FTM - the Fashion and Textile Museum opened last year (2003) in Bermonsey.
I visited recently (March 2004), but was very disappointed by the place.
The Museum building itself, in it's striking primary (i.e Nursery) colours was probably the best thing about the whole place.
Inside , the ill-lit black box contains about 60-70 dresses to view, suspended from mannequins.
I had rather hoped there would be some sort of 'interpretation' with videos, artefacts and suchlike showing how fashion changed as culture developed throughout the 20th century - thus setting it within it's social context.
Unless you are student of fashion - then the place holds little interest (despite the advertising) for the more general tourist with a passing interest.
At six quid a head it is very overpriced, but then again I should have expected that - Sourbugger is always amazed at how much some women will pay for 19 square centimeters of material and a couple of safety pins.
Address (if you ignore my advice !) :
Fashion and Textile Museum
83 Bermondsey Street
London SE1 3XF
Tel: 020 7403 0222 / 020 7407 8664
UPDATE 2008 - Now re-opened after 'restructuring' . seven quid entry (if you like wasteing it)
Unique Suggestions: At least get a discount voucher from somewhere like www.visitlondon.com to justify a short visit.
Fun Alternatives: 1) Wait a few years to see if the place expands dramatically
2) See the displays in places like the Victoria & Albert Museum.
I was trying to book train tickets over the GNER Web site www.gner.co.uk.
Story #1. I booked two 2nd class tickets for a very attractive fare. After waiting several weeks for delivery (I asked for postal delivery), I figured out (after another week of pen-pal and phone calls). that they do not deliver to a foreigh country. They were prividing a refund option for a £10. Btw, not a bad deal to have £10 on each meaniningless transaction. Do they need to operate any trains?
Story #2. So, I tried out the refund option. After another three weeks of waiting I found out that their site has totally changed (another subcontrator probably). The new site's representatives informed me that they do not take any obligations of what has happend in the "prehistory". This even made things easier, so that I, openheartedly, cancelled my credit card transaction.
Story #3. Finally, I booked another pair of tickets (the fare was not that attractive already) and choosed the option to collect my tickets on the station. And would you guess...? The automatic kiosk machine did not recognize my order.
The Happy End: all the above applies to the web site, not to the GNER service itself. A clerk in the station printed the tickets for us, the train was in time, the in-trip service was good.
Warning: Now the GNER site simply links to tickets.nationalexpresseastcoast.com. Oh no...Once again!
Unique Suggestions: 1) Never order a service that might be for UK citizens only (postal delivery, royal whatever service, something that requires ID, name it yourself.). They are just not aware of other countries' existence.
2) Never ever do a thing that will tight you to their services for a long time. They may just switch to yet another subcontractor - this happend twice during the past three months.
Fun Alternatives: 1) Looking for a transport alternative. However, I don't know about another train operator between London and Edinburgh
2) Take a flight. But I like trains.
3) Booking in person. It seems like GNER itself is much more reliable then their WEB services. However, the fares may vary.
The 43 hectare London Wetland Centre is the best urban site in Europe to watch wildlife, an international award winning visitor attraction and a Site of Special Scientific Interest ...
well, this is what they say on their homepage. if you're interesting in birds watching, then probably its a good place.
BUT for ENTRANCE paying Adult: £8.75 , is definitely to much.
Unique Suggestions: My result , I wouldn't recommend!
When visiting London, the biggest expense after accomodation is the food! Avoid the tourist traps of the restaurants in the centre. You may find the menu unexpensive, but they'll get with the drinks in the end, which is a typical London reastaurant scam.
A great place to eat cheaply if you like real curry, is Sweet and Spicy, in Brick Lane, near Aldgate East tube station. It's real curry, unlike most of the surrounding reastaurants that will try to drag you inside (literally!). You can bring you own beer, as the restaurant only sells non-alchoolic beverages. Another cheap eat option, if you like sushi, is the Japan Centre, right in Picadilly Circus, next to the massive Waterstones bookshop. Go inside, ignore the restaurant on the ground floor, and go down the stairs to the food shop. There you can buy prepacked but freshly prepared (you see the food preparers hard at work!) sushi. Buy the drinks there, or go to the nearby Tesco supermarket for it. Then you only need a nice place to sit and eat. I recommend nearby Green Park or Trafalgar Square if the weather is nice, on the inside a bus if it isn't!
We read the descripton of the Hyde Park View Hostel on the internet and thought it sounded nice. And then, the location is comparatively good, not far to Queensway tube station and near Hyde Park.
When we arrived, we got the electronic keys for our room(we were two young women, 18 and 20), climbed down the narrow stairs, through some doors, opened the door,...
It was a kind of a shock for us. The whole floor cramped with clothes and other stuff from 4 ...men(6 bed room). We could hardly breathe because they seemed to not have aired for decades.
While my friend waited, I climbed the stairs to ask for a room change, my friend wasn´t used to share a room with males(it really isn´t usual in Germany). Sorry, the hostel was full, we had to stay there. (of course we had booked in advance)
Apart from the guys in the other beds, the room wasn´t nice.
One locker of six could actually be locked, the door to the attached bathroom couldn´t be locked at all...
There was some(not too much) mildew, the window couldn´t be fully closed, the ventilators didn´t work(with 6 people, 4 of them young men in it!!!Don´t try this at home) and it was stuffed. Ok, it´s a hostel, I understand this part.
At least the guys turned out to be nice, even if they came home 5 in the mornings after drinking a lot.:)
Before I forget it: Very, very poor breakfast, cornflakes, toast and jam.
If ever you're in London around Christmas and fancy some dinner; do not go into the restaurant in Littlewoods in Oxford street!
Me, Chris and my sister went in here one dinner time, there was a traditional English Christmas dinner for a set price. The service was crap for starters. I didn't want the pudding, as I am a Diabetic, I also don't like Christmas pudding anyway. So I asked if I could have another potato with my dinner instead of the pudding. Gawd,you would have thought that I had asked for a gold bar! Anyway, in the end I got the extra measly potato and then we went and sat down for our food.
The dinner was luke-warm and totally disgusting. I left it and had a sandwich instead...
Fun Alternatives: Complain to the manager and/or go anywhere else bar here or MacDonalds
Well, this street is okay if you are extremely vain and/or ugly and rich. This place in the UK's version of silicone valley. This is where stupid slappers, that want all of the men ogling them because they have very big boobs or a botoxed filled face, instead of whether they have a nice personality, or are intelligent, or just plain sexy in their own right. I mean, let's face it, you've either got it or you haven`t right?
Having your boobs made to look like balloons won't make you look sexy, they look bloody disgusting, especially when the women are laid down naked and there is a great big parting, like a 5 laned motorway, in between two big lumps!
Sexiness is something that comes from inside of you, not something made out of silicone. It`s fair enough if you've been in an accident, or have had to have a breast removed because of Cancer or something like that, but please, don`t insult mother nature, or our intelligence with false things like boobs!!! Try and make yourself a personality instead.
Don't buy water just anywhere because they will rip you off! It happened to me a few times, but now I am very annoyed about this.
Fun Alternatives: I go to a supermarket now, buy a large bottle of water there and pour it into a smaller bottle.
Nothing really struck me as special in here. I'd think the ones in Singapore and Australia are much better. It looked just like the usual aquarium you'd find in your place, except for the huge tank that contained the sharks. But you get limited views of them, since you only look from one side of the wall.
Unique Suggestions: Try not to go on weekends, unless you don't mind sharing every fishy moment with a bunch of kids. If you can't avoid it, buy tickets as early as possible as the queues get really long by lunchtime.
Fun Alternatives: Visit the London Zoo. Please check out my tip on this london attraction.
If you're in London, travelling around or finding necessary places can be really difficult sometimes. SO, it's better to buy 'AZ of London' - a book where you will find all streets and important places of London.
Unique Suggestions: You can find it in all souvenir shops, in small shops in many streets, bigger stations and also at the tourist information offices.
Prices are really high in London. But you can find some good and not so expensive things, as everywhere (for e.g. to buy 15 postcards for 1 pound at the center). All you need is just to know the right shops ;-)
If you're a gourmand of a curd or white cottage cheese, you won't find it in London shops, as I couldn't find either. But if you see somewhere around the corner Baltic, Lithuanian or Russian food shops, get in. There you'll get what you need.
Harrods is a large department store located in Knightsbridge, and I call it a tourist trap because most people come here to window shop or try to catch a glimpse of famous people shopping here
Everything on sale is catered for those with the above-average wages, but I did manage to buy a few stuff I needed which burned a big hole on my credit card! Well, once in a blue moon :)
Unique Suggestions: You can see the Diana & Dodi memorial near the Egyptian escalator, together with the supposed "engagement ring" Mr Dodi planned to give to Princess Diana.
At 11.30 the guards are supposed to change, which in itself might be interesting. However, the area around Buckingham Palace is so crowded with people who want watch this happening...
Unique Suggestions: Avoid 11.30 in summer!
Fun Alternatives: Try alternative guardians at other spots close to Buckingham Palace.
I was reading an article in Gourmet Magazine about London and the first line under Tea was "Proper British tea in one of London's grand hotels is ...strictly for tourists." And it goes on to say that we (American tourists that is) aren't even referring to it correctly, applying the misnomer of high tea (informal, often hearty supper) instead of afternoon tea.
Unique Suggestions: I've been to afternoon tea in Chicago and Los Angeles and find it an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. So accept the fact that you are a tourist and go anyways!
Here's a nice list of places to try from London Town and from Visit London
Fun Alternatives: Here are Gourmet Magazine's suggestions for non touristy venues:
Maison Bertaux, 28 Greek Street, Leicester Square tube
Parlour at Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, Oxford Circus tube
The Wolsley, 160 Piccadilly, Green Park tube
Yauatcha, 15 Broadwick Street, Piccadilly Circus tube
The concierge was fabulous, the hotel very grand, and despite the rooms being small they were...more
This 5 star hotel is probably my favorite in London because of it's location (across from Kensington...more
Hotel Ibis London Euston St Pancras Recommended by being the best location, nice rooms, modern and...more
London is a great place to visit but, like anywhere else, where you get tourists you will get tourist traps and this city is no exception.
Of course, what constitutes a tourist trap is a...