London Journals

London in the rain (2000)

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A September 2000 trip to London by tvordj

Southbank walk along the Thames Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: My friend Carole and I spent a few days in London before heading to Manchester and later, after we returned from touring Scotland. This travelogue details our experiences in September/October 2000.
The Orangery at Kensington Gardens Photo, London, England
Quote:
Carole and I flew Icelandair from Halifax to London because we got a much better deal than Air Canada but I don't think we'll fly them again. We felt squashed in like on a charter flight with less leg room and seat room. We had a 2 hour layover in the airport in Reykjavik and watched the sun rise while we waited. We landed in London around noon on September 14, completely shattered. We decided to take the airport bus which, at that time, took a route through central London. Now it only goes to Victoria Station. We were staying at a converted Victorian mansion in Bayswater, the Inverness Court hotel which we booked through the Holiday House brochure. NOT recommended! It's called the Shaftsb...Read More

The Orangery at Kensington Gardens

Restaurant | "Orangery (The)"

The Orangery at Kensington Gardens Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Orangery is an annex to Kensington Palace and has been turned into an elegant tea room. With soaring ceilings, lovely 18th century plaster work, and tall windows letting in lots of light, this tea room is a gem in the middle of Kensington Gardens. It's a nice way to end a visit to Kensington Palace or a good stop while you're wandering through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens itself. They serve massive fruit scones and clotted cream, and also light lunches. They are more expensive than the average tea room or cafe but the experience is well worth it. The desserts and cakes are to die for! They also do a high tea, with or without champagne, after 3 p.m.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2008

The Orangery at Kensington Gardens
26 Eastcastle Street
London, England
(020) 7467-7455

Somerset House and Greenwich

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Story/Tip

Temple Tube station Photo, London, England
Quote:
My friend Nikki called this morning so we could set a time and place to meet tonight near Liverpool Street station. We went down to breakfast around 9:30. Continental, just rolls, croissants, tiny glasses for the juice. I called another friend to set up a coffee date at 4 in a café on Queensway behind the hotel.We caught the tube to the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House (see separate review). It's raining but not cold, however it makes it very muggy in the underground. We got off at Temple and walked along the embankment which would have been very pretty if it hadn't been raining. We were in the Courtauld about an hour and a half, maybe 2. It was a lovely gallery in a love...Read More

Somerset House

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Attraction | "Arts in a NeoClassical Somerset House"

Somerset House Photo, London, England
Quote:
A little bit about Somerset House, it was built in the early 19th century to house the Royal Academy of Art which is now in Burlington House off Picadilly. Now there are several collections in there but the Courtauld Gallery is most well known. It's not a large overwhelming gallery like the National Gallery. There are three floors though only one room on the ground. The proper entrance is off the Strand but we were not there. To get to it, we had to come in from the Embankment entrance and walk across a large courtyard with a large fountain display in the center. They set up an ice skating ring there in winter.There are free tours of Some...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 5, 2009

Somerset House
Somerset House
London, England WC2R 1LA
+1 020 7845 4676

Fan Museum

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Attraction | "Small but Exquisite Museum in Greenwich"

Fan Museum Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Fan Museum was one of those museums that, once I'd heard about it, I *had* to go. You see, in addition to the big, popular museums and galleries, I love small and quirky museums that focus on one thing or unusual things. I saw the Dog Collar museum in Leeds Castle some years ago and I was hooked! I haven't seen nearly as many as I would like, but I keep an eye out and when I heard that Greenwich had a museum dedicated to decorative fans, I was *so* there! Granted, a museum dedicated to the art of fan making and fans probably has more appeal to women then most men so guys, if it really doesn't interest you, wait for the women in a nearby pub! It's a sm...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 10, 2008

Fan Museum
12 Crooms Hill
London, England SE10 8ER
+44 20 8305 1441

Kalamaras Greek Taverna

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Restaurant | "Hidden Greek Gem in Bayswater"

Kalamaras Greek Taverna Photo, London, England
Quote:
This little narrow restaurant is below street level and isn't that easy to find. The easiest way to describe how to get there is to start from the Bayswater underground station. Come out of there and cross Queensway. There's a little side street just there. Go in there and just on your left is the mews though it only looks like a back alley or parking lot for the buildings around it. There was a sign on the street so we knew it was there and it turned out to be a small, narrow restaurant below street level that's been there since 1966. Last time I was in London, I saw a man dressed in Greek traditional costume with a sign out on Queensway pointing the way in to the restaurant. Excellent. T...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2008

Kalamaras Greek Taverna
66 Inverness Mews
London W2 3JQ
+44 (20) 7727 9122

Sunday in Hyde Park

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Story/Tip

Buckingham Palace Photo, London, England
Quote:
We set the alarm for 8 but still got a slow start in the end. Weather is overcast and cool but so far doesn’t look like rain. Carole wanted to seek out some gardens but we decided to have a wander in Hyde Park first. Before we could get through the gates, however, we discovered that all along the Bayswater road fence of the park, artists and crafts people were displaying and selling their stuff. We spent nearly an hour walking along and looking at the pictures, prints, stained glass, enamels and some other odds and ends. No jewelry which was surprising. It was like a free art gallery! One thing I really liked were some watercolours for children's rooms with their names on it. Some were bi...Read More

More Fun in Rainy London

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Story/Tip

Former flower market Photo, London, England
Quote:
It's now nearly 3 weeks later and we're heading back to London from Glasgow. We are in the "quiet" car, no cellphones so that made for a peaceful ride. Eventually the train was pretty full. The scenery was pleasant some of the time especially through the Lake district but mostly uninspiring. We had a chuckle at one point when a rather large burly gent came through the car announcing he was on the way to the pub and returned later brandishing a tall can of Tetley's bitter (beer) and exclaiming about the high price of it! I commented about "Railway Robbery" which he heard and laughed about and made a comment "I wouldn't mind so much but I hate tea!" (Tetley's is also a brand of tea)!We arri...Read More
Gabriel's Wharf Photo, London, England
Quote:
We had a slow start this morning and slept in a bit. We had breakfast about 9:30. The breakfast comes with and in the room as well, a tray of tea and juice and a mix of rolls and sweet rolls served in our room every day. We got on the way about 10 and determined the location of the airbus stop and the times. The weather looks promising, *finally* so we took the tube to Waterloo station to see about the London Eye. Yes, there are actually blue patches and hundreds and hundreds of people in line for tickets and for the ride. We passed. We decide to walk along the south bank of the Thames, the "Millenium Mile" to Southwark. It's not all that pretty along the river really, rather industrial, w...Read More

Tower of London

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Attraction | "Tower of London, Lots to See "

Tower of London Photo, London, England
Quote:
One of the star attractions in London is also one of the most expensive. At 17 pounds per adult (16 online) and 47 for a family entrance fee (2 adults, 3 kids) it's steep. The queues for tickets can be quite long and can stretch back to the tube station. We did find that the queue moved fairly smoothly and quickly. I do think that buying tickets online or from the kiosks a day or two ahead of time might be good if you're going in "prime time" (summer, school holidays). It's not difficult to get there. The Tower Hill tube station is very close, the DLR station just around the corner from that and many busses stop along Tower Hill. Tour busses will stop nearby as well. If you arrive by train...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2009

Tower of London
Tower Hill
London, England EC3N 4AB
+44 (207) 709 0765

Thistle Euston

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Hotel | "Good Tourist Class Hotel"

Quote:
I've stayed at the Thistle Euston several times over the years and it's always been a pleasant experience. It has often been used as a "bus tour" or group tour hotel, which is how I first stayed there. The location is very good, just a block from Euston train and underground station and around the corner, on Euston Road, is the Euston square and Warren Street stations with in a block or two. Euston station is a major bus terminal as well. I didn't notice much noise from the trains and the neighbourhood itself is quiet. It's close to Regent Park and Camden too.The hotel has a nice little bar and a restaurant in the basement, both have pretty good food, though a bit pricey as you would expec...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 10, 2008

Thistle Euston
CARDINGTON STREET
London, England
044 207 387 4400