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London: Tour of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms

London: Tour of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms

Sep 10th, 2012, 07:42 AM
  #1  
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London: Tour of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms

We were in London for 4 nights last week. DH had a conference, so we were privileged to stay in the elegant St Ermin's Hotel, near Westminster.

More about that later. For now, I wanted to advise anyone going to London, to schedule a visit to the State Rooms' Diamond Jubilee exhibit. I bought the Royal Day Out ticket for about 30EU, which gave me three entries: the Royal Mews (stables), the Queen's Gallery display of Leonardo DaVinci's anatomical drawings, and the State Rooms with the special display of the Queen's diamonds. (As a bonus, they will stamp your tickets, which gives you free access to these exhibits for one year.)

This was well-worth the price, and probably took almost three hours. The State Rooms tour is very extensive, as you walk through room-after-room of elegance, and see the rooms where heads of state are entertained. It is fabulous. I highly recommend this. I believe it ends soon, as the summer season ends, so get there now is my advice.

More details about restaurants and other sites coming soon.
PeaceOut is offline  
Sep 10th, 2012, 07:56 AM
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I took my DD when the state rooms first opened and it was about £12 then, a good 15 or so years ago.

we were overwhelmed by all the gold and general opulence and thought that it explained a lot about the Royal Family.

it sounds quite expensive but I'm glad you enjoyed it.
annhig is offline  
Sep 10th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Yes, I decided to spring for the extra money to see the stables, too. They keep all the tack and carriages, etc. there, as well. Unfortunately, most of the horses were at Balmoral for a break on pasture. But still it was worth seeing.

In the Royal Mews, they have on display a gift given to the Queen by the Barack and Michelle Obama. It is very tasteful and appropriate: a velvet-lined wooden box containing a set of six matching silver bits for the Queen's favorite six-horse carriage.
PeaceOut is offline  
Sep 10th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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peace out, I agree that it's worth seeing that sort of thing when you get the chance - in the end you don't remember the things you didn't see, but the things you did.
annhig is offline  
Sep 10th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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Peace out, sounds marvelous. Well worth the investment.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Sep 10th, 2012, 04:19 PM
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As I unpack and discover the pictures and cards, I collected, I remembered the name of a southwest India restaurant that was OUTSTANDING. It is on a small street, located behind our St Ermin's Hotel.

It is called Quilon, 41 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London SWIE 6AF
www.quilon.co.uk

This place was so wonderful: great atmosphere, perfect service, anf the FOOD might be the best we have eaten anywhere. Really.
PeaceOut is offline  
Sep 11th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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I don't know it, peaceout, but i can well believe that you'd find something like that in London.

there are loads of excellent indian restaurants in Tooting Bec.
annhig is offline  
Sep 11th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Yes, it seems that Indian food is a specialty in London. Who knew?

On our previous visit, we had been impressed with Noorjahan 2, and we were even thinking of going there again or going to their original restaurant near our hotel. Reviews were not so good, though, so we ditched that idea.
PeaceOut is offline  
Sep 11th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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We did the State Rooms and Diamonds exhibit in July and loved it, more so since this is a "living" palace.
geetika is offline  
Sep 11th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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We loved Buckingham Palace, but my favorite memory is a bit odd.

At the start of the tour, they collected all umbrellas and pocket knives. I had a little Swiss Army knife, gave it to the security gaurd, and he gave me a claim slip.

At the end of the tour, I went to a little booth outside to retrieve my knife. Inside the booth, the guard had a GIANT barrel full of unclaimed knives. There were hundreds and hundreds of them. He promptly game me mine back and told me that I was more than welcome to grab a few more if I had a need for them.

I still have and use the ones I acquired.
astein12 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 08:03 AM
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Inside the booth, the guard had a GIANT barrel full of unclaimed knives. There were hundreds and hundreds of them. He promptly game me mine back and told me that I was more than welcome to grab a few more if I had a need for them. >>

i still resent the loss of a lovely knife that DH forgot to take out of his pocket before we boarded a flight at Newquay airport. sadly when there're gone they are gone at airports.
annhig is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 11:05 AM
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I, too, lost a vintage Swiss Army knive which I had forgotten was in my purse. It was confiscated in Baltimore, after Denver didn't notice it.

I will write up my trip notes soon, and post here.
PeaceOut is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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I actually have an even better Swiss Army knife story (right from Switzerland on Swiss as well).

We were flying back from Zurich to the US. Checked in, checked our luggage and got in the security line. Almost immediately, I realized that my knife was still in my pocket. Ran back to the Swiss check in desk, but my luggage was already gone. The agent very nicely asked me what the problem was and told her I had forgotten to put my knife in my bag.

Since I couldn't go through security with it, and it's not worth a whole lot beyond the sentimental value, I offered it to her. Surprisingly, she told me to give it to her and she'd take care of it. She then took one of those huge plastic bags that they back things like baby seats in for transit, put the knife inside, slapped a priority handling label on it, and gave me a claim check.

Sure enough, when we got back to the US, it was the first thing down the baggage carousel... my tiny knife in this huge bag.
astein12 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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nice story, astein.
annhig is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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London and the rest of the UK has massive amounts of Indian restaurants due to the immigration of thousands to the UK from India which was a former Empire now Commonwealth country of England.
dutyfree is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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London and the rest of the UK has massive amounts of Indian restaurants due to the immigration of thousands to the UK from India which was a former Empire now Commonwealth country of England.>>

dutyfree - not exactly. the situation is more complicated than that. the vast majority of "indian restaurants" in the UK are actually run by Bangladeshis whose forebears were recruited from one city in Bangladesh for the merchant navy, and thereafter found themselves in places like Liverpool and London in need of a means of supporting themselves.

there are "southern indian", nepalese, and other regional restaurants, but they are few and far between outside the major cities.
annhig is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 04:40 PM
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I wondered about that.

The restaurant "Quiilon" that we liked is southwest Indian, featuring fish. Yum.
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