Saturday, February 4, 2017

London: King's Cross/St. Pancras and Regent's Canal

I had less than 30 hours in London, but I made the most of it.

The Australian Impressionists’ exhibit at the National Gallery complemented my familiarity with the French Impressionist painters. The artists reflect their time (a fascination with steam trains and industry) and, in the case of the Australians, a pride in their new nation and its land.

I stayed at the Alhambra Hotel, a family-owned business, just a block from the King’s Cross/St. Pancras train stations. It’s very convenient for taking the tube around London or the Eurostar to the continent. The rooms aren’t large, but they’re clean, comfortable, quiet, and well equipped. Breakfast is included with a choice of a full cooked breakfast (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) or freshly made porridge and toast. And you get a full jug of hot chocolate if you’re not a coffee or tea drinker.

What really impressed me about the hotel was the service I received when I contacted them regarding a personal item that I’d left behind by mistake. They had found it, saved it, and mailed it to me immediately.

King’s Cross is very close to Regent’s Canal and I enjoyed an early morning walk among the barges.

I was particularly delighted to see London’s only book barge and Google’s London offices.

But best of all was frequent views of St. Pancras – what a glorious Victorian building.

See also: Borough Market, London

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