We love London town!
It’s less than one week until the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games. And it’s set to be an event to remember – not least for the people behind the scenes: Londoners. The stars of the Olivier Award nominated family show The Tiger Who Came to Tea - Abbey Norman (Sophie), Alan Atkins (Daddy, Postman, Tiger) and Jenanne Redman (Mummy)reveal what they love about the capital
Are you a local girl/guy?
Yes – we all grew up in London or the Greater London area.
What’s it like to live in London?
Exciting – especially now with the Games less than a week away! You won’t be bored -even for a second – in London as there is so much to see and do even if sport isn’t your bag. London is also incredibly diverse: whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, you’ll feel at home in the capital.
What is your favourite thing about London?
The West End, aka Theatreland, of course – and the South Bank. No visit to the capital is complete without seeing a show and if you have children in tow, we suggest taking them to see The Tiger Who Came To Tea at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue!
Why should we visit?
London is one of the world’s greatest cities and 2012 – the year of the Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics – is THE time to visit!
How long do we, ideally, need?
A minimum of a week to see the blockbuster sights. If you want to see a show, shop , sample London’s food and nightlife scene or explore London’s many museums and art galleries, you’ll need a lot longer.
How can you tell tourists from locals?
That’s easy: the tourists are the ones walking along with maps and huge smiles on their faces. Londoners love a good time but rarely smile…
The landmark London Eye for unbeatable views of the city, the Tate Modern for its fantastic (and free) art collection plus fabulous views of the Thames and St Paul’s and the West End for its theatrical history: when it comes to theatre, London remains an undisputed world leader.
Sketch – the brainchild of French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mazouz – over on Conduit Street, serves sumptuous food in stunning surroundings. For afternoon tea – a quintessential British experience – Soho’s Secret Tea Room is something special. Sandwiches, scones and sponge cake are served in a retro tea room above the Coach and Horses for a reasonable £14.50 (a fraction of what you would pay at the Ritz).
Harrods is a must visit for first timers to London as are Fortnum and Mason (London’s oldest department store) and Liberty’s for classic London souvenirs. Little ones will love Hamleys – said to be the largest toy store in the world. The many markets are also well worth a visit and a great way to tune into the London vibe. Greenwich is great for a relaxed few hours’ of browsing while foodies will be in seventh heaven at Borough Market from Thursdays to Saturdays.
Any insider tips for our readers?
Get an Oyster card if you’re planning to take the tube, bus or DLR. Fares for oyster users are considerably cheaper than standard fares – providing you remember to ‘touch in and touch out’.
Anything else you want to add?
Yes – come and see The Tiger Who Came To Tea! Judith Kerr’s 1968 classic is aimed at three year olds and over but smaller children and adults alike have been heard squealing with delight over the unexpected visitor who eats the entire contents of Sophie’s kitchen before Dad comes home.
Thanks Abbey, Alan and Jenanne!
The Tiger Who Came To Tea is at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue until Sunday 2 September. For tickets, please call the Box Office on 0844 412 4661 or visit thetigerwhocametotealive.com/tour-dates.htm