London Journals

London Revisited: Something Old, Something New

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A June 2006 trip to London by phileasfogg

Yauatcha Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: We’d spent a month in London in 2000 and thought we’d seen most of it. But this fascinating city seems to be a never-ending carousel of new experiences. Six years later, we found ourselves falling in love with London all over

Yauatcha

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Restaurant

Yauatcha Photo, London, England
Quote:
What do you call a dim sum restaurant that’s earned itself a place in the fifty best restaurants of the world? A Michelin-star restaurant that serves up great food and chic in equal proportions?You call it Yauatcha. The brainchild of Alan Yau (who also set up Wagamama and Hakkasan), Yauatcha oozes style. The delicate pink and green wrapping of the cakes in the ground floor tea shop is just right. The dimly lit (though somewhat cramped) basement restaurant has none of the standard red and gold tones of most restaurants in nearby Chinatown. Here, the ceiling’s lit by bulbs in a `starry night’ effect; a huge aquarium stretches the length of the bar; the tables are grey textured wood, the sofas a vivid...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 13, 2006

Yauatcha
15, Broadwick Street, Soho
London, England
+44 (207) 494 8888

Covent Garden

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Attraction

Covent Garden Photo, London, England
Quote:
Busy, vibrant Covent Garden is a far cry from majestic Westminster Abbey. But there is, as I discovered, a link between the two, for `London’s best shopping experience’ was built on land that originally belonged to Westminster. The `Convent Garden’, as it was known, came into being in the 1630’s due to the work of the architect Inigo Jones and the developer, the Earl of Bedford. The marketplace and piazza were created under the aegis of Charles I.Initially a fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden diversified into gambling and prostitution by the early 1800’s--a magistrate dubbed it the `Great Square of Venus’--and although it did revert to being a market, it acquired its present blend of ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2006

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

Millennium Bridge (London Millennium Footbridge)

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Attraction | "The Millennium Bridge"

Millennium Bridge (London Millennium Footbridge) Photo, London, England
Quote:
Old links to new in London in unusual ways. For instance, St Paul’s (in the City of London) is connected to the Tate Modern (Bankside) by one of London’s most interesting new structures--the Millennium Bridge. A sight worth experiencing, we were told; so off we went.The Millennium Bridge is a 325 metre long pedestrian bridge that was inaugurated in June 2000, but was shut down a few days later because it swayed alarmingly. Special supports have since been added to it, and despite the stiff breeze on the day we visited, the bridge seemed sturdy enough.The Millennium Bridge is all steel and aluminium, futuristic and smart. The 4-metre-wide walkway is supported by heavy cables that dip below th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2006

Millennium Bridge (London Millennium Footbridge)
Riverside Near St Paul's On North Bank
London, England W1EC4
+44 20 7525 4925

Temple Church

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Attraction | "The Temple Church"

Temple Church Photo,
Quote:
At the risk of appearing to be simply another pair of die-hard Dan Brown fans, we decided to visit the Temple Church while in London. Ever since it featured in The Da Vinci Code, it seems to have become very popular, but even without the free publicity, it’s a lovely, unusual building.The Temple Church was built by the Knights Templar in the heart of their headquarters in London- Temple. The two sections of the church, the Round and the Chancel, were constructed at different periods of time, the Round being the earlier of the two. It was consecrated in 1185 by the patriarch of Jerusalem. The Chancel was built 55 years later, in 1240.To get to Temple Church, we got off at the Temple tu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2006

Temple Church

London, England EC4Y 7BB
+44 (0) 20 7353 3470

Wallace Collection

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Attraction | "The Wallace Collection"

Wallace Collection Photo, London, England
Quote:
Since we’d already seen most of London’s main museums and galleries, we were looking for something different--and found it. The Wallace Collection is a gem, relatively small but excellent.To get to Hertford House, we took the tube to Oxford Street, from where we walked till Selfridge’s and then turned right, onto Duke Street. Manchester Square is about 5-minute walk from Selfridge’s, on Duke Street.The collection was largely acquired in the 1800’s by Sir Richard Wallace and the 3rd and 4th Marquesses of Hertford. Today, this display of paintings, sculpture, furniture, porcelain, enamelware, religious icons, and more spreads across 25 galleries. The best part is that everything’s a work of ar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 13, 2006

Wallace Collection
Hertford House
London, England W1M 6BN
+44 20 7563 9500

Victoria and Albert Museum

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Attraction

Victoria and Albert Museum Photo, London, England
Quote:
I’m very keen on museums, and the Victoria and Albert was one I’d never visited. So this time, the V&A was on the agenda.The Victoria and Albert is just over 150 years old--it was established in 1852 as the South Kensington Museum (it was given its present name in 1899). Originally housing a collection of art and science exhibits, the museum shifted its focus to the arts in 1913, and since then has been one of the world’s most respected art collections.Being short of time, we couldn’t see each of the 145 galleries in the 11-acre museum. But among the most awesome exhibits we saw were:1. The Raphael Cartoons, preliminary `sk...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 13, 2006

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London, England SW7 2RL
+44 (20) 7942 2000