London Journals

3 Days in London

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A March 2006 trip to London by artslover

Hazlitts Hotel Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: This was a quick 3-day visit, our third, to see theatre, dine, and visit museums.

3 Days in London

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Overview

Trafalgar Square Photo, London, England
Quote:
This was a third trip to London, and only for 3 days, so we kept our plans to a minimum.Our highlights were to dine at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, attend a play starring Sir Ian McKellan, go to St. Paul’s, and visit a few art museums. While doing so, we tried to walk as much as possible to get a feel for the Soho and Covent Garden areas, both of which are very lively and seemingly full of young people. We also walked in areas of The City and Southwark, along the bank of the Thames.Quick Tips: London is too big to take in on one trip. Simply hitting the top attractions would mean never getting to see that London is a number of areas, each of which has a different character. We have sta...Read More

Hazlitts Hotel

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Hotel

Hazlitts Hotel Photo, London, England
Quote:
This boutique hotel is very high on character. The three townhouses which form the hotel were built in the 18th century and effort has been made to preserve the 18th century feel, although, as the hotel is quick to point out, it has added the modern conveniences of indoor plumbing.The hotel is named after the writer William Hazlitt, who lived in one of the townhouses. Other rooms are named after other owners and residents. Each room has a great deal of charm. We had two rooms, the Duke of Portland and Major Roberts. They are among the least expensive rooms, £171 per night.The floors and doorways are uneven, but the beds are comfortable and the bathrooms roomy with very new copper pipes bringing hot wa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

Hazlitts Hotel
6 FRITH STREET SOHO SQUARE
London, England
44 20 7434 1771

Gordon Ramsay

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Restaurant | "Restaurant Gordon Ramsay"

Gordon Ramsay Photo, London, England
Quote:
The first trick to dining at this Gordon Ramsay restaurant is getting a reservation. They only take reservations by telephone no more than 30 days in advance. The tables are usually booked within half an hour after the reservation line opens at 9am. Being on Mountain Standard Time, this meant getting up at 2am to book a table. But the sleep interruption was worth it.When you first approach the restaurant, it is very unassuming. Located in Chelsea, there is not a lot of commercial activity around the restaurant. The large window and single door covered by an aubergine awning do not indicate the wonders within. And wonders are to be found inside this small restaurant.Less than 2...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

Gordon Ramsay
68-69 Royal Hospital Road
London, England SW3 4HP
+44 (207) 352 4441

Ivy

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Restaurant | "The Ivy"

Ivy Photo, London, England
Quote:
In 2004, the Ivy was voted the most popular restaurant in London. It means you need to get a reservation well in advance. The Ivy is also reputed to be a good spot for celebrity spotting but when we were there, we did not recognize anyone, but then, how many British celebrities do we know?  The Ivy is located in Covent Garden making it very convenient for a pre or post theatre meal. When we went, it was obvious it is very popular. The restaurant, which is reasonably large, was very crowded with a well lighted, busy, noisy atmosphere. A lot of tables with large groups and a number of them with children.  The staff seemed to be moving very quickly and service was very efficient and att...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

Ivy
1 West St
London, England WC2H 9NQ
+44 20 7836 4751

Courtauld Institute Of Art Gallery

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Attraction | "Courtauld Institute of Art"

Near the entrance to the Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Art Gallery at the Courtauld Institute of Art is one of a number of galleries at Somerset House. Located on the Strand and facing Victoria Embankment, the Gallery is very centrally located in London.The Courtauld is also a teaching institution for art students. The Gallery is best known for is impressionist and post-impressionist collection, but it has a number of excellent works from early Renaissance through to the 20th century.Admission is charged for the gallery. For two adults and two children, we paid £10. The entire gallery can easily be viewed. The various rooms are set out on different floors. There are informative descriptions set out near the paintings and other art ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

Courtauld Institute Of Art Gallery
Somerset House
London, England WC2R 0RN
+ 44 20 7848 2777

Donmar Warehouse

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Attraction

Donmar Warehouse Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Donmar Warehouse owes its name to the fact that the theatre was built in a former warehouse. The theatre is now surrounded by an indoor shopping mall of trendy clothing and arty shops. It is located in Covent Garden, the heart of London's theatre district.The Donmar specializes in intimate dramas. I would estimate the theatre holds somewhere between 150-200 audience members. There are two levels of seating. Along the front of the stage, seating is only two rows deep and three rows along the sides. When the actors are on stage, you feel like you are sitting right amongst them.We attended a new play called The Cut which starred Sir Ian McKellan. The play was a political allegory told in three acts....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

Donmar Warehouse
41 Earlham Street
London, England WC2H 9LX
+44 20 7369 1732

St Paul's Cathedral

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Attraction

St Paul's Cathedral Photo, London, England
Quote:
We have visited London three times and I had not yet been to St Paul's. After viewing a program about the Cathedral surviving the blitz during WWII, I decided I had to see inside this historic and most significant London church.We walked to St Paul's along the Strand and Fleet Street. Despite it's height, which dominates the area, from Fleet Street, it pops up into view only when you are about a block away. Despite going there in March, not a high season, the surrounding church yard and inside the Cathedral was filled with tourists.Admission is charged to go inside. St Paul's was built to be England's version of St Peter's in Rome and the resemblances are many. The magnificent soaring dome over the ca...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

St Paul's Cathedral
The Chapter House
London, England EC4M 8AD
+44 (20 7) 236 4128

Tate Britain

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Attraction

Tate Britain Photo, London, England
Quote:
Tate Britain houses one of the best collections of British art up to the 20th century. The most contemporary art is located at its sister gallery, Tate Modern. If you want to see both galleries, there is a boat service which takes you between the two.This was our second visit to Tate Britain, so this time we only visited the special exhibit and some of our old favourites. There is no charge to view the permanent collection. For the special exhibit, the admission was £7.50 for a family of four.The special exhibit, entitled Gothic Nightmares, featured the works of Henry Fuselli and William Blake both painters of the romantic movement in art. The exhibit brilliantly displays the influence of the romantic...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

Tate Britain
Millbank
London, England SW1P 4RG
+44 20 7887 8000

Walking along the Thames

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Attraction | "A Loop Around the Thames"

Walking along the Thames Photo, London, England
Quote:
This was our own walking tour from our Soho hotel. We left in the morning, down Charing Cross Road to the Strand, to view the Royal Courts of Justice where the trial against Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code novel had been going on. The building is a very impressive Victorian era Gothic style. Visitors may enter but we just admired from the outside. Across from the courts is a statue of the great writer, Samuel Johnson, looking less than dignified with a pigeon on his head.Continuing on the Strand, it changes to Fleet Street and then to Ludgate Hill before you see St. Paul’s Cathedral. Our stop at St. Paul’s is described in a separate entry. After an hour at St. Paul’s we follow the signs to the Millennium B...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 12, 2006

Walking along the Thames
Near Southwark Bridge
London, England