Sunday, March 28, 2010

Greenwich meanderings...champagne and beaches

Following Marmoset's post, I thought I would trek along to the newly opened Discover Greenwich Centre and have a look for myself. The exhibition is beautifully done with lots of interactive things for both adults and kids. The new Old Brewery Restaurant & Bar (the Cafebeeria, as Marmoset calls it) was also impressive with, as far as I could tell, an exceptionally reasonably priced menu (sandwiches, hot meals and salads all under a fiver) and there is a large outdoor (beer) garden. A nice spot to take visitors, methinks, although you would of course be sharing it with the tourist multitude over the summer.

Walking back along the river I was pleased to see the tide was going out and nipped down onto the beach for a spot of beachcombing. I garnered quite a hoard of treasure. If the tide is out this is a great place to come in clement weather. It is quiet and soothing with just the sound of the water lapping on pebbles and the occasional ferry or cruiser passing (although today I had a strange combination of Amerie and Led Zeppelin IV on the ipod – there's no accounting for taste). It is possible to walk all the way to Deptford Beach from here, returning home via the steps in Watergate Street, but this should only be attempted when the tide is going out, and with full knowledge of the tide time tables (see the Port of London Authority website), since there are many inlets where you might easily find yourself trapped by a fast incoming tide. Not funny.

Back on the tow path heading home, I noticed that the hoardings had been removed from the river-facing side of Wood Wharf. This new apartment block has been there quite a while now and the river access has always been boarded up. I haven't been down here for some time, so I was pleased to see that the desperately required infrastructure for all the new housing going up locally was finally taking shape, with the addition of a spanking new Champagne Bar, stretching the entire length of Wood Wharf.

According to the website, RB@G is a "sophisticated rendezvous with a modern energetic feel", with "a spacious outdoor terrace for alfresco dining", "stunning views" and an "exclusive VIP Lounge". Monday night is Student Night (student ID required), Tuesday is Poker Evening (yikes), Wednesday is Salsa Night (with classes), Thursday is Ladies Night (2-for-1 cocktails), Friday is a DJ Soul night (80s & 90s tunes) and Sunday'tribute bands'....

Oh well, I suppose it could be a great addition to local night life if your wallet is full...though no doubt the nouveau riche from Eltham will soon colonise it as they do with every other promising new bar in Greenwich, and turn it into a hell hole.

Postscript: it turns out the River Bar is not news at all, and a quick search of the Greenwich Phantom explains why I thought the place hadn't opened yet: it has been open and has had to close. The Phantom posted last week on a meeting that was being held between the residents (both local and above the bar) and the bar owners. Says the Phantom "The beef with the River Bar is, I understand, that instead of the lovely, loungey riverside restaurant that we were all so excited about this time last year, it's turned into a very noisy nightclub that doesn't even have a kitchen..."

Plus ca change...  


  1. Their website says that their cuisine is Bristish. Is this word their way of saying they don't have a kitchen?

    That apart, some of the photos in their gallery would have been enough to put me off ever going there.

  2. Yeah it's weird, not at all what you'd expect from a 'Champagne Bar', but that's what's written on one of the windows...hope the Phantom keeps us updated...