Sunday, 30 August 2015
Where do I go to eat?
When travelling independently trying to find places to eat in unfamiliar cities can be somewhat confusing. Particularly somewhere like London which has a multitude of restaurants and cafes. Local knowledge when meeting up with friends or relatives is convenient as they then to take you to their favourites eateries. Now I also check other people's travel blogs, and Mildred's restaurant was one that appeared in some different ones as a recommended restaurant to try.
I wanted to try it as it's also a vegetarian restaurant, I'm not strictly vegetarian I just don't eat red meat. I don't like the taste, at a non-vegetarian restaurant I'm usually left with 3 or 4 choices on a menu and have people wonder how I can decide so quickly. It's easy when your options are limited! Needless to say I love the idea of being able to choose from the whole menu!
Mildred's is in Soho, I used my map app to find it. Not difficult at all, stroll down Regent Street, turn left, walk a bit more, turn into Lexington Street and there it was.
It is quite 'compact' and having read other blogs I learnt that it's very popular and doesn't take reservations. It opens for lunch at 12 noon so get there soon after if you want a table. I think I was there at about 10 past, by about half past it was all full. The front section has large bowls of salads and it does take away, the back section is where the restaurant seating is.
The reviews I had read talked about the vegan food you can order so I made the assumption that it was a totally vegan restaurant. That also made me curious since I had never eaten vegan. I ended up ordering the pasta dish of the day.
(This was my first time taking food pictures in a restaurant, I don't know how the food bloggers do it. I felt like a total dill, very self conscious as I furtively looked around to check that no-one could see what I was doing. And thinking I was a twat for taking pictures of my lunch!)
After thoroughly enjoyed my pasta, I realised that it wasn't exactly vegan! Then I looked at the menu more closely and saw that the restaurant was vegetarian and it offered vegan options. (Also gluten free) So major fail on my part, first time I tried to eat vegan I automatically went with cheese and cream and ignored the vegan choices! Oops! It does serve healthy drink options with organic juices and lists their alcoholic drinks as either vegan or vegetarian. It still has the less healthy options such as diet coke! If you're having to wait for an available table, you can pass the time by sipping on one (or two!) of their cocktails.
Mildred's is open from 12 noon to 11pm Monday to Saturday, it doesn't take reservations so either get there as soon as it opens or try later in the afternoon away from peak times. It was reasonably priced for a London restaurant, my pasta was delicious and I'm fussy about Italian food. Most of the people around me I noticed opted for various salad combinations, and the servings were generous. The restaurant is easy to find so if you're a stranger to London, you probably won't end up wandering aimlessly around trying to find it.
Here is their website
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
I thought miscellaneous London was the most apt title as I had some unrelated photos that I took. They were interesting enough to me to post, but not relating to a particular place in London.
The Gloucester Road Tube station entrance facing Cromwall Road. I had recently read a book about The Tube and its history (am now further establishing my history nerd credentials!) and discovered that originally it had been various private railways. The Metropolitan Railway had been one, this Italianite entrance was the station built in 1868 for what is now the Circle line and so is one of the oldest lines in The Tube complex. The establishment of The Tube dates back to 1863, in 2013 there were large celebrations in London for the 150th anniversary.
In 1906 the Piccadilly line was opened at Gloucester Road and this was the station for that line, just behind the older 1868 building. (research!) The stations are joined together, I just found the 2 old station facades interesting.
Not at Gloucester Road station, but the escalators going down to the Piccadilly line which is a deep underground line. Just fascinated by the lengths of the escalators. Also found out that the 'stand to the right' rule dates back to 19th century, even then people were in a hurry! (The left is for people to run up or down the escalators)
Sunday, 23 August 2015
A modern history geek's delight!
For people like me who are interested in modern history this museum is great, it's free to enter, there's a good variety in the exhibitions with temporary as well as permanent ones. It means that you can make repeat visits and see different things, so a major thumbs up or 5 Gold stars from me for the Imperial War Museum.
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Slow boat to Westminster
The Isle of Dogs, it used to be the large dock area, now redeveloped with apartments and the Canary Wharfskyscraper area. It's not actually an island, just a large bend in the river so there is water on 3 sides.
The boat made a stop at Tower, the pier next to the Tower of London. That's the White Tower in the centre, the oldest part of the Tower and where the crown jewels are kept. (The tide was out so the banks of the river are clearly seen)
The Globe Theatre, it is a recreation as the original one burnt down in the 17th century. Well worth visiting and even seeing a performance of a Shakespearean play. It's open air with a standing area in front of the stage, performances don't get cancelled if it rains, and no umbrellas allowed! There are seated sections under the roof, just further from the stage.
Another stop, St Katherine's docks with one of my favourite modern buildings in the background. The 'gerhkin'!
Another favoured modern building, The Shard.
Nineteenth century architecture, alongside twenty-first century architecture. The Shard and Tower Bridge.
I have a nostalgic soft spot for Cleopatra's Needle. It was the first tourist attraction I ever saw on my first trip to London. It's just near Embankment station, which was where the trains from Gravesend would (still?) arrive into London. For my first trip to the UK I had gone to stay with a friend of mine who was working in the UK for a year. I stayed in Gravesend, whose claim to fame as I discovered was that it was the burial place of Pocahontas. I came across her statue down by a river park, she died on a boat that was moored at the docks there and was buried in the town.
So back to Cleopatra's Needle, first trip to London, walked out of the train station with my friend who was playing tour guide and as we walked along the river we immediately came across Cleopatra's Needle. I had my first "I'm in London" photo taken alongside one of the lions.
Three 'needles' were removed from Egypt, the most well known to me at least is the one in Place de la Concorde in Paris. Researching Cleopatra's Needle the other day I discovered that it has a 'twin' which is in Central Park in New York. The Paris needle's 'twin' is still in Egypt, these needles were placed at temple entrances.
Heading into Westminster pier, the Palace at Westminster (British parliament building) and 'Big Ben' really the tower that houses Big Ben the bell. A good view, once you get very close, the area around, including the bridge, is full of people taking photos of themselves with Big Ben!
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Looking down from the Royal Observatory to the Maritime Museum with askyscraper background.