Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brasil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philipines, Russia, Singapore, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Saturday, August 21, 2010So I just came back from a layover in Heathrow, and since I generally follow the same routine every time I visit the city I thought I would share it all with you guys ;-) And to make it easier for you guys, I'm going to adopt The Flying Pinto method of what the cost of everything was too...
It starts out quite pathetically at the local McDonald's, because I like to surf the net in the morning to work out where I am going to go. Most maps I come across of the city are not that detailed, and I end up getting lost at some point, so at least if I look it up on Google Maps that morning it's all still quite fresh in my head. Pair this with my Bacon and Egg McMuffin (the cravings for pork always seem to peak during Ramadan) and I'm set for the day. (£2.99 for the meal)
I then take the London tube (£12.60 for a full day ticket from Heathrow) and head to Russell Square. The station is a strange one - there are three different lifts operating at the same time to take people to the street level, but when I was there the queue was massive, and I saw a few people take the stairs that were a lot older than me - mostly middle aged; so I thought if they can take the stairs alright then fit as a fiddle me can take them...
I was absolutely struggling! Very surprised I didn't have an asthma attack going up, it was 176 stairs!!! So after that workout I was very deserving of a coffee, and the best place for it in London is The Espresso Room.
It's run by Ben Townsend, who is clearly very passionate about his coffee, but after the StairMaster test and nearly passing out in his cafe all I wanted was something, anything to drink.
Best. Coffee. Ever. So good I even bought some beans for my French Press at home. The smell of the beans permeated my bag, and my cabin bag so much it made all the crew jealous on the flight back from Heathrow. (£2.70 plus £8.00 for the beans)
So after the coffee did its job I took the tube again, and asked the officers which station was closest to Tate Britain - my map had the location of the gallery but conveniently cut out the closest tube station. He told me to got to Southwark, and I did, only to find out he had directed me to Tate Modern instead. Oh well, I guess I had to look at Dali and Picasso instead of Bacon and Hirst.
The Turbine Hall at Tate Modern.
I quite liked the gallery, especially since entry was completely free! My only disappointment was that I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the gallery to the extent I would have liked, but I'm still glad I went.
Top floor of Tate Modern
Wallpaper, and Self Portrait by Andy Warhol
Light installation by Glenn Ligon
Claes Oldenburg's Giant 3-Way Plug Scale 2/3. Quite possibly the coolest thing I'd seen all day...
The Red Star Over Russia display. Believe it or not my bedroom kinda looks like this...
So after the aimless wondering and window shopping at the gallery store (which I love doing, regardless of the city - some of the best things I've bought have been at art gallery stores) it was back on the tube again to Angel station, and a quick stroll through Camden Passage in drizzle to Elk in the Woods. Last time I was here I ate a more upmarket version of bangers and mash, but they've changed the menu since then, so I decided on some Frikadeller and potato salad.
I love this place - I guess if you were into animal rights and what not I'd advise not going here, but the food is consistently tasty. Their specialty is in game, which they source from Suffolk, and the decor is just oozing with charm. (£14.50)
I don't really know what was in the shot glass - apply brandy maybe? Regardless I was under my no-booze flying curfew so has to leave it alone :-(
Even the toilets are pretty - and a chain to pull too :-)
So after my pork pig-out (very fitting during Ramadan) I went back on the tube to Magma bookstore, on Clerkenwell.
This store is perfect to browse and waste time in, and has every type of design magazine I've ever seen - no InStyle or Hello here. Nice gifts as well, but I settled on a book by ReadyMade magazine. Might try the CD Jewel Case mural when I can find a suitable artwork to convert... (£14.99)
A quick look at my watch, and I decided that if I wanted to get to work on time well groomed I'd have to make my way back to Heathrow, so my day ended there. Considering my allowance for the trip was £58.50, and I spent £55.78 I think I did very well! The downside to the trip, as with every layover I do, is that 24 hours is not enough to cram in all the things I would have liked to do... but hopefully for those of you who are taking a holiday here in the future it will give you an idea of what can be done without spending a ton of money, and give you a few ideas as to what is on offer should you venture beyond the well-beaten tourist track.
If you have any suggestions or know of anywhere cool I have to try out next time, feel free to leave a comment!
View My Perfect Day - London in a larger map
UPDATE! 23/8/10 - Thought it might be a good idea to include the address of the places visited!
The Espresso Room - 31-35 Great Ormond Street, London. Open Mon-Fri, 7.30am to 5.00pm). Russell Square tube station.
Tate Modern - 53 Bankside, London. Open Sun-Thurs 10.00am to 6.00pm, Fri/Sat 10.00am to 10.00pm. Southwark, London Bridge, St Pauls or Mansion House tube station.
Tate Britain - On Millbank, London. Open everyday 10.00am to 6.00pm. Pimlico tube station.
Elk in the Woods - 39 Camden Passage, London. Open 9.00am to 6.00pm. Angel tube station.
Magma Books Clerkenwell - 117-119 Clerkenwell Road, London. Open 10.00am to 7.00pm. Farringdon or Chancery Lane tube station.
Magma Books Covent Garden - 8 and 16 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London. Open Mon-Sat 10.00am to 7.00pm and Sun 12.00pm-6.00pm. Covent Garden and Leicester Square tube station.
And BTW the liquid in the shot glass in Elk in the Woods I later found out was Gammel Dansk, so thank goodness I didn't drink it! 7 comments