WHERE WE STAYED IN LONDON:

We’ve stayed in London on 5 occasions and this was the first time at The Pullman, St Pancras (near the railway station).  It’s a modern hotel with young, helpful staff and a lobby/bar/breakfast space that looks out onto an interesting streetscape.  Unfortunately, the view from our room wasn’t as interesting;  we thought about asking if another room was available but on arrival we noticed that the hotel seemed v busy so it was unlikely we could get an upgrade at short notice + we planned on being out a lot so the room was more for sleeping anyway.  The breakfast was lovely and we would still recommend the hotel – just look for room tips on Trip Advisor or other review sites??  Here’s a photo of the bar/restaurant space – we enjoyed that and the bar food/drinks was comparatively reasonable to similar places in London – well a few years ago…


We’ve been to London a few times before and on those occasions we went to the usual tourist destinations;  on this occasion it was the first time we had been there in Spring and we were lucky enough to have great weather, as can be seen from the photos.  Perfect for strolling along the Thames after dinner – we went to Blueprint Cafe (highly recommended – great views of Tower Bridge + lovely food etc).
Another highlight which was something different for us, was a photography walking tour, “Hairy Goat Tours” (an unusual name but again it is recommended).  Our guide, Brian, asked about our background and gave just the right amount of information and tips based on his understanding of our skills and interests ie. Tony learnt more about photography while I was more interested in the architecture and history although I did take a few good pics! (including the one featured here)

More photos (Arty endeavours??!) from our day with Brian can be seen below – starting from the photo of “The Gherkin” (name given to one of the eye catching modern buildings in London).


We were lucky to have the most beautiful weather so after dinner at Blue Print Cafe with old friends (now living in UK) we strolled along the River Thames – this was one of our favourite evening photos from this visit to London.  We had a week in Lond

on and we often used the Underground (the Tube)…”mind the gap!” …a regular announcement especially in the evening it seems when people are returning home from a night out at the pub.  London Pubs are great!

Another view of the Thames as we strolled along after dinner

Building known as “The Gherkin” – advice from our urban photography teacher (Brian) was to take photo from an interesting angle (he suggested crouching down low sometimes) and trying to get the juxtaposition of the old and the new. The one below was one of our favourite photos – it was such a fun day and we learned a lot!

 

Our day trip to CAMDEN, LONDON (photos below)

including the famous Camden Markets.  Camden is an Arty area where many famous & not so famous Actors, Poets, Musicians, Artists et al have lived.  We walked from our hotel at St Pancras (it might be possible to get a train?) through the beautiful park below (it took approx 1 hr) to the centre of Camden near the markets.  It’s located on a canal and it was interesting to see the river boats (I’ll check my notes later on their correct name😉).  We were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t find any interesting places for a coffee (a few years ago so things may have changed?) so we went to Star Bucks…well that was good because the history of Camden was on the wall in the form of a timeline – see photo.  There was also a portrait gallery + information on the famous people who had lived in Camden in their youth;  for example, Judy Dench – now a Dame if I remember rightly (I’ll check Wikipedia & report back soon in case anyone reads this:).  There were quite a few buskers on the streets – varying abilities it seemed to us…but we’re no experts – just know what we like (we have a very eclectic collection!).  We came to the decision that perhaps a few of the musicians that day were experimenting!  It seems like a good place to do that with a very relaxed and alternate crowd in and around the markets, canals and streets. We really enjoyed our day and the walk, while quite long (at least an hour there & back to our hotel), was mostly flat with interesting things to look at along the way.  If we had more time we would have visited the museums in the area – they were recommended but we’ll go when next in London…ran out of days as left for Paris the following day via Euro Star.  More photos & info to come.

EUROSTAR RAIL TRIP FROM LONDON TO PARIS – We love it!

The security is similar to an airport so allow time for that.  The food was also similar to airline food – it was an ok lunch (see photo).  Once into the French countryside the views are very pretty.  It was a pleasant and relaxing trip and easy to get a taxi to our hotel (on this occasion in Montmartre) – see next blog post.