Casual Round Dining Tables

casual round dining tables

0024 Bob Beatty

0024 Bob Beatty

A casual, window-lit picture of Robert Beatty, in his room at the Alba Hotel in Johannesburg, running his lines in the script for me in ‘The Man That Was God’

In 1961 Robert (Bob) Beatty, the noted, gentile Canadian actor, toured South Africa with Dame Flora Robson in The Aspern Papers. When he had finished with the play, he was cast in a local film called Gold, which has now, sadly, vanished into obscurity. He was a fine stage and film actor, who had starred in Quo Vadis, as well as with Peter Ustinov in the huge production of Sparticus.

During the shooting of Gold, Bob was staying in Braamfontein’s Alba Hotel, where I too was staying temporarily. At that particular time, The Alba was the drinking hole of all actors, singers and dancers in Johannesburg.

We shared a table in the hotel dining room and after I’d introduced him to South African brandy, which he loved, we soon became staunch friends

He had been cast in a play back in London, a try-out for the West End, namely The Man That Was God. It was to go into rehearsal after the shooting of Gold was finished, and after his return to London. I mentioned, in passing, that I too would be visiting London on assignment for Panorama magazine and South African Airways. He invited me to ‘get in touch’ when I arrived there but, based on past experience, I’m ashamed to say I took this with a pinch of salt.

Bob eventually left for the UK and soon afterwards I embarked on my picture story for Panorama. The day before I left South Africa, however, I sent him a telegram telling him when I was arriving and where I’d be staying (The Royal Park).

When I arrived at the hotel and the concierge handed me a letter. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was from Robert and read: “Dear Bob, welcome to London. Staying at Savage Club, Charlton House Terrace. Give me a ring when you get in. Cheers, Bob Beatty”.

As the flight-crew I was to photograph was not available for two days, I immediately called him. “Jump in a Taxi and get here,” he said. I arrived and was met by the club commissionaire who said, “Oh, Mr. Martin sir? Mr Beatty is waiting for you in the bar.” (It was only 10.30 am.)

I was ushered in, where three gents were sitting at the bar with their backs to me. I tapped Bob on his shoulder and he immediately embraced me and introduced us all.. “Bob, this is Larry (Lawrence) Olivier and Viv (Vivian) Fuchs. And this is my photographer friend, Bob, from South Africa guys.”

It was a somewhat surreal introduction to London.

Needless to say, because it was pouring with rain outside, a good deal of “ Bibit” (Latin for drinking) ensued, followed by a simple lunch of veal and ham pies all round and more ‘mild and bitter’. By this time (Sir) Vivian had left us and (Sir) Lawrence had some money on a horse race in the North of England somewhere, which Lawrence, Bob and I, watched on the telly. A disappointed Lawrence, unfortunately, did his boots.

At about 3pm Bob told me that he was opening that night in the play which I’d helped him with back at the Alba, by feeding him his lines in the script. “You’ll be joining us of course,” he said more by way of instruction than request. The ‘try-out’ performance was in Croydon somewhere.
I had gathered that he lived in a lovely house in Somerset with his wife Dorothy. They also possessed a rather smart Bentley, which Dorothy refused to let him take to London when in a play, for fear that he would “bend it”. To this end he was reduced to driving her slightly clapped old Morris Minor (with a leaky canvas roof). The car’s battery was also, as we discovered, decidedly flat.

It was late afternoon, the rain was pouring and it was almost dark. Lawrence and I found ourselves helping to start the Morris by pushing it halfway down the Mall before the engine kicked in. We piled into the car and arrived wet, bedraggled, but happy and, in Robert’s case, nervous.

The play, The Man That Was God, had an awful script and as a result, the play was terrible. Needless to say it never did open in the West End, as was hoped.

Boatwrights & Lobby

Boatwrights & Lobby

Boatwright's Dining Hall is a Southern, shipyard-themed casual restaurant serving dinner at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside. It's a shipbuilder's paradise parked alongside the Sassagoula River that winds through the resort.

This restored boat-construction warehouse features the large wooden hull of a fishing boat suspended from the ceiling, from which dangle rustic, rope-strung lanterns. Fantastic shipbuilding tools and artifacts adorn the high walls, while shop rags are used as napkins and tool boxes contain salt shakers. Fireplaces keep the vibe and the interior quite cozy.

This popular table-service restaurant features Southern-style cuisine as well as American dishes imbued with the South. Savory entrees such as jambalaya and blackened red snapper, and more traditional fare like prime rib, pasta with shrimp and filet mignon, grace dinner plates. Southern sides and pecan pie round out the dining experience.

Walt Disney World-Resorts-Port Orleans Riverside- Orlando Fl.

casual round dining tables

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