London- with a first timer!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by steelgal32, Apr 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. steelgal32
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    steelgal32 Silver Member

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    Today I am undergoing quite an adventure-- taking my 58 year old secretary to London to see the craziness of the royal wedding. This is her first trip across the ocean-cashed in all my swu's for UA business class! It is great to watch her enthusiasm as she looks at her golden ticket that says UA IAD to LHr!!!
    I am seeking some help from mile point: I have the priority club,red carpet club-- which lounge should we go to in IAD? LHR?
    Staying at radisson in leicstersquare- can anyone make some food recommendations? any general tips on making this a once in a lifetime experience?? This lady deserves the best and i am trying to give it to her on this trip! Much thanks!
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In IAD I would use the LH lounge. Much nicer than the RCCs, even just the Business section downstairs versus the Senator lounge upstairs. The downside is the trek to the gates, but it is a nicer lounge. If you're there early enough you can lounge hop and compare for yourselves.

    Other than that, I really enjoyed the boat ride out to Greenwich and seeing that area but I dunno if that is at all helpful to you.
     
  3. Cholula
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    Cholula Milepoint Guide

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    steelgal32, I can't help you with your lounge selection.

    But I wanted to wish you a very pleasant trip. Including your secretary is quite kind of you. :)

    Please report on the trip when you return.
     
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  4. cptnkirk77
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    cptnkirk77 Silver Member

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    I would definitely try and take her to one of London's outdoor markets if you're going to be in the city on a Saturday. Borough market or Camden market are both really fun to walk around on Saturdays as there's a lot of food vendors giving samples and what not, and the whole air of the place is very typical of what people think of when they think London. Almost reminiscent of Charles Dickens and the like.
     
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  5. steelgal32
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    steelgal32 Silver Member

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    First report: safe landing at o'hare....brought her into RCC: The excitement over the cappacino maker was a video that could have gone viral
     
  6. Casey Friday
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    Casey Friday Silver Member

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    I definitely endorse getting food from street vendors. SO good. I took my sweetie for a weekend, and as far as we know, you can't really go wrong with any of the food there, unless you go to a fancy place, in which case you might get some weird food. (we did)

    We really enjoyed Covent Garden and Harrods. I thought Harrods would just be another shopping mall, but it was freaking awesome. I will go back first thing when we return to London.

    Have fun!
     
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  7. Cholula
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    Cholula Milepoint Guide

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    I second the visit to Harrod's!! A must do. The place is almost like a museum. And the food areas they have are really beyond description.

    There will be a LOT of visitors to London this week and it might be long wait but I'd suggest a visit to The London Eye.

    london-eye.jpg
     
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  8. sofasurfer
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    sofasurfer Silver Member

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    I used to work quite close to where you're staying (on St Martin's Lane, between Leic Square and Traf Square) and the first things that come to mind are:

    J Sheeky (http://www.j-sheekey.co.uk) is the first that springs to mind - although I never went there myself, it's something of an institution and seemed to be a "go-to" when work folks were taking out visitors to London.

    For something more budget-friendly, but nice setting and good quality, Fire and Stone pizza (http://www.fireandstone.com/pizza/coventgarden/index.asp) on Maiden Lane is close by, and usually has some *very* good deals on (http://www.fireandstone.com/pizza/specialoffers/coventgarden.asp).

    For a very "Old London" experience, I guess Rules (http://www.rules.co.uk) should also be on your list. IIRC, it's the oldest restaurant in London, with lots of classics on the menu.

    A couple of other places that my London-based friends have been raving about recently:

    http://www.lautrepied.co.uk (Marylebone)

    http://www.bistrotbrunoloubet.com (Clerkenwell)

    Hope this helps!
     
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  9. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    Tea time at Reubens at The Palace! The Palace Lounge overlooks The Royal Mews and Buckingham Palace! One of my favorite places to enjoy afternoon tea and the perfect place (if it's not terribly crowded) for a "royal" experience.

    Also, a visit to Kensington Gardens and afternoon tea (to warm up after walking through the gardens!) at The Orangery overlooking Kensignton Palace is lovely. (I'm sure you can't tell I enjoy tea time!)

    I agree completely with Harrod's... give yourself plenty of time to wander the floors.

    Enjoy your trip! It sounds like a wonderful time and a great thing to do for your secretary. I will be watching on Friday morning!
     
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  10. LiveLaughLoveTravel
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    LiveLaughLoveTravel Silver Member

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    I second the outdoor markets! Borough market is great, you can get an ostrich burger or falafel or buy stinky cheeses :) Camden market is a lot bigger, full of stalls selling everything from fake LV purses to belts to clothes to food. Portobello market is also a favorite, they also have secondhand clothes and antiques etc. All great for shopping and also people watching.

    Hyde Park is a good place to relax on the grass if the weather is nice, though you'll also find small parks every few blocks in London too. Half price ticket booths are in a couple of the squares (I think Leicester square has one) if you're interested in seeing any shows while there.

    have fun, enjoy the wedding excitement!
     
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  11. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    I love wandering around Liberty of London on Regent Street. Even if your secretary is a London first-timer, I'm sure she's seen the famous Liberty prints used in clothing or on umbrellas, or something. it's a great old building and the goods on sale are wonderful.
    if you want to miss some of the Borough crush, go on Friday. Not all the sellers are there, but you'll find enough to see and eat. And if you want to get away from the crowds at mealtime, grab a spot at the oyster bar in Le Cafe Anglais in Whitely's shopping center, a block from the bayswater or queensway tubes. I've gone a few times solo with the paper on sunday and had a fine time.
     
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  12. Casey Friday
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    Casey Friday Silver Member

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    I nearly forgot! The food court in Harrods is RIDICULOUS. We got a pizza there - all vegetarian - one of the top 3 best pizzas I've ever had. And the confectionery... it puts Willy Wonka's factory to shame.

    Damn, I wanna go back now!
     
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  13. sofasurfer
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    sofasurfer Silver Member

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    Another thought for a Royal-inspired treat: get the train to Hampton Court Palace (~30 mins from London Waterloo).
    It's a great day out (even as a former resident and self-admitted indifferent cynic when it comes to royals, tourism etc I really enjoyed going there when we had visitors to entertain).
    If the weather is good, consider getting the boat along the River Thames to/from Hampton Court - Kingston/Richmond. I'd recommend Kingston, as it's the shorter ride, and there's a great little open market close to the boat stop, and en route back to the station.

    Another idea (if an awesome classic French lunch/dinner that is exceptionally well-priced and something I miss dearly now I live an ocean away and not a few minutes down the road) is The French Table in Surbiton (http://www.thefrenchtable.co.uk) - about 4 mins walk from Surbiton train station (15 mins on a fast train from Waterloo, and it's 2 stops from there to Hampton Court - or you could stroll along the Thames up towards Kingston, passing the boat stop for Hampton Court/Richmond)... slightly off the mainstream tourist path, but all stuff I've done for visiting north Americans and has been greatly enjoyed.
     
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  14. Merlin
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    Merlin Gold Member

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    A visit to Speakers' Corner (the northeast corner of Hyde Park close to Marble Arch) while in London is a must. You'll get a good laugh and may be also something to think about too ;)

    [​IMG]

    More about Speakers' Corner here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speakers'_Corner
     
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  15. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Don't try to do too much running around and exhaust your guest.

    Don't miss a very fancy high tea in one of London's traditional top hotels. I've always been fond of the Hyde Park Hotel for this purpose because I love the old castle-like building and its location on the park but also close to Harrods and Sloan Street.

    If neither of you is afraid of heights, the big ferris wheel is good for views and an overall sense of London's geography. In addition to walking along the river and around the traditional government buildings, I like the theater district, Leischester (spelling?) Square, Sloan Street, maybe some fancy residential areas with well preserved older buildings.

    Depending on the time available, it can be nice to take the train to Cambridge for the day.
     
  16. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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  17. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I always enjoy seeing someone get very psyched for a trip where they've never been before, helps me shake my jaded perspective that I sometimes develop with travel.
    it is nice, Mrs Sweet Willie & I basked in the glow of her new diamond earrings (I bought for her at Harrods) while sipping champagne at the seafood counter. Awesome.

    Have fun steelgal32, I know your secretary will !!
     
  18. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Brighton makes for a nice day trip if you have time.
     
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  19. steelgal32
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    steelgal32 Silver Member

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    We have arrived!! Besides UA changing planes at the last minute and taking away our lie flat beds, all went great......I took her pic as she smiled with her white linens!
    Thanks for the great ideas-- much appreciated!! We will use many of these ideas...she oohed and aahed at the Harrods descriptions!
    I am filling her up on some caffeine right now so that she is spunky for a few hours!!
     
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  20. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    You are a good boss. :)
     
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  21. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    I highly recommend the British Library and The British Museum to see many of the things one only reads about or sees on the news. eg., the Rosetta Stone - the actually stone, not the software program [BM] or "the" original version of Alice in Wonderland or a hand written copy Handel's Messiah [both BL].
     
  22. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I am a great fan of walking tours of London. 2 hours. A good way to see the city and a great variety of places to go.

    www.walks.com
     
  23. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Harrods is the only dept store in the world that you can literally buy a horse. Treat you assistant to a nice little Philly or
    something!!
     
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  24. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    Or a lion! Haha

    She will certainly enjoy Harrod's. All this talk of London is really making me want to go!
     
  25. MSPeconomist
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    You can't buy a lion cub at Harrod's anymore. That was the 1960s.
     
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