London Journals

Tea on the Thames

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An August 2001 trip to London by charolastra24

British Museum Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: A week in London, for me at least, was not nearly enough to even scratch the surface of this delightful city. The perfect blend of preserved history and cutting-edge modernism, London is some of the best Europe has to offer.

Tea on the Thames

Overview

Piccadilly Photo, London, England
Quote:
It's impossible to describe the feeling you get when you're standing, for the first time, in person, in front of the sights that you've grown up seeing in pictures. Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham, Westminster, St. Paul's, the Tower, the Thames - these are the tourist sites of London at their most crowded, most marketed, and most unforgettable. To walk through Westminster is to walk through halls that have shaped history in ways we can barely fathom. It's really indescribable!Quick Tips: OVER budget! If you think you can do a trip for , plan on . Expenses in London have a way of stacking up faster than you expect. I've been all over the world (including Tokyo), and London, by far, is the most...Read More

Astor Museum Inn

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Hotel

Quote:
From what I can tell, I'm in the minority by saying that this hostel really did NOT impress me - at all. About the only ringing endorsement I'll give is that it is in an unbeatable area - beyond that, don't set your hopes too high. It's really not all that cheap. I paid about £25 a night in mid-August, which I will grant you is the height of tourist season, but still, almost $50 for a room of this caliber is not a great bargain. The staff is abysmal - some of the most unfriendly I encountered in Europe. The hostel is cramped and aged. The bathroom (of which there are NOWHERE NEAR enough) was skuzzy and two floors down from my top floor room, which was almost unbearably hot, and usually...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Astor Museum Inn
27 Montague Street Bloomsbury
London, England
+44 (207) 580 5360

Porters English Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
All those people you hear complaining about how bland and sometimes disgusting British food can be? Send them to Porters to change their minds! Porters is what British Isles food SHOULD be - tasty, comforting, simple, the kind of thing you'd expect to be eating by a roaring fireplace in a boisterous pub in a town that was named something along the lines of Blank-upon-blank, maybe Yorkshire-Upon-Pudding, or Lamb-Upon-Pie. No "noveau" concoctions that try to disguise sausages as gourmand extravaganzas here, but don't expect bland either. Skip an appetizer - portions are large, and the food filling - and head straight for the pies for which Porters is famous. The lamb and apricot is tasty...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 7, 2004

Porters English Restaurant
17 Henrietta Street
London, England WC2E 8QH
(020) 7836-6466

British Museum

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Attraction

British Museum Photo, London, England
Quote:
Asking of the British Museum, "What's it like?", is roughly analagous to saying, "Hey, the history of the world, what's it like?" This museum is daunting and you must, MUST, take at least two days to appreciate it. If you try to run through it in a few hours, you're going to get absolutely nothing out of it and just end up exhausted and overwhelmed. Don't try to narrow it down to highlights, either. You may walk through the main entrance saying "First the Rosetta Stone, then the Elgin Marbles, then...," but I guarantee that you'll see the Easter Island statues in the lobby and stop for those. Then on your way toward the Elgin Marbles, you'll stop and meander through another exhibit, and another....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 8, 2004

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London, England WC1B 3DG
+44 (207) 7323 8299

Westminster Abbey

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Attraction

Westminster Abbey Photo, London, England
Quote:
The House of God and Kings, an enduring symbol of the history of England. Within these walls are buried kings and poets, rulers of the hearts and minds of men. Almost a thousand years of history are centered on or around this place, and the sense of it is overwhelming, from the moment you first lay eyes on the church to the moment you set foot back outside. Since 1066, every Coronation of every Monarch of the British Empire has taken place within this church. It has witnessed the ups and downs of the Empire and weathered it all. The sights within are astonishing - endless tombs of famous monarchs, architectural astonishments, and history itself. Some of the highlights within: ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 8, 2004

Westminster Abbey
20 Dean's Yard
London, England SW1P 3PA
+44 (20) 7222 5152

Trafalgar Square

Attraction

Trafalgar Square Photo, London, England
Quote:
Trafalgar can be summed up in two words - pigeons and people! I've never seen so many pigeons in one place, and there seem to be nearly as many people often times! Trafalgar is a bevy of important historical sights, monuments, art museums, and churches, not to mention a crossroads for heading off into other parts of London. Lord Nelson's Column is here, commemorating the brilliant naval commander, as is Admiralty Arch (same reason). The Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields is off to one end, and the National Gallery looms and stands watch over the Square. It's a fun place to stumble across, and even more fun to hang out at, to relax for a few minutes, and people-watch. It's boisterous, but not i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 8, 2004

Trafalgar Square
Northumberland Avenue
London, England WC2

Buckingham Palace

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Story/Tip

This way to Buckingham Photo, London, England
Quote:
What a sight! You've seen it a hundred times in pictures, but, as always, standing there in front of it is a real experience. You can reach Buckingham from any of about a dozen roads that converge on it, but the best, in my opinion, was to start at Piccadilly Circus, hike down Piccadilly, then take the turn onto the Queen's Walk and approach from the side along Queen's Park, ending up at the Queen Victoria Monument and the Palace itself. It's a nice way to really feel yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the imperial history of the city as you shed the raucous, rowdy, and modern (Piccadilly) for the relative peace and tranquility, and history, of Buckingham. The Palace is not tremen...Read More