I survived..... just back from England

Mar 7th, 2001, 07:50 AM
  #1  
Rene
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I survived..... just back from England

Returned from 12 day trip to London And York, any questions?
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:14 AM
  #2  
frank
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Congrats, you should have the "foot & mouth" campaign medal to add to your Fodors pin!
(see recent threads)
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:27 AM
  #3  
Curious
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Rene, did you enjoy your trip? What did you do? Do tell, please.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:29 AM
  #4  
amanda
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What kinds of problems/restrictions did you encounter from foot and mouth disease? I'm leaving Saturday, and just saw the post that Stonehenge is closed - I had a day trip booked to see it.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:47 AM
  #5  
MED
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I did London and York last year also a brief stop over in Haworth and a few other daytrips. I'd love to hear the details. What did you do, where did you stay, what and where did you eat, what were your favorite sites?
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 09:33 AM
  #6  
Lily
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I'm leaving for London, Edinburgh, Durham and York next Friday. I'm very interested in hearing what the weather has been like and also what impact foot and mouth disease has had on the area. I understand that parts of Hadrian's Wall are also closed. We're staying in a B&B near there.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 09:45 AM
  #7  
Leigh
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In another posting, someone gave this website for foot/mouth updates...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 10:31 AM
  #8  
Martha
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Rene,Where did you stay in York? I've only seen bad reviews of B&Bs on Rick Steve's website. Cannot find a real human who has actually stayed over in York. I'm looking for budget accomodations....family, less than 100 pounds/night.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:09 PM
  #9  
Rene
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Hi everyone,

First, FMD, story just broke when we arrived in London on Feb 22. As of March 4, 1) horse racing cancelled, 2)footpaths closed to walkers, 3) limited farmers allowed to take thier animals to slaughter, 4) confirmed cases in France, 5) people starting to buy more meat in supermarkets, ^) Brithish pork basically gone, replaced with imported meat. None of this really affected our trip. We ate primarily poultry and fish. I do not know if stonehenge is closed.
Weather: only rained 1 day, but the weather became very cold last week, snow in London, very light. More snow north , especially Scotland. We had planned to visit Edinburgh, but didnt because of the weather (blizzard conditions, and some loss of power)

We spent 6 nights in London at a mediocre hotel, Plaza on Hyde Park, it was a package.
Took the train to York, which happened to be same morning of the serious train accident. We werent sure if we could get to York that day, but while it took some extra time, via a different route, we arrived in 1 piece.

York was very sunny most days, but temps only in the 30's. We stayed at Hazelwood BnB in York, and were very pleased. Most of the other guests were British, unlike in the summer. Rate was 65GBP a night, which included full English breakfast. 5 min walk to York Minster. Did all the tourist things, Bettys for tea (try to go during week, weekends its packed, lines out the door)
Castle museum, really welldone displays and info. Train Museum was also interesting. Walking on the city walls, great views. Free tour of the Minster, evensong in the afternoon.
Returned to london on Sunday, which was when the bomb went off near BBC, few underground stations closed and city streets. Did stay at 5 Sumner place our last night, very nice, would stay there again. Love Virgin Atlantic airlines.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:15 PM
  #10  
Rene
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Me again, forgot to mention restaurants.

London:Wagamamas-loved it, ate there twice.
Cafe in the crypt: good for lunch, soups and sandwiches, then you can make a brass rubbing!

York: Cafe Concerto and Putneys, both on High Petergate
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 01:51 PM
  #11  
amanda
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Rene -
I'll be leaving on Saturday for London on Virgin Atlantic, and staying at the Plaza on Hyde Park. Out of curiosity, why was it only mediocre? Also, were the foot paths in Hyde Park open (or closed due to the FMD)? How about the area - did you find any good pubs close to the hotel?
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 03:54 PM
  #12  
Thyra
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Finally someone else has done the cafe in a crypt thing!!!! Where the heck was that?? MY husband and I had tea and biscuits in a crypt on our first trip to England in 1995 and now I can't remember where the heck it was.. we did the brass rubbing too... hows that for scary?
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 03:59 PM
  #13  
Rene
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Amanda, the hotel was a typical 3 star hotel that is used by business people and tour groups. Our room was tiny, so I spent 30GBP/night to upgrade to a suite (which was a normal size room!) It was nice having breakfast with a view of Hyde Park,(breakfast was crossaints, cereal and cheese). Since Hyde Park is in the middle of London, there are no restrictions. Lancaster gate tube was 1 1/2 blocks from hotel.
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 04:30 PM
  #14  
sharon
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how odd. my husband and i just returned from london as well. we were there feb 22 - march 5. i just spent the last few hours writing restaurant reviews on the rants and raves section. here is what i wrote:

The Square
A perfect evening. We dined late, from 10PM - Midnight and in between were treated to the most delectable food and impeccable service. This was our favorite spot in London. Prices were high, but appropriate for the quality of food, service and overall experience.

Fung Shing
My husband and I love Chinese food and we spend many a meal dining on Chinese food here in San Francisco. We both agree that Fung Shing is the BEST Chinese food we have ever had. It was also the most
expensive...

The Connaught
We stayed at the Connaught for 10 days and dined in the main dining room only once. I must say, it was not what we expected. The food was fine, but not at the level of other Michelin starred restaurants. This was an average food experience at best. People may appreciate the ambiance and service, but it all comes down to the food for me... and for this reason, I give it an average rating.

The Avenue
My husband and I had a very fun last evening in London dining at The Avenue simply by chance (it was Sunday night and they were open). I had the best Mojito this side of Havana and then a meal that was well executed and served by a very friendly staff. The desert was the only
disappointment. Everything else was very nice. We really like the attitude of this place - friendly chic.

People's Palace
My husband and I enjoyed a relaxing lunch overlooking the Thames. The food was divine with fresh ingredients the focus. The service was professional and sincere. The wine list was fun.

Quaglino's
We enjoyed our evening here, but is was as much about the place as it was the food. As a matter of fact it was more about the space than the food. The wine list had some great deals, make sure to check it out.

Villandry Foodstore
I, too, love this place. It is my dream market and cafe and restaurant all in one. If I had to relocate to London I would need to be near this place! It is worth a journey to check out the food - take out or eat in. Enjoy!

New Taj Mahal
Shepherd's Market
This one was not in the Fodor's list, but we loved it. We thought it was the best Indian food we have ever had. A tiny restaurant (5 or 6 tables) downstairs. I had tandori shrimp that was succulent and spicy - wonderful!

Circus
We loved this spot. A fellow Fodors postor recommended the spot and met us here for an early dinner. Once again, not on Fodor's list, but really great food and the pre-theater prices were a relief compared to all of the other places in London.
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 04:33 PM
  #15  
sharon
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I also posted a review of the hotel. Here it is:
THE CONNAUGHT
Mayfair
I will tell you why my husband and I did not enjoy the Connaught as these other people did and then you can decide for yourself what is important to you. The rooms are small, yet comfortable and that is where it ends for us. The sheets were the most uncomfortable we have ever slept on. Simply way too much starch. A tie is required in all public areas after 5PM, and while that may be nice to some, to us it was uncomfortably stuffy. The staff wanted to be friendly, but once again, we ran into uncomfortable stuffiness which bills itself as elegance. Not for us. We have dined in Michelin starred restaurants around the
world... and honey, this restaurant was no Michelin star. The food was good, but not amazing. The email sent to us by an acquaintance in London, was never passed on to us. Our inquiry to the concierge about the email resulted in a 2 day hunt for how to access the hotel's email
account - he never was able to find it. All special requests (a birthday cake for my husband, a button sewed on his coat, extra hangers) were met with an air of being put out - even as we smiled and apologized for being an inconvenience. The clincher was the day we went for tea at Claridge's and asked to see their rooms of comparable price. The rooms
were beautiful, the sheets soft, the staff which guided through the 3 rooms, was attentive and very friendly - no airs about her. We both sighed and said, "we should have stayed at Claridge's." Next time...

We are not high maintenance guests, but this was definitely a high
maintenance place to stay.
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 06:16 PM
  #16  
Joanna
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Rene, did you not visit the Yorvik Viking Centre? That was one of the highlights of York for me, along with the Minster and city walls. We stayed at a B&B just outside the old walls run by a very nice gentleman, but as it was nearly 13 years ago, may not be around any more.

Thyra, could the crypt cafe in London - St. Mary le Bow - not far from St. Paul's? The cafe's name was "The Place Below".
 
Mar 11th, 2001, 05:16 PM
  #17  
peggy
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The Crypt restaurant is in the basement of St. Martin in the Fields Church in Trafalgar Square excellent for lunch and brass rubbings nice gift shop too
 

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