London Journals

London- Its a Love Affair

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2001 trip to London by zabelle

Big Ben and The London Eye. Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: London is a sprawling city of boroughs that meld together to form a coheasive whole. It is a melting pot for the world and a very cosmopolitan city.

London- Its a Love Affair

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Big Ben and The London Eye. Photo, London, England
Quote:
For me, no trip to London is complete without a trip to Geales for fish and chips, a run through the National Gallery, at least one show, and a shopping spree at Covent Garden. This trip we added a train trip to Dulwich, a first time visit to the Houses of Parliment, a second visit to Buckingham Palace, a second visit to the Wallace Collection, a walk through Chelsea to find the Physic Garden, we discovered the Jewel Tower and took a leisurely walk through the National Portrait Gallery. If shopping is your thing you can choose Harrods (you have to go at least once). Fortnum and Mason's is also a must. I avoid Oxford Street most of the time because it is so crowded and in crowds pi...Read More

Millennium Gloucester Hotel Lon

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Millenium Gloucester Hotel"

Millennium Gloucester Hotel Lon Photo, London, England
Quote:
London offers so many hotel options that choosing is difficult. I have two criteria: reasonable price and close to the tube station. On this trip the Gloucester won hands down. We got a room rate of 85pds for a 4.5-star hotel across the street from the tube station. It doesn't get better than this. With tax and a phone call, my 4-day bill ran $600. In a city the size of London, this is better than good--it's great!! Our room was large and well-appointed. We had a queen-size bed, a desk, two chairs, an armoire, good lighting, and a nice bathroom with a huge tub. Just having a large room in London is a luxury. Our TV had cable, so we could keep up on events at home, and we had a minibar, w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2001

Millennium Gloucester Hotel Lon
4 18 HARRINGTON GARDENS
London, England
44-020-7373-6030

Geales

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I found Geales recommended in a guidebook years ago, and we return on every trip. Its a little difficult to find; you take the Circle Line and get off at Notting Hill. Leave the tube station on the south side. Farmer Street is a small alleyway blocked off from the street. It's worth all the effort, and it's no secret. Your best bet is to have a reservation or to eat early. It doesn't open for dinner until 6pm, so you might want to try lunch, which is served everyday except Sunday. The whole restaurant is smoking. This can be a problem, but it's one of the few places I'm willing to tolerate it. We began our adventure with a starter of deep-fried calamari rings with lemon aioli. It was not a larg...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2001

Geales
2 Farmer Street
London, England W8 7SN
+44 20 7727 7528

Cafe Bagatelle

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Cafe Bagatelle Photo, London, England
Quote:
Cafe Bagatelle is not just your average museum restaurant; it is fine dining. We arrived at the end of lunch. Luckily, we could still order a full meal; however, from what I saw of the desserts at this restaurant, having just tea here would be no hardship. Everyone in our party ordered very different things. Al ordered the filet with mushrooms ragout, served on a bed of spinach with a wine sauce. Joe had risotto dolce latte with leeks. I ordered tapas and mezze. Not only was everything delicious, but it was also beautifully plated, and the ambience of the restaurant was wonderful. We enjoyed a lot of light under a glass roof in what was formerly an open courtyard. The service was flawles...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

Cafe Bagatelle
Wallace Collection, Hertford House
London, England W1U 3BN
020 7563 9505

National Gallery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

National Gallery Photo, London, England
Quote:
This was at least our 10th visit to the National Gallery. We were disappointed to find out the the Vermeer Exhibit was sold out, so we decided to do something different and took the 2:30 tour. Tours are offered daily at 11:30am and 2:30pm. Both tours are different, so you could take both of them and not repeat. They are scheduled to last one hour. Rebecca was our guide, and she was great. We saw four paintings I've never noticed before. We began our tour at the information desk in the Sainsbury Wing. Our group was about 40 people. It varied, as we lost some and gained some in each room we visited. One problem with the tour is that there is no seating, so you will need to stand for long p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2001

National Gallery
Trafalgar Square
London, England WC2N 5DN
+44 (207) 747 2885

Wallace Collection

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Wallace Collection Photo, London, England
Quote:
I love the Wallace Collection. What I hate is getting to it. It is not directly on a bus route so you will have to walk quite a way no matter which one you take. You can take the tube to Oxford Circus which is also a long walk. This is one time I recommend you take a cab, its just easier. Once you get there you are in for a treat. This is one of the premier decorative arts collections in the world. The art collection here is first class. It also has the best collection of arms and armour , second only to the Tower of London collection. The collection was assembled primarily by one man, the 4th Marquess of Hereford. It was his illegitimate son and heir Richard Wallace whose wife le...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

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

Palace of Westminster/Houses of Parliament

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Houses of Parliment"

Palace of Westminster/Houses of Parliament Photo, London, England
Quote:
Since my first trip to London in 1988, I have dreamed of getting into the Houses of Parliament. The Houses have been closed to the public, except the strangers gallery, due to fear of terrorism. This summer, they opened up for the first time in years. We ordered tickets online, and they were mailed to us well in advance of our visit. We had to check in 15 minutes early, and we were split into groups of 16 to 18 people. We were then assigned a guide--in our case, Kate--and we went in one group at a time. Security was high--we were patted down, went through a metal detector, and our bags were searched. We were shown the Sovereign's entrance, but we got to go in a trade entrance. We wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 19, 2001

Palace of Westminster/Houses of Parliament
North Bank of River Thames
Westminster, London SW1A OAA
+44 (20) 7219 4272

Covent Garden

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Covent Garden Photo, London, England
Quote:
Covent Garden is my favorite shopping area in London. You can find just about anything you're looking for here. If you have ever seen My Fair Lady then you know Covent Garden. In years past it was a flower market, now it has an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. My all time favorite shop is Culpeper. It is an herbalist shop with a wonderful variety of all natural lotions, soaps, mustard baths, potpourri and sachets, wonderful spice mixes. This is a great place to pick up a small easy-to-carry gift. I brought back some seasoning packages one for apple pies and one for chicken curry. I got myself a mustard bath and some steak and beef seasoning. The combinations are unique to England. It is ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2001

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

Criterion Theatre

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
We had tickets to see the Abridged History of America at the Criterion Theatre. Given the events of September 11, this was a particularly poignant show for us to have chosen. We went there on September 18, and the theatre was quite empty. It is a comedy performed by three Americans. They also do the Abridged Works of Shakespeare on alternating days. It is amusing, but the Shakespeare is a scream. Maybe we were just not in the mood to be too amused by our American foibles. What I really wanted to talk about was seeing shows in London in general. It is really quite easy and not nearly as expensive as in the States. We always order our theatre tickets ahead of time. There is a half-price ticket bo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2001

Criterion Theatre
Piccadilly Circus
London, England W1V 9LB
+44 20 7413 1437

Syon Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Syon House"

Syon Park Photo, London, England
Quote:
Syon House is located in a 200 acres park and is a very popular family destination, especially on Sunday when we visited. You can buy tickets for the garden and conservatory for 3pds or for the house and gardens, conservatory and rose garden for 6.25pds. It is covered on the Great British Heritge Pass. There is a headphone tour which we took. Syon House is a Percy Family Home. They are the Dukes of Northumberland. The Percy Lion sits on top of the House, he was origianally on their London Home and the guide told us that after an argument with the King the Duke turned the Lion so that his butt faced the Kings Home. Now his head is toward London. Syon house was a former convent. It ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2001

Syon Park
Brentford
Middlesex, England TW8 8JF
+44 20 8560 0881

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Dulwich Picture Gallery Photo, London, England
Quote:
Half the fun of going there is getting there. You need to take the train from Victoria Station to West Dulwich. Trains leave at 8 and 38 minutes after the hour. Return tickets are 2.10pds. At West Dulwich, the trains leave at 16 and 46 minutes past the hour. From the station, take a right and then cross the street and go down Gallery Road. It is about a 10-minute walk.The cost of entrance is 4pds. The rooms are relatively small, and the lighting is excellent. Room 5, which is the first room we entered, has two Raphaels, one of St. Anthony and one of St. Francis. They are both part of a larger altar piece. The second room in Gallery 5 has a haunting St. Sebastian by Guido Reni--compare ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2001

Dulwich Picture Gallery
College and Gallery roads
London, England SE21 7AD
+44 20 8693 5254