Strand Palace Hotel in London

Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 07:35 AM
  #1  
regina
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Strand Palace Hotel in London

We will be staying there in March and I would like any suggestions on great but inexpensive places to eat nearby. Also what was your experience with this hotel and what are the "must see" close by. Thank you
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 09:44 AM
  #2  
Pete
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We stayed there several years ago.
Hotel caters to tourist groups, as I recall. Good prices, small rooms,
uncomfortable beds--but very good location, esp. for theater.
Don't remember many restaurants, but
you're very close to Covent Garden and Soho where there are many.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 10:27 AM
  #3  
Lori
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I think Pete said it pretty well. We stopped in the Srand Palace a few years ago (actually to use the restrooms and sit down in the lobby and rest our feet for a few minutes - large hotels with big lobbies are great for that!) and it was pretty overrun with American tour groups. Unless you are on a tour and it's on the package I would not choose to stay there. Incidentally, it's a very large hotel. The location is great tho for the theater, etc. I don't remember any inexpensive places to eat, but there are lots of places in Covent Garden -- just wander around.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 11:28 AM
  #4  
Ben Haines
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Fodors

Great places cost about forty pounds a person. I eat at good places, at seven pounds or so. As follows. These are all on side streets, so you'll need a decent street atlas. There's a tiny A to Z "Visitor's London Atlas and Guide", spiral bound, at 3 pounds 25 pence: you could buy it at your arrival airport. For each place I name, except Gordons Wine Bar, you leave the hotel and turn left, which is eastward.

All meals. The self service restaurant of the National Film Theatre, under the southern end of Waterloo Bridge. Go a hundred yards from the hotel to a road junction, turn right onto Lancaster Place, cross the river, and at the far end drop at once to riverbank level. You should phone first, as they are about to close for a long rebuilding.

All meals except Sundays. Gordons Wine Bar on Villiers Street. Turn right out of the hotel, walk the Strand to just before the Charing Cross Hotel, turn left, drop down Villiers Street towards the Embankment tube station and the river, and Gordon's Wine Bar is an unpretentious place downstairs to your left. If the weatther's fine you want an outside table. They do serve soft drinks, and tapwater, but if you have wine you should choose your food first (do consider the cheeses, and the smoked salmon), and then get the bar staff's advice on the right glasses of wine.

Weekday lunches. The Devereaux pub. From the hotel walk straight east towards the City of London, past St Mary-le-Strand church and St Clement Danes church (both worth a call: the latter is now a Royal Air Force church and has a memorial to the Polish members of that Force, whose work in the Battle of Britain is a legend). At the far end of St Clement Danes turn right through an arch into Devereaux Court, and there's the pub. You want the restaurant upstairs. To digest yourselves, you could stroll in the Inns of Court. They have a crusader church.

Weekday lunches. The London School of Economics. Leave the hotel, and at the junction I mentioned for the Film Theatre turn half-left into Aldwych (the name is Danish, from the seventh century Viking settlement). Past the Waldorf-Astoria and the BBC's Bush house look left for the turning into Houghton Street. Twenty yards in, on the left, is the School's main entrance. Take a lift to bhe fourth floor and follow your nose to the student canteen. Not bad, and cheap.

Weekday afternoon tea. Go fifty yards from the hotel, drop down Savoy Street to the Embankment, turn right or westward, walk to Cleopatra's Needle, and opposite you is the teahouse of Embankment Gadens. All quite pleasant on a warm day. But there's better weekday tea at Temple tube station. Start as for the Devereaux Arms, but at the west end of St Clement Danes church turn right and drop down Arundel Street. In front of you is Temple station, and just right of the station entry is a cafe, run by Turks or Italians, where all tea is made with tea leaves, not teabags. I'm afraid that this simple pleasure is now rare in London.

Now where not to go. The Wellington pub. The Indian restaurant beside the Courtauld Gallery. And anywhere in Covent Garden -- packed with tourists, and over-priced.

Are you always going to eat near the hotel ? If not, I have on disc a note of other places I like for lunch, which I could copy to you if you so ask.

There are no things you must see. Tourism is a pleasure, not a duty, and if you never see Big Ben in your life will it matter ? Moreover, people's interests and tastes differ, and my London is not your London. But I can say what is within half a mile of you, going clockwise.

North. The London Transport Museum, the Theatre Museum. North East Bush House, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Inns of Court. South East the Courtauld Institute, the Royal National Theatre, the Hayward Gallery, and three concert halls. South Cleopatra's Needle, and Hungerford Bridge, with good Thames views. South West The monument to Oscar Wilde (opposite Charing Cross Station) The National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery. West Gerrard Street and Chinatown.

Welcome to London

Ben Haines

 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 02:19 PM
  #5  
steve
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I've stayed there a couple of times in the past 25 years and it was ok, although now is out of my price range. The Carvery restaurant at the hotel used to be preety good for a roast beef dinner
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 09:31 PM
  #6  
nickie
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The Strand's staff is always very helpful, and can get you tickets to the theater, even when it's supposedly sold out. I found the rooms comfortable, and all in all, it was quite nice.
 

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