Back home….


Young Lady of the House and I have just returned from a short trip last week to London. It was partly Charity Board Meeting and partly pleasure. The journey south was a 4 1/2 hour, on-time  journey by Virgin Pendolino Train, and thankfully you can specify a ‘Quiet’ coach, where mobiles are forbidden. Staff were courteous, and information helpful…to be recommended.

I had stayed at the Kensington Close Hotel  over thirty years ago, and it had retained its glory, even clad with scaffolding. Accomodation was adequate, but the continental breakfast was just not worth the extra money (not included in the rate)….it would have been better to have found a little local cafe, but of course we could not be bothered.

That evening we went walking on Kensington High Street, and found an excellent restaurant named Carluccio’s. The food and attention were excellent, and it was only later that we discovered it was owned by Antonio Carluccio, the TV Chef. A walk along to the beautifully-lit Albert hall and Albert Memorial finished off a lovely evening.

The meeting took up most of the next day and returning to the hotel found us caught-up in the problems of the Central Subway Line closed off with no real warning, and jammed carriages on all other lines. The evening saw us drawn to another Italian Restaurant but it employed rip-off techniques to extract a lot of money for an average meal…it was our fault, we should have looked at the prices outside.

On Thursday we booked-out and walked to the V and A Museum….free entry for a suggested donation. Too big to take in on one visit, but the beautifully-decorated restaurant is to be recommended. Along to Harrods, where we had to leave any cases or bags, at a charge of £3 per bag, and £1 per coat! We saw the lovely statue dedicated to Dodi and Princess Di (Subtitled ‘The Innocent Victims’), and then tramped through some of the famous halls, feeling distinctly scruffy and under-dressed! The amount of beautiful furniture kept implying that our house should be torn down and re-built with a new vision. The Arcade proved a bit of fun with a return to a childhood delight in large teddies, telephone-box savings-banks, pencil-cases, chocolate, t-shirts with views of London, and of course the famous Harrods shopping-bags. 

A superb pixzza at The Spaghetti House and another on-time trip north by Virgin trains finished an interesting if exhausting trip south……but it was indeed super to get back to the relative peace of North of the Border.

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9 thoughts on “Back home….

  1. Virgin Trains are a joy to travel on these days. 11 days ago I was booked on a Sunday evening train which was cancelled due to a signal failure. As I could travel the following day, I offered to do so even though I was on an Advance ticket – no problem sir. Monday morning train north was a joy, and even better full English Breakfast served as my seat.

    In the 18 months I have been regularly travelling between Glasgow and London, I have found the train comfortable and convenient. The few times that there have been significant delays, Virgin Train have ensured that the taxis, etc have been available.

    In October 2009 I flew to London instead, and the conclusion — Virgin Trains is much quicker (door-to-door), more comfortable and much less hassle.

    And at £44.10 for a First Class Advance single, including hot meal, unlimited tea/coffee or cold drinks and free Wifi (can be a bit temperamental in Northern Britain) what better way to travel.

  2. Sounds like a lovely, albeit expensive trip! I’ve decided to go to my 20 year high school reunion. It’s on Saturday. I’m getting exciting, a bit nervous, but am looking at it as an adventure. I’ll let you know how it goes! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Carluccio has at least three eateries around London. There’s a constantly busy one in Belsize Park on the way up to Hampstead. I’ve had an interesting and noisy breakfast in there. Actually, it is always noisy, whatever time you eat in it. The bread is a great crunch.

  4. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoy listening to people on their cell phones, when on public transportation. It makes me feel that I’m in a movie. And usually it’s not difficult to guess the other side of the conversation. Sometimes, I have the temptation to hold my phone to my ear, and invent an impossible situation in an imaginary conversation. Just to see if people would stop what they were doing to follow my mad imaginings… But even without such drama, it is fun to be on a bus or a train and listen to what other people are occupied with. Your trip sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    • Shimon…..I love your positive attitude….you can obviously see something good in every situation…..must try the imaginary phone conversation scenario!

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