Please help us plan our London vacation.

Old Apr 10th, 1999, 04:51 PM
  #1  
Sandy
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Please help us plan our London vacation.

We will be in London from April 18 to 24. Are there any "don't miss" experiences, restaurants, things that only locals know about that aren't in the tour books? Is the Ritz the best place to go for afternoon tea? Thanks! Sandy
 
Old Apr 10th, 1999, 10:23 PM
  #2  
Danni
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We have enjoyed just shopping in London
rather than seeing all the tourist spots. Harrods & Liberty's of course, but also just walking in Kensington to small shops. On one trip we were able to see the Royal Family attending a service, by just talking to people on the street. The churches/cathedrals are great for finding something special like a musical recital, etc. Try to attend an Evensong service. Good Luck!
 
Old Apr 10th, 1999, 10:23 PM
  #3  
Danni
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We have enjoyed just shopping in London
rather than seeing all the tourist spots. Harrods & Liberty's of course, but also just walking in Kensington to small shops. On one trip we were able to see the Royal Family attending a service, by just talking to people on the street. The churches/cathedrals are great for finding something special like a musical recital, etc. Try to attend an Evensong service. Good Luck!
 
Old Apr 10th, 1999, 10:23 PM
  #4  
Danni
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We have enjoyed just shopping in London
rather than seeing all the tourist spots. Harrods & Liberty's of course, but also just walking in Kensington to small shops. On one trip we were able to see the Royal Family attending a service, by just talking to people on the street. The churches/cathedrals are great for finding something special like a musical recital, etc. Try to attend an Evensong service. Good Luck!
 
Old Apr 10th, 1999, 10:24 PM
  #5  
Danni
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We have enjoyed just shopping in London
rather than seeing all the tourist spots. Harrods & Liberty's of course, but also just walking in Kensington to small shops. On one trip we were able to see the Royal Family attending a service, by just talking to people on the street. The churches/cathedrals are great for finding something special like a musical recital, etc. Try to attend an Evensong service. Good Luck!
 
Old Apr 11th, 1999, 11:12 AM
  #6  
Bob
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London: You gotta do a play. Just to say you did it. Great theatre there. We got great "day of" tickets at Harrods. Off the beaten track: Churchill's war rooms underneath Parliament. Interesting tour. Tour of the Houses of Parliament. Take a Gray line tour of the city. Gives you a feel for the area. Tower of London and crown jewels. Changing of the guard, always crowded and a hassle. good luck there. Ride the underground to get around. Easy to use. Original Hard Rock cafe in London with best rock and roll artifacts if you need a hamburger. Cruise down Thames to Greenwich. have a great time in a great city. Too much to do. But, see a play.
 
Old Apr 12th, 1999, 08:13 AM
  #7  
cheryl
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I would definitely recommend seeing Churchill's War Rooms. Very interesting. The National Gallery is probably my favorite art museum in the world (of the one's I've seen so far). Westminster Abbey is a "must". I'm not much of a shopper, but we enjoyed Fortnum & Mason's. The teas and pate's make wonderful souvenirs. I would also recommend seeing a play in London, you can get half price tickets the afternoon of the show at the half price ticket booth. My preference is to see Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde or something that you can't see done as well somewhere else. If you like classical music, St. Martin's in the Field has very good candlelight concerts that are not very expensive. As for restaurants, our favorites were indian food (as good as we get at home, but a little more expensive), and a sunday afternoon English pub dinner (I was pleasantly surprised by this, it was excellent). If you like sculpture, make sure you see Rodin's "The Burgher's of Calais" near the Parliament buildings.
 
Old Apr 12th, 1999, 09:04 AM
  #8  
elaine
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Hi Sandy
There are many wonderful places for afternoon tea. Many vote for Brown's Hotel as the best; I have not been there but will vote for tea at the Dorchester Hotel as perfect. You will need to reserve in advance, dress a bit and it is pricey. One strategy is to have afternoon tea on an evening you are going to the theatre (which I also strongly urge you to do). A substantial afternoon tea can hold you over for the evening and you can have a late supper after the theatre. There are some great places in the West End.
I also vote for Churchill's war rooms, they are fascinating. When you see the maps with colored tacks showing troop movements, you will marvel at how far we've come in communications! The Imperial War Museum has a wealth of information, especiallly about WWI.

One of my favorite off-the-beaten-track areas to stroll around is the South Kensington to Chelsea area. Chelsea is charming. Many good restaurants, many beautiful houses. There is a statue of Sir Thomas More on Cheyne Walk which I love. When he lived there he was living in the open countryside.
If you enjoy museums the National Gallery is certainly a must, but I also never miss the National Portrait Gallery which is very enjoyable--everyone from Elizabeth I to Diana is in there. There are also smaller museums like the Courtauld which has a wonderful collection of Impressionist paintings.

I also recommend visiting the restored Globe Theatre on the "other side" of the Thames.
Another great walk is from Trafalgar Square (National Gallery, St. Martin's in the Field) to Buckingham Palace via St. James Park to Green Park. You end up on Picadilly, near the Ritz and Fortnum and Mason's.
Good luck.
 
Old Apr 12th, 1999, 12:22 PM
  #9  
Ben
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Sandy,
I was there in March for the first time and I will give you my highlights:

-1- Lunch at the chic restaurant of the moment, Momo. They serve North African cuisine. (E-mail me directly for more info). It was the best lunch experience I've had.

-2- Phantom of the Opera (I thought it was excellent. My friend has seen the play 6 times and he said this venue was the best overall.)

-3- Harrods. I only went there because I couldn't do what I had intended to that day (Westminster Abbey/Tower of London), but it was awesome! Forget what they say about it being too touristy and all that. It is hands-down the nicest department store you've been in--better than Neiman's. Trust me on this. And the food court is not to be missed.

Enjoy yourself.
 
Old Apr 12th, 1999, 04:57 PM
  #10  
Bly
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Sandy - I agree with all the posters! Just to add my 2 cents - If you like modern art, check out the Tate Museum (Rodins the Kiss, Dali...) The National Gallery is also my favorite art museum. The food halls at Harrods are amazing, however keep an eye on your wallet as mine was picked just outside there.
 
Old Apr 12th, 1999, 08:24 PM
  #11  
raeona
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As others have suggested, DO put the Churchill War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum. They just really make you stop and think about what the UK went thru during WWII (and the War Museum also has an excellent "Blitz Experience" - very realistic, walk-thru exhibit.)
 
Old Apr 13th, 1999, 04:54 AM
  #12  
Jo
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For some of the real London, and some of the best pubs for lunch try Richmond. This is by the far the best spot to do a cruise on the Thames. Also Kew gardens is worth a picnic lunch for a day. Covent Garden on a Sunday afternoon (try watching the performers from the Balcony of Punch and Judys pub). Camden Market if you're into markets. For a wonderful slightly different restaurant try the Springbok Cafe in Chiswick. The Hop On Hop Off bus is the best way to do sightseeing. I have lived here for a year and a half now, but still being a tourist feel free to e-mail me for specific info.
 

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