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24 hours in London for anniversary.

mikeclark007

Prominent Member
The wife has booked us a night at Doubletree Tower Bridge for our 5th anniversary on Saturday 19th August. I think the train arrives into Kings Cross about 11am.

She wanted to keep it as a surprise but because of the trouble she wasn't sure whether I'd want to cancel it.

Plan is to get taxi / tube to hotel, drop bags and then ........ ???

We have champagne tasting booked at the Shard at 6pm so while there was also thinking about eating there but have no idea which restaurant to choose of the 4/5 there.

Catching the train home the following morning about 11am again.

I've never had any free time in London so are there any must do's in the vicinity of either the hotel or the Shard given the short timeframe?

Thanks in advance.
 

spoonuk

Established Member
Stay away from bridges and markets..
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
It's a nice walk along the Thames around the London Bridge/Shard area. Quite a few restaurants along the waterfront looking onto the Thames.

If either of you are Harry Potter fans, Platform 9 3/4 is a nice little stop when you arrive at Kings Cross (it's not actually between platform 9 & 10 anymore though).
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
If it's a nice day on the Sunday you can't beat a walk in Hyde park, maybe take a boat on the Serpentine? Nice drink by the water. Easy to get to on the Tube. Yes as above get a later train and enjoy the day :)

As above nice walking along the Thames - head West from Tower Bridge there are pubs, street performers, Tate Modern if you like that sort of thing, aquarium if you like that sort of thing, Shrek if you like that, London Eye if you like that sort of thing. Also the OXO Tower if you like that sort of thing....

Elsewhere you have Covent Garden also with good performers, although they drag on.
 
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mikeclark007

Prominent Member
Thanks all. Has anybody eaten at one of those 4/5 restaurants in the Shard?

The wife is suggesting we eat there which is great but as it's a one off I'd sooner pick the nicest one whichever that might be. Not sure if any of them are particularly overrated. Not fussy about menu choice whether it be Asian or a traditional English menu.
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
We stayed in the Shard last September. I'd heard the restaurants weren't quite as good as their expensive prices so we didn't use them.

So we had one meal in the Marcus restaurant over in the Berkeley hotel which is near Harrods - so you'd have to get a tube from London bridge. This was excellent and highly recommend but expensive.

More locally we also had a meal in Gaucho Grill which is over towards the area where the mayor's building is. If you like steak this place is fantastic.
 

BobBob21

Prominent Member
Have eaten in most the restaurants in the Shard and the Hutong was the only one I'd go back to but its hard to get reservations... looking at the 19th Aug there is only 10:15pm and 10:30pm left for a table for 2.

Gaucho is ok, but very variable. Personally I prefer Hawksmoor and there is a new one opened near Borough Market which isn't far from where you're staying. If you're about Sunday lunchtime they do a very good sunday lunch for a (in London terms) reasonable £20
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
keeping a keen eye on this, myself and the wife booking 4 days in london in late august for our tenth anniversary...
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
keeping a keen eye on this, myself and the wife booking 4 days in london in late august for our tenth anniversary...
Do you know if that's going to be over the August Bank Holiday (26-28 Aug) weekend? If you're getting the train into London, there will be lots and lots of engineering works on the railways, so you might need to do a bit more planning.
 
If you have time, the Thames Clipper river service down to Greenwich is fun. That's the commuter boat, not the one that the use. There is a pier just down river from London Bridge. There are places to eat in Greenwich, and a market or two, not to mention the Cutty Sark and the museum and art gallery.

There are some highly rated restaurants around London Bridge, particularly Tanner Street and Bermondsey Street. Sadly, perhaps, Bermondsey is no longer the working class ghetto it was, all very trendy, as the recent terrorist attack showed, hence not as cheap as it was. But at least the people you bump into are likely to be Brits rather than the Chinese, Yanks and other tourists you will encounter elsewhere in London. The Mall was horrible last week.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
Do you know if that's going to be over the August Bank Holiday (26-28 Aug) weekend? If you're getting the train into London, there will be lots and lots of engineering works on the railways, so you might need to do a bit more planning.


wow, cheers for that. it is, well we were planning the 23rd to the 26th. i'm in ireland so we'll be flying into heathrow and train into city center, will look at what the impact will be
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Yep the tube should be fine as they'll just put on replacement bus services if any sections of track are closed.

If you were getting a train into eg London Bridge then there probably will be issues as they'll undoubtedly be using the Bank Holiday to do major works at London Bridge.
 
Heathrow is a nightmare.

If you can fly there from your bit of Ireland, Gatwick is better for London Bridge – half hour train ride. Actually London City is even better.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
thanks all. i'm in and out of heathrow monthly at least, usually on my way to asia but i;ve done the transfer into the city a few times and it's been okay, i'd rather do gatwick but that means an extra 2 hours of driving each way on this side to go to dublin instead
 

mikeclark007

Prominent Member
Have eaten in most the restaurants in the Shard and the Hutong was the only one I'd go back to but its hard to get reservations... looking at the 19th Aug there is only 10:15pm and 10:30pm left for a table for 2.

Gaucho is ok, but very variable. Personally I prefer Hawksmoor and there is a new one opened near Borough Market which isn't far from where you're staying. If you're about Sunday lunchtime they do a very good sunday lunch for a (in London terms) reasonable £20

Thanks mate. Didn't expect there to be zero availability this far in advance. Wonder what the chances are of an earlier slot becoming available.

Will look into Hawksmoor and it's location.
 

mikeclark007

Prominent Member
If you have time, the Thames Clipper river service down to Greenwich is fun. That's the commuter boat, not the one that the use. There is a pier just down river from London Bridge. There are places to eat in Greenwich, and a market or two, not to mention the Cutty Sark and the museum and art gallery.

There are some highly rated restaurants around London Bridge, particularly Tanner Street and Bermondsey Street. Sadly, perhaps, Bermondsey is no longer the working class ghetto it was, all very trendy, as the recent terrorist attack showed, hence not as cheap as it was. But at least the people you bump into are likely to be Brits rather than the Chinese, Yanks and other tourists you will encounter elsewhere in London. The Mall was horrible last week.

Will look into those dining options depending on availability. Thanks
 

BobBob21

Prominent Member
Didn't expect there to be zero availability this far in advance. Wonder what the chances are of an earlier slot becoming available.
The other restaurants tend not to be as popular but to my mind there is a reason for it. If you want the view then any of them are ok, if you want the food quality then its the only one worth it to me.

Of cause if you want the view then you can also go to the cocktail bar in the Shangri-La which is actually on a much higher floor but is again very busy and residents of the hotel are given preference over external visitors.

Unfortunately 2 months prebooking isn't that unusual for some of the top restaurants (top by standard, location or reputation) and others that are top my multiple measures are even harder to get a table for 2 on a Friday/Saturday - some its a years waiting list, others its a case of having to contact them at 10am on the day they release the next set of availability and it'll be booked up in a few minutes.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
As your base is where it is, with one appointment at the Shard I don't think you can beat Southbank.You can go all the way to Vauxhall to the West. Great places to see, to walk, to eat. I also like crossing over to St Katherine's dock, great atmosphere and pub. I like the Mela as well for a ruby.

Getting a river bus pass from transport for London for the day is good value, you can hop on/off as others have suggested. Go to Greenwich, great museums and observatory. I even like going on the Emirates SkyLine which can be combined with the river bus. Canary Wharf is pretty decent as well these days, even in the weekends.

24 hours is not that long. So if you have energy left and fancy a bit of boutique shopping perhaps go up to Spitalfields....

But it all depends on what you fancy, you are in a good location. I like the backstreets of Mayfair as well. Nice boutiques, great atmosphere. But same in and around Carnaby Street/SOHO area, and also in Seven Dials.

London is just a fantastic city. If you can I'd extend to the full weekend :) Arrive on Friday, leave on Sunday....
 
thanks all. i'm in and out of heathrow monthly at least, usually on my way to asia but i;ve done the transfer into the city a few times and it's been okay, i'd rather do gatwick but that means an extra 2 hours of driving each way on this side to go to dublin instead
It was a while since I roaded around Dublin, but the thought of doing any driving there does not appeal. Nightmare. No trains?
 

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