Saturday, September 14, 2019

National Archives Kew - And the Cold War

Youngest sister Steph suggested a visit to the National Archive Centre followed by a lunch at  the Michelin starred Glasshouse restaurant nearby Kew underground station, which meal she kindly offered to fund.

We walked from Kew Bridge South Western Railway station as Steph's home is not near to any underground lines. 

Surprisingly the National Archives are not signposted at all from the riverside footpath or any signpost that there may be, is not well positioned as we did not see it. Add to that, Google maps on our iPhone suggested that we needed to walk a long way east  along the Thames path which turned out to be  good exercise if somewhat exhausting though it made us all hungry for lunch. A local we met told us that Google's directions were quite incorrect as the National Archive Centre was only just off the riverside path a couple of miles or so back.

We eventually retraced our steps and arrived at the centre, the architecture of which reminded me of some of the 1960s architecture that many do not admire; for example see the earlier  blog post about the demolition of Pimlico School

The National Archive building is depicted below.



The National Archive Centre mirrored its lack of signposting, by being almost empty which is a shame as the site, which includes a decent book and souvenir shop, coffee bar and large restaurant is well laid out for visitors. 

The Cold War exhibition itself was quite small




However  the highlight for us was its small  Pathe News  cinema, which included photos of  and songs by the then young Beatles, who apparently the USSR were most critical of at the time because of their appeal to the  younger generation, which of course included yours truly.

Onward then to the Glasshouse restaurant which was about 15 minutes walk away.

I selected for a starter

Sea bass ceviche with avocado, pomegranate, lime, chilli, coriander and sour cream


Then for my main course

Yorkshire grouse with crushed root vegetables, crisp potato, smoked bacon and elderberries


And for sweet I think but memory is slightly clouded by the generous Sancerre kindly provided by sister Steph.

Warm chocolate croustade with milk ice cream and roasted nuts

We all agreed that the starters in particular  were really first class and left a wonderful impression on one's taste buds for some while. 

Of course the whole meal was simply delicious and we did not finish for a couple of hours or more.

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