Author Topic: Visiting London  (Read 1520 times)

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Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Visiting London
« on: August 20, 2019, 03:33 PM »
We're going to be visiting London for 3-4 days at the end of August.  This is going to be our first time in the UK.  I found another post from earlier in the year suggesting that D&M Tools is a good Festool dealer.  It looks to be a bit far (almost 10 miles) from where we're staying near Hyde Park.  All the Axminster Tools locations seem to be even further away.  Are there any smaller hardware stores near the city (doesn't have to be a Festool dealer)?

Are there any "must have" tool(s) that should I consider buying that can't be found in the US or perhaps something that's normally cost prohibitive to ship, something I could easily take back?

We are planning on visiting all of the touristy places in London and eating the famous dishes like fish and chips, pie and mash, Sunday Roast, Scotch Eggs, English Breakfast.

Any other recommendations?

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Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1805
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2019, 04:05 PM »
It's time for Harrods to open a Festool section. Have a cuppa in their sophisticated Tea Room to have something to brag about to your woodworking buddies.

Offline neth27

  • Posts: 573
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2019, 04:16 PM »
If you only have 3 or 4 days in London I would give tool shopping a miss. Visit the tourist sites instead.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5803
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2019, 04:51 PM »
this time of year youd best stay with the basics, tower of london(crown jewels), tower bridge, st pauls cathedral , london eye melenial bridge, take a water taxi to get around, buckass palace see the change of guard etc etc, you have to get tickets and stand in long lines to get in each, if ya got time see the natural history museum. 4 days isnt much. But if ya wanna buy some tool order on line have them sent to your Hotel.
Toolfest is very good and ships stuff quickly using couriers.

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 04:56 PM »
Oh dear.  Is it prime time tourist season??

I don't really like standing in line for things.  Seems like you need to get there very early if you want to see the changing of the guard.

Are there any tools in particular??  Chisels, mallet, saws, something else??
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Offline xedos

  • Posts: 31
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 04:57 PM »
Not really a hardware store sort of town or population.

That said, Leylands is a DIY / decorators store with some tools.  Many locations. If you're west of the park Notting Hill, if east then one in Pimlico.

A real treat in north Notting Hill is NuLine. Takes up at least half a block and they now have a second store two block north. They are about the only Festool outlet in the city center. Be warned, they close early and have limited Sat. hours. 

Screwfix has an outpost close to the west end of Hyde Park but, I'd go there last unless you're walking right by. Longer hours though and a Festool dealer too.  I don't know what this location carries if anything. So, report back if you visit.

Monday is a bank holiday so check the opening times of places you want to visit.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 05:11 PM by xedos »

Offline SS

  • Posts: 16
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2019, 05:01 PM »
Have to agree with neth27 - I'd enjoy London and skip the tool shops. You can easily lose lots of time exploring Harrods and it's a great (though expensive) place to have a bite to eat. The food halls are amazing. (Personally I'm not a fan of Laduree's tean rooms in Harrods though.) Whether Fortnum and Mason in Picadilly still sell scotch eggs I don't know, but that's where they were invented, and a lovely shop to explore.

You could do worse than find some cocktail bars if that's your thing - Mr Foggs in Mayfair is fun (https://www.mr-foggs.com), as is the Rev Simpson just off Tottenham Court Road (https://www.revjwsimpson.com). You'd probably need to call ahead but they're very friendly.

Covent Garden is a lovely place to wander, though near the market in the centre can be a bit of a tourist trap so keep your wits about you! Depending on budget, an excellent traditional English restaurant is Rules (https://rules.co.uk) and their pies are very good. Again, I'd say booking essential.

Assuming you're staying to the North/East of Hyde Park, Marylebone High Street has a great Peruvian restaurant (https://www.pachamamalondon.com) that might be within walking distance (Thayer Street).

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 752
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2019, 06:34 PM »
Many of the big London tool stores are gone now, giving way to online sales.
There used to be a great store on the Old Kent Road, not sure if it’s still there? They had everything in there.

I know some good stores but, nowhere near Hyde Park. I agree with others, three days will fly by, so maybe take in some of the sites etc.

D&M is a very good tool shop, I’ll be popping in there tomorrow. Trouble is, I always spend big money in there.
Plenty of Festool, Mafell in there, so can be dangerous, especially if there’s a deal on.
If you find a decent shop for fish and chips, it’s lovely! Same goes for pie and mash, and eels if you like.
English breakfast, I have a weakness for it.

Whatever you do, I hope you have a great time!

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5803
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2019, 08:03 PM »
If ya decide ya do want to go to a tool shop, Toucan Tools had the biggest selection of festools I seen

If ya want something then get some festool bling, festool swiss army knives, they sell another one with a locking blade and has a olive wood handle, maybe see if they have a limited edition kit like the one I bought for timber framing (great for outdoor projects). Healeys tools is where I found mind.

But again if ya wanna see the sites your gonna be pressed for time. there are long lines and look on line for advance ticket sales, they charge admission to the tower, the abby and there are long lines especially if you have to wait to buy tickets.

Use the water taxis to get around, they are pretty cool and will take you to most places and it will help you avoid the crowd of the tube.

If you do use the tube get a Oyster card its a pass you top up and is available at most tube stations and I think you can use them for buses as well.

they also have hop on hop off busses that take you to all the sites they run a route and run on schedule. you have to find one of their stops (no worries they are everywhere) and buy a pass. theyll take you all the sites.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1193
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2019, 09:50 PM »
V & A Museum -- Fine Furniture section.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6383
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2019, 09:59 PM »
Now that you've turned into a "router guy" investigate the possibility of purchasing a small MFS system for the return trip. The 400/700 series is a great start and they can be tucked into a suitcase for the trip to a new home...they're also NAINA.  [smile]

You know you want it... [poke]

I've made so many things with my MFS stuff that I'd be lost without them. I'm serious, I could name a dozen Festool tools that have had less bench time than the MFS including a TS 55.  [eek]
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 10:58 PM by Cheese »

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2019, 09:48 AM »
Not really a hardware store sort of town or population.

That said, Leylands is a DIY / decorators store with some tools.  Many locations. If you're west of the park Notting Hill, if east then one in Pimlico.

A real treat in north Notting Hill is NuLine. Takes up at least half a block and they now have a second store two block north. They are about the only Festool outlet in the city center. Be warned, they close early and have limited Sat. hours. 

Screwfix has an outpost close to the west end of Hyde Park but, I'd go there last unless you're walking right by. Longer hours though and a Festool dealer too.  I don't know what this location carries if anything. So, report back if you visit.

Monday is a bank holiday so check the opening times of places you want to visit.

Thanks for that information.  I had heard about the bank holiday "at the end of August."  I was afraid that might impact our trip, but fortunately we're going after the 26th.

Have to agree with neth27 - I'd enjoy London and skip the tool shops. You can easily lose lots of time exploring Harrods and it's a great (though expensive) place to have a bite to eat. The food halls are amazing. (Personally I'm not a fan of Laduree's tean rooms in Harrods though.) Whether Fortnum and Mason in Picadilly still sell scotch eggs I don't know, but that's where they were invented, and a lovely shop to explore.

You could do worse than find some cocktail bars if that's your thing - Mr Foggs in Mayfair is fun (https://www.mr-foggs.com), as is the Rev Simpson just off Tottenham Court Road (https://www.revjwsimpson.com). You'd probably need to call ahead but they're very friendly.

Covent Garden is a lovely place to wander, though near the market in the centre can be a bit of a tourist trap so keep your wits about you! Depending on budget, an excellent traditional English restaurant is Rules (https://rules.co.uk) and their pies are very good. Again, I'd say booking essential.

Assuming you're staying to the North/East of Hyde Park, Marylebone High Street has a great Peruvian restaurant (https://www.pachamamalondon.com) that might be within walking distance (Thayer Street).

Thanks for the recommendation to try and make reservations wherever we plan to go.  That will just require a little bit of forethought on our part (we often wait until the last minute to decide).

Many of the big London tool stores are gone now, giving way to online sales.
There used to be a great store on the Old Kent Road, not sure if it’s still there? They had everything in there.

I know some good stores but, nowhere near Hyde Park. I agree with others, three days will fly by, so maybe take in some of the sites etc.

D&M is a very good tool shop, I’ll be popping in there tomorrow. Trouble is, I always spend big money in there.
Plenty of Festool, Mafell in there, so can be dangerous, especially if there’s a deal on.
If you find a decent shop for fish and chips, it’s lovely! Same goes for pie and mash, and eels if you like.
English breakfast, I have a weakness for it.

Whatever you do, I hope you have a great time!

Fish and chips always sound great, but I think I'm always disappointed when I've had them in the US.  Maybe real deal authentic fish and chips will be better.  I saw some YouTube videos showing those eels.  They don't seem that appetizing to me, but I think my wife will like them.

If ya decide ya do want to go to a tool shop, Toucan Tools had the biggest selection of festools I seen

If ya want something then get some festool bling, festool swiss army knives, they sell another one with a locking blade and has a olive wood handle, maybe see if they have a limited edition kit like the one I bought for timber framing (great for outdoor projects). Healeys tools is where I found mind.

But again if ya wanna see the sites your gonna be pressed for time. there are long lines and look on line for advance ticket sales, they charge admission to the tower, the abby and there are long lines especially if you have to wait to buy tickets.

Use the water taxis to get around, they are pretty cool and will take you to most places and it will help you avoid the crowd of the tube.

If you do use the tube get a Oyster card its a pass you top up and is available at most tube stations and I think you can use them for buses as well.

they also have hop on hop off busses that take you to all the sites they run a route and run on schedule. you have to find one of their stops (no worries they are everywhere) and buy a pass. theyll take you all the sites.

Yeah some Festool bling would be cool to pick up.  I don't think I had heard about using water taxis.  Thanks for that tip.  I think we were primarily thinking of just walking or taking the tube.

V & A Museum -- Fine Furniture section.

That sounds good - makes me think of the furniture that I saw at that Museum in Chicago.

Now that you've turned into a "router guy" investigate the possibility of purchasing a small MFS system for the return trip. The 400/700 series is a great start and they can be tucked into a suitcase for the trip to a new home...they're also NAINA.  [smile]

You know you want it... [poke]

I've made so many things with my MFS stuff that I'd be lost without them. I'm serious, I could name a dozen Festool tools that have had less bench time than the MFS including a TS 55.  [eek]

YES!  The MFS system!  This is exactly the kind of "must have" NAINA item I was thinking of, but just couldn't think of a specific example.  Thanks!  [not worthy]

I wonder if an MFS would be eligible for the VAT refund.  If it were, I suppose I'd need to actually make the purchase in person as opposed to ordering it and having it delivered to the hotel since someone would need to see my passport?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

TS55, CT26, RO150, CXS, ETS 150/3, ETS EC 150/5, MFT/3, TS75, DF500, DTS400, OF1400, CT SYS

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6383
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2019, 10:15 AM »
YES!  The MFS system!  This is exactly the kind of "must have" NAINA item I was thinking of, but just couldn't think of a specific example.  Thanks!  [not worthy]

I wonder if an MFS would be eligible for the VAT refund.  If it were, I suppose I'd need to actually make the purchase in person as opposed to ordering it and having it delivered to the hotel since someone would need to see my passport?

I'm sure the MFS will qualify for a VAT refund. You just need to settle on a supplier and work things out. I'd start the email campaign today. There was a discussion probably about 9 months ago of the MFS being out of stock at several Festool suppliers both in GB and in Europe. They were all waiting for their inventory to arrive. [eek]

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2019, 10:56 AM »
Oh yeah.  I just checked D & M Tools's website and I couldn't find the MFS listed on there.

I better start emailing some UK dealers to see if anyone has any in stock.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

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Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5803
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2019, 11:55 AM »
Call Toolfest. If its available Warren will have it. He might have to order it.

So I would order it in advanced and have it delivered to your hotel when ya get there.

https://toolfest.co.uk

Toucan tools had the largest inventory of festools I seen

https://www.toucantools.co.uk

I dont know how their delivery is. But you can give them a shot call them and see.

FFX used to have some of the best prices. Once again call them

https://www.ffx.co.uk

skype is your friend

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2019, 02:55 PM »
Call Toolfest. If its available Warren will have it. He might have to order it.

So I would order it in advanced and have it delivered to your hotel when ya get there.

https://toolfest.co.uk

Toucan tools had the largest inventory of festools I seen

https://www.toucantools.co.uk

I dont know how their delivery is. But you can give them a shot call them and see.

FFX used to have some of the best prices. Once again call them

https://www.ffx.co.uk

skype is your friend

Thanks for those links.  I forgot 2 things: London is 5 hours ahead of me and I don't think Festool prices are fixed in the UK.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

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Offline neth27

  • Posts: 573
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2019, 04:06 PM »

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2019, 05:30 PM »
Unfortunately, I didn't end up buying the MFS.  I wasn't sure about trying get a VAT refund at the airport and I ran a little short on time trying to coordinate the order/delivery to the hotel.

We did, however, have a lovely time in London.  Thanks again for all of the suggestions and advice.

Here are some pictures of the food we had:

fish and chips and mushy peas  (this was Halibut)


We ate at St. JOHN.  For as famous as the restaurant is, I was disappointed.

bone marrow




grouse (something I had only heard about in regard to hunting season, but never seen on a menu before)



grunard (I had never heard of this fish before either)



a set breakfast, not quite a full English breakfast since it was missing the mushrooms and tomato


afternoon tea










Indian dinner




a proper Sunday roast


sausage and mash and a steak and red wine pie




haloumi fries


a full English breakfast
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

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Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 05:33 PM »
We did of course also do some sightseeing.

























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Offline Dusty.Tools

  • Posts: 130
    • Dusty.Tools
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 01:02 AM »
Unfortunately, I didn't end up buying the MFS.  I wasn't sure about trying get a VAT refund at the airport and I ran a little short on time trying to coordinate the order/delivery to the hotel.

We did, however, have a lovely time in London.  Thanks again for all of the suggestions and advice.

Here are some pictures of the food we had:

fish and chips and mushy peas  (this was Halibut)
(Attachment Link)

We ate at St. JOHN.  For as famous as the restaurant is, I was disappointed.

bone marrow
(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

grouse (something I had only heard about in regard to hunting season, but never seen on a menu before)

(Attachment Link)

grunard (I had never heard of this fish before either)

(Attachment Link)

a set breakfast, not quite a full English breakfast since it was missing the mushrooms and tomato
(Attachment Link)

afternoon tea
(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

Indian dinner
(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

a proper Sunday roast
(Attachment Link)

sausage and mash and a steak and red wine pie
(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

haloumi fries
(Attachment Link)

a full English breakfast
(Attachment Link)
Well done sir!

That’s a great selection of British food. Proof that our food no longer sucks :)

From a proud Brit who lives in Seattle, who is now hungry!


——————————
dusty.tools
@dusty.tools

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2019, 08:23 AM »
Thanks!  I was actually most excited about going to eat the British food.

I think we got most of what we were after.  We were missing a scotch egg, a pie and mash with jellied eels from a pie and mash shop, crumpet, and a pasty (though it's my understanding only the ones from Cornwall are the best).
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

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Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 849
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2019, 09:45 AM »
But you got good fish and chips, by the look of it.  We visited Scotland a while back and ate in two restaurants that won "Best of Scotland" for their fish and chips in the two previous years.  Both were head and shoulders above any that I've had in the US since.  Of course, I do live in Colorado, so it's not like we're swimming with great seafood - just trout.


I've got to go back some day...

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 875
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2019, 09:55 AM »
The fish and chips were good.  We got halibut, instead of the more traditional cod or haddock because the name of the place was "The Laughing Halibut."  It was probably the meatiest piece of fish I've ever had.  It was almost like eating a piece of chicken or steak.

To be honest, I'm never really that happy or impressed with fish and chips.  It always sounds good on paper, but it's always underwhelming to me.  I end up needing to drown the fish in the malt vinegar to give it some flavor.

The chips were very good though and the breading on the fish was nice and crispy, not soggy.  In America, I've noticed a lot of places sell fish and chips with like thin shoestring fries.  That's not right, they should be a proper thick cut fry.

I really enjoyed the experience of sitting in a genuine fish and chips shop.  I think they call them a chippy.  The fryers were in the front case just like I had seen on tv and in YouTube videos.  There was also a very long queue out the door for takeaway.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

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Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 752
Re: Visiting London
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2019, 05:53 PM »
Really glad you had a nice time, and experienced some of the traditional food.

I know a few fish and chip shops that serve great fish and chips, if I took you to one, you wouldn’t need to rely on the vinegar. The fish is moist and tender, crispy batter and proper chips.
They are not easy to come by nowadays though.
Cornish pasties are the only ones to eat imo.

There’s still some great pie and mash shops around but, the numbers are down.

One thing I always say the English are good at, is breakfast!

Great photos by the way, thanks for sharing.