Finally, the On The Frog to London iPhone app is ready to download free from the App Store!
Aimed at visitors to London, it’s a guide with my 50 tips for discovering some good old British traditions alive and well in modern London – where to have afternoon tea, drink coffee in a former Victorian public toilet, buy a vintage English china tea set, or fill up on Cockney pie and mash. And how about strolling down Regent’s Canal on a sunny weekend morning or discovering the mysteries of Room 95 at the British Museum?
All the entries were selected by me, with help from a patient husband and a kind friend who both accompanied me on many occasions during the making of this app. It’s also important to note that no freebies were accepted during the making of this app, nor could any companies request to be featured.
During my research, I discovered some truly special places that made me appreciate London all over again. I had become guilty of doing the same things over and over again, rather than venturing into different areas and enjoying new experiences. It was also a pleasure to meet many wonderful and helpful people who were just as keen to show off the best of London to visitors.
On the other hand, here are a few places initially on my 50 list that had to be dropped:
1. The Booking Office at St Pancras Station – a restaurant located in the former Victorian era ticket office and a beautiful space. However, the service was terribly slow and disorganised, so it wouldn’t have been suitable for anyone, let alone someone hoping to catch their train
2. James Smith & Son Umbrella Shop – a traditional umbrella shop dating from 1830. However, after entering the shop and being met with totally blank expressions from three male shop staff, I left immediately and went back to my office to email a complaint (they thought I was over-reacting). I’m afraid I won’t ever be going back there again
3. Word on the Water barge – a second hand bookshop on a barge that stops at various points in London, but it was too hard to get any advance information about their locations. Worth visiting though, if you can find it. I came across the barge one morning on Regent’s Canal at Broadway Market, but by then it was too late
4. The Cinema Museum – located in the workhouse where Charlie Chaplin once lived, they call themselves ‘London’s best kept secret’. My husband attended a private function there and recommended it to me. You can email them to arrange a visit, as they’re not open to the public on a daily basis. However, they never responded to my email request for a visit
5. The Lanesborough Hotel – afternoon tea at one of London’s top luxury hotels and a past winner of the Tea Guild Awards’ Top London Afternoon Tea award. While the quality of the food was good, the inattentive and sloppy service was unacceptable
The On The Frog to London app, an extension of this blog’s London section, will be updated twice a year. Please leave any feedback and comments here, as it’s important to know what you think and what you’re interested in seeing and doing in London. Technical-related comments should be left directly on the app page of the App Store, so that Everplaces can address them directly (their response time is excellent).
Thank you and I hope you’ll enjoy exploring London as I did while researching this app!
Helen Yuet Ling Pang