Friday, April 14, 2006

Thoughts and Tips About My London Journey!

The Food Was Great!!: It's now been my fourth time over and England has an amazing array of fresh veg and fruits available all the time and at really good prices compared with my first trip over in 1997. Dairy products are some of the best anywhere. British Food is unfairly maligned and i just can't tolerate that. Rachel Fuller is so right when she mentions PG Tips as life's blood. I brought back 125 bags with me and I love tea once more-but it must be PG tips!!

Skype Online Phone Call Service: Anyone with a laptop should download this amazingly inexpensive way of calling internationally. Even if you can afford to call anywhere from your mobile or hotel phone why let the phone companies and hotels get rich off of you by jacking up fees just because they can? You download the program, pay a small fee, plug in a headset and make any international calls at great rates. A 20 minute call to California from London was about $2.00. Also the headphones give this unique clarity that allows you to really hear who you are calling in an intimate manner that cell phones and regular phones cannot.

Earl's Court: This is the part of London you go to for the cheapest Internet access, phone cards that work and the best accommodations at the lowest price in central London. You can stay farther North (Camden Town) or South (Fulham) but what you spend in time and money to get to where all the sites are is not worth it. Thieves work this area often but if you don't space out you should be fine. It's not the most glittering part of London but people are very friendly and all the kids on holiday and work visas have blessed the area with an infectious energy.

St James Club and Hotel: My friend Robin booked us for about a week into a five star hotel in London and because we had an incredible deal and it was so worth it. We were literally ten minutes away from EVERYTHING and the service was fabulous. This is one of London's only residential fine hotels so it felt very cozy. The 78 At St James restaurant was insanely good as our breakfast was included. Umbrellas were available if we needed them and the night concerige is a big fan of Pete Townshend.

Richmond: Kew Gardens is where I plan to stay when I go back to London. The area is quaint, friendly and not too pricey for BnB's. You are close to Heathrow and central London but far enough away to be in the green, green countryside in about ten minutes. I liked sleeping in and then walking about ten feet and going to the organic grocery store and friendly photo shop with internet access. Tube stations were closed on the Richmond line but should be reopening soon and British rail service is always available.


Blogger Koos F said...

Hi Amanda,
When you were in London I was in South Africa - missed ITA and your appearance there.
Glad you liked London, it must have been wonderful to meet these special friends, because that is how it feels. I was one of the lucky ones in the Basement, so I had my share of close-up impressions, met many bloggers, of course!
I visited Richmond 3 times and took quite a few photos of the studio, Pete's Dutch barge et cetera. You can view them all if you start from here.

11:01 PM  
Blogger ginab said...

Hello Super A,

A very nice run down on surviving London. Odd thing is, I remember the 78. I once bunked, a last minute splash or splurge, in a room that once long ago would have been the maid's quarters. Quaint, cozy, comfy. And yes, the food was scrumptious!

I think the long held belief against English food dates back to war rations. Unfair, the tag, as it fails both logic and imagination. How quick and cruel forgetfulness is. Yes, by all means, PG tips. Otherwise, Tetley tea is also good. I can buy both brands where I am so...I bet you can too!

I have fond memories of going to the fruit and veg market, up from Camden, and buying Spanish oranges and veg picked fresh from the English countryside. Above anything else tho, back then, it seemed on Friday's I'd have a hankering for Rivita with a slice of strong cheddar, fresh sweet onions, and tomatoes. Yum!

Looks like I'll need to find a pair of headphones. Hmm.


4:07 AM  
Blogger Anne-Marie said...

Hi Amanda,
Great post about the London of today. I agree that the bad food reputation is outdated- at least by 15 years, from what I've experienced over there many times. There is a cosmopolitan feel to the city now, with great, diverse foods from all corners of the world. The pub grub is also very tasty. Can you buy PG Tips in America? If not, let me know as we can buy them here in Canada (plus I will be in the UK in July) and I will be floating into North California for August and could deliver you a fresh batch.


4:07 PM  
Blogger BallerinaGurl said...

LOVELY posts about your trip. I read them the other day but didn't have time to post. Now I cant remember what I wanted to tell you, but oh well...I love all the pics and how detailed you are. Very inspiring.....and have legs for MILESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


4:52 PM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

So happy you are drinking good tea. This is very very important. I learned about PG Tips long before Rachel. My friend brings it with her wherever she travels. Barry's is good too. The Irish also make a mean cup of tea.
They sell PG Tips at our corner store. The joy of living in New York region is that you can find everything.
But it never tastes as good as when my English buddies make a cup for me. Wonder why. . .
xxo, E

8:52 PM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

I noticed you have a Who tribute band so I wanted to leave a slightly off-topic comment here. . .
Surely you know about the Hoo, the East Bay Who Tribute band? I used to hear them from outside my window when they played at the Kensington Circus Pub, if not inside the pub. I lived on the circle. Roger is Chinese. They rocked!
Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy trails!

9:01 PM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

Oh crikey Liz, that rocks!!!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

can't wait to get over there.
you make it sound so great.

9:28 PM  
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Thanks for the copy and paste. I will use this for a future visit. My cousin, Lisa, was just here for the holiday, and we made a pact to travel to LONDON together within the next 2 years..So, thank you dear girl, for the travel tips, it is INSPIRATIONAL!

BTW, I did buy authentic PG tips in a supermarket near my brother's home in NJ. I absolutely adore them!

be well!


2:29 AM  
Blogger Suesjoy said...

Thanks for the great tips Amanda!
I will definately check out Skype Online.
I haven't tried PG Tips but I need to! Green Tea is the rage here in Taipei, but Darjeeling is my favorite...I'm so silly I bought tea from England last week for my friends' visit. I figured they'd like it better than the green stuff.
We stayed in Bayswater a few years was nice but pricey (and the hotel room was teeny tiny).
I loved the area though...
Thanks again for sharing!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

What a great trip, we're already talking about our next visit, I can't believe I waited so long to go home and I'm already homesick for the place.

Have been suffering through a box of tetley's, but am running out to Bevmo to buy PG Tips this evening, they also sell McVities, which go really well with PG tips after a long day, as I'm sure you know.

Thanks for the nice comments on the song. Are you in a band Amanda?

12:37 AM  
Blogger ginab said...

Bought myself a box of PG tips (I was fresh out of tea) just yesterday. If I can find them here...

Happy Easter and Spring and happiness.


4:07 AM  

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