Welcome to My London for a Short Autumn Break…
…and prepare for a shock. London is very expensive, crowded, with an abundance of overpriced, mediocre restaurants. Oh- and it rains a lot, all the blooming time.
getting around is a nightmare
Buy an oyster card the minute you arrive. You will have to fight your way to get a bus or ‘the tube’. Black cabs are plentiful, and in my view, good value. You get an experienced, safe driver, someone who has spend over two years, studying the streets of London. (the knowledge) Please don’t attempt to drive yourself, we detest tourists who have no idea where they are going and keep blocking the congested roads. Cycling is only for the brave, the foolish, or those trained in the elite special forces.
a bed for the night
Don’t get me started. we have some of the smallest flats in the world. (except perhaps Japan or Manhattan, which I hear are also very small. I can vouch for Manhattan, but never been to Japan, so any imput from our Japanese readers would be appreciated.)
It would follow that hotel rooms are equally expensive. expect to pay around £250.00 per night for a small, but comfortable room with top facilities. ( (hotel suggestion) If facilities are not a big deal for you, there are Bed & Breakfast places which are somewhat better value, but don’t expect much. When I go abroad, I like to stay somewhere with historical interest, but whatever your preference – Do make sure you book somewhere central, as there is no point in spending your precious time here, in a congested road, travelling from A to B.
what to pack
Pack light so you can move around with ease. Remember there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes. Comfortable shoes, a warm jumper and maybe a trench or a parka. London is one of the most stylish cities in the world, do not dress like a mountaineer. Life is our catwalk people and we do judge by appearances, sorry!
An umbrella is probably the most important accessory. Of course, it’s safe to carry expensive handbags, what do you think we do round here? Just don’t leave them open with a written invitation “please rob me, I am a tourist”
Every autumn there is this hankering for a city mini break and a well packed bag…(You could always catch the Eurostar train for a long weekend in Paris,)
what to do
There is something for everyone as the saying goes “when you are tired of London you are tired of life” see post 10 top things to do in London.
Wake up early and grab a cup of coffee at caffe Nero, (or at the Wolseley if you are hankering for silver coffee pots) beat the crowds to visit an exhibition (maybe the British museum?) fancy a spot of shopping? ( just don’t fall for any of the four major shopping errors) Liberty is one of my favourite places, but there are many more…Bond Street for instance.)
lunch at Selfridges (Aubaine has great ‘catch (fish) of the day ” meal- and carry on with an afternoon museum visit.
Maybe the Wallace Collection nearby? Leisurely afternoon tea and then stagger back to the hotel room, for a hot bath and dress up for dinner.
If the days adventures have left anyone unable to walk, hail a taxi to Pied a Terre (Michelin star for dinner) and then Bon nuit! Sleep well till the morning when you will have to do that all over again.
I love London and would not want to live somewhere else, I love the rain, the tiny million pound flats and the expense of it all. What can I say? No logic to it.
Prepare for it and you will have a wonderful time!
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