Monday, December 14, 2009



Early December has two holidays in Portugal: the 1st and the 8th! In 2008 they fell on Monday, which was a nice timing for a short break, mostly cultural... The destination was London and as you'll see in the next posts, my pocket sun was in very good shape: cold, but sunny!!

"THE ASCOTT - This time we stayed in The Ascott Residence, a serviced appartment in Mayfair. They say they offer «an unparalleled refuge of timeless elegance, unwavering taste, and unrivalled personal attention and business service support»; it's not only publicity..."

"HILL STREET GARDENS - One doesn't see them at street level, as they are protected by high walls; but that was the view from the The Ascott towards Hill Street"

"MAYFAIR - Early on a Saturday morning: the sun was shining and the streets were empty..."

"YAZO SUSHI/THE KING'S ARMS - Clients will have to wait..."

"WINDOWS - Amazing!"


"BERKELEY SQ. GARDEN - London is known for its parks and gardens. Early morning on a sunny Saturday, there is a lot to enjoy..."

"RUSSEL SQ. STATION - The target was the British Musum, so the best way to make it was the Tube from Green Park to Russel Square. The Russel Sq. station, designed by Leslie Green, was opened on December 15, 1906"

"THE BRUNSWICK CENTRE - One of Britain's few remaining modernist housing projects suffered a recent transformation. It looked quite attractive and there was the «Patisserie Valerie» and the cinema «Renoir» for people to enjoy..."

"RUSSEL HOTEL - After twenty millons pounds of restoration it looks much better..."



"ARRIVED - But the British Museum, that's for the next post..."


Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! This year I didn’t make it to London in the early December holidays in Portugal. Shame!! ;) But in 2008, we managed to take a long weekend there, with lots of pictures. However, as my free space available at Blogger is reducing with each post, I’m becoming more and more selective in the choice of which photos to post. Less and less is the main criterion… ;)). Anyhow, that free space is going to end and as I’m not in the mood of paying for blogging, I’ve to find a solution; any suggestion? Have a great week!!

Olivier said...

tu étais bien entouré entre FDR et Churchill ;o). Londres est vraiment une belle ville

Rajesh said...

Beautiful place. Looks like very quite place and I liked the architecture of Russel Hotel among others.

Tinsie said...

Awww I'd have been jealous if I wasn't in London myself :-)

Can't wait for your post on the British Museum, it's one of my favourite museums ever.

hpy said...

The first time I went to London I didn't stay at the Ascott but at a friend's appartment in Hammersmith.

Lakshmi said...

I always thought that London in December is rather cold and dreary, but yr pics show a lot of bright sunshine

Thérèse said...

Souvenirs, souvenirs. Merci. J'aime beaucoup Londres par contre pas de très bons souvenirs des hôtels dans lesquels nous étions à l'époque de nos jeunes années... lol. Ascott semble très sympathique.

Alexander said...

haha... beautiful photos of London. The hotel is nice too.

Alex's World! -

Anonymous said...

I like the looks of a cold but sunny day in London.


lv2scpbk said...

I see you managed not to get into either mirror at The Ascott hotel. The Hill St. gardens look like a maze from where you took the photo. And, I see just three friends hanging out together, FDR, Churchhill, and GMG. LOL.

alicesg said...

It's never late than never in posting these photos of last year. Very beautiful London. It looked so deserted but amazing architectural buildings.

Maria Verivaki said...

i have always loved this city - great photos!

eye in the sky said...

my favorite city in the whole wide world...:->

Gattina said...

Your photos bring back so many memories. I used to go very often to London, from Brussels it is not far and now it takes only 1h 45 min with the Eurostar. My son lived there for 10 years so I know London almost better then Brussels. I go there once a year in August, when I come back from the South East coast where I spend a week with my friends in Eastbourne.

Stella Bella said...

love this post! :) Beautiful photos! :D

I miss London!

alok said...

GMG, I am sorry for not able to reply to your comments. I was away from blog-sphere for quite sometime, and hopefully will catch up with all those missed posts on your blog really soon.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Lori said...

I love those secret gardens. It sounds like you stayed in the perfect place!

Lara said...

a great post about London! it's a fascinating city!

PeterParis said...

I used to go to our international head office on South Street, and often took walks around, in between meetings - and for a smoke - including to the neighbour Hill Street! A most fashionable area!! ... full of Rolls, Bentleys, Aston Martins... Of course I mostly had to guess the splendours behind the facades, but you saw it!

When my first blog was full (I had too many octets in the photos I published), I opened a new one, linked to another email address (a gmail instead of a hotmail). Maybe you can do the same, make the link and just call it Blogtrotter 2?

rochambeau said...

Very Nice!
Especially that statue store!!!!!!!!!!

Hope your holidays are happy so far!


RNSANE said...

Your pictures bring back wonderful memories of visits to London and strolls around many of those same places. I have been in the Russell Hotel for a drink and, of course, I visited the British Museum on a very crowded Sunday. I have been to London - and England - at least ten times over the years and I never tire of it. There is always so much to see but, some things, I always want to see again. It is a bit of a jaunt from San Franciso!

yyam said...

Oh, I love London...there's always so much to see there...museums are a must-see...These are spectacular photos though...for December shots...the sky is usually pretty gloomy in London in least the last time I was lucky you.

I post my pictures from my flickr account...perhaps that would help you.

Anonymous said...

a wonderful walk to London. thank you

Unseen India Tours said...

Beautiful Series of fantastic shot !! great Series !! Nice post !!Unseen Rajasthan

Shionge said...

London is one of my favourite destination and you capture them beautifully Gil :D

In case I don't visit, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ya :D

Bhushavali said...

Loving that street lamp in Hill Street Garden... And those sculptures are funny but too good.. :)

Looking into the EYES!!! at Savoir-Faire
My Little Black Dress at Fashion Pancahe

diane b said...

Lovely winter shots of a great city. I remember staying in a hotel overlooking Russell Square. The politician in the middle looks pretty smart.

Emery Roth said...

Ah London! How I'd love to go back, but that will have to wait. In the meantime, I can enjoy vicariously through your post.

Ron said...

Looks like FDR and Churchhill keep great company:) Love the pics, I absolutely loved London.

Sahildeki Ev said...

Lovely pictures from London. Its been such a long time that I havent been there. Should be lovely during this time of the year with all the Christmas decorations..

april said...

You could open another blog 'her' or with wordpress or you could delete half of the photos or upload them smaller. There are many possibilities. Or you xould make an album at Ipernity or Picasa and link to that and post only some photos here, the rest in the album.

Well, London, not beautiful but very interesting. I laughed about the 'timeless elegance' in your room and found that interesting view of the gardens with those high walls. that makes the gardens looks small and very shadowy.

Indrani said...

Great shots! Hope to be there some day.

Jurgen Huibers said...

No problem walking around on a sunday in London. The perfect day for a visit.

Cutie said...

I miss London. The last time I was there was 2005. It's been quite a while. Brought back a lot of memories when seeing the pictures.

Pietro Brosio said...

Hello Gil! These are really wonderful views of London! I like so much London and hope to go there again!
About the space in Blogger, maybe you can open another account with a new email, or, if you like to keep the same account, create a second blog which will be the sequel of Blogtrotter (you could easily link one to the other).
Have a very nice day!

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Hormis un bâtiment moderne Londres ne change pas, le temps semble s'être arrété.

Ashira said...

I'm back! I absolutely love the rooftop gardens, such a difference from the cold and snow I'm having here in Moscow. Thanks for visiting my blogs while I was gone - check back now, there are new posts on all 3!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I am back after a few weeks of travel and computer problems I have a brand new HP computer to re-connect.

London looks quite pleasant in December. I hope to be able to visit one day soon.

So much wonderful holiday happeneings going on in NYC and I was in Colorado for a special occasion :-)

Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and new year celebration!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

PS I ran out of "free space" on blogger last year --I only had to pay $20 to upgrade my Picasa photo account to continue. It is a yearly fee but I think it is worth it as all photos synched to the web are stored as backup and after having a computer disaster recently I think that price for photo storage for thousands of photos is a bargain.

Some people begin all over with a new blog URL and e-mail account in order to noy pay so that is also a possibility.

Good luck!

My Unfinished Life said...

such lovely squares and parks.....and the winter sun must have mad it a pleasurable experience for you!!
delhi is having its sunny winter days right luking at the pics, im reminded that i must go out and enjoy the sun before the weather changes to grey and cloudy!!

MedaM said...

Wonderful post, indeed! The weather was beautiful during your visit there.
As for the free space available, I have to admit I’ve never thought about it. I think that Pietro offered you a good solution which I will also try not to forget.

Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! This year there was neither London nor anything else in December… at least up to now... But at this juncture, it’s most probable that there won’t be anything left in the travel agencies for us to profit from... ;)). So, the only interesting thing to do is to read your comments at Blogtrotter, reply to them and then surf the blogosphere to enjoy your great blogs and posts!! That’s what I’ll be doing in the next day or two... ;))
Meanwhile, enjoy a great Sunday and the holiday season, in case you can... ;)

Il est vrai que MMss. Churchill et Roosevelt avaient beaucoup à raconter; mais il faisait froid et, en fait, je n’avais pas du temps pour m’asseoir avec eux et profiter de la conversation… ;))
Londres, je l’aime beaucoup ; mais avec les Jeux Olympiques en 2012, je crois qu’elle va devenir encore plus séduisante!!

London is far from being a quiet city; you must be thinking of something like Bonn or Bern... But a Saturday morning in Mayfair is far from being a busy season, that’s true... ;)).

I knew you were going to be jealous... ;)). The British Museum is also one of my favourites in London, the other being Tate Modern... I like the Assyrian and Greek collection in particular, but it’s always a difficult choice to separate the items that should be shown and the ones are going to be kept in the file... Hope you’ll like my selection!! ;)

My very first time in London was at the Penta in Gloucester Road in 1974, but that was just a weekend... The true first visit was at Julius Cesar in Bayswater in 1975... At visit number one hundred thirty nine, no wonder you don’t stay in Hammersmith and move to The Ascott... It’s not only your weight that improves with age... ;))

You must always consider my «pocket sun» when making judgements on the weather at the cities I’m visiting... ;)). It doesn’t seem to work in summer in Iceland, but there is no rule without exception... ;))

I was in London for the first time in 1973, three months after I started working and earning my first remuneration... and came back in 1974. The hotels weren’t too bad; the Penta was much better than the Julius Cesar... And both were much better than the Camping sites, Youth hotels, Kolpinghäuser or under the highway viaducts sites I used during my 1969 student hitch-hiking trip from Lisbon to Stockholm... ;)) London was taken out of that itinerary!!

Hahaha... So, you thought that there was only Manchester in England to be seen... ;)) The «serviced residence», as they name it, is truly nice. You definitely should consider it the next time you come to London... ;))

Cold but sunny is what we had here in Lisbon today; nothing compared with the cold and snow you’re getting in New York and that England is also having now!! Hope things will improve soon; otherwise it threats to be a travel chaos for the season...

I had several pictures with people on the mirrors, but decided to post only the ones that show the place, not the celebrities... ;)). English gardens are the contrary to the French style Versailles gardens, but that doesn’t mean that they are a maze... ;)). Finally, I must confess that I’m surprised to see that you could identify the gentlemen that were together with GMG... lol!!

Alice SG,
True! Better late than never, but Blogtrotter is keeping its regular delay in posting: roughly one year!! ;). London looked deserted, but it wasn’t deserted... Anyhow, Saturday morning in Mayfair isn’t probably the best place to spot people walking around; furthermore I’m an expert in getting people out of the photos I take in towns... ;))

Great to see you re-born for comments due to the presence of London in Blogtrotter!! No wonder London is loved: it’s a wonderful city and people usually speak English... ;))

I don’t think I can say that because there are many competitors for the title of favourite; probably, considering everything, New York will take the lead on the contest!!

Trotter said...

Part Two:

It seems that last night those 1h45m turned out into 18 hours; still don’t know exactly what happened with Eurostar, but it doesn’t seem that they managed to go through the awful weather Northern Europe is getting... Anyhow, having a son living for ten years in London is a good excuse to be travelling there every week! I’ll try to convince my daughter to find a nice occupation there... ;))
A week in Eastbourne in summer seems a way to try to prolong winter... lol!!

I know you’re always ready to take the plane and land in London, but come on Hong-Kong has also some absolutely fantastic spots to visit!! ;))

It’s great news to read you back commenting here! Hope you’ll be able to catch up and to continue visiting and commenting more often from now on!! There is a lot to see... ;)

That’s an amazing feature of London! Everybody knows that London is famous for its parks and it is even said (maybe a «boutade») that you can cross the whole town keeping your feet on the grass... But what is less known is that in certain parts of town houses have some amazing gardens, usually covered by high walls. That’s exactly what happens in Mayfair... at least in Hill Street... And, of course, you need to get a higher floor position to enjoy the views... ;))

Fascinating indeed from all points of view. A town to where you’re never tied to return...

South Street is just around the corner, a parallel street to Hill St. Of course the whole Mayfair area, probably with Belgravia, keeps the highest record of Rolls, Bentleys and Aston Martins in London... Just in front of the Ascott, on the other side of the street near the wall, there was parked a beautiful Rolls-Royce in all its splendour... I’ve just tried to keep it out of the camp in order to avoid jealousy around... ;))
Thanks for the hint on Blogtrotter2. That is probably what I’m going to make. It definitely doesn’t make any sense to pay to blog... ;))

That statue store was an amazing discovery for a morning stroll in Mayfair; I must confess that I was completely surprised to see such a thing in the street... ;)
No holidays up to now... I’ll have to wait a little bit further down the calendar to get some days off... ;-(

I’m glad my pictures bring you back good memories of London!! In December 2008, I’ve crossed my ways with London for one hundred and thirty nine times... Of course, most of them were only to change airports or even airplanes only... but in forty one of them I slept there! As far as the British Museum is concerned, I’ve been there several times and must confess that, if you just stroll around Assyrians, Egyptians and Greeks, it always seemed to me to be rather crowded... ;))
Sorry for having not noticed that you were settled in San Francisco; would love to have your comments on my San Francisco posts in the 80s and in the 90s!!

December in London has definitely a gloomy sky if my pocket sun isn’t working… ;)). That’s not a question of luck, just the great advantage of coming from a sunny country like Portugal… ;))
Thanks for the hint on posting; I’m not using Flickr, but I’ll probably create a new blog linked to another email address and link it to the old one… We’ll see what can be arranged…

My treat to take you around these walks in one of the most exciting towns you can find around the world…

Thanks for your visit and comment! I’m always impressed to see that notwithstanding the orgy of magnificence you have in Rajasthan, there is still a bit of space in your mind to enjoy the beauty and attractiveness of any other place in the world… ;))

I must confess I’m not surprised that you have London as one of your favourite destinations… ;))
Hope to see you around here before Christmas and New Year... ;))

Trotter said...

Part Three:

The lamp on the perfect position to be caught by the shot!! ;) I adore fancy street lamps and London definitely has lots of them... ;)). The sculptures were amazing; I wonder if they move the lamb inside the shop everyday; it must be a hell of an exercise to do it... ;))

Overlooking Russell Square it’s probably the Russell Hotel... I don’t remember any other, but it can be hidden somewhere... ;)
I was wondering if anyone would know the gentlemen sitting next to the famous personality in the middle of the picture, but it seems my knowledge hopes will vanish... ;))

London is definitely the easiest destination for someone living in New York; it’s so much so that in most cases I fly Lisbon-London-New York instead of the direct flight... ;)). Anyhow, it’s my treat to take you around the city without moving from your living room... ;))

It’s amazing how many people happen to know the two guys unheard of sitting on the bench near to the famous gmg traveller... ;)).
You loved London and the Hard Rock Cafe, if I remember it well... ;))

Usually the Christmas decorations make towns look much more beautiful than they actually are, but London doesn’t make such a difference; just some more lights to add to the show... ;)

Thanks for the tips! For the time being the only closed option seems to be to pay to blog... ;)) I’ll consider all the others, but I’m leaning towards opening a new account and a new blog linked to it...
Well, the idea that London isn’t beautiful raises some issues on what beautiful means... ;). But I can agree that it’s not on the top of my beautiful cities list crowned with Sydney and Stockholm (in summer...)! Lisbon has of course a separate place and doesn’t even enter any of these contests... ;))
«Timeless elegance» fits quite well with the Mayfair style... lol!!

Thought you had been there already!! It’s time to consider the trip and start packing... ;)

Actually these pictures were taken on a Saturday, but the end result is quite similar to the Sunday... Any day of the week seems to be perfect to stroll around London... ;)).

You miss London; we missed you; fair enough... ;)). I’m glad to bring back good memories of your stay there!!

I’m sure you’ll be returning to the places you love one day rather sooner than later...
Thanks for the tip on the new blog; that’s most probably what I will end up doing since it seems easier than other options... The only thing is to decide on continuing with Blogger or moving to Wordpress or other... I’ll have to check it!

Il semble, mais ce n’est pas vrai... Même le British Muséum a une nouvelle couverture depuis quelques années… Et, en plus, avec les Jeux Olympiques pour 2012, le changement va être encore beaucoup plus profond… ;)

Finally!! We were missing you all this time!! I wonder where did you find the rooftop gardens, but ok... ;)
Hope you’re surviving the weather in Moscow, though minus 12º Celsius doesn’t seem so bad for the season... ;))

Great to read that you’re back from holidays and travels; sad to hear that computer problems have been around!! Great that you have a new HP! I bought a HP 9000 one year from now and I’m happy with it, though Microsoft Vista that came with sometimes has silly idiosyncrasies... ;))
Would love to have the chance to get back to New York again by the end of the year, but things seem pretty difficult for the time being!! ,-(
Thanks for the info on Blogger space; I don’t think however that paying for blogging is an option; and for storing the pictures, I’ve a La Cie mobile hard disk 320 GB perfectly suitable!!

Parks in London are a must see and a gorgeous experience even in winter, provided that you’re travelling with someone equipped with a «pocket sun» device similar to mine... ;))
I would love to get to India again this time of the year... You, living by the Lodi Gardens, are definitely lucky... ;))

Trotter said...

My well-known pocket sun was working hard in London by the time we were there... ;) There must however be some trouble with the device as it didn’t work in Iceland; and it was summer... ;))

Light and Voices said...

Ha. Ha. Ha. The image with F.D.R., Churchill and you is too funny. In Chicagoland area gardens appear on rooftops as well. Your blog is always so interesting to me because you give historical facts along with images.
Merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures Gil :)
I stayed there for 3 weeks ages ago..and I remembered the room we stayed was so small..there was hardly space to move for my husband and me. it's always so expensive for Asians to go to Europe, esp London but so cheap the other way round hehe :)

[G@ttoGiallo] said...

You're not going to leave us for a question of storage space at Picasa !
# 20 GB - $5/yr
# 80 GB - $20/yr
Cela dit : I love London !

trotter said...

Incredible! You know the gentlemen there with the famous gmg... ;))
Rooftop gardens in Chicago, I've seen; not in London... ;))

ne day I'll tell the history of my night in a room at the Kenilworth Hotel near the British Museum; the smallest room I've ever seen... Moved next morning to another hotel... ;))

Don't worry; I'll find a way out... ;)

nichy pal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GMG said...

Nichy pal,
Spam deleted. Sorry ;))