To ask for your help in planning a London weekend? Please?!(22 Posts)
I'm due to visit London for a weekend soon, with DH, arriving Saturday lunch until Sunday lunch. Hotel as yet not booked - in fact nothing yet booked! Considering a show and dinner - though would also consider a day visiting v.nice bars for cocktails! Could you let me know what you'd do if it were you? I'd really love restaurant recommendations too for try evening - I'd especially love somewhere with a view - providing we can get a table this side of Christmas! Thank you.
I enjoy the Munich Cricket Club in Strutton Ground (off Victoria Street) at lunch. It's a German style bierkeller.
Have lunch in the Shard, £29 for 2 courses. or Galvin at Windows in Park lane, ask for a table overlooking the back garden of Buck Palace- Fred the Maitre -D is "Fred" from first dates. He was lovely to us and sat down for a chat!
OK, first decide what you want to do. Pick 2 things, say shopping and cocktails, or something famous and a show, and dinner. Don't try to fit in too much, as London is a bugger to travel around and you'll just be rushing! Once you've decided that sort of thing, then you will be in a better position.
If it were me, I would probably start at Green Park with a pint in one of the quirky Shepherd's Market pubs, then walk all the way up to Covent Garden for a wander round. Then I would see "the play that goes wrong", because it's absolutely bend over double laugh until you hurt hysterical, and then have dinner somewhere nice. Joe Allen's is good (I've sat next to Stephen Fry three times in there, so he must think so too!) as is Christopher's, or Stix'n'Sushi is outstanding if you like Japanese. If you want to treat yourselves to a pre or post theatre cocktail, you've got the hotel lobby bar at One Aldwych, the American Bar at the Savoy, the Waldorf bar, Simpsons in the Strand or the ME Hotel all within a 5 min walk of that theatre. Then I would go to Fortnums in the morning, marvel at all the amazing Christmas foodie treats, and have brunch in one of the restaurants there before heading home.
The other thing that is brilliant fun is the super-fast speedy RIB (boat) tour on the thames. takes about 50 mins and you see bits of London that you can't see anywhere else.
Galvins is a great shout or go.to the Shard.
If you have the Sunday morning to hang about I recommend a walk along the Southbank from London Bridge to Westminster then up through Parliament Square up to St James Park. You'll feel like you've seen loads of London and only takes a couple of hours.
Google restaurant boat on Thames. I don't know how to link
if you don't know what you want to do or see why chose London. Decide what you want to do and see and then find a city/place that can accommodate your needs. See lots of posts on FB - I've booked flights to (name any place you want including world major cities like London NY, Rome etc) any advice what to do/see/ stay. Surely you decide all this before deciding to book flights etc
Don't go to the Shard. The Sky Garden (google) is much better!
I would also say, you are only here for a very short time. Spend the daylight hours outside walking around or on a boat trip or bus tour rather than in a bar or restaurant or the dreaded shopping. Gap in Oxford Street is exactly the same as Gap the world over. I also wouldn't "waste" a whole evening on a show (much as I love the theatre) because they aren't unique to London and you can see a show anywhere.
Dinner at the Sky Garden restaurant will give you a great view of the city.
Plan to stay somewhere central so you don't spend too much time on the underground - if your budget is Premier Inn style, then there is one at London Bridge and one at County Hall. Both right in the heart of town.
If you have a bigger budget, look for hotels with postcodes starting W, WC, EC. Those are the most central districts of London. Also known as "The West End" and "The City".
I'm sure the OP chose London because London is the best city in the world. It's no surprise it's the most visited consistently. Only problem with this trip is the limited time. The Shard for cocktails is a good idea. You could also wander around Carnaby Street and all the backstreets towards Trafalgar Square which has lots of lovely and interesting places to stop off at (plenty of restaurants, pubs and bars). Some of my favourite places are "off the beaten track" but unfortunately you may not have enough time to explore that much.
This already demonstrates why the OP needs to choose what sort of thing she wants to do. It's one thing telling her what's the best show in London, or that a show is a waste of an evening - we don't know her! She may think a musical is the best thing ever, or she may think the dancing and acrobatics at café de paris are amazing, or she may long to be dancing on a tooley street bar at 5am.
Tell us what sort of things you like and then we can be more helpful
I think with such a limited time the best thing to do would be to explore, wander around central London with a rough idea of areas/places you'd like to go, stop off anywhere which looks good to eat/drink along the way and have a destination in mind for the view later on.
Thanks loads really helpful! I've been to the sky garden and loved it - and unfortunately the shard is fully booked for the Saturday evening - but I will definitely try Galvins now, thanks! Budget for hotel prob £300 so should get somewhere fairly nice :-) Am definitely thinking nice bars with views and agree that we're not going to try and pack sightseeing in - we do that every so often with the kids and this is definitely an adults only trip! A show would be great but no biggie if we don't get to a show - DH isn't particularly into theatre so wouldn't go for anything highbrow but more comedy / musical etc. Thanks again I'm looking forward to an evening on the iPad booking it now!
I recommend for a hotel the May Fair (it's lovely and posh, stayed there for a work event once) but it's pricey (think £300+). For a more reasonable stay, Rubens at the Palace is also fancy but about £200.
Colleagues are recommending the Yard Hotel by Piccadilly these days: it has its own roof terrace, for residents only.
Do like me. Walk past Buckingham palace and ask for directions to it. It looks different on tv!
myoriginal - when I was at uni in London my friends came to stay and we got the nightbus home. as we made our way along the embankment, my friend actually asked me: "hey, what's that big clock?"
Perfect thread for me as I'm off there too to visit my daughter next weekend. Some great ideas everyone. Thank you
I'm going to see Dead Funny soon, fab reviews and there's a Black Friday offer on at the moment!
birdlady those are brilliant restaurant suggestions <tucks them away for later>
I was going to recommend Spring at Somerset House. You can watch the ice-skaters and walk off your food down by the Thames or head up to Covent Garden piazza to watch the buskers.
I second Play That Goes Wrong as a funny crowd pleaser. Don't miss the chance to see a show - there's some fantastic stuff on at the moment. Friends have raved about Kinky Boots if you fancy a comic musical. If you want something more serious, Curious Incident is one of the best shows I've ever seen.
We love getting the Clipper boat from London Eye to Greenwich and back. It's not that expensive and a gorgeous ride. Good thing to do in the middle of the day if you need a break. Just sit on a boat with a drink, watch the river roll past and catch a glimpse of all the most famous landmarks.
Phantom is incredible if you haven't been before, highly recommend it and you can get cheap tickets for matinees if you turn up at the box office, on the day too. Hotel is trickier depending on your budget, we stayed in the picadilly hotel west end, which is a great location for theatres and right next door to china town and picaddilly circus/leicester square. Its small, but a clean posh, boutique style, friendly and very well appointed. If you are driving in, there is a good car park nearby (pre book) in picadilly circus walking distance from the hotel.
Food wise, the bookatable app is good and there are ratings on there too.
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