Susan Allen Toth books
Before our last trip to England I ran across a book called England For All Seasons by Susan Allen Toth. She is not a travel writer in the usual sense but has a long love affair with England and this is a delightful and useful book. She covers more than London but and has wonderful, thoughtful and humorous reflections on all she encounters. It gave us some great ideas for places to visit that are not on the usual travel tip writings, plus it was a most enjoyable read. She has two others on England: England As You Like It and My Love Affair With England which I have not yet read but they are on my list. She covers everything from puddings to various gardens in a most delightful style.
walk along Oxford Street right...
walk along Oxford Street right up to the big gate of Hyde Park where they have an open exhibition of arts and paintings ( Sat and Sun mornings ).
For cheap Asian food (Malay), try the Malaysia Hall at Bryanstan Square or Nahar's Cafe at Paddington (best lontong and nasi lemak in London ) or try the Northern Indian food ( nan,dal etc) at Edgeware Road ( opp Marble Arch). Shopping and people watching in Camden Lock on Saturday or Sunday morning (reminding us of the 'flower people' in the 70's... she loves you..yeah,yeah,yeah).
Harrods in London's...
Harrods in London's Knightsbridge has gone beyond being a mere department store, and has has become a tourist destination in its own right. Tucked away in Knightsbridge, away from the main shopping area, this is the place to come to buy that chic green bag that wraps all purchases made here from a Chelsea bun to a grand piano.
You can spend days wandering the floors. There is the extensive Food Halls on the ground floor,where the rich and the famous get their groceries, the cosmetic counters, a book shop, you name it, they have it.
.Both Sherlock Holmes and...
.Both Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson lived at 221b Baker Street between 1881-1904, according to the author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The premise was last used as a lodging house in 1936. The famous 1st floor study overlooking Baker Street is still maintained as it was kept in Victorian period.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum is open every day (except Christmas Day). Open 9.30 am -6pm.
Admission Charges: Adult £6 Child (Under 16) £4.
Like many towns and cities, central London’s streets are adorned with lights in the run-up to Christmas each year, although in my opinion commercial sponsorship of these has led to recent displays being less festive than in the “good old days”. Nevertheless, a trip to the West End to see the lights is an annual outing for many London families, and it marks the start of the Christmas season, and Christmas shopping frenzy, for many.
The streets that always have lights are Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street, but you may find them elsewhere too. Covent Garden also always looks very pretty at this time of year. It’s the custom to invite a celebrity to switch on the lights – for instance last year the Bond Street lights were switched on by super-model Sophie Dahl, while those in Oxford Street were switched on by soul singer Leona Lewis, who performed on stage with a number of other acts to entertain the crowds.
There have been concerns in recent years that all this brightness is not very “green”, as the traditional lights use a lot of electricity. Responding to this Regent Street introduced new LED lights sponsored by Nokia: ”100% recyclable, the LEDs are far better than traditional light bulbs, requiring a fifth of the energy they do. As with all of the West End Christmas lights, the Regent Street lights are carbon offset through PURE, the first UK registered charity dedicated to combating climate change by carbon offsetting.” So you can enjoy the lights with a reasonably clear conscious!
The lights are switched on some time in November (check local press or Time Out Magazine for details) and remain until Twelfth Night, the 6th January.
Tube stations to use: Oxford Circus (Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines), Bond Street (Central & Jubilee lines), Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly & Bakerloo lines)