London: Evening Arrival from US

Apr 30th, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #1  
DMR
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London: Evening Arrival from US

My husband, daughter (11) and I will be heading for London mid June on the BA fllight arrving at Heathrow at 9:00 in the eveing. We'll be staying at the Travel Inn County Hall so I'm figuring a mini cab (Ray's and Swiss Cottage Cars have been recommended here) is the quickest and easiest way to get to the hotel.

Does anyone have suggestions for snagging a meal at that late hour?

I've previously taken the overnight flights to Europe. How quickly (or not) do things move through customs in the evening?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 
Apr 30th, 2002, 06:15 PM
  #2  
?
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Why did you put your daughter's age in the question?

What does "snagging a meal" mean--is it like "shagging a bitch"?
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 06:20 PM
  #3  
sam
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My first thought would be to call the hotel and find out what, if anything is open nearby. However, given that your daughter is 11 and bound to be tired, also taking into effect that if your plane lands at 9, it's bound to be close to 11 before you reach your hotel. (at least)

I would consider getting something to carry you over, while you're still at the airport. To be honest, though - you'd have to ask someone else if this is possible given the arrivals hall, etc. I wasn't looking for food when I arrived at this time this past March.

I used Swiss Cottage and they were reasonable (I would guess - price quoted sounded okay to me) and they were there waiting, which was even more important.
I've taken the overnights and the daytime flights and the ones that arrive at night do seem to move thorugh customs and all that a bit quicker. Not much though. It seems as though the crowds at baggage claim were slightly thinner.

Good luck and enjoy.
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 06:22 PM
  #4  
Maxie
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Ignore above poster rudeness. I didn't realize we had teenagers posting on the board. Anyway, I wouldn't think you will have a hard time finding a meal that late since we frequently were eating at 9:30 pm, but perhaps some other person familiar with the area can tell of a place that serves late. Have a good trip.
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 06:23 PM
  #5  
mrsbu
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Did the same thing last april just order room service , splurge, relax and eat in your jammies
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 06:30 PM
  #6  
Wide Awake
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I wouldn't think that would be late for dining in London. Also, your body's time would only be 4m, if I'm reading this correctly. I've always wanted to find a flight from US that would not necessitate losing a night's sleep; way to go!
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 08:04 PM
  #7  
janis
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Kind of a problem. By the time you get to the hotel it will be after 10PM. Few restaurants serve that late. And the Travel Inn does not have room service. If it were just the two of you I'd say head out to soho for a Chinese, Greek or Indian meal. but with a child that would be a problem because she is bound to be tired. You will have had food on the plane so you may not be all that hungry.

As I see it - have the driver pick you up 90 minutes AFTER you arrive at LHR and have dinner. There are many places to eat at the airport.

Or pick up snacks at LHR and nosh out in your hotel after you check in.
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 08:48 PM
  #8  
xxx
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Wide Awake obviously has never been to London if he (she?) 'wouldn't think that would be late for dining in London'. London is not Rome or Madrid!
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 08:52 PM
  #9  
ron
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There is an up-market Chinese restaurant in the County Hall, The Four Regions, that is open 'til 11:30 pm. Entrance from the Thames side of the building, i.e. near the London Eye.
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 09:07 PM
  #10  
DMR
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Thanks to all (okay, minus one) for thoughtful responses. We now have a number of strategies for dealing with evening arrival and the kid crankiness factor. We'll definitely take advantage of the Chinese restaurant recommendation even if it's not possible the first night.

Great forum. Lots of very generous posters.

 
May 1st, 2002, 05:26 AM
  #11  
Lori
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We just used Ray Skinner again last week, great service. Tell him Lori & John said HI if you use him.

There is a McDonald's at County Hall, you will not starve Not sure how late it stays open tho. Since it will be late when you get in I'm not sure how late the restaurant in the hotel stays open, could be 10-11 if they cater to all tourists which obviously they do .. but don't count on it. There are a number of snack shops around the area between Waterloo Sta. and County Hall (London Eye) but by 11 they may well be closed, altho I am positive something would be open in Waterloo Station if you wanted to walk over there. I'd really recommend taking a bag of snacks (granola bars, fruit, that sort of thing) and just eating that when you get there. No doubt everyone will be zonked out anyway. Get up early and have a good breakfast.
 
May 1st, 2002, 05:43 AM
  #12  
Pat
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We had an evening arrival last June and also stayed at Travel Inn County Hall. The McDonald's was closed as were the small snack shops nearby. The restaurant in the hotel wasn't open either. I'm not sure what would be open in Waterloo, most of the shops there seemed to be geared towards the morning and evening commuters (i.e. coffee, bagels, etc.). I'd go with the previous suggestion and bring snacks. We were pretty worn out from travelling and didn't really want much. Getting through customs wasn't too bad, I'd say it took between 15 and 30 minutes. It seems like the crowds were a lot smaller than on my only previous trip which was a morning arrival. We really liked the evening arrival, it seemed like jet lag was a lot less.
 
May 1st, 2002, 05:49 AM
  #13  
Mel
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DMR, would you please post when you return and let us know how you liked the day flight over? We've considered it many times. I like the night flight because 1) you don't lose a vacation day flying, 2) the little sleep I can get is easier on the quiet, dark plane and 3) the flight home is always miserable because it's daylight, people are up and noisy--just seems longer. However, the idea of getting in and going to bed is appealing, as far as whipping jet lag is concerned.

Have a great trip!
 
May 1st, 2002, 05:51 AM
  #14  
Dominic
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If you leave County Hall and walk up the road to Waterloo Station (200 yrds) you'll find plenty of Restaurants nr the Royal Festival Hall.
There's a great liitle Italian nestling under the arches of Waterloo Bridge (you'll hear the rumble of the trains overhead) and a posher place almost opposite (all frosted glass, brushed steel and architectural plants) which looked yummy. If you feel like exploring walk up past the station towards the Old Vic theatre and you'll pass a place called (from memeory) the Old Firestation which is a pub/restaurant. Beyond that there are loads of greek/indian/italian restaurants and the best Cuban restaurant i've ever eaten in (true... I've only ever eateb in this particular one.. but it was fantastic, I think it's called Revolution).
They'll all be open late enough I'm sure but it all depends how jetlagged you are and how far you wanna go to get fed!
My recommendation would be the Italian under the railway opposite the RFH. I ate there with my fiancée in January before seeing Brian Wilson in concert (Wow! what a show!) and it was simply great and very reasonable. And I'm sure your 11 yr old likes Italian food... everyone does!
Whatever you decide have a great trip!
Dominic
 
May 1st, 2002, 05:58 AM
  #15  
kate
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Actually, London restaurants take last orders from anything between 10.30pm and midnight.

There are indeed restaurants around Waterloo that will be open. There is a road called The Cut which, for instance, has an interesting turkish restaurant (called Tao I think) and a fish restaurant called Livebait.

For more ideas, look up http://www.hardens.com.
In the search engine, choose the location called "South Bank" and it will pull up about 40 restaurants, all graded by quality, price etc, with time of last orders.

However, bear in mind that what with customs and then the drive into town, you probably won't get to your hotel til about 10.30pm. Add in checking in, dumping your bags, checking out the toiletries in the bathroom and the satellite channels on your TV, and you may be pushing it for dinner.
 
May 1st, 2002, 06:10 AM
  #16  
elaine
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Hi
I took a quick look at my London Zagat restaurant guide. Under the heading of "late dining--after midnight", a no places in the Waterloo-South Bank area were mentioned. However, I found a couple of other listings: People's Palace, Royal Festival Hall in the South Bank Center, gets good food and service ratings and the write up mentions that it serves post-concert dinners. Phone 0207 928 9999, fax
0207 928 2355.
Also, apparently there are several restaurants in County Hall. The Four Regions, which ron mentioned as serving late, is not the only one, so the restaurant in County Hall that Pat said was closed on her arrival may be a different one.
 
May 1st, 2002, 07:46 AM
  #17  
DMR
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Continuing thanks for all of the great advice and restaurant suggestions. We'll definitely eat well.

Just signed onto the hardens.com site. Wonderful resource!

Mel, I'd be happy to report back on the evening arrival scenario. Hope it reduces jet lag. We'll pack some snacks and guage our stamina (or lack) once we get to the hotel.

Again, thanks to all.
 
May 1st, 2002, 10:02 AM
  #18  
WideAwake
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xx, the theatre district seemed pretty alive when shows were letting out last time I was in London.
 
May 1st, 2002, 03:58 PM
  #19  
xxx
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Wideawake---There is a HUGE difference between pubs being open in the theatre district and finding somewhere serving food. London is an early dinner town. The main places serving late are Chinese, Indian, Greek and other ethnic cuisines. Pubs generally stop serving food quite early but continue serving drinks til closing time.
 
May 1st, 2002, 04:30 PM
  #20  
Gavin
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We did an Air Canada flight arriving at Heathrow at 9 PM last December. Finding food on arrival was not an issue since we had enough to eat on the plane. Arrival formalities were a breeze. A little "something" to help you get to sleep at what for you will be an unaturally early hour could be helpful.
 

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