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4 special meals, 2 GTGs, Benedict Cumberbatch and a Tattoo

4 special meals, 2 GTGs, Benedict Cumberbatch and a Tattoo

Old Sep 24th, 2015, 10:27 PM
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OOPS -- w/ all the cutting and pasting I see part is missing. What a fiasco!!!

and it won't let me post the missing bit . . .
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 10:47 PM
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Will keep trying -- this part fits between the descriptions of the hotel and the meal

I've always wanted to eat at Martin Wishart in Edinburgh but for one reason or another haven't made it. I learned about his new rrestaurant the Honours in the Malmaison in Glasgow so eating there became a 'must'. So Thursday I mostly just wandered around the George Sq/central area, had a light lunch, sought out a pub unclegus recommended for single malts, and did some shopping. Then in the evening walked down the length of George Street to the Malmaison. The restaurant is in the basement and is very spacious. spacious. I can't remember a restaurant ever w/ more space less crowded tables.
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 09:28 AM
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I want to read about the meal, not the table layout!!!

[just kidding, I realise that you are getting frustrated].
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 10:03 AM
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Janis: Great trip report so far. Looking forward to the York portion. We just returned from London and the Cotswolds and thanks for your suggestions/recommendations. We had a wonderful time, loved all of it! We want to get to York on our next visit to the UK.
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 10:13 AM
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"I want to read about the meal, not the table layout!!! "

I know it's hard to keep track -- but I DID post about the meal . . .

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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 10:23 AM
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Hi Travelerkaren: where did you end up staying?
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 12:39 PM
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Glad for all the Glasgow info as we have yet to visit there. Keep trying, Janis!
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 01:07 PM
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Janisj when did you book your tickets for the military tattoo ? Can you share more info on that ? How much was the package you got with the dinner ? We have been thinking about crossing it off our bucket list too . Would really appreciate any information you can share .
Thanks
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 01:57 PM
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I know it's hard to keep track -- but I DID post about the meal >>

oh I see, JJ, I get it now - orkney scallops no less!
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 02:43 PM
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"oh I see, JJ, I get it now - orkney scallops no less!"

Yes -- the stoooooopid website wouldn't let me post new installments w/o breaking them up and typing them afresh - and in the middle of all that I cut an extra paragraph by mistake.

Will try to finish up tonight but if I have trouble again like last night I'll put it off til next week when Bryan get back to tech support.

Hopefully York/London will end up more or less in order

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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 07:06 PM
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Looking forward to more!
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 07:23 PM
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Enjoying the report jj-dh and I loved Glasgow - food , art nouveau and the people sound wonderful .
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 07:51 PM
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<B>Sat. - Sun. York:</B>

Took an early morning train from Glasgow Central to York and got in just before noon. Walked quite a ways from the station to the flat. Stayed in a really cute studio basically under Monk Bar .. In this photo -- the two people standing over to the right . . . they are standing about 8 feet from my front door. http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...city-walls.jpg A really fabulous flat -- iron/brass bed, french doors to a lovely private terrace w/ flowers and patio furniture, a full kitchen, large bath and separate wc. Would stay there again in a heartbeat. The website's photos sort of cut it short since the patio is about 4 times the size - they only included a tiny corner.

http://www.goodramgate.co.uk/studio.php

<B>Saturday</B> afternoon I managed the Minster (the great East window is completely hidden during the restoration -- but the exhibits about the restoration work is fascinating - plus the West window is pretty darn spectacular too) , wandering through the Shambles (absolutely heaving w/ bank holiday weekend crowds), managed to get into Betty's for tea and then took a boat trip on the Ouse that ended just at dusk. Had a tasty lamb stew a half of bitter and a single malt at the Royal Oak just up the road from the flat.

<B>Sunday</B> my train leaves for London about 8PM so I was going to leave my bag at the office -- but they close at 6PM so instead to took it to the Europecar location near the station (they do a lively business storing luggage - there is no left luggage in the station). This is another 6 mile day - hard in such a compact city but I covered a LOT of territory.

Hit the Castle Museum (one of the best museums in the entire country -- one could easily spend the whole day there. The Yorkshire Museum, the York Art Gallery, walked a couple of long sections of the city wall, had a wonderful late lunch at Jamie's Italian, and then headed to the Railroad Museum. After nearly 2 hours in the museum my feet had had it! Went outside to sit a while and decide what to do next. A man was waiting for his family in the museum -- w/ his two gorgeous scotties (I've had Scottish Terriers and/or Airedales most of my life) and we talked for the longest time -- they are traveling to California next year and I gave him lots of pointers.

(I'm going to try to post now to see it the $#@%*& is working tonight)
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 08:03 PM
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YAY!!!! It worked. I'll finish up now.

<B>NE: </B> I didn't see your post -- My tattoo package was quite (awfully) expensive . . . I did say it was a bucket list thing . But there was one package priced even higher. These special castle dinner packages -- with names like the Queen Anne, Jacobite, Gatehouse, etc and some less expensive ones with dining and/or drinks at the Whisky Experience and the Cannonball House or w/ a post-Tattoo ceilidh will go on sale the same time Tattoo tickets are released (usually in late Dec) You don't need one of these packages - just attending the Tattoo is great. And you don't need to book that early. I booked maybe in March or early April -- I don't remember exactly.

Now back to the TR . . .
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 08:55 PM
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<B>Sunday continued</B>: After leaving my lovely new friends (I wanted to take the girls home w/ me one looked exactly like my last scottie) . . . It is now nearly 5PM and I really REALLY want to get down to London and not wait 3+ more hours. I walk over to the station to see about changing my ticket (I knew it was non-changeable but worth a try). No dice but a Virgin train is leaving in about 40 minutes - £95. I debated for a while and went next door to the York Tap and had a quick half visiting w/ a fun couple from Newcastle. Decided - what the heck it is only money and retrieve my bag, and buy the new ticket. Then while waiting on the platform I ask one of the staff if I could upgrade to First (realized It would be about 9:00 by the time I got to the hotel and some food/wine on the train would be nice). So that's what I did -- sat in a1st class carriage and upgraded when the conductor went through. And THEN learned they don't do meals on Sundays

Got to Kings Cross and hopped in a cab to my hotel for the next 4 nights -- The Royal Horseguards. . . . and when I opened the door to my room -- The view across the river and the Eye was spectacular. (The last time I stayed at the Horseguards there was no Eye, County Hall was still government offices, and I didn't have a view room)

The hotel restaurant stops serving at 9:30 and by the time I got downstairs to check it out -- it was a quarter to ten. There were two couples still there about finishing their meals and the hostess said no problem -- and would stay open just for me. I had a risotto and wine, and and then ordered a desert to take up to my room so they could go home . . .

<B>Bank Holiday Monday</B>: The three main things planned for today are a tour of Clarence House at 10AM, lunch at the Ivy at 12:30 and the Shoes Exhibition at the V&A. Clarence House was more interesting and more extensive than I had imagined. A lot about the Queen Mother of course, but also a lot about the changes Charles/Camilla have done.

It has been easily 25 years since I've been in the Ivy. When I tried on-line the site wouldn't allow booking for one. So I debated -- book for 2 or call and try to book for 1. I decided to book for two and then when I got there told then 'My friend won't be joining me so I'm dining alone.' . . . (I wanted the table they would have originally put me and not some single in purgatory). Don't know if my ploy actually worked -- but I was seated at a lovely table. They recently re-opened after an extensive refurbishment and it is really a wonderful space. I had smoked salmon to start and Seared scallops w/ the most amazing black risotto and a sort of lemon salsa. It was very VERY good. The individual scallop at the Honours was heaven but these were right up there. I know I had desert but can't remember what???

Then to the V&A for 'Shoes'. It was a terrific exhibition. Not in the same class as the Alexander McQueen I attended last spring - but then that was a record breaking blockbuster. Since I had joined the V&A in May I could just walk in and didn't need to pre-book. Had tea in the cafe.

Then to Fortnum and Mason for my regular excursion for an enamel box (this one commemorates Princess Charlotte) teas, christmas ornaments etc. which the shipped.

Back to the hotel - mostly to change shoes. Went to the top of the London Hilton for a frou frou cocktail and views (sort of a nostalgia trip - my ex and I used to go there for drinks a couple of times a year). Had a late supper in the bar at the Horseguards and crashed . . .
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 09:00 PM
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<B>Tuesday</B>: The main plans for today are a tour of Parliament at 10:30, trip to the Barbican to collect my ticket for Hamlet on Wed., and a GTG at the Coal Hole ate 6PM.

. . . I can tell an ocular migraine is coming on (thank God I don't get the headaches) so won't be able to type for about an hour. Will have to finish up tomorrow . . .
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 10:05 PM
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Wow, a tour of parliament, Hamlet and a GTG - what a day! Looking forward to hearing about it and enjoying following along.
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Old Sep 26th, 2015, 04:50 PM
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"Wow, a tour of parliament, Hamlet and a GTG - what a day!"

To clarify -- I only went to the Barbican on Tues to collect my tickets - actually attended Hamlet on Wed.

Now where was I . . . Tuesday: The main plans for today are a tour of Parliament at 10:30, trip to the Barbican to collect my ticket for Hamlet on Wed., and a GTG at the Coal Hole ate 6PM . . .

Staying at the Royal Horseguards was wonderful -- and the location is just great. The only (minor) kvetches are 1) the towels are laid out on the heated towel rails . . . which are (no exaggeration) mounted at the ceiling. Covers the whole wall above the toilet and a marble ledge. And somehow the housekeepers reach to the top of it to hang the towels. Maybe only tall housekeeper handle that job. But I could not reach them - had to stand on the toilet to drag down all the towels and find other places to put them. Called housekeeping to explain my problem and the next day the towels were laid by the side of the tub. But the message didn't get to the the other crews because the other two days they were back high up on the wall.

and 2) the lighting/electronics are too clever by half. There are 4 buttons/rheostats by the entrance and each work in concert w/ the others. You turn on the room lights w/ one, dim most w/ another, turn them off w/ a 3rd and the 4th dims/brightens specific lamps . . . and NONE of them are labeled so you end up playing lighting roulette for 2 or 3 minutes to get it right. There is a page in the hotel info binder explaining how to operate the lights -- TOO complicated if it takes an owners manual!

But besides those 'issues' it was a super comfortable room. Heated bathroom floor, TV over the tube (which you control by yet another button in the entrance hall), great bed (a whole mountain of pillows, soft robes, slippers (about 6 sizes too big for me), large selection of teas and coffees, biscuits, chocolates, and THAT view . . .

The Corinthia (quite posh) is just across the road - and all the Middle Eastern boy racers must stay there Every car parked along the road is a Ferrari, Maserati, Range Rover, Porsches, a couple of Lotus . . and a Skoda ( ) - and every single one was black.

Tuesday I walked down Whitehall to the houses of Parliament, and wandered around through Victoria Tower Gardens and along the river before checking in for my 10:30 Parliament tour. It was very good. I've been inside the Palace of Westminster 2 or 3 times but the last time was in 1996 and the tours are much improved. It took well over 2 hours (they said it would be 90 minutes but we went over) and spent a lot of time in both chambers, the robing room etc. There are group tours and self guided -- I booked a group tour. Couldn't include the tea because they didn't offer it that day. Years ago when I was living in England my ex and I were treated to lunch on the members terrace by the local MP. So I was disappointed but not overly . . .

Then I headed to the Barbican to collect my ticket for tomorrow night - and couldn't. They said my ticket would not be available until Wed lunch time. Grrrr. But it gave me a chance to reconnoiter dining options for before the play. Headed towards Smithfield since I know there are lots of restaurants around there. Saw Gaucho (a pretty reliable chain of Argentine steak houses) and since I've had some fairly swish meals figured it would be 'good enough'. So I booked a pre-theatre 5:30 seating and walked over to the Silver Vaults. Only spent about 30 mins there and didn't buy anything (you really need hours to do any serious shopping/buying) - and back to the hotel.

At 5:30 I walked over to the Coal Hole (Our GTG was 'officially' at 6PM but they only let us book a large table from 5:30 so I was the 'place holder'

Just a terrific GTG -- eleven Fodorites, and rels of Fodorites . . . Patrick_London, thursdaysd, elberko, julia_t, missB99, gailscout, moi and assorted sons/sister/spouse - a very motley crew and not an axe murderer in the bunch. Very VERY fun - we hung around for several hours . . . and talked about all of you who weren't there

next: Wed. My last day in London - 2 Willow Road/exploring Hampstead, back to the Barbican to really collect my ticket, Gaucho and my date w/ Mr. Cumberbatch

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Old Sep 26th, 2015, 04:53 PM
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I'm afraid to 'preview' because of all the earlier problems so I missed several typos

big one . . . should be " TV over the <u>tub</u> . . ."

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Old Sep 26th, 2015, 05:01 PM
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Wow what a big GTG janisj am enjoying your London part once again .wish it was closer to Oz!!
Looking forward to your date with Benedict - is it tell or don't tell ?? LOL
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