London Stories and Tips

Who's Wicked? Arriving in London

Victoria Apollo Theatre, London Photo, London, England

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 was we'd need (C1) but the trip by bus seems quite long. Mind you, it's a good little distance across the city past the other side of Kensington Park.

We had tickets to the Doctor Who Experience, a multimedia and exhibit on one of our favourite shows. The exhibit is in the newer Olympia Two building and the tickets were timed entry for 3:30 so we decided to head over straight away and have a coffee somewhere nearby until the appointed time. There was a cafe/restaurant just past the venue, called Mirabell, and we parked ourselves there for a hot drink and a custard tart.

Over to the venue a few minutes early but as they weren't busy we could go straight in. I don't want to spoil the multimedia part so I won't go into what happens but it was very cool! We browsed around the exhibits of Doctor Who memorabilia for awhile after, taking photos. Had another sit down in the little cafe and then it was off to find a bus to Victoria Station.

We had to walk a few long blocks to find a bus stop for the bus we wanted and we had to change at Hyde Park Corner which involved a bit more walking to cross over to the other side of that busy intersection to the other bus stop.

The theatre for Wicked is the Victoria Apollo and was immediately visible once we got off the bus but we wanted to find somewhere to eat first. You get a bit overwhelmed there, as there's a lot of places *and* a lot of people. Victoria is one of the busiest spots in London for transport with a large bus terminal and the train and tube stations as well. We ended up going into the Shakespeare pub right by the bus terminal as the menu looked ok and we could get seated.

The food was fine though the pub was quite noisy. The dining area was ok, it was the bar area that was generating the party! It was easier though, to eat there and just walk across to the theatre.

We enjoyed the show though did think the songs weren't quite as memorable as some musicals we've seen and loved. The story was wonderful and funny and the actors were amazing as were the costumes.

We finally got back to the hotel after 11. The clerk checking us in seemed to be taking his time and wasn't overly friendly but did offer us a room upgrade which was nice. The bellboy brought our bags up on a cart and we collapsed in the room after checking it all out. And it was quite nice. It was a comfortable size with a super large king sized bed. Nice decor, spotless bathroom. The windows opened and since we couldn't figure out how the air conditioning worked, we opened them to get some fresh air. We are on the 7th floor so the traffic noise wasn't too obtrusive.

We did, however, realize why we got the upgraded room. Well, maybe why. There was a periodic rattling or clattering in the wall behind our head, every minute, or two. We realized we were right beside one of the elevators! It might be a superior King room but maybe these were some of the last ones to be filled and as we came in so late, we hit the jackpot! Thing was, though, we were so tired for the long day that it didnt' keep us awake and the later it got, the less it happened anyway.

Breakfast isn't included in our room rate so it doesn't really matter if we get up early. Do Not Disturb on the door and off to dream land.

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