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5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Monza, Italy
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5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Spent 5 wonderful days in London at the end of august. Here is our trip report: mum, dad and a 9yo boy.

Day 1: - Thursday 25/08/2011 –

I didn’t want to waste any minute of our holiday and booked a very early flight: we landed at Heathrow at 9am!

Luckily no one (and I’m not joking!) at the passport control; in may I queued for about half an hour!

Well, we were not lucky with the weather; London welcomed us with torrential rain and we got very wet just walking from St. Pancras tube station to our hotel: Novotel, on the Euston Road.

Obviously our room was not ready but checked-in anyhow, left the luggage in the storage room and were told to come back after 2pm.

Generally speaking I don’t like shopping but I decided I wanted to have a look at the ‘Christmas department’ at Selfridges; despite my many visits to London never entered this place before, and managed to buy nice decorations for my next Christmas tree:

http://i53.tinypic.com/117tvl0.jpg

Very interesting the food hall, but we had lunch at the top floor.

I know it might sound strange to the most of you, but you can’t imagine how much I enjoyed a simple plate of roasted potatoes: crispy outside and soft inside. Delicious! Wish I knew how to cook them (I’ll look for the recipe on Google).

The lady who hosted me when I was student, used to cook them in the same way; I was too young then, not yet interested in cooking and never asked for the recipe.

Even if it stopped raining and the sun was trying hard to find its way in the clouds, we decided to go back to the hotel. We got up at 5.30 that morning and we all needed to rest a little bit and a shower.

It was 3pm but, the guy at the reception (the very same who checked us in earlier in the morning and who told us to come back after 2pm) informed us that our room was not ready yet.

I didn’t say anything, I’m afraid he saw the expression of my face and he got ‘scared’: he immediately picked up a telephone and few minutes later, we were in our room, 15th floor, and this is the view we enjoyed for 5 days:

http://i51.tinypic.com/23ixllh.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/2h58dok.jpg

Planned Indian food for supper and decided to go to the Cafè Spice Namaste, not far from the Tower Bridge.

Someone recommended it here (I think TP), mixed reviews, checked the menu on the web and decided to give it a try: we enjoyed the food very much, the service was good, nice interior, a bit expensive.

The weather was nice and decided to go and have a nice walk till one of my favorite places: St. Katharine Docks first, then Tower Bridge.

Well, after a rainy day, look at this incredible sunset:

http://i56.tinypic.com/15rlcsk.jpg

http://i55.tinypic.com/4ui3it.jpg

http://i55.tinypic.com/jilw74.jpg

Tower Bridge and Tower of London by night:

http://i53.tinypic.com/4gkenl.jpg

http://i56.tinypic.com/14llv04.jpg

Walked till London Bridge, but we were tired and it got windy and chilly, so decided it was time to go back to the hotel and have a nice sleep.

Monza, Italy
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1. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Day 2 – Friday 26/08/11:

Rainy day and, according to the weather forecast, it would have been miserable all day long. No problem, perfect day for a museum. Staying in St. Pancras, we easily reached the RAF museum (zone 4 ) with the Northern line till Colindale and then, an easy walk (10-15 minutes) till the museum.

The area to explore is really huge, it’s incredible how many planes are on display; everything is very well organized, plenty of information and found it very interesting. Our 9yo boy liked it. There’s an indoor nice play area for the children; it’s a pity that some of the games were not working.

The entrance to the museum is free, while you have to pay for the 4D cinema and the flight simulator (this one at the moment is on the list of the 2x1 offers).

We stopped at the ‘Wing restaurant’ and I had a delicious scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam; yummy..

I would have liked to go and visit the Golders Hill Park but it was still raining so decided to catch the tube till Golders Green, and from there bus nr. 13 till Baker Street, so we managed to see a part of London we wouldn’t have seen by tube and definitely enjoyed the ride on the double decker.

We had tickets for the Phantom of the opera that evening, so decided to have supper around our hotel and then go to the theatre.

Gosh, we wanted to stay in a pub (O’neill’s was our first choice as we had already been there in the past and liked it), there were three in the area but all were full with people watching a football match. In the meantime it started to rain cats and dogs and at the end we stopped and had supper at McDonald’s :-(

As far as the musical is concerned, it’s absolutely amazing. We had already seen it many years ago and fell in love with it. Our son knows all the songs because we often listen the CD with the soundtrack and few months ago, when he saw the film, said that he would have liked to see it live. Why not but? Even if he’s a quiet boy, I must confess that I was a bit worried; it’s not easy to stay in a small seat for so long, but he simply loved it and managed to stay quiet and without talking. Well, we saw it three weeks ago and he’s still excited; keeps talking about it and listening to the CD.

London, United...
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2. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Great trip report Londra, I am pleased your son enjoyed the visit to RAF musuem and I am sorry that you could not visit the Golders Hill park due to bad weather. Never mind keep it for another time. Thank you for sharing

Italy
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3. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Great trip report and photos that sunset is just fabulous.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

I'm enjoying your report, thanks! You certainly had fantastic views from your hotel room.

New Orleans
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5. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Love your sunset and night pictures--Someone is a photographer! Loooking forward to reading and seeing more.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Lovely report

Roast potatoes: Dead easy. Put the oven on quite hot (200C), and a generous amount of oil/fat (goose fat is best) in a deep roasting dish to get hot.

Peel, cut and parboil potatoes (I do them for 6 minutes). Drain off the water - get rid of all of it - put the lid on the pan and shake it vigorously so the potatoes fluff up on the edges (to catch the fat)

Take the hot dish out of the oven and put the potatoes in. Put in the oven for an hour, turning occasionally (you don't need to do it much)

That's it

Parboiling (different people like to do it for different lengths of time) and putting the potatoes into hot fat are musts for decent roasties. Goose fat isn't a must but not far off. If you can dry the potatoes really well before they go into the fat (I do it over the heat after draining, but you need to be careful) then that also helps

County Dublin...
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7. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Love your report and pictures. Yes it's a great show, now running longer than Cats.

"Masquerade"

Illinois
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8. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Great report so far! I like the way you integrated the pictures into it. I had full intentions of posting pictures with my trip a few weeks ago, but I still haven't downloaded them off the camera. I'll have to try the roast potatoes method above. Although I'm not sure where I'd get goose fat. I don't even know if you can buy a goose here.

Minnesota
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9. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

I love your pics, greats shots of TOL and Tower Bridge. You've inspired me to take the track back after sun down :)

Nijmegen...
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10. Re: 5 days in London: trip report & pictures

Yes me too, love the Tower Bridge pic!

Very nice report, looking forward to the rest!