Showing posts from February, 2016

Opera at Wetherspoons, jumble sales, Ottolenghi's and computer traumas....

Phew, Hastings Battleaxe has had a busy week... Opera at Wetherspoons?  Oh yes. In a previous post, I've mentioned the Opera House Wetherspoons in Tunbridge Wells, a spectacular and sympathetic conversion from theatre to pub. Once a year they restore it to a theatre and stage an opera, we went last weekend.  The day before that, we had the hectic and very successful WI Jumble Sale, on Wednesday I spent the day in London with my old friend Diana, and I've had on-going computer traumas as well.
     Ever since we first visited the pub in Tunbridge Wells a few years ago I wanted to have the opera experience, and I am so glad we did it. We went with friends Jan and Tom. It was hard to get tickets - they convert the pub into dining/theatre, so seats are limited. The place was done out very well - crisp white table cloths, and even white covers on the pub chairs like you get at weddings. However, pub chairs are a bit bum-numbing for watching an opera.
     We had a fantastic place r…

Visit to Toledo - Battleaxe goes it alone

I'll just do one more quick post on Spain before catching up with Hastings life. You remember from the last post that Philosopher was poorly - now has terrible cold - and I was going to Toledo by myself? Well, I went, on the high-speed train from Madrid.     These days, it is quite unusual for me to take an unaccompanied trip into the unknown. When I was at work I used to travel all over the place, but now I seldom explore new things without either Philosopher, or friends. It felt quite strange.
     First, I had to navigate the huge and alarming Madrid Atocha Station - on three levels, serving three different categories of train... I wanted the AVE high-speed, which turned out to have its own booking office, concourse etc. It was like catching a plane. The train was a long-snouted bullety affair that did the 75km to Toledo in 26 minutes, for 20 euros return. Amazing. Makes our British public transport look a bit sick.

     Toledo has the most fantastic old Moorish style station. …

Winter in Madrid

A coincidence. Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom is our current WI book group read, and here are Battleaxe and Philosopher on a six-day break. I'm finding the book does not help paint a better picture of the city, so will say no more about it here.
     We are staying just by the Royal Palace, at the Apartosuites Jardines de Sabatini.  Very good accommodation - a large mini-suite with cooking facililities etc., reasonable price, central, very handy for public transport, Battleaxe would recommend. Here is the path we walk down to get home, by the Palace.
     Our journey here was a bit eventful - Southern Trains went pear-shaped on us and we only just got to Gatwick in time.  By the time we reached the Iberia Express check-in, Economy was full,  so we were upgraded to Business Class.... Excellent.      It is indeed winter in Madrid, a mix of very chilly but sunny days, and blustery showers.        There are three massive art galleries to see.  In our DK Eyewitness Madrid guidebook, it …

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