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We saw a fox on Great Ormond St (and other sights up and down the Thames)

We saw a fox on Great Ormond St (and other sights up and down the Thames)

Mar 20th, 2014, 06:18 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Some of them come draped in furs and status leatherwear, and have drivers to everywhere. She was lucky to get in a group that includes some ordinary and fun Londoners, and one evening was invited to happy hour on someone's dad's yacht that's docked near Temple tube stop.>>

university has obviously changed since my day - i don't remember any furs or chauferred limos. Perhaps I just went to the wrong place!

Glad the wellie-hunt was successful - somewhat bizarrely a few years ago I ended up bringing a pair home from Venice for my DD. They were vey smart and shiny - quite unlike anything we could get at home, and 7 years later they have only just worn out. Not bad for €10.
annhig is offline  
Mar 20th, 2014, 06:44 PM
  #22  
 
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annhig - not at all like my uni either, but see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regent%...College_London
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 20th, 2014, 10:37 PM
  #23  
 
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I am also following along, and appreciate your description of affordable lodging. I am always afraid I may end up in some place dreary and dirty for £40, but I am obviously wrong. Good to know.
I have read that the Ritz was the first hotel ever that started with the unique concept of having a separate bathroom for every room.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 04:57 AM
  #24  
 
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I love the Lamb with its beautiful snob screens and photos of long dead and forgotten music hall stas.
It's also close to my favourite London bookshop, Persephone Books
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Mar 21st, 2014, 09:14 AM
  #25  
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Thanks, kovsie. Our Oxford day overlapped at least a bit with your time there. I'm loving your report.

Yes, MissP. I watched a customer standing at the Lamb bar adjust the little frosted and beveled screen so it blocked the view of the bartenders, thought that seemed odd. Snob screen: fun name. We liked the Lamb very much, intended to make it our "local" then never got back together. That is, one evening when H was busy I thought I could find a quiet corner there and nurse my customary half of ale, but found it thronged with young men in dark suits. My courage and energy failed, I bought some clementines at the People's Supermarket nearby and indulged in hotel room channel surfing instead.

FOOD

The bartender at Queen's Larder had pointed us towards the Lamb on that Sunday evening since we wanted a light supper, and the Larder stops serving food in the afternoon.

That was the day we'd spent at Kew, and I was at last able to walk through their cafeteria and see what a Sunday Roast looks like. It looks lovely. One of H's Londoner friends had suggested a couple of places to take one's mum for Sunday roast, but after the Celtic breakfast we needed only a snack by mid-afternoon. We stopped in at the Maids of Honour, which was of course full. The hostess had one table for two reserved, and at 15 min past the time reservation time gave it to us. We started to follow her when the young woman whose reservation it was came in behind us and looked so hopeful that we gave it back to her. Just looking at the bakery case was enough for us. We ended up having onion tart at The Greenhouse near the Kew train station, and enjoying it very much.

By the time we were at the Lamb late evening we still weren't very hungry, though the bartender was pushing the Sunday roast. Their lighter fare was very good, so I'd stop by there earlier if I had another Sunday, and give the roast a try.

Our most memorable meal was our second ever lunch at Middle Temple, by common consent a must do, and thank you once again Ann for that tip. This time we were seated just up by the head of the room, near the Queen Elizabeth I table onstage. Judges, we decided, sat up there, with more deluxe table settings. It is the bargain of London, taking into account the setting, the food, and the white glove service. Go with the special, which includes soup and bread, coffee afterwards. You can email for a reservation, but I had walked by a few days previous and asked the porter for the telephone number.

Next had to be my third ever grilled cheese from the raclette and grilled cheese man at Borough Market. Though it was mid afternoon on Friday and crowded we loved being there again, taking samples and being amazed at it all. I didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes for my sandwich, sizzling off the grill, perfection wrapped in paper.

My most memorable solo meal was cappuccino with the spinach and chevre savory at Patisserie Deux Amis, warmed and served with salad, Beethoven piano concerto playing in the background. A French family came in and started to order in English, then switched to a long French conversation; I got a little taste of that without the trouble and expense of the Eurostar.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 09:27 AM
  #26  
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(I did see more French families my first week than ever before in London. It must have been their spring holiday. My first day in town I had gotten a bus map and was waiting on Regent St for that fine 88 bus down to Tate Britain. A man leaned over me peering at the shelter map, telling his wife and children, "Je ne sais pas." So I got to spring into Londoner mode right away, had them walk the block to Piccadilly Circus where they could catch a bus on Southampton St, and I gave them my bus map. They seemed to have minimal English among them, but the little girl gave me the sweetest smile. I don't get to do things like that in my home town.)
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Mar 21st, 2014, 09:41 AM
  #27  
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Sorry, one more PS: I walked the length of the Middle Temple QEI table after the judges had left to verify that it is indeed made of very long boards from some massive oak.

We also tried to imagine where Her Majesty would have sat for that first ever performance of Twelfth Night, decided most likely Front and Center. Since I've recently read a biography of Charles II it was fun to re-examine the portraits on the end wall, including his unlucky but good-looking brother James II.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 09:59 AM
  #28  
 
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That was the day we'd spent at Kew, and I was at last able to walk through their cafeteria and see what a Sunday Roast looks like>>

lol, it had never occurred to me that you wouldn't know that. but why would you?

Glad that you were able to enjoy another Middle Temple lunch. inspecting the way that table is made had never occurred to me either - we take so much about our home countries for granted, don't we? [or I do]
annhig is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 10:33 AM
  #29  
 
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Wow, my mouth is watering now! Love food details! Thx Stokebailey!
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 03:17 AM
  #30  
 
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(I did see more French families my first week than ever before in London. It must have been their spring holiday.

I believe the resident French population of London is around 400, 000 making it the 5th(?) largest French city in the world. The French Lycée has 3000 pupils I hear.
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 05:07 AM
  #31  
 
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Hi StokeBailey,

Still enjoying your great report which reminds me of my own London experiences:

“I thought I could find a quiet corner there and nurse my customary half of ale, but found it thronged with young men in dark suits.”

I have to admit that no matter how historic/charming/unique a traditional pub is, they all rather look the same at the end of the day with the well dressed, young professionals spilling out and enjoying their pints. (At least to a solo female of a certain vintage )

Also

“One of H's Londoner friends had suggested a couple of places to take one's mum for Sunday roast, but after the Celtic breakfast we needed only a snack by mid-afternoon.”

True, after the hardy breakfast offered each day at my hotel, I could not even thing of a serious lunch which is why I had not followed up Annhig’s suggestion to me a while back about having lunch at the Middle Temple – but thanks for describing it so well.

Waiting for more…
latedaytraveler is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 12:49 PM
  #32  
 
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Not many Londoners feed foxes, particularly in the suburbs where they can be a real nuisance, urinating on doorsteps, climbing over high walls and fences and tearing through bin bags to try and find food (in London at least, most suburbs don't allow dustbins, we have to use black bin bags for non-recylable waste). There are an estimated 240,000 or so foxes in the UK, of which some 33,000-35,000 live in urban areas. And the urban variety have become so used to humans that they are very bold - for example a couple of months ago some friends were walking home late one evening and saw a fox fast asleep on the doormat outside my front door.
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 01:36 PM
  #33  
 
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An excellent reason for not encouraging foxes:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21399709
annhig is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 03:59 PM
  #34  
 
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Enjoying your trip report. How much was the lunch at Middle Temple Hall? Do they accept the general public as long as you have a reservation? How was the food for lunch? Sounds like an interesting venue.
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 04:36 PM
  #35  
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MIddle Temple Hall survived the Great Fire, was repaired after WWII bomb got the west wall. It saw the first performance of the comedy Twelfth NIght in I think 1602, and its garden was traditionally the scene where the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York were plucked, also per Shakespeare in Henry VI. It has a magnificent double hammer beam ceiling and a musician's gallery up by the Ladies' Cloak Room.

http://www.middletemplehall.org.uk/

http://www.middletemplehall.org.uk/food-lunch.html

It's possible to peek into the hall when it's not in use, and members of the public may reserve lunch there on certain days. (see email in link above.) Apparently your daughters could also hold their wedding receptions there, if you're in the right income bracket. If you go for lunch, you'll feel most comfortable if you're dressed as if members of Inns of Court, like almost all your fellow lunchers. We were asked not to take photos until after 1400, which we would not have dreamed of even if we'd had a camera.

The lunch special that day included carrot-coriander soup, very nice, or one with lamb I think, bread, tuna steak, vegetables, salad, and coffee/cappuccino. Somewhere in the £11 range each. There were also salad bar, roasts, a vegetarian section, and a wide range of yummy looking desserts.

It's about a civilized a lunch I ever get. The garden was full of crocuses and daffodils.
stokebailey is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 02:46 AM
  #36  
 
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As part of my job entails working an on call service, I am frequently out and about in the early hours of the morning, and it is a rare night that I don't see at least one fox on my way to or from the hospital.

I only really posted as an excuse to post this video of a fox cub being rescued from dog food tin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb7pv1iytug
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 07:45 AM
  #37  
 
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Thanks Stokebailey for the info on Middle Temple Hall. Looking forward to the rest of your report.
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 07:48 AM
  #38  
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Especially the part where he gratefully licks the guys toes. Foxes may be the London equivalent to the bunnies I see everywhere when walking home from metro late at night after work, or the occasional wascally possum or raccoon, though more beautiful.

The London phase of my visit didn't focus so much on food; we saved that more for Seville's tapas. Our tourist pounds, such as they were, went towards culture. We had meals at Lupita, pre-opera, beginning to be mobbed as we left, and Wahaca on Charlotte St, and I preferred the latter overall. We always like Hummus Bros on Southampton Row, around the corner from the British Museum and just down the street from the Celtic.

We enjoyed Oxford dinner at Café Rouge, chosen because we had looped back towards the St. Giles area and were ready to sit down. Liked the atmosphere our plats du jour. One lunch I met H between classes and we walked to the Four Lanterns on Cleveland St., for some tasty Greek food. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...n_England.html
The chef/?prop came out to flirt/josh around/make sure he had our orders right, and he was charming.

Servers in general are charming in London, each cuter than the last. (Though having my above average attractive daughter along might have helped.) Our theory is that everyone in London is forced to step up his game just to meet the average level of winning personality. Thus raising the average even higher. You may point at exceptions, certainly, like maybe some strive towards dullness, just to stand out.
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 03:09 PM
  #39  
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GETTING AROUND

Buy a seven day bus pass. Then, after a week, another one. Ask for a free bus map, and when you lose, wear out, or give it away, ask for another one at the booth of a tube stop. Avoid Oxford St., where you people walk faster than traffic. Opt for a Routemaster when possible, and, if you want to, you alight -- love that word -- at red lights.

Take the Thames Clipper at least once, preferably to North Greenwich where you can alight, walk down the Thames Path around 20 min downstream and admire the Barrier. View the Wren, Hawksmoor and Inigo Jones architecture from the River, as Charles II did, and ask yourself what kind of personality Queen Mary II must have had for a hospital split to preserve her river view.

Catch the x90 Oxford coach on Marylebone Road, but the stop "P as in Paul" but NOT "just adjacent to Baker St." as the X90 Customer Service young man told me after three phone calls. Since his accent is Scottish, I will overlook his innocence of London streets. "You know if you're leaving Selfridges?" he asked. "No, I don't. It's west of Baker St.?" "I don't know. Just head away from the Baker St. Tube station." Just for the record, Stop P is west of Gloucester Place. Since two blocks from Baker St., not what I usually think of as Just Adjacent. We caught the coach just before the it pulled out.


COMMUNICATIONS

H and her friends all went to the Carphone Warehouse on Marylebone Road, just west of Baker St., and got a £5 Nokia basic, loaded on a minimal amt of minutes, and text for free. A heck of a deal, by US standards.
stokebailey is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 03:11 PM
  #40  
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excuse sloppy editing above, please.
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