View From a Hotel Window, 4/23/19: London
Posted on April 23, 2019 Posted by John Scalzi 12 Comments
We’ve moved into town and are staying at the hotel we were at for our 20th anniversary, and which also happens to be reasonably well located for the meetings and meet-ups I have planned over the next couple of days. Ytterbium, this year’s Eastercon, was lovely and everyone involved was also lovely, and we could have not asked for a better time.
Remember: This Thursday at 6pm, I’ll be at Forbidden Planet in London, signing books and being visible. Come on down and see me, and maybe get a book or two signed.
And now, off to lunch with a friend.
Have fun! Lots of cool places to visit in England.
In the US, we consider an “old” building to be from the 1600’s. In England, “old” is some church built in 600 ce or a roman wall from 100 ce.
Unfortunately, a lot of the food tastes like its about that old. Boiled and bland.
If you have time for a bus ride, stonehenge is kinda cool (a bit smaller than expected and you can only look at it from a distance), or Bath for some ancient historicals, or windsor castle(museum and changing of the guard, if youre into that).
You could spend a week and still not see everything in the british museum. Its jam packed full of ancient artifacts. They may have the actual rosetta stone (200 bc) leaning against a coke machine.
If you’re there for the food, the best English restaurants are actually Indian. The beer is best eaten with a fork, though some like to toast it and add a little butter.
The older a place is, the more i feel a spiritual root going down into the ground. And london is a very old place.
I had a big dish of beef chow mein at le ho fooks. It was … ok. Could probably pass on that one.
A lot of cocktail bars like to set their drinks on fire. So theres that.
A little something for everyone.
Ohhh, Forbidden Planet! A visit to there is on my list when I get the chance to go to England. I love the name and I imagine they have lots of cool stuff!
Went to Borderland Books while visiting SF last year so was able scratch that of the list. I was able to buy Salvation but Peter F. Hamilton two days early there!
Forbidden Planet is a great shop. I always stop there when I’m in London. It’s a good thing I don’t live near there though – they’d get all my money.
Hope the Scalzis brought umbrellas – the nice weather in London is pretty much over. It’s supposed to be cooler and rainier for the rest of the week.
Well, now I’ve got to think of something funny to say, and convince family we need to pop along.
I’ve only ever got books signed twice, I think, and I made a fool of myself both times. Apologies to Stewart Lee and Chris O’Dowd.
Forbidden Planet is by far my most favourite bookshop in Europe! Sadly I will not be able to pop around in Thursday…. damn it…
What, no parking lot? Has the London congestion pricing eliminated that industry already?
Saw you on my way out of Eastercon and was going to go over and thank you for being such a good GoH, but you were relaxed with your wife and it seemed rude to interrupt.
Thank you for being a good GoH and especial thanks for shutting up people who didn’t want to ask questions in the Q&A.
Hope you have a fun week in London.
Happy St George’s Day! Though it is almost over. Patron Saint of England. Also Georgia, Ethiopia and the city of Beirut (where I was born). And it’s allocated to Shakespeare’s birthday too, though probably in error. On the 26th he was baptised. He died on the 23rd April for sure, but although that is better attested it is somewhat less joyful.
@boggled: it’s in Upper Regent Street. There hasn’t been space to put a car park nearby for about 200 years before the CC came in.
@Greg: seriously, dude?
Hope you have a lovely time in London! I’ve lived here for 18 years and there are still new things to see…. there’s always stuff going on! You are probably super busy but if you are at a loose end…..My recommendations would be:-
If you need a coffee before your signing at FP then Monmouth coffee is one road over on Seven Dials.
Walk on the Southbank – start at Covent Garden (North of river), walk to waterloo bridge and cross to south bank ( i think Waterloo bridge has the best views – you can see all the landmarks from the tourist book!). And then walk east, you will go past Southbank Centre, NT Theatre, OXO Tower, Tate Modern, borough market and load of other interesting places to pop in to. They have also fairly recently re done the whole area around Tower bridge which looks great now! Loads of places on the way to stop for food/ drink.
If you go to borough market there is a stall in one of the arches round the back that does amazing pulled pork sandwiches….. and a few stalls over from that a cheese shop. that does great ice cream!
walk along Regents canal (takes about an hour and a half max)….. get on to the canal just behind Paddington station, then follow the canal through little Venice, up behind regents park (you can see the bird enclosures from London Zoo from the canal, and loads of really posh houses!, keep going until you get to Camden lock… and then have a look at Camden Marked and the main road of shops where they have bolted random things to their shop frontages (its a bit touristy, but worth a look)
If you want to go a bit further out…. then hire a car and go for a walk at verginia water (nice easy walk and quite pretty), then Windsor and Eton are really close to do a visit there…….. i think the bit near Eton school is what people from outside Briton think the UK is like (its really not)!
Kew Gardens is also lovely this time of year in West London….
And of course there are all the museums and galleries!
Have a great time (fingers crossed the rain holds of whilst you are here)!
oh dear! its raining :-(
@Dave There’s a car park about two minutes walk away – tidily hidden under Cavendish Square
@Greg Have you eaten in London this century?