Lunchtime Visit to Docklands
6th July 2016
Fine weather, the sparkling Thames, discovering the secrets of the Crystal and a leisurely lunch at the Top 1 Forever restaurant all made for an exciting and enjoyable time together.
Some of us met the Master at the Blackfriars Millennium Pier to take the 11.14 Thames Clipper to North Greenwich. Such an easy and refreshing way to travel and to see the river in all its glory. Others joined us on land and we made our way to the Emirates Cable Car station for a spectacular journey high up across the Thames.
The views were amazing as we glided in the comfortable pods that ply passengers to and fro. The area is vast with so much building and development taking place wherever we looked. A fine day so we could see for miles but also great that this huge area is coming to life again after so many years of decay and neglect...
None of us knew about the Crystal, a modern iconic building on the Royal Victoria Docks opened in 2012 “It is a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens, the world's most sustainable events venue and the largest exhibition on the future of cities” and this was our next stop. A change of plan had been necessary because the building was to close at 2pm for a conference. We were told on arrival that it had closed to the public even earlier! We protested and a quick thinking official called a member of the staff who gave us an excellent conducted tour of the exhibition area.
It is a “must” for anyone interested in sustainability and the future of cities and covers areas including heating, lighting, security and leisure. A video showing what is already being done in cities around the world including London and how future cities will further develop was inspiring. We all decided we need to return for a more in depth visit.
After all this excitement we walked a short distance to our lunch stop, the Top 1 Forever restaurant also in the dock area. We were able to relax and chat while our young waiter on “work experience” eventually managed to take our orders. We enjoyed the feeling of being on holiday with the sun shining on the water and watching the world go by. We eventually enjoyed our lunch - perhaps, soup, fish and chips, a shared cold platter and chocolate cake, not forgetting our wine and jugs of water delightfully infused with pieces of strawberry, lime and mint! Finally, we said our thanks to the Master and our goodbyes before making our own travel choice to return to the City.