Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fish! Supper in Borough Market

Fish! Supper
11.5" x 17", pen and ink in Daler Rowney sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

In the middle of Borough Market, in the Bankside area - south of the River Thames, is a restaurant called Fish!. I had a fish supper there early on Friday evening last week after going to see the SGFA exhibition at the Menier Gallery.

Travelling late afternoon/early evening is always problematic for me due to my mobility problems and very poor balance. Part of my risk management strategy for this is to avoid the crowds in the rush hour on the tube - introduced after I managed to fall down half an escalator during a rush hour! I've found various ways of avoiding crowds and challenges to my mobility and one of the more pleasant - and productive - ways is to find a local cafe or restaurant and to have something to eat while I sketch and then go home when it is quieter.

The main trick to eating and sketching at the same time is to order something which you can eat with a fork and is either cold or is unlikely to go cold quickly. In this particular instance I can confirm that their fish pie takes ages to go cold!

This was a very complicated drawing in terms of structure and perspective but I think it came out OK. I'm now thinking about adding in some limited colour (maybe the structure of the beams between the windows?) and will update this post if I do so.



  1. I love sketching while eating. However, around here, the restaurants even when nearly empty. They keep trying to make me eat at a Bar. I throughly hate those noisy, always taken seats that belong to those who like bars. I always have to request a nice seat. After going to the largest seafood establishment in Boston and almost reduced to Tears, - I was sat facing a post. The restaurant then served tough horrible scallops on a bed of cold rice. I complained - got up and walked out. I tried eating there one more time at a different location. I had to demand a good seat by the window. Then no offer to refill the water glass, no offer of coffee, no dessert. Then the waiter started bothering me about my drawing while eating. It was muscles in red sauce. I kept everyone of those shells. I am buying different sized wooden balls for heads and white spray paint. My tree will have plenty of angels this Xmas. I did a small sketch. I have the $25 apology coupon. But who wants to go back. At least I can no longer be made to seat and face a post.
    sketching on the buss.
    The sketch is beautiful. I was going to ask about the run on the bank, not much info over here.


  2. Sherrie - That doesn't sound as if it was a very pleasant experience - I wonder whether you told them you wanted to sketch?

    What I always do is tell them before I am seated that I want to be able to draw while eating and that the placement of the table matters - making it clear that if it's not possible to give me a suitable table I will go somewhere else. And I do!

    I then always eat what would be the equivalent of a reasonable cover for them - their business is after all providing meals rather than sketching venues

    I wouldn't go into a popular restaurant at or just before their busiest time as frankly that's when service is most stretched and it's more difficult to sketch (lots of movement and comings and goings). I tend to find that end of lunch and beginning of the evenings (as with Fish!) can be good times to sketch and eat. All the above applies to the UK.

    In France it's completely different! You are expected to be interested in your food and they regard artists in a very different way to your experience and are often interested in what you are drawing! (I've even found this with French waiters in the UK). They also find it completely normal that somebody would be eating on their own.

    I have to say I sketched my way through meals across seven states of the USA last summer - and in most places tended to meet with complete disinterest in what I was doing...........

    Maybe a different strategy is needed for different places?

  3. Hi Robyn (visiting to see what I had to eat!)

    I had Calamari with Rocket and Lemon Mayonnaise to start with (easy to spear on fork held in left hand!) and then Classic Fish Pie - all nice and forkable - no need for knives. And that fish pie is really really hot!


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