copy from The Greenwich Council Website as well.

Scooby Doo Live: Cartoon Classic Alive On Stage

The touring performance of Scooby Doo Live is on its way. We caught the show at the Apollo Hammersmith, at the insistence of Mr. ChiChi junior. Having nothing else to do and with the Easter and Bank holidays well under way, I skimmed the Internet for tickets, booked them and we were off to see the show.

The attendance was impressive, not that I had had any doubt that it would be otherwise. It is afterall a very popular TV show up to this day, although I personally prefer the old version of it. Anyway, back to the stage performance, it started out pretty charming with all the 'gang' on stage dancing and shaking to groovy music. Then the story begins with the gang on holiday visiting Daphne's uncle in Hollywood who happens to be shooting a Monster Movie at the Clawhammer Studios. The young Americans end up, of course, solving a mystery right there on the set revolving around the legend of "The Spectre".

The show is fun for all the family (although adults may find it a tad too long and a bit silly at times) but the play serves its purpose and entertains its audience. It delivers well on the cartoon's catchy phrases like Fred's "Let's split up gang", and Shaggy's "Zoinks" to give a really entertaining show. The music is good and the special effects are quite nice. My favorite was Shaggy (who really does the part well) and Scooby Doo, and its those characters that most of the audience had come to see anyway. Although Shaggy was the star of the show by far. And by the end of the show, I started to feel sorry for the person in the Scooby suit (it must be hard)!

At the event the kids can purchase a ton of memorabilia ranging from shiny Scooby mirrors to souvenir brochures (that comes with its own huge poster of the gang). All in all, it was fun, entertaining and above all it kept the kids entertained. The tour lasts until September, so check here to see when it will come to a theatre near you.

The Blackheath Morris Men: An Easter Success!

It's good to be back after the few days off. The weather here in Greenwich was great for just spending hour after hour outside. The streets of the town were so busy and the park overflowing with guests both locally and from far. It was just laid back easy Easter Sunday. Greenwich Village festivities at the Market and at the Cutty Sark went on uninterrupted from Saturday to Monday.

The highlight of the events, were the Blackheath Morris Men, these boys never fail to charm with their wit, their charm and their genuine pleasantness. They truly look happy to be there. I had caught their act (also at the Cutty Sark Gardens) last Christmas, and I was equally pleased that they had not lost any of that charm. They do seem like a cheeky lot ready for the next pint but their laughter and candour as contagious that they soon had the whole crowd cheering and laughing. Sure, for those of you who watched, they did miss a step or two at times, but all in all it was a pleasant display. The kids were equally enthralled as well.

The fun part was the "lifting" ceremony that these cheeky boys perform. According to a brochure they distributed at the site, it is the simple compliment of being elevated in Eostre's Throne of Flowers - Eostre was the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring and Fertility). They had to choose a virgin lady (uhum) from the crowd and lift her up in the chair, twirl her twice around and once the woman was put down she'd have to give each one of them a kiss in thanks. Applause, a cheering crowd, and blushing ladies made for an amusing sight. Good fun really.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Lambing Day at Woodlands Farm

This Saturday (7th April) the Woodlands Farm are having their Lambing Day: an opportunity for people of all ages to see the newborn lambs on the farm as well as to participate in a day of fun. The organizers promise educational and recreational fun for all. There will also be egg painting, games and refreshments. Entry is free.

"Woodlands Farm covers approximately 89 acres on the borders of Greenwich and Bexley boroughs near to Oxleas Woods. Run by a charitable trust, it is an educational Farm aiming for organic status where they try to balance farming practice with the needs of nature conservation. For more information on this trust, go to their official website, here.

Saturday: April 7
10 am - 4 pm
331 Shooters Hill, Welling
FREE admission

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Easter at Eltham Park South

Make this Bank holiday a memorable one by showing up in support of the Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice Easter Fayre and Egg Hunt. The event will take place on the afternoon of Monday 9th April, from 2-5pm. The events include an egg hunt, go-karts, egg decorating, Punch & Judy, a Dog Show along with stalls of other local community events. Admission is free. For further information visit (

The Hospice is situated in the quiet calm of Bostall Woods, Abbey Wood, in South East London. It is available to residents of the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley who need respite, symptom control or specialist palliative care, and for those who are suffering with a life limiting illness.

The Event takes place at Eltham Park South, Glenesk Road, Eltham
tel: 020- 8312 2244

Meet Fireman Sam at Greenwich This Easter Sunday

Meet the local fire brigade and Fireman Sam character who will be making an appearance at Greenwich on Sunday, April 8, 2007 at 11-11:40 am, 12-12:40pm, 2-2:40pm and 3-3:40pm

Easter Celebrations at Greenwich

Exciting events are planned all around the borough this Easter. Here's a run down of what out's there to keep you all busy especially with a four day holiday coming up.

Easter Egg Hunt In Maritime Greenwich (now running up to Sunday 8th April 2007)

You can enter the FREE Easter Egg Hunt with the chance to win great prizes. Your quest is to find 8 Easter Eggs hiding in different shop windows around Greenwich Town Centre. Start your search within Greenwich Market where you will find 4 eggs displayed. Leave the market by the main entrance (by the Dress Circle shop), where en route you will find one more egg. Turn right and use the pedestrian crossing to visit the shopping parade by Cutty Sark DLR station. Finally pass by Waterstones to walk down by Greenwich Church Street where you can find the last two eggs. Then walk past the Cutty Sark ship to deliver your completed competition entry form to The Greenwich Tourist Information Centre, Pepys House, 2 Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, London, SE10. until Sunday 8th April 2007 until 2pm. You can get forms for the competition from the Maritime Museum and any of the mentioned shops above.

Greenwich Village: Saturday 7th April, 2007 & Sunday 8th April, 2007 (11 a.m - 5.00 p.m)
Fantastic Food/Craft Market
Easter Egg Hunt (See above for details)
Ceroc Jive Dance Display (on Saturday)
Manor Majorettes Team (on Sunday)
Free Children's Arts & Crafts activities
Free face painting
Meeting members of the Fire Brigade.
For more information, contact Greenwich Town Centre Management on 020-8921 4464

Old Royal Naval College: Friday 6th April - Monday 9th April: A Treasure Hunt for all the family!
Find and follow the animals and creatures of the College this Easter for a tasty Easter surprise at the end! £1 per child (which you use to buy your treasure map at the Visitor's Centre). Trail begins at the Visitor Center and ends at the Painted Hall. (tel: 020- 8269 4799). This is a self-guided tour.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Every Sunday At Greenwich

What? House for a Queen

Why? Enter the 17th century and Queen Henrietta Maria's "House of Delights" in this actor-led introduction to the Queen's House. Suitable for ages 5+

Where? National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Zippos Circus Is Back In Town

I hadn't been to the circus since I was a junior myself. So, when I heard of Zippos circus coming back to town, I was probably the first one to buy tickets. My childhood memories of the circus are affectionately recalled with over sized, wobbly and later messy cotton candy, soft melting ice cream, peeling laughter at the clowns, and wondrous amazement at the sight and smells of the animals. I wanted ChiChi junior to experience the same. And So we went.

Zippos Circus, with a large tent occupying most of the heath in Blackheath is an inviting scene. With the colorful banners, ice cream stalls, and Zippos smiling face painted everywhere, I doubt any child (or adult) would resist going in. There is always something intriguing and mystical about a travelling circus; gypsy life comes to mind with passionate dancers whirling round an open fire, inflamed love affairs and living on the edge kind of life. But those are just my thoughts running away with me.

Zippos Circus at Blackheath is themed this year around the Wild West (with beautiful show girls to add to the glamour). All the performers are clad in Western gear, even the memorabilia center around the same thing (Western hats) and of course other shiny bits and bobs that had the children wailing, pleading and dealing with their parents.

The circus performance in itself, although quite long (it's a two-hour show) was captivating. Pure old-fashioned fun. The acrobats were fantastic and received squeals of delight from the audience. Truly memorable performances are the tight-rope acrobats, the female flying acrobat and the Mohicans.

I personally thought the horse show was quite boring (although the horses so majestic) and the kids seemed to shift in place at the bird performance. But all in all it was a diverse show with something for everyone. But, prepare to be picked or have water sprayed at you if you choose to sit in the Ring Side seats. We chose the Side View seats which were just fine.

The kids can also enjoy having their face painted by the clowns, and birthday parties can be booked at the premises. Tickets can be bought at the site or online (you get discounted tickets which we did and you just present them at the door without having to queue at the box office) at As the ring leader concluded "You're never too old, too young or too cool to visit the circus". So what are you waiting for? The tent calls!

The Circus runs until April 10
Official Website:

On Weekends, in addition to the circus, kids can also enjoy the donkey rides in Blackheath.