During our interview Gordon mentioned more of his favourite London things and experiences and we’ve used this to populate our homepage www.visitlondon.com for 16-19 Jan 2014
Experience London the way Gordon does with his five top tips on what to see and do in London.
The Grade II-listed Albert Bridge over the River Thames was built in 1873, connecting Chelsea to the north with Battersea to the south. The bridge is sometimes known as “the trembling lady” in reference to the effect caused when large numbers of people walk across it, and indeed there are even signs warning troops to break step when crossing (although since the nearby Chelsea Barracks closed in 2008, the bridge is no longer regularly used by soldiers). An extensive, multi-million pound refurbishment in recent years included the installation of thousands of LED lights that illuminate the bridge at night. As Gordon Ramsay rightfully opines, Albert Bridge: “Looks stunning during the day and at night is picturesque.”
“Whenever we’re returning from a long journey, the first thing we do is go out for a curry. I’ve been to India but I find curries in Brick Lane better; it’s that good.” This is Gordon Ramsay’s glowing recommendation for the area of London that is famous for its Indian, Bangledeshi and Pakistani curry houses. Stretching from Bethnal Green Road to the north, through Spitalfields and onto Whitechapel High Street in the south, this bustling East London street includes more restaurants than you could ever dream of visiting in one lifetime (including Sheba, the Best UK Curry House in Cobra’s 2013 curry guide). Decision making is often down to which curry house has the most persuasive staff member and best special deals as you saunter along the one-kilometre-stretch of Brick Lane.
Borough Market’s gourmet food market consists of up to 70 stalls and stands that open from Thursday to Saturday. Producers from all over the country bring a range of fresh produce to the market, including fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and patisseries; while other stalls specialise in produce imported from abroad. The market’s proximity to London’s newest icon The Shard, and the popular tourist area of Southbank, give it “must see” status on any London visitor’s itinerary.
The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme – known playfully as Boris Bikes – stretches across Central London from Shepherd’s Bush (and the Westfield London Shopping Mall) in West London, to East India DLR station in East London. The network extends as far south as Oval Cricket Ground and as far north as the Stable Markets in Camden. Since the bikes’ introduction in 2010, more than 24 million journeys have been made, averaging 18 to 28 minutes. Further extensions to the cycling scheme are planned for Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Kensington & Chelsea, and Wandsworth, which should prove welcome news to Gordon Ramsay, who lives and works in these key areas. Gordon says the scheme, “has transformed London, given it so much more flow. What an exciting thing to do when you’re coming to London for the first time: see this beautiful city on a bike, the wind rushing through your hair.”
Vingt-Quatre, now known as VQ
Vingt-Quatre is French for 24, so as the name suggests, this café-restaurant on the Fulham Road in west London is open 24 hours a day. Gordon Ramsay’s “secret place for an amazing fry up” offers a mixed menu of traditional restaurant food (mainly served before midnight) and dishes that can be ordered at any time of the day or night. Beans on toast at 2am? No problem. Burgers at seven in the morning? But, of course. The food here, in Gordon’s eyes, is “to die for”, and has recently proved popular enough to convince the owners to open a second 24-hour VQ Bloomsbury near Tottenham Court Road Tube station.
You’ll discover more stories and enter a competition to win a fantastic stay in London at www.visitlondon.com/story #TheLondonStory
What would you recommend to visitors to London?]]>
At the Museum of London we’ve been thinking about how we can collect the experience of cycling. We’ve been collecting bikes themselves for a while, and in January this year the museum collected one of the cycle hire scheme bikes. We can now also collect digital objects about cycling, like film and location data.
This map, made by Professor Jo Wood of City University, shows where the Museum of London’s cycle hire scheme bike was docked last July. It was a busy month for the bike!
See the bikes, the data and the illustrations at the Museum of London’s exhibition, London Cycles until 22September 2013.
A guest blog by the Museum of London as part of the Visiting the Past series. More London history next week]]>
The Oval Cricket Ground
The Oval is brilliant, a very good sports facility as you can buy tickets for children for £1 to see the cricket. I have been many times and this is why I recommend it – Cricket is great fun to watch, especially the 20/20 matches as they last about three hours, not many days like Test Cricket! The Oval is home to Surrey Cricket Team, they are really good and the England Batsman Kevin Peitersen plays for them. You can sometimes see international 20/20 games here too.
I have been visiting London Zoo for years and I recommend it because the animals that it is home to are very interesting and the signs outside their habitats give you lots of information so in one day you can go in knowing nothing but, I bet you, you will know lots when you leave. You can learn about habitats, vegetation, diet, behaviour and also it’s a great day out. I think it’s great because there is lots of interactive stuff and walk throughs such as the Butterfly house where a butterfly could land on you. The dazzling colours of the butterflies make you want to come back again and again. The first Harry Potter film was filmed in London Zoo and the snake which escaped the cage in the film lives in the London Zoo Snake House.
This is just a little history of London Zoo that I could tell you but if you go there you could find out more and tell me by putting a note on this blog.
The Unicorn Theatre
The Unicorn Theatre is a theatre for children of all ages. The programme is brilliant and the shows range from toddlers to teenagers. Seeing many of their shows I believe that they are very good and I think you should see for yourself as the acting and performances are great. One of the most memorable shows that I have been to see was Romeo and Juliet and the only prop was a giant metal heart in the middle of the stage.
One of the good things about the Unicorn is also what you see on the way there – it is near the River Thames, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and the water fountains by The Scoop. Great fun on a hot day!
Outdoor Film Screenings
There are lots of film festivals in London including one that I have made a film for this summer – the Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival. My film will screen in September. Often there are outdoor screenings across London. I have seen films in the Herne Hill Velodrome (do try and see cycling here too) where the film was pedal powered – if you stopped pedalling we couldn’t power the film so the film would pause. I have also seen films at the London Wildlife Trust Centre for Wildlife Gardening in East Dulwich – this one was a silent Laurel and Hardy movie with a live pianist performing. My friends have also seen films in Telegraph Hill Park and there is a great view from here all across London.
Wembley is the England home ground and also where the Champions League final was played! Wembley is an amazing day out whether you are on the tour of the ground or watching some football. I have been here many times and I really recommend. The reason I recommend this is because the sport is very good and the atmosphere feels like a once in a lifetime experience especially if it’s a very important game – I managed to see some games during the Olympics, London 2012 and I have brilliant memories.
Skateboarding and Bike tracks
A new BMX bike track is being built in Burgess Park; there is one already in Brockwell Park in Herne Hill and a small one near me in Peckham Rye Park, also on Telegraph Hill. You can watch people skating under the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre – there is loads of graffiti on the walls and it is really cool to watch. If you are into cycling do try to go to the Herne Hill Velodrome either to watch a race or to go on the track yourself. Finally, if you are into cycling go to the Museum of London where there is an exhibition of the history of Cycling in London and it shows the number of journeys used by the Barclays Bikes across London. It is really interesting and there is a computer that maps the data of each journey recorded by each bike – amazing!
Want more kid-friendly London ideas? Read these top London suggestions from eight-year-old Kane and leave your own ideas in the comments below. For even more child-friendly things to see and do in London, visit our Family page
As of this morning, an additional 2,700 docking points have been added in Tower Hamlets, and in north Shoreditch, Hackney.
You can also cycle further west, as 600 new docking points have been provided at Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherds Bush.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“Our wonderful blue bikes have changed the face of London and introduced a new form of public transport that has eased getting around our great city for thousands of Londoners and made the capital even more attractive to visitors. I am delighted to have kept my promise to provide a cycle hire scheme for the people of London and today we have made it even bigger and better than ever before.â€
Find out more about Barclays Cycle Hire]]>
Now anyone with a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card can borrow a “Boris bike” after paying a small access fee (either for 1 day or 7 days). Your first half-hour of riding is free, after which you will be charged.
The best use of the bikes is to take short journeys from A to B in Central London.
Since the scheme launched in late July, it has proven immensely popular with Londoners, who have taken thousands of journeys on the bikes so far.
Read more about the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme in London.]]>
This week’s Londony video comes courtesy of Transport for London, and reveal the joys of cycling in (a very sunny, quiet, rather traffic-free!) London.
It features Dermot O’Leary, Edith Bowman and three other Londoners called Beth, Mohamed and Kay, along with Mark Ronson’s new single “The Bike Song“.
Let us know if you’re planning on doing any peaceful cycling like this in London this weekend…]]>
London’s long-anticipated Cycle Hire Scheme launched on Friday. Have you signed up yet? Tell us about your maiden voyage!
Whether you’ve joined the Cycle Hire Scheme or not, Visit London wants to know where you enjoy riding in London. Do you like to cycle by London’s waterways, are you an urban road rider, or do you take advantage of the bike paths of London’s many parks and open spaces?
Tell us about your favourite cycle routes in London.]]>