Help with London Plans

Old Nov 21st, 2007, 05:21 AM
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Help with London Plans

I have most meals and the itinerary planned, but I need a bit of help. This will be the last big trip before the baby is born. My wife will be 6 months pregnant at the time of the trip. We are foodies and usually plan our trips around restaurants as you will see from the itinerary. Here is the general game plan so far, but it is open to change:

Saturday: Early arrival. Heading to Renaissance Chancery Court near Holborn tube to drop bags and then on to Borough Market for lunch. I know it will be crazy by the time we get there, but the market looks too good to pass up. Lines will be long so what should not be missed?

After lunch we plan on seeing Tower of London. Supper at Fryer’s Delight. Which fish is the *best* for fish and chips?

Sunday: Doing the Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guards. Need a lunch recommendation in the area.

Plan on seeing Big Ben after lunch. Afternoon tea at the Wolseley.

Shopping and snacks at Fortnum and Mason for later in the evening. Any ideas of the best snacks to go?

Monday: Trying to get discounted tickets for Chicago in Leicester Square. Was thinking Chinatown for lunch. Any suggestions?

Need an afternoon itinerary suggestion.

Pre-theatre supper at J Sheekey. What are the standout dishes here? On to Chicago.

Tuesday: British museum in the morning then off to Gordon Ramsay’s Maze for lunch.

St Paul's Cathedral in the afternoon.

My wife has fond memories of Wagamama’s and I love yakisoba so we plan on that for supper. What else stands out here?

Wednesday: Natural History museum in the morning and then off to Bombay Brasserie for lunch. Is the weekly buffet as good as the weekend, or should be be ordering off the menu?

Shopping at Harrods and the like in the afternoon. Need an interesting supper spot, but not necessarily around Harrods.

Thursday: Tate Modern in the morning. Lunch spot nearby?

Need itinerary plans for the afternoon. Have zero plans for supper. Any ideas?

Friday: Back to Canada early.

I am looking for breakfast suggestions near the Holborn tube. I would like at least one proper English breakfast, but the rest can be quick things to go.

One lunch spot needed near Buckingham Palace, one Chinatown lunch and one lunch near Tate Modern.

Two supper spots and we are open to almost anywhere the metro can take us.

I like the look of Bleeding Heart for a supper. Is that place worth it? I would like to have a meal in a gastropub like Anchor and Hope. We really like Vietnamese. Any suggestions there? Price is important, but I am willing to spend for a great meal. Ideally, I would like entrees to fall around 20 pounds or less.

Thanks for the help.

jhanham is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 05:31 AM
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I suspect the missus might not want to see the Tower of London on your first day in London - especially being 6 months pregnant, suffering from jet lag and probably lack of sleep

If you want to combine the Tower with anything then combine it with St Paul's and/or Tate Modern both of which are in the same area and save the British Museum for Monday when you (allegedly) have some free time
alanRow is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 09:22 AM
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just a couple of quick comments now . . .

Your arrival day is nuts. Sorry, but it is. Burrough Market won't just have long lines - it will be a mob scene. Especially if it is a nice day. I would NOT want to fight the throngs after an overnight flight - and would kill my husband if he took me there at six months pregnant after a transatlantic flight. Plus, the Tower is best visited at opening time when you can actually get inside the Crown Jewels etc w/o massive queues.

I'd ditch the changing of the Guard altogether. It involves a LOT of just standing and waiting -- not a good thing if one is pregnant and needs to sit down now and then. Assuming you drop the Changing of the Guard, your Sunday is really just tea and F&M since Big Ben is just a "walk-by" So you could easily rearrange things and do something else. BTW - afternoon tea is a full meal (sandwiches, scones, pastries, etc) and you will not want to eat lunch before going to tea.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Darn typos - Borough Market
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Fortnum & Mason's closes at 6:00 PM on Sundays. Or are you going during the holidays?
Carrybean is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Suggestion for Thursday

AM: St. Pauls, maybe the Temple Church as well.
Lunch in Paternoster Square.

PM: Tate Modern, South bank walk.
Dinner in the Tapas bar in Tate Modern - great view.
ssachida is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Also, if you switch Sunday and Monday, you can see Westminster Abbey along with Big Ben.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 02:30 PM
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There is a charming little British restaurant, Bumby's, between Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace. It was recommended by our Blue Badge tour guide, and we enjoyed it very much - and very reasonable prices! Not sure of the hours, however.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 02:31 PM
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No performance of Chicago - or most other shows - on Sundays
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 03:29 PM
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Concur with others that your plan is quite aggressive--go with the flow how your wife (& the junior) is feeling. Hard to tell if she'll be full of energy or too exhausted/feet too swollen etc during the 2nd trimester. If it's your idea, YOU can do the standing in queues (Borough Mkt, Changing of the Guards) and she can wait somewhere else. Just make sure you have 2 functioning mobiles so you can meet up each other.

Within Borough Mkt, popular stands are ostritch burger, roast pork sandwich, fallafel wraps, (all these three stalls are kind of in the middle, the half closer to the cathedral), oyster/scallop stir-fry guy (closer to the cathedral), venison burger/sausage (closer to the south end). If it's cold, the mexican stall has incredibly rich hot chocolates. If you see guys selling chocolates and cakes across/near the fois gras store (slightly on the south side), don't miss their truffles. The hard part is getting there at the right time--if too early (say 11:30, most stalls aren't really open yet) while anything after 13:00 gets totally mobbed. If it's not raining, let your wife wait at the bench in the cathedral courtyard.

Oh, and another thing. She may want to keep an eye for closeby loos. (This I'm speaking out of my own pregnancy experience.) Make sure she gets an aisle seat on the flight. Within central London, coffee bars (Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Costa etc etc), as well as hotels and department stores are quite good for clean and convenient bathrooms.

Fish & Chips: Fryer's Delight is not really my favourite (can't take animal fat), would rather go to Golden Hind in Marylebone. Usual fish choices are cod, haddock, plaice. All are white-fish fillets. Sometimes you'll see other kinds like skate or rock salmon. Cod fishcake is usually flaked fish extended with potatoes--not the real thing. Sides (aside from chips) include garden peas, mushy peas, pickled onions.

I'm not familiar with what would be open near Buckingham Palace on Sundays. Fortnum & Mason is known for welsh rarebit as well as icecream parlour.

Chinatown--New World has traditional dimsum on carts (though service on brusque side). There is northern (Beijing/Szechuan) restaurant on the south side of Gerrad St near Newport St.

Indian--I'm not a big fan of buffets--just the thought of food simmering uncovered doesn't thrill me.

Holborn breakfast--there is a branch of Paul (French bakery) a few blocks from your hotel. Great for continental breakfast.

Vietnamese--I'm not aware of good quality vietnamese places in central (ie tourist) area of London. The best ones are in Shoreditch, along Kingsland Rd north of Liverpool St Stn. Cay Tre or Viet Grill are good ones. (Don't count on decors).

Bleeding Heart--ah, it's such a lovely place! Don't go to the pub, you want the restaurant behind the pub (thru a courtyard). Don't go to the basement formal dining--too stuffy, more corporate entertianing feel, but stick to the ground floor. Very nice wine choices, intimate.

Wagamama--I'm always perplexed why anyone think of this as a destination restaurant. It's really more like any other quick noodle joints you have in N.America, sans MSG. Combination of ingredients, sauces, methods of cooking, even names of the dish are ersatz Oriental.

BTW, Chancery Crt has a nice spa in the basement. Check if they have prenatal massage (I recall seeing one).
W9London is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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As far as I know - there is no changing of the guard ceremony on Sunday.
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