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 Post subject: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:31 pm 
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At the end of December, I'll be going to a conference in the UK. Because of the way flights worked out, I'll be in London for just under two full days before flying back to the US. I've never been to London before, so I'm super excited to visit even for a little while! I'd love people's suggestions on everything - where to eat (inexpensive is good), where to visit, what else to do, what hostels you like...etc.

And if anyone happens to be around on the evening of December 29th or anytime during the 30th and wants to meet up, that would be lots of fun too. I know it's a crazy time of year, so no worries if not.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:25 pm 
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If you like culture and history, the British Museum has all of that kind of stuff, or if you like STUFF HOLY crepe ALL THIS STUFF (and historical stuff! but wow there's a lot of it!), the Victoria & Albert. Or if you like the history of people Brits have shot at or who have shot at Brits, there's the Imperial War Museum, but I suspect the chance that you'd be all excited to nerd it up over one of the six remaining Jagdpanthers in the world and a bunch of stuff like that is pretty low.

Or start at, say, Tower Bridge and walk up the Thames to the Tate Modern, visit that for some modern art, then cross the Millennium Bridge toward St. Paul's Cathedral, maybe check that out, and continue along the north bank toward Westminster... Lots of stuff to check out along that route, and a pretty decent walk. It might be a bit brisk in late December.

Man, I like London.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:44 am 
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The Youth Hostel Association always have good accommodation. I have only stayed in one yha in London which is the ST Pancras one. I really liked it, very clean, safe & friendly & it's convenient for me because it is so close to Kings Cross. I've stayed there a few times & it's always been good.
http://www.yha.org.uk/find-accommodation/london/
Some of the other hostels like The Clink are often cheaper but they are a bit crazy. They are full of younger people who are out to party. They are noisy & random & I've found people in our "supposedly private room!" & people who seem to have your room code. So I don't think they are safe & cleanliness is not great. But if you want really cheap & you like to party & not sleep then these are great!
http://www.clinkhostels.com/
My favourite places to visit in London are The Tate Modern & The National History Museum. However if you are strapped for time I would stick to central London which is all in walking distance. So start at Trafalgar square, Go to The National Gallery (I just tend to go to the impressionist gallery now) then take a walk down The Mall to Buckingham palace, back through St James Park. Then down past Downing Street & the houses of Parliament & Big Ben before maybe a wander along the Thames.
It's also not far to get to Covent Garden & Leicester Square.
You might also have time to go & see a West End Show. You can often get cheap ticket on the day from the Leicester Square box office http://www.lsbo.co.uk/?gclid=CM3xwsyhyqwCFUEb4QodOniRpg

Have fun


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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Honestly, it sounds sorta cheesy, but I'd stick with the center too, and do some of the typical tourist stuff...Westminster Abbey/Parliament, seeing the London Eye, going for a walk in Hyde Park, etc. Tate Modern is fantastic and easy to get to as well. Also, I love Soho, so a wander around the West End/Soho/Piccadilly would be on my list. There are like a gazillion veg restaurants there too!


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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Yea, the Soho area is central and has the highest density of veg eateries in London - very varied too, off the top if my head you got fancy restauraunts, nice buffets, fast food, falafels, a cake shop all with plenty of vegan options!

Regent St and Oxford St are next-door if you fancied hitting the shops for some post wintermas holiday bargain hunting too.

Have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:29 pm 
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I'd walk past Big Ben & the houses of Parliament, across Westminster bridge, past the London Eye, along south bank to check out The Tate Modern (maybe grab some food at Wagamama) and then I'd take a walk across the Millennium bridge to St Pauls cathedral, hop on the tube at Mansion House or St Pauls to go & explore Soho. If you walk around Soho there are loads of great places to eat, I even wrote a blog post about it here!

The next day I'd probably go to The Natural History museum because I'm obsessed with dinosaurs & then I'd go to Camden because the food at InSpiral Lounge is awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:23 am 
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Oh, Inspiral is delicious. Camden would be a nice on a good weather day too..the market and the local shops are quite interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:36 am 
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Badgermog wrote:
you got fancy restauraunts, nice buffets, fast food, falafels, a cake shop

Parallel universe alert! :)

I agree that around Soho's your best bet, but a cake shop there? This is good news indeed.

I'd certainly recommend Tibits (just access Regent Street from soho) for an example of a good buffet. The once nice buffets in Soho itself are pretty grotty now IMHO, they've retained their profit margins over the past decade as ingredient costs have doubled by substantially lowering the quality. What in 2002 was a plate of peppers, cashews and interesting/premium veg is now a bland lukewarm plate of mush. Even Vantra which is relatively new seems to have adopted the same formula.

Beatroot on Berwick Street is my favourite place for cheap, filling, flavoursome takeout. There's several parks in the area to eat it if the weather's good.

As for a museum of who brits have shot / raped / pillaged over the years, the British Museum is basically the treasure hoard. Highly impressive collections, but I'm quite sure we didn't ask nicely if we could take them! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:07 am 
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Mr Flibble wrote:
Badgermog wrote:
you got fancy restauraunts, nice buffets, fast food, falafels, a cake shop

Parallel universe alert! :)

I agree that around Soho's your best bet, but a cake shop there? This is good news indeed.

I'd certainly recommend Tibits (just access Regent Street from soho) for an example of a good buffet. The once nice buffets in Soho itself are pretty grotty now I am a ho, they've retained their profit margins over the past decade as ingredient costs have doubled by substantially lowering the quality. What in 2002 was a plate of peppers, cashews and interesting/premium veg is now a bland lukewarm plate of mush. Even Vantra which is relatively new seems to have adopted the same formula


The cake shop is mrs marengo's! I was alerted to it's existence by your review!
I had somehow failed to notice it despite dining at Mildred's before.
Also, that is such a shame about Vantra, I was planning on checking it out, but I know so many other cool places these days it sounds like it's not worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:12 am 
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Ah, unfortunately Mrs Marengos is no more - it's Mildreds only now :(

I'd certainly check out Vantra if you've not before, but there's several bad reviews out there other than mine, inc:

http://www.tohappyvegans.com/wordpress//vantra-soho/

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:44 pm 
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Thank you guys so much!! Reading this thread makes me so excited about my trip (and a little sad I can't stay for longer). I think the British Museum and Imperial War Museum sound fantastic (major bonus points that they're free), plus the central area, plus soho. Plus SO MUCH food.

Are there any good vegan or vegan friendly Indian places that you all would recommend?

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:56 am 
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There's a GroupOn today for a bus tour of the sights - thought you might be interested.
http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/southamp ... 0_329&a=65

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:56 am 
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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:05 pm 
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Someone recommended the Geffrye museum, all about changing home design in England. Sounds cooler than the description I can give it...

Linked to the original topic... In December I have 6 hours in London. I've done all the museums (apart from Geffrye!), I just want to gorge myself (and my bank card, I'm treating myself) on awesome stuff.

I'll be there on a Saturday (dragging round my non-vegan, super tolerate mate while we 'catch up'). I'm taking him out to lunch/dinner, as an excuse for me to finally go to [manna/mildreds/SAF/insert other awesome eaterie here].

Give me your top three eateries and top 3 shops please, GO!

(NB - although I've done the museums and stuff, if there's something seasonal (aka hella-Christmassy) that I can't miss, I'm willing to quit eating to go ice-skating or Christmas marketing or something else that makes me wish it was snowing and doesn't completely rip me off)

Also, I'm coming from Brighton, want to go to Ms Cupcake, and am meeting him in either Battersea or Victoria. How easy is it to get from MC to Battersea? Should I just meet him at Vic?

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Also, Inspiral in Camden: their website says they're open till 2am on a Saturday - do they serve food that late? Ta!

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:20 pm 
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If you want to go to Ms Cupcake then definitely meet at Victoria station and go from there. Ms Cupcake is a very short walk (like 3 minutes) from Brixton tube station, which is in the same underground line as Victoria (the Victoria line, fancy that!). Takes about 10 minutes from Victoria to Brixton on the tube.

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 Post subject: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:18 pm 
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The Must-See for me are the London markets. My favourites are Camden and Borough but with 19 markets in th city you'll be spoiled for choice: http://www.streetsensation.co.uk/markets.htm


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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:26 pm 
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We were there the past weekend, recommend the Wellcome Collection http://www.wellcomecollection.org/ really good and not as overwhelming as some of the other museums, just across the road from euston tube station.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:18 pm 
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1. Otarian.
2. Tibits.
3. Beatroot.
And I always go to Camden lock (loooads of vegan food around the stalls on the side that isnt where all the chinese stalls are), Covent Garden and the huge Namco arcade near Picadilly Circus. I just ride around on tubes all day basically.
But seriously, check out Otarian. Its delicious. Sweet potato fries and vegan mayo. Quinoa mushroom burgers. <3


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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Alas, otarian in London closed down. I don't think English people are as receptive to the sort of marketing they go for.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:30 am 
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Badgermog wrote:
Alas, otarian in London closed down. I don't think English people are as receptive to the sort of marketing they go for.

But everything was so delicious! Nooo!


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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Badgermog wrote:
Alas, otarian in London closed down. I don't think English people are as receptive to the sort of marketing they go for.
Just had a look at their website, intrigued as to what they sold. It looked like normal food presented as neo-hippy food at prices that shock and astound.

I think the problem with marketing to the British is that if we know other people like it, we'll make a point not to. If we're told something is fried in asbestos, we'll make it "a guilty little treat" and eat it for three meals a day.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:52 am 
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Rachwins wrote:
Someone recommended the Geffrye museum, all about changing home design in England. Sounds cooler than the description I can give it...


Good find! :)

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 Post subject: Re: If you had 36 hours in London..
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:30 am 
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Made it to Ms Cupcake, bought a couple of treats, and managed to leave my bag of treats in Mildreds. Got the other side of London before I realised. Gutted! Indeed, you booze, you lose.

Also, Mildreds was nice, but I was expecting something slightly more 'special' - it just seemed like average 'nice' food, a far cry from the raving reviews I'd read elsewhere!

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