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Holidays

Alone together in London

28 replies

Issymum · 29/03/2004 09:38

DH and I are spending two nights alone in London THIS weekend and I've left it rather late to book. I know that they've been posted before, but which are the best websites for late bookings for hotel rooms? Any top recommendations for a hotel - we prefer small, 'boutique' hotels.

Any ideas (printable) for things to do, places to eat this weekend? DH uses a wheelchair, but that doesn't normally cause much of a problem. Nothing too expensive or too romantic. It may turn into a 'romantic weekend' but we are trying to avoid too much performance pressure!!

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Janstar · 29/03/2004 09:40

Love the Haagen-Dazs restaurant in Leicester Sq. Have ice-cream for dinner

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Issymum · 29/03/2004 09:47

Well I guess that meets the 'not too expensive' criterion if a little deficient on the nutritional value front!

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Janstar · 29/03/2004 10:09

It's very nutritious, probably too nutritious in fact! Fun for a treat though.

And nearby you can see a movie, stroll through chinatown, soho and the National Gallery, shop in the markets at Covent Garden, Berwick Street and St Martin's in the Fields, wander along the embankment and drink in the various watering holes along the way.

Plenty to do.

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valleygirl · 29/03/2004 10:25

i know www.lastminute.com have a "boutique" section on their website and it's almost impossible not to find somethign available through them - though weekend rates are not always that much of a bargain.
they also have a good restaurant site which i often use to book - it list a lot of really good restaurants where you can get a good set menu for under £20. last good restaurant i ate at was carluccio's in islington, but i know they have a site in neal street off covent garden - food was great and really reasonable. i know you'll have to pre-book a lot of restaurants over easter.
if you are on south bank treat yourselves to cocktails up the OXO tower - lift access to the top, you could use the wheelchair as a perfect excuse to get a good window view!

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Issymum · 29/03/2004 12:18

Thanks Valleygirl. I've logged onto Lastminute.com and uk.laterooms.com and they both look good.

Come on, come on you other urban babes. Any other ideas for a feckless, childfree weekend in London, beginning this Friday?

Countess Dracula? PPH? Mother Inferior? HoxtonChick?

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motherinferior · 29/03/2004 12:43

I am just very very very envious. Ooooh, what would I do?

ENO's Magic Flute had very good reviews - my dp, the least arty person on the planet, wants to go. I'd go to the pictures too, as I used to go all the time and hardly ever go now, and cinemas are good and accessible.

I would blow some money on eating at the Cinnamon Club myself - deeply wonderful food. The set lunch is reasonable, in fact, although not quite as fabulous. I think it's accessible (but loos downstairs).

I'd also cruise lots of bookshops, depending again on accessibility. DH, being a man, is unlikely to want to do serious shopping, is he (but you could always nip into Jigsaw). On the shopping theme, Borough Market is a bit cobbly but negotiable, and makes one feel all metropolitan and leisurely. The note has to be 'things it would be difficult to do with kids around', and children get impatient with BM (so does my dp, though).

I would also recommend a boozy lunch. Or possibly even a boozy brunch. On the basis that you have no kids and do not have to be responsible. Romance might follow, or alternatively a luxurious nap. And then you'd have the energy to stay up LATE and get up LATE.

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motherinferior · 29/03/2004 12:47

Most importantly: loaf, loaf, loaf. Wear a necklace/long earrings, the sort of thing small children hang from. At around tea-time, have a little drink. Read the papers from cover to cover over breakfast. Swear a lot. Cross the road in non-neurotic fashion. Assess each activity for child-friendliness and if all the indicators say NO, go for it.

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hoxtonchick · 29/03/2004 13:05

How could i not reply, Issymum! I agree with Valleygirl about Carluccio's, really yummy food & reasonably priced (branches in St Christopher's Place, next to Selfridges & Oxford Circus as well as the others mentioned). I would reccommend walking along the South Bank & maybe popping into Tate Modern though it can get very busy. If you go on Saturday you could carry on to Borough Market & then a bit further to Butler's Wharf/the Design Museum. Edgware Road has lots of nice restaurants if you like Middle Eastern stuff. Spitalfields, Brick Lane & Columbia Road flower market all make for good diversions on Sunday morning (flower market over by 2).

These are random thoughts, I'll try & think of some more this afternoon.

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Blu · 29/03/2004 13:34

I splashed out on cocktails on Sat night in The Lonsdale in Lonsdale Rd, Notting Hill, so miles away from anywhere else you're likely to be. But, London girls, it was gorgeous. Very very cool design, extraordinary cocktails (£8), and not too scary. 6.30 it was not crowded, and a mixed clientele, arty/John-Lewis-shopping-ladies, by 8.30 it was busy with party-goers. But toilets are in basement (re acccessibility). It has a reputation for good cocktails, my food and drink critic SIL was covering it for a NY magazine!

Agree on a South Bank walk - and I love the Eye too. It's accessible, I'm pretty sure - you can book ahead. Food in the S Bank venues is overpriced and not very good, BUT I think the People's Palace on the first floor of the Festival hall (lifts) does a reduced price set menu before a certain time and has wonderful views of the river. There is usually some kind of free music in the bar of the main foyer at lunchtimes, check on their website. There's an espresso bar half way up Tate Modern which has an outside balcony with fab river views, too. Tate Modern is free entrance, and has lifts to all floors.
Sundays in Spitalfields / Brick Lane is v busy but the coolest market area. Spitalfields market has an array of cheap tasty and very tempting World Food stalls for lunch, or try St John, oposite Spitalfields mkt, for champagne, oysters and organic bread.(lots of the artists in the area go there).What's the Great Eastern Hotel like? They have art installations quite often, and it always seems interesting to me. Probably VERY expensive, but very handy for Spitalfields etc. Not a boutique hotel, but we often put people up in County Hall Travel Lodge (or is it TravelInn?) quite economical and very good for transport, the Eye and S Bank.

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motherinferior · 29/03/2004 13:39

You do realise we're going to want a detailed account of 'what we did on our weekend in London', don't you?

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slug · 29/03/2004 13:43

Try the half price tickt booth in Lecister Square and see if you can get tickets to 'Jerry Springer - The Opera' You'll laugh so much you'll wet yourself.

The Eye is disabled accessable.

Borough Market near London Bridge on Saturday (for food), followed by a stroll along the Southbank to the Tate modern.

Greenwich market? Accessable by riverboat. Followed by Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory, The Queens House and lunch at the Trafalgar Tavern on the riverbank. Or if you want really cheap, the Vietnamese on the high St does an 'all you can eat' buffet for about £6

www.wotif.com for cheap hotels.

Gabi's on Tottenham Court Road does good cheap eats, though it's not a 'dinner destination'.

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hoxtonchick · 29/03/2004 15:21

Meant to say before, hoxton=over-rated... (not me, obviously ).

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CountessDracula · 30/03/2004 12:57

sorry missed this one

What do you mean by not expensive for the meal (give me a budget!)

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sibble · 31/03/2004 06:06

if I could be transorted back to London this weekend I would (weather pending)...
stroll along the river (most is wheelchair friendly), go to the Tate Gallery, St. Katherine's Dock, visit the 'champagne and oyster bar' in Soho (only fish), eat at St. Christophers Place (Carluccios is good), you can usually book the Ivy of a weekend for lunch if you want to name drop - food and price average, same with Oxo tower but views great,
Sunday would definately go to Columbia Rd market but to be honest may be tricky with a wheelchair just because of volume of people in small space DS used to hate it, quite claustrophibic being at a lower level, ended up with bags and plants up his nose!!!Spitalfields is also great and much easier to negotiate with a wheelchair, from there you could go to Islington where you are spoilt for choice with good reasonable priced food.
Am now incredibly home sick.....
hope you have a great time whatever you do....

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motherinferior · 31/03/2004 09:03

Asked dp this morning who just said 'drink champagne and don't leave the room'

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Batters · 31/03/2004 11:28

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Issymum · 31/03/2004 13:45

Sorry not to have responded earlier - I'm in the middle of a big project at work and I'm trying to be super-disciplined about distractions like Mumsnet

Thank you for all the fabulous ideas. I booked a 'kingsize bed' (with room attached, I presume) at the Radisson Edwardian Mayfair hotel through LastMinute.com - DH decided that he wanted the big beds, power showers, anonymity and predictability of an 'international' style hotel - and we've got a 'flight' on the London Eye for Saturday morning and after that a stroll/roll down the South Bank should be perfect.

Several votes for Carluccio's - I'll definitely book that for Saturday night and maybe try to find somewhere quiet and intimate for Friday (Countess the brief is £15 to £30 per head, somewhere around Leicester Square, Wardour Street, Mayfair!). No reason why we shouldn't swing through Leicester Squre for a Haagen-Dazs afterwards. Other than that, MI is right; lots and lots of loafing is required.

Interestingly just the combination of some Spring sunshine and the prospect of a weekend away seems to have improved our relationship from its rather long-standing, exhausted and snappy parents of toddlers, slump. Just hope we can keep it up for the weekend. Oh god - no pun intended.

PS will pack the champagne!

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CountessDracula · 31/03/2004 13:52

Issymum how about Mon Plaisir - a very quiet and sweet french restaurant that has been around for ever.

There is a review here

In Covent Gdn, but not far from Leicester Square

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CountessDracula · 31/03/2004 13:53

The set menus good value btw

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Issymum · 31/03/2004 14:47

Excellent idea CD. My best friend lives on Monmouth Street, but for some reason we've never gone to Mon Plaisir. I'll book today.

It's beginning to feel like a "weekend alone together ......with the whole of Mumsnet" - very comforting!

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Issymum · 05/04/2004 11:54

Posh and Becks - who cares? Here's the gossip on the Issymum weekend in London:

Fabulous! We went on the London Eye during a sunshiney hour; sauntered down the South Bank; dashed to Docklands on a whim; cruised SoHo and gawped at the 'rubberwear' shops; window-shopped in New Bond Street; sat for hours drinking coffee and watching the pavement parade go by opposite Green Park; caught a Durer exhibition at the National Gallery and spent some time boning up on Constable in the newly renovated 'Fine Rooms' at the Royal Academy. All of this and still enough time to have more sex in two days than we've had in the last two months.

The restaurant recommendations (Mon Plaisir and Carluccio's) were excellent. Although DH a little disconcerted by comments like, 'Yes, Countess Dracula said the set menu was good value' and 'I'm not surprised it's busy - this restaurant was recommended by Valley Girl, HoxtonChick and Sibble'!

Most importantly we remembered why we'd loved each other all these years.....

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dinosaur · 05/04/2004 11:55

That sounds great Issymum

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hoxtonchick · 05/04/2004 11:57

I feel like we were all hovering over you in spirit Issymum! Glad you had a nice time. Might try & persuade dp we should do the same....

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Janstar · 05/04/2004 12:53

What you can do when you get rid of the kids, eh?

dh and I have a child-free weekend coming up in a fortnight....oooh, my turn

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BluGhost · 05/04/2004 12:57

WOW! You did LOADS, sounds excellent!
And, aaah! LOVELY to hear you enjoyed being together so much.

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