Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   TR: Two days around Southwark - a brief teaser of London! (

jacolis Jul 23rd, 2019 03:38 PM

TR: Two days around Southwark - a brief teaser of London!
Hi all,

Just got back from 3 weeks in France preceded by a weekend in London. We were supposed to have 3 full days but sadly our outbound flight from Canada to LHR was cancelled so we lost one of our precious days. We still tried to make the best of it and gave our 2 teenage girls a taste of London that will have them wanting to return!

We had reserved the Ibis Styles near the Southwark cathedral as we knew that we wanted to see many of the sights within walking distance around Southbank and that proved to be an excellent choice for us!

Our grand plan to arrive at the Tower of London for opening fell through given our delayed flight but we managed to arrive at 10:00 the next morning once we dropped our bags off at the hotel and walked across the Tower Bridge. It was a brutally hot day (35 degrees) and extremely crowded. I have visited previously in the fall and winter and enjoyed it much more - but what are you gonna do when travelling during school holidays! After a few hours we were wilting in the heat and walked back across the London Bridge to the Borough market. We were supposed to be visiting on a Friday and had plans to hit the Borough market to try the famous cheese toasties - the mob scene on a Saturday at the market was insane! We managed to try a few items from the various booths and hurried to the Victorian old operating theatre a few minutes' walk away. DH likes "off the beaten path" type places and this was a gem! There was an excellent talk about the operating theatre and a demonstration of Victorian surgery. This was was a huge hit with the teens as well! Note that access to the old operating theatre is up a narrow spiral staircase in the garret of a church.

After a rest and shower at the hotel we returned to the Borough market area to have dinner at Roast - overlooking the market itself (now closed). The dinner was delicious - the girls had never had scotch eggs, beef wellington and yorkshire puddings and enjoyed it. Service was also excellent. We went for a stroll after dinner along the Thames and visited the Tate Modern. The girls especially liked the carpet wall and the digital drawing bar.

The next morning we had tickets booked for a morning tour of the Globe theatre. The inside of the theatre was so wonderful! After the tour we walked across the Millenium bridge to St Paul's and then hopped on one of the boats to Westminister. We had reservations at 12:30 on an afternoon tea bus tour of London:

The afternoon tea was really delicious and it was fun to see the London sights from the retro 60s double-decker bus.

On a whim I purchased last minute tickets to see an Agatha Christie play (Witness for the Prosecution) that was set in the London County Hall. Although a west end musical would have been fun I thought this was something more "UK"! We all really enjoyed the play and the setting was terrific for a courtroom drama. The girls told me this was a highlight for them.

Our last dinner in London was at Mango Indian, a few minutes walk from our hotel in Southwark. This was one of the best Indian meals we have ever had.

Sadly since we missed a day we lost our reserved tickets to climb the dome at St Paul's and the promised shopping trip for the girls to Top Shop at Oxford Circus. And a lunch of traditional fish and chips and mushy peas. Oh well - we told them they will just have to go back!

It was a great weekend (albeit brief) and filled with many "instagram-able" moments for the girls. :)

Thanks to all the fodorites for the input that helped make it great.

janisj Jul 23rd, 2019 03:46 PM

Too bad about the lost day but you managed to squeeze in a lot.

>>the mob scene on a Saturday at the market was insane! << -- It would have been just as bad on Friday afternoon (I walked though the Market a week ago Friday and gave up and went on to the Tate where I had lunch upstairs)

jacolis Jul 23rd, 2019 03:58 PM

Thanks janisj!

I guess I will have to make sure a future trip to London is mid-week so we can hit the Borough market more comfortably!

Was just reading your excellent trip report to London. I don't know if you have plans to visit Montreal in the near future but we saw an excellent exhibit on Thierry Mugler at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts before our trip!

Pepper_von_snoot Jul 23rd, 2019 05:32 PM

Blimey, I do hate Topshop. You should have taken the girls to Cos or Zara in Duke of York Square, then on to Ortigia for some nice soap. You could have had a nice lunch at Phat Phuc on Sydney Street off of the King's Road. Nearby is Matcha for great matcha soft serve!

How I do hate Borough Market.

Had lunch at Tate Modern last September. Wine was fabulous, but my cod was as dodgy as Boris Johnson.

Thin, aristocrat 🦘

PatrickLondon Jul 24th, 2019 03:17 AM

Originally Posted by Pepper_von_snoot (Post 16958494)
my cod was as dodgy as Boris Johnson.

That would the piece of cod that passeth all understanding, I suppose.


annhig Jul 25th, 2019 06:20 AM

That would the piece of cod that passeth all understanding, I suppose.>>

The old ones jokes are the best ones, Patrick.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:31 AM.