things to be done in battle

(c) ukirsari

* pampering yourself in the ‘city of 1066’

battle is a small, compact and lively city that can be explored in a day trip. take a nice walk along the historical trail of the city. including pay a visit to st valery sur somme church and its gorgeous cemetery. then small paths will lead you to the flower shops and small church of st francis. otherwise, do trekking to pevensey and rye country walks of 1066 to commemorate battle of hastings.

* battle abbey

half ruins of an abbey that not be used anymore in the reign of king henry viii. here still can be found the novice monks chamber, the main building that facing to the 1066 battle field, surrounded by oak trees and several private school which remains us to … harry potter’s hogwart 🙂

* ye olde king’s head: an old pub at battle

we found this nice pub when we wander around the city of battle in the evening. the door looks very low. a friend of us, assumed it might be caused … long time ago, whilst the pub is busy, they still have to keep an eye for the enemies who try to attack locals whilst riding a horse. with this lowermost door, the riding horses enemies will find it difficult to enter. favorite dish: cider ale and smoked beef sandwiches. address: 37 mount street, battle, east sussex

> london underground <

PEJALAN PUN MESTI BERGEGAS

Larut bersama sistem metro bawah tanah tertua di ibukota medieval Britania Raya.

Membincangkan London Underground tak ubahnya larut bersama denyut kehidupan para penghuni kota dan pelaju (commuter) yang tinggal di seantero kawasan Greater London.

(c) ukirsari

Kesibukan senantiasa ada di stasiun-stasiun metro bawah tanah itu. Seperti para seniman mengamen dekat eskalator pakai gitar dan biola dengan case terbuka berisi lemparan koin, selebaran dan surat kabar dibagikan gratis, serta derap kaki para pekerja dan pejalan mulai pukul 04.30 sampai 01:30 pagi hari berikutnya.

Wahana transportasi massa yang juga akrab disebut ‘Tube’ ini telah menjadi bagian integral dari kehidupan dan keseharian masyarakat London. Simak kumpulan 9 film pendek Inggris bertajuk Tube Tales (1999).

Atau cara orang lokal menyebut alamat mereka, semisal Matt Lucas –penulis naskah dan bintang utama Little Britain bersama David Walliams- dalam sebuah wawancara BBC menyebutkan, “Saya tinggal di kawasan suburban, akhir trayek (Underground) Jubilee Line.”

Keberadaan sistem metro bawah tanah itu telah menjadi penjelas atau penanda lokasi tertentu. Merunut fungsinya sebagai penghubung London dengan kota-kota sekitar, seperti Essex, Hertforshire dan Buckinghamshire.

London Underground tercatat sebagai kereta bawah tanah tertua di dunia, yang mulai beroperasi pada 1863 sekaligus sistem metro pertama dengan kereta elektrik. Saat ini terbagi menjadi 11 jalur dan 268 stasiun, memiliki total trek 400 km –juga terpanjang dalam sejarah.

Kereta Underground sendiri dioperasikan komputer dan biasanya tanpa pengemudi. Tapi ada petugas Passenger Service Agent (PSA) yang berpatroli mengawasi jalannya rute, mengecek tiket sampai mengontrol pintu untuk menjaga keselamatan penumpang.

Berdasar data www.trainweb.org, pengguna harian Underground mencapai sekitar 2,7 juta orang. Masyarakat setempat menjulukinya sebagai ‘tube’ berdasar bentuk terowongannya. Uniknya, meski disebut ‘underground’ sekitar 55% jaringannya berada di atas tanah. Ada dua tipe jalur yang digunakan, sub-surface (sekitar 5 m di bawah tanah) dan deep-level (sekitar 20 m dari muka tanah).

Pada 1854, ada enam jalur terpisah yang beroperasi di luar London City; London Bridge, Euston, Paddington, King’s Cross, Bishopsgate dan Waterloo. Cuma stasiun Fenchurch Street yang benar-benar berlokasi dalam kota.

Kebutuhan pejalan akan transportasi di tengah kota sekaligus bertambahnya jumlah penduduk melahirkan ide membangun jalur bawah tanah yang direalisasikan pada 1863. Seiring bertambahnya penumpang, pada 1908 para operator kereta sepakat memasarkan jasa bersama-sama dengan nama Underground.

(c) ukirsari

Cakupannya Bakerloo Railway, Central London Railway, the City & South London Railway, District Railway, Great Northern & City Railway dan Hampstead Railway, Metropolitan Railway dan Piccadilly Railway. Logo Underground didesain Edward Johnston (1913) berupa lingkaran biru merah dengan garis horizontal dan dikenal sebagai ‘the roundel‘.

Layanan Underground sudah bisa dinikmati sejak kaki melangkah keluar bandara Heathrow. Sebenarnya ada layanan Heathrow Express langsung dari bandara ke stasiun London Paddington.

Tapi kami memilih naik bus gratis dari Terminal 3 sampai stasiun Underground Hatton Cross. Dari sana, cukup berbekal One-day Travelcard siap sudah kami melaju di jalur Piccadilly Line untuk bertualang di London.

Bagi para pejalan yang tak harus melakukan perjalanan pada periode sibuk pagi hari, One-day Travelcard merupakan pilihan jitu. Harganya sekitar £5.50 (Rp 94.600) untuk pemakaian tidak terbatas mulai jam 09:30 sampai tengah malam.

Pilihan lain adalah London Underground Oyster Card. Mirip tiket Underground, Oyster Card dapat digunakan untuk bus, trem serta Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Ujudnya mengingatkan saya pada kartu EZ-link di Singapura yang berlaku untuk MRT, bus sampai paket makanan di kedai cepat saji.

Destinasi wisata sekitar stasiun-stasiun Underground tersedia cukup banyak. Stasiun Tower Hill (jalur District Line dan Circle Line) bisa disodorkan sebagai wacana.

Cuma beberapa langkah di belakang stasiun, terdapat monumen para pelaut Inggris yang gugur kurun 1914 – 1918.  Lantas kastil Tower of London, saksi bisu sejarah penuh darah dari kerajaan Britania Raya. Berikutnya, Tower Bridge dan cukup berjalan satu blok ke Fenchurch Street, bakal dijumpai stasiun kereta National Rail C2C yang siap mengantar penumpang ke kawasan luar London seperti Laindon, Basildon, Leigh-on-Sea sampai Shoeburyness. Atau pilih jalur DLR dan pejalan siap menuju Chelsea atau Greenwich.

Pengalaman di atas Underground sendiri juga penuh romantika. Seperti temperatur ‘mirip sauna’ di musim panas, karena kurang berfungsinya sistem pendingin ruang ditambah padatnya penumpang. Atau musim dingin, tubuh jadi cepat menghangat karena banyaknya orang ditambah baju hangat berlapis-lapis sebagai pelindung dari udara luar.

Musim gugur lalu, saat menaiki Underground jalur Piccadilly Line, kereta sempat terhenti sejenak dan terdengar pengumuman, ‘Dilarang bersandar pada pintu atau kereta Anda tak dapat melanjutkan perjalanan karena alasan keselamatan’. Sebuah bukti membeludaknya pengguna Underground di saat yang sama.

Di sisi lain, bepergian menggunakan Underground juga memberikan konsekuensi manajemen waktu. Perlu alokasi sekian menit untuk bisa masuk dan keluar stasiun bawah tanah. Juga perkiraan jam-jam sibuk atau padat, hingga mesti antre keberangkatan pada menit berikutnya.

Karena itu, sesama pejalan selalu membagi tips, “Bila tujuan Anda hanya terpaut dua stasiun, lebih baik jalan kaki saja biar hemat waktu.”

Jadi, marilah bergegas!

Logistik:

Tiket Tube dapat diperoleh di setiap stasiun Underground; telp: 0845 330 9880 (08:00-20:00, setiap hari dalam sepekan); alamat pos Customer Service Centre, London Underground, 55 Broadway, London SW1H 0BD; tautan Underground http://www.tfl.gov.uk/; pembelian Oyster Card online http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/visitortickets/5181.aspx; tautan kereta National Rail http://www.c2c-online.co.uk

Info:

11 Jalur London Underground

Bakerloo Line (cokelat), Central Line (merah), Circle Line (kuning), District Line (hijau), East London Line (oranye), Hammersmith & City Line (pink), Jubilee Line (silver), Metropolitan Line (ungu), Northern Line (hitam), Piccadilly Line (biru tua), Victoria Line (biru muda)

Zona pemakaian Underground

Zona 1 adalah pusat kota, antara Circle Line
Zona 6 adalah batas terluar London sampai bandara Heathrow
Zona 7 – 9 adalah jalur-jalur di luar Greater London

Destinasi wisata berdekatan dengan stasiun London Underground

Bank station: Bank of England
Charing Cross station: Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Column, St Martin-in-the-Fields church, National Gallery
Covent Garden station: Covent Garden Market, Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Embankment station: Victoria Embankment Gardens
Green Park station: Spencer House
Hyde Park Corner station: Hyde Park, War Memorial, Apsley House
Knighstbridge station: Harrods
Marble Arch station: Marble Arch
Oxford Circus station: London Palladium
Piccadilly Circus station: Eros statue
Sloane Square station: Royal Court Theatre
South Kensington station: Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum
Southwark station: Young Vic Theatre
St Paul’s station: St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Millenium Bridge
St James’s Park station: Buckingham Palace, Guards’ Museum
Tower Hill station: Tower of London, Tower Bridge
Victoria station: Victoria Palace
Westminster station: Houses of Parliament, Westminter Abbey
Waterloo station: Old Vic Theatre

* dimuat di majalah  National Geographic Traveler Indonesia, vol 1 edisi 2, 2009 *

>> things to see in london and some tips <<

* several things to be seen and experienced in londinivm *

(c) nicholas ingram

small note: some of the postings we did here in our blog can provide info to the readers. sure, can be taken as additional info. but mind you to do it with etiquette of permission for linking. do not copy bad behaviour as follows.

st paul’s cathedral: a gorgeous church in the medieval city

i do enjoy to stay pretty close with st paul’s. it’s looks glorious during the daylight and when the night fall. and only within walking distance to the millenium bridge that passed over river thames to direction of tate modern.

sir christopher wren is the architect of this medieval church [1675 – 1721] and amongst the famous people who buried at this site are lord nelson [admiral horatio nelson], sir wren himself and duke of wellington.

it’s prohibited to take photographs inside the chapel of all souls and once you go to the golden gallery [after whispering gallery] that located about 350 feet above the churchyard, you can have nice views about london city. from distance can be seen the gherkin and not so far can be seen millenium bridge which leads to tate modern.

phone: 0 20 7236 4128
address: st pauls churchyard, ec4
directions: st paul’s underground/tube only 5 minutes walking. bus nr 15 [aldwych, fleet street, tower hill] also leading to st paul’s cathedral.
website: http://www.stpauls.co.uk

trafalgar square: the way to salute a national hero

trafalgar square where the column of sir admiral nelson standing tall is a place where the people gather around. all over the world. all travelers. picturing to each others whilst enjoy the time sitting on the base of the column which ‘guarded’ by four giant lions.

and the monument itself surrounded by another london’s landmarks like national gallery, st martin-in-the field church, whitehall and leicester square [one of my eldest teddy was bought here :)]

nelson column became one of my must see or visit activity everytime i go to london. because my dad was a big fan of admiral nelson! and from him i learn about histories and navy and to see london from a nice perspective.

the monument of lord nelson is 185 feet above the fountain which designed by sir edwin lutyens [remind me of state palace in new delhi, india. also designed by him].

address: trafalgar square, wc2
directions: charing cross or leicester square tubes

national gallery: breathless for the hay wain

one of my dream about visiting london since i was a kid is to see the hay wain, a lovely painting by john constable made-in 1821. and just now i have opportunity to witnessing how it looks at the national gallery.

(c) nicholas ingram

so breathless and so speechless. very very nice. it’s a bout a small cabin and a wain or carthorse and nice scenery of river stour in suffolk. and surprise me, since the landscape and scenery –apart from the hay wain– is stay the same nowadays. can be seen by those who like constable’s hay wain. even a bit crowded on summer!

phone: 0 20 7747 2885
address: trafalgar square, wc2
directions: charing cross or leicester square tubes
website: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

cabinet war rooms: ready to attack!

i got my dad’s influence at this point. another of his british idols is sir winston churchill. so here we are. visit cabinet war rooms. a museum dedicated to churchill’s role during the world war II.

cabinet war rooms is annexed to prime minister’s residency at downing street nr 10. it’s a bunker where churchill stay when the war spread out through europe.

how serious but funny and witty sir churchill was, can be seen by photographs and memorabilia. such as a bloody big map of europe with sketches of adolf hitler made from pencil at the center. or, churchill’s hobby to witnessing the bombardier of london city by enemies from atop of his bunker! another fine example is a description about churchill’s collection: maps. so, different with other people who like to put wallpaper on, he prefer to cover his bedroom with maps. he can still learn before fallen asleep.

address: clive steps, king charles st, sw 1
directions: tube: westminster, st james’ park

piccadilly circus: enchanting eros statue

(c) ukirsari

this eros became one of my favourite landmarks in london. since a quite same the eros which located at the back yard of fatahillah museum in jakarta, indonesia [my country] and the other one is a replica, guarding a small bridge to direction kota, old city of jakarta. so every time we pass this eros, our memories goes to our [another] country.

lucky me to have a picture with composition like this: all looks oldies around the eros. since if you take picture from different angle, slightly to opposite direction, you can see the bloody big billboard which advertise many things so makes the eros less bewitched.

address: piccadilly circus, sw1
directions: piccadilly circus tube

whitehall and downing street: changing guardsmen

(c) ukirsari

apart of changing guardsmen which held in buckingham palace, watching the ‘ceremony’ at the whitehall, house of the guards is one of our favourite things during in london.

i like the guardsmen’ parade with their unique uniform in buckingham palace. but in whitehall, the horse-guards looks so gorgeous.

address: whitehall, sw1
directions: charing cross or westminster tubes
website: http://www.number-10.gov.uk

soho and the west end: do not leave london before visiting london’s theatres

phantom stated, “come on sing .. sing … sing my angel of music.” thus, christine start to sing, “think of me, think of me fondly when we say goodbye …. remember me …”

oh, please. do not leave london without enjoy a show that performed in west end’s theatres. one of the most memorable during the years, of course the greatest london’s love story: phantom of the opera 🙂

amongst our lists are: her majesty’s theatre [we enjoyed phantom of the opera] and duke of york’s theatre [we watched no man’s land]. another are the old vic [at the south bank, waterloo road. we saw king richard II], piccadilly theatre [grease], prince of wales theatre [mamma mia!], theatre royal, drury lane [oliver], english national opera [eno] and  etc, etc.

another option is for those who like movies. odeon provided the newest screenings all the time. and there’s opportunity to meet up with world-wide class celebrities at the movie premieres.

british museum: ample time to visit the whole of the museum

in british museum, time flies so fast. and it never be enough to spend a single day to see all of their collections. so reading the lists on the panel or souvenir book when entering the museum to decide where you’ll leap to the section today.

so far we just covered egypt section [rooms 4, 61 – 66], rosetta stone [room 4], sutton ho treasure [room 41], greece [rooms 11 – 23], greece and rome [rooms 69 – 73, 77 – 85]

phone: 0 20 7323 8299
address: great russell street, wc1
directions: holborn tube
website: http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk

tower of london: the bloody history of england

“history has written and has been told by the party who win the war,” said the yeoman warder who became our guide tour in tower of london. he’s one amongst those yeomen warders, provides the information for those who visit tower of london.

we do enjoy his explanation. including that statement which said by him in a quite funny way. ring you a bell? yes! i remember that from the monologue of braveheart –enchantingly performed by mel gibson 😉

but he then added with some fact. especially about traitor’s gate. amongst the prisoners were –yes exactly– william wallace and sir walter raleigh.

the way the yeoman describe, telling and guiding us a real enjoyment. to have a job like this, is not easy. since he must be qualified as a ranking officer and serviced in the battlefield. so indeed, this is an interesting visit, apart of the palace itself.

many tortures and executions had been held here. no wonder there are haunted stories of the bloody tower and wakefield tower. but there are also kept the armouries, thrones and other regalia which are very interesting.

phone: 0 20 7709 0765
address: tower hill, ec3
directions: tower hill tube
website: http://www.armouries.org.uk/tower/

river thames: many gorgeous bridges and lovely scenes of london

england’s most famous river, thames divided london into two embankments. so there are many bridges –including the oldies– had been built across the river. can be designated as romantic walk in the evening.

the most famous is tower bridge and several has their own charming styles.

examples: hammersmith’s bridge [with open air pubs along the river and mooring people’s boats on canal], wibbly-wobbly millenium bridge for pedestrians [connecting st paul’s cathedral area to tate modern] and westminster bridge [a london’s landmark where almost tourists picturing themselves with big ben and houses of parliament located on the back.

directions: find river thames and walk along the embankment, can be seen easily. for hammersmith’s, take underground to earl’s court

parks and gardens: choose your own favourite garden

a garden, a park or a communal open air ‘lounge’ is something can spoil you on holiday. on summer, take a nap under the trees is nice or reading a book can be done too. in autumn, enjoy the colour changing from the trees and winds blowing the leaves, then leaves subsides one by one. it can be said somewhat romantic 😉

so, choose your own favourite garden. hyde park, royal botanic garden kew, richmond park and many more. those are lovely.
and for me personally … the old cemetery at hyde park is like a gem in busy london. karl marx’s tombstone can be visited and this garden included as setting in english’s most dramatic love story: phantom of the opera.

buckingham palace: welcome to the ultimate monarch!

the grandeur buckingham palace and their special [all season] changing guardsmen are listed as the reason for tourists in visiting london. all activities will stop suddenly whenever the guardsmen lead a parade throughout the gate.

it’s gorgeous and bring the feeling to the ultimate monarch. yes, great britain is indeed one of the oldest monarchy state in the world!

address: the mall, sw1
directions: green park tube

a dedication to the navy: british navy monument

(c) ukirsari

we love this place very much. situated next to the tower hill underground, not so far from fenchurch street and tower of london. it’s dedicated for all british navy who serviced the country during the wars.

remind me to my beloved dad. sailing away. going to unknown seas and oceans. for the country.

here can be found a huge monument with full enlisted names from the men and the ships. and a greenery field with flags and oak leaves … a peaceful mind in mine.

and a huge neptune god put at the corner of the monument area.

address: tower hill
directions: tower hill tube

* where to stay in london?

for us, london is so lively. a medieval city with so many tourist spots scattered along the way. what we love is to take weekend in london and stay at the closest places of our fave tourists attractions [thanks for 20 minutes journey by train. it’s really a bless 🙂 ].

amongst our favourite lists are situated next to st paul’s cathedral [cater line], piccadilly circus and nearby british museum [bloomsbury].

unique qualities: there are dormitories and private room that matching with our criteria, included breakfast. and within walking distance to our fave places to be visited 🙂

* transportation: underground and the double decker

getting to/around: our fave mass transportation around london of course the tube and the old double decker. can be warm in autumn – wintertime and the opposite, drag us into sauna during summer. but as tom becker commented in little britain [opening speech], that’s made so moist and fragrant 🙂 of course i just pick the words and there’s no relation on it. only to express how fun to use the mass transportation, a feeling that i’m not get it yet in my other country. something so “fundabeedozy” :d

* eating out at british pubs

public house [pub] changed the function throughout the years. not only serving brewery and ale as drinking establishment but also serving the meals. there are several kind of pubs which serving meals: during lunchtime only or until evening falls [dinner].

in our lists are: the minories [love the uniquely of designs, the ‘underground’ viaduct and bricks exposed un-cemented], princess of prussia, chesfire cheese [love the food, traditional english], the blackfriars [love the details of interiors and exteriors], the blue anchor and … lord moon of the mall [for guiness and strongbow’s cider].

favorite dish: sometimes we have meals and sometimes enjoy the evening falls. all gorgeous 🙂

londinivm and the man i love

(c) ukirsari and nicholas ingram 2008 at lord moon of the mall, whitehall, london

evening sky
over tower bridge
walking down slowly
as pieces of memories remains
flowing one by one
into the horizon

big city
glittering lights
a dolphin jump to the air
there, next to the tower bridge

thousand memories in my mind
in his mind
everything nice in between us
happened under this beautiful evening autumn sky
can we stop the time just for awhile
let it frozen
so i can hold you forever
and ever after

(c) ukirsari,  august 2005 and revisit 2008 to beloved nicholas

tersayang nicholas, i would like to write in my  own lingo about how wonderful and enchanting person you are 🙂

saya menyukai london, karena tempat ini indah.  salah satu kota tersibuk di dunia.  dan karena nicholas, orang yang saya sayangi, juga menghabiskan akhir pekan di lodinivm, london

jadi, mengenang londinivm sama halnya mengingat dia. dengan segala kebersahajaannya, segala keindahan dari binar sepasang matanya yang berwarna hazel, kesukaannya berkelana serta concorde

burung besi yang kini dipotong-potong dan dihanyutkan lewat sungai thames
ke titik jauh di sana ….
mungkin saya juga seperti itu
jauh di sini

seperti titik tujuan akhir concorde

tapi perasaan saya terhadapnya ….
senantiasa ada
dan bahagia
menjadi bagian dari dirinya
karena saya menyayanginya

sesuatu yang indah

yang pernah terjadi dalam hidup saya
: nicholas


visiting pubs in london

KARAKTER UNIK DI TIAP ‘KEDAI MINUM’
Artikel dan foto: Ukirsari dan Nicholas Ingram

small note: some of the postings we did here in our blog can provide info to the readers. sure, can be taken as additional info. but mind you to do it with etiquette of permission for linking. do not copy bad behaviour as follows.

Pub telah menjadi ikon sosial masyarakat London. Sekaligus tujuan wisata para pelancong. Tak lengkap rasanya bertandang ke ibukota Britania Raya tanpa mampir barang sejenak ke rumah minum khas Inggris.

(c) ukirsari

“Mau jumpa di pub mana sore ini, my Angel of Music?” saya tak dapat menahan senyum saat membaca pesan pendek dari pasangan di ponsel saya. Ini nama panggilan baru setelah kami menonton Phantom of the Opera di Her Majesty’s Theatre, London.

Tapi intinya, pesan tadi menyoal pub. Bagi kaum Brits -termasuk Londoners- ketika jam kerja 9 to 5 atau 8 to 4 berakhir, artinya kehidupan sosial mengalir kembali. Pub jadi salah satu sasaran favorit yang dituju.

AWAL KELAHIRAN PUBLIC HOUSE

Menurut Peter Haydon, penulis buku ‘The English Pub’ dan Mark Girouard, yang menerbitkan ‘Victorian Pubs’, pub bukanlah sekadar tempat di mana minuman dibeli lalu dikonsumsi.

(c) ukirsari

Lebih dari ratusan tahun, pub telah menjadi tempat untuk berjumpa dengan teman dan kerabat.

Tempat yang menyediakan ruang untuk berbincang santai sampai serius, karena di situ jugalah para pebisnis bernegosiasi.

Di tempat minum ini orang-orang juga berkumpul melakukan suatu perayaan, main games sampai mencari ketenangan. Dengan membaca sebuah buku, contohnya.

Dalam perkembangannya, pub bahkan dapat menggeser orientasi dalam menjaring pasar yang lebih luas. Yaitu menjadi tempat yang pas bagi keluarga, karena menyediakan aneka santapan, mulai jenis ringan sampai berat.

Bahkan di kawasan pedusunan Inggris, pub juga dilengkapi tempat menginap serta punya peran ganda melayani masyarakat. Seperti menjadi bagian dari gereja atau kantor pos kecil.

Nama pub merupakan kependekan dari Public House yang mulai dikenal sejak zaman Victoria. Bangsa Romawi mengenalkan awal keberadaan pub di England (Britania Raya terdiri dari England, Wales, Scotland dan Irlandia Utara). Kedai minumnya menjual anggur dan makanan serta bir atau ale lokal.

Setelah kaum Romawi angkat kaki, pub Romawi turut menghilang. Sampai tiba saatnya kaum penakluk datang dan pergi serta bermukim di England.

Satu kesamaan para pendatang ini:  sama-sama doyan minum ale. Minuman beralkohol hasil fermentasi malted barley, air dan ragi.

Pembuatan ale perlu keahlian khusus. Salah menyimpan olahan, hasilnya bakal asam. Usaha brewery jadi berkembang pesat, sampai-sampai Raja Ethelbert dari Kent membatasi peredaran ale di abad ke-7 karena takut rakyatnya tak sadarkan diri.

Penerusnya, Raja Edgar menerapkan regulasi banyaknya ale yang boleh diangkut serta larangan mabuk di beberapa lokasi.

Berkembangnya Kristianitas bukan berarti konsumsi masyarakat Inggris akan ale jadi surut. Hadir jenis abbey ale yang dibuat berdasar standar kepastoran.

Minuman ini disuling khusus untuk perayaan gereja atau penggalangan dana, dinamai scot ale. Sedang di luar gereja diedarkan versi konsumsi umum yang berjuluk scot free.

Di abad pertengahan, seiring bertambahnya populasi manusia dan tumbuhnya perindustrian yang berdampak polusi, kualitas air bersih jadi tercemar.

Ale menjadi satu-satunya minuman yang aman dikonsumsi!
Karena permintaan ale terus bertambah, usaha brewery kembali berkembang dan mulai memainkan peranan tetap dalam kehidupan masyarakat Inggris.

Hal itu dibarengi dengan tumbuhnya pub di seantero negeri hingga menjadi salah satu ikon sosial sampai kini.

MENJUAL KEUNIKAN BEDA

Kami berjumpa di Tower Hill Underground Station sebelum petang. Diteruskan jalan kaki menuju The Minories. Pub yang punya sebuah keunikan: dibangun di bawah jalur rel kereta api (viaduct) Fenchurch Street Station jurusan London – Laindon dan beberapa kota sekitarnya.

(c) ukirsari

Bangunan orisinalnya berupa bata ‘telanjang’ tanpa polesan sedikit pun. Mulai luar sampai dalam gedung serba bata. Ada tiga pintu masuk utama ke pub ini: dari Goodman Yard yang memiliki kanopi dan kursi-kursi di ruang terbuka atau disebut beer garden dengan suasana musim gugur nan apik, lewat pintu masuk stasiun DLR (Docklands Light Railway) dan satu lagi tepat di bawah viaduct, berupa pintu putar klasik gaya 1950-an.

Langit-langit pub ini berbentuk lengkung, tetap memamerkan bata sebagai ornamen utama. Pipa-pipa instalasi yang melintang jauh di atas meja bar panjang menjadi aksen. Lantas lampu-lampu penerang digantung rapi.
Setiap kali kereta lewat, suara gemuruh roda kereta akan terdengar sampai ke dalam pub. Disertai goncangannya sesekali. Itulah pesona The Minories. Selain sofa empuk di beberapa sudut, kursi bar yang tinggi dan meja biliar.

Menyeberang terowongan dekat The Minories dan memutar beberapa blok sampai Crutched Friars, sampailah kami ke pub lain bernama Cheshire Cheese -yang bisa membuat lidah keseleo saat menyebutnya.

Bila The Minories lebih kental nuansa gemuruh kereta serta goncangan dan kami ‘hanya’ menghabiskan segelas Guiness bir hitam dan Strongbow’s Cider (ale atau bir dari fermentasi sari apel kesukaan saya), kini saatnya santap malam di pub.

Suasana Cheshire Cheese lebih mengarah ke ‘nasionalitas’. Karena pada langit-lainnya diikatkan bendera England, warna putih dengan salib merah, serta bendera tim sepakbola. Sajiannya, mesin games dan plasma screen yang menyiarkan liga sepakbola Inggris.

Riuh-rendah suara penikmat bola, berpadu teriakan para pemain games serta rekan-rekannya yang menyemangati. “Pengunjung di sini makin penuh bila sedang berlangsung tayangan sepakbola live,” tutur Giselle, pramusaji yang mengantar santap malam kami.

Kali itu kami memesan satu makanan populer, Super Burger serta salah satu menu klasik Inggris; Toad in the Hole. Alias ‘Kodok sembunyi dalam lubang’. Ujudnya 3 sosis yang dibungkus Yorkshire Pudding dan dipanggang hingga berwarna keemasan.

Disajikan dengan saus cokelat, mashed potato serta kacang polong. Rasanya gurih dan crispy sekaligus sangat mengenyangkan untuk perut Asia seperti saya!

LOKASI ROMANTIS

Selain keunikan yang menjadi ‘cap’ setiap pub di London -sekaligus jadi kebanggaan pemilik dan pegawainya- lokasi juga jadi pertimbangan kami saat memutuskan ke pub. Suasana romantis bisa menjadi pertimbangan tersendiri.

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Seperti misalnya saat menyusur St Katherine’s Way sepulang berkunjung dari Tower of London.

Jalan pedestrian tepian Sungai Thames mengarah ke Millers Wharf, mengantar kami ke semacam teluk kecil dimana catamaran dan yacht lego jangkar.

Latarbelakangnya beberapa pub. Salah satunya Dicken’s Inn.

Kembali kaki menyusur jalanan yang menjauh dari St Katherine’s Way. Menuju alamat Queen Victoria Street No 174, Blackfriars. Cuma berapa langkah dari gerbang Tube (Underground) station Blackfriars, di sinilah berdiri pub The BlackFriar.

Bentuk bangunannya segitiga, terdiri atas tiga lantai. Ada patung seorang santo yang diletakkan sebagai ornamen eksterior di depan lantai dua dengan jam berangka Romawi di belakang kepalanya.

Seperti halnya mayoritas pub di London yang sudah berusia tua, The Blackfriars dibangun pada tahun 1875. Saat memasuki pub, suasananya mirip gereja. Seperti model jendelanya. Juga meja bar yang ditutup marmer, mengingatkan pada bagian sebuah chapel.

Di sebelah kirinya terdapat semacam rongga yang terhubung dengan lantai dua yang juga berfungsi sebagai dapur. Pramusaji akan mengerek masakan siap saji dari rongga ini, untuk disajikan pada pemesan.

Sementara dekorasi marmer muncul di dinding bagian tengah dan belakang pub. Ditambah mosaik dan patung bas-relief yang menggambarkan orang-orang berjubah tengah panen anggur dan apel.

Karya seni ini ditambahkan perupa Nathaniel Hitch, Frederick T. Callcott dan Henry Poole pada tahun 1904. Dan pada tahun 1960-an, Sir John Betjeman memimpin kampanye untuk menyelamatkan gedung ini dari pemusnahan untuk digantikan bangunan baru.

Tak kalah romantis, adalah pub yang kami datangi setelah turun dari Tube jalur Piccadilly di kawasan Hammersmith. Terletak di London barat.

Setelah melewati seruas jalanan yang tak membolehkan kendaraan bermotor lewat, kami menyusur tepian Sungai Thames dengan posisi Hammersmith Bridge di sebelah kiri.

Jembatan yang dibangun 1887 ini memiliki panjang 213,4 m dengan lebar 13,1 m.

Saat malam tiba, lampu-lampu temaram dari sang jembatan memancarkan sinar romantis sekaligus memantul di atas Sungai Thames. Kami menyaksikan beberapa kapal mooring dimana sang pemilik tinggal di situ.

Lantas di sebelah kanan, pub The Blue Anchor terlihat tak kalah romantis dibanding Hammersmith Bridge.

Usia pub ini telah mencapai lebih dari 300 tahun. Lisensi sebagai badan usaha Public House didapat pada 9 Juni 1722. Kisah ini kami dapat saat George, pramusaji yang mengantar Cumberland Ale dan London Pride Ale pada kami.  “Sebuah kebetulan. Salah satu dari kami juga dilahirkan pada 9 Juni! Tentu saja dengan tahun yang berbeda.”

Dinding serba putih, berpadu dengan aksen biru pada kusen jendela sampai pintu. Di musim panas hingga musim gugur, The Blue Anchor juga menyediakan beer garden di bagian muka, hingga para pengunjung bisa mudah menikmati suasana Sungai Thames.

Sementara malam hari, pengunjung bisa santap malam atau sekadar minum di ruang dalam. Suasananya tenang, dengan hidangan beragam. Mulai tradisional Inggris seperti Chicken BLT, Jacket Potato Wedges atau Salt Beef. Sampai yang berbau Meksiko dan Timur Tengah.

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Pilihan kami jatuh pada Taramasalada, Houmous dan Tzatziki disajikan dengan roti pitta hangat.

Sungguh nikmat, apalagi ditemani ale serta tungku penghangat ruangan untuk mengurangi dinginnya temperatur di musim gugur.

Jauh di luar sana, bulan bersinar hampir penuh sementara Hammersmith Bridge tegak berdiri. Sesekali, pesawat terbang malam dari dan ke arah bandara Heathrow.

SELUK-BELUK PUB

Bila ada pendapat yang menyatakan pub hanya buka malam hari, hal itu tak sepenuhnya benar. Pasalnya, di saat makan siang pun orang dapat bertandang ke mari dan memesan hidangan lengkap maupun model cepat saji (semisal sandwich).

Meski demikian, pub juga punya aturan main yang bisa dibaca di depan pintu atau sebelum tamu masuk ruangan. Semisal ada pub yang cuma menyediakan minum setelah jam makan siang.

“Itu artinya, tamu tak bisa memesan hidangan saat petang atau malam hari,” kata Siobhan, pramusaji pub Princess of Prussia yang terletak di kawasan Tower Hill, seraya dengan ramahnya memberikan uang kembalian pada saya. Berupa koin seri terbaru keluaran Kerajaan Inggris.

Sebaliknya, ada pula pub yang menyediakan makanan dengan harga diskon di akhir pekan. Julukannya beragam, di Lord Moon of the Mall di daerah Whitehall, pariwaranya berbunyi ‘Join the Sunday Club, after 12AM’.

Artinya, setelah jam 12 siang kami bisa makan siang dengan satu harga untuk dua porsi makan siang.

Ada pula pub yang menerapkan harga khusus sepaket, bila pesan makanan berikut minumnya -yang bisa pilih terserah selera.

Contohnya di Lord Moon of the Mall, untuk segelas Strongbow’s Cider harganya GBP2.10 (catatan GBP1 = Rp 17.170). Sementara Roasted Turkey labelnya GBP6.10 seporsi. Bila kita pesan paket hidangan itu ditambah salah satu minuman, harganya GBP6.25. Bisa dijadikan sarana menghemat.

:: a fairytale just came true ::

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hoireann is o
hiri hiro
hari raha ra horo

saol na saol
tus ga deidreadh
ta mui beo
da deo *

[* taken from ‘the celts’ performed by eithne ni bhraonnain a.k.a enya]

~ about a lady with red coat and a horsey ~

long time ago, i watched enya’s performing a gailge [gaelic] song on a videoclip. looks so fairytale. a red coat lady is riding a white horse and passing through the portcullis and barbican of a moated castle.

where’s that?

i dream about this mysterious castle for years. since 1998. and my beloved one made it come true on 2008. when we visit … bodiam castle. terima kasih sayangku, saya cinta kamu 🙂

bodiam castle enlisted as national trust’s property. refer to lord curzon’s statement [who also involved in taj mahal conservation and maintenance project], bodiam castle is the most celebrated castle in england and owned by sir edward dalyngrigge –the former knight of king edward III.

situated in robertson’s bridge, east sussex it’s quite difficult to be reached by mass transportation. there’s infrequent buses service and train from tenterden that not matching with our timing.

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so we decided to go by car. drive from home within a perfect weather in autumn with our baby fiesta.

she’s 10 years old by now and made our trip far more easier. here three of us are taking picture together. me, baby and nicholas [as can be seen through the shadow at her door].

what a coincidence … when i set a dream to find out the castle in enya’s videoclip, in quite same moment nicholas bought this baby 😉

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thanks for the forests, manors and private schools and farms along the way. we love to be here in bodiam castle. including for spending time within the pillbox ex world war II which located nearby the moat.

enroute: home, m25, sandhurst, robertson’s bridge, a2110, bodiam, a2110, battle, hastings, a2110, m25, lakeside … “baz vegas” [uh, yeah 🙂 ], home again and ‘horsey’ and crisp bacon and big laugh ’till midnight!

what an exceptional autumn we’d ever have ….

this 2008’s autumn is exceptional. extra ordinary. sunshine and bright blue sky seems on our side! so, here we are. packing and start the journey.

– london just 20 minutes away from home
– east anglia and home counties are within ‘perfect perimeters’ to be discovered by our beloved car
– then up to the north, train and coach buses provided good long-distance transportation mode
– what else? of course budget airlines to covers neighbour’s island 🙂

some facts about our travels throughout uk:
* for a sentimental reason, i love aldwych, st paul, fenchurch street and tower hill in london unconditionally. yes but no but yes but no … [imitating one sketch of little britain 🙂 ], okay it’s for me, nicholas and beloved mums and dads
* we never leave london without a show or theatre. already collected some of brit actors’ autographs after their performances
* easily addicted to pret a manger’s blt and practice it at home. so crisps! cooking whilst watching comedy series then enjoy them soon
* pastorals and countrysides are always beautiful
* we found autumn is the most romantic season ever. not only the hue of the colours changing that we adore it. but saving daylight that give a longer time for sleeping!
* we do enjoy to take double decker [old ones] number 15 which lead us to tower hill, a half-way to be home again
* never enough to spend 3 hours within a museum
* we loves ruins and ’empty’ [no-one-stay-in type] castles more than ever
* ale … ale … black and cider are our favourites!
location: england, northern ireland, scotland and wales