Saturday, May 03, 2008

Royal Festival Hall

The Royal Festival Hall got a restoration fairly recently, and I've been meaning to blog about it for a while.

The brightest and the best decided to return it to its original state when it opened for the Festival of Britain on the 3rd of May 1951. Seen 57 years later, the building and it's 'city of the future' interior has a half-amusing/half impressive aspect. It certainly must have been futuristic in its day; when you glance at it from the outside you think 'mid sixties' certainly not 15 years older.

"S" and myself went for a drink and meal in the Hall on Wednesday. "S" was sure there was a bar with a view of the river and purple crushed velvet chairs. The staff assured us there wasn't, but showed us to a restaurant where you can have a drink at the bar. I took this bad photograph from our table, but at least it shows the wonderful view, and some of the nicely restored/replica 1950s details like the chairs and the lamps.

I wish I'd taken another picture of the waiters and waitresses outfits. We were both pretty sure that they were replicas too; patient leather and subtle earthy colours. A final nice touch; the drinks menu featured 1950s cocktails. The one 'S' chose seemed to have about 50% of your recommended daily fruit intake in a single glass. She assured me it was good and strong none the less.


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