Eating, Drinking and socialising, London
My good friends Gareth aka Balam and Evan aka Evenith666
came to London to see various sites of this wonderful city and a concert too. But still had time to drop in to the Porterhouse in Covent Garden to meet up for a refreshing beer or two. Good seeing you guys....!
When we watch the English Television shows, most times a country or city Pub is in the show.
Now I was in London, I wanted to see one. Well I saw more than one, and they were just how I imagined.
For me, English Pubs look very inviting and friendly, historical, I love their funny names and the sign out the front, best of all, they serve good pub grub!
There is a website www.eatwithalocal.com that connects travellers with local people who will cook them a meal in their home. It is a great way of finding out about the area and getting an insight into the best shopping centres and the do's and don'ts in the UK. It is free to use and join, check it out.
If you are looking for a new experience you could try the site eatwithalocal.com as this site connects travellers with local people willing to cook for them in their homes for 'free' It is free to join and free to use and a great way of meeting people on your trip.
Best wishes, Vicki
Fondest memory: A taxi driver telling me about the best fish and chip shop in Waterloo. When I sat down I had the best fish and chips I have ever tasted and whilst I was there I saw numerous police men and taxi drivers queuing up to be served whilst on duty. Trouble is I can't remember the name of it! I know it is near the 'Old Vic' behind the Old Vic and before the 'Travel lodge' and it is on a corner. Master Fish and Chip shop I think but I can't be sure.
If you like Chinese food, here is the place!
Chinatown, London. A place full of the smell of the orient. It is mainly an area of restaurants and supermarkets with one or two gift shops. Gone are the small shops that sold Chinese shoes and dresses.
Best time to visit if you want to avoid massive crowds is during the working week. Chinese New Year would be overwhelmingly crowded but the decorations are in place a few days before and afterwards. Mid-Autumn Festival also has decorations. Far less national publicity is paid to this festival.
Shops are open quite late into the evening and 7 days a week.
Restaurants vary in price from cheap to very expensive. There are also a couple of Taiwanese restaurants as well as Japanese tucked among the many mainland Chinese
Favorite thing: Should be under "restaurant" tip, but a comment in respect of the pubs in general. Most of the pubs also serve food and pubs are to be found everywhere in London. While some have some special dishes like Indian dishes, most serve traditional English pub food. You usually have a meal for about 10 pounds, this includes e.g. a beer. The meal for sure will fill you (see pic).
Favorite thing: ToonSarah organised a very nice evening at Camino Tapas bar for a little get together for Ingrid who was over here on holiday :-)
Both myself and Az had the pleasure of meeting Minai and her friends. After meeting up in Leicester Square we then decided to go and see a West end Show.
And what better choice than to see Spamalot at the Palace theatre....!
Cachaseiro aka Claus organised a really nice get together at The moon under water pub in Leicester square. It was a nice turn out and lots of fun meeting everyone.
Vter's names to add shortly :)
Sue Stone organised a nice little get together with some of her favourite VT members ;) for Rexvaughan
We all met up at the Lamb and Flag pub (The one in Covent Garden) before going on to the Strada Restaurant for a very nice dinner.
From left to right: Rex, Nhcam, Jo104, Toonsarah, Sue Stone and Rex's wife Sacra :)
The Source is an expensive but pleasant enough cafe in Brewer Street, Soho. We popped in for a coffee and cheesecake break. One slice of strawberry cheesecake with two coffees came to just under £9.
The coffee was average and the cheesecake a little too moussey - but it seemed happy enough :)
I suppose this should really be in the 'Restaurants' tips? ... But you'll see why I put it here instead.
I haven't been in one of these restaurants for years now; I used to go in them frequently, when I used to come up here with my Italian friend Roseanna and her family, back in the early to mid 1980s.
I was very slim then and one day we came into a Garfunkel's, just off of Oxford st, and I had the 'put as much on your plate as you could' for so many pounds for my lunch. So I did exactly that. I filled the plate up and it must have been a foot high! Roseanna was very embarrassed but she was laughing hysterically too, she was going "Oh Eddie!!!" all of the time. The waitresses kept looking over at me as I sat at the table eating my lunch, but I ate it ALL, much to their amazement.
My favourite dish here was: The 'Help yourself Buffet' of course..... hehehe ;-)
I was delighted to be able to meet Vt'er Laura who has been a VT friend of mine for several years.
We met at Covent garden and went to the Punch & Judy pub to have a nice long natter along with drinks and Ice cream.
Its always nice to meeting friends new and old at the great VT meets. This time around I was meeting Holger in the hope I could convince him to support Chelsea next season. Well my team in Germany is Bayern Munich, but I'll be keeping an eye on the German bundesliga division 2 for Borussia M'galdbach *winkygrin* Just joking Holger.
We started the evening off to see the illumantions of London and went to the Horniman at hays bar right opposite the famous HMS Belfast.
Many restaurants add a ‘discretionary’ service charge to your bill, but in places that don’t you are expected to leave a 10% to 15% tip unless the service was unsatisfactory. Waiting staff are often paid derisory wages on the assumption that the money will be supplemented by tips. It’s legal for restaurants to include a service charge in the bill but this should be clearly advertised.
You don’t need add a further tip. You never tip to have your pint pulled in a pub but staff at bars now often return change in a little metal dish, expecting some of the coins to glue themselves to the bottom. If you take a boat trip on the Thames you’ll find some guides and/or drivers asking for a tip in return for their commentary. Whether you pay is up to you.