Thrilled about going to London!!!

Old Sep 26th, 2001, 11:15 AM
  #1  
Stephanie
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Thrilled about going to London!!!

Hello all: Rainy season here I come - haha - I am traveling to London for my son's 11th birthday in November. I thought that maybe I could get some good ideas about where to take him for a fun birthday dinner - do you think Wagamamas is a good idea? Firstly, this is not your average kid - he loves Indian, Japanese, Chinese, you name it he will try it...any ideas are gladly welcomed! Also, I wanted to know more about Bath and Bristol...would we need more than a day to visit - will there be enough to entertain a child's interest (mine loves museums and history) - and does Bath have a good public transportation system to get us around to see all its sights - and should we add Bristol in this sightseeing day? Looking forward to some insightful posts and of course, seeing London! A holiday I have anticipated for a lifetime!
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #2  
Thyra
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Stephanie, have a safe, and wonderful trip to lovely London!
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:01 PM
  #3  
Joanne
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I would strongly recommend not trying to see both Bath and Bristol in one day. <BR> <BR>I spent 2 nights in Bath last summer with my 13-yo son. His favorite things were the Bizarre Bath evening walk (little history, much humor and magic, meet outside the Huntsman Inn at 8 PM), the Impossible Microworld, and the glassblowing place at about 100 Walcott Street where the craftsmen were absolutely charming, thrilled to describe the art and risks of their work and let him try it. Walcott also has a variety of charming and innovative little shops, well worth a walk. It's not far from the Building of Bath Museum. <BR> <BR>The tourist-oriented part of the city is very compact; we just walked everywhere, even to our B&B near the Holbourne Museum. There are a couple of tour buses, including hop-on-hop-off ones. <BR> <BR>You can probably skip the Costume Museum, but when you visit the Baths, do go upstairs to the Pump Room and try a taste of the waters. There's a setup on the side where it's dispensed for about 50 pence, you needn't sit down for their expensive food but it's fun to look around. <BR> <BR>
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:12 PM
  #4  
Stephanie
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Thank you for your well wishes Thyra. <BR>Joanne: Wonderful - thank you for sharing - I have made a note of it all to go in my little pocket notebook I am bringing....Bizarre Bath sounds just the thing! I cannot imagine missing out on the Pump Room water sampling - wish we could travel through time and be there in the Victorian age for that one day...Thank you again.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:21 PM
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Joanne
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You're welcome, Stephanie. <BR> <BR>I hope you have as much fun as we did, trying to describe the taste of the water. I believe we finally decided on "diluted sea water with a touch of aspirin"! <BR> <BR>At the baths do try to join up with one of the guided tours, which I believe are free and last about an hour. Without them, it's just a lot of stones. <BR> <BR>One of the gift shops at the Baths actually sells jars of the water, for about 5 pounds, but of course if you bring your own container you can just save the rest of your Pump Room glassful, after that first taste. It's alleged to have all sorts of healing properties, of course. (Give some thought to the container, as glass ones and even water bottles are being confiscated by airline security. Perhaps an opaque shampoo bottle?)
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:23 PM
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Joanne
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OK, just ONE more comment! Your son might really love the Sir John Soane's Museum in London. He paved the way for Victorian eccentrics, with his townhouse packed with antiquities, including a gothic tea room in the basement centered on an Egyptian sarcophagus that he got by outbidding the British Museum.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:29 PM
  #7  
c
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S-You and your son will have soo much fun! Whenever we have visited London we have been charmed by the friendliness and warmth of the English..you will see how they love children! Have a wonderful time, what a nice birthday for a little boy.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:37 PM
  #8  
KT
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Wagamama is definitely fun (and good), but it is LOUD and you sit at long tables surrounded by strangers, so it depends upon whether you consider that sort of hustle and bustle appropriate for a celebratory dinner.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:40 PM
  #9  
Elizabeth
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The company called London Walks, which is universally praised (Including by me, I have been on one of their walks) does an outing to Bath. You could read about it on their site, www.walks.com. <BR> <BR> I don't know London well, but when I was there I loved Wagamama. There are many of them now, all over London. You sit at a big table with other people. The atmosphere is modern, breezy, and young, I think I'd have liked it as a kid, probably including sitting with other people & not just my own family. <BR> <BR> However, it is absolutely as informal and casual as you can get, so -- depends what you have i mind for a birthday. <BR> <BR> Have a wonderful trip. <BR> <BR> PS, if he is this kid of kid, the tour of Shakespeare's Globe is wonderful & includes information like about people drinking beeer & possibly not caring to step outside to urinate (a kind of info a kid would enjoy, I mean, as well as the more Shakespeare-relted info). It's near the "Royal National Theatres, if you're htinking of going to a play there, & the Tate Modern.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:43 PM
  #10  
Merilee
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If you are going to be in London around November 5th I wanted to let you know that is the day the British celebrate Guy Fawkes Day - also referred to as the Gunpowder Plot...seems this fellow was caught trying to eradicate the Church of England...anyway, they have bonfires and fireworks all over London...the week after that there is a huge procession led by the queen that has to do with the mayor...I don't have the address for the following, but if you write ahead of time you can see the ceremony of the keys at the Tower of London...it's held every night at about 9:30 PM...and it's the same lockup ceremony that has been going on there for its entire history...there was only one time during World War II that the ceremony didn't go on...anyway, I thought it was interesting and I liked it...Have a great time - and Happy 11th birthday to your son.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:58 PM
  #11  
kk
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I think your son will love Wagamama's. The servers are young and hip, the decor is cool and modern. The food is good. It's a trip. You see all kinds of people there. And you both will love the food for sure. <BR> <BR>Where are you going to stay in London, Stephanie? If you said, then I missed it. BTW, if he's not into antiquities, I would skip Sir John Soane's house. It is closed on Mondays...if I recall correctly, but it is fronted by a lovely park. I love that area. I was just daydreaming about London this morning, looking through hotel websites, trying to find a place for my next (as yet unscheduled) visit. Enjoy!
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 12:59 PM
  #12  
Stephanie
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Thank you ALL for your responses - I wish I had known earlier about this board! You are all very helpful and inciteful! <BR> <BR>Wagamama sounds just the thing - my son is very outgoing (and brag, very well mannered) and would get a great kick out of sitting with strangers and having dinner in a loud and casual atmosphere - kids are amazing. <BR> <BR>Soanes, The Globe tour, the Tower changing key ceremony - all terrific - thank you! I cannot wait to experience all this ....I have about 5 books to read, but they don't always answer your questions.... (sorry that we will miss Guy Fawkes) <BR> <BR>Counting the days down.....
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 01:17 PM
  #13  
kk
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http://www.iwm.org.uk/cabinet/index.htm <BR> <BR>Also, Stephanie, don't forget the Cabinet War Rooms used by Churchill and co. during the darkest days of WWII. <BR>It is an absolutely fascinating place and right in the heart of London. Quite evocative.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 01:31 PM
  #14  
john g
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I absolutely hate Wagamama. Those communal tables are the pits and so uncomfortable. And everyone can hear your conversation. We were sitting next to some woman who was telling a friend about how much money she was embezzling from her job! I guess a kid might like it though. There is some restaurant in London that serves Thai food and supposedly has a "rain forest" decor. I have heard from my aerobics instructor (who is English) that this place is really great for kids. She said there are live parrots sitting in trees near the tables. I will try to find out the name for you. JG
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 01:36 PM
  #15  
Lipstique
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Stephanie, <BR> <BR>If you want to go to the Changing of the Key ceremony at the Tower of London, you need to write in advance for the tickets. Be specific as to whether you want to attend the morning or evening ceremony, and you must give the names of the people in your party, ages and alternative dates. Also enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. You have to go to the post office in the US for a pre-paid postage form. Email me and I'll send you the address where to write for the tickets. By the way, if you aren't specific, you get a letter back stating which information is incomplete.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 01:49 PM
  #16  
x
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A contrarian opinion on the Changing of the Key: We thought it was a big z-z-z, and 12 year later we still talk about what a bore it was. <BR> <BR>On the plus side, I suppose, we still joke about it all these years later. <BR> <BR>
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 01:51 PM
  #17  
rainforest
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"Rainforest Café", <BR>20, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 <BR> <BR>web page: <BR>www.rainforestcafe.uk.com
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 02:09 PM
  #18  
nigel
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Stephanie, I think the Rainforest Cafe is a chain and they have them in the US...in Rockland County NY..Wagamama is young and fun and if you get to listen in on other conversations, that can be fun too! And it is a perfect way to strike up a conversation with people from other places, make friends, so you can come back to the UK often! Happy Birthday to your son!
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 02:12 PM
  #19  
CB
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I too love Wagamama but here's another suggestion, try "Yo! Sushi" in London. It's a futuristic Japanese food experience with thumping rock music, Japanese cable TV, a 60 meter long conveyor belt sushi bar, automated sushi machines and a robotic drink trolley. It truly is an experience that your son will think is so cool, definitely unique and not expensive.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 03:07 PM
  #20  
cd
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stephanie-my son has eaten at the yo sushi in tokyo and loved it,the conveyor belt is great/atmosphere is young and fun,you will just have to go to both! Happy Birthday and have a great trip.
 

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