I am so grateful to Trip Advisor for all your great information. I had spent the past months gathering all the answers to the questions that ran through my head.
I agree with you, TravererPlus (many, many thanks) that Arran House Hotel is a swell hotel. I used the Russell Square station, and had no trouble with your
swell directions. My daughter and grand daughters were as impressed as I was with the location, cleanliness and friendliness of the hotel. I owe AdamHornet thanks too, with airport and tube advise.
We enjoyed TAS restaurant so much we made a 2nd visit to it. An easy walk down the street from the hotel. Yummy food, great friendliness and service. Konaki Greek Restaurant was as good as my past visits. Twice, we lunched at Planet Organic, which is just around the corner from the hotel. Good smoothies, soups, and hot dishes.
The young adults enjoyed shopping Oxford Street, esp taking your advice on Top Shop.
We were in town mainly to visit the National Gallery of Art, as the grand daughters are students at Savannah College of Art and Design. When we arrived at the National Gallery we were told the main exhibit we were checking out (Jan Van Eyck) was closed due to staffing problems. (employees out with the flu). We were stunned. Thought we had come all that way not to be able to view it. Well, the kind officials took pity on us, and escorted us into
the room for a quick view. We were SO grateful.
After we reached our saturation point of art, we ate in the cafe- - - -lovely, and were surprised and charmed by the view framed by the big windows overlooking Trafalgar Square, including Big Ben and the Big Eye.
From there we went on to Covent Gardens, enjoyed street performers, and the stores. I even brought back some Lush products.
Now, right here I must tell you of our unexpected event. On our first day in London, coming home from enjoying the Tradional Tea at Harrods, I stumbled on some uneven pavement. (I swear we had only been drinking tea). The next morning my foot was swollen and I was unable to put on my shoe, so I sent my daughter and 2 grand daughters off to enjoy the Tower of London and the bridge while I visited A & E
at London University Hospital. (since I have visited Tower of London 3 other times, I felt I wouldn't be that jealous of them). National Health Service took excellent care of me, the 71 yr old granny. Yes, I did fracture my foot ("Jones Fracture- - -5th metatarsal"). Sent the x-rays back stateside to Annapolis for follow up care, and casted me. Soooo,
I can testify that National Gallery of Art is handicap accesssible.
We finished off our visit at St. Pancras Station, with our Eurostar transport to Brussels. What a lovely station. I was wondering how my computer printout would work. I presented it at the ticket window, and got my tickets quickly and efficiently.
I'm glad we allowed a bit of time though, as they thoroughly searched my daughter and unpacked her entire suitcase. I guess it was just a random search. It provided amusement for the rest of us, though, and actually, I am grateful for the security measures in place. The Eurostar was a very smooth ride. We felt it was a good value- - - having purchased our tickets well in advance, using Sr. Citizen and youth rates along with a regular ticket.
(youth rates extend well into the mid twenty year olds).
After seeking out the rest of the Van Eyck paintings/and altarpiece, and exploring Belgium and Paris, we returned to London and Arran House Hotel via Eurostar from Paris. The girls were able to make one more pass at Oxford Street, and then we flew home from Heathrow. We did treat ourselves to a taxi ride to Heathrow- - - 40 pounds, door to door. When we considered the tube fare for 4 of us, it seemed like a good value.
All in all, late November, first half of December proved a very nice time to visit London. The many lights and ferris wheel more than compensated for the flowers we've enjoyed in our past June visits. And air fares were better too.
I owes ya all a pint or two !