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Boat Blog: The East London Ring (again)

Posted by indigodream on 27 July, 2010

Thursday 22nd July

Does your commute to work make you smile like this......

Ah, the curse of the Jubilee Line strikes again! Richard and colleague Agnieszka took Indigo Dream to a meeting in Bow again. This time they were scrutinised by the men in black in a rib – it is hard to believe that now mooring under Bow Flyover is probably safer then in most parts of the country :-). While they were there, Richard arranged for a top of the diesel tank, long story but he ended up with proper ‘white’ diesel – she’ll be up on the plane on that rich mixture ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday 24th July

The East London ring

We came up to the boat late on Friday night after a busy day and a slow drive – the range of takeaways and the relatively new Tesco on Commercial Road were very welcome. We were a bit dismayed to find that there was a strong smell of diesel – some had seeped into the engine bilges – we suspect either a bit of overflow from a very full tank or, more worryingly, a small leak/hole near the top of the tank. It wasn’t so serious (diesel not being as explosive as petrol) so we added it to Saturday morning’s to-do list.

So, on Saturday morning we had to scurry round doing our chores before welcoming old friends Marek and Virginia on board. I filled the water tank and cleaned the boat while Richard went off to buy some nappies (for the diesel) and got his head down the engine compartment with the wet vacuum cleaner. We just managed to get everything done before our guests arrived.

Note: How do you know you’re getting old? When, on the sight of a pack of nappies, your friends ask whether you’re incontinent rather than pregnant/newly gifted with children ๐Ÿ™‚

We had four cameras on board today (though I only have photos from 2 so far) so I’ll let the photos tell the story.

A glimpse of the Olympic stadium - shame about the graffiti - there's a lot around here at the moment....

The only thing I’ll write about is Foreman’s, above Old Ford Lock. We stopped there for lunch and I have to say that I’m very ambivalent about the place. The restaurant is on the first floor with a small terrace overlooking the canal; there is a fine mooring with a mixture of bollards and rings – there’s probably room for two 60 footers (maybe two 70 footers). But that’s where the waterfront appeal ends – the entrance to the building is down a side-alley and we think that they’ve missed a great opportunity to use the waterfront itself for dining. Anyway, the restaurant itself is very swanky indeed and I was concerned that they might have a dress code. But fortunately but they seemed happy to let us in – we were positively well-dressed compared to the (female) crews of two skiffs who came in later in their skimpy shorts! The waitress was very pleasant but not the most efficient; the menu was limited – they could do us ‘platters’ – we had one of mixed terrines and also one of smoked salmon. The portions were delicious but small (and costly) – we had to order extra bread, twice! The wine was good though I stuck to the water – I can’t do alcohol before 7pm (it goes right to my head). The restaurant has somewhat eccentric opening hours – 5pm – 9pm Thurs/Fri then 12pm – 5pm Sat/Sun. Overall, we thought that they weren’t making the best of their canalside location and their lunchtime offering was delicious but insubstantial.

Indigo Dream gracing Foreman's moorings...

We weren’t sure whether we come back to Foreman’s, but we got talking to its owner, who is an inspirational chef and businessman – he has a lot of going on in the building, including a salmon smokery, art gallery, conference/wedding venue and he has a commercial kitchen producing gourmet food for top London restaurants. We gave him our feedback so let’s hope that he makes more of his canalside location to attract more boaters.

We had fine day’s cruise – Marek and Virginia were easy company and really took to narrowboating – they’re never been before. It was with some regret that we waved them goodbye at 6.30pm-ish. We headed off for our second gourmet experience of the day – we found some space in the garden of “The Narrows” – the Gordon Ramsay pubย  on the other side of Limehouse Lock. We’ve always wanted to eat there. Alas, the service at the bar was poor and when we saw the balance of choice to price on the bar menu we quickly decamped to the Grapes – our favourite local haunt. The Grapes is dog-friendly to the extreme – we found a table with plenty of floor space for the greyhounds’ sheepskins – they enjoyed a big fuss from the locals and a generous portion of sausages while we enjoyed a fine bar meal at a fraction of the price of the Narrows. The beer’s good too!


Good company....

One of many 'Olympic' businesses that will spring up here - may need to smarten up before the games though ๐Ÿ™‚

Part of the Viewtube....

View from Old Ford Lock....

View from Foreman's second floor gallery...

On Ducketts Cut...

Marek and Virginia loving the boat....

Hen party on Ducketts Cut - mind those pretty heads ladies.....

Colliding punts on Ducketts Cut - they're from the Regent's Canal (left after the turn) - watch out for them, they're fun, but a bit random!

Stunning landscape - view from the Regent's Canal through Mile End..

It must be love.....

Give us a kiss then....

3 Responses to “Boat Blog: The East London Ring (again)”

  1. Halfie said

    Hello Sue/Richard – Not really connected with this blog post but … I’ve contacted St. Pancras Cruising Club about the possibility of joining their cruises on 21st and 22nd Aug. Now I’m waiting for the reply. I asked all sorts of questions!

    Just thought I’d let you know.

  2. indigodream said

    Well done! There is an application form on their website which gives times etc – see scroll down and click on the links.


  3. Halfie said

    Done, thanks. See you there!

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