Category Archives: Attractions & Culture

Grease Is The Word!

They say you can’t go to London without seeing a musical, which is so true! So this time I chose Grease at Piccadilly Theatre. I love the film and the music and it was electrifying!

They say young romance is timeless and universal…how true, should have seen me (46) dancing away in my seat along with a whole school class of 12 year olds.

Our singing wasn’t bad either! We joined in the fun with the groovy “T-Birds”, the “Pink Ladies” and the whole gang from “Rydell High” for a rock ‘n’ roll party of the year!

So all you fans who are hopelessly devoted to Grease book your tickets here (there are some good offers on at the moment!) and see you there, cause I’ll be back and might bring my 91 year old grannie along!

/Jackie

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, London, Music, Film & TV

Derby at White Hart Lane

Tottenham fans, White Hart Lane

Going to a football match in Britain is something else. It is not just a football match – it is a unique experience.

I have been at White Hart Lane, the home of Tottenham Hotspur, in North East London a few times now and every time I go there I get blown away by the atmosphere. The cheers from the crowd roaring inside the stadium can be almost deafening and people are singing during the entire match. What is different with Barclays Premier League from many other football leagues is that it is not only the biggest matches between the biggest teams that attract big audiences. Almost every match is packed with people and the atmosphere can be just as intense – if not more intense – in a smaller stadium than in the major ones.

Chelsea - Cole & Drogba

Chelsea stars Drogba and Cole

I recently visited a friend in London and went to the derby match between Tottenham and Chelsea. We started off by having lunch (classic football food: burgers and chips) close to the stadium with some other fans, discussing possible starting lineups, goal scorers and final score. The match ended 1-1 with Chelsea missing a penalty late in the game – to my great relief.

After the match we walked with the rest of the crowd (most of them still singing) to the bus stop and took a bus to Angel where my friend lives. We ended the day with a really nice dinner at a the local gastropub around the corner, called The Alma. London really is packed with great pubs!

The Alma

The Alma, a great gastropub in Islington

So, even if you are not that much into football, I can definitely recommend you to go to a football match in Britain. Tickets vary in price but doesn’t necessarily have to cost more than they do in the Nordics – but the entertainment is so much better!

Read more about the league and how to see a match at our football website.
See where White Hart Lane is located on our Britain Map.
Find The Alma on our Britain Map.

Come on you Spurs!
/Carl

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, London, Sports & Activities

Year of the Rabbit and Crispy Duck

Chinese New Year is the Year of the Rabbit and falls on the 3rd February this year! If you want to take part, major celebrations are around Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown, being the largest celebration outside Asia! Fireworks, music, Chinese dragons, lions and Chinese acrobatics…visit London town’s website for further information.

While you’re there (and if you love authentic Chinese food!)  then Chinatown is the place to be, with flavours you can’t find elsewhere!

Almost 80 restaurants fill the lively and vibrant area and one of my particular favourites is the first restaurant you come to on the corner of Gerrard Street, “Gerrard’s Corner”.

Try their crispy duck…finely sliced duck (done at the table in no time!!) put in a sort of pancake along with finely sliced cucumber, spring onion and sauce. Fold it all together and enjoy! It might sounds strange but it is something different to what we are offered at most Chinese restaurants in Sweden!

There is also an exhibition on at the moment until February 27th at  the Victoria and Albert Museum: “Imperial Chinese Robes From The Forbidden City”, here you can see robes worn by emperors and empresses of the Qing Dynasty, the last ruling dynasty of China will be on display for the first time in Europe. Admission is only £5 and more information can be found here.

Happy Chinese New Year!
/Jackie

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, London

A classic trip to Bath

In the autumn of 2010, VisitBritain held a competition together with Pan Vision and Classic World where Swedes could win a trip for two to five-star hotel The Royal Crescent in Bath. The lucky winner was Katarina Johansson from Dalstorp in Sweden. Here is her story about the trip:

I randomly opened my e-mail and I got this one e-mail from VisitBritain saying ‘CONGRATULATIONS! You have won first prize in our contest for a trip for two to Bath in England’. I was filled with happiness – thank you for this fantastic prize!

Bath reminds me of my first InterRail trip back in 1984 when I was 17 and my friend and I spent a couple of days there. I remember we stayed at a beautifully situated hostel and that we hired bikes and took a trip out in the rolling landscape. I was wondering – will I recognise the city when I get back?

It was my oldest daughter who got to go on the trip with me. A little bit funny because she is 17 years old – like I was when I first visited Bath.

We travelled in the beginning of November 2010, flying from Gothenburg City Airport to London Stansted and then taking the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street Station in London. From there we went to Paddington and travelled by train to Bath, which went really smooth! Except, my suitcase got stuck on the tube! My daughter was of course embarrassed over me but after a while we did get my suitcase loose.

When we arrived in Bath we got a map and walked to the hotel, The Royal Crescent. England showed it’s best side: the sun was shining, the beautiful autumn leaves were still hanging on the branches and it was about 15 degrees. It was just lovely!

At the hotel we were welcomed by two gentlemen who opened the door for us. Inside was a beautiful fireplace. On our way to our room, which was actually a suite, we walked through a picturesque garden with illuminated corridors. The size of the suite was almost as big as the entire second floor in our house.

Later that day I showed my daughter what a real English pub looks like. We went to a really cosy place and had dinner there. The murmur of voices stopped a bit when we entered and we were met by friendly smiles and greetings. Great food and great beer (I was the only one drinking) in a genuine environment made us ready to explore the city. We went window-shopping and noticed that the Christmas decorations were already up. A little bit tired after all the travelling we headed back to the hotel and decided that we would go shopping the next day.

After a wonderful breakfast overlooking the beautiful garden, we headed down to the city centre. First we explored the lovely surroundings by the hotel, like the beautiful Victoria Park, and continued with the River Avon and Pulteney Bridge. I realised that I did not recognise anything and that it had been a while since last time… The sun sparkled over this beautiful city when a very happy mother and daughter walked arm in arm.

The rest of the day we did a lot of shopping. My daughter found a nice tea/coffee shop where we tasted delicious teas and exciting coffee.

The following afternoon we enjoyed a fabulous three-course dinner at the hotel. The food was some of the best we have ever eaten.

The next day we visited the Roman Baths, one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Europe, founded after the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. We took a guided tour in English with phone-like devices that allowed us to hear what we wanted to know more about, very smart. We highly recommend this tour to everyone travelling to Bath!

We spent the afternoon in the lovely spa section at the hotel. I took a long swim in the 46 degree warm water, tried the steam sauna and felt like my body and soul were in complete balance.

After three wonderful days, great treatment and lots of new memories we travelled home to Sweden hoping that we will soon come back to this fantastic country.

/Katarina Johansson

Did Katarina inspire you to visit Bath? Read our travel guide to Bath and get useful information about accommodation, attractions and much more.

/Siska

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, England

Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition

The “unsinkable ship” Titanic set off on her maiden voyage on 10th of April 1912. She was supposed to sail from Southampton, England to New York, USA on a four day crossing, but collided with an iceberg on the 14th of April and sank with only 706 people surviving in the freezing water.

Now, almost 100 years later, the largest exhibition of Titanic artefacts are shown at the O2 in London. View over 300 artefacts from the ship, recreated first and third-class cabins, exclusive footage from the 2010 expedition to rescue artefacts from the wreck and much more.

The exhibition at the O2 is open until the 1st of May 2011. Buy tickets for the exhibition on VisitLondon’s website or go to www.titaniclondon.co.uk for further information.

Get there
Take the Jubilee line to North Greenwich and walk 200m from the underground station to the 02. For directions, find the O2 on our Britain Map. For Oyster Cards and other transport tickets, visit our online shop.

For more information about transport or other events at the O2, please visit www.theo2.co.uk.

/Towe

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, London

Calling all Chocoholics

Do you have a sweet tooth for dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate filled with caramel, chocolate cake or chocolate biscuits? No matter which chocolate you prefer, one thing is for certain – chocolate always taste like a little piece of heaven! Well, for me it does.

If you fall under the same category as me – you’re a chocoholic, you’ll love this! The Chocolate Festival returns to London for one weekend in December and has free admission! During 10 – 12 December you can go around the stalls and taste some of the best chocolates you’ve never thought existed. Also, there will be several activities for the whole family and award-winning chocolatiers such as Paul Wayne Gregory, William Curley and Damian Allsop will be at the festival.  More information about the chocolate festival can be found here.

Find your way to this sweet festival with our Britain Map

/Siska

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, Food & Drink, For families, London

Harry Potter – Film Locations Map

It’s the film of the year all muggles have been waiting for – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1″ will be in theatres 17 Nov (Denmark and Sweden) and 19 Nov (Norway and  Finland). This film picks up where Harry and his friends left the audience in suspense when they decided to take matters into their own hands and start their dangerous adventure… to take down Voldemort. What a cliff-hanger!

The film begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out to track down the Horcruxes while being chased by the Death Eaters. This is the seventh and final film, but it will be told in two parts and we have to wait until next summer before we get to see Part 2.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1″, as well as the former Harry Potter films has been shot in Britain. One of the most memorable scenes in the new movie takes place at Piccadilly Circus, one of London’s most famous landmarks. Since we in the office are huge Harry Potter fans we’ve gathered the top Harry Potter film locations in Britain. Check out the map and see where you can visit the Platform 9-3/4, Hagrid’s Hut, Hogwarts and much more.
Click here to see Harry Potter’s world map

If you are travelling to UK and looking for the full Harry Potter experience I recommend you read the following blog post for inspiration and useful tips before you go:
> The Harry Potter Sensation
> Harry Potter’s England
> The Mysteries of Potter’s England

/Siska

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, For families, Music, Film & TV