25 April 2015

The London Trip (Part One)


On Monday morning, Dean and I embarked on my first ever trip to London! I was pretty excited, although I wasn't looking forward to the hustle and bustle - especially on the tube! We took the train from Gillingham, Dorset, to London Waterloo, which cost us £53 each for a return ticket. We purchased our Oyster cards (£5 each) when we arrived, and topped them up. After a couple of tube journeys, we walked for about ten minutes to reach our hotel, so it was pretty central, Victoria station being the closest to us.
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We stayed at The Grapevine Hotel, which cost us £215 for a three night stay. This is really cheap compared to other prices we saw. But I now understand what cheap buys you in London... The hotel itself seemed nice, but was adjoined to The Sheriff Hotel, where the reception was placed. To get to our room, we entered via a different entrance, and went down some very narrow stairs to basement level. Our room was very small, including a double bed, wall-mounted flat screen TV (which didn't work until Dean sorted out the loose aerial), a small shelf with a few hangers and hooks, and a small desk with two drawers. The room also included a heater and hairdryer. The decor was modern, but the finish was pretty shabby. We had an en-suite, which was clearly meant to be a wet room of sorts, but it was not efficient or practical; the shower area had a shower curtain, but this did not stop water getting to all other areas of the bathroom floor, the shower head was too heavy for the (loose) shower fitting, so you had to hold it while you showered one-handed - not the easiest of tasks! Oh, and the switch for the shower water supply was on the wall as you enter the main room, and the water kept running until it was switched off, so Dean and I had to get each other to switch it on and off! The toilet lid was on the floor, propped up against the wall, and the toilet seat wasn't attached, so you got a nice surprise when you sat on it! Surely it wouldn't have taken much to fix the toilet seat and shower attachment? We got one large towel each, which was changed every other day. We didn't have any hand towels or a bath mat. We were provided with a few sachets of shampoo e.t.c., and a tiny bar of soap each. We used our own toiletries that we had brought with us. The breakfast room was located right next to our room, so it was handy but also a little noisy in the mornings. The complimentary continental breakfast was served between 7:30am-9:30am. The breakfast room was very nice, and you could certainly tell that more effort and money had been spent on this, rather than our room! So overall, this hotel was a basic, low-budget choice. We wouldn't stay here again, unless our room was more satisfactory. Some good points included being able to leave our luggage in reception before and after check-in/out, allowing us four full days in London. They also had free (temperamental) wi-fi.
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Day one in London saw us visit The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and The Victoria & Albert Museum. All of which were really good, my favourite being the Victoria & Albert, as they had lots of fashion displays! In the evening, we walked around Leicester Square which was really good; we saw some street performers and there was a good variety of shops and eateries. We chose to dine at the famous Five Guys, and they did not disappoint! Dean opted for the bacon cheeseburger, £8, with all the (free) toppings, and I chose the little cheeseburger, £5.50, with ketchup and onions. We shared a large serving of cajun fries, £5, but a regular size would have sufficed. We each had a regular drink, £2.50 each, which came with free re-fills and loads of cool choices, like raspberry cola! We really enjoyed all of our food, and the service was really good. Price wise, we both felt it was a little over-priced.
We popped into M&M World, and were left slightly confused and amused that people actually pay silly money to buy normal M&M's in different colours, or novelty M&M's merchandise. We at least expected to find some new, exciting varieties, but no. We headed back to our room quite early, as we were both really tired! We both slept well, but I was woken up by noisy pigeons a few times.
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Day two was spent browsing Harrods and lots of other shops! Visiting Harrods was a great experience; we bought a few items from the food halls, but otherwise, everything was way out of our price range! The technology department was pretty cool, and the way everything is displayed, particularly in the food halls, is really wonderful.
This was a really tiring day, as we walked for ages, popping in and out of different shops. We also visited Borough Market and each bought a chorizo sandwich from Brindisa, and were surprised to find no queue! Messy but delicious.
We went to Ed's Easy Diner for our evening meal, which was located within Victoria station, serving American-style food in a 1950's retro-style diner setting. We found it very similar to Johnny Rocket's. We both opted for a Deluxe Pulled Pork Dog, £11.35 each, which came with fries and coleslaw. We each had soft drinks, £2.75 each, which came with free refills. Much to my dismay, we didn't have dessert, but I did get a Creme Egg McFlurry from a nearby McDonald's instead!
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Dorothy Perkins Paisley Fit & Flare Dress
New Look Crepe Blazer (similar)
George @ Asda Leggings
Next Nude Bow Flats (similar)
New Look Striped Willow Tote Bag
Natural History Museum Seahorse Scarf
 

6 comments:

  1. Great photos! I've been to London a couple of times as a child and teen but I definitely want to visit again x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Yes, it's definitely worth a visit. :) xxx

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  2. Great photos! I've only been to London once but I would love to go again. I didn't manage to go to the V&A museum last time, but hopefully I'll go in the future. It looks amazing.
    I love your dress.
    Rubi | Instagram | The Den | http://www.the-den.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Rubi! :) Yeah, I'd definitely recommend the V&A museum! xxx

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  3. Hi Emma! Thanks for sharing this! London is a great city and sounds like you had a lovely time. It was a great idea to include all the prices and detailed descriptions as I found this interesting and helpful. Sorry about any disappointments with the room. Sounds like eating out was a fab experience. I see you visited the museums, awesome! Great photographs too! Look forward to Part two! :-) xx

    Helen | Helens Fashion & Beauty Blog

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    1. Hi Helen, thank you, glad you found this informative! Yes, it was a shame about our room, but otherwise we had a great time! :) xxx

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