National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
The Lyttelton Café is on the ground floor of the National Theatre and has lots of seats and space. We grabbed some tea and N and I got some cake to share and we all headed over to a spare table. We had just been wandering along the South Bank for no particular reason and got cold and decided some tea was a good idea.
There was a performance of something about to start and people started to mill around. Then, quite casually, DM nodded his head towards the other side of the room and said ‘There’s Alan Bennett’. We turned and it was true, there was Alan Bennett. Just walking along holding a picture frame wrapped in bubble wrap under his arm. We weren’t the only people to turn and stare but no one said anything to him or took photos of him, just watched him walk into a black door I assume was a stage entrance.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen someone famous whilst wandering round London, but it’s the first time I’ve felt the urge to jump up and rush over and just generally embarass myself by garbling compliments. I didn’t though. It’s Alan Bennett. You can’t just garble things at Alan Bennett.
After he’d gone we sat and talked about how much we liked Alan Bennett. A retrospective had been on TV recently so we had lots of things to say. Something that everyone said was, ‘He looked just like he does on TV’, which is a stupid thing to say, but true.
The tea was okay and the cake was nice if a bit odd. It was chocolate gluten free but seemed to have biscuit and apricot in it, nice but surprising. Really though I’d given up caring about the tea by then. I was still star struck.
Leaf tea? No
Milk jug? Big one you helped yourself to.
Price? Around £5 for two teas and a piece of cake.
Cake? Yes, and cookies and sandwiches.
Go again? Yes, it’s in a handy place when wandering the South Bank and I saw Alan Bennett.