Archive for March 2016

Third Day in London   Leave a comment

The weather did not cooperate on this day. It was raw and spritzing us with a light rain. Even so, we stuck with our plan to take the Notting Hill walk through London Walks. I have not spent much time in this area, so I was interested in the walk. 

I have enjoyed each London Walk that I have taken, and this one was not an exception. It began a bit slow, but picked up steam as we went along. The walk began at the Holland Park tube station…which is closed.  I would recommend that they update their website to let you know that. Thankfully we were running early and had time to figure out how to get there.

I found it interesting how this area rapidly changed from a very poor section of London to a super posh neighborhood.

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Kiln from when the neighborhood was industrial.

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Posh townhouses.

The walk ended at Portobello Market which was not our cup of tea, but we had noted a highly rated fish and chip shop near the Notting Hill tube station. Geales was down a side street that we missed at the first pass (maybe that’s why it wasn’t very busy?), but we found it and gratefully settled in. I ordered the Trooper ale (oddly the only local beer on the limited menu) and the fried cod and chips. YUM!

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The fish was very fresh and accented with sea salt and fresh lemon. Scrumptious! I would definitely return if in the neighborhood.

The weather put a kink in my plans (nice walking tour past Kensington Palace, the Orangery, and the Albert Memorial before making our way to the Natural History Museum and the V and A).  Instead, tube ride to Gloucester Road so we could still walk by the History museum  (gorgeous building) and a quick visit at the Victoria and Albert. 

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We had dinner reservations at the Caxton Grill that evening so needed to make our way back to the house to get ready for dinner.

Adam Handling is the chef at Caxton and I have to say the meal was superb in every way. My only complaint was that it was too dark for photos to do the stunning presentation justice. Oh, and with courses named things like “Mother” (which was delicious by the way) I can’t recall for the life of me what I was eating!

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But at £50 for the 7-course meal and £66 for the 11-course meal it actually wasn’t ridiculously expensive!

What a great way to end the day!

Posted March 17, 2016 by cubechick in London

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Walking London   Leave a comment

I always warn people that when I am in London I WALK! I walk as much as possible!  There is so much to see in this city! I hate to miss out by being on the Tube or on a bus. I have “broken” more than one friend who didn’t heed my advice to train before our trip.

Our second day in London was definitely the big walking tour. We began easily enough taking a catamaran tour from Westminster to the Tower of London. I had found a deal through Visit London for £5 per person for 24 hours of Hop on Hop Off service. Definitely worth it even though we only took the one cruise. 😊

Once at the Tower we beelined it to Tower Bridge. We had 2for1 coupons that we had downloaded before the trip. In order to qualify we had to get a National Rail ticket. So we bought the cheapest single we could find. £2.90 from Waterloo to Vauxhall. Well worth the investment. 😉

I hadn’t been to the Tower Bridge in years, so it was my first time with the glass walkways. It was kind of a pain in the butt though as several tourists dominated the panels, laying on them and posing for photos. But I managed a couple of decent photos.

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Naturally after the Tower Bridge, we toured the Tower of London. One benefit of traveling in February is zero lines. Didn’t have a line for tickets or to see the Crown Jewels. 😀 I guessed the minimum time we would need to tour the Tower was two hours and I was spot on. You can easily spend more time than that, but I knew my friend and figured two hours would work for her. 😉

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All of that walking meant we were ready for lunch. We had a reservation for Barbecoa. I was not overly impressed here. The restaurant was extremely loud. We wanted to do the set lunch but they were out of two of the items on the limited menu. My friend opted for an overcooked rib-eye and our bill was completely wrong. The rest of the food was tasty, but I wouldn’t bother coming here again.

I then headed to Fleet Street (after a photo op at St Paul’s Cathedral)

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so we could visit churches and pubs. 😅 Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is definitely worth a stop, as it the Blackfriar Pub and the Old Bell. We also peeked into St Mary’s and the Temple Church. Great history in a very small area!

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We then walked along the Thames and took a spin on the London Eye to see the city at night (also covered by the 2for1 offers).

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We hit a pub near our house, but didn’t bother with dinner as we had a late lunch. At the end of the day my phone said we’d walked over 11.5 miles and nearly 26,000 steps!  Job well done!

Posted March 12, 2016 by cubechick in London

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