TRAVEL: The London Rules for the 2012 Olympics

Off to London?

Editors working on the new Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide to Paris, London, New York and Rome give their London Rules for next year’s Olympics.

Going over? We’re pretty sure you’ll want to do more than watch hairy cyclists going round a bike track. These are our handpicked suggestions for you.

  1. Weekday Markets Rule!  Skip the crowds on the weekend at Portobello Road in Notting Hill and go on Friday. Arrive for breakfast at Tom’s at 226 Westbourne Grove. Recommended by Imogen Edwards-Jones (creator of  the hit TV series Hotel Babylon) it’s a fantastic alternative to a hotel breakfast. The Friday market kicks off between 8am-9am which is when you will find the best selection of vintage clothes and jewellery, under the bridge, right down the end of Portobello Road itself. Want to food shop if you’re self-catering or looking for picnic ingredients? Go to Brixton Market, any day of the week. It’s cheap, it’s vast and it has the most fantastic fresh fish and fruit in London.  Find Portobello Road Market minutes from Notting Hill Gate train station. Find Brixton Market right at Brixton train station.
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    Get out of London! For amazing deals, book train tickets months in advance, so that you can run away from thousands of sports fans and find Lady Heaven elsewhere. Holiday Goddess Editors’ top three day trip spots are Brighton, Bath and Hastings. Bestselling novelist and columnist Maggie Alderson loved Hastings so much she moved there. Explore your train options here. Rule – never buy tickets on the day, at the station. Your fare could cost more than a return trip to Paris.

  3. The Victoria and Albert Museum will be empty – so go, go, go! During the Olympics, we’re prepared to bet that London’s best museum will be empty as everyone is glued to the television set, or the track. Why do we love the Victoria and Albert Museum so much? Because it has Kylie’s dressing room, faithfully reproduced, on the top floor. Oh, and stunning vintage fashion from Chanel. And the most beautiful museum cafe in Britain. Recommended by bestselling novelist Faith Bleasdale. Nearest train station: South Kensington. Cross the road and you’re there.
  4. Don’t miss the bookshop with a bar. Again, we bet that all those sporty types are more likely to be in a pub with Sky Sports on the TV than the legendary Waterstone’s Fifth Floor bar. Waterstone’s is London’s biggest bookshop. Take the lift to the top floor and you will find plenty of seats to sink into, stunning views over the rooftops, and the best glass of Beaujolais you’ve ever had while buying a book. Recommended by author and astrologer Jessica Adams. Take the train to Piccadilly Circus, exit at the statue of Eros, and Waterstone’s will be minutes away.



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