London Trip Report, 3/5/10 - 3/12/10

Mar 18th, 2010, 06:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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London Trip Report, 3/5/10 - 3/12/10

Recently returned from a week in London. For starters, here's some background info:

Flew Virgin Atlantic direct from Orlando, FL, to London.
Stayed in The Sumner Hotel on Upper Berkeley Street (near Marble Arch)

Departed Orlando on the evening of 3/4/10 at 7:50pm. Wife and I had exit row seats but this didn't help to much. As always, I was barely able to sleep at all on the flight over.

Day 1:

Landed at Gatwick at about 8:40am and was happy that my Verizon world phone had service (roaming) when we landed. Took the long walk to Passport Control but had the whole line to ourselves as most on our flight held British or other EU passports. Had a long wait for our bags but all 3 arrived in one piece. A quick walk through customs and we were off the the train platform for The Gatwick Express.

Took the 10:05am train and arrived at Victoria Station at about 10:40am. From there we took a 10 pound taxi ride to our hotel (The Sumner Hotel) near Marble Arch. Thankfully our room was ready, so we were able to check-in immediately. Upon first impression, the room was somewhat small, but we became adjusted as the week went on. Hotel itself was small, but the room was clean and quiet for the most part. My wife decided she needed a short nap before doing anything else, so I just sat on the bed and watched Sky Sports News.

After her nap it was time for lunch. Before eating we popped into the Marble Arch Tube station and purchased two (2) 7-Day Travelcards (loaded onto an Oyster Card). We then walked along Oxford Street before grabbing a small bite in the Marks & Spencer food hall. Did a little window shopping and then it was off to Stamford Bridge to pick up our tickets for the FA Cup match between Chelsea and Stoke City on Sunday, 3/7/10.

Stadium was easy to find. Took some pictures, picked up tickets from the ticket office and then went to spend some money in the team store. After this we took the tube back to Marble Arch, walked into Hyde Park for a little while and then returned to the hotel to clean up before dinner.

Had an early dinner at Busaba EatThai off of Oxford Street. Food was good and priced right. After dinner it was back to the hotel to get to sleep (around 8:00pm) hoping to avoid any effects of jet lag the following day.

More to follow.......
clemson91 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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How did you find the footie?
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Had a great time at the footie. Was amazed at the police presence and the way that they work really hard to keep fans from both sides apart.

Fans were great. It was suprising that most (if not all) fans sat throughout the match, only standing up when Lampard and Terry scored.

The Stoke City fans were on JT throughout the match and were quite loud for their small size.

Was kinda slow getting back to the Tube after the match but after a couple of trains the station cleared out nicely.
clemson91 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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Day 2:

Got up Saturday morning and had a quick breakfast in the hotel.

Next stop was Borough Market.

Took the tube to the London Bridge station and then made the short walk over to the Market. Had a great time sampling all the goodies but I had my heart set on one thing, the toasted cheese sandwich that I had seen on Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown. I waited in a short line but then got my hands on this sandwich and was not disappointed. It was the best cheese sandwich I had ever tasted. Only question still lingering was whether or not I should get another one, but I decided against it.

Walked through the Market some more before deciding to walk along the river towards the Tate Modern museum. Made a brief stop to look around the Globe Theatre before getting to the museum. Spent about 90 minutes just hitting some of the highlights in the museum before leaving and crossing over the Millenium Bridge towards St. Pauls Cathedral.

Initially thought the cathedral was free but the entrance fee was 12.5 pounds per person. We were very impressed with the cathedral and even made our way up all 500+ steps to the top (gotta admit that I was a little winded after the climb).

After leaving the cathedral we made a stop at a nearby Starbucks before taking the Tube back to the hotel.

After some cleaning up, it was time to grab a quick bite to eat (Pret a Manger) before heading out on the Tube to The O2 Arena for a Dave Matthews Band concert (my wife's favorite band). Concert was good, but my wife said it was one of the oddest DMB concerts she had ever been to (very few people standing/dancing during the concert and Dave seemed to talk more than he normally does). Concert ended at about 10:30pm (it appeared that the band wanted to play some more, but they were not given the option).

Hopped back on Tube to Marble Arch, grabbed a quick bite at a local McDonalds and then went back to the hotel after a full day.
clemson91 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 07:36 PM
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Boy, that's London in a hurry. I wonder, how did you decide how to spend the short time you had? Who was it who said "He who is tired of London, is tired of life?"

We have been there so many times, and always find it wonderful. Just walking thru the neighborhoods, one finds little secret places, museums, pubs, etc. Hope you get to go again.
clarasong is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 08:26 PM
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clarasong--"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford." --Dr. Samuel Johnson

clemson91--Thanks for the TR! Enjoying it and looking forward to next installment.

Any specific directions to find that cheese sandwich? We'll be there in late July, heading to the Market early on our first full day in London.
texasbookworm is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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Been quite busy at work...sorry for the long delay.

TexasBookworm - the cheese sandwich man is located in the "green market' section of Borough Market. We found it by taking the tube to London Bridge station, crossing the street towards the church and then walking alongside the church to enter the market. The stand was located on the right near the entrance of the market.

I have included a link to the website I found:

We originally found out about this place by watching the "Passport to Europe" series with Samantha Brown.
clemson91 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Yes, it is definitely the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world...
mnapoli is offline  

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