tower

London Break

Blackfriars London Just got back from a short two night London City Break with with my wife. We had a great time just relaxing and shopping, i had no idea you could get so tired on what should have been a break !! We arrived on Monday and made our way to the Hotel i had booked. I used lastminute.com to book what was advertised to be a luxury 4 star Hotel in the Kensington  and Chelsea area. Sounded ok so i went ahead and booked it. It  was one of them secret hotel deals and when i paid it revealed its identity and location.

 

Stamford Bridge Home of Chelsea FC

Turned out to be Millennium & Copthorne Hotels At Chelsea Football Club , great if you are a Chelsea fan or even a football fan, i am neither ! However as we arrived on a Monday there were no matches to be played and no other major events being held at the stadium during our stay  i hoped it would all be quiet and ok.

When we arrived at Fullham Broadway underground station we made our way along fullham road towards the ground. You could see the entrance to the stadium almost immediately.

We walked past the first entrance and made our way to the second entrance where you could see the hotel from the main road. This hotel was separated in to two building , one was the Millennium and the other was the Copthorne Hotel, we ended up staying in the latter , which i think is the older of the two buildings.

We made our way to reception and the check in process was very quick and simple, however i did have to give a debit card to reception for them to charge me a £30 deposit refundable in three to five working days after our stay as long as there was nothing taken !! I am not sure if this was because of the usual clients or if it was that i just looked a bit dodgy !

 

Room 403

We were checked in and the deposit taken and we were then given our entry cards to the room. We had requested a double bed as when i paid for the room i was told it would be a double or twin room depending on availability , but in the special comments for the hotel section i asked if it was possible and available the double room was preferred. This they mentioned when we checked in and that they had granted our request.We stayed in room 403 which as you can see from the image is a nice size room with all the basics, en-suite, bed, tea and coffee, smart tv, wardrobe with iron and ironing board etc.The view from the room was not great but i did not expect anything other especially staying on the outskirts of London in February. If you were to stay in the summer the room was also air conditioned.

 

We decided that we were going to head out onto the underground and head for the Southbank and at some point find somewhere nice to sit and have a meal.

Buckingham Palace

We ended up getting off the underground at St James Park and made our way round in front of Buckingham Palace, from here we made our way down through St James park and out by The Houses Of Parliament.

Big Ben

From here we managed to grab a take away drink from Nero and headed across Westminster bridge towards St Thomas Hospital. Made our way down the stairs, once across, by the new London Dungeon site. The southbank was busy as usual with a mix of locals, commuters and holiday makers all in a rush to get somewhere.

millennium wheel

The time was getting on a little and the light was fading fast but we managed to find a bench opposite the London eye , which has recently been renovated. We sat for a while before heading off to find somewhere to eat.

We made our way further along the southbank looking at various menus of places along the way but by now we were heading towards the OXO tower , again we stopped here as the area is such a nice place to sit , and grab a couple of night cityscapes.

Blackfriars London

I had brought a tiny tripod with me which is the Slik Mini Pro III . I had my Canon 5d mkiii and grip with a canon 17 - 40 F/4.0 L USM attached. The tripod was strong enough to hold this set up which i had sat on the wide railing along the river.

After this we made our way past the Oxo Tower and found ourselves outside looking at the menu of Doggets Coat and Badge public house. The menu looked very nice so we decided we couldn't wait any longer we were both starving and tired.

We were shown to the restaurant area which was upstairs and once we were seated our order was taken. The view was lovely, sat at the table in front of a  large window overlooking Blackfriars bridge and looking out over the Thames with the city lights on the horizon, was a very nice place to sit.

The meal did not disappoint either with it being made fresh to order and not bulk bought and microwaved on request. The food was all freshly prepared and you could tell care had been taken with the preparation and the presentation. We only had a main meal and no pudding but we both had a drink and the total cost of the meal was £30 , i think this was very reasonable and look forward to going again, maybe when the weather improves as they have a nice looking terrace area. After dinner we headed across Blackfriars bridge and towards the underground where we headed back to the hotel.

Camden Lock

They next day we decided to visit Camden. I wanted to take my wife here before Christmas but due to various reasons we found this had not happened. We made our way to Camden and on arrival we headed up the high street towards the lock. I love walking through Camden the smells from all the street food vendors is unbelievable.

 

We walked around the whole market stopping to browse and look closer at various places along the way. Always makes me think about the state of our high streets, if Camden can make a success of its high street with small boutiques and various independent trades why do so many other places struggle with empty properties and decaying high streets, its such a shame.

Camden Lanterns

 

 

We found a place we could both sit and have breakfast which was a place called The Dinner , a typical American Style Dinner. After breakfast we made our way around the Marketplace and high street area and made a few purchases along the way.

 

From this point we had no other plans so after a little deliberation we decided we would head off to the posh part of town and decided on going to Knightsbridge . We negotiated our way out of the underground and emerged right outside the world famous Harrods department store.

 

Window Shopping

We eventually made our way into the store and we were greeted by a doorman who requested i remove my backpack and either wear it to the front or carry it, i can only assume this is a way of helping you not knock anything off a shelf etc.

I have to say i did feel a little out of place here and a little uncomfortable. We browsed several areas of the store, mainly with our chins on the floor at complete disbelief that even the mega rich would pay such over the top prices for the items on sale.

Harrods

 

We did find our way to the food hall where you are able to purchase a selection of hand made chocolates, a selection of loose tea and freshly ground coffee mixed to your requirements and suitably charged.

We did manage to find a little something for our granddaughter which was not to over the top priced. There were several areas where you could sit and eat or be served a selection of the worlds finest champagnes.

 

 

When we had finished looking around we left and headed of to Hyde Park where we sat and had a drink outside in the fresh air right by the lake . We then made our way back to the hotel for our last night before getting home today. Had a great time but feel really warn out after just two days walking around, must be getting to old !!

 

London

Tower Bridge and City Hall

 

Yesterday afternoon i caught the 15:05 hrs High speed train from Ramsgate to St Pancras  and arrived at 16:21 hrs. I headed outside and made my way across the road to Kings Cross station were i took the pictures below.

Kings Cross

 

Kings Cross Roof Detail

There is not really a good time to go to kings cross but today seemed especially busy so i didnt hang around to long before i made my way down onto the underground. I decided to go to Covernt Garden, a word of warning, if you travel to this station be prepared to either wait in line for a lift to the surface or like i did climb the 193 stairs which is equivalent to a 15 story building, and boy did it feel like it!

Had a stroll around the busy area of Covernt Garden which was really busy, probably due to the school holidays. I decided to head out down towards the embankment and made my way down past the festival hall where you can see this

The Shed

The shed, as it is called, is being used a temporary space for the theater. From here i made my way down along and came across the wobbly bridge as it was originally known before it was closed again for a few minor engineering tweaks!!

Just Slow Down

From this point i was a little un sure of where i wanted to be come sunset, did i continue down towards Tower Bridge or make my way to Big Ben ? Well i decided to head to Tower Bridge. Along the way you can see that the London skyline is ever changing and for the better with The Cheese Grater and the Walkie Talkie skyscrapers still under construction.

London's Walkie Talkie and Cheese Grater

London's Walkie Talkie

Finally made it down to the area of Moore, London. This is the home of City Hall, Tower Bridge and the iconic PricewaterhouseCoopers building which does look like the dark knight rising !!

PWC Building

The giant smooth pebble is a source of entertainment for all

Working Together

But the scene of Tower Bridge and City Hall, for me , made it all worth while

The pebble

Show at the Scoop

 While i was taking shots of Tower Bridge i got talking to a photographer from Holland , hope your images all turned out well and hope that you sustained no problems with your camera after dropping it on the rocks and cracking the case. He only had the Canon 5D mkiii for a very short while. We exchanged cards and his work can be found here at Cani Fotografie . Hope you enjoyed your time while you were here, nice to meet you.