Next time you find yourself in London and want to see a show, this website is excellent
Thanks, British. We’re not doing ESW until next summer, but I’ll bookmark the page. I noticed that the venues require you to check in with an NHS QR code. I’ll worry about that later, as the requirements will probably have changed by then.
I'm amazed at the reasonable prices for Theatre in London...oh how I wish we could fly over and see them. Thanks for the website...
We saw Hamilton in London, got tickets as soon as they were available and booked a vacation around that. When we went, talked to people from all over the world before the show began. We were requested to arrive early because of the frenzy of the whole thing and added security. Everyone ended up in the crowded lobby for quite a while before the show began.The best seat tickets were so cheap compared to New York. We felt the London show was better, especially the sound quality. we are about to see the show again in October in Philly for the fourth time, the show was part of a season six show package.
When I was in London on my own about four or five years ago, I was able to walk into a theatre just a couple of doors down from my hotel and get tickets for a show I had seen on Broadway for 20 pounds that night. The next day, I spoke to the concierge and he got tickets for me for a similar price for that night to see In The Heights, it was performed in a converted railway station, front row seat, awesome price.
When England opens up again, we hope to fit in a trip to London for a week, off season when it is less busy, see less popular sites, book some shows and stay at the Savoy hotel, you can get reasonably priced rooms thru Fine hotels and resorts AMEX Platinum deals. We have stayed at the Savoy using AMEX once before, when we called Amex, they started with high prices and we kept saying, anything cheaper until they came up with a reasonably priced room and it was lovely. The staff were wonderful and it was one of those places where everyone knew your name.
London can be done on a budget. Our daughter flew to London over a Thanksgiving for a crazy cheap deal some years ago. And just to be clear, I was born in England but I’ve never lived further south than the center of the country, so when I go to London , I’m a tourist. You can stay there for weeks and not see everything. The only thing not worth doing is shopping, too expensive compared to the US with almost anything.
Right you are, British. London is the greatest city in the world, especially for tourists. I've spent in excess of a month there over the years and there are still things for me to see and do. I haven't managed to take the Buckingham Palace tour yet - I'm always there at the wrong time. Now I'll have to wait until the refurbishment is done. If there isn't enough for you in London, you can take a day trip to most places in England. And as a bonus they speak English (after a fashion).
I wish they spoke American. Some of that English is hard to understand.
Geez…I’d rather read a witty comment than a syrupy regurgitation by a wanna-be-editor.
What kind words Nancy.
kfn should be booted off the forum for her endless disruptions.
I saw “Hamilton” in New York with the original Broadway cast, and then again in London. King George had more time on stage in London than in the NY production, which I found amusing. Back in the 90s, it was cheaper to fly from Boston to London for a long weekend and see 3 or 4 plays (which I did multiple times) than to spend the same amount of time in NYC. Not so today,
Yes, in deed, London is a wonderful place....expensive, but wonderful. After my wife died, I lived there for two months in both 2015 and 2016. It is walkable (I walked 10-15 miles a day) and is full of great sites to visit....even more than once (i.e. Churchill's War Rooms). People ask me why I picked London to stay in and my first response is "I understand 95% of the language." It is now up to 99%, though.
My flat was on the Thames, next to MI-6, in Vauxhall. I'll not include the rent for that place...location, location, location. My balcony looked up the Thames with views of Westminster, Old London City Hall, and the London Eye. It was a 10-15 minute walk there. My "hometown pub" (The Rose Vauxhall) was everything a neighborhood pub should be. When they saw me walking across the street, my Guinness was being poured before I got in the door. I became good friends (still) with the owner of the pub and many of his friends. We all enjoyed ourselves on several pub crawls and many late nights at the pub after it closed. These guys and gals have become lifelong friends, even though I am much older that they are.
I watched the filming of some of the scenes in the James Bond movie, "Spectre" while sitting on my patio and sharing a couple of bottles of wine with a very nice Canadian woman. It was nightly entertainment for about a week. Some of the "Rose Gang" came up and joined us.
Entertainment was fantastic. I got to see the almost 70 year old, longest running play, "The Mouse Trap," at St. Martins. In addition, I saw the first act of "The Book of Mormon." I walked out, it was so terrible. I went to a wonderful London Symphony and London Choir concert in Westminster Abby. I saw Fleetwood Mac in the O2, a 4.5 hour concert of Bruce Springsteen in Wembley, and Simply Red in concert at the Royal Chelsea Hospital. I had tickets to the Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga concert in the Royal Albert Hall, but Mr. Bennett became ill and they canceled it. These are just a few of the things I enjoyed in my trips to London.
I went to see the West Hamm professional Football Club play in their old stadium. A friend is a season ticket holder and although I am not much of a "futball" fan, I enjoyed it immensely. He and I also went to a cricket match. I knew absolutely NOTHING about cricket, so I got tickets for us and he was my expert. I enjoyed it and learned how to understand the game. It was a T-30 version, so it wasn't days long, like a regular match. It was much better for my short attention span. It lasted about as long as a baseball or American football game. The choices for entertainment are all over the spectrum.
I did get to visit Buckingham, twice. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. There were day trips (Blenheim Palace several times, Bletchley Park, Oxford University, Stonehenge, etc.) I am eager to do it all over again.
Before my wife died we went on the Tauck England, Scotland, and Wales tour and it was a great trip too. Seeing the Edinburgh Tattoo was a highlight. We tagged that to the Ireland trip. We also had made several trips to England and Wales prior to all of this. Her grandmother and grandfather were born and raised in Penmaenmawr, Wales before immigrating to the US. Her family still lives there.
Getting the ESW tour during August, when the Tattoo is on, is worth the effort.
ndvb - glad to "meet" someone else who thought Book of Mormon was terrible!
Great reading Nvdb! I visited the Tattoo several years ago. I can remember it was on TV every year and I had no interest but when I saw it live, I was very impressed.
But I enjoyed Book of Mormon 😀
If you are referring to me, use my full name, not kfn. Moreover, I did not post anything on this thread so why the comment? You have also maligned me numerous times on other threads, so much so that it verges on harassment. On a few occasions I have even agreed with your comments, but the insults keep coming. Why? If you have an issue with me then tell me instead of hiding behind your keyboard. You are more than welcome to send me a private message. I hope to hear from you.
kfnknfzk - I will make it a public post as it is of interest to many here. based on some of your misanthropic posts, it seems evident to me, and several others with whom I've communicated with privately, that you are the "phantom flagger." Do you deny this?
Thank you for your reply. I do not know what a "phantom flagger" is, so I will deny it. I have certainly flagged many posts, especially posts that have nothing to do with travel, posts that are racially charged, posts that are homophobic, posts that are politically charged and certainly posts that are downright rude. I am not going to apologize for following forum rules. Actually I was vilified, yes vilified (not by you), for suggesting that forum members review the guidelines. I also suggested that some members could form their own private group if they wished to not discuss travel. Again, I was vilified (not by you). To put things into perspective, look at how two individuals flagged my aforementioned note to you. On what basis other than they are your friends. Misanthropic? I have a dislike for humankind? Please do some soul searching, sir. No, on the contrary. I have wished fellow travels well and have been flagged for it. I have complimented posts and have been flagged for it. I will be flagged as soon as I post this. How sad. Perhaps you should reign in your "phantom flagger" friends.
I hope this answers your question. I wish you no ill will, but I stand firm that you are to cease and desist in your constant onslaught of vitriol against me.
I do sincerely wish you safe travels.
P.S. - I now have four flags on the aforementioned note to you. Do you see my point now?
ndvb, London carries many fond memories for you. The city is so wonderfully varied that it's easy to have a completely different POV. I've been to London maybe a dozen times, but other than the Tower my first trip and numerous museums, I remain a notoriously bad tourist. My last visit was in 2019, for the FT Weekend Festival, a grand event. For convenience I moved from my hotel near Borough Market, a favorite hangout, to Golders Green, and saw a bit of London from a new neighborhood. Took in a play at the Southwark Playhouse; snagged a front row ticket for £14 and discovered an enormous Mercato Metropolitano food hall across the street. And have enjoyed BBC Good Food Shows, held throughout the UK.
Yes, walking and wandering in London is wonderful; once heading through The City to Berwick Market I ran into a community festival; it's these serendipitous moments that make travel meaningful even if I am berated for what others think I missed. I've been to Vienna several times and still have not seen Schoenbrunn other than driving past b/c castles and palaces...been there, done that. A TD, not Tauck, once chewed me out at breakfast in Madrid b/c I chose to linger over a sumptuous buffet, incl. a chocolate table! in lieu of an early morning tour of the 3,000+-room Royal Palace, #1 on every Madrid tour. I've rejected many a tour with day after day of castles/forts/manors, etc.
A final shoutout to the Irani-style Dishoom in London, for the world's finest chai outside India!
I have only been to London as a young child (shame on me) and have some questions.
MarketArt - When you mention markets, are you referring to food markets (fruits, vegetables, fish, et al?) One of our favorite things to do pre and post tours is to meander through markets, purchase some bread, cheese and other items, find a park bench, eat and people watch.
British - I have only had a formal afternoon tea once and that was at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada. It was so much fun and the tour director gave each of us a box of tea bags. I savored that tea for months! Would you recommend the afternoon tea at The Savoy? I am more interested in the formal and authentic experience plus those cute little cucumber sandwiches!
Thanks for any advice.
BKMD - You might enjoy this story about British accents. As a preface, I mean no disrespect to British (the forum member) at all. I once worked with two women from England, one being from the London area and the other being from northern England. They were both delightful women, but they would constantly complain about each other's accent. I must admit they did sound very, very different.
I have no trouble with a "proper" London accent, but do have trouble with Cockney, and especially those northern English (and Scottish) accents. When I watch a British show on TV, I usually turn the subtitles on.
But not to pick on the British, I know someone from Mississippi who I can hardly understand...
This is a fun discussion, hear are my thoughts
Afternoon tea is for tourists. I’ve only had it in London once, I forget where, but it was when we met friends who live near London and it was a convenient location and pretty down market. Years ago, I went on to Bath when on a visit to England while staying with a friend. I’d been living in the US for a few years. We had afternoon tea there, the place was full of Americans, it was so funny. We then walked to the American museum which is a bit out of town. People in there assumed I was American because of the clothes I was wearing, that’s was funny too. I’ve had more Afternoon teas here in the US! There is a British tea room and foodie shop fairly near that once in a while I will go to with friends.
My American friends used to be very nervous of making tea for me, so funny, I like my tea, but I am not that picky. Let’s face it, Americans have no clue how to make tea. To bring a cup of Luke warm hot water and a tea bag is not how you make tea. The water must be boiling! The tea bag or leaves should have been in the cup or teapot first and boiling water poured over it. There should be a receptacle to put the teabag in once the tea has gotten to the desired strength or ‘brew’. To have to drink a cup of tea still containing a teabag is disgusting. Even high end restaurants often fail to serve tea correctly. It’s great to go to Canada, they know how to make tea, so do the Africans and the former British Caribbean countries, a great history lesson! My favorite tea is Earl Grey, lavender Earl Grey, or Lady Grey. Just tea, no lemon, no milk.
It’s easy to find excellent afternoon tea experiences at all price points. If you want total elegance, then go to places like the Savoy, Fortnam and Masons or Harrods. My daughter used, I believe, Trip Advisor to find bargain Afternoons teas when she, her husband and young son visited London. She is very budget conscience and found Afternoon tea great for their needs when having our grandson with them because he would likely eat everything. He now loves tea! I believe you can have Afternoon tea not just in the afternoon.
An interesting fact. It has been tradition to pour hot water into the empty teapot, swirl it around and then pour out before making the tea to ‘warm the pot’ Early china was prone to cracking from the shock of hot water, so a small amount of hot water was used to prevent this first. With modern China, it is not necessary but many people still do it.
Their is a fantastic food market I went to last time I was In London, the. Borough Market, I had never even heard of it and still couldn’t tell you where it is, but it’s central. Again, we met cousins who suggested meeting there for lunch, they had arrived by train from north of London. The atmosphere was wonderful. Unfortunately they were not that interested in walking around it too much, so our walk through was done far far more quickly than we would have done on our own. I just had time to ask if I could pop into an incredible spice stall and grab some great spices, I got some great curry mixes. The next time we go to London, this market will be at the top of my list.
Accents, I was born in NW England, but moved when I was 21, first to Scotland, where I developed a Scottish twang, then to the middle of England where my accent was modified again. So my accent has been modifying and it’s softer than a typical northern England accent which is quite harsh sounding. The British accents really are fascinating. It’s pretty easy for me to tell exactly where they were born and lived down to the actual city. The best example is of course Liverpool and then the London Cockney accent, but they vary greatly all over the country. I can even tell you in many cases what ‘class’ the person comes from. In years gone by, the TV news readers had to have a proper London accent. It’s great now on TV shows and movies to hear all the regional accents.
I can’t do an American accent at all. People here have me coming from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and so on. When I visit England, my friends tell me I sound American, so funny. What happens is that the Americans accent puts a different emphasis on parts of certain words, so I have had to adopt my speech pattern to that, but that’s the best I can do. I also have to remind that certain words are completely different for the same thing like car hood instead of bonnet. Actually, that list is much much longer than you would think.
Hears another interesting fact. One’s accent is pretty much set by the age of thirteen, after that, it's much harder to change. Funnily enough, that was exactly our son’s age when we moved to the US, his accent changed pretty quickly. Our daughter was three years older, it took years to slowly change, she wasn’t awake of the changes, it just happens. Most people notice she has a slightly unorthodox American accent but can’t place her.
Of course all these elements are why it’s so fantastic to visit other countries, see different scenery, experience different weather, eat different food, have different religions, have different ideas about how to live and so on and so on….let’s hope we can all travel where we want soon!
British - They served afternoon tea at the Hanoi Metropole Hotel when we stayed there for our Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand tour. It was all very fancy, but we couldn't afford it. After all, our lunch bill there was over a Million. I had to take a picture of our receipt. It was the first time I had paid over a million for anything.
There is also afternoon tea at the historic Brown Palace hotel in downtown Denver.
kfnknfzk, usually I am hanging around street food markets, typically outdoors and even organize my itineraries around their schedules. London has 162 markets; Paris and Lyon are my favorites. Once on a tour to Provence I talked the TD into an unscheduled market stop. When I look at tours, first thing I do is check the farmers market schedule. In London there are craft markets such as Spitalfields and Europe is full of weekend flea markets; I-have a charming book, The Antique and Flea Markets of Italy. In recent years I've noticed markets selling Made in Italy cotton clothing (if one can trust the label); 100% cotton is not alway easy to find.
Smiling Sam, you're killing me. Diet Coke and a club sandwich, what, no Bahn Mi!? I'll going to let this slide; so maybe you're not coffee/tea drinkers and avoid sugar. I love Vietnamese coffee (it has sweetened condensed milk!) & seek out Bahn Mi sandwiches wherever I can find them. Yup, I'm one of those, a dreaded foodie.
MarketArt - "a dreaded foodie" or a dreaded food snobby?
I try the local cuisine throughout all of our tours, but not 100% exclusively. I don't drink coffee, and very little wine. Diet Coke is my go to drink. I like cold drinks vs hot drinks and I go with the Diet to save my calories for food, not drink. I like the smell of coffee, but the taste is . I don't see how anyone could ever start drinking coffee without lacing it with milk/sugar. I supposed after you're addicted to it then you can move towards black coffee.
Sam - While visiting a coffee plantation in Costa Rica, at the tasting at the end, I got yelled at my the plantation's guide when I asked for milk for the coffee. he chastised me saying real coffee drinkers srink it black.
Yes, British, Borough Market is wonderful (near London Bridge), but it is now on every tourist trek, so avoiding peak hours/weekends is best. As for afternoon tea, there are many smaller venues beyond the big names. I had a treat during my Smithsonian Dickens tour, afternoon tea at The Bloomsbury, a menu designed by a winner of The Great British Baking Show. Btw a woman used to run tea tours in London, maybe too much of a good thing.
kfnknfzk -- Whenever my daughter and I visit London, we always go to Fortnum and Mason's for tea; however, for a real treat, I suggest Brown's Hotel, where we went once and, I hope, will go again at some point.
Afternoon tea….one of the teas my daughter had was a combo ticket for a Buckingham Palace tour with tea in a hotel round the corner. She said it was the best of the ones she did. She can’t remember where the others were.
This is such great information! I'll reply later...going to brunch now...wish it was hight tea!
Oh, no. I went to edit my reply and accidentally deleted it! I don't know if anyone had a chance to see it. It was lengthy anyway. Thanks to all for your suggestions and input.