That’s right! Quite unexpectedly, I get to spend a looong weekend in London – probably a Thursday through Tuesday.
The plan is to stay at a hotel in the (mumbledy-mumble) part of the city. (I realize that the flaw in me asking for recommendations is that I don’t know where we’re staying – it might be near the theater district? I don’t know – I’m not in charge of the hotel.)
We want to see a play every night (and perhaps a matinee one day). We’d also like to have one really nice dinner at a fancy-shmancy restaurant. We’re going to do a day trip out to Cambridge.
Other than that, I’d like to see some museums (not sure which ones yet – the Tate, maybe?). Any recommendations for good, unusual, or out of the way things to see or do in London that fit in with the general plan? Any interesting traveling exhibits that will be in London while we’re there? Any recommendations for fancy places to eat, or just really good Indian or Thai food?
We’ll be going at the end of August/beginning of September. I haven’t been to London since I was a child, so I’m really excited.
Nah… I hear there ain’t much happening in that town. Kinda sleepy, they say.
There’s a ferry called the “tate to tate” that goes from the Tate Museum to the Tate Modern. It’s a nice view as well as convenient. One of the stops is the Eye, the giant ferris wheel thingy. You get a discount on the ferry if you have a day pass for the Tube for that day. Then you can walk over a footbridge from the Tate Modern and you’re right near St. Paul’s Cathedral.
I had a very fancy meal in the Covent Garden area (Theater District) last summer, I wish I could remember what that place was called. It was like a very traditional seafood restaurant.
The Oxo Tower has a fantastic, very fancy restaurant, with lovely food. Crusoe took me there for my last birthday. It’s expensive mind - and as a word of caution, if they ask you if want a glass of champagne as an aperitif, say NO - it’s about £18 a glass!
My personal favourite has to be the Tower of London. Just love wandering around in the ivory tower looking at all those suits of armour and rediculously big swords. If you can get on a Beefeater (Yeoman of the Guard) tour, that’s well worth it. Of course, I’ll understand if this doesn’t float your boat.
I rather enjoyed the tour of Churchill’s wartime bunker. Other museum is the Guards museum across from Buckingham Palace on Birdcage Walk. If you like naval stuff, there’s the HMS Belfast moored in the Thames across from the Tower of London. That’s some of the stuff I saw and it was all good.
I remember seeing this as a kid (after learning the song from Winnie the Pooh, and imagining ourselves as little Christopher Robins and our beleaguered mother as Alice).
I don’t know; I’ll look into that. The plan currently is to pick one or two plays and get tickets before we go over the pond, and then wing the rest. But now I’ve looked at your link, and the Tempest is playing! I might see if we can do that one; it’s one of my favorites.
:eek: I hope you said no!
British Museum, Tate, Eye, St. Paul’s, Churchill’s wartime bunker, the Tower, the Beefeaters, the Guard – I think I’ll buy a map this weekend before my plans get bigger than my weekend will allow. Thanks, everyone!
On the subject of the Science Museum - and as a follow-up to your old thread about it - today’s Guardian carries this article updating on the situation there. The director’s announced he’s stepping down/been pushed and they’re unveiling the redesigned steam engine galleries.
I second the Tower of London - it’s a bit tourist-intensive, but there’s a lot to see there and worth the trip.
I also recommend the London Walks walking tours. I did the Jack the Ripper walk when I was there, and it was excellent. They do a number of walks that aren’t based on dead prostitutes, if that’s not your thing.
You won’t have enough time to do everything you want; allow for this in your plans; for example, the British Museum is Huge - you have several choices:
-Spend several days there and get a good look at most of it
-Rush around it in a single afternoon, missing lots of things, failing to comprehend others and coming away vaguely disappointed by the whole thing
-Spend an afternoon there, but limit yourself to one or two sections, taking the time to absorb and appreciate them. (I recommend this approach).
I don’t have any new ideas, but I strongly recommend the Globe, especially if its playing something you know & like. I always go when I’m in London & am never disappointed. It is, however, not the most comfortable of venues so rent one of those cushions or bring your own.
Also, the London Walks tours are always fun.
I liked the Eye, as there really isn’t another high altitude view of London.
When we were in London a few years ago, we discovered the Museum of London (can’t get the link to work). It’s a wonderful place to explore the history of one of the world’s greatest cities, and easy to ‘do’ in just a few hours. The British Museum can leave you feeling like you’ve missed more than you’ve seen if you’re short on time. (I love it, but it’s so dam biiiig!!)
National Gallery - lots of old famous paintings, and pigeons right outside! We used Rick Steve’s London book for a tour plan (good for the British Museum too).
London Walks Beatles tour, even takes you to Abbey Road (but don’t pose in the road for pictures, someone in our group almost got smashed)
Westminster Abbey was better than St. Paul’s Cathedral. At St. Paul’s, they even made all the tourists stop for two minutes while they recited the Lord’s Prayer (which was kind of sweet actually)
Any play, check out the half-price ticket booth at Leicester Square (?), and have ice cream during intermission.
If you hurry, you can have tickets for the Tower of London’s closing evening ceremony sent to you; you should be able to find info on Google. When we went, all 20 of us attending were Americans! It was neat to hear the clock strike 10 while the keys jangle as the doors are all locked with a light pitter patter of rain on top of it all in nearly complete darkness and silence.
In the same area as the Theater district (around the corner from Seven Dials, which is just up a pop from Leiscester Square) there’s a truly astounding Cheese Shop called Neal’s Yard (that’s also the name of the street its on).
If you wish to be truly astounded by cheese, I recommend a stop in.
I figured out the name of the restaurant: J. Sheekey
Ever so posh. Great food. Expensive. Their mushy peas are so good its stupid.