Jon's unofficial guide to London for 51st, Aug 5-10, 2001 IETFers Official Terminal Room/Social hosts are BT Exact


London is big. Like the universe, it is bigger than anything you can imagine, except if you are of course an ant, in which case it is bigger still. Here's some hints/pointers to info - mail me (jon@cs.ucl.ac.uk) if you want to add some stuff here that you think a typical IETF attendee might like...

Note that the official IETF web page and mail lists lists the actual venue, the London Hilton Metropole Hotel, Paddington and other information. map of locale

This is for alternative information should you need it!


Nearest Pubs we checked have food (not necessarily both lunch and dinner) see map above for locn.

The Chapel, on Chapel St comes highly recommended -you can book a table for a meal here, and food is said to be excellent (includes some veggie options)
The Beehive on Homer St - small, but does food (veggie to)
The Larrick on Homer St - large barn of a place - lite and modern
The Royal Exchange on Sale Place. seemed to have "character"
The Windsor Castle and the Wargrave Arms in Crawford Place are quite larege but rather odd
The Alexander Fleming on Norfolk Place (just off Praed st) is where doctors from the local hosptial (Mary's) drink - seemed quite pleaseant
Note that there are quite a few very interesting ethnic restaurants fairly near the Hotel, so ask there. (London is noted for Indian, but also a bit further afield, Greek, Thai, and Chinese can be very good - also Italian, but near the hotel area on the Edgeware Rd and around, the main thing is Middle Eastern- really excellent Arabic food and suits vegetarians (note many, but not all, of these places wont serve alcohol).

Safety

You may have heard BBC news about a bomb in west london. Basic safety rule is to leave any area where there are unidentified bags or packages, as rapidly as is safe, and, then, tell someone official as soon as possible.

Technotours

UCL's totally unofficial list of hotel and other travel info including links to cool local info like music/drama listing site/magazines (music, drama, etc) and Pubs in W2, etc - warning: this lists hotels near UCL, not very near the IETF site, although thats only about 5 tube stops away.
Bletchley Park/Station X/Enigma Machine Cracking Stuff!
The Science Museum which has the Babbage Difference engine, an early vehicle for Ada programming.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Bar BOF Refinement itself
Royal Greenwich Observatory Longitude 0, the origin of NTP?. and right by the:
National Maritime Museum, also close to:
The Thames Flood Barrier , stemming the tide of summer internet drafts?
Namco Bar (by the London Aquarium) wet wet wet...
The London Transport Museum, the original tunneling protocols.
Tower Bridge (and for geeks, the engine rooms) middle boxen?
The RAF Museum, Hendon flights of the imagination...
Duxford is also very good, although not in London ...
and they have a prototype Concorde there which you can go on, same day delivery in a subsonic world, if you dare?
Imperial War Museum Basil Fawwlty's worst nightmare
The Millenium Eye/Wheel., on Guy Fawkes, we cut the tether and watch it roll over the houses of parliament.
HMS Belfast My kind of Yacht.
The Tate Gallery "interesting" graphics
Another General Guide, Time Out Eating and Drinking Guide 2001 , Time Out Pubs and Bars Guide 2000 - note, in the UK, we don't tip in pubs. In restaurants 12%-15% is considered ok
If you get in to London early, there is CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival from 31/07 to 04/08!
Rosetta Stone should be mandatory for the IDN-people, location British Museum.
general theatre guide for really dramatic WGs
Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court, etc, see why the US threw the brits out:-)
London Zoo should seem familiar to many IETFers:-)

Transports of Delight

Streetmaps of UK and London's public transport system is very extensive, expensive, excessive and sometimes excreable, sometimes cool. The Tube tends to shut down too early for IETF like folks, but there are quite good night buses to back it up between around midnight and 6 am, and of course there are two types of taxis (official Hackney Carriages and minicabs, which you have to get by phone as they are not supposed to solicit for business on the street) and if you stay central, this is not too expensive -the official host will no doubt provide more info on special ticket deals for the week for the tube and buses.

Trains may or may not take you further afield.

Mobile phones - there are a lot of GSM choices - best option is probably to get a pay-as-you-go phone (as low as 20 pounds for phone and a few hours of local calls) although phone rental deals can be ok, but are a bit more expensive - on the other hand if you want one that you can keep in the US, you prob. need a tri-band which is gonna be fairly. pricey here...

last minute can get you tickets to interesting things you hadnt expected.

Themed walking tours of the old city of london (e.g. Dickens, Ghosts, etc) are popular with visitors if the weather is fine!

Kew Gardens a very fine botanical experience!

portmeirion #6

Gay bars in Central London - i've actually been to a couple of these and they were ok, but i am not typical clientele so don't take my word for it - also it was some time ago and the london bar/club scene is unbelievably fast evolving! Also see for more interesting (fetish etc) info on london


Fuel for Mind, Body, both Carbon and Silicon, and Spirit

One list of Vegetarian Restaurantes but note there are many more than this, esp. Indian for example (near UCL there are several Bel Phourri houses (in Drummond St), which are quite superb.

Floatation, For stressed out people

Tottenham Court Road, is one main place where you find many shops that have bits for your phone, palm, lap, etc- WARNING - these places tend to charge pound for dollar, and not much of a discount compared to US or Far East type prices, so I would only use them in an emergency! franklin electric have info on what you may actually need. useful wiring diagram of UK telephone socket:-) RJ11 to BT5 - see also faq Near here is also a branch of Easy Everything, which I think is open all night for those who want a cybercafe environ fairly near clubs in the West End. There's a lot of other cybercafes including some nice kid-friendly ones....too many to list, but they'd show up on "any good search engine" (TM).

What was Dillons, the bookstore near UCL is the University bookstore, so it has good tech. books as well as fairly extensive literature and guides -there are a lot of other good bookshops in London though, so I would suggest looking in google or other guides too.

Geek's paradise (aka Foyle's) probably the only bookstore that has its books sorted alphabetically by publisher, but, by golly, it has everything (or you can go to the British Library, which has more than everything)!

St Paul's Cathedral especially for Sunday afternoon organ concerts.

The Promenade Concerts ("PROMS") are essential for classical music lovers, and very handy, and unbelievably inexpensive.

Time Out magazine is one of several weekly event guides available at most newsagents, which list all the cultural events as well as having useful review information, and if you intend doing any culture, it is fairly essential to get one at the start of the week. Note that a lot of theater will be sold out well in advance, but that students and others can get good prices in ticket offices that trade returned tickets on the same day - this involves queueing, but most folks with an open mind can find something jolly good- it might just not be what you originally intended!


Health Warnings

London is a typical big bad capital city - beware pick pockets, cutpurses, highwaymen, and general scams. If you go to Covent Garden or Soho or Camden Lock (where I live), these are haunts for people who want to take your money whether you get anything you want back for it or not. However, you can get good prices on DM (boots/shoes), clothes and general market type stuff if you are careful (esp. the amazing Cyberdog shop!). Another fun (but risky) market is Portobello Market fairly near the ietf venue in fact.

The National Health Service (NHS) is free, under some circumstances - however, you get what you pay for.

Disclaimer: the single criterion i have used for putting info on
this page is that someone "on the IETF" (list) e-mailed me a suggestion 
to do so - this does not represent an endorsement, nor does lack of an 
entry represent a condemnation - draw your own conclusions.  

Last edited, 31/7/2001 (yes, 24 by 7:-)

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