I was an undergraduate student living in London between 1978 to 1981. It was a fantastic time for a young man from Yorkshire’s east coast which seemed so bleak and frankly (at the time) boring in contrast.
Of course as a student all I could afford was rented accommodation, first in Gant’s Hill in Essex, then in “Sailors’ Palace” in Limehouse, before my final year in Albert Stern House on Mile End Road right next to the Queen Mary College campus.
in fact I wasn’t able to buy a “home” until three years later, when aged 24 I bought a 35′ river boat called Jaslee on a marine mortgage moored at Hampton Court, but that’s the subject of a different post!
My first real bricks and mortar home in Feltham didn’t materialise until 3 years later and only as a result of combining wages with my then fiancé.
That never stopped me dreaming though, so a highlight of my undergraduate year was to go to Earl’s Court and visit the Ideal Home Exhibition and armed with a supplied carrier bag go round the show picking up as many useless freebies as I could carry.
So wind forward 30 years (gulp!) and on the 17th March 2011 Debbie and I retraced those student steps together and found ourselves surrounded by homes and celebrities, clutching our carrier bags and feeling hungry.
First stop was a sit down restaurant with a small, bald man running between the tables chatting to people. It was Greg Wallace from TV’s Master Chef and I have to say that he really was as bubbly and friendly in real life as he seems to be on the screen. He stopped by our table, replenishing our wine glasses and having a chat and photo taken as you can see below!
We enjoyed his company so much we resolved to visit his new restaurant “Wallace & Co” in Putney with the boys next time we visited Emma and good food it was too. Sadly we’ve subsequently heard that it went bust in 2014 despite the celebrity endorsement.
Next up on the cast of thousands was a media area like a mini theatre where the cast of the Jersey boys sang medley after medley from their West End Show (which subsequently I took Debbie to see) with songs like “Walk Like a Man” which was amazing. They were interviewed after by the woman below for TV we believe.
The final three “celebrities” was in order, a far away glimpse of Prince Charles being giving a tour without Camilla, the chef from “French Leave” John Burton-Race doing a cooking demo and lastly the ex-racing driver Stirling Moss signing copies of his new book.
All in all a very enjoyable day and we got to see some show houses too! 😀