The London Palladium has opened its doors to the new, and definitely soon to be, hit London musical ‘The Wizard of Oz’. After the success of the UK BBC TV show ‘Over the Rainbow’, where the world famous Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber ran auditions to find his Dorothy, people have been flocking far and wide to see the winner, Danielle Hope, perform.
Accommodation in London during the 2012 Olympics is selling fast, so you need to book soon if you’re planning to be in London then. The Olympic Games open on July 27th and run until August 12th. In addition, the Paralympic Games are from August 29th until September 9th. The Olympic Torch will crisscross the UK for 70 days leading up to the opening ceremony on July 27th, so there will also be plenty of tourists heading for the UK even before the start of the Games.
The Olympic Torch’s arrival in and journey around the UK leading up to the 2012 Olympics is not only symbolic of peace, unity, and friendship but is a way for millions to be involved in the Games, especially those of us not lucky enough to get tickets or talented enough to actually be competing.
Harrods Department Store, in Knightsbridge, opened in 1849 when Charles Harrod had a grocery store here on Brompton Road. Harrods has grown to have 330 departments selling luxury goods over seven floors. Its motto is “All Things for All People” which sums up the store pretty well: you can get anything you want at Harrods and carry it away in one of their famous green shopping bags, or buy one of their long-lasting branded totes.
Londoners love a curry, and the place to go for a really good curry is Brick Lane in the East End. This narrow street is lined by curry houses serving traditional foods from Bangladesh and India. On any normal night of the week it’s impossible to walk down the street without being offered free drinks and specials by the hosts standing outside restaurants as they vie for customers. It gives the place quite a carnival feel all year, but for one week in May the festivities really unleash for the Brick Lane Curry Festival.
With such wonderful parks dotted all over this huge city, one of the best things to do on a sunny day in London is pack a picnic basket and head onto that green grass with the squirrels and pigeons as company. Many of London’s original food markets have now become more about antiques, bric-a-brac and cheap clothes, DVDs and souvenirs but some continue to thrive and farmers’ markets have sprung up to fill the gaps.
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Just beyond the financial center of London lies the East End. Once home to all sorts of criminal shenanigans, these days the area is full of artists, cafes, galleries and very interesting little streets and markets. One of these is Columbia Road.
London is so bursting with history it’s impossible to get a grip on it all. What this means is that new old things come to light all the time (if you know what I mean). One of these is Strawberry Hill House.
In 2002, a charitable trust was established to restore this at risk 18th century Gothic Revival house. Since then, the house has been undergoing a £9 million repair and restoration programme and recently reopened to visitors. The house is not huge but it is eccentric and fascinating.