My word had a year passed already? The annual trip to London for World Travel Market (WTM) was due again and it was time to head off to London once more. It’s a great travel show held at Excel at London’s Docklands each November.
I distinctly remember last years, my feet hurt. My feet hurt a lot.
Sunday saw us drag our luggage to our local train station, hop on a train to Manchester and board the intercity to London. 90 minutes later we arrived at Euston Station, where I picked up another new Oyster card. This allows travel around London as a prepaid card and is convenient and saves a little money. I had singularly failed to find the one bought last year and it still had some credit on it, as usual, it was found once home, now there are two to lose next year.
Once again we’d been fortunate enough to be provided with accommodation by the excellent villas.com. The website is still easy to use and the accommodation is still of a very high standard. As can be expected from a company which is part of the booking.com group.
Huge thanks to our friends at villas.com for once again putting us up, or should that be putting up with us.
Our accommodation was just off Shoreditch High Street which is quite a trendy little spot in London these days and has lots of terrific places to eat with just about any cuisine you care to mention within a short walk. It seemed like a happy coincidence when the purpose of our visit was a travel show.
If you prefer vintage fashion and antiques, it’s also home to some fascinating boutique shops including one specialising in vintage wedding wear.
It’s also a trendy district in a quirky way, we found a great little bookshop, reading room bar all in one, which was just opening. We spent awhile chatting with the manager, it had only just opened and would soon become a private members club, just one of our cool neighbours for the week.
Just across the road there was a cosy little coffee shop, selling good coffee (Iain was happy), tasty bacon rolls and home baked cakes, along with some local discussion. The owner had some forthright views on her telephone and utilities providers, and business rates, breakfast certainly wasn’t boring!
Our home for the week was flat number 7, London City Apartments. Clean, warm and comfortable it gave us time to relax after long days and late evenings at after show events. So much of WTM is about networking that goes on, around it and I know Iain was delighted to meet up with some old friends and revisit some favourite places.
There was a small galley kitchen, which due to the post WTM invites and the excellent restaurants we never really had the opportunity to test properly, but it all looked up to scratch for those that might prefer some self-catering.
With plenty of room to relax, spread out, sort out the literature from the day and discuss plans, and meeting for the following day it gave us the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the show.
Once the discussions were finished and plans made, there was a lovely stone walled bathroom to soak away the fatigue of the day and a shower to revive us in the morning.
And so to bed, and to sleep.
Really nice and quiet despite being in London, we had great sleeps and woke refreshed and ready to go.
Getting to the Excel was straight forward, a short walk to Algate East underground and despite a strike on the Docklands Light Railway while we were there, by using the Emirates Air Line we were still at WTM within 45 minutes. Tower Gateway is also within a short walk, so getting around the city is not difficult.
And this year, I wore sensible shoes and my feet didn’t hurt, despite clocking up 10 miles a day in an exhibition hall for four days!
See you soon London!
Guest review by Alison Bailey
I started as a photographer at the tender age of three when my Dad gave me my first camera, a Kodak Brownie. I crawled around ‘taking pictures’ of everything, even though there wasn’t any film, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since.
I’ve worked as a Lab Technician specialising in Pathology to the promised land of Olympus cameras, and even a spell in law enforcement. I’ve returned to my first love now however, specialising in wedding photography. I predominantly use digital today, but the traditionalist in me still loves film, and the skills required to develop it.
The accommodation was provided courtesy of villas.com, however all relaxation was my own.