Thursday, February 2, 2012

London Bound

Mr Alphie and I are heading off to the UK for a few weeks later this year. We’re flying in to London, and the current plan, is to spend a few days being tourists, before catching the train out to Milton Keynes/Cranfield where my bestie, Ms Aqua now resides as she slogs through her Masters degree. Given the very little to do in Cranfield, we’re all heading up to Scotland on a roadtrip for a week or so, before Mr Alphie and I head back to London to round out the last week.

As you can tell, the plan is not all that ‘planned’ as yet. Mostly because I don’t know where we should go/what we should do. I was last in London when I was 16 (over 10 years ago – whew! That makes me feel old...), so I’m sure a lot has changed, plus I don’t think 16-year-old-me and 27-year-old-me really have the same interests... And, this is Mr Alphies first trip outside of Oceania/Southeast Asia, so he’s as good as useless!

My parents bought us/Mr Alphie tickets to see The Lion King for Christmas, so that’s on the list, as is the London Eye, Tower of London, Churchill’s War Rooms and the Greenwich Meridian. I’m also keen to fit in a day trip out to Hampton Court Palace, thanks to an obsession with The Tudors. I’m sure we can find things to occupy us though, what I really want to know, is where should we eat!? Friends of ours have just returned from a trip to Europe where they squeezed in a meal at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, just outside London, and unsurprisingly, highly recommend it, so we’re trying to fit that in somewhere. And, my regular readers (!), will know of my minor obsession with Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty, so Ottolengi is also on the short list. But that’s two meals, over three weeks, so we really need some more suggestions.

I was pretty keen on trying Jamie’s Italian, but a bit of google-ing has revealed that it’s a full-blown chain, which has put me off a bit. Should it have? Is it a worth going to anyway?

So, readers, can anyone suggest ‘must-eat’ places in London? Especially some good value lower-end stuff – I’m sure we could manage to find great fine dining every night, but the bank balance might not appreciate it! Also, anywhere in particular to avoid – where the hype overrides the actual experience?

P.S. I’d also welcome tips for Scotland – food related or otherwise.


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