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Just back from London w/ kids

Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Just back from London w/ kids

We just returned from the airport (about an hour ago). It's been a long travel day, but it was a great trip. We really enjoyed London. My husband and I traveled there with our two sons, ages 11 and 14. We were lucky enough to have 6 days of sunshine (and one day of clouds), with no rain! The daffodils are now blooming and the trees are starting to flower. A nice time to be in London!

We rented a 2-bedroom apt in Chelsea from London Guest Suites. It was a little bit of a splurge, but it was so worth it. The apartment was wonderful. It was on a lovely residential block 5 minutes from Sloane Square tube station and 2 short blocks from King's Road.

We had quite a thrill when we were visiting the Tower of London, which was one of our favorite sites. Prince Charles stopped by for some reason (we still don't know why) and we got to be within about 5 feet from him! Got some great photos and a great memory.

Aside from seeing all the typical tourist sites in London, one day we took the train to Oxford and rented a car from Budget (which was within walking distance from the train station) and drove to Warwick Castle, through a portion of the Cotswolds, saw the Rollright Stones, and had tea in Woodstock before returning the car at 6pm and taking the train back to London. (We had hoped to see Blenheim Palace as well, but we ran out of time. We did see it from the outside, though.) It was a long day, but it was nice to get a chance to see some of the countryside.

As to restaurants, my kids loved the pizzas in London. We ate at Pizza Express for several meals, and the pizza (and pasta) at Pasta Brown's in Covent Garden was also quite good. Porter's English Restaurant was mediocre. My family thought I was nuts when I told them about Belgo's and they were not too keen on trying it, but allowed me to drag them there and they all loved it. (Great desserts, too.)

I would pick up food from the Pret a Manger for breakfast, which had very good, fresh, inexpensive food (croissants, yogurt/granola/raspberry compote cups, as well as good sandwiches.) We also liked La Bouchee Bistro on Old Brompton Rd in South Kensington, which had 3 course prix fixe menus, which included steak frites for 10.95 pounds.

Also, the show The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged was a big hit with the kids. We actually all enjoyed it. The James Bond exhibit at the Science Museum and the London Eye were also popular.

There seemed to be LOTS of tourists wherever we went, but the hostess at La Bouchee Bistro mentioned to me that their business was way down because of so many fewer Americans traveling now.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 01:58 PM
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One other thing I wanted to mention. My son really wanted to go to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, and although the rest of us had no strong desire to go there, we went because that was his only request for our trip. We all ended up really enjoying the trip to Greenwich. It was much more beautiful there than we expected, with beautiful expanses of lawn and hills and interesting architecture. It's definately worth a side trip.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 03:25 PM
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Thank you for your trip report! We ate going to London in Nov. with the family, so thanks for the details. PJ
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Old Mar 23rd, 2003, 03:14 PM
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We also took our children to the Royal Observatory. We went on a whim and it was a wonderful day! Although the typical tourists sights are good, it was nice to get away a bit. Our children were 7 and 10 and they both really enjoyed it.
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Old Mar 24th, 2003, 03:51 AM
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Another reason to add Greenwich to your list of sites to visit while in London - Opening May 1st at the National Maritime Museum is an exhibit commemorating Queen Elizabeth I. There will also be a number of exhibits on Elizabeth's father, King Henry VIII.

Greenwich is a beautiful place to visit - in addition to the Royal Observatory is the Queen's House, the Cutty Sark etc.

visit the web site: www.nmm.ac.uk
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Old Mar 24th, 2003, 05:17 AM
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Great trip report...I'm impressed that you saw both the big touris sights AND something as off-the-beaten-path as the Rollright Stones!

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Old Mar 24th, 2003, 01:07 PM
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I forgot to mention that for anyone on a budget, the restaurant Chelsea Kitchen, at 98 King's Road has some decent, basic food for very low prices. My son got turkey breast and mashed potatoes for about 3 pounds! Not gourmet, but better than a cafeteria.
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 08:57 AM
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Just saw your message and enjoyed reading it. We are taking our 3 teenage (16 and 17) grandchildren to London the end of June after Graduation and have rented through London Guest Suites a 3 bedroon apt. near Earls Court. Do you know anything about the area regarding grocery stores, shops and restaurants? I also enjoyed your recommendations for the theatre, and restaurants. I know pizza is always a hit. We also plan a trip to Oxford.

Thanks for your info.
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 09:46 AM
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I also enjoyed your report and am jotting down your suggestions as we will be staying close to where you were with our two children, ages 13 & 11. Based on your suggestion, I think we will try to see the Abridged Shakespeare play. Thanks!
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 10:37 AM
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scarmel-we statyed in Earls Court for a week, a year ago. Great area: convenient to the tube, good selection of take-away and eat in places. Handy 7/11 type shop as you come out of the tube. Really enjoyed the location and felt safe at all times.
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