ARRIVAL: From LHR (Heathrow), find a cash machine and use your ATM card to get enough pounds for the week. Buy a transportation card for £3.70 to get you into the city. The Tube or Underground line that runs to and from Heatrhrow is the Picadilly line. Get on, take a seat, put your bag in front of you and settle in for a 50 minute ride. Get off at the Russell Square Station. Follow signs to “Way Out.” Take elevator to the top. When you get off the elevator, turn to your right and take advantage of the attendants who will open a gate for all of you who have luggage. When you leave the station, turn left and walk to the first major intersection. There, turn left and walk about a half block and you will see the entrance to the Hotel Russell. From LGW (Gatwick) it is a little trickier. Again find a cash machine and use your ATM card to get enough pounds for the week. Buy a rail ticket to get to London Victoria (£8.00 for a normal train, £12.00 for the Gatwick Express. (The normal train makes some stops, but is the one I use.) When you get to Victoria Station, follow signs to the Underground. Buy a ticket for £2.00 and take the North Bound Victoria Line to the first stop, Green Park. At Green park, change to the Piccadilly Line East Bound and get off at the Russell Square Station. Follow above directions to the hotel
TRANSPORTATION: I will provide a one-week Zone 1 transportation pass good for the Underground and the red double-decker buses. If you need to go further afield, you can pay the difference as you go.
HOTEL: Russell Hotel (+44 20 7837 6470) near the British Museum.
DINNERS: We will eat reasonably well. I have chosen restaurants that are close to the hotel and have scheduled our meals early in the evening so that you will be able to get to the theatre in time if you have booked tickets. I will include drinks with dinner, but not to the usual BET hedonistic proportions. (Given the “Bushwhacked” dollar, may I recommend that you hit the duty free on the way over and we may have a room party or two.) A partial schedule of the restaurants:
Sunday, Dec. 26: Chambeli Restaurant (Indian)
Monday, Dec. 27: Poons (Chinese)
Tuesday, Dec. 28: Hasan Raja (Indian)
Wednesday, Dec. 29: Il Fornello (Italian)
Thursday, Dec. 30: Somewhere near the show: Jerry Springer-The Opera
Friday, Dec. 31: NYE: The Old Amalfi (Italian)
Saturday, January 1: Pending
ACTIVITIES:.Most of you are coming with an agenda. We are eating together for several reasons: First, food is necessary and fun. Second, we can plan for the next day. Sometimes I will say, “I am going to the New Tate tomorrow. Anybody want to tag along?” Other times I will sit back and listen and then ask if I can be included on that particular excursion. May I invite you to do the same. We can’t see it all, but we can give it our best shot.
MONEY: To change dollars to pounds, again I can not stress enough, just use your ATM card. Don’t change money beforehand, and don’t bother with Travelers Checks. Do bring a small amount of US$, maybe $50.00 in case you can’t get your card to work for a while. I will have enough pounds to lend you for a few days in an emergency. And if you can never get your card to work, no problem. I can have you use your credit card to pay for one of our dinners and then reimburse you with pounds. Use a credit card for purchases.
ARRIVING DEC. 26
Laurence Barker (dep. 1/2)
Alan Cutler (dep. 1/2)
Scott Anderson (dep. 1/2)
Sara & Charlie Lewis (dep. 1/1)
Lisa Schweers (dep. 1/3)
Andy & Kathi Hopkins (dep. 1/2)
Judith Vallery (dep. 1/2) (w/Marie Hansbery on 12/27)
Ken & Julie Ortolon (dep. 1/2)
Dale Fleishman & Ron Jenkins (dep. 1/2)
Chuck & Sharon Budd (dep. 1/1)
ARRIVING DEC. 27
Carrol Smith & Donita Lincoln (dep. 1/4)
Marie Hansberry (dep. 1/2)