Thursday, 19 April 2012

BBC Proms and Lion Witch and Wardrobe

The BBC Launch the Proms here in London today.  #BBCProms on Twitter  this is always an exciting event and goes on all summer at the Royal Albert Hall. Exciting stuff . Get queuing people if you want tickets to the main events, once the ticket sale dates are announced
You could join the ballot for Last Night of the Proms tickets which takes place on Saturday 8th September information on link below. You may also call 020 7765 2044 to request a paper copy of the Ballot form.
full intormation. Return ballot forms to:

BBC Proms Open Ballot
Box Office
Royal Albert Hall
London SW7 2AP

If you don`t get tickets for the Royal Albert Hall go for the Hyde Park link up Concert, tickets usually around £25. It did rain last year but it was still great fun.

Hotels are already expensive so book quickly, or book a hostel, a friends couch, sneak five people into one hotel room, sleep in Euston station, party all night but go to the Proms. 

Tickets are on sale for the Lion Witch and the Wardrobe in Kensington Gardens. These are very expensive with prices of £82 for the best seats.

Tip : My advice is buy the cheapest seats as I watched Peter Pan there and the circular ceiling of the tent the show is held in is used for projections.  The visual effects of the show are the main part and easily seen from all seats and the stage itself is raised.

Kensington Gardens are enchanting themselves with their fountains and Princess Diana memorial. The show I am sure will be spectacular just don`t fall for the heavy price tag.   Make yourself a fabulous picnic and go and enjoy it the whole family will be impressed.

What a weekend in London The London Marathon was held today. Photo from NYTimes

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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

100 Days to the Olympics - Where to Stay Cheap.

Its all about the Olympics here in London today. Lots of events and posters about. What about you? have you been lucky enough to get tickets for any of the events? I haven`t managed to get any although I have entered all the ballots but London will still be very exciting this year. Check out the Giant Olympic Rings of flowers on this Video.

Trafalgar Square Fountains

The hotels are very expensive during the Olympics and during early June when all the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations are on. If you haven`t already booked you probably wouldn`t get a room anyway but have you thought of staying outside of London. Most places within an hour of London are easy to get to.

St Stephens House Oxford
I stayed in Oxford recently see my review on  Chris Reid . I stayed in St Sephens House which Subject to availability, St Stephen’s House can offer B&B accommodation to the general public (email: £40 pppn

Oxford is just less than an hour from London and is amazing in its own right. I would definetly recommend staying here it is stunning.
The Airport Travelodges/Premier Inns and Holiday Inns are another option again within easy reach of London with good bus and train services. They are not cheap during the Olympics but are very reasonable at other times.

Stonehenge is approx 137 Kilometers from London and Salisbury Cathedral not much further they are wonderful why not stay around here if you have time and travel into london for the Olympics. I have just booked two rooms in Amesbury two miles from Stonehenge for £23.50 per double room on Sunday 5th August which is part of the August Bank Holiday.  I only needed one night as I am going to take photos as well as enjoying the sights. I could have got all other nights except Saturday for £35 a  night. I have spent more than that staying in dorms in youth hostels so its not bad. Again this is in a Travelodge but thats fine by me at those prices.  I am not sponsored by Travelodge but you really can`t get better than that. Their site is the one I look at first when looking for a budget hotel. There is an express bus from Victoria Bus station  London to Stonehenge costing £32 return.

St Albans is less than an hour from London and has a wonderful Cathedral, Roman Walls and a fabulous park. Good shopping and great little resturants. Jamie Olivers Italian has just opened and The Abbots Kitchen Cafe in the Cathedral is lovely.

The Palace London
London will be fantastic this year so enjoy it whatever your budget. 

Leicester Square London is always busy but thats part of the fun of London.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Travelodge, Wicked and Where to Eat.

The Traveloge Covent Garden by booking early you can get an excellent price for a hotel in London near the theatres and many attractions. We stayed for one night and were put on the fifth floor which was very hot.  If you left the window open it was quite noisy but for one night it was fine. The room was clean and had a decent shower and good sized bathroom. Buffet breakfast can be purchased for £7.00 and I would recommend this as there is a good selection of cooked food and cold buffet. Booking into the hotel is £10 extra if you book in before 3 pm. I had booked five months in advance to pay £35 for a double room. Good basic hotel but I would not pay full price to stay here as the point of a travelodge for me is getting a great bargin place to stay. Book early and enjoy a late show then wander through china Town and enjoy London.

Where to Eat

Bella Italia is a chain of Italian resturants and like most chains some appear to be better than others. I have been to a few now including the most recent visit to the Bella Italia at Seven Dials London. I went with my daughter and I do like most of the main courses which range from pasta dishes to chicken and fish. The garlic bread is not nice so I wouldn`t recommend buying this. The staff are friendly and the manager was pleasant and attentive. The tables are arranged to make maximum use of the dining area so it does seem a little squashed. There was no hot water the saturday I was there and though the staff did say this when we placed our order I was a little surprised. No lingering over coffee then. Good if you don`t want a pizza and want to feel like you are in a resturant. Family friendly but I wouldn`t take very young children as it is gets crowded. I did look a little enviously at Jamies Italian resurant across the road but its a good easy going place to eat. Choose from the set offer menus to keep prices down or the bill can turn out expensive.

Fish and Chip Shop Leicester Square London
You could just get some great Fish and Chips. Go to China Town  to eat.  Try one of the many resturants that do set menus for pre or post theatre. I would give Plant Hollywood a miss I find it threadbare and worn so I wouldn`t expect much from the food.

Picadilly  Circus London

Wicked The Musical

Colourful, clever and does have the Wow! factor. The story line, however, is quite complicated and it is difficult to explain to young people.  The musical is carried more for its visual display rather then its actual content.  I love the London Musicals but they are expensive and if you are taking young children you don`t want them to be bored. I feel Wicked goes on too long and does get itself lost in its plot. Many children in the theatre did seem to really enjoy the show though.   With such variety of shows in London and competition like Shrek, Lion King and Matilda it may not be the best first choice.