1 day in London -what to do?

Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:07 AM
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1 day in London -what to do?

My mom and I will be in Paris for a week in May and have decided to leave early one morning, take the Eurostar to London and come back that night. Yes, I completely understand that one day is not going to even scratch the surface of London, but she will likely never return to Europe and wants to at least see a little of London. I'm thinking high tea in the afternoon somewhere and seeing Buckingham Palace, hopefully coincided with the changing of the guards. I haven't been to London in age so I'm looking for other quintessential London sites. Any suggestions?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:29 AM
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If you want Afternoon, the Orangerie at Kensington Palace is nice, you can visit the Palace too.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:31 AM
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Afternoon Tea..

Impossible to make any suggestions without knowing your interests, but afternoon tea at the Tate Modern, on the top floor, with a beautiful view of London, is another possibility.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:32 AM
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It isn't 'High' tea - what you are asking about is Afternoon tea. But what ever you call it, do you really want to spend more than an hour in the middle of prime sightseeing time having a light meal/tea? If you want to have a nice meal - do dinner (after the 'sites' are closed for the day)

The Palace is just a 'walk by' and the Changing of the Guard is a huge time commitment. Basically 2 to 3 hours just standing in one place.

So you and your Mom decide which two major sites you 'must' see. Click on Destinations above or get a guide book if you need help deciding.

Plan a nice dinner - train back to Paris.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Sounds like you (and mom) want something with a lot of British history and tradition. I would suggest the Tower of London. You'll get to walk around an old castle, rich with British history, led by a Beefeater. And then visit the Crown Jewels.

I agree the changing of the guard is not as exciting as it sounds. Especially with only one day, I would suggest skipping it.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 11:14 AM
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The Palace is open to tourists during the day only for the short period in early fall when the royal family is in Scotland. Otherwise all you can see is the stables or the art gallery.

Agree that Tower of London is a good choice and will take most of your time.

As for afternoon tea - hard to do justice to it unless you don;t have lunch and do it early. You do NOT want High Tea - which was a name for supper (not late night supper, but dinner) in some parts of the country and I believe in years gone by. (Unless you are looking for beans and sausages.) I am assuming you are looking for tiny sandwiches, scones and pastries.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for the tips everyone- yes, tea is what we are looking for, not high tea. My mom has her heart set on having tea in London and it sound slime the Orangerie is a good option. Yes, the historic/royal sights are what we are looking for.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 01:57 PM
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The Tower of London, followed by tea, would make a nice day for you!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Just make sure that you are back at St Pancras station at least half an hour before your train leaves. The last few times I have been there, it was very busy. Check-in closes half an hour before departure.

It's a nice station; buy some food and drinks for on the train before you check in. Once you go through security, there's not much to buy.

Tea at the Orangerie doesn't take too long; it's fairly casual. And it's a nice location.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 11:24 PM
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>>The Palace is open to tourists during the day only for the short period in early fall when the Royal Family is in Scotland.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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Thanks everyone! I'm excited for this mini-adventure! (As if travelling with my 68 yr old mom isn't enough of an adventure!)
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 03:56 PM
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Look online at the Richoux Tea Rooms. They are more what I (as an older mom) think of as traditional rather than the Orangerie. It is a big, open, marble room, not at all cozy.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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Thanks Carolyn. I'll take a look. After taking a good look at the map yesterday, I think we'll focus on the Buckingham Palace to the Thames area so we can see Big Ben, Parliment, Downing St. and maybe the London Eye if we have time.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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>> Buckingham Palace to the Thames area so we can see Big Ben, Parliment, Downing St. and maybe the London Eye if we have time.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Janis, that's what I anticipated. Westminster was on my list but I forgot to mention it. Trying to maximize sights on a very, very brief visit.
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