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Welltravbrit's London Sojourn - An Ongoing Trip Report

Welltravbrit's London Sojourn - An Ongoing Trip Report

Old Apr 6th, 2015, 02:05 PM
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>>they show the view from every seat and they even include a picture of the seat. <<

Don't you love that feature?! Makes it so easy pick seats.

Had a small GTG at the Grapes w/ PatruckLondon. <i>Really</i> neat pub.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 01:00 AM
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For twelve pounds we had a decent though distant view, a real seat and my husband didn’t worry when he dozed off in the first act. >>

makes you happy that you've not spent £300 on it!

glad that the trip continues to go well.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 05:29 AM
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Re the Grapes (this one's for janisj) - it's a lovely sunny day today so I cycled up there for a lunchtime sandwich and a pint. On the way out, I didn't notice anyone outside and nearly knocked over Sir Ian McKellen. He part-owns the pub and clearly isn't just a silent partner: the reason I didn't see him was that he was on his hands and knees polishing the external brasswork.

Can't guarantee that anyone else will have the same experience, of course...
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 09:33 AM
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Lucky you! (doubly lucky that you didn't run him over)
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 10:05 AM
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'On the way out, I didn't notice anyone outside and nearly knocked over Sir Ian McKellen.'

I will come to a GTG if you can upgrade the surprise celeb to James McAvoy.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 10:12 AM
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How fun, Patrick!
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 12:49 PM
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Patrick, that's priceless.
Wow, when I checked the Grape's website I saw Ian Mckellan on their twitter feed, but I had no idea he was a part owner and I certainly didn't think you'd fall over him on the way out the door!

We saw him with Patrick Stewart in No Man's Land which was in Berkeley CA, before transferring to New York. It was a great show and they clearly loved working together.

RM67 there is NO upgrade from McKellan.

Though having seen Ralph Fiennes in Man and Superman this afternoon (at the National) he does have strong competition! The show is superb, the best staging of Shaw I've seen, the hours flew by and Fiennes, the cast and the staging excelled. Highly recommended for anyone who would consider queuing for day tickets, or returns, as it's currently sold out.

Our 15 pound tickets were in the third row cool to the center and we had a great view, I LOVE the National. I can't wait for our next show.
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 07:33 AM
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Hope you're still having fun.

Are you an Arts and Crafts fan? I was reading http://www.visitlondon.com's list of free things to do, and discovered there's a William Morris museum I knew nothing about - http://www.wmgallery.org.uk. Unfortunately, it's a bit of trek, at the end of the Victoria line in Walthamstow.
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 08:20 AM
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There's also Red House, "The only house commissioned, created and lived in by William Morris, founder of the Arts & Crafts movement..." southeast, in Bexleyheath. On my list for next visit.

Directions on the webpage, http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/red-house/
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 10:04 AM
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Thanks so much. I have the two of them on my list though if I keep popping off to Dublin I'm not going to see nearly enough in London! The Red House, along with a many of the National Trust and English Heritage properties is free with the Art Fund card.

I have a daytrip to Bexleyheath planned to combine Red House, Hall Place and Danson House where they currently have a Vivienne Westwood Exhibit run along with the V&A.

http://www.bexleyheritagetrust.org.uk/dansonhouse/

Charles Darwin's home is also nearby but this is the problem, you can understand why my blog is called "So Much More to See" but at this rate I'll have to rename it "Too Much More to See"!
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/v...in-down-house/

Incidentally I though my Dublin trip was all about family I wanted to give a quick heads up to those who may not know the....

LONDON CITY AIRPORT
What a fabulous place. There are limited flights but I can;t recommend this place highly enough. It's perfect for public transport and I went from the plane to the Dockland Light Rail platform (connects into the Tube system) in less than ten minutes.

On the way to Dublin I arrived at LCY twenty minutes before the flight (Ok this is pushing it!) but they took me through security and when I rushed to the gate with only ten minutes to go I was surprised they hadn't started boarding. We walked out from the gate onto the tarmac and right onto the plane and left on time.

There's just no fuss and the place is very small which makes things simple. If they fly to a destination you are considering I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a completely different experience than Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 10:08 AM
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if you venture out to Walthamstow to see the WM museum, you will certainly see life as it is lived by ordinary Londoners. I used to have to go to court there and there is absolutely nothing there to recommend it.

I'd stick to Bexleyheath if I were you.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 10:18 AM
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I don't recall if '575 Wandsworth Road' has been mentioned (apologies if it's a repeat) but it's a definite for my next visit. One of the newest houses opened by the National Trust and, I have no doubt, one of the most unusual:

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/575-wandsworth-road/
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 10:37 AM
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MmePerdu - it's well worth mention, I love these sort of folk art places and it's great to see the National Trust broadening their scope. I have May 1st down on my calendar as it's the day they release more dates/tours for June and July, right now they are completely booked.

Annig, your warning is well noted!

Today I went for a walk with London Walk which I enjoyed very much. It was sunny but bitterly cold - at least to someone who has been softened by far too many years abroad. The walk took in an interesting mix of modern architecture, city churches and Roman remains. WE saw all those wonderful buildings with the ridiculous names The Gherkin, The Walkie Talkie, The Cheese Grater and the Shard, or as my husband likes to call it The Splinter! It's as if Londoners cut the grandeur and hauteur of these buildings right down to size through a ridiculous but apt nicknames.

It's great to walk around the city on a Saturday when it's deserted. I had been speaking to an old friend before I left and he said we should check out the free concerts in city churches during our time in London. Sure enough, during the walk, I saw St. Olaves has several lunchtime concerts coming up. Incidentally, this was Samuel Pepy's parish church and he is buried here. Anyway, it looks like the recitals are Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting at 1:05pm

http://www.sanctuaryinthecity.net/Lu...-Recitals.html
http://sanctuaryinthecity.net/concerts/

Hopefully we will make it to one!
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 10:43 AM
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Oh, good, I noticed the tour situation after I posted it and glad you'll still be there. Also a reminder to myself to not forget.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 10:45 AM
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WTB, i had to remind myself where St Olave's is - near Fenchurch street apparently.

Yet another place in the UK that I've never been. I learn such a lot about my home country here.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 10:46 AM
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" I went from the plane to the Dockland Light Rail platform (connects into the Tube system) in less than ten minutes."

Things have obviously gone down. When it first opened, I could count on getting onto the A112, having gone through immigration and paid for the parking ticket, within 5 mins of touchdown. And I never once had the aerial tour of London that's routine for most flights into LGW, LHR, STN and LTN. In those (pre 11/9/01) days no-one batted an eye if you checked in at t-10 either.

That was the whole point of LCY flights' significant premiums over its competitors.

Indeed, back in those heady times, there was a running challenge in my City firm for who'd checked in closest to the wire at LCY. I had a Dutch assistant who swore he'd done it at t-2.

Mind you, we used to check in on posh class at t-10 with BA transatlantic from LHR. Our honchi swore they'd got to t-5 with Concorde.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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To be honest Flanneruk it took about five minutes but it could have been six and I didn't want to be accused of exaggerating so I put in less than ten!
I'll be going back to Dublin in mid-May so I'll time it, but post 9-11 I don't think you could do much better anywhere else! I've missed flights at Heathrow cutting it too close, clearly I'm not spending enough time in posh class!

Annig, this whole trip feels like some sort of strange experience of falling through the looking glass. I left the UK in 1989 and while I've visited frequently the country really is very different.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 11:30 AM
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DUCK AND WAFFLE
After the walk I was starving and I thought I would try the Duck and Waffle which is very close to Liverpool Street. It was just after 4pm and I foolishly thought they'd be able to squeeze me in. The restaurant is on the 40th floor of 110, Bishipsgate in the Heron building. I made it past the (literal gatekeeper on the ground floor, the men in front of me were turned down on the basis they were wearing trainers (sneakers) but as I haven't met a pair of leisure footwear I like I went safely through!

The whole place is very strange, far too cool for anything like a sign when you get out of the lift. The restaurant was full, apparently the evening and weekend slots book a couple of months in advance - and I was the last to know. The bar area is quite cool with windows on each side and a small amount of seating, all very trendy but the staff were friendly. There's another restaurant SushiSamba downstairs. The place was filled with heavily made up young women who appeared to be dressed up for a night out at 4pm. The whole thing reminded me a bit of the pictures from Aintree that have been in the papers recently! Anyway, there was very limited food in the bar so I departed to find something simpler and more sustaining in Spitalsfields.

However, I thought I go back to try it for breakfast. The view really is lovely, it was rather fun to look down on the Gherkin after straining my neck to look up at all the buildings on the walking tour.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 11:56 AM
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Annig, this whole trip feels like some sort of strange experience of falling through the looking glass. I left the UK in 1989 and while I've visited frequently the country really is very different.>>

WTB, we left the south-east in 1997, and when I went back to London last year after a gap of some years, that felt very different too. Even the sky-line had changed. I'm enjoying your take on it anyhow.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 12:05 PM
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Would have loved to meet Sir Ian but I'm afraid my geek questions for him would result in a restraining order.)

I last visited London 5 years ago and when I see the skyline in pictures now, I'm hardly recognizing it-what with The Shard and all the skyscrapers being planned.
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