My parents are coming to London in two weeks time. Gulp! Their imminent arrival on my ex-council flat doorstep will be the very first time they have seen me and my lovely wife Carmen in the city we’ve called home for nearly four and a half years.
Naturally we’ll be doing a last minute tidy of the flat to make a good impression (except for that stubborn window mould, I figure its the London look) but my big worry is what should I show them. The last time my folks were in London it was the 1970s and things were a little grimmer than they are now. So what should they see now? Please add your tips to my wish list:
1. A cool museum – London is absolutely awash with history. We have taken the time to explore as many of its nooks and crannies as we can and my favourites are the big 5; The British Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The Victoria & Albert, The Natural History Museum and The Science Museum. But are there any others that capture your imagination or demand your attention?
2. A quirky pub – Nothing beats a proper British boozer and we will certainly be checking out all of our usual haunts. We love a good tipple- Gin and Tonic for Carmen and a real ale for me. But is there a quaint little place that your are intoxicated with? Share the secret please!
3. A fancy restaurant – London is brilliant for fine dining and Carmen and I have certainly tucked in as much as possible. We are going to go to some of our favs while my parents are here. We’re going to Heston Blumental’s Dinner by Heston and we’re also dining at The Worseley. We’ve been dying to go to the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries for ages, so we’ve booked a place there too. We recently dined at the Heaton, Butler & Bayne restaurant and it was to die for (review to come) so we’ve reserved a leisurely lunch there too. But is there anything we’ve missed?
4. Markets and shopping – I’m sure my Mum is keen to do a bit of shopping and I am quite glad to leave her and Carmen to it. Where is unmissable? The best value? The coolest, rarest or damn most elegant? Carmen has quite a few places in mind but are there any hidden gems we should check out before we leave London for good?
5. An experience as ‘London’ as possible – I’m not talking about sniffing a stranger’s armpit in a crowded tube in rush hour, or drunkenly bashing into people on Oxford Street as you weave through the crowds to get the last tube. What can be done, seen, eaten or heard that can only be found in London? We’re definitely going to experience a pub quiz at our local, but is there anything else?
Please do get in touch and suggest something – we would certainly appreciate it and we’ll write up what we think. Besides, if my parents hate it, at least I’ll have someone else to blame!