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Thread: The new london

  1. #1
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    Default The new london

    London, city of my birth but no longer the city I grew up in.
    A tourist mecca, a place to visit but not to stay.
    A city of diversity such as never seen before.
    A city of prices such as to considerate may well be the most expensive of all.

    Not having been there for some three years I did anticipate some changes, but there are changes and changes.

    The city is clean, no rubbish on the pavement, no grafiti. Beggars and rough sleepers are regularly moved on, the mayor rightly saying they are not a good look for a city such as London!

    The public transport system is improved, the Oyster cards can now be used on the underground as well as buses. Last time there tickets for underground were required.

    Some major stores, Debanhams, House of Frasier, and Evans now all gone.
    Replaced with more tourist shops selling cases and tourist trinkets, key rings, fridge magnets and such.

    The population is now no longer an English speaking one, such language is rarely heard now. Replaced by a plethora of other ones, every one from Spanish to Islamic and any other you can find.
    The once traditional London accent is rarely if ever heard now. Even the street traders are now from non English speaking back grounds. The London Cockney accent no longer heard.

    The majority of locals resemble the key board on a piano, but living comfortably side by side.

    There is still a large population of locals living and working there, my brother in law and family living not far from the PO tower and there for over 50 years. There are many more such as this but they will not be found amongst the throngs of tourists, preferring to stay away from the major streets and attractions such as Westminster and Whitehall.

    But for all of this it is still a city with a great attraction for many, I spent hours just walking the streets going back to ones I knew so well all those years ago.

    But there are many differences now. At times one can wonder just were you are, it could be a major city anywhere in the world.

    Coming out of a store I thought for a second I had gone in one door in London and come out of the other in the Middle East. The sidewalk is about four meters wide, and coming towards me were eight sets of eyes all dressed in black and spread across in one line. This is not where I grew up!!

    The pubs and eating houses abound in great numbers but to the unsuspecting tourist they can be a trap.
    We stayed in the Lancaster Gate Hotel just off Bayswater Road opposite Kensington Gardens. Funny thing is that back in 1967 I did a weeks chef relief in there, first time I had seen a Micro wave oven.
    Just around the corner a very good old style English pub, much needed I can assure you.

    Prices in London, and across the UK in many places have increased, but to my mind beyond expectations.

    We ventured, with my brother in law to Camden Market, largest one of itís kind in London.
    Hundreds of food stalls along with the usual tourist stalls. It is common a weekends for the Underground station to be closed at midday due to the number of people there, as many as 250,000 at any one time.
    In need of a drink we went into a bar there, a great variety of beers on tap but now I know from experience there they all taste the same. Alcoholic content just about reaches 3%.

    One pint of lager, two glasses of Chardonay cost me 22.5GBP!

    One lady I spoke with informed me she had been charged 37GBP for 2 Gin and Tonic.
    But with VAT at 25% that does not help.
    My brother in law told me the average pint in London is now 8 GBP, but there are some tourist spots charging as much as 20 GBP per pint.

    Eating out can seriously damage your credit card I was to discover.
    We ate on a number of occasions in the Arglye Arms, opposite the London Paladiuim a pub I have know for years and one that is priced at a reasonable level.
    A pint in there can be purchased for about 9 to 11GBP per pint.
    But simple fish and chips can cost about 17 GBP per serve. Plus 10% service charge.

    The good old pub around the corner from the hotel was a bit, but not much, cheaper.
    Fish and chips there for about 15 GBP and a pint for only 8 GBP.
    But no matter where you eat all dishes come with a side dish of Mushy Peas. Hold the peas Is the order of the day when ordering food.

    Like Norway, Iceland and Ireland very few bother with a mask and the feeling is that life goes on as if the Pandemic never happened. The population living and working as they did prior to it all

    Overall we had a great time there enjoying the tourist bit and catching up with family we had not seen for three years, London is still a city love but one I know I could never live in again.
    I am sure that in about two years we will visit again, by which time I am sure prices will have risen again. But until then there is time for my card to recover from the shock, and who knows I may even learn a new language by then, make it easier to mix in.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: The new london

    What can one say to all this John but OMG!!!
    Thats seriously terrible!
    How do People live at that rate of cost, they must earn a bleedin high Salary!
    Or just live on the proceeds of Crime ! LOL
    cHEERS
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: The new london

    That makes my British OAP worth 3 pints of Beer if I’m lucky. JS
    R575129

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    Default Re: The new london

    Re # 1.
    London has always been expensive to live in than other parts of the country. We are not rich and still manage to live comfortably in London.
    The prices mentioned in #1in my opinion are grossly outrageous unless of coarse you drink and eat in such places like the Hilton.

    Fouro.

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    Default Re: The new london

    John, if you were charged 25% Vat as you say, you were scammed, Vat unless i am completely out of touch is 20%., if you were dressed as an OZ visitor you would have been a gift, lol, London has always had rip off spots, and prices higher compared with other areas. I stayed at a pub in the midlands a few weeks ago, beer was £3.50 a pint.kt
    R689823

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    Default Re: The new london

    #1 Hi John
    Stella lager is £4.75 in Bromley, near where you used to live.
    Good Luck Mate.
    Graham R774640

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    Default Re: The new london

    John, Pint of Guiness in the Glasgow area about £3.50 to £4.80, unless you are at the airport where it is over £5 think you have been ripped off and were charged tourist prices. You will pay more in some of the 'Trendy' Pubs in Glasgow city centre, I am too old to be trendy so I stick to the 'Old Mans' type of bars when I go into Glasgow.

    UK003715 (tried to put Dis. No. in my signature but can't get it to save the signature)

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    Default Re: The new london

    I have a bill from restaurant which shows 20% VAT, I miss read it originally, but even so twice the price of here in Oz.
    Was told the average wage in UK is now about 500GBP per week, cost of living about 520GBP per week.
    Yes prices are outrageous but what can you do, go hungry and pretend to be a Camel!!
    But as with many tourist spots it is always the same.
    Get home and the local is doing pints for $7.!!

    But wait there is more, Heathrow Airport, biggest brothel in town.

    We arrived from Oz, no worries mate. Out of the airport with luggage and through all departments in 30 minutes.

    Then on return from cruise we had to fly to Ireland from Heathrow.
    Booked in, case drop al in ten minutes, then the fun.
    2.5 hours ion the security queue!!!!!!!!!!!
    All flights to EU now classified as domestic so all in one line where there is only one X Ray machine in use.
    Up and down the line until it is your turn.

    Then we had to come home from Heathrow.
    Check in and bag drop, 2 hour queue for Singapore Airline.
    Even with four desks open it took time, but much of that was the fault of travelers.
    Get to the desk then have to search for passport and tickets, half of them not ready.
    One clown was a classic, had put her passport details on the phone and could not understand why it would not be accepted that way.
    Security with 5 open, through there in 10 minutes.

    Did hear that demand for flights now the pandemic is over is running at 110% of capacity and it shows.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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  10. #9
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    Default Re: The new london

    Just a Test on Signature by Moderator
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    Senior Member

    UK003715

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    Default Re: The new london

    A few years ago I was at a loose end visiting London so decided to get the tube to East Ham where we used to and get the bus to KGV, got off the train and hardly recognised the place, didn't stay long.

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