September 4, 2008

Traveling to London

Whew! I just booked a ticket to London next month to celebrate a milestone birthday. I got a pretty good deal from British Air - $650, which is about $200 less than it was two weeks ago. It's such a crapshoot booking tickets these days. I love BA because it's direct from Baltimore to London and the airport here is very convenient.When I first lived in the UK, I worked at King's College London and then when I lived in Cardiff, I used to go to London every couple of weeks for meetings, so I have a pretty good grasp of the city and The City. But I'd like to hear your suggestions of places to see, shops to visit and things to do.
I am hoping to catch up with some fellow bloggers, House of Beauty & Culture, Sir Fopling Flutter and Just a Plane Ride Away, as well as seeing family and friends. It's shocking how few (none) pictures I have of London, so I will have to make a point of taking loads of photographs.Remember, I want your suggestions!

PS. Top image is Victoria & Albert's main hall with a Dale Chihuly glass installation. Next is Covent Garden with the musicians busking and last is a funny topiary outside a shop in Kensington. All by me.


  1. Best fish and chips - The Golden Hind, just of Marylebone High Street (73 Marylebone Lane). Supposedly Madonna's favorite...very casual, BYOB, excellent fish and chips and Greek fare too (run by a Greek family).

    Just writing this makes me hungry.

  2. Sounds like a great trip! We're hoping to make it to London next year.

    Love that last photo!

  3. That's so exciting you've booked your trip. Way to celebrate a milestone birthday!

  4. You must go here...

    I didn't hear about it till after my trip, but how cool is that website?

  5. WOW on the website. And I know exactly where Conduit Street is... Good call!

  6. I am so jealous!

    Your photos are great. Love the topiary dog.

    All of your fans will be following your London adventure.

  7. What a deal. Have you been to Lord Leighton’s house for some Gilded Age Orientalism? KDM

  8. I can't wait to see your pictures from London. I particularly enjoy your architechtural ones.

  9. Can't wait.

    Here are a few ideas:
    - I agree with the above suggestion about the Golden Hind for fish and chips. There's an amazing art deco fish fryer in there. Also recommended are the Sea Shell (behind Marylebone Station) and Fish Central (by the Barbican).

    - Pubs: The Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street - built right after the Great Fire of 1666, it's a warren of interconnecting rooms and cellars. The Blackfriar - next to Blackfriars Bridge, an arts-and-crafts mediaeval fantasy.

    - Shopping: everything on Marylebone High Street. Daunt Books is the most beautiful bookshop in town. If you need an umbrella, go to James Smith on New Oxford Street - it's a wonderfully old-fashioned place that just sells umbrellas and walking sticks.

    - Culture - The Soane House on Lincoln's Inn Fields. The Geffrye Museum for the history of interior design.

  10. Sir Fop... Great suggestions. I've been to Cheshire Cheese. I had a friend with an office right there. Also been to Soane, but love the idea of Geffrye! Thank!

  11. I know I would have to go see Kelly Hoppen's shop!

  12. Saw the Chihuhy exhibition at NY Botanical Garden a couple of years ago - amazing -
    London - haven't been in many years but Rococo Chocolates on the King's Road (4 locations actually - just checked their website) Ed's for a really good frappe and burger (american style but really good and fast and fun place to visit - a few of those around too)
    Walton Street was always a favorite window-shopping street - Tapisserie - beautiful needlepoint shop - have not been - just bought via web - this was the shop the painted the needle point belt design based upon D Drapers design that I mentioned awhile back.

  13. Oh, yes, I second Daunt and Rococo (there is a new shop on Marylebone ~ my favorite, sea salt and crystallized ginger!). I have lots of lots to recommend, but will email you with it all! xo.

  14. How wonderfully exciting! Looking forward to hearing all about your adventures and seeing your travel photos.

  15. (1) If you haven't been to the National Gallery for a while go and see David Mlnaric's ravishing interior restoration, the colors are fantastic and set off the paintings beautifully;
    (2) Spencer House as restored by Lord Rothschild by Mlinaric;
    (3) Lunch/dinner at the Wolseley, right across the street from the Ritz Hotel;
    (4) Lunch at the Tate Gallery's dining room as decorated by Rex Whistler;
    (5) Drinks at Claridge's Bar

  16. Thanks Reggie! I was at the National Gallery about two years ago. Does that count? Have been to lunch at The Tate, as well. I will have to work on the others.

  17. Oh absolutely Spencer House, but it's only open to the public on Sundays if I'm not mistaken. The Rex Whistler murals at the Tate Gallery Restaurant may have to suffice as nourishment: the food is terrible.
    If you have time for a brief excursion, the Picadilly Line will take you very near to Osterly Park where there is a splendid house by Robert Adam.
    In London proper I would not ignore the shops in Lower Sloane St/Pimlico. So much more interesting than anything in Bond St.

  18. Toby... I know the shops on Lower Sloane and Pimlico quite well, as well as some on New Bond Street. We used to stay at the Sloane Club when we were in London for business.

  19. Not sure if these are even there since I was there in the early 90s. I used to love hitting Wong Kai's (spelling) in Chinatown. They throw you at a table that you can share with others (I think up to eight). The more at you table, the more (and varied) food they bring you. There was also a vietnamse place across the street that was great. The Red Fort for Indian, and hit the Tate if you can.

    I love London, I worked there on a 26 day trip -one day on-one day off and I had a blast.

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