The View From The Other Side Of The Barbican (China House)

Surprisingly, there are two sides to the Barbican.  The China House has recently been renamed the Miller and Carter, given a polish up and looks really nice inside.  The food is as good as always (recommend everything!), but the draw for me has always been the view across Sutton Harbour from outside on the balcony that runs the length of the building.

From the corner of the balcony you get a cracking view of the harbour and as its a working port for the local trawlers, lots of activity with arrivals and departures.  For a city Centre pub, its surprising mellow and quiet most of the time, probably something the new owners are trying to change.  In the meantime, its a great place to drink coffee and while away the afternoon.

The National Aquarium is 100 yards away (as the bridge is still broken, you’ll have to go this way anyway) and the Barbican is roughly the same distance in the other direction.  Lots of parking on site, Oh and the Vue Cinema is nearby too.

How Arrogant! Some Random Bloke Doing Book Reviews! Cheek!

My thoughts exactly, what do I know about reviewing books!  Not a lot, but then who does?  I’m thinking I’ll give an opinion, have a look at what other people have said, say what its like and whether I’ve had fun reading it.  For the record, I get very excited about books, pretty much exclusively older Science Fiction, although I’ll mix in some odds and sods too.

It’ll take a while between instalments as I don’t get time to read as much as I’d like.  I’m keen to have a “reason” to read though, a lot of the time I’ll love a book (or hate one) and nobody else I speak to has heard of it.  Not a lot of room for strenuous debate there!  Also, as I read the same books repeatedly, it would be good to have a reason to put some more thought into the content rather than just wading through them.  A bit of thought and organisation, that’ll make a nice change!

As per the picture above, I am currently smitten with Stanislaw Lem, writer of “Solaris” and many others.  I will probably start with him as I’m in the middle of “Star Diaries” and the Voyages of Ijon Tichy, again.

Plymouth Hoe Lido – Open Air Cinema!

Plymouth Arts Centre organise several Open Air Cinema events at Royal Willam Yard, Tinside Lido and Mount Edgcumbe.  Love it, Love it, Love it!

We went to see Yellow Submarine and Some Like It Hot, both crackers and as my co-pilot had not seen the latter, a real experience.

This year also had showing of The Piano, Dirty Dancing, Pan’s Labyrinth,
The Greatest Showman, The Shape of Water, Jaws, Isle of Dogs, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom but time got the better of us and we only made the two.  At £9.00 a ticket (£17 for VIPs, includes Prosecco!) it’s a great experience and a really good laugh.  You also get to wander around the Lido, which I hadn’t looked at before, its very 1960s!

I really can’t recommend this enough!  You sit in rows on either deckchairs (VIP) or fold out canvas seats (us), all very cosy and drink the wine, beer, coffee etc. which is available from the tent.  Its a really comfy atmosphere, everyone laughs at the funny bits and is quiet for the quiet bits.  They got the sound absolutely right, which had been a concern of mine before we got there, quite foolishly as it turned.  The area the screen is on is just below the roadway on the Hoe, but apart from the odd moped and boy-racer belting along, you really couldn’t hear anything apart from the film.  They’ve been doing this a while and they’ve really got it nailed, too loud and you’d be waiting for the next shock, too quiet and youd be straining to hear.  As it was, perfect.

The shows start at 9.15, just after the sun goes down, we got there at 8 for a wander round the place.  You get the views from the edge of the Lido across the Sound and that’s worth it on its own.

We had a warm evening for both shows, Some Like It Hot got a bit chilly but as it was the end of August, only to be expected.  They supply blankets for hire, we didn’t need them!

Keep an eye out on the Plymouth Arts Centre website – the tickets go quickly, although we were able to get them for the two night we wanted.


Mount Edgcumbe, An Amazing Local View. Urban Beauty!

Mount Edgcumbe sits across the water from Royal William Yard and there is a ferry (£1.50 at the moment, going up to £2.00 very soon) that takes you from “Admirals Hard” in four or five minutes to the House.  Living just a couple of hundred yards from the ferry is a bonus and I’ll quite often pop over to the pub for a pint overlooking the sea.   At low tide you can get down to the jetties and take in the urban beauty for a while.

If you like formal-ish gardens, the majority of the area will be for you.  I’ll be posting pictures every now and then, it genuinely is a different place at different times of the year, stunning.

The Orangery is a cracker, really really good food!  Well worth a visit, although I must admit I mainly pop there for a coffee if the suns out.  Years ago, I saw some Open Air Theatre here and they did the play (Midsummer Nights Dream – Illyria – if memory serves) up and down the staircases at the back.

I managed to miss the Open Air Theatre this year, despite my best efforts.  See the post on Open Air Cinema at the Lido to see what it got swapped for.  Next year I’ll do both…

I do love Mount Edgcumbe and I am a regular on the ferry to and from there, its a great way to spend half a day just having a wander.  I haven’t been into the main house, that’s not really my thing.  I’ll post some more information and pics of the place when I have a chance and/or as the year progresses and the gardens change.