LONDON CALLING? by Anne Burns
Although my husband and I spend a week or more in London every year, we never run out of interesting new things to do.
Here are our latest recommendations for hotels and activities:
PREMIER INN, KENSINGTON/EARLS COURT.
While hotels in the centre are pricey, their cost can be justified by the time and expense saved in travelling to and from the City. This year, we discovered the Premier Inn at Earls Court and were delighted with this friendly, clean, comfortable and affordable base, which we heartily recommend for many reasons.
First, its central location is perfect, with quick access to all underground and mainline stations and a direct Underground route from Heathrow Airport [Piccadilly Line, to Earls Court Station]. Earls Court has escalators and elevators to street level, so arriving with luggage is quick and easy with no station changes or stairs to haul suitcases up.
The hotel is 2-3 minutes walk from the station, in a safe residential neighbourhood. A Marks & Spencer food store, Boots the Chemists and a large Sainsbury’s supermarket are all very close.
Here are some of the activities we enjoyed:
The Maritime Museum at Greenwich. Nelson’s uniform, in which he was shot at Trafalgar, is on display – bullet hole and all!
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square.
Listening to a live jazz band while enjoying dinner in the Crypt at St. Martin in the Fields [also Trafalgar Square, Wednesday evenings].
Shopping on Oxford Street.
Borough Market, with its huge variety of specialty foods from Europe and eating an enormous, extremely cheesy grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.
Whenever we have an early flight from London back to Toronto we stay at the Yotel in either London’s Heathrow or Gatwick Airports.
We find that the Yotel’s tiny little hotel rooms are perfect when we’re just looking for a few hours’ rest during a break in our journey, or when we have a late fight or an early-morning departure. Booked by the hour, the rooms are state of the art little havens in which to relax and refresh without leaving the airport.
The Yotel mattresses and pillows are superbly comfortable, as are the soft, fat duvets. We also love the space-saving concept of a sofa converting to a bed at the touch of a button, with a huge under-bed space for suitcases. The well-designed cabins also contain bedside tables, TV, and hanging rails. The integral bathrooms are well equipped with fluffy towels and luxurious toiletries. A comprehensive choice of meals can be ordered for room delivery, there’s free wifi – and wake-up alarms are supplied on request. Rather than worrying about getting to the airport on time, we always feel very smug strolling the short distance from our Yotel room to the check-in line!
London – Featured Image photo credit