Wednesday, 19 June 2013

London 2013 Part 1........

We had a fabulous time in London last weekend!   We travelled down by train from Manchester First Class for the 2 hour 12 minute journey to Euston Station.

We got a taxi from Euston Station to our hotel (The Caring Hotel) in Bayswater, our base for three nights, where we quickly unpacked.    After getting settled in we walked the short way to the nearest tube station (Queensway) to catch the tube to Oxford Circus to have a walk around and find our destination for that evening.  On the way to the tube on Leinster Gardens, just round the corner from our hotel, we noticed a terrace of houses that seemed a bit odd.

It's maybe hard to tell from the photos but on number 23 and 24 the windows and doors are blanked out, this is because they are literally just a facade.   When the underground railway route of the line between Paddington and Bayswater (opened in 1868) it necessitated the demolition of 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens, situated on a long, upmarket terrace of five story houses, and it was decided to build a 5ft-thick facade which matched the houses either side of the break, hence the facades.  You can read more about them and see photographs of the backs here.

When we got to the city centre the first place of interest we found was

and some Hare Krishna devotees dancing and chanting.

Our next stop was St. James' Tavern for some liquid refreshment, we didn't want to eat as we had already booked dinner at a restaurant but the food they were serving looked really good and very popular.

We finished our drinks and made our way to Grace Bar at 6 p.m. for a pre-theatre dinner, which we had booked as part of a package which included tickets to see Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre.   Our two course meal was delicious, I had a starter and a main and MWM had a main and a dessert - you can tell who has the sweet tooth. 

 Inside Grace Bar

We thought we had got a really good deal on the tickets for the show and the pre-theatre meal at £44 each, though the seats for the show were 'up in the gods'.  However when we arrived at the theatre they were offering upgrades on our tickets for £10 each to seats in the stalls, which we jumped at and ended up with the best seats in the house which should have cost £84 each!

 The stage at Prince Edward Theatre from where we were sitting.

 I can honestly say the show was F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C.!  The actor playing Frankie Valli sounded exactly like the man himself, the scene changes were effortless and amazing and the whole cast were superb!   If the show ever comes to Manchester we would definitely go to see it again, even MWM, who went to see the show for my benefit said he would like to see it again, it was that good.

Once the show had finished we had to catch the tube back to Bayswater but we called in a little pub not far from our hotel (The Leinster Arms)  for a nightcap, before retiring for the night.

Join me next time for sightseeing in London 2013 Part 2.


A Lady's Life said...

Interesting about the facade and We don't see any Hari Krishnas around here cone to think of it.
The show sounded wonderful What luck to have such good seats too.

theothersideofparis said...

Sounds like you had a great time. I lived in London (Chelsea then Fulham) for 13 years or so before coming to Paris. I love the city. Oh, and Carnaby Street! That brings back memories when I was a 17-year-old in flares and long hair strolling around thinking I was cool.

PS "Join me next time for sighseeing in London 2013 Part 2." Sighseeing - I prefer this word to sightseeing!

MorningAJ said...

Sounds like a fun trip. There's something about a London theatre isn't there? They have their own atmosphere. Well done on the ticket deal.

Cloudia said...

You looked Sharp!

I saw the Queen and horse troop ceremony on CNN and yelled to hubby "I have a friend there today! Woo! P! Where ware you?! :-)

Aloha polished lady

Mama Zen said...

Sounds like you guys are having a blast!

Jenny Woolf said...

Sounds like a great trip to London. And what a nice name the hotel has. Did it live up to it?

Ron said...

Oooo...I was eagerly anticipating this post!

FANTASTIC photos! Especially enjoyed the ones down Carnaby Street. All the colorful buildings and shops are adorable. It looks like a movie set!

And it was funny to notice so many people in the pub photos talking on their cell phones and texting!'s the same here in the States - no matter where you go people on on their phones.

And that last shot of the stage inside the theater is spectacular! I knew you would LOVE that show. I haven't seen it, but everyone I ever spoke to who has, adored it and said they would see it again.

Looking forward to Part 2 of your trip! Thanks for sharing, m'dear!


Secret Agent Woman said...

I love that second photo of you. Very cute!

Valerie said...

Loved these pictures, Pearl. I felt I was back there.

It seems like only yesterday that I watched Hare Krishna followers dancing. That was in Oxford Street if my memory serves me right. I'm really looking forward to reading more about your trip.

Akelamalu said...

Yes the facade is really interesting Lady's Life. We were really lucky with the theatre tickets.

Ah yes, flares and long hair I can see my husband in them back then Dumdad. Thanks for pointing out my typo, I've corrected it now.

Oh yes London Theatres have a great atmosphere AJ,

Thanks Cloudia. We were there, I'll show you pics soon.

We did mama Zen. :)

The hotel did indeed live up to it's name Jenny :)

You're right Ron everyone has a mobile phone either glued to their ear or in their hand. You must go to see Jersey Boys if you get the chance. x

Thank you SAW :)

It was great seeing the Hare Krishna followers, took me back a while Valerie :)

Daryl said...

oh what fun .. and fascinating tidbit about the 'wall' .. have you ever read Connie Willis? Her novels Blackout and All Clear come to mind reading this post

Akelamalu said...

I haven't read Connie Willis novels Daryl but they sound interesting, I'll look out for them. x

Mimi Lenox said...

Getting on the "tube"...I've never heard that before. Learning lots! What great seats you ended up with.

LOVE the pics of you on the train. Oh, Hollywood!
I love the round decorative windows in the Tavern and all the details you captured for us, especially the dancers and their reflections in the windows. I feel like I was there.
P.S. Throw me a crumb. I'm in your suitcase. I'm hungry.

Banker Chick said...

Carnaby St, what a trip down memory lane. The last time I saw Hari Krishna was at the LA airport maybe 20 years ago.

Akelamalu said...

Yes the underground in London is referred to as 'the tube' Mimi. I wish I could take you on our travels for real Mimi, I just know you'd have a great time. x

Believe it or not Banker Chick that is the very first time I have seen Hare Kirshna devotees live!

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

jersey boys is a great show!

smiles, bee

Beach Bum said...

After much discussion between my wife and daughter we are looking at a trip to London sometime next year.

Akelamalu said...

It is indeed Bee!

WOW Beach that will be fantastic, you'll love it!

Travis Cody said...

I thought you would enjoy the show. Pam and I had a great time when we saw it a few months ago at 5th Avenue.

Akelamalu said...

We really did Trav, it's a great show and the cast couldn't have been better. :)

politelyinsulting said...

Very happy to see you're still posting great things about your travels... I envy your trip to London, I miss that place! Happy you're still blogging. (formerly Eternally Distracted)

Maggie May said...

A trip to London is always lovely but exhausting, I think! (Though I haven't usually done one by train!)
You go on some lovely trips and illustrate them well.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

Great to see you back Politelyinsulting. x

Yes it was exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable and we so love travelling by train Maggie.

CrystalChick said...

I'm so behind at the blogs, but glad to be getting caught up here by hearing all about another wonderful trip. A few days in London would be wonderful. Well, I'd need to be on a plane for about 7 hours first but I'm sure I'd enjoy everything after that!
That second photo, beautiful! xo
I'd quite like seeing the Hare Krishnas!
A friend of mine saw Jersey Boys and liked it a lot.