It’s so slight it’s in danger of drifting away on the lightest breeze. But in a year when the best TV has generally ranged between solemn and devastating, it feels good to have something as blithe, breezy and just plain daft as ‘Chickens’ to provide some light relief. This is one of those TV experiences which manages to be enjoyable without leaving any real mark on your memory whatsoever. To see it is to forget it.
Tonight, the chickens’ water has gone brown. But they aren’t practical types and, with Rittle-on-Sea’s menfolk off at the front, there is every prospect of this hardship continuing. Elsewhere George is going to have to relax his principles and cane a miscreant schoolboy if he wants to stay engaged. But might he get a taste for it? Simon Bird, Joe Thomas and Jonny Sweet share an enviable comic chemistry; this more than anything is the key to ‘Chickens’ transient charms.
Sea Containers at Mondrian London
London’s docklands were bustling with ‘On the Waterfront’ activity right up until the 1960s. Containerisation – the adoption of uniformly sized cargo that could be lifted easily from vessel to vessel – made London’s docks obsolete, as the bigger ships moved to the deeper waters of Essex and beyond. As the working docks moved out of the city, the new offices and corporations moved in. In 1977 a major new hotel project was built on the South Bank, but failed to come to fruition. The near-complete concrete edifice, perched right on the river’s bank, was acquired by a shipping company and became Sea Containers House. After the bankruptcy of Sea Containers Ltd in 2006, the edifice was in the doldrums for a while before eventual conversion back into a hotel. Sea Containers is now the name of the hotel’s flagship restaurant. The shipping theme is carried through the Mondrian London hotel’s lobby, bars and dining area. Model freighters from its former use are still on display in cases. There’s even the illusion of a vast copper hull along one wall, a trompe l’oeil created by designer Tom Dixon’s team which has given the hotel its makeover. A model yellow submarine is suspended over the restaurant’s bar. The hotel dining room could easily be soulless were it not for an open kitchen on one side, and views of riverside joggers and strollers on the other. The menu name-checks slightly too many trends and diverse dish styles, yet manages to render them well. A South American-style cevic
Venue says: “Bringing the best of American and British cuisine to the Southbank, offering a modern yet casual dining experience in an informal setting.”