Friday, 17 September 2010

London Impression no.2

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day from Thursday I'm going to post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. All in all I will have six posts on my travels. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago ...

Me in my hotel room

I woke up in my hotel room. I stayed one week in the Umi Hotel in the lovely Notting Hill/Bayswater area. It is a 3 star budget hotel and tries to offer best available rates combined with best available service. Before I booked there of course I read a lot of reviews of which some were lovely and some were cruel. My company left the decision on the hotel all on me but also all the responsibility. I desperately hoped I made the right decision. And I did. Okay the double bed room was small but it had all I needed: a bed, a closet, a desk and a small (maybe tiny) bath. The bed was extra comfortable and I slept heavenly unlike at home, where the mattress is actually to hard for my taste.

After breakfast we left for Portobello Road market which is located of course on Portobello Road, only a ten to fifteen minutes walk from the hotel. Every day stall holders sell different things like fresh fruit, antiques, furniture, jewelery and fashion there. But also many shops established there to provide good service for example the Hummingbird Bakery which sells adorable little cup cakes for not as adorable prices but oh well it's London it's not supposed to be cheap. And they taste as delicious as they smell. The Tea and Coffee Plant serves some great coffee which goes fine with the cupcakes. Alice's is also worth to mention, it's like an antique curiosity shop which harbors real treasures.

Alice's on Portobello Road

Finally we made our way to Notting Hill Gate station and came across a used book store! YAY! A place I would have liked to never leave again. It had many books I always wanted to read but couldn't get in my library, as my library doesn't offer a good variety of English books. I was in heaven and would have loved the book shelfs in this shop to materialize in my flat at home. I bought only two books as I considered I would have to carry them all day long. I got Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (not even in German available in my library) and In the Woods by Tana French (also not available in my library).

We headed for the Science Museum (admission free) as my company is a science crack and needed a little input. I was happy I could offer him that. I thought the Historical Medicine gallery to be extremely exciting. I did like to feel a little anxious at sight of antique surgery tools or disgusted by drawings of infectious diseases. I also liked the Launchpad although this is more or less for children where you can have your hands down on science yourself like producing waves or see yourself in a heat camera. The place has been a little overcrowded though.

When the museum closed we decided to visit Harrods which is really close to the museums (Science, Natural History and Victoria & Albert). We went inside and were stunned by all the luxury although we had expected it. It is like visiting the KaDeWe in Berlin, which can be compared to Harrods as it is the biggest department store on the European continent. We visited the Pet Halls and had a look at sweet little puppies and kittens for about 1000 pound per animal. Wow! We got our dinner in the Harrods Food Halls and went back to the hotel as our feet needed a rest.


  1. Loved the pics! I was in London about 20 years ago, I do need to go back soon!

  2. Great report! I love hearing about your adventures in London! I've been to Portobello Road a very long time ago when I didn't really appreciate it much. The Science Museum is great! Good to hear you had such a nice time there.

  3. @ Coffee: London is such a great place to visit! After one week I still have the feeling I cannot picture the whole of London as one thing as it is sooo big. I didn't have that feeling when I visited Paris. I'm sure I could go to London one or two more times and still cannot get rid of that feeling.

    @ leeswammes: I'm happy you like it! When writing for an audience, one appreciates when somebody likes it. :)
    When I first read about Portobello Road I got to know it is a place crowded with tourists but I can not report such things. And for people who actually like to stroll flea markets it is for sure nice.

  4. 1000 pounds per animal?! That is crazy! What a cool vacation! I want to visit England, but I'm kind of afraid because I've heard the prices are so high there. I'll just have to save up lots of money to go. The room looks really nice!