london with 18 year old niece

Mar 11th, 2019, 02:05 PM
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But then there is this:

@goddesstogo - so tourists get to define what makes London London? I don't think so.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Mar 11th, 2019 at 02:08 PM.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 11th, 2019, 02:13 PM
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Am I saying that Oxford Street is the most fabulous place to go in London? No. But it's an experience of London. To say don't go there is like saying don't go to Covent Garden or Trafalgar Square because tourists go there. Besides, as others beside myself have pointed out, there are interesting places nearby or off Oxford Street that are worth exploring. You don't really have to make a day of Oxford Street.
Anyway, I think I've made my point, as you (and others) have made yours. If the OP and her niece decide to skip OS, they'll have plenty of other wonderful things to do in one of my favourite cities.
goddesstogo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 06:26 AM
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What Makes London London?

The wonderful diversity of the architecture, which reflects a long, long history. You can start with bits of the Roman wall. Don't miss riding on the top deck of a bus through central London to admire the details on the upper stories.

The utterly eccentric street layout. You never know what may be down a side alley, or where you'll find a a garden square, or a courtyard with interesting shops, or a repurposed mews. or... Again, you can trace the route of the Roman roads, or wander the medieval streets of the City.

The river, now cleaned up! You can ride from Kew to Greenwich, or walk the renovated South Bank for great views. Most of London's other waterways are long-buried, but there's also Regent's Canal.

The parks, including Kew Gardens to the west and Hampstead Heath to the north.

The museums - everything from the comprehensive British Museum to the one subject Fan Museum, and many of them free. And not forgetting houses like Leighton House.

The food. Yes, for a couple of decades after WWII British food was pretty bad, but that was a long time back. Not only has there been a revival of British food, in London you can find pretty much any cuisine on the planet.

The many markets, and the independent shops. Not to mention the two major auction houses.

The tube and the buses. Can you imagine London without the tube?
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 07:05 AM
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Oxford Street has changed over the past 7 years. It was a nightmare before, IMHO, and was simply unmanageable during our last visit (Sep 2018) - we were just passing by, not shopping.

I love the Selfridges and been to the Harrods twice with no desire to revisit.

Plus 1 to the V&A gift shop - counting days till April 22nd; I will go there after the Christian Dior exhibit.

Janis, you were right about Kensington Palace - I researched a bit more and decided to give it a pass.
vinonobile987 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 10:21 AM
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I re-read the thread and didn't see anyone mentioning to include your niece in the planning. 18 is certainly old enough to choose somethings for herself. Encourage her to get online and pick 3 things that are her own Must Dos for the trip. And/or using the suggestions here let her check out some links and pick. My thinking is always if kids are old enough (and certainly teenagers are) when they do some planning you have better "buy in" during the trip. Just a thought
suze is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
TripAdvisor ranks going to Oggsford Street as a great thing:
What's with the Oggsford Street thing? I've seen you post it a couple of times but never seen it anywhere else. Is it some private joke or something?
jc_uk is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 11:01 AM
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Actually, a LOT of things done on Trip Advisor should be taken with a HUGE grain of salt; especially, attractions, hotels and restaurants overall ranking. There are so many nonsensical reviews on TA that it is much better to to read only those which provide detailed relevant information. It is those nonsensical reviews that skew the rankings big time.
vinonobile987 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 12:07 PM
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Thank you all the the wonderful ideas and the interesting dialog too. My niece is devouring the Time Out link. As far as afternoon tea Is there a best time to go? For example Us NYers go to dinner after the Broadway shows start, when all the folks have run into the theaters.
Lpk is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 01:15 PM
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I know it's not usually on people's lists but adding to everyone's list of museums, I'd include the British Library which often has wonderful exhibits. My favourite, years ago, was one on the English language -- lots of fun interactive material! And museum gifts shops are my favourite kind of stores. The V&A, I thought was particularly wonderful.
I like Selfridge's. Got food poisoning in Harrods food court and can't bring myself to even walk into the store since then!
goddesstogo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Lpk View Post
As far as afternoon tea Is there a best time to go? For example Us NYers go to dinner after the Broadway shows start, when all the folks have run into the theaters.
Afternoon tea is usually around 3-4pm.

Odin is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 01:33 PM
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Maybe Christian Diorís exhibit at V&A has been already mentioned in this thread, but if not, check this thread below

Dior Exhibition at the V&A: Photos

Looks like you can still book tickets as the exhibit has been recently extended till September.

Thanks to very helpful Fodorites, I have booked my ticket for April 22nd long ago and am counting days to see the exhibit.
vinonobile987 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 01:42 PM
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There are some good suggestions in that link: the 100 best shops in London.

I love shopping, it's always a part of any trip for me. Going to be in London early May, shopping is on the agenda.

The suggestion of Selfridges is really good, also the personal shopper at Topshop especially the age your niece is. Liberty is fun, and I second walking through St.Christopher's Place to Marylebone High Street, some really nice options along here.
If she is into luxury brands Sloane St is good. Or if it is raining and you feel like a mall, the big Westfield in Shepherd's Bush, White City on the Central Line. There is an even bigger Westfield called London Stratford City but I'm sure the one in Shepherd's Bush has a huge variety of stores.

Thank you tulip and janisj for reminding me I hadn't got a ticket to the Dior show yet....sold out! So I joined the V&A and now I can see it plus the Mary Quant and whatever else takes my fancy.

Last edited by raincitygirl; Mar 12th, 2019 at 01:49 PM.
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Mar 12th, 2019, 05:18 PM
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I try to go to the British Library every time I'm in London! However, I don't know if it would appeal to most 18-year-olds. The interests mentioned for this niece don't lead me to think it would be her first choice.
bvlenci is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 05:53 PM
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I think you're right, bvl. Just thought I'd add it to the mix. That English Language event would have appealed to young people but they'd have to know it was happening and seek it out. It was just lucky for us that we were at the BL a lot.
goddesstogo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2019, 10:40 PM
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Afternoon tea timings depend on the venue but generally around mid afternoon is usual. Some venues start from around 12 noon so you could have it instead of lunch. Some have later timings, like 4.00pm so you could do this as an early dinner then maybe theatre afterwards. Note that some places have a dress code so check before you book (the popular venues may need booking weeks in advance).

The V&A used to be open late one night a week, maybe some other museums are as well. That would give you more time to see things if you utilise the evenings. Though last time we were in London we were exhausted by late afternoon. The crowds can be tiring.

KayF is online now  
Mar 12th, 2019, 10:53 PM
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The Orangerie at Kensington palace is a great place for afternoon tea.-also Ham Yard Hotel Soho
northie is offline  
Mar 13th, 2019, 07:08 AM
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>>As far as afternoon tea Is there a best time to go? <<

>>Afternoon tea is usually around 3-4pm.<<

Actually at the posh hotels afternoon tea runs til about 5:30. I usually book it around 5PM -- then it replaces both lunch and dinner. It may seem like a 'light' meal, there is actually a substantial amount of food. . . . So it os great to do a late tea before going to the theatre since the serving will last 90 minutes or more. PLUS - at the poshest hotels the mid-afternoon time slots are typically reserved for their return guests and those staying in the hotel so 4:30 is about the earliest you can book.

On a day I have a full on afternoon tea I'll have a late-ish breakfast, tea around 5PM, and if peckish after the show will have a late night supper or bar snacks.
janisj is offline  
Mar 17th, 2019, 11:36 PM
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OP, I have two girls about the same age. We are going to Portobello Market in Notting Hill on Saturday; also going to Camden Market and Spitalfields. All sound like fantastic shopping!
lrice is offline  
Apr 4th, 2019, 04:03 PM
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Thank you This is great She loves Manhattan so it should be perfect
Lpk is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 11:14 AM
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This reminded me of the Oxford Street discussion:
Ann Sotheran?s West End Champions | Spitalfields Life

A refuge, perhaps, if you do tackle Oxford Street. The site is also worth reading if you have any interest in the East End.
thursdaysd is offline  

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