Despite having lived in London for over 5 years and more specifically NORTH London for the first 4 of them, I’d never been to Alexander Palace aka Ally Pally until last weekend!
My boyfriend had harped on about how good the views of London were for long enough, so with it being the annual fireworks display, Saturday seemed like a good enough time to go as any. We drove to Muswell Hill, parked up and made the short walk to the Palace. We did our best to get there before the sun disappeared but didn’t manage it so saw London as an array of twinkling lights in the distance.
The photo doesn’t do it a lot of justice, it was pretty magical. However looks like we’ll have to come back another time to see it in sunlight and possibly catch the sunset.
With a few hours to kill before the main event we thought we’d make the most of the other things on offer, from the fairground, to the food stalls and of course the mulled wine – my first of the year!
Definitely most excited about all the street food vans that were there, they were what we went in search of and soon came across was Popdogs – purveryors of the gourmet hotdog.
Agreeing that we should try lots of food from all different street food stalls we decided to get the questionably named ‘Clinton’s Lovechild’ hotdog to share and by share I mean one bite for him, two bites for me…obvs. We gave our order to the spooky looking guy called Jack…
We topped our huge Lovechild with more ketchup than necessary a dollop of mustard and some jalopenos (which I am not reeaaaally a fan of but he is so being the wonderful girlfriend I am, I let him have them) it was a pretty strong start on the food front.
Afterwards we topped up on mulled wine ensuring we had nice fuzzy heads for the next food decision…I mean doesn’t everything taste a bit better when you’re a lil bit tipsy? I left the choice entirely up to N-man, giving him full reign on our second course for the evening. The fresh pasta stall received some strong consideration along with a slice of pizza from Voodoo Rays…
…and Annie Mae’s Mac & Cheese but the queue was way too long…
…and Rainbo, who do healthy Asian inspired options…
…before Baba G’s tandoori chicken wrap finally got the vote.
The salad mix and superbly seasoned chicken was an absolute winner. Spicy and moreish both of us were less keen to hand the wrap over to the other after our allocated number of bites.
Taking a break from food we strolled over to the fairground and I thought it would be a great idea to actually go on one of the rides. We didn’t know each other when we were young so it seemed like it would be fun to act like lovesick teenagers at the fair, going on the scariest rides and him lovingly holding my hand in reassurance as I screamed my head off – it sort of seemed oddly romantic
Funnily enough…as with most romantic ideas…the reality was nothing like I expected. The ride was horrendous, lasted way to long, made me feel physically sick and unable to walk straight upon exit. I honestly wondered at one point if I’d developed vertigo and not only that; it made me completely lose my appetite. An all round howler.
I think this must mean I really am getting old as I found myself saying things like “I don’t remember fairground rides being quite so fast.” and “honestly there was no need for it to do that twirly upside down bit, NO-ONE would enjoy that.” Holding my stomach and trying not to cry we thought it best to head as far away from said ride as possible and found ourselves in the kids area where they had some much more sensible rides and of course the giant Minions (so fluuuufffy I’m gonna diiie!) and cuddly toys to win. Much better.
Hedging our bets we went for the guaranteed winner…
Hooking a frog on the pole meant that we’d definitely get a prize it would just depend what number was on the bottom was as to which prize we’d be getting…of course I got a number 1 which was the smallest prize. I swear these games are always rigged! But it turns out good things come in small packages and this guy came home with us.
Our first pet!!! Things are getting serious.
Happiness restored and fully recovered from the horror of the fairground ride we decided to grab a hot chocolate from Jaz & Juls which we waited an age for and was disappointingly disGUSTING. As a consolation for the terrible hot chocolate we visited The Cheese Truck for our final food course. If anything can put a smile on my face it’s cheese…and melted cheese at that.
I saw these guys at Maltby Market a few weeks back and regretted not trying them out so I wasn’t going to miss out a second time although I was a tad worried about missing the start of the fireworks instead. (Not that I needed to be as they ended up starting at 8pm rather than 7.30pm – tut tut Ally Pally). I went for a classic cheddar (Keens to be precise) cheese and onion grilled cheese sandwich. I would have been keen to try the goats or possibly a Stilton sarnie but as I was still sharing with the boy and as I’ve somehow found the only human being in London who isn’t crazy about cheese, I couldn’t be that selfish. Well not after he was so nice to me in post fairground ride hell.
Finally filled up on street food it was time to watch the fireworks and ooooh and ahhhh along with the humongous crowd that had gathered.
We obviously had a Yeti in front of us during the display! Crazy huh?
It was a really impressive show!
I’d say my first visit to Ally Pally was a storming success and felt like a quintessentially English evening in Autumn. Food, funfair and fireworks the only thing that was missing was the actual bonfire for Guy Fawkes (no idea what I’m talking about, read about Guy Fawkes HERE). I think I’d like to go back next year as from up on hill you not only get the big fireworks display from Ally Pally but you can see the hundreds of displays happening all over London in the distance.
Did you see any fireworks this year? Were you at Ally Pally – did you go on the fairground rides or try out any of the street food stalls there?
Thanks for reading!