First time in London

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Monday 2 August 2004 5.11am
Hello everyone, my name is Joel and I will be visiting London for the first time in September from Worcester, Massachussets where I live in the US. I have never been to London, however I have a lot of friends who have and say they loved London. I will be traveling alone and would like to get some information on some things to do out of the ordinary. I am hispanic, does anyone know any good lating clubs or restaurants? I appreciate your input. Thanks.
Monday 2 August 2004 10.01am
Joel - welcome to the SE1 forum !

There's loads of information on the boards about things to do in and around SE1 - from the quirky to the mainstream - and a big Restaurants, Pubs and Bars section. (There's also loads about cider - but don't let that put you off !). Sadly, you will miss Carnavel in Burgess Park (

Couple of threads you should look at:

Otherwise, the Notting Hill Arts Club often has really cool Latin nights - more ideas here

Are you staying in and around SE1 or looking to do things all over London ?
Monday 2 August 2004 10.26am
See also:
There are a lot of South American football (soccer) matches in Burgess Park on Sundays too.
Tuesday 3 August 2004 1.30am
I see that I will miss the carnaval, as we say, I saw the web site for it and it looks great, it is too late to change travel plans. My job would be really upset if I did that . I also see as you say that there is a lot of info all over the net. I will be staying somewhere in central London, I believe.
I heard that people are not that friendly there, is that true?
Thanks for the info.
PS I like your name.

Worcester, Massachusetts USA
Tuesday 3 August 2004 1.33am
barkyhead Wrote:
> See also:
> d/page6.shtml
> There are a lot of South American football
> (soccer) matches in Burgess Park on Sundays too.

Thanks for the link. I have heard so much about Burgess Park, it seems that there is a lot of activity around there.
Question, are you people friendly to strangers? I grew up in NYC and I happen to think people are friendly there, although most people say New Yorkers are not. Thanks.

Worcester, Massachusetts USA
Tuesday 3 August 2004 9.45am
There is a lot of activity around Burgess Park, not all of it good, I believe the Rough Guide to London, warns people not to venture in there after dark, on the other hand, the Royal Parks are good public spaces, and well worth visiting. As for friendliness: London is as friendly as a city of this size can be, although it's very noticable how much more friendly other areas of Britain are in relation to the capital.
Tuesday 3 August 2004 2.21pm
On the subject of friendliness, I find that in general, Londoners (as in those who live in London, regardless of whether or not they were born in London) are a pretty friendly bunch, whereas Brits who are visiting London aren't v friendly (think Oxford Street....) But most visitors don't know that the unfriendly people aren't living in London, so assume it's London itself that's unfriendly.

Hmmm... I may need to fine-tune this theory slightly.

Tuesday 3 August 2004 3.26pm

Londoners i have found are generally very friendly and happy to help out if you have a problem/get lost etc.. just don't stand on the left on the escalators on the underground (grrrr).

if you are in central London, the best bar to visit by far is Bradley's on Hanway Street - no website but i found a review for you...

also on the same street are a couple of great late night bars, La Sevilla Mia (another one i have been found drunk in)

and of course the legendary Troy Club - the illegal drinking den (although I haven't been for a while and someone told me it had closed).

and again still on Hanway street is Hakkasan the groovy Chinese place for champagne and dim sum if you are feeling all grubby after my low-life recommendations.
Tuesday 3 August 2004 3.39pm
To para-phrase TLMJJ:

Very touristy areas of London tend not to have the most welcoming and friendly people in London - lots of reasons - most of them are vistors and / or looking to make money out of visitors and / or waiting for the hordes of tourists to get out of their way so that they can get on with whatever really, really important things they are doing. Oxford Street is a good example - the bit just by the London Eye is another.

If you go just a couple of streets back (and the best thing about London is that so many different areas stand cheek by jowl) you will see a whole different side to the city. Try and get out into some less obvious, but visitor friendly areas - Notting Hill, Portabello Market, Royal Hospital bit of Chelsea, Docklands maybe ?

I think people in London can be just as friendly as anywhere else in the UK. The one execption to this is on the Tube. Here, it is a henious crime to so much as even catch someone else's eye, let alone strike up a conversation (think Line 6 on the NYC Metro and you'll have the idea).

Tuesday 3 August 2004 4.45pm

Completely agree with the lovely ladies (TLMJJ and Harriet before some of you start arguing that there are no lovely ladies on here!)

As someone who isn't a Londoner born and bred I had the misconception that London would be an unwelcoming and unfriendly place however I am happy to report that the reality is very different.

Most of the people in the very touristy areas are tourists and I actually doubt very much that the vast majority of tourists actually ever speak to a Londoner / British person. Most of the harrased shop and restaurant staff in central London (by this I'm meaning the west end) are foreign students and travellers.

Travel just a little bit out of the centre and you will find a wealth of "villages" with welcoming, friendly and open minded people....

Just remember to stand on the right on the escalators (if you value your life) and (just as importantly) form an orderly Queue everywhere (even if you don't know what you are queing for!)

Have a great time in London.

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