London in 36 Hours
What can I say about my time in England? Not much perhaps, it was seven months ago and my brain is 64 and fading. All kidding aside, looking at the pictures brings everything back almost crystal clear, and it sure was a great time. In this posting, I am reviewing my experiences in London, which consisted of a canal trip, a pub crawl and searching for the Queen. As luck would have it, we bumped into some of the royals that were exiting the palace during our walk down the mall. And, as luck would have it, we bumped into a parade at Buckingham Palace. Who needs planning?
Picture above – Horse Guards Parade
Little Venice, the Regents Canal and Camden Market
Tim and Patti, who have recently relocated back to the United States, lived in London near Little Venice and the Regents Canal. This area is not for the financially weak, rents for apartments are 1,000’s/month, and rents in the area along the canal are out of sight (read below). It is one of those world sites where one is likely to spot celebrities at play. We took advantage of a sunny day by riding down the canal and walking around Camden Market, which had quite an eclectic vibe to it. There are rental barges available where one can take overnight canal trips through the countryside.
“Little Venice in Maida Vale is one of London’s most picturesque neighbourhoods and possibly its most secretive. Its charm is evident: white stucco-fronted terraces and villas, sturdy red-brick mansion blocks and an assortment of classy cafés, eateries and independent food shops that all create a villagey vibe. Properties in prime Little Venice – along the canal, Randolph Crescent and Warrington Crescent – fetch £1,200 to £1,400 per square foot, as opposed to the rest of Maida Vale, where they’re about £1,000 per square foot. The entry point for a one-bed flat is about £500,000 – you won’t get much for less – and whole houses are at least £5million.’” from Metro.
Regents Canal Video
Walk to Buckingham Palace
Patti and I took a sunny walk, it happens, down to the Mall and Buckingham Palace. The Mall, London’s Pennsylvania Avenue, is a big, wide thoroughfare that leads to Buckingham Palace. We cut through St. James’s Park to arrive just in time to see some of the royal family exiting Clarence House, the residence of the Prince of Wales. Then a small military band came out and marched toward the palace, after which a military parade entertained the waiting throngs of people. Have no idea what the occasion was.
The Quintessential English Pub
We visited a few pubs in London and a few more on the road in York, but nothing compares to the Warrington. Maybe it’s the history, the location, the hotel rooms, or more than anything, the ambiance. The ambiance is something I found in almost all the pubs in England. The beer was good, but nothing extraordinary. I do enjoy bitters, but most of the pubs are owned by large corporations and I think that tells in the beer. Here is more about the Warrington.
“Nestled on the corner of the quiet, leafy street of Warrington Crescent is The Warrington Hotel. This Grade II listed building, which was built in 1857, oozes charm and creates the perfect place for a few relaxed drinks on a Friday night. It boasts impressive original features such as mosaic floors, a stunning marble fireplace and stained glass windows. Not only is it one of Maida Vale’s finest pubs, it’s also a great place to enjoy a Sunday lunch with friends, and if you wish to extend your stay at The Warrington, now you can, as it offers five beautifully decorated hotel rooms.
Built in 1857, The Warrington has been lovingly restored to its former glory making way for some beautiful original features such as mosaic floors, stained glass windows, pillared portico, art nouveau friezes and a stunning marble fireplace. Steeped in intriguing history this pub certainly has a colourful past. Once under the ownership of the Church of England, it was rumoured to be an upmarket brothel. In fact the slang “randy” allegedly originated here due to its proximity to Randolph Crescent. In the 19th Century public houses were frowned upon so to attract a more affluent customer the owners restored the pub using features from a magnificent old ship – its fireplace, bar and staircase which all still stand. Even today you will find some famous faces due to the Warrington’s proximity to the Abbey Road studios.”
Grateful for Patti, Tim and Chris, and Austin!, for putting me up for a week and showing me around London and the wonderful English countryside. London was sunny, the countryside rainy, which actually met my expectations. So very glad I made it there before they moved. I think my next trip to Great Britain will be a bucket list genealogy trip to Ireland; it’s time to discover where our Murphys came from.