London Journals

High in London

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A May 2011 trip to London by tvordj

The London Eye Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: This weekend in London was high costing, high in the sky and high(ish) up in the hotel!

Who's Wicked? Arriving in London

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Story/Tip

Apollo Victoria Theatre Photo, London, England
Quote:
This weekend in London was to be the final three days of my holiday. We took the train from Manchester, arriving at Euston Station around 12:30 and got a cab to our hotel, the Melia White House. We chose this particular hotel because it was handy the train station for G. to return to Manchester after I flew back to Canada and because I got a pretty good rate from the Air Canada website. ($155 per night, approx. 95 pounds, with our exchange rate being excellent these days)As it was too early to get in a room, we had to drop the bags with the concierge. We had places to go and things to see! First up was the Olympia exhibition centre on Hammersmith road. I'd sussed out what the bus number wa...Read More

The Zoo and the Markets

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Story/Tip

Camden Markets Photo, London, England
Quote:
I was awake early so I got up and wrote up yesterday's travels in my journal, got a shower and figured out how the air conditioning worked (controls by the other side of the bed). I woke up G. and when we were both ready, we headed out to find breakfast. After asking at the desk where a nearby cafe might be, we were directed to Warren Street, not far away. Warren St. is parallel to Euston Road between Great Portland St. and the Warren St. tube stations and there are a few places to eat along there. We found Cafe le Midi and thought it looked fine. The owner greeted us and we went in to check out the menu board. Wow! Cooked breakfast for only £3.50! Two eggs, two rashers of bacon, toast, te...Read More

Up in the sky

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Story/Tip

The London Eye Photo, London, England
Quote:
Since the cafe wasn't open on Sundays, we thought we might as well just have breakfast in the hotel though we'd have to pay for it. And boy, did we pay! Another shock to the pocketbook, it cost £23 per person for the full buffet breakfast! Ok, we could have walked away and tried to find somewhere else but sod it, we did it anyway and had a good breakfast. We had to be at a pub near Trafalgar Square at 12:30 to meet friends but had the rest of the morning to do something. G. wanted to Fly the Eye, the London Eye so we decided to go there. By bus. Probably should have gone by tube as there was quite a bottleneck at Parliament Square but we were stuck by then. We got to the Eye and assessed t...Read More

Melia White House

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Hotel | "Spanish style in London"

Melia White House Photo, London, England
Quote:
We got a pretty good rate for the Melia from the Air Canada hotel booking site. The location was good with transportation handy and close to the train station. The lobby is gleaming with marble and quite large. There is a bar and a couple of restaurants and a fitness centre as well. There are a few steps into the lobby but the concierge has a luggage lift if you have problems with stairs. It's a very large hotel, too. We checked in late and were given an upgraded room which was nice. It was decorated in gold and red with a large king size bed, big desk, and large cabinet containing the television, tea tray and a mini bar which we didn't use. The bathroom is small but gleaming in black and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

Melia White House
Regents Park Albany Street
London, England
44-207-3913000

The Diner

Restaurant | "American style diner in Camden"

The Diner Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Diner decor is fairly plain, with cream coloured walls and booths. There's classic rock on the sound system and the menu is full of burgers, tex-mex, paninis, chili, burritos and that style of food. Graham had a double cheeseburger that was enormous and looked really good with nice fresh beef. I had a fajita which was nice as well. The prices are a bit high, because side salads or chips/fries are extra, not included. This is London after all, so it's not going to be cheap. There's an outside seating area and an upper terrace as well. we were really surprised that although it was busy, there wasn't a queue to get in considering how busy Camden was that Saturday. It's on a side street off the high s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

The Diner
2 Jamestown Rd.
London, England
020-7485-5223

The London Eye

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Attraction | "High in the sky over London"

The London Eye Photo, London, England
Quote:
Yes, the London Eye is one of the most expensive tourist attractions in London. It's probably not something you're ever going to do more than once. Should you do it? If you're going all that way and it's a nice, clear day, why not? The views are spectacular. Sometimes, you just have to splurge and if you're going to splurge, this is as good as anything. In our case, it was more expensive than normal. We had a time constraint and decided to buy "fast track" tickets which allow you go to into a faster queue. The queues weren't overly long that Sunday morning but longer than we thought we might have to wait when the 30 minutes ride was included. The fast track tickets cost nearly 10 pounds m...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

The London Eye
South Bank of the River Thames
London, England SE1 9TA
+44 (870) 500 0600

The Lord Moon of the Mall

Restaurant | "Central pub on Whitehall"

Quote:
The Lord Moon on the Mall is a good sized pub ina lovely old building on Whitehall. It's only a few steps from Trafalgar Square and is part of the Wetherspoon's chain. The food is pretty good, pretty reasonable though not overly generous. You always know what you're going to get wtih a Wetherspoons, though, and it's pretty good.

Nice location, larger eating area in the back, toilets are downstairs.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

The Lord Moon of the Mall
16-18 Whitehall
London, England

National Gallery

Attraction | "Paintings in a beautiful building"

Quote:
The National Gallery, housed in an early Victorian building on Trafalgar Square, has many rooms filled with high ceilings and beautiful paintings on the wall. The paintings date from the 13th century to the very early 20th, taking in Impressionism, British landscape, Italian and Dutch masters and more.

The gallery has no admission fee though has donation bins. There is no photography allowed and there are several nice shops and cafes in the building, including the newer Sainsbury wing. The location was chosen due to it's central location, easily accessible on foot from the poorer East End and by carraige from the upper class West End.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

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

Camden Markets

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Attraction | "From soup to nuts and everything between"

Camden Markets Photo, London, England
Quote:
Camden is the alternative neighbourhood of London. Colourful sights. Colourful people. And lots and lots of tourists. Camden suffered a bad fire a few years ago but has most definitely bounced back. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest times, Mondays are pretty quiet. Many of the market stalls and shops are open through the week but the weekend is the real experience. The high street has lots of colourful shops and shop fronts to see as well but the markets themselves are the attraction. There are actually a number of markets in the area, from two on the streets, the high street and Inverness Street, the huge Camden Lock market overlooking Regent Canal and the older and just as interestin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

Camden Markets
Camden High Street
Camden, London, England NW1

London Zoo

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Attraction | "Do the Zoo"

London Zoo Photo, London, England
Quote:
The London Zoo is another of the most expensive attractions in the city. At 20 pounds per adult during peak times, summer, weekends etc, it's a dent in the pocket book but somehow you don't mind as much since you know the money goes for the upkeep on the animals. There are senior rates and family rates as well. We went on a sunny May saturday. The zoo was busy and many of the animals sleeping in the shade! That was a bit of a disappointment but we did see a fair number of them up and about as well. You takes your chances but earlier and later in the day are probably better times to go than mid day. There are lots of outside enclosures but also many are behind glass and chain l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

London Zoo
Regent's Park
London, England NW1 4RY
+44 20 7722 3333

Cafe le Midi

Restaurant | "One man cafe near Euston"

Cafe le Midi Photo, London, England
Quote:
We looked for a cafe near our hotel and were directed to Warren Street, just a block or so away from our hotel, one block south of Euston Road. Indeed there were a few little places along the short street. The first one looked as if there was construction impeding people going in but the next one, Cafe le Midi was quiet, with the owner standing outside catching the morning sun. They do a hot breakfast of 2 eggs, 2 rashers of bacon, toast (homemade bread!) and tea for 3.50 which is amazingly cheap for London. You can add on side items for small amounts (beans for 40p, mushrooms for a little more). They also had a menu of basic cafe food including sandwiches and jumbo jacket potatoes. If you...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

Cafe le Midi
23 Warren Street
Fitzrovia, London W1T 5LX

Mirabell Cucina

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Restaurant | "Cafe on Hammersmith Rd"

Quote:
We were going to an exhibit at Olympia Two on Hammersmith Rd and were early so we thought we'd find somewhere for a coffee. We found Mirabell just past Olympia. They have take out and sit in and we only stayed for a coffee and a cake but the service was good and the cakes tasty. The menu is Italian and the prices all seemed very reasonable for London. It's located across from Olympia Two exhibition centre on Hammersmith Road. It's not a large place nor a fancy one but could probably seat about 40. You can take out or sit in and according to their website they do catering and cook everything fresh. I'd believe it.They aren't open in the evenings, however, just during the day fro...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

Mirabell Cucina
111-113 Hammersmith Road
London, England W14 0QH

The Shakespeare Tavern

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Restaurant | "Noisy pub, ok for the location"

Quote:
We were going to the Victoria Apollo theatre to see Wicked and wanted somewhere in the area to have a meal before hand. We didn't really take the time to walk too far afield due to wanting to get back for the performance and next to the Victoria Bus station is the Shakespeare Tavern. It was bound to be a bit filled with tourists but the outer part of it is a sit down dining area, where the back of it was a regular pub. We were able to get a table so we did it. The pub was rather noisy so it's not really a relaxing place to have a meal but the food was pretty good and the service was decent. It had the advantage of being able to see the theatre from the window so it couldn't be much closer....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2011

The Shakespeare Tavern
Buckingham Palace Road 99
London, England
020 7828 4913

Apollo Victoria Theatre

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Attraction | "Wicked theatre"

Apollo Victoria Theatre Photo, London, England
Quote:
We don't always take in a show in London but this time we decided to. Our final choice was Wicked which is playing at the Victoria Apollo theatre, one of London's largest, seating over 2000 bums. Tickets were purchased online via Ticketmaster where we could pick our seats. The best thing about the theatre is it's location. A large number of busses go to Victoria bus station. Three tube lines cross there and it's a major rail station as well. The theatre is on the corner of Wilton road and the large square in front of Victoria station. You can't miss it. There doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the stalls, no posts to impede the view no matter where you sit. I can't speak for the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 29, 2011

Apollo Victoria Theatre
17 Wilton Road
London, England SW1V 1LL
+44 020 7834 6318