Thrilled about going to London!!!

Old Sep 26th, 2001, 03:50 PM
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I hope you have a great time in London.

A couple of suggestions:

Yo Sushi!
Original at 52 Poland Street, Soho, W1 (7287 0443/ Circus tube
Colourful dishes, a robotic drinks trolley and a conveyor belt for the food make this a culinary adventure playground for kids. Special easy-to-use chopsticks and make it family-friendly, Under-12s eat free from Monday to Friday from the special menu, and fun packs are available.

Belgo Centraal, 50 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, WC2 (7813 2233/ Garden tube. Meals noon-11.30pm Mon-Thur, noon-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun
Branches are numerous: check the phone book.
These trendy Belgian restaurants feature a colour-in 'Mini Belgo' menu for under-12s (max two kids per adult) where children eat free at any time. Kids choose from either fish-fingers or chicken nuggets served with a salad and fries or mash and followed by ice cream, plus a fizzy drink or juice.

I quite often have to amuse Kids in London some of the things they have enjoyed are:

Kids love the Egyptian rooms at the British Museum, all those mummies, the Natural History Museum with it’s dinosaur exhibits and you can feel what it's really like to experience an earthquake. The Science Museum has lots of interactive stuff, you can change your sex, age 30 years in 30 seconds or take a trip to Mars. The Museum of London with reconstructions of Roman London, 19th-century streets, Newgate Prison and the Great Fire Experience. You can see a reconstruction of a First World War trench and experience an air raid during the Second World War at the Imperial War Museum London's Transport Museum has hands-on working exhibits and 15 interactive KidZones for children.
See a fantastic collection of toys, dolls & dolls' houses, children's costumes and nursery antiques at the Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green .

The Tower of London.

The British Airways London Eye is the world’s highest observation wheel. It is situated at County Hall, on London’s South Bank, and offers spectacular views across London during a 30 minute ‘flight’. On a clear day it is possible to see for 25 miles, as far as Windsor Castle or Heathrow Airport.

The London Dungeon is extremely popular and you'll be queuing, the London Dungeon is a bloody, gruesome display of the less attractive side of London history. The venue is suitably atmospheric, situated under arches at London Bridge Station. It is imaginatively lit and the sound track is repulsive.

London Frog Tours operate unique road and river adventures using 30 seat amphibious vehicles. Each tour includes sightseeing through the heart of London followed by 'splash down' and a 30 minute river cruise along the Thames - all in the same vehicle.

In the old County Hall is one of Europe's largest displays of aquatic life. Opposite Big Ben, in the London Aquarium you can come face-to-face with two-metre long sharks and watch divers hand-feeding gigantic conger eels. Also discover the world's most venimous fish, and see the frenzied piranhas. Friendly rays are waiting to be stroked, along with starfish and crabs.

The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Starlight Express

I recently took a group of four six to ten year olds to Tate Modern – which surprisingly they all loved.
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 03:58 PM
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I had heard about Yo! Sushi - read about it in the NY Times...We LOVE sushi!!! We will definitely go there, if possible. Rainforest is a very interesting place, but sadly we have one where I live...but it is a lot of fun. Children definitely enjoy it.

I am definitely taking my son to Wagamama - it sounds like his kind of night out He can tell the poor people next to us some of his corny jokes. And, as I believe it was Nigel who said, maybe we can make friends with the people around us...I make a good friend too for those who want to go to a warm and tropical place all year round- haha

Thanks again for such great responses...I am looking forward to this trip more and more. By the way we are staying near Great Russell Street only a few blocks from the British Museum....
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 04:06 PM
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David - I am amazed!! Thank you for the list - very kind of you....forget about it interesting my son - it all interests me! I want to go on the Frog tours!!
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 07:58 PM
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I just want to say--this thread is lovely and I am grateful for it.

I planned and took a nice trip to London at the end of August, with the help of this board (probably used another name, hadn't settled on this one yet--posted about traveling alone). Not long after I got back, my home (New York City) was bombed. I live downtown where it all happened & continues to happen, I've been to the site to volunteer, I see the pictures of lost people every day, and I work in the mental health field so I have taken in the experiences of many others.

I spend a lot of time reading travel posts, I guess in order to keep a foothold in another world--this particular thread, where people are being helpful and warm about a place I so recently loved, helps me remember how life used to be & I hope will be again for those of lucky enough to still have lives. Also it is so nice to participate in the planning of a special trip for a (great)kid. Thank you.
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 01:40 AM
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Sorry to be a pedantic old fart, but Guy Fawkes was trying to blow up Parliament when the King was performing the State Opening. He was caught in the cellar with several barrels of gunpowder, that's why even to this day the cellars are ceremonially inspected before the Queen opens Parliament.
Have a look at
Your son would certainly enjoy Bonfire Night. There are several public celebrations as well as private parties. A few weeks before November 5th you will see children with "Guys" of varying quality asking for "A penny for the Guy". They use the money they collect to buy fireworks.
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 10:17 AM
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Elizabeth: I am so glad that this post was able to bring some cheer to you and take you away momentarily from the horrible events that have affected all of us, near and far.

As to all these helpful posts - I have printed all your information out and have it ready for my trip....

NOW I am drooling for some hot tea, scones, clotted cream, lemon curd, a real Stout that is not pasteurized as they are here, and I want a Pimms, a Ploughman's lunch with the pickle spread I have heard all about - and I cannot wait to just sit on a bench in a park and soak up all the sounds, voices, and culture in! Oh and drool over the Queen's Guard????????

In Late November you can look for that silly American woman walking down the street crying because she is so in awe and happy to be in London (England).
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 11:12 AM
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Hi Stephanie, I have been to the Ceremony of the Keys three times...once with my husband, once with my daughters, and once with my brother. I always loved it (and so did they) but I have to tell you that twice it was much better than the third time.....and all because the man who does the talking was so much more talkative those two times, and the third time, he seemed in a hurry. So, I think you should go, and I PROMISE YOU, your son will absolutely love it. There is a you enter the Bloody Tower, stay to your outside left, because when you get to where you are going, you will all stop and turn left to face the guy.....and you will be in the front row...perfect spot for a young boy to be.

I have stayed right on Great Russell Street several times (great area and a large grocery store across from the tube station...ask the newsdealers to point it out)and there is a place that we visit at least once every single time we go to London. It is the Pizza Express on Coptic and Little Russell Street (just a block or so up from the entrance to the British Museum). I think it is their original one, and this is the very best one in London. We always get the Pizza Americain...oh, man, I wish I had some now!

Have and your boy will love London! MAKE SURE you use the tube...he will really get a kick out of it.
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 01:15 PM
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Laura - thanks - very helpful - glad to hear about someone else staying in same area and enjoying it - thank you for your tips on pizza (affordable for sure!) I will definitely check out the key ceremony....I guess I better do that quickly = not much time left....
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 08:56 PM
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Stephanie: Can't add much except an endorsement to the great suggestions above. I'm glad someone mentioned Belgo Central.

As long as you're at the Pump Room in Bath, have their lovely tea. Looks formal (piano player on a dias, silver service, etc.), but people wear anything (remember, it's a tourist spot!). Even a young boy should experience tea once!

If he hasn't seen Les Mis he might really enjoy it, as it's a good "guy" musical and the Palace Theatre is a great old place. The London cast is the best I've seen.

At the Tower of London, try to catch a beefeater tour. Just stop right inside the gate and you'll see people gathering. They're free and very entertaining.

London Walks: Great, cheap (about 7 lbs) and a fun thing to do at night. If you do the Jack the Ripper tour, schedule it when Donald Rumbelow is hosting--he's the definitive master of the Ripper. You can pick up the black & white schedule at your hotel's concierge desk.

Have a great time! London is SO wonderful! 11 is exactly the age at which I plan to take each of my grandsons--only 4 more years before the first one goes!

Please post when you return!
Old Sep 28th, 2001, 04:50 AM
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I am an American expat in London (13 years.) I guarantee you guys will have a great time. Things to do:

If you dare, he'd love Hamleys,the massive toy store on Regent Street. Kids also love Covent Garden.

The Tate Modern, in an old power station, just over Blackfriars Bridge. What a fantastic space! Kids love it.

The Milennium Wheel - beautiful piece of machinery, and great for kids.

The Science Museum, in South Kensington.

Wagamama is great, but not all that relaxing. There are also branches of Yo Sushi all over town - kids love the conveyor belt. A great Indian place near Oxford Circus is called Kerala. It specialises in South Indian food. The BEST dim sum is to be had at Royal China: branches at Baker Street and Queensway. A favourite new chain is called Nando's - spicy Portuguese grilled chicken. Branches all over, in the nighbourhoods. Try some good British food too, at a "gastropub" - mostly in the neighbourhoods. A great place for pizza is Porchetta, on Upper Street in Islington (a neighbourhood.)He might enjoy seeing a trendy place, too, like Mash in Great Portland Street. or alomst anywhere in Soho.
Bear in mind many pubs won't allow children in.

If you find yourself tired in the West End, the place I work, the Royal Institute of British Architects, has a fantastic restaurant on the first floor.

Check out the neighbourhoods, too,and soak up the local atmosphere: Notting Hill; Marylebone High Street; Hampstead; Upper Street in Islington.
Old Sep 28th, 2001, 05:10 AM
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As already mentioned, if you're here around November 5th, then you must go to a firework display to celebrate Guy Faulkes Day. I guess it's our alternative to Halloween, which is why Halloween has never quite caught on here. Guy Faulkes was one of a number of Catholics who tried to blow up Parliament on the day of the state opening by the Protestant King in about 1605 (a ceremony which is still attended by the Queen every year). The King announced an annual day of celebration when the plot was foiled the night before, a celebration which has taken place ever since - one of our longest standing traditions.

Everyone has bonfire parties - either privately or public displays - where there are fireworks, a large bonfire with a stuffed dummy on top called the "Guy", hot dogs, soup, sparklers, games for the kids. As 5th November this year is on a Monday, there will be public firework displays on the previous Friday and Saturday all over the country, and don't be surprised to hear fireworks going off for days before and after the actual date.

Ask at your hotel about any displays near to where you're staying.
Old Sep 28th, 2001, 05:33 AM
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Guy Fawkes' real first name was Guido!
Old Sep 28th, 2001, 07:06 AM
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Who needs travel books when I have you all with your wonderful suggestions!

I will definitely post when we get back of all the terrific things we did because of your suggestions. And let you know what was successful with the kidlet and what he liked best.

At Disney we went to a special High Tea at a tea room in one of the very upper end resorts - he loved it - he felt special having his own pot of tea and all the ladies around us were fawning over the child! So - he definitely will love the REAL thing!

Hamleys is on the list and he will have his own money to spend - from his very special Grammy and Poppy.
Old Sep 28th, 2001, 07:35 AM
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Let's help Stephanie choose a site for tea. The only one that's been mentioned so far is the Pump Room at Bath, but surely there must be Lonodn hotels or other locations where they can have a thrilling, elegant experience!
Old Sep 28th, 2001, 08:41 PM
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Tea in London *
Selfridges - Oxford Street
Browns 33-34 Albermarle St
The Dorchester 52 Park Lane
The Ritz Piccadilly
Euens - in Kew Gardens, Richmond..take a train to Kew and walk, it was originally Henry 8ths high tea!
Old Sep 29th, 2001, 05:59 AM
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try belgo's in covent garden its real fun. the waiters are dressed as monks!! the food great and its a very trendy place.. right in the heart of convent garden have fun
Old Sep 29th, 2001, 07:23 AM
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The restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery offers a bird's-eye view over the rooftops of the National Gallery, St. Martin's-in-the-Field and beyond, to Nelson's Column at Trafalgar Square to Big Ben, the London Eye. Try it for lunch or for tea. This will not be your elegant tea 'experience' as the room itself is spare and modern; service and food are fine--the view is what I return for!

I think I once heard Wagamama's described as 'not a destination restaurant,' meaning it's not a place where most patrons expect to linger and enjoy an extended, leisurely meal. It's more likely to be where you go when you have someplace else to go. I've been a few times to the location near the British Museum--it's clean, bright, quick, with plenty of young university students.

Stephanie, your query has elicited some terrific suggestions from Fodorites for your November trip with your son. Have a wonderful time!
Old Sep 29th, 2001, 07:24 AM
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Kmarie is exactly right, I believe, when she notes that Wagamama's is "not a destination restaurant." That having been said, I still think your son might get a kick out of it.
Old Sep 29th, 2001, 07:51 AM
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Kew (Gardens?) sounds like a good idea - something I have read about and would love to see - tea there sounds like fun too. All the restaurants have been written down in my little travel book I am bringing....I can check off what I do, etc., or don't and why I agree I have gotten some terrific ideas and information and I am very appreciative.
Old Sep 29th, 2001, 09:36 AM
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Kew, properly known as the Royal Botanic Gadens at Kew, is absolutely gigantic -- a mile from one end to the other. Check out their web site and plan your time.

We enjoyed a quick lunch at one of the trendy little places right near the tube station. Can't remember the name, but it was toward th right as you exit and was decorated very intensely all in blue.

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