Social evenings - archive

Browse some of our events from the past here




London LDWA Christmas Meal

Time to break with tradition and go for something different so this year the group Christmas meal will be before Christmas.

It will be at 7.00pm Wednesday 17th December 2014 at The Knights Templar, a Wetherspoons pub, at 95 Chancery Lane (the Fleet Street end of Chancery Lane). 

If you can come please email as soon as possible.  You need to make your choices as part of the booking and we need to make the booking with numbers very quickly to secure the room.  Menu is attached (or for newsletter - is available by contacting Lonica).

London Xmas Meal



Slugs, smartphones and scenery - a 79 day hike through Britain in spring 2014

Venue: Vauxhall Griffin ( at 20:00 on Thursday 23 October

London LDWA member Adam Dawson will be giving an illustrated talk about his recent 1,500 mile backpacking hike through the length of the UK, climbing the Three Peaks on the way. Come along to find out how he ditched paper maps, learned (almost) to love slugs and camped in some of the most spectacular -and wet- parts of the country.



Dear London LDWA Members

Happy 2014!

This email is to let you know we are having our Annual Festive Season get together on Wednesday 29th January at 7pm at Loch Fyne in Leadenhall Market, 77 Gracechurch Street, EC3V 0AS.

The menu deal is as attached – 2 or 3 courses plus a side dish. Adding service charge this will be £12 per person for 2 courses or £14.50 for 3. Drinks extra

We can adjourn to the Wetherspoons opposite after the meal for further (cheaper!) drinking!! 

If you would like to attend please let me know and please indicate your choices so we can pre-order on Pre-ordering will ensure we all get our first choices!! 


Many thanks and Best wishes 

Lonica Vanclay 


Come to our 'CHRISTMAS MEAL'

As is our tradition, the group Christmas meal will be held on Wednesday evening 29th January. The meal will be at a surprise venue - to be confirmed nearer the date (when the deals are publicized - after New Year.)

Please save the date and let Lonica know if you would like to attend on

Full details will be available early January.



Notice is hereby given that the group's AGM will be held on Tuesday 25th February at 6.30pm at the Queen's Larder pub, 1 Queen Square, Holborn WC1N 3AR.

If you have any matters that you would like to raise at the AGM please contact Landy Tong the Secretary by the end of January.

The AGM will be followed by a meal at the lovely Italian restaurant Ciao Bella. Pizza and pasta circa £9.

If you intend to come to the AGM please let Landy as the Secretary know. Please email -

Please also let Landy know if you want to join for the meal.


Tour of Parliament

Douglas Robinson has arranged for a tour of Parliament for up to 20 members. This will be at 16.30 on Friday 16 May. The tour lasts about 75 minutes. It is free. If you are interested in joining this, please get in touch with Douglas at

Please note that priority will be given to members who have not been on a previous tour.




Curry Night: Wednesday 9th October 2013

Curry Night  at Muhib Restaurant, 73 Brick Lane

£12 fix price  deal  2 courses plus one drink. ( £14 prawn)  Meet at Hamilton Hall pub, Liverpool St Stn from 6.30. Meal at 7.30. 

Please let me know by 2nd Oct if you would like to come. ( As soon as possible appreciated)

Reply to email 


Richmond to Wimbledon: Wednesday 15th May 2013

Leader: Roderic Smith

A group of 7 set off from Richmond Station at 18:15 on a fine evening and walked 7.5 miles to Wimbledon Station in 2.5 hours. The walk joined the Thames below the Quinlan Terry terrace, before climbing up to enter the park by the Star & Garter Home. The distant view of the City and St Paul’s was admired before walking through Sidmouth Wood, past deer, and into the Isabella Plantation. Passing from Peg’s Pond, the group zig-zagged across the bridges to admire the azaleas in full flower, and visited Thomson’s Pond. We left the Park via Ladderstile Gate and followed Warren Road, Warren Cutting and Coombe Hill Road to pass through the Coombe Estate. We crossed the A3 and Wimbledon Common via Caesar’s Camp to the Alexandra where we were joined by an eighth LDWA member for refreshment before parting. An enjoyable start to this year’s programme of summer evening walks.


Winter Evening Walk: Thursday 11th April 2013

Leader: Ali Pretty

Start 6:00 p.m. at Kew Gardens station.

More details to follow. We then hope to continue in the autumn/ winter program.


Winter Evening Walk: Thursday 14th March 2013

Leader: Godfrey O'Callaghan


Annual General Meeting: Wednesday 27th February 2013

6.30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at  The Old Coffee House Pub, 49 Beak St, London W1F 9SF.

There will be a meal afterwards as usual and details will be available soon. 

Email if you would like to attend the meeting or the meal or both.


Winter Evening Walk: Thursday 14th February 2013

Leader: Temi Odurunde

Distance: 6 miles

Start 6.00 p.m. from East Finchley Tube station, walk around Alexandra Palace, and down through the parkland towards Finsbury Park ending at The Old Dairy Pub.


Comedy Store for an Evening of Laughs: Sunday 27th January 2013

Douglas Robinson will be going to the Comedy Store, next to Piccadilly Circus, to see the Comedy Store Players doing their Sunday evening improvisation show. If you have not been before, there are usually around 6 comics, often including Paul Merton, who have to act out different scenarios given to them by the audience. It is clever and funny. It starts at 19.30. Cost is £17. This does not include food or drink although there is a bar and café inside.

If you are interested in going, please get in touch with Douglas at"


Previous social events this year

An Emirates Flight and a Meal: Tuesday 27th November 2012

14 of us gathered in the expensive pub by the Royal Docks on a very windy night. We hoped that after a drink the cable car would start again - it had stopped due to the high winds. However 45 minutes after the scheduled rendezvous time it still hadn't started again - in fact they had shut down totally. We were very disappointed and made our way to the DLR for a short train ride to the O2 arena. The Water Gardens Chinese buffet was pretty good for a buffet - and lots of space given it was a quiet evening. Gordon couldn't wait to start; I was impressed by the range of fresh raw things you could select and have cooked up in front of you just for you; Dave alighted upon the jellybeans; some munched the prawns and others the not very Chinese cheesecake and profiteroles for pudding! Lots of chat so a good night was had by all nonetheless - and we think we'll leave the Cable Car til a potentially less windy time of year.

Patrick Keiller Exhibition The Robinson Institute: Friday 5th October 2012

6.30 p.m. at Tate Britian followed by drink/food at a nearby pub.

Patrick Keiller’s The Robinson Institute is unveiled at Tate Britain on 27 March – the first Tate Britain Commission made in response to Tate’s Collection of British and international art, supported by Sotheby’s. The Robinson Institute is an exhibition that considers the origins of the current economic crisis. Throughout The Robinson Institute, images of landmarks and locations in the English landscape are employed to illustrate the development of capitalism.

Keiller is best known for his series of film essays, London 1994, Robinson in Space 1997 and Robinson in Ruins 2010 in which a fictional, unseen scholar Robinson undertakes exploratory journeys around England. Robinson’s chance encounters with various locations, for example the site of an 1830 meteorite fall and nearby scenes of local rebellion, prompt him to record and reflect on the significance of each to greater global themes.

Play: Lilies on the land Friday 18th May 2012

A theatre trip to see our own Kate Copeland in the 'Lilies on the Land' at the Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, Croydon.

Sports Tour of the British Museum Wednesday 25th July 2012

Just 2 days before the opening of the London Olympic Games our own resident sports expert Susanne lead a tour of the British Museum looking at the Ancient Olympic Games as well as some weird and wonderful sports from other cultures.

Peter's Pub Meal Thursday 26th April 2012

Kicked-off our summer socials with Peter Russell at the Brownswood Park Tavern, 271 Green Lanes, 200 yards north of Clissold Park – pub meal with traditional food and many real ales and special drinks. Peter took handful of people across the road, for a tour of the Castle climbing wall in its historic Victorian pumping station


AGM and dinner Tuesday 28th February 2012

The Annual General Meeting of the London LDWA group was on Tuesday 28th February at 6.30pm at the Old Coffee House, 49 Beak Street, Piccadilly, W1F 9SB the same as last year, followed by dinner at Bistro1. Twenty six members attended the meeting and most of them squeezed into the restaurant afterwards too. Beer at the pub was excellent, all supplied by Brodie's. I particularly enjoyed the West End Best. Paula announced that membership was up to 450, Margaret said there was now a better balance between Saturday and Sunday walks and that we now had more new walk leaders. Numbers attending the walks varied between 10 and 35 but averaged around 20. Still no volunteers for the Social Secretary role and it was felt we needed more people to organise individual events.  Gordon said organisation of the Founders' was going well and he hopes 200 will start this year. Ali offered to take over the Newsletter editor role and Pawan offered to look after the web pages. These offers were gratefully accepted. There was much lively discussion of other walking related matters even though some of us were momentarily distracted by the sight of a naked man cooking in the building opposite. That made us, er, hungry so we dashed along to the restaurant to see what he had cooked up for us.

Christmas Dinner Thursday 26th January2012
As per our custom the group's Christmas social was in January at Giraffe in Spitalfields. 20 members had a convivial, cheerful, good value and tasty evening - dining on the set menu at the Giraffe in Spitalfields and swapping tales of plans for walks in the year ahead.

Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Stratford, 4th January 2012
Cinderella is "Written by dynamic duo Trish Cooke and Robert Hyman and with a cast featuring a few familiar faces, this year's panto is going to be a whirlwind of lost slippers, a handsome prince, and not just one but FOUR delicious dames."

14 of us met up in high spirits at the Theatre Royal Stratford on the 4th January for this year's panto - Cinderella.  We were not disappointed.  Fourth and fifth row seats this time gave us a great view of the action - and chances to catch the sweets and hit the big balloons!    It was lots of fun - with 3 male dames - the 2 ugly sisters and the wicked stepmother - yes nasty and ugly (though pretty good looking for men!) - a delightful Cinderella and dramatic Prince.   Lots of dance and rap - fantastic puppet horses and a great coach to take her to the ball and lots of fun twists and turns.   Nearly 3 hours worth - so by the time we came out even Wetherspoons had stopped serving food - so we all had to head off home without supper this time as despite the Olympics the streets were empty and the food options pretty limited at 10PM at night.


An evening at the Vortex: Sunday 11th December at 4pm
On Sunday afternoon nine people from the London & Surrey groups joined Gordon at the Vortex jazz club in Dalston, N16 for 2 hours of joyous, searing music inspired by South African township jazz as it was played in the '50s & '60s, in particular by the great Dudu Pukwana a towering figure in township jazz and the European free scene. The Township Comets is a sextet fronted by trumpet, alto sax and trombone, with a wonderful singer: Pinise Saul (vocals), Chris Batchelor (trumpet), Jason Yarde (alto sax), Harry Brown (trombone), Adam Glasser (piano), Dudley Phillips (bass) and Frank Tontoh (drums).

Everyone enjoyed themselves and left with their ears ringing and their feet tapping. Gordon is a volunteer at the Vortex, a not-for-profit company, and was in charge of the gig, collecting money on the door, introducing the band and occasionally serving drinks. He would be glad to welcome people to the club, so just contact him to find out what is coming up or look at the programme.

Houses of Parliament Tour - Friday December 9th
Approximately a year after our first tour Douglas arranged for another eighteen of us to go on a guided tour around the Houses of Parliament. The guide was helpful and informative with many little anecdotes about some of the famous politicians who have been there. For example, we were shown the marks on the table in the House of Lords caused by Winston Churchill's rings when he used to thump the table. This happened during the war when the House of Commons had been bombed and they had to use the Lords instead. We were also reminded that when the French President was invited to address Parliament it was in a room between murals of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Apparently, he took it in good humour. All in all very enjoyable. The only minor complaint was being rushed at the end so we had very little time in the House of Commons to hear about it and ask questions about the way it works. Douglas.

After the tour seven of us went in search of a pub that wasn't completely packed. Nigel suggested going along Horseferry Road but it wasn't until we spotted the Royal Oak down Regency Street that we found anywhere we could get in. A group were just leaving so we gratefully accepted their seats and enjoyed a drink. A couple of people also ordered food, which was rather good and we were very surprised when the chef came out to seek our opinion and inform us of the freshness of the ingredients. Andy.

A pre-festive get together on Tuesday 29th November at Porters English Restaurant, Covent Garden
A merry bunch gathered at 'The Maple Leaf' for pre-meal drinks and at 7.30 prompt it was on to Porters where we were joined by some latecomers to make up a party of 16. We had an excellent menu to choose from - all that is except the vegetarians among us where the choice was much more restricted, fisherman's pie or - fisherman's pie! For those that still had room there was a delicious array of desserts to choose from and we all left some couple of hours later, fully sated. A couple of saddos (who shall remain nameless) adjourned for a post-meal drink. All in all it had been a very enjoyable evening and we eagerly look forward to our next one, early in the New Year. Many thanks to Sue for all her hard work in organising the evening. Dave.

Fit and Proper People, Soho Theatre, Wednesday 12th October
Six of us met for drinks and saw Fit and Proper People. It was a memorable performance in many ways...  a joint RSC production with an experienced cast for £10 (Dave saved £2 by going to the "terraces"); a vivid exploration of foreign tax dodging football club owners, bent football managers and "exploited" third world players; the stage became a football pitch, the audience sat in "stands on both sides; free pies at "half time", a free raffle won by Landy; a strutting naked wag (unless football boots count) carrying a regulation size football for modesty (to gasps from Denise) .... it was, a memorable performance, in many ways.  Alan Matthew

Thurs 16th June - Canary Wharf Closed Circuit Cycle Racing
An unusual event organised by Godfrey O'Callaghan.

The Lemon Tree , Covent Garden
For our first social event since January, twelve of us congregated at 'The Lemon Tree' a pub/Thai restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden, which was recommended by Megan before her return home to Australia late last year. It proved to be a very convivial evening. After a couple of drinks we adjourned upstairs to the rather informal setting to sample the many sumptuous dishes on offer all at very reasonable prices. Having sated our appetites a few of us made our merry way to a local hostelry for a night-cap to round off a very enjoyable evening. A very big thank you to Sue Cannell for doing the recce and arranging the booking.

London Group AGM and dinner
The AGM was held in the first floor room at The Old Coffee House, 49 Beak Street, London, W1F 9SB. The meeting was followed by dinner at Masala Zone, 9 Marshall Street.

Christmas dinner in January
15 people met at the Fat Cat in Bow for a Ladies Night meal that was excellent value, especially as it included a cocktail to start with: long island ice teas, bloody marys & something warm & dark lubricated the throng. The live singer (a surprisingly slight woman with a guitar) was miked up rather loud but conversation flowed well. Suzanne took the opportunity to recruit for the 100 check point (any more offers of help?) The special deal was for 2 courses but several had a third before we went our separate ways, ready for the year ahead.


Red Riding Hood at Theatre Royal Stratford
Meeting up in the crowded bar, a dozen of us quickly got into the spirit of the evening. The red plush 19th century music hall is a fine venue and the show was marvellous: colourful, loud - plenty of opportunities to shout at & with the punky Three Little Pigs - musical. It was a contemporary take on the genre but still had a busty dame (who some thought was a woman…). Set in woods through which a strapping young man - who was happier wielding his little axe than a really big one (!) - had built a new road to frighten the wild life. A giant wolf was a real coup de theatre. For afters we patronised the local Wetherspoons.

Douglas's Tour of the Houses of Parliament
A brilliant late Friday afternoon guided tour of the Houses of Parliament was made possible and organised by Douglas Robinson. Sixteen members spent two hours being expertly educated (with many history questions thrown at us), and delightfully guided through the many corridors and magnificent rooms including the Houses of Lords and Commons. Our charming guide was used to showing school-children around and expertly prevented any misbehaviour by wandering individuals! Afterwards the evening continued at the Civil Service Sports Club with a very satisfying meal alongside the lively club bar. A unanimous vote of confidence to Douglas.

Peter's Pub Night is a Hit
The sweeping view across the Thames towards St Pauls from our long table at the spacious Founders was spectacular on a starry night and everyone, 14, was happy to buy their own food, from bangers and mash to curry, at the efficient bar and so it was a very easy meal for me to run.  The crowded pre-meal drink by the Golden Hind coincided with city types drinking large rounds but gave us a chance to pore over the menu and cast list.  I had too much Young's and dozed off until the end of the tube, Mill Hill East instead of Highgate, (which is a first). Peter Russell

Dave's Develish Curry lives up to it's name!
Here's what Dave has to say........
I had the honour of arranging my 1st social evening- a curry in Brick Lane. With the vast choice available on Brick Lane, how could I fail ? After much deliberation, I plumped for The Masala, espeially after they had enticed me with the offer of 2 free rounds of drinks, a 25% discount, World peace & England to win the next 2 World Cups! With some superb marketing from Paula (who thought up the develish title) the replies poured in (well about a dozen anyway) & I was somewhat surprised that 15 actually turned up on the evening with the majority congregating in the 'Shooting Star for pre-dinner drinks. It turned out to be an enjoyable evening & the resturant was as good as their word on at least 2 of their promises. As the excitement took it's toll, numbers diminished and the hardy few made it to The Gun for a post-meal drink to round off a thoroughly develish evening!

Kathy's Lebanese Evening
8 members enjoyed Kathy's well organised Lebanese meal in High St Ken. Many thanks to Kathy for organising this, her second social event this year.

'Up for the Cup'
Kathy Larasso organised a fabulous walk followed by a social evening at Smollensky's in the strand, based around the England v USA game. It was well attended and very much enjoyed and a success all round - even if the football is long forgotten! Many thanks to Kathy for planning and organising a novel event.

Don's Mediteranean Specialities
Another great turn out! 17 members got together to enjoy a drink at the famous Coal Hole pub followed by great value eats at BISTRO 1 near Covent Garden where Rob celebrated a BIG birthday and got away with a cheap night out. Another great evening Don.

Don's Curry Night Success
19 members met in March at the very busy Hamilton Hall pub at Liverpool St, where lip reading and sheltering from beer and umbrellas raining from the balcony were the name of the game. Having lost and found a few on the way, and dodged the restaurant touts, we arrived at Don's favourite, the Shampan curry house on Brick lane, who did us proud just like the old days. At the last moment we were pleased to welcome Ralph (Don's son and original scout for this excellent restaurant) who disappeared just as quickly for a beer with his Dad. Thanks to Don for organising this one and to all who made it fun.

After February's lively AGM in the Rose and Crown near Waterloo, 20 members adjourned to Tas, a nearby Turkish restaurant to enjoy a mezze feast starter, really tasty Turkish mains and, of course plenty of wine and water.......

In line with recent tradition, London Group Christmas meal was held in January at Little Bay Restaurant in Farringdon Over 20 booked for the event although a few were thwarted by the snow and ice.... In spite of everything, 16 members (including Rob who gets the prize for making the most effort) made it for a fabulously good value 3 course meal for just over £10. Dave recommended the pre dinner pub, which luckily turned out to be OK (he hadn't been there for 30yrs!) and Paul led his first walk (yeh right!) through the ice to his local after the meal, where the festivities continued. A great evening all round.


The Panto party report......
After slaking our thirst in the Marie Lloyd bar (which had been partly taken over by a jumble sale) 12 of us climbed to our precipitous seat in the Upper Circle of the Hackney Empire, a beautifully restored - all red & gold - former music hall. With a great view of the orchestra pit & the stage we were soon being serenaded by a singing camel (oh yes! We were!), gazing in wonder at the fabulous thighs of the principal boy (which she slapped regularly), booing the evil Abanazer & cheering Widow Twankey (look behind you!). Clive Rowe is in his 8th year as the Empire's pantomime dame & he carries it off extremely well, clad in voluminous, inventive (a washing line on his head? In a Chinese vase?!!) & colourful frocks. As ever, the old jokes were the best ones & there was lots of clever stagecraft including a pink Morris Minor & a flying dragon. Finally everyone lived happily ever after & we repaired to a local Turkish restaurant for a feast. Perhaps the one disappointment was that the LDWA was not name-checked along with the 8 & 82 year-olds' birthdays or the proposal of marriage to a woman just along from us who appeared to accept with appropriate shyness to the cheers of the audience! It was a fine evening of traditional panto spiced with 21st century local colour.

In October we went to Vapiano on Gt Portland St.  Don't know why I hadn't thought of this before.... a German concept serving pizza, pasta, salads all freshly prepared to order where everyone has their own credit card to pay at the end. After meeting in a very busy pub we arrived to find a very busy restaurant (I suppose it was shopping night on Oxford St so not surprising!) but managed to settle ourselves eventually at a comfy long table. The food was excellent and extremely good value and the system worked well. Although there were a few who couldn't make it at the last moment, one member who never did find us and another who popped in unexpectedly, it was a very plesent evening all round.
In September we went to Benito's Hat A great little TexMex place where you choose fillings from the counter, then sit down to try and work out how to get your mouth round the biggest burrito you ever experienced! Squashed into our cosy booth, it felt like a picnic.... and we had plenty of time for another pub before home time.

In July we visited Tibits vege restaurant (recommended by Kathy) just off Regent St - in a lovely cul-de-sac with different restaurants and tables outside. Starting upstairs in the bar, we discovered the organic beer, which made up for the lack of meat........and then took up residence downstairs where we made endless trips to the 'food boat' and still more to the bar. Really good value food you pay for by weight - if anyone fancies it we would recommend it. Susanne started the dancing not long after that - she even had the chefs on the floor (the dance floor of course!) We had the basement to ourselves (no idea why!) and a great evening was had by all.... especially Susanne..... and Corrine.....and Paul.....and Dave .......and ...well everyone! (The evidence is on my phone if anyone wishes to cross my palm!)

In May several members enjoyed a great 'all you can eat' experience at KitchenN1 near Kings Cross, where we took full advantage of the half price offer. Rob definitely won the prize for most return visits to the buffet and no-one can remember who won the bizarre 'guess the weight' competition devised by Peter R (or why we played it for that matter)

In June, we met on a warm sunny evening and jostled with the rest of London in a very busy Soho pub before enjoying the relative calm of Cafe Emm on Frith St. The burgers were enormous, the mussels tasty and the red wine flowed ....and continued to flow in yet another (quieter) nearby pub afterwards - where father and son finally got to talk....