London – One Summer Weekend

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Picadilly Circus

 

30 April 2016 – I have lived in England for more than a decade now but it was only last month that I have had the chance to get near this famous and historic landmark of London, the Buckingham Palace. The palace is the most iconic symbol of the British Monarchy  and is located at the City of Westminster.

We got here on foot through Green Park.  It is a huge park accessible from Piccadilly Street (just after the Ritz ) and Green Park subway station.

L8 (1 of 1)Myself behind the gate of Buckingham Palace from Green Park –  The gate was not open for tourists.  I believe it only opens when there is a state occasion.  There are pedestrian entrance around the premises.  I was amazed of how big and high this gate is. The gold accent to the royal blue paint commands ‘Highness’ and ‘Regal’.

 

 

Buckingham_Palace_London_by_unlistedtravel.co.uk_blog (1 of 1)Inside the palace premises

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The Victoria Memorial statue.  They said Queen Victoria is the first monarch to reside at Buckingham Palace in 1837

I almost fell in the water behind me, which explains my big laugh.  The concrete where I supposed to sit was smooth and it was a little slippery, so be a little careful in this area.

 

We exited the palace through the Mall.

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The Mall  – The Mall is known as the ceremonial approach route to the palace. Below is a better shot of Victoria Memorial and the Mall (photo is not mine).

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The Mall extends up to the Admiralty Arch below.  You pass through this arch if you are entering from the Trafalgar Square.

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If you get tired of walking from the palace there are two big parks along the way where you can sit and relax for few minutes.  There is the Green Park on your left and St James Park on your right.  On our way out we dropped by at St James Park just to rest our feet for few minutes.  There is a lake in this park but we did not go near it.

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St James Park – The London Eye is faintly visible from where I shot this photo using my phone.  At the other end of this park is Downing Street, where the Prime Minister holds office (no. 10).

 

After Buckingham, we’re on our way to Soho (passing by the Chinatown). Soho is a multi-culture area in the City of Westminster and is part of London Westend.   Its a place full of restaurants, cafe, club, pub and theatres.

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Chinatown, London at daytime. The Chinatown for me is a night time food.  I’ve been here few times now, always on a night time.

 

In Soho there is this quite famous little quirky place for comfort food called The Breakfast Club.  When you have walked all morning, you kind of need to compensate it with the kind of food that are not really healthy but makes you feel good.   We looked for it and found it with a long queue!

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We ended up at the Cote Brasserie instead at Wardour Street.  The food was gorgeous for reasonable prices and includes a drink too.  We were happy with what we paid for; we came back in this place the next day for another go.

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If you want a nice evening meal whilst in this area of London, there are fine dining restaurants along Swallow Street.  There is Fishworks if you fancy seafood.  There is also the Oyster & Bar Grill, the Gaucho which is noted for fine Argentine steak and the Veeraswamy for those who love Indian cuisine. The Gaucho serves lunch.  Swallow street is off Picadilly on the one end and Regent Street on the other end.  At Regent Street the entrance is an arc between Hollister and London Textile Co. stores.

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Picadilly Circus.  This area here is always packed with tourists.  I took this photo about 7am on a Sunday when I went out for a walk towards Oxford Circus and back.

 

Our weekend stroll finished up in the Savoy Theatre during the evening to watch the Funny Girl, the musical.  The lead actress is Sheridan Smith.  According to the Telegraph, Smith had received critical acclaim for her performances as Fanny Brice, the role made famous by Barbara Streisand in the 1968 film version of Funny Girl.

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The Savoy theatre entrance.  There are taxis just outside the theatre if you need one after a show or there are buses along Strand.

 

We sat at the lower part of the Upper Circle level.  It felt steep up here.  I took this photo from my phone just before the play started.  I was not sure whether taking photos during the play was allowed.  In another weekend play I went to at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, taking photos was not allowed during the viewing.

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Inside the theatre.

 

 

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The controversial star of the show, Sheridan Smith (photo by the Telegraph)

 

We were lucky to have watched the show on the date that we did.  According to the Telegraph – Earlier this month she was forced to withdraw from the West End show Funny Girl for up to a month after suffering from “stress and exhaustion”.

Me and my partner found the play worth watching. So that was it, a weekend well-spent for us.

 

We’re off to Sicily this summer.  I’ll share our experience from our stay there at the land made famous by the movie ‘The Godfather”, which I happened to watch more than once.  Until then…. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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