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Detailed Photo Review of Paris and London Trip in June 2019


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We left the hotel through the front entrance and walked down the street to enter the St. Pancras train station. 

 

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This bronze sculpture called “The Meeting Place” is featured inside the train station.

 

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We hopped on the Tube to get to Covent Garden.  Our plan for tonight was to explore around this area and Leicester Square.  We asked Carlton for a recommendation of a good bar in this area and he suggested the Punch and Judy Pub because it over looks the courtyard outside Covent Garden where there are usually good street performers. 

 

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We went inside and up the stairs to the bar area, but it was soooo crowded!  We could barely enter the room, let alone get to the bar or find a spot to stand on the balcony!  That was an unfortunate fail, so we went back downstairs to walk around Covent Garden.  At 6pm on a Friday evening, it’s no surprise that this place was packed with tourists and locals alike. 

 

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We hadn’t eaten since lunch at the pub at 12:30pm, so I was getting hangry and didn’t have the patience for a place this hectic.  I ate half a Clif Bar to hold me over because we didn’t want to get dinner quite yet (I always keep one in my purse for hunger emergencies like this!), and we continued walking around and exploring the neighborhood.

 

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We came across this colorful archway with rainbow lights, which I think was installed for Pride month.

 

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We were close by one of the pubs I had bookmarked on my Google Map for places I wanted to see, so we took a detour to get a drink at The Cross Keys.  I just loved the décor outside of this pub!

 

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There must have been over a hundred people hanging out in front of this pub, so we went inside to get a drink.  Funny enough, there was no one inside!  I guess the locals like to take advantage of the perfect summer weather when it’s not cold and rainy like the rest of the year!

 

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I was happy to see that they had cider on tap, and DH really liked their beer selection.

 

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After we finished our drinks, we walked around the corner and found this Pride Pop-Up Shop.  It turned out that this was the headquarters to coordinate the Pride parade which was scheduled for the following weekend.  We spent a few minutes chatting with the team of coordinators, but unfortunately, we were leaving London on Tuesday so we wouldn’t be there for the parade.

 

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We walked around another corner and found Neals Yard, an amazingly colorful pedestrian alley that opened up into a small courtyard.  It was hard to take a good photo to capture everything because the space was so cramped, but this shows one of the corners.

 

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By now, it was 7:30pm and we were ready to find somewhere to eat dinner.  We walked along one of the main streets that had lots of pubs and restaurants, looking for somewhere that looked lively and fun but that didn’t have a wait to get a table.

 

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We decided to go to a pub called The Long Acre.  The décor was more modern than most of the other pubs we had been to, and it had a sports bar vibe.  They had a few big screen TVs and were airing the USA vs. France Women’s World Cup game, so it was pretty busy.  We couldn’t find any open tables on the main level, but there was a balcony upstairs that had an open table.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t really see the game from up there, but that was okay with us as long as we could sit and eat dinner.

 

Notice how everyone is looking towards us?  The TV mounted on the front of the balcony wall was showing the Women’s World Cup game.  The TV at the far side of the bar that we could see from our table was airing a random men’s soccer match that no one seemed to care about.

 

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By now, I had ordered fish and chips at two restaurants but I had yet to try a steak and ale pie so that’s what I ordered.  I think DH ordered that too.

 

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The food came out pretty quickly, and everything tasted good, but the portion was kind of small.  Luckily, we had a pint of cider and beer to help fill us up!

 

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After dinner, we walked around Leicester Square and the surrounding area.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this Abbey Road display in the M&M World store!

 

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We wandered over to Piccadilly Circus just as the buildings were lighting up at night.

 

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Lots of people were hanging out around the statue of Eros.

 

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It was getting late and we had had a long day, but we stepped into one last pub for a drink as we watched Team USA beat France to advance to the semi-final round of the Women’s World Cup.  We were kind of happy to be in England and not France tonight! haha

 

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After the game ended, we got on the Tube to head back to our hotel after a wonderful day exploring London.

 

Fitbit Daily Summary… Steps: 25,031,  Miles: 11.52,  Flights of Stairs: 27

 

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12 hours ago, deladane said:

 

We were close by one of the pubs I had bookmarked on my Google Map for places I wanted to see, so we took a detour to get a drink at The Cross Keys.  I just loved the décor outside of this pub!

 

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There must have been over a hundred people hanging out in front of this pub, so we went inside to get a drink.  Funny enough, there was no one inside!  I guess the locals like to take advantage of the perfect summer weather when it’s not cold and rainy like the rest of the year!

 

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I was happy to see that they had cider on tap, and DH really liked their beer selection.

 

 

 

 

Dana, you have me very keen to step into a London pub again with all your pub visits. I haven't been in one in 25 years but remember the crowds outside with their pints on warm summer evenings. Some interesting and inviting exteriors and names above the doors and a cosy feel inside. Service was always an issue though and after living in Nuremberg for a few months when I was 20 the British beer was a poor excuse for a beverage and I could only rely on Guinness, which I still love.

Your fish and chips always look good although the mushy peas are stingy portions. We are dining at a fish and chip shop on our first night called The Rock and Sole Plaice (Rock being a cod variety).

We have tickets to the Churchill War Rooms on our only full day in London (August 31) so you'll hopefully see pics of that in my X review. That afternoon we are seeing a new David Mamet play in the West End. I will have a "Full English" breakfast which you passed on so there will be a photo of that. We are doing a Big Bus tour soon after we get there and as you know I will be up early each day wandering with the camera but we don't have a tight schedule (at my request).

 

Great trip report. I am sure your head is still full of Paris and London!

Norris

 

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10 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

Dana, you have me very keen to step into a London pub again with all your pub visits. I haven't been in one in 25 years but remember the crowds outside with their pints on warm summer evenings. Some interesting and inviting exteriors and names above the doors and a cosy feel inside. Service was always an issue though and after living in Nuremberg for a few months when I was 20 the British beer was a poor excuse for a beverage and I could only rely on Guinness, which I still love.

Your fish and chips always look good although the mushy peas are stingy portions. We are dining at a fish and chip shop on our first night called The Rock and Sole Plaice (Rock being a cod variety).

We have tickets to the Churchill War Rooms on our only full day in London (August 31) so you'll hopefully see pics of that in my X review. That afternoon we are seeing a new David Mamet play in the West End. I will have a "Full English" breakfast which you passed on so there will be a photo of that. We are doing a Big Bus tour soon after we get there and as you know I will be up early each day wandering with the camera but we don't have a tight schedule (at my request).

 

Great trip report. I am sure your head is still full of Paris and London!

Norris

 

 

Oh wow, you are leaving so soon!  I look forward to seeing your photos and reading your review since you will be doing some of the things we did not do during our trip.  I really couldn't get enough of the pubs in London... bars in San Jose just don't look that nice so it was a fun change of pace to visit such beautiful pubs.  Service was always fine, even considering how crowded it was, but we only stayed for one drink at each pub so perhaps we would have thought differently if we stayed longer?  Either way, I hope you find your perfect pint when you are there next week, and I wish you safe travels and a wonderful vacation! 

 

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Saturday, June 29, 2019 ~ Houses of Parliament, British Museum, Les Mis on the West End

 

One of the things we wanted to do the most during our time in London was to see a musical on the West End.  We are big fans of Broadway musicals and have had a season subscription to see the traveling Broadway shows at home for 5 years, so there was no question that we wanted to see a show while visiting London.  After we booked our flights in October, one of the first things we did was to look up which shows would be running in London on the dates we were there.  Ironically, a lot of the shows were ones that had come to San Jose last season or were due to come this season, so we didn’t have a lot of options.  We decided to buy tickets to Les Mis because we both love that show and hadn’t seen it in many years, plus we thought it would be a great show to feature the talented singers performing on a West End stage.  We bought tickets directly though the box office website for seats in the front row of the Upper Circle (the third floor balcony).  The reviews of these seats said there was a limited view and you had to lean forward to see the stage, but these were among the lowest priced seats in the theater so we decided to take our chances.  It is better to be in the front row and lean forward than be in the back row of the theater and have a tall person in front of you blocking the stage, or being so far back you need binoculars to see anything, right?  As luck would have it, in March we learned the list of shows coming to Broadway San Jose for the 2019-2020 season and sure enough… Les Mis is on the list!  So now we will be seeing it twice but at least it’s a show we both enjoy!

 

Another thing we wanted to do was take a tour of the Houses of Parliament.  I did some research on their website (www.parliament.uk) and learned that it only costs an extra £7 to take a 90-minute guided tour (£26.50) as opposed to the audio guide (£19.50), so it was a no-brainer that we would try to get tickets to the guided tour.  We always get so much more out of the tour when we have a live guide to interact with as opposed to trying to focus on the audio guide.  Visitors can take tours of the Houses on Parliament on Saturdays throughout the year, and on select weekdays when Parliament is not in session but those dates didn’t align with our trip so I knew Saturday was our only choice.  The tickets are released on their website about 5 months in advance, but luckily these are not in as high a demand as tickets to the Eiffel Tower and there were still lots of time slots available when I looked in early February.  We bought nonrefundable tickets for the 9am tour.

 

After another good breakfast at the hotel, we took the Tube to the Westminster Station.  Our tickets said to go straight to the Cromwell Green Visitor Entrance and that we needed to arrive 20 minutes before our tour to allow time to go through security.  I wasn’t really sure exactly where that entrance was located, but there were lots of signs along the sidewalk pointing us in the right direction.  Soon enough, we saw about 30 people standing in line, holding paper tickets that looked like ours, so we got in line.

 

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While we waited, we admired the view of the back of Westminster Abbey.

 

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I’m really not sure why they force you to arrive 20 minutes early for the 9am tour because the building did not open until 9am, so we were standing outside at 8:40am for no reason.  We would have appreciated the extra 20 minutes to sleep!  When they finally started letting us in, we showed our tickets, then proceeded through security.  Not surprisingly, this security check was very strict, even asking us to remove our watches.  After clearing security, they gave us passes to wear around our necks indicating that we were approved visitors, then they divided us into groups for the tour.  When the guide had about 30 people in their group, they took everyone and started the tour, and then a new guide would start to gather people for their tour.  As luck would have it, we ended up with only 16 people in our group because there was a lull in people finishing the security check. 

 

Our guide’s name was Gemma, and she explained that no photos were allowed during the tour except in the first 2 rooms, Westminster Hall and St. Stephen’s Hall. 

 

It was really hard to get a good photo in Westminster Hall due to the dim lighting and the vast size of the room, but I took a photo of the stained glass windows…

 

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These doors lead into St. Stephen’s Hall.  The art installation was designed in 2016 to mark 150 years since the campaign for women’s votes began.

 

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I know this isn’t the best quality photo but Gemma did not stop walking to give us a chance to take a photo so I had to click while walking.  This is St. Stephen’s Hall…

 

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We weren’t allowed to take any photos beyond that point.  Gemma took us through some very grand lobbies and meeting halls, into the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and we got to see a bunch of rooms that are not accessible to people using the audio guides.  She did a wonderful job of explaining the ins and outs of British government, and she was able to answer all of our questions along the way.  We both thought this tour was well worth the cost of admission, and we learned a lot of tidbits that we hadn’t know about before.  There were a lot of tours happening simultaneously so sometimes it was timed well that as we finished in one room, another group entered when we were leaving, but sometimes there were multiple groups in the same room making it kind of loud and hard to hear Gemma.  We did notice that all of the other groups were much larger than ours, so we definitely got lucky to have a small group.  We started our tour at 9:15am and ended back at Westminster Hall at 10:50am, so it was a 95 minute tour.

 

On our way out, we were able to get one last photo in Westminster Hall…

 

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I took a few photos outside in the garden in front of Westminster Hall.  These photos would look much better without the scaffolding, but I guess that’s just another reason to plan a re-do trip to London in the future!

 

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When we exited out into Parliament Square, there were thousands of people in the streets!  It was crazy!  We asked one of the men standing on the street what was happening and he explained what the rally was for, but unfortunately I really can’t remember what he said.  Despite the number of people at the rally, it was all very peaceful and we never felt unsafe or anything like that (although we did guard our wallets in case of pickpockets!).

 

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The statue of Winston Churchill was overlooking the crowd…

 

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12 hours ago, deladane said:

 

Oh wow, you are leaving so soon!  I look forward to seeing your photos and reading your review since you will be doing some of the things we did not do during our trip.  I really couldn't get enough of the pubs in London... bars in San Jose just don't look that nice so it was a fun change of pace to visit such beautiful pubs.  Service was always fine, even considering how crowded it was, but we only stayed for one drink at each pub so perhaps we would have thought differently if we stayed longer?  Either way, I hope you find your perfect pint when you are there next week, and I wish you safe travels and a wonderful vacation! 

 

 Yes Dana, I am leaving on Thursday of this week.

Bars in NJ where I came ashore back in 1986 were single story buildings with no exterior decor and were very dark inside and had TVs showing football (November) . Those British pubs vie for business with their name, their exterior and interior look and since I lived there-their food offerings. Bangers mash and beans was pretty much the cuisine when I frequented those pubs 33 years ago. 17 years ago when I was last in N Ireland my sister took me to local pubs with really good food with a wide variety of options so I know that the pubs have woken up there.

In N Ireland  people can spend the whole day in the pub. They are totally wasted by the time comes to go home of course.

I can't follow in all of your footsteps-you guys pack so much energy into a day whereas I, given my druthers, would sit at a cafe with a drink and a pack of cigarettes and be happy to watch the world go by. Carol booked us for the Churchill War Rooms as we are both big Churchill fans-she from the tv series starring John Lithgoe and me from reading his book The Second World War so many years ago. She booked the Mamet play in the West End whereas I would have sat on a bench staring at the Thames for 2 hours. We love Mamet's work and I like the idea of visiting an English theater. We can't do it all in a couple of days. I lived in London from 1970 to 72 and from 1974 to 1986 and  saw a lot of the sights and enjoyed the Museums  etc but that city's treasures are so vast that it's hard to see them all and definitely not in a short space of time.

 Living there I drove over Tower Bridge many times and passed Buckingham Palace etc but they were just things I passed by on my way to somewhere else. I never took pictures or delved into the history. It was just the city I was living and working in.

 

Now I am excited to be seeing it again , after 25 years when I lasted visited it for a day and credit goes to you and your husband for activating my anticipation.

 

Norris

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15 hours ago, Walt fan said:

Work and life got me sideways but I am back and eagerly following along!  Your days in London are stuffed full.  So enjoying all of the pics; you should write a travel book.

 

Welcome back!  It's funny... we don't set out to stuff so much into a day, it just always seems to happen like that.  When I was planning the trip, I only put 2 or 3 things on the agenda for each day, but in the moment, we're always saying "okay, so what should we do next?" and then we add in other things to fill the rest of the day.  On Thursday, the only things on the agenda (besides taking the Eurostar from Paris) were the 1 hour river cruise, visiting DH's coworkers (which was only going to be for a few minutes because they were busy with meetings and such), and the nighttime walking tour.  That left a whole lot of downtime to fill and somehow we ended up doing and seeing a ton of other things in between the planned activities.  I guess that's just how we roll! 

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9 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 Yes Dana, I am leaving on Thursday of this week.

Bars in NJ where I came ashore back in 1986 were single story buildings with no exterior decor and were very dark inside and had TVs showing football (November) . Those British pubs vie for business with their name, their exterior and interior look and since I lived there-their food offerings. Bangers mash and beans was pretty much the cuisine when I frequented those pubs 33 years ago. 17 years ago when I was last in N Ireland my sister took me to local pubs with really good food with a wide variety of options so I know that the pubs have woken up there.

In N Ireland  people can spend the whole day in the pub. They are totally wasted by the time comes to go home of course.

I can't follow in all of your footsteps-you guys pack so much energy into a day whereas I, given my druthers, would sit at a cafe with a drink and a pack of cigarettes and be happy to watch the world go by. Carol booked us for the Churchill War Rooms as we are both big Churchill fans-she from the tv series starring John Lithgoe and me from reading his book The Second World War so many years ago. She booked the Mamet play in the West End whereas I would have sat on a bench staring at the Thames for 2 hours. We love Mamet's work and I like the idea of visiting an English theater. We can't do it all in a couple of days. I lived in London from 1970 to 72 and from 1974 to 1986 and  saw a lot of the sights and enjoyed the Museums  etc but that city's treasures are so vast that it's hard to see them all and definitely not in a short space of time.

 Living there I drove over Tower Bridge many times and passed Buckingham Palace etc but they were just things I passed by on my way to somewhere else. I never took pictures or delved into the history. It was just the city I was living and working in.

 

Now I am excited to be seeing it again , after 25 years when I lasted visited it for a day and credit goes to you and your husband for activating my anticipation.

 

Norris

 

I totally understand what you are saying about living in a major city and ignoring all of the tourist and historical attractions because they are just other buildings you pass on your way to work.  Living in Manhattan, I had to force myself to "play tourist" every so often so I could take advantage of all the things the city had to offer.  But to this day, I have never been to the Statue of Liberty (aside from viewing it in the distance from land or the Staten Island Ferry!)

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So, do you remember how hot it was when we were in Paris?  The high temperatures so far in London were in the mid-70’s so it had been warm but relatively pleasant… that is, until today!  Today’s high temperature was 87 degrees!  It was a brutally hot day for London standards and we needed an indoor activity to fill some time in the afternoon.  We decided to walk over to the British Museum in hopes that it was air conditioned.  We considered taking the Tube, but there was no direct line from Westminster to the British Museum, and it was only a mile and a half to walk there so we decided to take a leisurely walk and see some new parts of the city on the way. 

 

As we approached the Horse Guards Parade, there was a bit crowd outside so we crossed the street to see what was happening.

 

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We couldn’t resist another touristy photo with one of the Guards.

 

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Apparently our timing was perfect because they were about to start the changing of the guards ceremony!  We actually already had a tour booked to see this tomorrow morning, and we assumed that guide would explain everything that was happening, so today we just watched for a few minutes.

 

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Out on the other side, there was a large crowd gathered so we stood behind them to see what we could over their heads.

 

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It’s always fun when you come across something unexpected like that (although I suppose this ceremony happens on a schedule so we could have planned to be there intentionally haha).

 

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Continuing on with our walk, we wandered up a side street to see this pub with a Sherlock Holmes theme.  It was a little too early in the day to grab a pint or we may have gone inside, but we just settled for a photo of the pretty exterior!

 

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It was getting warmer and warmer by the minute, so we picked up a quick take away sandwich for lunch and walked the rest of the way to the British Museum.  When we arrived, we went through a security tent on the outside of the building, then continued up the front steps to enter the museum.

 

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Just like I did for the Louvre, I made a map while we were still at home to locate some of the most significant works in the British Museum.  First up on that map was the Rosetta Stone, a stone slab inscribed in 196 BC with 3 languages used to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.  Understandably, it was housed in a glass case, but that made it really hard to take a good photo of it.  There were probably 100 people crowded all around the case so we waited until some people left to get a little closer to look at the details of the inscriptions.

 

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I have no idea what this says, but it’s incredible that you can still clearly see each character over 2200 years after it was etched.

 

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We kept walking through a few smaller rooms until we got to a large open room at the far side of the museum to see the sculptures of the Parthenon.  It was kind of funny for me to see these items here in London because I have visited the Acropolis in Athens, but I certainly couldn’t get this close to the stone sculptures when they were mounted on the top of the Acropolis! 

 

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Up next, we went towards the back of the museum to see Hoa Hakananai’a, better known as the Easter Island statue.  It is definitely on my bucket list to visit Easter Island and see these statues in person, but who knows if or when that will ever happen, so for now, I was excited to see this statue in the museum.

 

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I never realized these statues have engravings on their backside too!

 

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Next, we went upstairs to see a few other key things that I did not take photos of, and finally, the Mummy of Katebet.  This exhibit actually had several mummies on display, and there was an interesting explanation of the mummification process hanging on one of the walls.

 

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Within seconds of entering the museum, it was obvious that we weren’t the only ones who wanted to stay cool with an indoor activity today.  It was very crowded and that made it hard to really enjoy our time here at a leisurely pace.  We found ourselves just wanting to quickly see each of the things on my list so we could get out of the museum and away from all the people!  We spent about an hour here, then decided we’d had enough and were ready to move on.  The British Museum is filled with hundreds of artifacts and fascinating pieces of history.  I loved that it wasn’t an art museum filled with endless walls of paintings, and I think it deserves more than an hour of our time so I look forward to visiting here again if I ever return to London.

 

Before we left, we caught a great view overlooking the Great Court…

 

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Still loving your review. I haven't toured Parliament, but I got to sit in the visitors' gallery of the House of Commons a few decades ago. That was very interesting. 

I was trying to figure out the rally from your photos. I saw the guy holding the "YMRA" flag and thought that may be a clue. Turns out it's really just a one-sided "ARMY" flag that bleeds through in reverse.

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13 hours ago, geoherb said:

Still loving your review. I haven't toured Parliament, but I got to sit in the visitors' gallery of the House of Commons a few decades ago. That was very interesting. 

I was trying to figure out the rally from your photos. I saw the guy holding the "YMRA" flag and thought that may be a clue. Turns out it's really just a one-sided "ARMY" flag that bleeds through in reverse.

 

I think the rally had something to do with a veteran being held prisoner when he shouldn't be, or maybe the government wasn't treating him well despite him being a veteran?  Something like that but I can't remember the details.  

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We left the museum around 2pm and wow was it hot outside!  We were less than a mile from our hotel, so we started walking in that direction.  We had a few more hours before dinner but we were getting hungry, so we stopped into a Caffe Nero for our own version of afternoon tea.  They had amazingly cold air conditioning and comfy couches near the windows in the front so we plopped down to enjoy our snack and some people watching.

 

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Eventually, we knew it was time to move along, so we walked the rest of the way back to our hotel to get changed for the evening.  Remember those unlimited ride passes we had for the City Cruises Thames River sightseeing boat?  Well they were due to expire at the end of the day today and we had only used them that one initial time.  We had plenty of time before our dinner reservations, so on a whim, we decided to go down to Tower Pier and ride the boat back in the opposite direction from how we did it last time.  We had to hustle a little bit, but we made it to Tower Pier just in time for the 3:15pm boat.  It was super hot outside and we were dressed nicely for our evening plans, so opted to sit inside on the lower level.  As I suspected on Thursday, it was basically impossible to take a good photo down here.  We sat on the starboard side of the boat, so any photos of the port side were obstructed by other people and the frame around the windows, and all the photos I tried to take out our windows had a glare.  I gave up on photos pretty quickly and we just enjoyed the ride as much as we could.  The commentary was exactly verbatim what we heard on Thursday, even though the speaker was a different person.  Oh well, at least it was free!

 

I was hoping there would be air conditioning downstairs, but no such luck.  The glass windows created a greenhouse effect, so it was very hot down there.  We tried using our USB-powered fans, but after about 15 minutes, they both overheated and stopped working!  I didn’t even think that was possible! Haha  Notice how you can see the 2 blades on my fan?  That’s because it was barely spinning at this point.

 

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The boat docked at Westminster Pier around 4pm, and our dinner reservations were about a mile away at 5:15pm.  It was too early to go to dinner, so we kept our eyes open for a fun pub to get a quick drink.  Right around the corner from Westminster Pier, we found The Red Lion Pub.  That was easy!

 

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This pub has a really interesting history, which was explained on this plaque next to the bar.

 

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It was fairly busy here given it was a Saturday afternoon, but we saw a couple getting ready to leave so I waited for their table as DH got us a few drinks from the bar… no surprise that it was a cider for me and a beer for DH!  We really enjoyed the pub vibe throughout London.  It was usually very clean, the décor was charming, the staff was friendly, and they usually had a good selection on the taps.  Yet another reason that we loved London!

 

Back to the planning phase for a moment… When we bought our tickets for Les Mis, our confirmation instructed us to pick up the tickets at will call between 5:30pm and 7pm on the night of the show.  The show started at 7:30pm, so if we went at 5:30pm, that would make for a rushed dinner to get back to the theater in time to use the restrooms and get to our seats all the way upstairs.  Instead, we decided to go to dinner first and make sure to get to the theater before 7pm when the box office closed.  I wanted to find somewhere that took reservations so we wouldn’t need to worry about a long wait for a table, and I also wanted to find somewhere with a good pre-theater price fixe menu.  I looked on Open Table at all of the restaurants within walking distance of the Queens Theater, and we narrowed down the menus until we found the one we liked best.  That led us to Estiatorio Milos, a Greek restaurant that focused on imported Greek fish.  They offered a 2-course price fixe for £20 or 3-courses for £24, and all of the options looked really good.  We made our reservation for 5:15pm to give us an hour and a half to eat, and then 15 minutes to walk to the theater.

 

Milos was located in a beautiful stone building, right near the statue to the Duke of York.

 

by8KlMel.jpg

 

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We were seated immediately at a table along the windows at the front of the restaurant, conveniently located right next to an air conditioning vent!!  I was in heaven and I hadn’t even tasted a bite of food haha  The restaurant has a modern elegant atmosphere with floor to ceiling windows, white tablecloths and funky globe-shaped lighting fixtures.

 

1fnPysil.jpg

 

This restaurant specializes in Greek fish, and they had this huge display in the back next to the kitchen with all sorts of fresh fish on ice.

 

ZVRYZTyl.jpg

 

I loved the look of this huge wine cellar on the lower level of the restaurant (I only found it because it was next to the restrooms haha)

 

TrkveGpl.jpg

 

We looked at the menu and did something we rarely do… we both ordered the exact same thing!

 

8lEBf9Sl.jpg

 

For our starters, we got the Poikilia, which was a sampler platter of several spreads including tzatziki, hummus, tarama (the consistency of hummus but made with fish roe instead of chick peas), and tyropitaki (similar to spanikopita), all served with fresh warm pita bread and raw vegetables to dip into the dips.

 

GlqRRZ2l.jpg

 

We weren’t expecting such a large portion size!  Had we known, we would have had one of us order the starter and main course and shared this starter, and the other would have ordered a main and a dessert to share.  Everything was delicious and we agreed it was a shame that we couldn’t take any of it home in a doggy bag because we couldn’t finish it all and still leave room for our main course.

 

For our main course, we both ordered the grilled lamb chops, served with Greek fried potatoes.

 

0Dtnrerl.jpg

 

We were pleasantly impressed with Milos.  The service was excellent, the food was very tasty, the ambiance was classy, and the price was right! 

 

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After dinner, we walked over to the Queens Theater to pick up our tickets. 

 

0zgpmUal.jpg

 

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When we see the traveling Broadway shows in San Jose, they have signs just like this in the lobby for each show so we always take a photo with it.  It was fun to see a similar sign here in London and we knew we needed to take our usual photo!

 

9ISjxHHl.jpg

 

It was a little annoying that we had to arrive at the theater by 7pm because they didn’t start letting people go up to their seats until 7:15pm.  When they did let us in, we went up to the third level to find our seats. 

 

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I always enjoy when the stage exposes the pit below it and you can see the musicians, as a reminder that this is live music and not a pre-recording.

 

zYXdIaUl.jpg

 

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In those photos, you can see that there was a velvet padded arm rest along the top of the safety railing.  Yes, we did have to lean forward to see the stage, but at least it was soft and padded and relatively comfortable.  We actually could get away with leaning back in our seats when the actors were upstage, but we definitely had to lean forwards when they moved all the way downstage near the pit.  The leaning forward wasn’t as big a deal as I expected it to be, but unfortunately, the lighting rig that was mounted directly below our seats gave off A LOT of heat.  Perhaps, had we seen the show on a day that didn’t reach a high of 87 degrees, then we wouldn’t have noticed the heat from the lights.  We were not that lucky, and we could definitely feel the heat.  In fact, I could feel the difference between when the scene was darker and the lights were turned off versus when the lights were on.  I know the theater was due to be renovated a few weeks after we were there, so I hope they did something to change the location of that lighting rig!

 

Despite all of that, the show was phenomenal!  It was everything I wanted a musical on the West End to be, and more!  The actor who played Jean Valjean stole the show, but really everyone was excellent and the level of talent was quite impressive.  It was an experience we will never forget!

 

Fitbit Daily Summary… Steps: 22,898,  Miles: 9.8,  Flights of Stairs: 26 

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8 hours ago, deladane said:

We were seated immediately at a table along the windows at the front of the restaurant, conveniently located right next to an air conditioning vent!!  I was in heaven and I hadn’t even tasted a bite of food haha  The restaurant has a modern elegant atmosphere with floor to ceiling windows, white tablecloths and funky globe-shaped lighting fixtures.

 

1fnPysil.jpg

 

This restaurant specializes in Greek fish, and they had this huge display in the back next to the kitchen with all sorts of fresh fish on ice.

 

ZVRYZTyl.jpg

 

I loved the look of this huge wine cellar on the lower level of the restaurant (I only found it because it was next to the restrooms haha)

 

TrkveGpl.jpg

 

We looked at the menu and did something we rarely do… we both ordered the exact same thing!

 

8lEBf9Sl.jpg

 

For our starters, we got the Poikilia, which was a sampler platter of several spreads including tzatziki, hummus, tarama (the consistency of hummus but made with fish roe instead of chick peas), and tyropitaki (similar to spanikopita), all served with fresh warm pita bread and raw vegetables to dip into the dips.

 

GlqRRZ2l.jpg

 

We weren’t expecting such a large portion size!  Had we known, we would have had one of us order the starter and main course and shared this starter, and the other would have ordered a main and a dessert to share.  Everything was delicious and we agreed it was a shame that we couldn’t take any of it home in a doggy bag because we couldn’t finish it all and still leave room for our main course.

 

For our main course, we both ordered the grilled lamb chops, served with Greek fried potatoes.

 

0Dtnrerl.jpg

 

We were pleasantly impressed with Milos.  The service was excellent, the food was very tasty, the ambiance was classy, and the price was right! 

 

Dana, as a lover of Greek food these are some delectable looking plates in a nice looking restaurant and you didn't pay a King's ransom so kudos on taking a chance on Milos. We still haven't picked places to eat apart from that Fish and Chip shop. I am lobbying for the restaurant in our hotel (Royal Horseguards hotel) as I like to be near a bed after a heavy meal with wine. I also wanted to eat in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant but that's a major spend and it's only one meal to stop the stomach caving in-we have been known to go 13 hours without eating a morsel on holiday.

Our hotel also has a garden with outdoor dining that will be the setting for my first Guinness and cigarette after check-in.

 

Carol has heard me raving about the little British bakeries with hot sausage rolls and Cornish pasties etc. I want some of those. I just reminded Carol we only have two more nights of sleeping in Chicago....she said "yikes!"

 

Fantastic review of an amazing vacation!

Norris

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Dana, you are doing a fantastic job of getting everyone's feet itchy.  Can I please ask you about your experience booking the sky garden free tickets?  On your recommendation, I am trying to book for the late afternoon on the day we fly in, but all days so far only show 15min intervals up to 2.45pm.  How did it work for you?  Thanks.

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