Viva London but skip Viva Forever- London Trip Report Day One
This is part 1 of Viva London a series of post on London. See the bottom for links to more posts.
I know this sounds outrageous to some of my friends but Yes, I flew to London for a weekend. Side caveat, It was an extra long weekend Thurs to Monday. Travelmista was in England meeting with some customers so we decided it would be fun to celebrate Valentine's Day in London. I highlighted how I flew over to London for around $75 plus award miles in my post London for Valentine's Day- Always a good idea. I left Chicago on Wednesday and arrive early in the morning on Valentine's Day.
There are three public transportation options (other than the expensive taxi) to get into London from Heathrow. You can take the Tube which takes lots of time (1 hour) but little money, Heathrow Connect takes 30 minutes for around $15 USD and the Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes for $30 USD. I choose the Heathrow Connect because I was not in a big hurry but wanted a little more comfort (and a seat). I arrived into Paddington and then got my Travelcard for unlimited free travel on the tube for 7 days in zones 1 & 2. This cost about $50 USD but was extremely convenient only to have to buy once. I know I wasted a couple of days because we were only going to be there 4 days but the price of a Travelcard breaks even on the fourth day. I made sure to buy this at Paddington when I arrived. Then I headed to Convent Gardens via the tube where our hotel was located.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street for the first two nights. Using our Club Carlson points (50,000 per night). Our points were earned during the Club Carlson Big Night Promotion during the summer of 2012 and the current Club Carlson Triple point offer. Travelmista arrived prior to me and I checked in and I arrived an hour later. The first room they gave us made me feel claustrophobic. The room had one window but it was too high to see out and the bathroom was huge but the window was frosted so there was no window. I evoked rule #1 for staying at a hotel. If you don't like something ask for a change. You don't get anything unless you ask for it. They relocated us to a room with windows that could actually see out. 🙂 The hotel was nice with free internet, nice room decor and location was great.
Lobby at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street.
Our first day Travelmista had to work at the hotel. I didn't mind taking a nap after my long over night flight. When I work up we decided to head out for dinner and a show since it was Valentine's Day. I had heard that Viva Forever the Spice Girls musical was good so we made our way to Leicester Square to by tickets at the TKTS ticket booth for $122 USD for two. Then we wander to Piccadilly Circus for dinner at Cicchetti. It is a restaurant of famous Chef Aldo Zilli. TripAdvisor review. Cicchetti serves Italian food tapas style hence the Italian name that translates to tapas. It was very good and since we arrived early (without a reservation on Valentine's Day) we were sitting immediately. (our lucky day but I don't recommend it) The service was very good, the decor top notch and food great. The only negative thing I could possibly say is that quantity of food was small but this was a tapas place. We had bruschetta, pasta, pizza and desert. I loved that for Valentine's day they cover the restaurant in red heart shaped balloons for an extra special touch. After dinner we went the Viva Forever for the show. Let's just say there are better ways to spend your money in London and this is not one of them. Skip it!
Travelista in Leicester Square
Travelista in Piccadilly Circus
Travelmista at Cicchetti for Valentine's Day!
Viva Forever or is it Viva Never!
Stay tune to more London Trip reports! This post is part of a series of Viva London!