London is Growing on Me

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This post was written as part of the Club Carlson Global Traveler program; a three-week, eight-country adventure I’m taking through Europe, paid for and compensated by Club CarlsonSM (now Radisson Rewards). During the trip, I’m exploring the world of hotel points and how to take advantage of accommodations and upgrades with various strategies.

In all cases, opinions expressed herein are my own; don’t worry – I haven’t sold my soul.

This post was originally published in 2013. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. 

The first few times I visited London, I was overwhelmed. Although I’m a born and raised city-slicker, I’ve lost most of my lustre for the big smoke. Since I started traveling full-time in 2007, I’ve lived largely rurally, or in relatively small communities.

As such, London (in the past) has come off as too big, too busy, too expensive, too crowded…just…too.

But I must say London is growing on me. When I visited London last year, I wrote a post about returning to and redeeming London. It’s still big and crowded and expensive; but with familiarity, it’s getting easier to handle.

London double decker bus behind Underground sign

This time, it was even better yet. Not only was it much easier to get around, but I felt much more comfortable. That is, until I got the flu.

But even getting sick wasn’t the end of the world; the folks at Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Streetย hopped to my care right away; the concierge brought me medication, afternoon tea was delivered to my room, and I even had an in-room massage. I was truly pampered.

Club Carlson Gold Pointsยฎ Tip

My room service extravagances weren’t without its perks. Charge meals and beverages (and in some cases, hotel services) to your room, and Club CarlsonSM doles out 20 Gold Points per US dollar spent. And don’t forget about the discounts on food you’re entitled to at many of the hotels, which range from 5-15%.

London in a Minute

I’ve condensed my two days in London to one thrilling video minute. Enjoy!

Click here to view (in higher-res) on YouTube.

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16 thoughts on “London is Growing on Me”

    • Ha ha – yes, it’s getting there….it’s time for another “equalizing” haircut….I’ll be normal soon enough! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hey James – I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t immediately fall in love with London! Glad you liked Davao! Happy onward travels…

  1. Oh, London! After 27 years, I’m finally coming round to it, and seeing why so many people love it. I’ve always been a lover of cities, but for me, people in London have always been unfriendly, the city too crowded. My opinion on Londoners hasn’t changed, but there’s just so much to do in the city and it has so much to offer.

    • Hi Tom,
      Hmm…you love London, but not Londoners? Is it possible to love one and not the other? (I guess so – hey, it only took you 27 years!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I love London! I was just there last week and I agree with you – I was a bit overwhelmed the first time I arrived in this big city, but the familiarity made it easier for me to roam around. The Underground is my bestfriend now lol

    • Indeed – the underground is great! It’s all very interconnected, and the signage is tops. Glad you ultimately enjoyed London!

  3. Hi Nora

    There are little pockets of places in London that are different, Stoke Newington, Shoreditch, Camden (around the Lock) – they’re a little more boho, more rough around the edges. Not saying they’re rough but I mean they’re a little more real, local people mooching about, hanging out, selling or eating, drinking etc. If you get slightly off the beaten track then London is a lot more chilled and less hectic. Also the markets, borough food market, brick lane markets etc. I say this sitting down watching narrow boats float past at Camden lock. London isn’t my fave city (the only city I’ve lived in in the UK is Brighton, and that’s hardly a city at all – its a mish mash of little streets and the sea). So yeah, London far from the maddening crowd (and the tourists) the energy is better. Hope your flu cleared up! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Bryony,
      Yes, I’ve been to some of the lesser-known neighbourhoods in London (thanks to visiting with a local last year), and indeed, there’s less of a crush. It’s almost an energetic thing; a feeling of people everywhere, even if there’s space around you.
      But like I say, London is growing on me…or rather, I’m learning to feed on the energy!


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