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3 Week London Adventure Part 2,3,4 ETC.

I always book the over night flight from the West Coast of the US to Heathrow. Thus when I land and get through immigration I want to get into the city ASAP. No dawdling. I'm on vacation and I want to begin it immediately.

If I stay at my preferred accommodation I'll check in, drop of luggage and head into Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens to walk about. For me helps to reduce jet lag. I'll then have a late pub lunch or I'll eat at Tudkin which is a Malaysian restaurant that I adore and an easy saunter from the hotel.

Let me get down to the trip....where I went, who I saw, what I explored, how I traveled.

Arrival date Dec 10. Immigration took about 25 minutes if memory serves me well. Lines not abhorrent. Through terminal shopping area and then the long well signed walk to the Heathrow Express. There are moving escalators but do be prepared for the distance.

Given I'd been in London that January I had some left over coinage and a 5 pound note as well as an Oyster card that had money left on it. Upon my arrival at Paddington I topped up the card with the 5 pound note, then made my way to the adjacent Cafe Nero Express station for a coffee.

Having used the website to plan my route I boarded a train to Ealing Broadway ( 7 min ride which I'd discovered during the January visit) exited and boarded a District line train to Turnham Green station. Exited the station, turned left, walked under the over pass, and continued to the Main Street. Crossed at the light and stopped at the Barclays ATM to retrieve cash for my stay. Then walked a block to Devonshire Rd and turned left. Followed it for another 6-7 blocks to the underground tunnel that goes under the Hogarth Roundabout. You will enter the underground tunnel right in front of the Telsa offices (ramp or stairs), walk half way through it then turn right and use stairs or ramp to exit. Comes out adjacent to the large Premier Inn. Pretty certain (although I didn't ask) this was some sort of business office before it became a Premier Inn.The entrance isn't right in front as one would presume. From the underpass you walk past the building on the left and at the back side is the entrance.

Now this is a totally separate story ( which I have no intention of reliving) but when you walk into the entrance which is about 15-20 feet from the street you will encounter elevator doors on the right. I chose the first one on the right. Pressed the floor 1 button, elevator moved, then slammed to a stop. 30 minutes later a repair person was finally able to pry the doors ajar just enough for me to shove out my 22 inch roller bag and small back pack and then I lowered myself to the floor. Not a good beginning. After I'd gotten settled into my room (108) and calmed myself ( no claustrophobia, just impatience) I went back out and via the underground passage made my way to the charming George and Devonshire Pub which is across the road. It is part of the Fuller Brewery. Sat by the fire on a comfy couch and relaxed. Sun had set when I left and I walked back into Chiswick where I ate Bill's on the High Street. Tired and sated walked back to the Premier Inn and fell fast asleep. Even though the view from room was the adjacent road with loads of traffic and the Telsa hdqtrs it was a very quiet room.

Part 3 later....

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5262 posts


I’ve enjoyed reading your trip report thus far, looking forward to reading more!
Thanks for sharing!

Sorry to hear about the elevator misfortune; it’s a good thing the repairman was able to help you out in a (somewhat) timely manner.
I’ve not been stuck in a elevator before (knock on wood) but my DH was stuck inside one for an hour!

I’m bookmarking your post for future reference, thanks again!

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16939 posts

I am waiting to hear about the Alexander Fleming Museum!

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985 posts

Claudia, it's interesting to read a thread about exploring and staying outside of central London,. While I haven't seen enough of central London to be satisfied yet it does give me the idea to pair it with at least a partial stay elsewhere in the vicinity. I'm looking forward to the rest of your trip report. Thanks!

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Back as promised to hopefully conclude this lengthy trip report.

Chiswick (pronounced W) is a lovely neighborhood. There's a pleasant high street dotted with shops, pubs, cafes, markets and restaurants. If I won the lotto I'd live in Chiswick or in Richmond.

The weather I experienced throughout my stay consisted of occasional light drizzle (usually in the morning) and either grey or blue sunny filled skies. Mostly the latter. Beautiful crisp 40's. On my Boxing Day Richmond Park outing it was drizzling and yet as I strolled along a path into a large open field half the sky was bright blue. The other a black ominous thunder cloud formation. Mother Nature at her finest created numerous stunning rainbow arcs. Gorgeous ramble.

Back to Chiswick. The Premier Inn is a 15-20 minute walk from the Turnham Green station. From the High street it's straight walk down Devonshire Road. There are shops, cafes, restaurants for the first block and half of Devonshire then it's all residential although there was a closed pub on the corner of Devonshire Rd & Fraser Street that I wanted to own. Alas, I need that lottery win. If you aren’t eating at the hotel the high street is your best bet.

Given the elevator fiasco management gave me meal vouchers for the duration of my stay. I used them for breakfast. Excellent breakfast buffet and attentive staff. I was usually their first diner of the day.

Following breakfast I'd bundle up and head out. As I would make my way to the Turnham Green station I'd either stop at TAMP coffee on Devonshire or Chief Coffee which was closer to the tube but for service, comfort, WiFi and better tasting coffee I preferred TAMP.

One morning I left pre dawn to walk along the Chiswick Mall ( river path). Sunrise was lovely, tide was out, so I mudlarked.

One of my best travel items is a Sling rePETe bag. Hangs cross body. It folds up into a very small pocket sewn into the interior of the bag. Used it for years since I bought it at the Yosemite Valley store. If you Google Sling repete crossbody its the second image with the tiny carabiner.

I relish reading the free daily "rags" one finds left on the tube and they fit perfectly in the bag. So do a bottled water along with take away sandwiches and a bag of crisps. During my mudlarking excursion my "finds" were placed in it.

Anyone interested in mudlarking should know you are now advised to get a permit. I admit I did not do this. For years I've ambled about the Thames "beaches,” and if I'd found anything of vital importance I would have taken it to the Museum of London. I'd read "MudLark In Search of London's Past Along The River Thames," by Lara Maiklem before I left. My finds were limited to half of clay pipe and shards of china. For me, like beach combing on a Northern California beach after a winter storm, I find it a peaceful way to spend time. It's like a treasure hunt.

On a morning walk along the Chiswick Mall heading toward the Hammersmith Bridge I discovered the tiny but wonderful Mari's Deli. Fabulous Italian coffee. Family run. Although I didn't stop The Dove Pub is a great spot for a respite. Was there in January and had the best sage and pumpkin soup. I walked across Hammersmith bridge and found my way to the WetLands. After ambling about I headed toward the Barnes Bridge train station. Once there I realized The Ship pub was close so followed the river path to it. Not a place I'd walk at night but perfectly fine in day light. Ship pub was okay but not adding it to my must visit again list. However as I walked back it started to rain. Decided it was time to take refuge and by sheer luck discovered Orange Pekoe. Wonderful cream tea and scones. Pleasant chat with an elderly woman who sat nearby. Then headed back to the hotel and enjoyed watching rowers, dog walkers, joggers and a kite flyer as I did. Many great-day-in-the-life photo ops for my Instagram that day.

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595 posts

This is a great report Claudia, thank you. Do you let people in this forum see your Instagram or is it set to private? Would love to know your ID there.

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8888 posts

Before any one gets the wrong idea I am not a sot. I like pubs because they are warm and cozy, usually have good food at a reasonable price and a female can sit for hours undisturbed. I read, do crosswords and if perhaps there is a TV with a match on I'll watch and cheer along with the other patrons. Good places for people watching and feeling "like a local." I'm there mid day so any rowdies that might come in do so long after I've left. Trust me sitting by an open fire in a pub enjoying a pint (cocktail, soda or coffee) or a bowl of soup or pot pie while resting a tired back and feet are moments in time I relish. A pub dog is an additional plus. Having discovered the sweet Haven Arms in Ealing on the January trip I returned once again in hopes of finding Bella the sweet Lab. Alas she and her owner had moved from the area. Still The Havens Arms remains a favorite pub for a quiet respite.

In keeping with my enjoyment of finding traditional pubs to enjoy I made a trek to Wapping to see the Town of Ramsgate pub. Liked it very much although it was very crowded and festive with Christmas parties in full swing. Still I've added it to my return list. From here I hopped on an Overline train at Shadwell and made my way to Shoreditch High Street so I could walk to Brick Lane. I've been to Brick Lane countless times over the years. Gone from gritty to hip and yet always worth the effort to see the eye candy and the murals. Good food stalls.

Friday in Chiswick I tubed to Ealing Broadway, enjoyed coffee and an Almond croissant the size of Texas at Ginger and Moore then boarded a GW train to Paddington Station. Walked the few blocks to my preferred hotel and made reservations for the last 2 nights of my trip. Then strolled into and around Hyde Park. People and bird watched. From there I walked out of the park near the Lancaster Gate station and walked over to Tudkin to make reservations for lunch the next day. Tudkin was a true find in 2018.

Throat was starting to feel scratchy (never a good sign) so opted to head back to Chiswick. No one ever wants to get sick on vacation so I knew it was best to get out of the cold. My room hadn't yet been cleaned but I didn't care. Hung the Do Not Disturb sign on the door knob, took a long hot shower, dissolved AirBorne tablets in hot water and sipped the brew as I sat in bed watching TV. Drifted off to sleep and didn't awake till 4:30am the next morning. Thankfully sore throat was gone and I felt fine. Read, checked emails, uploaded pics to Instagram and then at 7:30am showered again and went downstairs for breakfast. It was the weekend. My only must do was to meet my friend Claire at Tudkin for lunch at 1pm.

As you can readily see friends, photography, food, meandering and pubs define my visits in the UK.

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Enjoying some decaf Earl Grey as I sit here trying to finish this lengthy report. Thankfully I kept a few notes on my iPhone.

Honestly cannot remember what I did before meeting my friend Claire at Tudkin at 1pm. Might have walked by where The Alexander Fleming Museum is located so I'd know where it was when Nigel, Carol and I met up the following week to visit it.

Lunch was fabulous. Had fresh mussels in a coconut broth infused with Lemon Grass. #23 on the menu for those interested. We walked a bit afterwards and then she caught her train and I walked over to Winter Wonderland. Crowded but I find it interesting. As earlier noted at dark it's gorgeous with all the neon. From there I somehow got turned around (and I pride my sense of direction) and found myself near Hyde Park corner when I wanted to be near Marble Arch. Not one to be defeated I decided to hop on a bus, take a vacant seat up top and ride for awhile looking at Christmas lights. Do I remember which bus? No but having been in London many times I thought I could get a bus to Victoria Bus Station and indeed I could. At Victoria Station hopped on a District Line train to Turnham Green. Now very hungry I decided to explore Chiswick High Street restaurants. NGON Vietnamese won out. Perfect Pho meal!

Sunday awoke early, nothing new, showered, dressed and walked over to the nearby St Nicholas church and followed the path that goes through the adjacent cemetery. I love old cemeteries. From there made my way towards the river. Knew there would be rowers out on the water. I was right. Watched them as I walked till I got to an area called Duke's Meadows. From there I took an adjacent path (I'd googled the night before) and by hook and by crook made my way to Chiswick House and Gardens. House wasn't available for a tour and I didn't think the gardens would be of interest to me so I had a nosh at the cafe and started back out to walk along the main road which I knew would take me back to the Premier Inn.

I'll continue this report later. Need to run some errands.....

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I'm back and promise to complete this saga.

On Monday the 16th, met Nigel and Carol at the Pret a Manger at Paddington. We sat in the back having coffee waiting until the nearby Alexander Fleming Museum opened. I'd read about this tiny museum doing my trip research. After visiting it they wanted to buy me lunch at Dishoom. Who can turn down a free lunch with friends?
Not I.

The museum is part of the adjacent and still operating St. Mary's Hospital. 4pound entry but if as old as I you pay the 2 pound concession rate. Knowledgeable volunteers staff the place. No elevator that I saw and due to size wheelchairs wouldn't fit. No photos allowed. There's a 15-20 minute film about Fleming and his cohorts and how a petri dish of mold led to the discovery of penicillin. Then you climb stairs to the small lab where the discovery was made. The widows look out onto the street and at the pub on the corner of Praed Street. I'm no science aficionado but found it all very interesting.

We made our way by bus to King's Cross, Nigel has reminded me it was the 205 to the British Library where I went shopping in the gift shop and then we walked to the nearby Granary Square and Dishoom. This is the original Dishoom that I'd discovered on my 2014 trip. The transformation of this area once home to coal drop sheds, warehouses and stables intrigued me. From what it was in the 70's to what it is now is the culmination of innovative and creative minds at work. So on each trip I'd make the effort to see what was being done as far as development. Was especially intrigued to see what would become of the gas towers. They are now pricey condos.

We had a very pleasant lunch upstairs in Dishoom seated nearly at the same table where I'd sat this first time I was there. If you go do not miss visiting the lower level bar area and toilets.

If you seek an interesting spot for a cocktail or tea I'd investigate the Booking Office which inside the Renaissance St Pancras Hotel. Gorgeous space. Another brilliant conversion from what it was originally to what it is now. Pricey but I'd didn't pay. My dear friend did. The one who was staying in Ealing. Film and TV Producer. Did a small show called Game of Thrones. Seated in comfortable chairs enjoying a Jamesons and ginger, chatting with an old friend was a genuinely lovely moment.

That evening in my hotel room I checked the tide chart. Wanted to mudlark the next morning if I could and I did. Met another far more serious and well prepared mudlarker. He was in wellies. My poor Keen lace ups still haven't recovered from the muck and mire. He'd been mudlarking as long as he could remember. It was entertaining listening to stories about his finds.

Made my way to The Ship pub for lunch. Thankfully I had been smart enough to have taken a couple of disposable washcloths in my tote so I could remove a good portion of the gunk from my shoes. I'm a firm believer in visiting 99 cent stores here in LA before any trip to get the packet of washcloths.

The bowl of tomato soup at The Ship was so so. Walking back via the river path it started to rain and I decided I should try to find a bus stop or tube stop. It's how I found Orange Pekoe! When I got back to my room I switched out my shoes ( I always take 2 pair) and tubed to Westminster.

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Darkness had set so a lovely stroll across Westminster Bridge towards the London Eye which is next door to County Hall where Witness for the Prosecution is being staged. Went into County Hall and purchased my ticket for the next evening. Walked back out and strolled around Jubilee Gardens then headed towards Waterloo Station where I discovered the entrance to the Graffiti Tunnel. Who knew? I didn't. I was headed into Waterloo because I knew there was a Costa Coffee inside. The tunnel was a delightful and unexpected discovery. From Waterloo took the underground back to Turnham Green. Switched trains twice. Was back at Premier Inn in an hour.

Next morning walked along the Chiswick Mall back to my favorite little Mari Deli. Then off towards the Dove where I made my way back to main drag which would become Chiswick High Street. Walked and walked and walked some more till I came upon Artisan Coffee. Got a large Cappucino, took a seat inside, reviewed iPhone photos I snapped, people watched and read a bit of my iBook. Rejuvenated headed back out. When I got to the road where Turnham Green station is located I turned right and went into a Thrift shop. I'm always looking for an easy paperback, something I can read and then leave at the hotel or in another Thrift Store.

Slept in the following morning and sleeping in for me means 7am. Sad but true. Dressed and went downstairs to the buffet. Must say very impressed by the Premier Inn breakfast buffets. Ate and took a coffee back to my room. Uploaded photos, emailed, read the news, and researched where I would have dinner before seeing Witness for the Prosecution. By noon it was time to shower. Did so and then walked up to Turnham Green Station. Tubed to Ealing Broadway then took the train to Paddington Station. Walked over to the Italian Gardens in Hyde Park and got a coffee at the small cafe. Then walked over to The Victoria, a Fuller's Pub (so I knew there would be food) where I devoured my sausage and mash. By now it was nearly 5pm and I knew I'd hit commuter crowds so paid my bill and sauntered over to the Lancaster Gate Station and made my way to Westminster. Not a bad commute. Believe I changed my train at Bond Street. Under 20 mins all in. Walked across Westminster Bridge to County Hall.

The production of Witness for the Prosecution was fabulous. Set in an actual courtroom and well acted. I was somewhat bemused by the elderly couple seated to my left. We struck a conversation before the play began. They'd never seen the 1957 film which starred one of England's greatest actors, Charles Laughton, along with Marlene Dietrich and Tyrone Power. Absolutely loved the play and when it ended the husband turned to me and said, "Oh my, didn't see that coming.”

I'd wondered if I'd be the only traveler on the tube back to Turnham Green and was rather surprised to find nearly a full train at 10:30pm.

The next day was moving day from Chiswick to Richmond. After breakfast I packed and rolled my 22 inch bag to Turnham Green Station where I boarded a District Line train to Richmond. Quick ride. Got out and took the 15-20 minute walk to the Premier Inn. My room was ready so unpacked and headed back out. I'd noticed Butter Beans coffee which is next door to the Tube/Train station and went there. Along the route checked out if church if St John the Divine was having midnight mass. It was but alas on Christmas Eve I fell asleep and did not attend.

I liked Richmond. Nice High street, crowded with shoppers. Good coffee at Butter Beans, mammoth Richmond Park, wonderful river walk, loved the White Cross pub.

Hold the fort. Need to head out to Trader Joe's for groceries. Back in 30....

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On Christmas day I think I went out to get some more bottled water at the teeny market up the street and most likely some Oreo cookies. Walked about some but spent most of the day in my room. Watched the 1951 Christmas Carol film. The one with Alastair Sims as Ebenezer Scrooge. Its the one I grew up with and enjoyed re watching.

Boxing Day was my long walk into Richmond Park through Petersham Meadows then along the River Path to Ham House where I turned around and followed the river back up to the Bridge, climbed the stairs and walked the block to Hill street and turned left. Followed this main drag back to the hotel. Long enjoyable Boxing Day excursion. I'd like to say the adjacent Crown pub was open that day but honestly cannot recall. I know I stopped along the way for a nosh but drawing a blank as to where.

My brain isn't working on all cylinders because on re reading this I see I failed to mention I’d met up with Nigel and Carol a second time. They kindly picked me up on the 22nd and we went to Kew Gardens. Hadn't been in years and we had a very lovely stroll about and meal while there. The arboretum is stellar. Loved climbing the wrought iron circular stairs to be able to stroll along the walk way looking down into the greenhouse foliage and fauna. Kew is worth an entire days out. So much to see and I can only imagine how glorious it must be in the Spring time.

Also failed to mention on the 23rd met up with my friend Maggie and had lunch at Comptoir Lebanese In Duke of York Square. Its near the Sloane Square tube stop and I'd eaten there before. Maggie had trained in from Bournemouth and planned to see Christmas Lights. After our lunch we walked and talked. Neither of us are shoppers per sae but enjoyed looking at window displays. We found the small and perfect Antelope Pub. Luckily got a table in the back. I ordered a pint, she a gin and tonic. Sat and chatted like the mates we are.

Before meeting Maggie that afternoon I'd found the Royal Chelsa Hospital grounds. To be honest I needed a loo and was hopeful I'd find one on the property. Walked in via a gate off Hospital road where the Royal Hospital Museum is located. Found the loo then meandered till I found the cafe. Walked in and purchased a coffee. Many pensioners in their identifiable red coats were seated when I got there. In 10 minutes myself & another woman were the only diners. Still am uncertain if I had unintentionally trespassed by being there. No one said anything so after enjoying my coffee, I walked out and into the adjacent, lovely and quiet Ranelagh Gardens. Sat for a bit then walked along the long tree line road that boarded the Royal Chelsea Hospital. Truly beautiful amble. There was construction so couldn't exit at the river, turned back around and retraced my steps.

Forget to mention that before I moved to Richmond one of my excursions into London proper was to visit the fairly new Mercato Mayfair. It was an old church that had been converted into a food venue. Went early. Arrived before 11am and had a cup of coffee and very tasty blueberry scone. Very few people but by the time I left it was getting lively. I think it's still establishing itself as a "go to" spot for food and drink. It's nicely done so if anyone is close by definitely pop in. Be sure to check opening and closing times though. Lovely space downstairs as well. Wine cellar restaurant, etc.

Okay now it's after Christmas and Boxing Day. On the 28th I know moved to my preferred accommodation near Paddington. Got the smallest room ( 105 ) which I love. Who needs more space? The fun, lively and intriguing Winter Wonderland is a pleasant stroll through Hyde Park. Its the 3rd time I've visited. This time I was surprised to discover a 5k run as I walked towards Hyde Park Corner entrance. A person with a camera could spend hours in Winter Wonderland and I do.

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Seriously when Winter Wonderland lights up all the neon create a magical environment worth exploring, iPhone camera at the ready. Had dinner at Tudkin, a pint at the Mitre Lancaster and to bed. Did I mention it’s free entry?

My last day out early to enjoy sunrise as I walked along the Serpentine path. Disappointed to discover the Serpentine Lido cafe was closed for refurbishment but realized I'll look forward to seeing it on my next trip. Walked the entire Serpentine and exited heading toward the Knightsbridge tube Station. Was hopeful I could find a spot for an early AM coffee and nosh nearby. Let it be said I'll die first before I'll get a Starbucks coffee so the one near the station is NOT where I went. Instead made my way to a Paul's. It's a chain that I like. Pasteries and coffee. Open at 7:30am. This Paul's is on Brompton Road and I'd say was a 20 minute walk from where I'd exited Hyde Park. Sat for a long while. 2 cappuccinos worth. Then with my handy dandy tote I headed over to the V and A Museum to the gift shop. Xmas cards are my preference at museum gift shops. So with those, some from the British Library gift shop and the card shop I discovered at Spitafields market I'm set for Christmas 2020!

Still have money on the Oyster, 3 pounds in coinage and a new 10 pound note, an updated pocket size tube map and my list of places I still didn't get to....Cyrstal Palace Dinosaurs, Wallace Collection, Mudschute Farm Isle of Dogs, taking the London Walks ghost walk, J and A Cafe in Clerkenwall for their Guinness cake, London Transport Museum Hidden Tours, Whitsable on the coast AND Blentchley Park.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it

If anyone wants more specifics PM.

Posted by
3824 posts

Claudia, Thanks for your very detailed trip report! You always explore a lot of areas of London that are off the beaten tourist path, and that is very interesting!

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8888 posts


Probably 20.

As previously posted my first visit was in 1972. Been often enough that my pictures of Stonehenge are on 2 rolls of Kodak film. Photos show no other travelers as only myself and two friends were there. I don’t even recall a gift shop.

That trip was in the 80's when very few knew of or had heard of Mr. Steves.

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1244 posts

Thanks, Claudia. Bookmarking for all the lovely details.

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8888 posts

You are welcome everyone.

Hopeful my meanderings help others look outside the box and make time to explore other places than the well known “must sees.”

Nothing against the “must sees.” ( Been to all more than once) but there’s far more to see and do in London than Parliament Square, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s. So, if time allows, make the effort to meander and marvel at what you’ll find.

Let London and nearby environs surprise you!

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9904 posts

Claudia,it sounds like a heavenly trip. Thank you for sharing your discoveries!

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8888 posts

Geez one would think I'm addicted to coffee reading this. Some stops I had teas but if I didn't eat the the hotels and started out early I would need a jolt and most often a loo by 10am so I'd find a cafe so I could sit down and relax. I'm not big on walking with a take away cup.

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106 posts

Claudia, I always manage to come away from your posts with a couple new places to add to my "next in London" list. Fleming and Pho this trip. I have a bit of a Pho addiction, and haven't found a satisfactory place in the London area yet. The last place I tried - in Chiswick as it happens - wasn't all that good. Although, my waitress being fired in the middle of the shift didn't help! (ed: looks like NGON is just down the street from where I went. So close...)

I'm trying not to travel this year (saving for a trip to see friends in Rio and Sao Paulo), but you tempt me, as does the new Tom Stoppard play "Leopoldstadt".

Thanks for the review!

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8888 posts

Thanks Jodi!

Far be it from me to curtail your investing and saving but as I’ve gotten older I’ve adopted the “can’t take it with you attitude” about $’s.

If I can afford to go somewhere I go.

Just took a cherished friend for a long weekend jaunt to Morro Bay which is a 4 hour drive from LA. Her Mom had passed earlier in the week. Knew she needed time away. We dedicated the entire trip to her mother’s memory. My friend grieved, laughed, shared memories.

Travel keeps me sane. Soothes my heart and soul!

Travel when you can. Don’t look back.

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3365 posts

@ Claudia, I read on another post/thread that Morro Bay was a favorite town of yours along the CA coast. So, on our recent trip up to Hearst Castle from Hemet ( my in-laws live there), we stopped in Morro Bay and boy, are we glad we did! Loved the little maritime museum there and we ended up going to the bakery there TWICE because of your recommendation and because it was so good. What a fabulous little town! So Thank You!

Coming back down the coast to Hemet, we skirted around the LA area. You have my sympathies, what horrendous traffic! Don’t know how folks put up with that, I don’t care how great the weather is!

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2252 posts

Ah, I just love your posts and take careful note of where you went and what you did in London. Re Morro Bay- I went to college (in the 60s) at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and know that area well. I can relate to a visit and the peacefulness a visit to the Morro Bay area can provide. Or at least used to; I hope it's still the same. As I said in a previous reply to this trip report, I am taking careful note of these post as I love London, have visited many times and am taking my middle granddaughter there for a high school graduation trip. I, too, am an early riser and have some wonderful "finds" from some early mudlarking forays. I do love the early morning hours, no matter where I wake up. Thank you for this vicarious visit to one of my favorite cities.

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8888 posts

@Tammy & @Andi

I think Morro Bay remains fairly untouched but remember my visits aren’t usually in the Spring or Summer months so I can’t comment on the influx of tourists. I do know about 5 years ago a colleague and his family retired there. Trust me if I had the $’s I would too.

On this most recent sojourn loved strolling about the Garden Center. I’m an apartment dweller so no garden or lawn to deal with but I still love meandering about the Garden Center. Came away with some great Easter Cards!

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6672 posts

Thanks for this report, Claudia. I knew how much you know about London and now I understand why! I'm still at the checklist stage of travel so I'd hesitate to spend much time in places like Chiswick or Richmond. I'm one of those who advises people here not to stay in the suburbs just because it's cheaper, but your account makes me think twice about this. Especially after having seen all the "big sights" on previous trips, it makes sense to experience other communities, parks, high streets, riverbanks and such. Not to mention all those pubs. ;-)

We spent a couple of nights at Morro Bay last winter and liked it a lot -- downtown, the rock, the big state park just south, the lagoon. One of my favorite parts of California. Don't tell anyone about it!