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Rings, Kings and English things in Spring...returning to London

Rings, Kings and English things in Spring...returning to London

Old May 1st, 2023, 03:46 PM
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Rings, Kings and English things in Spring...returning to London

After COVID cancelled our Christmas season trip to London in 2020, it's taken a bit to get back there. We took my sister along with us as a late 60th birthday gift for a 10 day trip in late April. We were hoping late April will give us some Spring weather and maybe some sun. We chose an apartment in the Knightsbridge/Chelsea area for this trip after staying in Kensington on a previous trip. The plan was to see a few things in London and take a few day trips outside the city....the Cotswolds, Cambridge maybe, a little trip to see the Seven Sisters on the coast if the weather is good...Richmond or Greenwich maybe. We didn't have a lot of firm plans.

Since it was my sister's first trip and she didn't have a lot of specific things on her list, I figured I needed to see if anything was going to be closed in preparation for the Coronation. Yep, Westminster Abbey was gonna have to happen on our first full day or not at all. We had a boat trip planned to see the Seven Sisters (fingers crossed for good weather) and I love to get out on the water. Maybe Oxford or Cambridge one day but not definite. At the last minute, I planned for us to have lunch at Petersham Nursery in Richmond and visit Ham House and Isabella Plantation because the azaleas were supposed to peaking while we were there. Hampstead Heath - we'll see. One dinner planned for Gordon Ramsay Grill for the Beef Wellington and one for Tandoor Chop House for their Mighty Thali (I have been a little obsessed with this) but no other dinner reservations. Late in the planning, I knew my sis really wanted to visit the Cotswolds. I started looking for a a way to plan that despite visiting for a day isn't ideal. It's still doable and we found a driver to take us to some Cotswolds spots and booked train tickets into Moreton in Marsh.

I tried to plan a few things without scheduling too much and tried to leave some days open. My greatest vacation phobia is having nothing planned and no one will make any decisions on what they want to do. Every minute doesn't need to be planned but sitting around doing nothing can be done at home. Would we visit some of our fav pubs from last time? Hit some Champagne bars? Would I finally see the London landmarks from a Thames Clippers? St Paul's? Windsor? Lots of options. Last visit was just before the Wisteria bloomed and we saw some Wisteria that would look beautiful a few weeks later...would we get that this trip? Would trees still be in bloom?

So, plane tickets are purchased, apartment is rented and plans are made to have a great trip. It's always interesting to see how a trip will go. Will we get good weather? Will we like the apartment and neighborhood we're in? Will we be sorry we tried to squeeze too much into a day in the Cotswolds? We'll see.

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Old May 1st, 2023, 04:01 PM
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Looking forward to your report. I haven't been to London since the 1970's, and lately I've been thinking I really need to return before I get too old! Curious to hear if you liked your apartment and your neighborhood.
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Old May 1st, 2023, 05:39 PM
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but sitting around doing nothing can be done at home

That's my motto too...unfortunately my travel companions don't always agree.

Along for the ride.
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Old May 1st, 2023, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8
but sitting around doing nothing can be done at home

That's my motto too...unfortunately my travel companions don't always agree.

Along for the ride.
My motto too, luckily DH and my family agree!

Have’t been to London or the UK since pre Covid, our May 2020 trip was perforce cancelled. Hopefully in 2025 as we have other things planned for next year…
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 03:22 AM
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Truly wonderful title ⭐️
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 05:13 AM
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Oh my gosh…so glad you guys get me! Thanks.

the title is always hard to come up with!! It could have been Bunting, Punting and Hunting or something like that so I am glad to gain approval on the title.

hope to add more tonight to the report (my pesky job requires me to actually catch up on work now that I am back home)! 😉
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 05:27 AM
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Forgot to add that I love your title, too! Very creative and eye catching!
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 06:44 AM
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I always love reading your trip reports and I'm especially eager to read your review on Tandoor Chop House.

I was last in London in fall 2019 and I had reservations. Unfortunately I was hit with a severe bout of vertigo in the early afternoon that wiped me out for the rest of the day and I had to cancel my reservations and I was unable to make it there during that trip.

I'll be in London this December and am definitely planning a redo attempt.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 07:07 AM
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Denisea - Looking forward to reading about your adventures with Rings, Kings and English things - your reports are always engaging. Like other posters, we're a few months away from our own return. All the best.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 08:46 AM
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Thanks everyone. I actually kinda love writing a trip report and from time to time will go back and re-read a few to re-live the experience. If anyone reads and responds to them, then it’s the cherry on top. It was great to be back in London again and glad to see some of you planning your return trips, as well.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 09:12 AM
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Really looking forward to your report - Yep - coming up with a title is sometimes harder than actually writing the report
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 10:16 AM
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Love your title and looking forward to the rest.
I was just in London as well and it just never disappoints.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 10:58 AM
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Yay! I always love your reports! Can't wait
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 11:27 AM
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Another fan of yours. Love your photos and food descriptions. I'll be in London beginning of June.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 11:34 AM
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Hi Denise….looking forward to an engaging, informative romp around London and the surrounds. You always tell a good tale.
Sounds like your sister is in for a fun time that will include a few glasses of the bubbly along the way.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 01:35 PM
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Thanks TPAYT! There may have been a few glasses of Champs!
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 01:48 PM
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Awww...so great to see so many familiar Fodorites on for the ride (janisj don't hate us for the Cotswolds as a day trip)!

After all the waiting (and watching the weather), it was finally time to go. Check in and security was quick and the older me is now less interested in schlepping my rollerboard and so I checked my bag. We always start at One Flew South in the Atlanta airport, and so we did again. We walked right up to the gate at the perfect time, they just started boarding as we walked up. I love that!

We flew Delta One and the food was good and better service than we saw when we flew to Ireland…so boarding Champs and actual dinner/dessert service are back. I will say we all thought the leg room in the lie flat modules seemed tighter than on previous planes….I suspect there are more pods now that are a little smaller. All good and more comfortable than a coach seat. I watched 1917 (The movie) on the way and got a little sleep on the flight.

We landed and got through passport control easily and quickly. The bags took forever but they all arrived intact and we met our driver and were on our way to Knightsbridge/Chelsea to the apartment.

On the way to the apartment I got a text from Delta asking if I was recognized for attaining Million Miler status during the flight. I didn’t hear the announcement but my sister said she thought she heard my name. Sadly, you don’t get much for that status so I can live without the recognition (essentially it means you are never home).

I will say I am glad I knew the address of the apartment as the driver must have been new as the apartment is called The Walton but is actually on Hasker Street. The driver went to the right address number but on Walton Street but I caught that before anyone or any bags got out of the vehicle. The apartment was nice and with several local restaurants close by. The Knightsbridge, South Kensington and Sloane Square tube stations were all a fairly short walk from the apartment. The apartment has a small outdoor space on the lower floor and a very nice kitchen and dining area. The main floor has a lounge and half bath. Floors 2 and 3 have a bedroom each and full bathroom. The keys took some getting used to and we chose not to use the alarm because the locks are tricky and didn’t want to spend our time with the police everytime we couldn’t get both locks managed in 30 seconds. The area was quiet and felt safe. Lots of shopping and restaurants nearby and we spent a good bit of time at Sloane Square, Pavilion Road and Elizabeth/Ebury Streets in Belgravia.

Hauling the larger bags up the stairs wasn’t fun and I had some scuff marks to clean up after they were taken up…the stairs were skinny! We unpacked and the apartment had good storage space. The day was sunny and nice and we headed over to Belgravia for a very late lunch. On the way, we passed through Pavillion Road which was packed! I love all the small shops/restaurants there. London is outside when the sun is out and that day was no exception. We explored a pretty little church (St Simon Zelotes) and enjoyed all the blooming trees and gardens in the area (and wished we had the key to one of those private gardens around Cadogan Square and Belgravia)! I was on the lookout for wisteria and didn’t see any blooming that day but there were still a lot of trees in bloom. We were lucky to get a table at Thomas Cubbitt which was also packed. The service was terrific and the olives and Vinho Verde went down well. We all got fish and chips - the fish was greasy but good. The chips were perfect- thick, crisp outside and fluffy inside. We got a look at the Instagram favorite Peggy Porschen. I also took a look at Lime Tree Hotel - so charming and we had breakfast reservations on Saturday. Would love to see their rooms! From there we headed to Partridge’s for bottled water, some stem ginger biscuits for the apartment and my beloved diet coke. And the rain started while we were inside but we did catch a taxi quickly and headed home. That late lunch and rain killed any thought of heading out again and we all turned in pretty early. So good to be back in London and we were looking forward to a packed Friday First Full Day. (Westminster Abbey and the Galleries; Borough Market; Fleet Street; Temple Church; Millenium Bride; Borough Market; St Dunstan’s in the East and Leadenhall Market).

Last edited by Moderator1; May 2nd, 2023 at 02:32 PM. Reason: reverted 6 paragraphs of bolding to plain text
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 02:35 PM
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Denise,

So good to “see” you! So, how many pairs of shoes did Chaz buy?
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Weekender
Denise,

So good to “see” you! So, how many pairs of shoes did Chaz buy?
Hey there weekender! Feels like old home week on Fodor’s and here is a shock…no shoes this trip for anyone!
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 03:01 PM
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St Simon Zelotes

St Simon Zelotes


Pavilion Road

Pavilion road

Thomas Cubbitt olives

Thomas Cubbitt

Peggy Porschen —-Instagram mecca

Moyses Stevens-Elizabeth Street

Spring in London

Peggy Porschen
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