london trip report of sorts

Old Jan 8th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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london trip report of sorts

Back from London, didn't really do very many touristy things. Here's a list of where I stayed and where I chowed down.

One Aldwych- Very luxurious, fantastic location. Covent Garden was in our back yard. Everywhere within walking distance, Leicester Square, Trafalgar, Picadilly. More more on that in the rants/raves section.


Indian- Went to 2..on separate days.

Red Fort-Lovely Indian restaurant but on the expensive side. I believe it was on Old Compton Road. Food was very good. Although I was told by my Brit friends that to get the true indian food experience you need to find one that looks a little run down...and there are a LOT of those.

Cafe Intermezzo- Another Indian restaurant on the sort of posh side. Of the two I would say Red Fort had the better food, but Intermezzo had better ambience. In a building co-joined to the Soho Writer's Theater..where we saw an insane cabaret act called 'Kiki and Herb'.

Indigo- Restaurant in our hotel. Very good food. Again on the pricey side.

The Wellington- A pub across the street from the hotel. Very small, but there is an upstair restaurant that was closed at the time we went in. Had fish and chips, it was okay, but I like mine really coronary greasy .

The Nag's Head- Covent that's what I call fish and chips very greasy and crunchy..excellent. Pub downstairs was crowded so we went up to the less crowded restaurant.

There is also another pub called The White Lion across the street but it was closed.

Lemonia-Swiss Cottage/Primrose Hill area. Greek Restaurant. So much food I thought I would pop! Reasonably priced also.

George Washington pub-also in Swiss Cottage.
used to be an old run down place and now it's really hip and trendy and the owners have renovated so it looks really nice.

Kentucky Fried Chicken aka KFC- I couldn't help myself! No mashed potatoes!!! Wait...there's gravy...but no mashed potatoes
wassup with that? Just what is the gravy for?
Surely not the french fries!

Restaurant at Fortnum and Mason's ...standard English fare and not too expensive. Is the kind of place where you can imagine taking your grandmother for tea. Not really formal at all but sort of a nice genteel atmosphere.

Oxo Tower restaurant on the 6 floor.
AWESOME view of the city and I thought very good food. I've heard some rants on this restaurant, but I found it to be very good, but of course it's all subjective.

Pret a Manger and Wagamama on practically every corner it seemed.

One restaurant regret...not eating at a chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Smelled so nice when walking through.
Old Jan 8th, 2003, 05:23 PM
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Thanks for the interesting report, Kim. I had been curious about some of those places. One Aldwych looks nice in photos but is a bit above our price range. Did you perhaps get it through a discount site? We did dine at Poons, considered one of the best restaurants in London's Chinatown and thought it was bad. The wontons are very different from ours in CA but not in a good way, IMO. I forget what else we had but it wasn't too tasty. We had some very hot Indian food in London years ago and haven't had the nerve to order any since.
Old Jan 8th, 2003, 07:38 PM
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No.. unfortunately no discount and I looked hard for one. Got the hotel on Orbitz. I believe it was full price..our wallet felt like it was anyway!
The restaurants in Chinatown were tiny and they had the whole cooked chickens in the window..the whole bit. Was very interesting.

Other observances:
Gatwick Express is the best way to get from Gatwick to Victoria. Passed by an old warehouse with 4 white towers and husband recognized it from a Pink Floyd album...have no idea which one.

Your Starbucks is better than our Starbucks interior wise. All we have are table and chairs..yours looks like someone's living room.

Saw a knock down drag-out fight between a bus ticket taker and apparently a disgruntled passenger on Sloane Street.

Seemed as if all of London was on sale for 50% off.

Fascinated by Darts championship and The Cheeky Girls from Transylvannia (sp) in their silver hotpants begging all who will listen to touch their bum.

There is an art to crossing the street especially if it's a cab trying to mow you down. Don't hesitate and look right at them (of course pay attention to street signs to make sure you're not jaywalking).

If you haven't been to London on the tube in a while..some of the stations are much improved.

Trafalgar Sq. is under construction...although I've been told much of it is completed but it looks like there's a ways to go.

I know a lot of people post questions on Thistle hotels. They seem to be everywhere. The one on Charing Cross looked nice on the outside (kind of large and majestic looking)..I don't know about inside.

Old Jan 9th, 2003, 04:39 AM
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That big building with the four towers is Battersea Power Station. I have a photo at home - I'll see if I can post it for you this evening. It's incredibly ugly, but I love it because it's my visual cue that the trip is over and I'm finally in London.
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 05:15 AM
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Kim, isn't One Aldwych simply to die for?? Love thoese heated floors in the bathroom! and yes, I think it's about the best location. right in the middle of everything.

another strong vote for One Aldwych!
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 05:33 AM
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And while we're on the subject, One Aldwych also has the best cocktail bar in London - The Lobby Bar. So if you can't affors to stay or eat, you can at least pop in for a champagne cocktail (at about 10 quid a throw). Great for pre-theatre drinks.

And Dave, hands off slagging off our Battersea Power Station, many of us Brits actually think it's rather beautiful. It's disused and empty, but is a protected building, just waiting for a hotel chain to convert it.
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 05:42 AM
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Or somebody to something with it

or anybody to do anything with it

It's been waiting for the best part of twenty years now
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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Yes I heard there's some talk as to what to do with BPS. Agree that something does need to happen with it because it's such an impressionable building. The area surrounding it doesn't look too savory though.
I think it would be great as yet another art space.

One A was great...we just went around flipping switches in the room just to see what everything did. The heated floor and towel rack was a godsend considering how cold it was outside..the marble tile would have frozen my toes off.

And yes..we made good use of the lobby bar downstairs. They make great martinis and bellinis. They have a drink called the Cristal Carrington which I thought was kind of funny. Very fruity girly drink.
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 08:17 AM
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Hi Kim

Thanks for the report!

Indigo is one of my favourite restaurants in London - but when I go I tend to go early enough to eat from the pre theatre dinner menu which is more within my budget... The food has always been good and I love their salty raisin bread...

Daph, regarding Poons - we ate there recently with some friends from the US who had eaten there on a previous visit and enjoyed it - it was nothing special at all and infact they said it wasn't as good as they had remembered - most other Chinese restaurants I've eaten at in and out of Chinatown are better - though I think Chinatown dim sum (potsticker) menus are better than the regular menus.

Interesting to read the reviews of all the other places...

Old Jan 9th, 2003, 10:50 AM
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I was unable to eat in London's Chinatown due to being put off by the fact that every restaurant seemed to be offering jellyfish (blubber) as a starter.... yeuchh!
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 12:10 PM
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Kim, Thanks for the interesting report. I have copied down One Aldwych and Cafe Intermezzo ("insane" caberet sings to my heart to put on our to-do list when in London next month. Thanks again.
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 05:20 PM
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Here's a photo of Battersea Power Station I took in November (from Ebury Bridge):

I still say it's ugly, but being ugly myself I like it anyway.
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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Wow....that's sort of disappointing to hear about the food in Chinatown. Maybe next time I go I'll live dangerously and try one anyway just to say I did. I get the feeling you're right tho, because my friends wouldn't eat there either...just looked like a great place to go after drinking a little too much!

Great pic of's so clear!! What kind of camera is that, digital?

Thyra, I'm sending you a link on Kiki and's not your Steve and Edy type of cabaret...something wholly different.

Oh also saw Taboo at a place called The Venue (tight seats and narrow legroom in the stalls area, I thought I was back on the airplane).
Boy George was playing the character of Lee Bowery and I think he will thru the first of Feb.
Time Out says the plot is a bit of a mess and I agree, but it's got Boy George in bizarre makeup and it's coming to Broadway.

Old Jan 10th, 2003, 09:01 AM
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My camera is a Minolta Dimage 7i digital. That photo is straight from the camera - just downsized for the web. It could use a little post-processing but I didn't have time last night. Other London photos from the same trip are at:
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