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Pre-Christmas Week-end Getaway to London

Pre-Christmas Week-end Getaway to London

Old Dec 18, 17, 1:53 pm
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Pre-Christmas Week-end Getaway to London

Hey folks

This is a short trip report about our last week-end in London.

Fellow FTer KARFA organized a Pre-Christmas Do in London on Friday 15th of December. This was yet another reason to burn some Avios and fly to London for the week-end.
On the way to London we treated ourselves to Club Europe. At the time of booking our preferred flight, BA755 from Basel to London was scheduled to be operated by a midhaul A321 with lie-flat seats. I was very excited about this as I’ve never been on one of those planes before.

We drove to Basel and after a quick security check went to the Skyview Lounge


Boarding started at 1510 and this time gate 32 was used. This is unusual, as all BA flights we’ve taken before out of Basel used gate 30. The priority queue was long, as quite often on this route.

At this point I was really, really excited, as I had checked the inbound flight on FR24 to be sure it was indeed a midhaul configured A321 (G-MEDJ)…

And it was!


Can you see how excited I am?


Legroom really is not an issue here!


We pushed back on time


Seat controls (oh that massage function…)


After departure from runway 15 we did a right turn which gave us a good overview of the airport


As this was an afternoon flight there is a choice of either a Ploughman’s or Afternoon Tea. I opted for the former, which was tasty, but small


The flight went by quickly. I ordered a G&T and nuts and then put the seat into the full flat position…

Soon we were already descending into London where we had to hold for a couple of minutes


Final approach into London’s Heathrow airport


It was then time to say goodbye to 1F


Landing:

As we were staying at the Doubletree Victoria we took the underground to the city. At check-in we were offered complimentary upgrade to one of their Premium Deluxe Rooms on the 10th floor. The room is on two floors; the entrance and bathroom are on one level and the bed is on the lower level. The view was fantastic too.





We then headed to Marlybone where the Do was taking place. It was a nice crowd and it was nice to get to know new fellow FTers and meet FTers that we’ve met before. Thanks KARFA and teledude for organising this!

Same view the next morning:


We headed to Oxford Street for some Christmas shopping. As expected, it was very busy.


We grabbed lunch at Franco Manca.


Yes, soon it’s Christmas


We then headed to the Twinings shop on Strand to buy tea and then went back to the hotel to get our luggage. We decided to stay the second night in Kingston Upon Thames. With this additional stay I’d have enough stays to become a Hilton Honors Gold member. The original plan was to take the train from Victoria to Kingston via Clapham Junction but we then opted for Uber as it was far more convenient. We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton Kingston and got upgraded again. I had picked a room online but as there was a party on the floor below our room the friendly front desk lady offered us an upgrade. I must say I could get used to this.

Lobby area


Superior King Room


We headed down to the bar for a drink first before heading out for dinner


Riverside view at night


Christmas tree


Outside hotel view


We went for a walk the next morning




We did some more shopping. Bentall Centre is reminiscent of Toronto’s Eaton Centre


This is the “out of order” sculpture by David Mach


We had lunch at Henry’s


It was then time to head back to Heathrow. There is a direct bus line to Heathrow Central, X26, which takes about half an hour. We used the First Wing as always and it was a breeze.


Fellow FTer jason8612 was kind enough to guest us into the CCR for dinner, so thanks again!










We were booked in Euro Traveler on the way back to Basel and thanks to Theoretical Seating the seat next to us (4D) remained free. The flight was uneventful. A nice week-end came to an end.




Thanks for reading!
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Last edited by florens; Dec 18, 17 at 2:08 pm Reason: typo
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Old Dec 18, 17, 2:02 pm
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Nice trip report!
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Old Dec 18, 17, 2:14 pm
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Indeed, thanks for sharing. Indulging a lie-flat journey all the way from BSL to LHR must have been a timely way to relax for the trying exercises of the London DO that were to follow
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Old Dec 18, 17, 2:15 pm
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Nice the A 321!
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Old Dec 18, 17, 3:20 pm
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noise from being so close to the train station?
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Old Dec 18, 17, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by canolakid View Post
noise from being so close to the train station?
It was okay really, especially since we were on the 10th floor. The rooms and windows are not soundproof, but it wasn‘t that bad at all. I had solid sleep.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 5:46 pm
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Nice report, thank you. That Doubletree looked very nice how was it? I was at the Doubletree in Santiago last month and upgraded to the suite. It was nicer than any Hilton I've been in anywhere.
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Old Dec 19, 17, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by jason8612 View Post
Nice trip report!
Thanks jason8612, it was good to meet you! Safe travels!

Originally Posted by onobond View Post
Indeed, thanks for sharing. Indulging a lie-flat journey all the way from BSL to LHR must have been a timely way to relax for the trying exercises of the London DO that were to follow
I was so worried that the plane would be swapped, so I kept checkin the seat map ...

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Nice the A 321!
Yep, it was a very pleasant flight!

Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Nice report, thank you. That Doubletree looked very nice how was it? I was at the Doubletree in Santiago last month and upgraded to the suite. It was nicer than any Hilton I've been in anywhere.
Thanks enviroian. Which DoubleTree?

The one in Victoria was very nice, especially the top floor rooms. I am not sure about the regular rooms. I think they might be older/non-renovated. The breakfast was very delicious, but the breakfast room was a bit small. The front desk lady was very kind and helpful. The luggage storage room is too small and thus crowded, so they store some larger suitcases outside the room.

The one in Kingston was very enjoyable and the staff excellent. The rooms are not soundproof, but there wasn't much noise. There are train tracks on one side though, with a train passing every now and then, but the noise didn't bother us too much. The decor is very nice and detail-oriented. The breakfast was good, but not the best we had.
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Old Dec 19, 17, 7:44 am
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Great report and pictures! Thank you for sharing.
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Old Dec 22, 17, 1:57 am
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Originally Posted by Andriyko View Post
Great report and pictures! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Andriyko!
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Old Dec 22, 17, 12:41 pm
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Where is Kingston? (I know I could look it up on map but where's the community in that?)
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Old Dec 22, 17, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Yahtzee View Post
Where is Kingston? (I know I could look it up on map but where's the community in that?)
LMGTFY
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Old Dec 22, 17, 1:16 pm
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Nice report Florens, with a good selection of beer.

Nothing better than Christmas time in a big city.
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Old Dec 22, 17, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by DaveNCL View Post
Nice report Florens, with a good selection of beer.

Nothing better than Christmas time in a big city.
I'm glad you liked it DaveNCL. Merry christmas to you! Hope to meet again soon.
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Old Dec 22, 17, 3:11 pm
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What a great trip report and love the photos. Thanks for sharing!!
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