LONDON(We are foodies)

Old Nov 12th, 2015, 02:30 PM
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LONDON(We are foodies)

We will be traveling to London in Feb 2016. We love smaller cafes, are foodies and areas with many little one of a kind shops. What area in London should we stay? West End, Knights bridge, Poplar, Greenwich, ect? As mentioned, we are foodies, and plan to dine at a few Michelin starred restaurants while there.

1.) What are some "must see" sights for a first timer. We are NOT big on Art museums.
2.) For a foodie, what are some places that you would suggest?
3.) We love visiting the countryside. I know it will be winter and cold, but which would you suggest for this time of year. A place that has a cute village and good food is preferable. We will not have a car, so a destination reachable by public transportation would be ideal.

We will be renting an Apartment on Housetrip.com
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 04:51 PM
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How long will you be in the UK?

For countryside, be aware that not only are most days grey but they are also short (dark at 4 pm) - so having dinner in the countryside and then trekking back to London could be not a lot of fun.

For sights you should check out a couple of good guide books - the Michelin green guide is excellent - to see what you want.

For me the must sees are:

Tower of London
British Museum and Library
Westminster Abby
St Paul's
Houses of Parliament
Churchill War Rooms

As well as exploring a couple of charming neighborhoods when you get a sunny day.

Also if you have time consider heading out of town (brief train ride) to Hampton Court Palace or Windsor Castle
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 08:06 PM
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nytraveler,

We will be there for about 1 week, possibly going to Paris for 2 nights. Plan is to arrive the 17th and depart the 23rd or 24th possibly from Paris. We were in Paris in 2014 and loved it, therefore we are fine going just for 2 days or not at all.

What charming neighborhoods would you suggest?
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 08:27 PM
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>>(dark at 4 pm)>We will be there for about 1 week, possibly going to Paris for 2 nights.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 08:55 PM
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Not a great deal of time in London, perhaps you could go for a pub lunch somewhere like Hampstead? Somewhere quaint like the Holly Bush? Basically research a gator pub, pick one that's accessible by train? The Good Pub Guide would be a great place to start, is that because there's a possible place to rent.

<We love smaller cafes, are foodies and areas with many little one of a kind shops.> Have a look at Shoreditch and the Columbia Flower Market. Places like Rochelle Canteen.

Ok here are a few more suggestions. This is not at all comprehensive, just some of the places we saw and reviewed in the East End earlier this year.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...-part-one.html
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...-part-two.html

Borough Market is close to a lot of popular tourist sites, it's not far from St Paul's, Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern for example. There is also Broadway market a smaller version in the East End
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...d-markets.html

A few years ago I wrote a piece on the Michelin lunch deals in London. We still like lots of these including Hibiscus and L'Autre Pied. I like the food at Arbutus but I wasn't impressed with the service on our last trip.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2013/...in-london.html


Surprised to see you mention Poplar a place to stay. There lots of interesting stuff going on in the East End but for either Poplar or Greenwich you would have a bit of a trek into town but then again depending on how much you care about the tourist stuff you'd be seeing how people really live in London. If you went to NYC where would you prefer stay? It would be like staying in a n outer borough, which is not to say you couldn't have a fascinating visit.

Hope this helps!
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 12:59 AM
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It's about half an hour by train, so a bit far out to stay, but you might like Barnes. It has a village feel, it even has a common.
Have a look at http://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/london/barnes
I'd personally go for a gastropub.

You might even see a famous face or two. It's a popular place to live for actors and TV types
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 01:24 AM
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I recommend The Ledbury restaurant in Notting Hill - easy to get to . www.ledbury.com - can hook online , no 20 in San Pellegrino top 50 world restaurants, 2 Michelin stars , great food and service
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 01:27 AM
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Oops www.theledbury.com
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 01:54 AM
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Look at the public transport system and maps to get a feel for what's where and help you focus on a possible area to stay, but from the kind of thing you're describing, I'd suggest the area between Covent Garden, Soho and Trafalgar Square, or the southern end of Bloomsbury around Red Lion St.

http://tfl.gov.uk/maps/visitors-and-tourists
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 03:15 AM
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>>For countryside, be aware that not only are most days grey but they are also short (dark at 4 pm) - so having dinner in the countryside and then trekking back to London could be not a lot of fun.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 05:21 AM
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Hi IZABELLA,

Re the weather: as stated above, it can be a mixed bag. I was in London during the 3rd week of February many years ago - the daffodils were in bloom.

Seemed like a much earlier spring than we have in the Boston area. But London is great at any time of year. Enjoy..
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 07:11 AM
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>

There are innumerable sources of information for this. Use them. Just saying you don't like art museums is no real parameter.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 08:29 AM
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions. This is just a quick getaway, so a 2 day hop over to Paris is not a must. We are going back to France & Italy in May.

I am not sure where I got Poplar from. I must have been looking at a map while looking for apartments and thought it was close.

I did some more research on where to stay: Marylebone, Paddington,Kensington or Mayfair areas. Yes I will want to visit Notting Hill, Greenwich.

We would like to be close to public transportation if needed, but walking distance to many sites and good shopping with unique options is ideal. We are thinking Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Gardens, Tower of London, Bridge, Big Ben, Courtyards, although it might be too cold to see some great landscaping.

I'm not looking for shopping at Designer stores, although may visit them. I typically save my designer shopping for here in US or when traveling in Paris or Italy.

nytraveler: Thanks for the suggestion, "Also if you have time consider heading out of town (brief train ride) to Hampton Court Palace or Windsor Castle" Yes, I have this down in my preliminary planning notebook.

welltraveledbrit: Thanks for the Guide name and links. I'll definitely check out East End.

MissPrism, Oooh, I'd like to see a few famous faces. I'll look into Barnes.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 09:04 AM
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London is a very large, spread out city - way bigger than Paris by a scale of magnitude. There is no place you can stay from which you can easily walk to all of the places you listed. I would focus on a neighborhood you will enjoy staying and make sure that whatever lodging you pick is as close to the tube as possible.

Also - suggest you have a look at a couple of maps of London so you have perspective on location and distances.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 09:18 AM
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nytraveler. Oh I had not realized that walking will not be easy regarding proximity. I have looked at a map, however, with planning prior trips, already visiting Italy and France in recent years, I come to realize that attractions I thought were not walking distance from each other, I became quite surprised and noticed it was quite the opposite. For example, I thought it would be difficult walking Florence and Paris, but we walked almost everywhere. Some were long walks, but manageable. It was more fun that way. We got lost in Florence one evening and it took 2 hrs to find our way back to the Apartment, but it was an adventure and a fun one at that.

I do however have to keep in mind we will be there in February, not in warmer months as in the past.

Perhaps London is different?
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 09:41 AM
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London is enormous so no one area is walkable to more than a handful of sites. The one area you listed (Marylebone, Paddington,Kensington or Mayfair areas) I would not stay in is Paddington. Kensington s a nice area but a bit far west and inconvenient to sites,

Some of the more central/closer-to-more sites neighborhoods would include Covent Garden (VERY central), Russell Square/Bloomsbury/Holborn (sort of the same area), some parts of the Southbank, St James's, Victoria. Mayfair/Knightsbridge are central but tend to be very pricey. South Kensington is good - a little west but good transport.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 02:55 PM
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I thought maybe you'd gotten Poplar from "Call the Midwife," which is set there.

Lee Ann
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 03:14 PM
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And Barnes is about 11 km from the center of London.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 03:17 PM
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The tourist area of Florence is only about 30 minutes across. And in Rome most of the major sights are within a fairly small area. The tourist area of London is at least 3 or 4 times this size (and it has about 3 times the population of Rome) - and if you include places like Greenwich, Hampton Court Palace or Windsor Castle they are about 30 minutes on a train - not really doable on foot at all except as a full day hike.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 11:25 PM
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For clarity:

Paddington is a perfectly decent place to stay. It's not immensely handy for many tourist-related activities, but neither are the bits of Kensington so often touted here. The restaurants along its main drag are pretty tedious, but those in the sidestreets of its (surprisingly well-preserved) hinterland the hundred or so yards NE of Praed Street are going through much the same eating revolution as most of London. The canalside walks in the new development NW of the station are surprisingly pleasant.

I'm not particularly trying to sell Paddington. My point is that London's too big, its transport system too well designed and its central area too safe, clean, diverse and relatively green (so far) for any area inside the tube's Circle Line to be particularly good or bad. Everywhere's inconvenient for some attractions: nowhere inside the Circle Line should be dismissed.

The poster doesn't explain what she means by "foodie" (Michelin star collector? Academic potterer round traditional regional foods? Streetmarket browser?), and London's immense food culture is just too multifaceted now to encapsulate it in a couple of web references.

Michelin and Harden's give far more information about top-end restaurants than any of us can: Time Out is a reasonable web source for relatively recent openings. I commented here a few months ago (http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-europe.cfm ) on London's street food and the current fad for popup restaurants.

One interesting example of how London food now works is the Front Line restaurant ( http://www.frontlineclub.com/restaurant/ ) An unprepossesing place in those Paddington sidestreets so often dismissed by superficial commentators, its menu looks to us pretty much what we get in any decent country pub. Till we take overseas visitors there and realise how alien samphire, sea aster, hedgehog mushrooms, partridge, gurnard, stovolonie and eating bone marrow are to many people - and have to explain what manner of thing Colston Basset Blue is.

I've no idea whether such a place appeals to someone describing herself as a "foodie".
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