I have many memories of London, but it all began when I arrived here age 18 (many years ago now) not knowing where I would stay. I actually arrived at Victoria Station, with one big suitcase, and asked the taxi driver to take me somewhere that is affordable, and he drove me to a bed and breakfast on Fitzroy Street.
On my recent trip last July, I had to go seek it out. When I first arrived here at age 18, all alone – I was somehow mesmerized by this area.
On first glance when you look at the picture above, you may think this is not a really spectacular street, but look what is around the corner! Such beauty, such historical elegance and exquisite architecture! Such a magnificent sight of the most wonderful homes – oh, how I wish I could live in one of them right there
Do you see how many famous people have lived here in these homes (look at some of my pictures below and you will see that Prime Ministers have lived here, so have writers, artists and architects.
I’m certainly not famous, but I can say I lived in one of the homes – well, it’s actually a bed and breakfast – for about 3 weeks! This place gave me such fond memories of London, that a few years later, I stayed here again, but this time sadly, I remember it for other reasons. I was staying on the very top floor, about two or three flights of stairs up. I opened the window, and unfortunately, it dropped down onto my finger that had a ring on it, and squashed my finger somewhat – the window also squashed my ring! I had to scream until some passers by heard my screams and alerted the hotel staff who finally came to my rescue, as I could not get the window back up or off my finger. I was in such pain, and had to then go to the hospital, where they cut my ring off in order to save my finger. What a horror story! But, true! You have to be really careful of windows I’ve learnt – please take note of this also, as some of London’s hotels are quite old, and you don’t want the same thing happening to you.
Still, I have good memories of my first visit there at 41 Fitzroy St Hotel, and nothing can take that away. That is when I first fell in love with London. I was a stranger to this place and showed up without knowing where I would stay or what I would do. I remember thinking this area in particular reminded me of the Oliver Twist movie in the good part of the movie, (I say the good part of the movie, as I categorize it into two parts – the good part is when Oliver was happy and well looked after, and the bad part is when he was taught to pickpocket to line the pockets of Bill Sikes, and Fagin). In the good part of the movie, where he lived with the kind elderly gentleman in London, Oliver would look out of his bedroom window onto the streets below, and he saw Nancy in one of the songs (the movie is a musical, and the song I refer to is “Who Will Buy These Wonderful Roses” and Nancy is Bill Sikes’ girlfriend). I remember the London I saw in the movie, looks just like the London I know in the Fitzroy Square/Fitzroy Street area.
The hotel is not at all fancy, it is simple, but very central – in a great location! Who would not want to be in an Oliver Twist like setting?!! This is a bed and breakfast, and I’m sure they have fixed up the windows since that time. I remember they served a wonderful hot English breakfast, complete with bacon, eggs, sausage, toast and jam, as well as coffee and tea. Needless to say, I went in to the hotel on my visit to London last year, and took a few pictures. After all, this place is part of my history! This hotel used to be only something like £30 or £40 (pounds) per night for a single room, now I’m sure it’s more like £80 per night, and you may have to share a bathroom. I believe I shared a bathroom back when I first stayed there, probably even during my second visit.
It is quite notable to see that High Commissions, and Embassies also are in this very same area. If the signs weren’t on the buildings in such a visible way, you would never imagine that it could be a High Commission or an Embassy.
This is Telecom Tower, as you head towards Tottenham Court Road tube station, which is also only a few minutes walk away.
The picture below reminds me of the scene from the song where Oliver looks out from his balcony. It probably was not this very street, but to me – this is what I remember or imagine it to be. I must watch the movie again – what a fantastic movie it was, and so memorable – just like London is to me. “Please sir, can I have some more porridge?” Then we all know what happened to Oliver, and how he was thrown out of the orphanage just for asking for more food!
George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf both lived here.
Robert Adam, the architect, lived here.
Of course, i had to take a picture of the Indian YMCA – also very close to Fitzroy Street, and I remember this being here years ago too.
Just in case you are curious, “To Let” means to rent, and I’m sure you know that a flat is an apartment.
This is also nearby, but it is Bedford Square, just as pretty, but not quite as spectacular as Fitzroy Square. Bedford Square is shown in the next four pictures.
Back to Fitzroy Square again.
Well, hopefully, you got a feel for one of my favorite areas of London – the Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy Square area – near the Warren Street tube station. It is also walking distance to Tottenham Court Road tube station. I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane, plus the pictures that show the surrounding area. Also, did you get to see the clip from the Oliver Twist movie – to compare it to my pictures, click here – so what you do think? Is it the same place? Here’s to good memories of where ever your travels take you to. Happy summer!
I meant to show you more pictures of Covent Garden, but before we got there on Day 5 of our trip to London in July, 2014, we went for an early morning walk from our hotel at The Trafalgar Hilton, situated right there in Trafalgar Square – so convenient! First we went across the road to Trafalgar Square to see the Blue Hen and the fountains – why not wake up to a hen in Central London? There’s nothing like it!
The National Gallery is a very impressive art museum, and it’s located bang in the middle of Trafalgar Square.
Look at this, you get Nelson’s Column, the lions, Big Ben and London Buses all in view! Oh, how I love London!
Here I am in Trafalgar Square in front of the Blue Hen.
What a fabulous place to take a walk, but then again – it’s nice to be walking anywhere in London.
Right there at Trafalgar Square is a beautiful church – St. Martin In The Fields. I’m not sure how it got this name as I don’t see any fields around – but I’m sure there’s a reason to the name. However, it is a beautiful church.
So, now…..we have made it across the Square to this beautiful church – St. Martin In The Fields.
This is not the main part of it, rather the pictures above show you what it looks like – I am including the one below because it is unusual to have such a structure – I do believe it’s the Crypt – and think it houses a cafe. Since it’s surrounded by such gorgeous architecture, I had to throw in this picture too.
I went inside this beautiful church. How I love to go into churches!
I saw quite a bit of the service, and joined in singing some of the hymns. It reminded me of my childhood when we used to sing hymns at my school – as part of our assemblies – most mornings in northern England.
Anyway, I still have more pictures from Day 5, and guess what? The next day is the last day of London before we headed up north to where my family lives. Still, I have many more pictures to share. Until then.
Covent Garden is such a lively place, a vibrant place. There are outdoor markets, street shows, shops, restaurants, pubs, crowds and so much more. It is a great place to go out and sit at a table outside, and people watch.
So first, we people watched a little, then we did a little more from our table at this restaurant – The Covent Garden Kitchen (address: The Market, Covent Garden, London, WC2). It was a lovely evening, nice and warm and great to be sitting outside. I wish I had got a family picture taken, but we got pictures separately, first me, then my two oldest and then my little one.
Here’s some of what we ate in Covent Garden:
I love how in England, they cater for people with spicy tastes – there are so many Indians and other Asians here who love spicy food, that it is quite pleasant to find that the food is more spicier or that they will add to it to make it more appealing to those with certain tastes.
My son likes paninis, and anything with lots of cheese, so his was not too spicy (which is fine with him)!
This was a nice fish and risotto concoction.
After we left the restaurant, we wandered around a little.
Our feet were quite tired that it was tempting to take a rickshaw, but we didn’t. We weren’t too far from our hotel in Trafalgar Square.
Look at this picture, it must have been the way I took the picture, but the ladies infront of the telephone booth came out blurry, and added to the effect of the “Ghost Stories” picture.
I have been to the Hippodrome Nightclub once or twice when I used to live in London many years ago, now I see there is a Casino – not sure if there is still a nightclub.
Oh, how I wish I could take away this fish and chip shop and have it in San Diego, so that I could have it’s fish and chips when I pleased!
I have more pictures of Covent Garden and the surrounding area. I will share them next time. I hope you have a great week!
I still miss Princess Diana so much. She was a special kind of person, born to be a Princess, and fit to be the Queen. Sadly, she was taken away from us. I am so glad that Harrods has a memorial for her and Dodi, the man who was the love of her life, and who also died in that fateful car crash in Paris – on that awful day that I will never forget. Here are some pictures of the memorial.
Just heard there was a story in the papers today on how the British public don’t want Camilla to be the next Queen. I certainly don’t want her to be the Queen either. How could she be? She grabbed away Diana’s chances at happiness, and was the third person in that marriage. If Camilla had not interfered in the marriage – I strongly believe that Diana would have been here today. That is one reason why Camilla will never be part of my Pinterest Board – The Royal Family. My Pinterest board is dedicated to Diana’s memory, and adding any pins of Camilla would not be in Diana’s interest. Diana, we will never forget you. You were, and are always the People’s Princess. May you rest in peace always.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is ever so lovely, and a must-see! It’s an impressive building located on Ludgate Hill in the City of London. It was one of the tallest buildings for many years, and the funerals of many important people have taken place here – such as Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Nelson, and Margaret Thatcher. Weddings have also taken place here, with one of the most famous weddings being that of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on July 29th, 1981. Guess what – today on the day of my visit to St. Paul’s – it is July 26th, 2014 – it’s almost the anniversary of Diana’s wedding.
Here are two pictures of the royal couple at St. Paul’s Cathedral as shown on my Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/452048881322877823/
You will want to get off at St. Paul’s tube station to get to St. Paul’s Cathedral (take the red line – the Central line).
It is really enjoyable walking around the grounds of St. Paul’s Cathedral
Walking down the stairs from St. Paul’s Cathedral is the replica of the Queen Anne statue, and one of the side streets near St. Paul’s.
This is what it looks like inside the Cathedral at the entrance
My little Princess was ever so happy to be here
My other Princess (my oldest daughter) is also happy to be here, and is standing by Queen Anne’s statue.
I can’t believe I haven’t shared these pictures yet! It’s already been eight months since we were there – how quickly time flies! Well, until next time – by the way, Happy Spring!
Ahoy there, I went to the Savoy!
Well, what you may ask is so special about that? It is that I got through the doors of this establishment and was able to take pictures without having to pay hundreds, if not thousands of pounds a night for a room. I spent forty-five minutes or so, went in and took pictures and got out – and had quite a pleasant experience. This is after all, the hotel that is supposed to be London’s most famous hotel, and one where many celebrities have stayed. It is located on the Strand in the City of Westminster. Here are some pictures:
This is the lobby area as shown in the two pictures below, then if you walk down a few stairs, you will see a beautiful gazebo, and a restaurant/bar/lounge area
You might just want to get a little something sweet in their delightful little treat shop
Also, I have to mention, the bathrooms in the Savoy are quite an experience too. Best bathrooms in the world! There was even a cloakroom attendant outside the bathroom, and I should have had my camera with me just to take pictures of the entry area of the women’s bathroom. Oh, my gosh, there were framed pictures – it was like an art gallery. I think there was music too. Perhaps, it was good that I didn’t have my camera, and had left it upstairs with my family! I think people would have thought I was a little odd taking pictures there.
So, what do you prefer – the Savoy or the Ritz? It depends on your level of glitz. I have shown some pictures of the Ritz in an earlier post. As for me, I was quite happy with the London Trafalgar Hotel – it suited me just fine.
I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. I’m so sad that it’s already gone by, I wish it was always Christmas – it certainly is my favorite time of the year. If there was one place that I really wanted to be this Christmas – it was in London. London is spectacular when lit up for the most wonderful time of the year.
Anyway, I need to share more pictures with you. These pictures are still from my third day in London during my recent trip in July of 2014. When we left the London Eye, we were in the South Bank area and just look at this double decker bus. Fancy giving yogurt that name though – I am surprised! That name, not mentioning names has quite a colorful meaning.
This is Charing Cross Station in the background
This beautiful building reminds me of a castle or palace
That’s me in the South Bank area with Big Ben behind me. Oh, how I wish I was back there right now!
Spectacular London with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Here’s another mini London Eye – actually it’s just a kid’s ride – some kind of swings. It looks nice though, doesn’t it?
Forgot what this building is called, that’s exactly why I should have written my posts as soon as I came back, but who has the time? If you know, pray do tell.
Well, this whole area near the South Bank, including the bus in the first picture is ever so colorful!
Wow, doesn’t this look nice? It might be a bit dark though.
Now, you will get treated to the same picture with the Snog Bus in sight
Me and my three kids with the River Thames behind us basking in the sunset of a London evening
Oh, how majestic is St. Paul’s Cathedral – this place is so special. It’s where Princess Diana got married to Prince Charles.
St. Paul’s again
Either it turned dark quickly or I have been watching this man a while, or perhaps it was just my camera that is somehow curiously taking pictures with different lighting.
Here’s St. Paul’s again basking in the glow of London as seen from the South Bank
St. Paul’s yet again. I guess you know that I like St. Paul’s?
Seems like someone else likes it too as he’s taking a picture of it or is he looking the other way? If so, I know there’s good views that way too.
More of the London skyline
This is the building I showed you above, but here it is glowing in the London evening
Now it’s glowing less, but basking in the sunset
I’m not sure what this building is either, but just feel compelled to share with you how lovely London looks in the evening.
This picture is quite blurry, but I’ll throw it in anyhow.
Anyway, I hope you liked my evening pictures of London. I don’t have a great camera that takes brilliant evening pictures, but still – I think they’re okay. Have a fabulous week ahead, and Happy New Year to you all!