Sunday's fun was a bit more sedate; a riverside brunch to celebrate the recent wedding of chums Eeva and Conor. The most entertaining event was when one of the babies grabbed a stranger's bottom when she was clutching onto his chair. Oh my how we laughed. Said stranger was having lunch with this lady who didn't find it as funny as we did, but said the baby was "really cute".
After that, a couple of us walked over to see the new-look Bermondsey Square. My granny was born in Bermondsey to a docker and seamstress, and I found myself wandering what she would have made of the area if she'd ever lived to see it now. Personally, I think the new-look square is very bland for all the recent hype, with the new apartment building and hotel being yet more examples of a boring box-like structures (and I'm betting the apartments are all titchy, as well). The new cinema seems nice (and cheaper than the West End), although we only saw the cafe and didn't stay because they'd run out of cake! (Cake comes from nearby Borough Market so it's no surprise it had run out.) So we went across to the brand-new Bermondsey Square Hotel to have tea at Alfie's.
Eeva was the only one who had tea, and it came covered in the ugliest tea-cosy I've ever seen:
Two of us ended up having cocktails, although my decision to go with one of the house specials was a bad idea. I couldn't taste the gin at all, which annoyed me as it was one of the reasons I'd ordered the drink, having wanted to try the brand-new Beefeater 24 since I read about it a few times on my friend Mike's blog. I definitely should have paid more attention to the ingredients, though; as much as I like both Frangelico and passion fruit, they're certainly not flavours that match well, and the drink ended up having an almost burnt, bitter aftertaste from the hazelnut liqueur, even though Frangelico is usually on the sweet side. The other house special also has a bizarre and ill-advised combination of flavours, mixing Amaretto with lime! Yuck. We were curious about what it's like to stay there, and hoped that such a haphazard approach to cocktail mixing hasn't permeated the rest of the running of the hotel. However, judging by this review, just like the cocktails, it's not as good as it wants to be because it's trying too hard to do too much and ends up doing it all rather poorly.
The same even went for the desserts we ordered, as they were, in my opinion, merely decent — nothing remarkable and, to be honest, a bit on the bland side. My sour cherry fool was actually layered like a trifle and, although the sour cherry part was tasty, I have eaten supermarket trifle with more flavour at a third of the price. Christina's toffee apple trifle was much the same, although both were pleasant. Eeva's hot chocolate pudding had a wonderful deep flavour, but was so rich that it could have done with a bigger scoop of ice cream to cut the sweetness. If you're going to pay upwards of six pounds for a dessert, I recommend having tea at Fortnum & Mason instead; the cakes are elegant and flavourful, and there's a much better opportunity for people-watching!