Shadows, whispering kids, fairgrounds, an eerie, distorted soundtrack… The team behind the ‘Dark’ instalment of this two-parter really give it everything in a bid to freak us out when actually, all you need to do is pay attention. The facts and figures are quite mindblowing enough, as Jim Al-Khalili takes us from the eighteenth-century discovery of Uranus to our ongoing wranglings with dark matter.
But Professor Jim isn’t just a mathematical intermediary between scientists and the man in the street; he’s an emotional one as well. Astronomer Paul Murdin seems like a lovely guy, but was his response to discovering the first black hole in 1972 really, ‘I felt really rather happy with myself, actually.’?
It’s up to our host to apply the human touch to a load of equations, which he does with ease. But even Jim can’t disguise how humbling and unsettling it is to understand that, the more we learn about the universe, the less we realise we know about it.
The Yacht London
The clue's in the name here - it's on a yacht, moored on The Thames. The views on a good day are therefore certainly pretty pleasant, with the window seats offering an uninterrupted vista out across to the South Bank. The food here ranges from sharing platters (think mackerel pâté with toasted sourdough, potted crayfish tails with mini loaf, and ribs in a BBQ sauce) and starters of pan-fried squid with chilli and lemon, and game terrine with pickled veg and a beetroot and horseradish cream to mains of lamb rump, slow-roasted pork belly, roasted grouse and duck breast served with a juniper and madeira sauce. The grill serves steaks, burgers and spatchcock poussin, too. Sunday roasts prove popular, as do afternoon teas featuring freshly-baked scones and cakes alongside a selection of finger sandwiches. Keep an eye out for special offers and seasonal events, too.
Venue says: “Riverside sparkling afternoon tea, £29.95 per person.”