Sunday, 3 April 2016

An afternoon in Crystal Palace and a re-visit to 161 Food + Drink in Kirkdale

Eggs and beans at 161 Food + Drink, Kirkdale 
On Good Friday we took advantage of the early spring sunshine and spent the afternoon exploring Crystal Palace. A slightly random choice, but it is one of the parks that we've been vaguely wanting to visit for a while and it turned out to be a rather lovely afternoon.

We started by catching the train to Sydenham for lunch at 161 Food + Drink in Kirkdale that we have visited before. A small little caf√© / coffee shop it has a nice atmosphere and tasty food for a light lunch (although having done a 17km that morning I wasn't sure that a light lunch was what I was looking for!).
Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park
After lunch we walked across to Crystal Palace park for a look round. To the best of my knowledge, I've only visited the park once before, on an early morning run three years ago. I was a bit fearful of getting lost at the time and I now realise that I only saw around half the park on my previous visit.

The playgrounds were very busy and one of the first things that struck me was a huge diversity of languages that we heard. English was very much in a minority. It made me realise in Brockley, only a short distance away, we hear comparatively few other languages.

We started with a walk round the lower half of the park which was dominated by families and the dinosaurs.
Escaping the crowds we walked up to the top of the park and the half that I hadn't visited before. Overlooked by the transmitter, there were two giant terraces which I presume is whether the 'crystal palace' was originally built. The faux classical stone work dividing the two terraces is in a poor state of repair and lots of it was fenced off preventing you from getting too close.

We also found the sphinx that is going to be incorporated into the stained glass design on our new front door.
Leaving the park we headed to Crystal Palace Antiques for a look round and to see if we could find anything for the new house. Thankfully there wasn't too much that we wanted to buy. We did see a couple of clocks that we liked and rather than making a rash purchase decided to go and have a drink (and in my case a second lunch to mull it over). Checking out one of the clocks on the internet we discovered that we could buy it more cheaply online so didn't return to the antiques centre. Another example of the internet killing the high street!

On the way home we caught a bus which had a broken card reader so I got to travel for free. A winning end to a rather pleasant afternoon in the spring sunshine.

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