Business Travel - London

Nov 14th, 2003, 08:38 AM
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Business Travel - London

I need your help! I have posted fairly often in answer to others but have only asked for help once before. I will be traveling solo to London after Thanksgiving on business. I have been to London many times but never for work and always with others. I plan to arrive Saturday, Nov. 29 and will be working Monday - Wednesday.
My office has booked a room at the Grosvenor House. We always stay in So. Kensington so I am really not so familiar with Mayfair. While I espect we will work hard during the day, I would appreciate ideas on what to do in the evenings and on places to eat. I am determined to try eating on my own which I have never had to do while travelling. Ideas anyone?

mamc is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 08:56 AM
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Hi Maryann,

>I am determined to try eating on my own which I have never had to do while travelling. Ideas anyone?<

Hold the hendle of your fork in your left hand, tines down, with the thumb and first finger gripping the throat.

Use the fork to hold four food while with your knife in your right hand, same position of fingers as fork, you slice the food.

Pierce the cut off piece with the fork and raise it to your mouth. Insert. Chew. Swallow.

Repeat as necessary.
ira is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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Very funny, Ira. (not!) Maryann, I can appreciate your concern. I've traveled alone on business and for pleasure quite a lot, and learning to handle the eating alone thing is the biggest challenge. You may find, when you're working that collegues will invite you out of dinner (and you may find that after a long day in a foreign office you would LOVE to escape your colleges and be on your own, but MUST eat with them to be polite!).

The temptation is to stay in your room and get room service, but I've discovered that everytime I go out I have an adventure. Some things that make it easier; eat in the bar as opposed to a formal restaurant (ie, the bar of your hotel?). Eat AT the bar, you can always chat with the bartender. Bring a journal or book. If nothing else they make good props and make you feel more comfortable.

Have fun. London is a great place to be solo.
Grasshopper is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 09:17 AM
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Gee Grasshopper,

If you reread what mamc wrote, you will see that I answered her question.

If she had written that she was concerned about eating alone, I would have responded the way you did, especially about bringing a book.
ira is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 09:43 AM
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I agree your work colleagues will probably suggest a dinner or 2. Why not consider taking in a show or 2 on your own in the evening & grabbing a quick bite around the theater? To me, that's one of the great advantages of London on business. You are within a walk to the Dorchester hotel ( which has more than 1 rest.

mamc I should tell you while the Grosvenor House is one of the old grand dames of London, friends of mine were also recently put there on a business trip & were not very happy. The rooms have really seen better days although some may have been renovated.
mclaurie is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Here's a great suggestion for eating out
in Mayfair. I think it should be walking distance from your hotel. Had an excellent
dinner there and have recommended it
to others, who also loved it. Restaurant
is called Tamarind. It is a very elegant (and authentic) Indian restaurant. London
is known for its Indian restaurants, and this
is definitely not your average curry spot. You should reserve, but have no fear about
eating alone. You will be treated graciously.
Order a Pimm's cup, and think of "A Passage
to India".
Boonie is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 01:08 PM
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Thanks, everyone for the encouragement - All of you who gave me thoughtful ideas and Ira who has encouraged me to be precise enough that he can understand what I am asking. McLaurie, I am sorry to hear about the Grosvenor House! I will check with some of my work colleagues who have stayed there in the past and, if they weren't happy, I may go back to So. Kensington!
mamc is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 01:25 PM
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Not so far from you is the Atlantic Bar and Grill. I think it is a fun place in the "basement" of an elegant old building, presumably a bank. While we were there, I noticed a number of individuals eating at the beautiful bar -- solo -- which seemed like a nice thing. I love it when they bring your bill. It's in a small envelope which is clearly labeled "The Damage".

A small and cozy Italian place in the area is La Locanda on Heddon Street right off Regent. We found them amazingly friendly and I think you'd be made very at home as a solo diner.
Patrick is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 03:04 PM
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London is a easy place to get around by yourself. . particularly on expense account. I usually walk around the neighborhood until I get lost , , look for a nice place to have a pint and meal, then take a cab back to the hotel.

The Christmas lights should be up while you are there . . I enjoyed taking one of the buses ( 6. 8, 16, 36 ) that runs down Oxford and Regent streets to Picadilly Circus and Tralfagar Sq. Wait for one that is not full and go up top front . . great way to see the lights and sights.

I always liked the Grosvenor, and stayed there many times . . sometimes the rooms were good . . sometimes a little threadbare, but it is clean and well maintained. It has several restruants in side the hotel.

Good area for exploring . . plenty of pubs and restruants within walking distance

Enjoy London . . Rich
Rich is offline  
Nov 14th, 2003, 11:49 PM
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British private-sector working norms are to stay at the office substantially longer than formal hours, and then to invite visiting firemen to the pub (where often even more useful work gets done). With a couple of drinks, you're unlikely to have a lot of time left for fun. So you need to preplan, if you really want to make the most of the time you've got.

Don't waste energy being a prima donna about your hotel. You're on a tight schedule and you're there to do a job. If you can effortlessly and within your budget get moved now to the biggies nearby (Hilton Park Lane, 4 Seasons, Intercontinental, Lanesborough etc) fine. Otherwise just live with the fact that the GH isn't London's best (but miles and miles from being its worst)

So with the limited time available, what do you actually want to do? Late night museum/art galleries? See

Theatres? You need to buy Time Out, either before you leave the US or at the UK airport when you land, and decide before arriving in town. THere's a lot more than Mama Mia

Exposure to new ideas? London's become probably the free lecture capital of the universe. See

Easting? You're fairly close to two of London's great ethnic eating clusters: the Lebanese belt along Edgware Road (don't be fazed by the universal use of Arabic script and the hubbly-bubblies) and the best Canonese cluster outside Hong Kong in Chinatown. Single women are perfectly fine: Mrs F eats there all the time.

Shopping? Don't. The real reason airlines want you to check in years ahead is to get you to shop at the airport. Heathrow might be crowded, but it's great for shopping. Use your time in town for fun and self-improvement.

flanneruk is offline  
Nov 16th, 2003, 09:20 AM
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Thanks, again, everyone. I was most recently in London in May so I think I will feel relatively comfortable with the surroundings and now have lots of thoughts about some things to do.

mamc is offline  
Nov 16th, 2003, 09:37 AM
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I like Tamarind too; excellent Indian food, and not too far from your hotel. It is a fairly formal restaurant though; not sure if I would like it on my own. Also walking distance is Shepherd's Market; nice street with a few small restaurants. We used to go to a great Lebanese restaurant there. When I'm eating on my own I like Nicole's in Bond Street (but I have been there only for lunch). I also like the Cafe on the 5th floor at Harvey Nichols. The shop is open till 8 pm most evenings, the cafe stays open later. It is always busy; buy a magazine there, and have a glass of champagne with won-ton wrapped prawns (well, that's what I do anyway when on my own!).
Tulips is offline  
Nov 17th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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One last (I hope) question: We have used Ray Skinner the past two times in London from Heathrow to our hotel but there were 3 of us once and 4 the other time. Because I am on an expense acct., is it possible to take a taxi from the airport or is the car service more efficient and economical?
mamc is offline  
Nov 17th, 2003, 07:23 AM
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A car service is more economical & IMO nicer. They meet you as you exit with a sign, no queuing. What benefit would a taxi be?
mclaurie is offline  

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