2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great city on a budget,
This review is from: Pauline Frommer's London: Spend Less, See More (Pauline Frommer Guides) (Paperback)The author's advice on living well in London (as a tourist) is highly opinionated, but that's a good thing. I've been traveling off and on to London since 2001 and this guide does an amazing job of covering the highs and lows of the city. His recommendations are also very very personal so he describes the wares in a store, the service of a restaurant, or the amenities of a hotel room in great detail.
Hotels -- His hotel recommendations are spot on. I tried the Jesmond Hotel in Bloomsbury and it was exactly as he described, and the rates are surprisingly affordable. The author aims for low to mid budget as much as possible, assuming that you don't have some company expense account to pick up your hotel bill at the Ritz. Also, you don't want to spend all of your precious pounds on lodging when there are so many other fun things to do in London.
Restaurants -- The restaurant recommendations are a bit 50/50 for me. He recommends a number of Asian eateries since they're relatively inexpensive but I'm really picky about eating Asian food in Europe --- in general, they do Asian food just so-so. I didn't rely a whole lot on this guide for restaurants since I normally just come across a place that looks nice and has an attractive menu, but if it's your first time in London, you should single out a restaurant or two you're interested in trying.
Neighborhoods -- because of this guide, I discovered Marleybone, a wonderful neighborhood off of Oxford Circus. It's cool and hip, and lacks the pretension of Mayfair. Perfect for strolling and window shopping.
Shopping --- I also discovered the Muji store in London through this guidebook. The author really has combed London for its best wares. It's not like you're going to find anything extraordinary (even Wedgewood has an online store), but he does point out the location of the Burberry outlet (in Hackney, a working class industrial looking neighborhood with more bark than bite), and some key traditional department stores you might want to write home about.
Overall, a well written and thorough guidebook based on the author's long ongoing love for one of the greatest cities in the world.
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