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Suggestions for planning romantic experiences in London please

Suggestions for planning romantic experiences in London please

Old Oct 16th, 2015, 07:24 AM
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Suggestions for planning romantic experiences in London please

Hi all,

I would be in London with my fiancé for couple of weeks in November. I want to build some romantic memories with him. Your suggestions for romantic restaurants (veg-friendly), walks, lovely neighbourhoods, couple activities, theatre, concerts, workshops, etc would be very much appreciated. He would be working Mon-Fri, hence it is going to be mostly evenings with him, and weekends.

If it is of any consequence, we are staying in Green Park - Piccadilly Circus area in a fully furnished serviced apartment with kitchen facilities. I mention that because apart from the above, one of the things I do want to do is to plan a special meal cooked by me. I read that there are tons of specialty food halls and gourmet grocery outlets in the area. That should help me do the shopping for exotic ingredients needed across cuisines. Any notable among them that you could highlight to me?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 16th, 2015, 07:53 AM
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Broadway market and Borough market for foodie shopping, though frankly neither is right on your doorstep. Probably Wholefoods won't be a million miles away and that will have lots of British produce.

I notice you already have a thread on your London trip - don't go overboard with the number you start unless they are on completely different topics or you will get lots of duplicate answers and/or find it hard to keep track. As I said in my other response the Time Out website will help you a lot.
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Old Oct 16th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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" I read that there are tons of specialty food halls and gourmet grocery outlets in the area."

There aren't.

Fortnum's sells overpriced, overdesigned, packaged food - and has a range of more or less adequate serve-over chilled food counters with cheese, traiteur products and cooked meat of roughly the same quality (but twice the price) as a proper supermarket.
James Allen (117 Mount St, W1K 3LA) is a really interesting butchery shop - presenting ranges of game and offal unusual elsewhere.
Paxton and Whitfield (Jermyn St SW1Y 6JE ) was for much of the 20th century almost the only decent cheesemonger in London. Again: most decent supermarkets now match, and often outperform, it.
The food hall in the basement of John Lewis (Oxford St) is the best proper supermarket in central London: not quite matching James Allen's game range, but well up to the quality of cheese, cooked meat, mainstream meat and packaged food the tourist traps make a thing of.
The Yummy Mummy of Britain's modern hyper-artisan, organic, hyper-priced food shop movement - Daylesford - has a capsule offering in the Selfridge's food hall. So does James Knight, London's best-rated fresh fish wholesaler. Oddly there's no good free-standing fishmonger in the area. You need to trek out to Notting Hill or Marylebone for wider ranges of fresh fish

For cheating, just about the global capital of high quality packaged ready to eat food you can serve as if you'd made it yourself is the Marks & Spencer foodhall at their branch at the far west of Oxford St.

The booze at M&S and John Lewis is fine: add a zero to their prices for the carefully art-directed fuddy-duddiness at Justerini & Brooks or Berry Bros & Rudd in St James's - but they do understand their claret

That's it. Like many affluent city-centres, SW1 and W1 form a bit of a food shopping desert. You'll do far better venturing out to the inner suburban market halls. The fruit and veg in the Middle Eastern shops along Edgware Rd immediately north of Marble Arch are probably better than any W1 shop. There's little local seasonal veg of exceptional quality in November, though parsnips are better after the first frosts.

Most of Britain's major supermarket chains (apart from Aldi and Lidl) do home delivery from the web. Buying from a proper supermarket does not carry the downmarket cachet it seems to be lumbered with in snobbier societies.
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Old Oct 16th, 2015, 08:27 AM
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By no stretch of anyone's imagination could Broadway or Borough Market be described as "in the area".

The Whole Foods stores in the area - like the places specialising in wholefoods -are simply crap.
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Old Oct 16th, 2015, 08:28 AM
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Sam Wanamaker Theatre, an indoors candlelit Globe replica, would be plenty romantic for me. Mid-late November has some jazz concerts and a late Shakespeare play.

Romantic opera possibilities, too, with the right guy. Carmen at the Royal Opera House is maybe on the cynical side, romance-wise, but accessible.

I'd save an evening to stroll along the South Bank and look at the skyline. Holding hands optional.
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Old Oct 16th, 2015, 12:18 PM
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'By no stretch of anyone's imagination could Broadway or Borough Market be described as "in the area".'

Which is why I said neither are on your doorstep. Only the OP can decide if they are happy to carry bags back on public transport as a trade off for having a bit more choice.

What would you prefer if you were asking for advice in a strange city - recommendations for hidden gems or recommendations for ubiquitous chains you'll pass every day and thus not really needs a heads up for in the first place?
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Old Oct 16th, 2015, 11:09 PM
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Perhaps a candlelight tour of the Soane Museum?

http://www.soane.org/your-visit/evening-openings

We are geeks so something like this would appeal to us...
buy your fiancee a copy of the British Museum's History of the World in 100 Objects (or you can download the original radio programs for free) pick out your favorites and see them together while you are in London.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore...the_world.aspx
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Old Oct 17th, 2015, 04:28 AM
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Wholefoods in Glasshouse street is not too far; I wouldn't call it crap.

For restaurants, the Wolsely is great. Beautiful restaurant, good for breakfast and afternoon tea as well. Book ahead.

You're also close to Shepherd Market, which is not a market, but a street with a few small restaurants. There's a good Lebanese restaurant.
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Old Oct 17th, 2015, 04:33 AM
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A bit further to walk, but there's a farmer's market in Marylebone - just off Marylebone High Street - on Sunday mornings. Just off the market are some excellent food shops. The Ginger Pig, the cheese shop next to that, Fish Works on Marylebone High street, and an organic food shop just a little further.
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Old Oct 17th, 2015, 06:45 AM
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When I used to walk back to the Temple from Marlborough Street Magistrate's Court [now a hotel I believe] there always used to be a market in Berwick Street which is about a 10-12 minute walk from Green park - anyone here know if it's still there?
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Old Oct 17th, 2015, 08:55 AM
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Berners Tavern is beautiful.

http://www.bernerstavern.com/

The food and view is lovely from Galvins. There is a cocktail bar too.

http://www.galvinatwindows.com/londo...t-with-a-view/
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 04:21 AM
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Thanks a lot to everybody for their kind responses. I have made a note of all of the above. It is interesting how many food related insights were shared, in context of romantic experiences. Planning the home-cooked meal is a part of the many things I wish to plan

flanneruk, thanks for your detailed response on food related shopping. I have made a note of all veg-friendly suggestions of yours.

welltraveledbrit, when you refer to the "original radio programs", do you mean podcasts? Are these downloadable from British Museum's app?
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 08:41 AM
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rtwin80days

Yes, the podcasts are available on the bbd website, the original radio programs were on Radio Four.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n...odes/downloads

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...in+100+objects
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Another pretty good source for what events are coming up is the e-mail newsletter by Ian Visits. If you google Ian Visits, it comes right up. The one I received today covers through the end of October.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2015, 02:11 AM
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annhig- Berwick street market was still existing in May - just round the corner from where we stay . It is getting smaller over the years though . Still one good fish stall , lots of fruit and Vegs stalls , sometimes bakery stall .
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Old Oct 22nd, 2015, 12:00 PM
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that's good to know, Northie. At least some things don't change.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 12:05 AM
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Thanks welltraveledbrit. This is one of the top resources to peruse before the trip.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 09:14 AM
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Glad it was useful!
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