London Trip Report - quick one week stay

Oct 1st, 2007, 02:56 PM
  #1  
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London Trip Report - quick one week stay

Just returned from another great week in London,

Accommodation - stayed in a 2 bed rental flat on Cornwall Gardens in South Kensington. First time I'd rented a flat, usually stay with my brother in Pimlico. I rented through Farnum and Christ (thanks for the link to this agency NeoPatrick - I think they are great) and would happily rent this flat again. Location was great, street was very quiet and only a short walk to Gloucester Road tube station, also good bus links nearby.

Food - ate most breakfast and dinners in the flat, saving lots of money. I'm not big into paying a lot of money every night on meals out and also find myself exhausted at the end of the day to think about going out anyway. I also love shopping in the grocery store and the ready prepared meals are so good that I really enjoy picking up my dinner on my way home. The flat is really close to grocery store central in London, with Waitrose, Sainsbury and Tesco all close by. However, I still think that M&S has the best selection of prepared dinners, but I might be biased having worked for them for 10 years!!

I did have breakfast at the Wolseley which was very good and had dinner out at the Golden Hind (my favourite chippie) on Marylebone Lane and the Thomas Cubbitt pub on Elizabeth Street.

Stuff I did:

Went to the Terracotta Warriors at the BM. Didn't have a ticket pre-purchased but they release tickets every morning from the counter in the great court. I arrived at about 9:30 on Monday morning to join a long line of people. However, it moved fast and I got my timed ticket for an 11:10am entrance. Tickets are timed to enter but once inside you can spend as long as you want looking at the exhibit. I thought the warriors were amazing, but there's a lot of smaller stuff to wade through also. I spent my waiting time looking in the Asian galleries which was enjoyable; especially the Anglo-Indian art on temporary display.

Impressionists By The Sea at the RA - small but enjoyable. I was particularly impressed by the 2 Whistler's on display - incredibly simple and modern in approach considering they were painted in the 1860's. Looking at these paintings, I find it incredible that they caused such a stir in the art circles of the time.

Did one London Walk - "London's Secret Village", a tour of Clerkenwell. I really enjoyed this area, virgin territory for me after 20 odd trips to the city!! I used to really enjoy London Walks but I didn't go on anymore walks with them, I find that the groups have become too large and the price more than I'm willing to pay. You used to have about 10-15 people on some of the more obscure weekday walks but on mine there must have been close to 30 and it was often difficult to hear the guide; also some people don't get the idea that you are on a walk not a stroll and I'm tired of waiting for the slowpok's (sp?) to catch up.

Theatre - only saw the Country Wife on second night of previews. It's playing at the Haymarket and I thought it was very good, really an enjoyable night. Plenty of well known faces in the cast - the girl that plays the country wife is excellent. I was able to get 1/2 price tickets at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square. Shadowlands opens this week with Charles Dance - I would have loved to see this.

The rest of the time was spent walking the city through some of my favourite areas, investigating new pubs and looking at retail (my regular job).

Heathrow was not such a zoo on Sunday morning return to Toronto, but be prepared for plenty of passport checks and security line ups.

Used Premier Airport Cars for transfer to/from the airport. With 4 people travelling it was by far the simplest and cheapest method. Also, by pre-booking the return you can save a lot of dollars.

Already looking forward to my trip next year!!
kmowatt is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 03:50 PM
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kmowatt,

Thanks for your trip report! Would you mind posting the website for the apartments you used?
Anna1013 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 04:07 PM
  #3  
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You can find Farnum and Christ listings at www.farnum-christ.com.

As Patrick told me, Lisa and Ann are great and extremely helpful. A very professional agency to deal with and the pictures of the flat were true to real life. We also had an issue with the first choice flat we wanted to rent and Ann worked very hard to get us another flat - they couldn't have been more helpful.
kmowatt is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 05:18 PM
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I'm so glad it worked for you (not that I had any doubt that it would!)

Sounds like you had a great time. Mind telling us more about this Premier Airport Cars? What did they charge for each way? I don't think I've seen a recommendation for them here before.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 08:51 AM
  #5  
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Patrick - I picked this site up from another fodorite back in 2004 and have used them twice now. The web site is www.premierairportcars.com and you can contact them via email at [email protected]

You used to be able to pay cash and get an even better deal but they only do that for repeat customers now so I had to book using my credit card this time.

The cost for an estate car, carrying 4 adults with 4 medium size bags and 4 carry on bags, was 43GBP into the city and 37GBP return - a total of 80GBP, divided by 4 it was pretty cheap at 20pounds each return.

I've used them 4 times now and they have always been early for pick up and we have always had a clean Mercedes Benz - for the 4 of us it was a van.
kmowatt is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 09:04 AM
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Ouch. I see why I haven't seen more recommendations for them. I just checked a standard car for two from Heathrow to Covent Garden and get about 41 pounds. Just airports is currently 23 pounds for the same journey.

But they do offer some nice cars and for larger groups in big cars, it might make a lot more sense. Whatever you're comfortable with. I know a lot of people recommend Ray Skinner and last I knew I think he may be even more that the Premier Cars site.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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For 4 people, 4 suitcases & 4 carry-ons, that's not a bad price for your transfers.

I contacted Farnum & Christ but the flat I wanted is no longer for rent. When I asked a question about another one, she said she'd get back to me with the answer but never did.
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 02:45 PM
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"For 4 people, 4 suitcases & 4 carry-ons, that's not a bad price for your transfers."

I agree 100%, and in a van as well. I hope you didn't think that was MY point. I was thinking "aloud" about 2 person transfers.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:20 PM
  #9  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Thanks for the report. Glad that you got in to see the terracotta soldiers.
yk is offline  
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