Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trip Report - Our Big Trip - August 13th - Harrod's, Hyde Park, Great British Beer Festival, First View of the Convention Site

My opinion of the hotel improved at breakfast, as they served a buffet-style "typical full English breakfast" with stewed mushrooms, black pudding, and the like. I became awfully fond of the stewed mushrooms.

Then back to London proper. First stop was that venerable institution - Harrod's.
Exterior of Harrod's

I made a pilgrimage to the Food Court

What is interesting about the huge "Food Court" is that there is nowhere that you can eat the food you purchase. Although there are a few small eating places throughout Harrod's the food on display at the Food Court is intended to be taken elsewhere. I'm assuming that that is where 'downstairs' comes to purchase snacks for the folks who live 'upstairs'. 

The famous Egyptian escalators.
At the bottom is the Di and Dodi memorial.

After tea and scones at Gran Caffe, we walked towards Rotten Row and Hyde Park.
Harry taking a photo at the Serpentine

Pigeons having a picnic

We spent most of the rest of the day at The Great British Beer Festival, sponsored by a group called CAMRA. (Campaign for Real Ale). This was at The Olympic, a large open convention space, full of booths featuring hundreds of beers, ales, and ciders. For a modest fee you rented a beer glass or pint, and then paid for samples at each of the booths.
The theme was "circus" and the different areas
were labelled with the names of different circus
performers - acrobats, jugglers, etc…..

We sampled a variety of ales, beers, and hard cider. My favorite was something called "Beast of Bodmin" and Harry got a large glass of a beer called "Brains". After a few glasses  I was emboldened to try an infamous 'pork pie', which proceeded to descend to the bottom of my stomach and sit there like a lead weight. A little more ale poured down my throat helped dissolve it.

I'm sure this is the inspiration for
Dibbler's 'meat pies' in
Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels.
Then to the Expo Center to register for the Worldcon, which was scheduled to start the next day. Here is the 'fan village' being set up in one of the exhibit halls.

A large area set up for fan activity.
Another day over. I am going to lump all the Science Fiction Convention activity into one post next time.

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