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The Slowhands do London :~ Part 1

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Slowhand, May 30, 2009.

  1. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    This trip to London had been planned for several months ever since I managed to get tickets to see Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall on May 16th as soon as they went on sale. My only problem was that the tickets were actually sourced via the concierge service offered by my cc, and I had to purchase 4 tickets in order to see the show in a box as I had requested, resulting in them costing an arm and a leg! :jawdrop: On the other hand, it did include hot food and drinks etc. and it was to see Eric after all so what the heck [or should I say EC! :lol:].
    I was initially thinking that I may well end up selling the 2 spare tickets on Ebay [no doubt at some considerable profit :evil: ], however this would have meant sharing our box with strangers. Fortunately, the concierge at the hotel where we normally stay in London stepped in saying that he and his friend, who also is a huge EC fan, would be more than willing to see the show with us so all was well. :thumbsup:

    My DW and I have become close friends with a family we met on our DCL Med Cruise a couple of years ago and the lady of the family has a senior position at Eric Clapton’s record company, reporting directly to her boss who is the vice president of the company.
    At every opportunity, she is pulling out all the stops to try and arrange a meeting for me to see Eric [it would be good to see if he recognised me from the day in the late 60`s when I was a part time stage hand [and one of his fans] when he appeared with Cream! :lol:] but so far she has been unsuccessful, although she did manage to get us passes for the press and VIP entrance for his Hyde Park concert last year. On this occasion though, when she found out that we had tickets for the show [she actually rang me to see if we wanted her to get us some tickets!!], she said that this time there was a strong possibility the meeting could be arranged and to make sure that I had my mobile phone with me at all times when in London ….more later.

    Thursday May 14th
    We set off for the drive to London at around 11.00am immediately after my DW`s hairdressing appointment :rolleyes008:, arriving at our hotel shortly after 2.00pm.
    We normally visit London at least once each year and we always stay at The Rubens at the Palace Hotel which is a great hotel located right opposite the mews entrance to Buckingham Palace, and by now we have made friends with many of the staff there so it really feels like home from home when we arrive.
    This hotel has a separate wing housing around 10 bedrooms each of which is named after the old kings and queens of England and each room has a different décor to reflect the particular monarch that the room was named after.
    One by one, we have sampled most of the rooms and this time we opted for the King Charles room which was great as usual.

    After unpacking, we had a late snack lunch at the hotel and then we went to get some fresh air and exercise, taking in a leisurely stroll from the hotel to the rear of Horse Guards Parade, returning to the hotel via St. James Park. One thing that I noticed was how advanced the flaura was when compared to the tundra region where we live near to Stoke-on-Trent some 150 miles away! :lol:
    We couldn`t venture too far on this occasion as we had pre booked tickets to see “Wicked” and the show was to start at 7.30pm this evening.
    Fortunately the theatre was located in Victoria which was only a five minute stroll from the hotel thus avoiding the astronomic cost of catching a taxi on this occasion.

    The concierge at out hotel had managed to get us superb seats in the stalls, only 4 rows from the stage so needless to say we had a good view as we settled down for the show to start.
    Wicked was in my opinion, well…ok! We have seen loads of West End shows during our visits to the capital and many of them we have seen [or would like to see] on more than one occasion. Sadly this show did not fall into this category. :sorry:
    Don`t get me wrong, we enjoyed the show and the girl who had the leading role had an excellent singing voice, but somehow, something didn`t “click” with us. Maybe it was because we couldn`t relate to any of the songs, having not heard them before I dunno.

    After the show, we caught a taxi to take us to Salieri`s Restaurant, located in the Strand which we make a point of visiting every time we go to London.
    Despite the fact that we only go there once or twice each year, the owner and his staff instantly recognise us and make a huge fuss which is great. The only drawback with this being that invariably the owner comes to our table for a chat, offering us complimentary drinks at the end of our meal resulting in making it a very late night after seeing a show :buddies:. Having said that it`s nice to know that we are treated like real people and not just a “number” which sadly can be the norm at many restaurants in London and elsewhere.

    We opted to take a walk back to our hotel to “walk off” our dinner, travelling along the Mall arriving at the hotel way past midnight, ready for a good night`s sleep after a busy day. :f030:
     
  2. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Great start, Terry! :yes:

    I've been looking forward to this trippie from you and it's obvious that I'm not going to be disappointed! Thank you! :thumbsup:

    Between your descriptions and good old Google Earth, I'll finally get to see some of London!

    I'd love to do it in person but the chances of that are non-existent. As I'm sure you're aware, there isn't a chance in H*&% I'll ever get my DW into an airplane. :mental:

    Tom:)macwave:... keep it coming!)
     
  3. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Wow, fantastic start to your weekend Terry. I've onle ever been lucky enough to see one show and that was Disney's Lion King.

    Can't wait to here more :thumbsup:
     
  4. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Thanks Diane.
    The Lion King is one of those shows that we definitely would see again. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Thanks for that Tom [and your persistent nagging for me to do the TR! :lol:]
    ...not even if I were to offer my services to be your personal guide? :yes:
     
  6. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    'fraid not, mate! No matter how much I'd like to. :yes:

    As I think you know, my DW suffers from terminal claustrophobia. Just the thought of getting on an airplane turns her into a sobbing, quivering mess. :mental: Sadly, her and an airplane just aren't going to happen.

    Tom:)macwave:... thank goodness WDW and Port Canaveral are within driving distance!)
     
  7. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    You could always cruise over to the UK Tom! :thumbsup:
     
  8. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Hmmm... now there's a thought! :yes:

    I wonder.... :questionmark:

    Tom :)macwave:.... plotting, scheming, ad nauseum!)
     
  9. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    Tom, I was just thinking you and your wife could go by cruise ship. :)

    Great start to the trip. Sounds like a lovely time so far. :D
     
  10. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    If we both persist then maybe he will cave in! :lol:
    [Thinks.....the DCL will do a repositioning cruise when they travel over to the Med at some stage! :wink:]
     
  11. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Ahhh.... yes. And would I, could I, it would be high on my list of priorities.

    There's just one eensy, weensy problem. :mental:

    If we did, how would we get home again? :unsure:

    Somehow, I don't see us staying in the UK for 3 months or so until the return trip. :lipwobble:

    Tom :)macwave:... somehow, I don't think that's going to work!)
     
  12. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Tom, take a sabbatical of a few months! You and DW could do tour of the UK staying with all of us! North Yorkshire (where I live) is lovely!! ;)

    Great report Terry. I go to Salieri's when I'm in that bit of London too :thumbsup:

    Never stayed at The Rubens. Will be looking it up :yes:
     
  13. Disneybumble
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    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

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    Great start Terry. I think l have read that there is a new cast for Wicked. I wonder if you saw them.
     
  14. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    I`d strongly recommend it Deb. :thumbsup:
    Although it`s a 4 star hotel, you are really made to feel welcome and not just a number, and we hit it off straight away with several members of the staff there.

    It`s also very conveniently situated for sightseeing as most of the main attractions are within walking distance from the hotel.
     
  15. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    great report sir terence

    sound like so far it was a great 1st day

    as you are a huge fan of EC's im a huge fan since 72 of bowies, voice has gone a bit these days tho :(
     

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