London Journals

Beyond the Tourist Traps in London

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to London by justinef

Quote: Most visitors to London just stick to the West End and well-known attractions, and whilst these are all worth seeing, some of them are vastly overrated and there is so much more to London.

Beyond the Tourist Traps in London

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Nightlife - stylish bars, traditional pubs, and clubs playing every type of music you would want Museums and galleries - the main collections at the big museums and galleries are free. There are also lots of smaller galleries outside central London that are worth exploring. Theatre - yes, do visit the West End's Theatreland and see a big name musical, but there is so much more to London's theatre. The National Theatre on the Southbank always has something worth seeing, and there are many other smaller theatres doing exciting work. Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: Public transport can be unreliable, but the Tube is still the easiest way to get around, as it is s...Read More

Food For Thought

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Restaurant

Quote:
This is a very popular little cafe that serves vegetarian food, although it isn't all necessarily healthy and worthy! Its menu changes daily, but they always offer three hot main course options for lunch and an additional dish for dinner, four types of salad, a quiche, a soup, two types of bread, fruit salad, and various sweet things, including their speciality, the Scrunch, which is a sweet concoction that is far from healthy. You can eat in or takeaway. Queue up on the ground floor for takeaway or go downstairs to the small seating area. There are menus posted outside, and it’s advisable to make your choice from these before going in if you are having the takeaway option,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

Food For Thought
31 Neal Street
London, England WC2H 9PR
+44 20 7836 0239

Oxo Tower Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
I had possibly one of the worst meals I have ever had here. Don't believe the hype about this restaurant, although actually that may have past now, as I have seen it mentioned in a list of London's most overrated restaurants. The restaurant is at the top of the Oxo Tower, so it has wonderful views of London, but that is only if you are fortunate enough to get a table by the window. It has a fairly big dining room, so lots of tables aren't by the window, so you have no view and could be anywhere. The staff was snooty and incompetent. Our waitress had great trouble serving the bread rolls. The atmosphere was awful. Everyone was very quiet, as if it was a library rather than a...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

Oxo Tower Restaurant
Oxo Tower Wharf
London, England SE1 9PH
+44 20 7803 3888

Hamburger Union

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Restaurant

Quote:
London is turning its collective nose up at traditional fast-food chains: McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, etc., but it seems that we can't get enough of gourmet burger restaurants, as they are springing up around the capital. This is one of the better ones and in handy central locations. The system is that you order your food at the counter when you first go in and they give you a numbered stick that you put in the holder on whichever table you pick to sit at. Then, about 10 minutes later, a waiter brings the food to your table. The food, as the name suggests, is mainly burgers, but they do have about three choices for vegetarians. I can wholeheartedly recommend the grilled ha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

Hamburger Union
22-25 Dean St.
London, England W1D 3RY
020 7437 6004

The London International Gallery of Children's Art

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Attraction | "London International Gallery of Children's Art"

Quote:
The only gallery in London that is dedicated to showing art produced by children, this delightful little place makes a great afternoon out for families. Tucked away on the top floor of the O2 shopping centre on Finchley Road (just four stops on the Jubilee line from Bond Street), as its name suggests, the gallery shows art made by children from around the world. It has a changing programme of exhibitions, each exhibition usually being from one place on a particular theme. The exhibitions can vary from the thought-provoking (e.g. art therapy work from children affected by the Chernobel disaster, photography by street children in Ecuador) to the educational (e.g. depictions of traditional N...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

The London International Gallery of Children's Art
O2 Centre
London, England NW3 6LU
020 7435 0903

Social

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Attraction | "Heavenly Social"

Quote:
Heavenly Records were a key part of the ‘90s dance scene, being home to melodic dance stalwarts St Etienne and releasing Flowered Up's anthem “Weekender,” but it was through the now-legendary Heavenly Social club night that they really made an impact. The Chemical Brothers (or Dust Brothers, as they were then), Richard Fearless, Jon Carter, Beth Orton, and Dot Allison all attended their first parties. Then it moved to Turnmills, where they continued for years (a name change to Heavenly Jukebox around 1998). The Social Bar was opened to carry on in the spirit of the label: eclectic music and relaxed atmosphere, and presumably somewhere a bit calmer, as the main players in this scene are older ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

Social
5 Little Portland St
London, England W1N 5AG
+44 20 7434 0620

Photographers' Gallery

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Attraction

Quote:
The Photographers’ Gallery is London's foremost gallery devoted to photography, but it is a rather unassuming looking place that is easy to walk past. It is actually spread over two separate buildings, both pretty small and a couple of doors away from each other, at nos. 5 and 8 Great Newport St.Usually there is a different exhibition in each building, and often the exhibitions focus on the work of one photographer, although occasionally there will be mixed exhibitions on a particular theme. The exhibition space in no. 8 is larger, and this is also home to the bookshop. The bookshop is not like the typical gallery gift shop, but a proper specialist outlet for photography books and magazines, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

Photographers' Gallery
5 & 8 Great Newport Street
London, England WC2H 7HY
+44 20 7831 1772

Covent Garden

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Attraction | "Overrated: Covent Garden Piazza & Market"

Quote:
Everyone visits Covent Garden when they come to London. I'm not really sure why. There are some nice little shops and a market selling art, crafts, jewellery, etc., but really most of this stuff can be bought elsewhere. The prices are hugely inflated because it is mainly tourists who shop here, but they don't realise that it is overpriced. The shops on and around Neal Street are much better.There is also the dubious attraction of street entertainers: mime artists, magicians, and, most famously, the living statues. For anyone lucky enough not to have encountered one of these, they are people in various costumes, painted head to toe in one colour, that stand very still so you think they are a...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

Covent Garden
Covent Garden
London, England WC2
+44 20 7836 9136

The Soho Bar

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Attraction | "Soho Bar"

Quote:
Soho Bar prides itself on being the only non-members club in Soho with a late license, which means that anyone can just come in to have a drink up until 3am. However, if you go in after 10pm (or 9pm on a Saturday), you will have to pay. The best time to go here is between 5 and 7pm, because every day at this time it is happy hour. The best offers in happy hour are undoubtedly the half-price wine and reduced-price champagne cocktails (£3.95). Other cocktails and martinis are pretty good value too at £2.85. There does tend to be lots of people at the bar at 6:45pm, panic-buying before the prices go back up, and although it might make you look a bit mean, the bar staff don't seem to mind you st...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 23, 2005

The Soho Bar
12-13 Greek St.
London, England W1D 4DJ
020 7025 7844