Day 17: Paris/London (28 Mar) #2

My Eurostar service from Gare du Nord to St Pancras was due to leave at 15:13 and arrive at 16:39. The crew held the train for about 5 minutes past the departure time for passengers stuck in passport control, but arrived relatively on time. Do take note that BST is 1 hour behind CEST, thus the 2 hour journey would seem as if it was only 1 hour on the departure and arrival times.

Facts:

  • Travel Class: Standard class
  • Service: Eurostar 9039
  • Rolling Stock: BR Class 374/ Eurostar e320
  • Seat Type: Table Seat
  • Seat: Coach 5, Seat 45.

My accommodations for my remaining time in London is going to be at The Gresham Hotel on Sussex Gardens, right down the street from Paddington, which I’m going to be staging from for the next couple of days. Once I arrived at 16:50, I rode the 205 bus to St Marys Hospital (Stop G). The wait for the bus is unexpectedly long though.

Now, I’ll make this clear right away. The Gresham Hotel is rated at 3 stars, and I have pretty high expectations for hotels rated as above. I do have very favorable experiences staying in hotels of this grade, however this has to be the worst 3 star hotel that I’ve stayed in. I’ll list out the pros and cons accumulated over my stay there:

Pros

  • Price is good, especially when associated with the location.
  • Excellent location, being right down the street from Paddington

Cons

  • Calling the hotel old would be an understatement. It’s ancient. Everything’s creaky everywhere and I had to go through so many twists, turns, stairs and doors to get to my room that it felt like a maze.
  • I was placed in a basement room, though I didn’t have a beef with this, the window failed to shut and lock properly and the window was directly under the entrance of the hotel.
  • My room was smaller then expected, decor and toilet was ancient, bedding wasn’t the best though the room and sheets were clean.
  • First receptionist was pleasant, though I couldn’t say so for the following ones.
  • My biggest gripe with the hotel was that my room was full of sound. I could hear people in the room directly above me walking around all night long as well as sound from the street bleeding in through the window that wouldn’t shut properly. Quality of sleep? Go figure.
  • There were piles of laundry outside of my window at times.
  • Their “Full English Breakfast”was exceptionally misleading. You’ll see.
  • I have to leave my key at reception every single time I go out? Doesn’t seem too safe.

TL;DR: If you on a shoestring budget just want a place to sleep and dump your bag, you’re good. But be prepared to sacrifice your sleep quality.

After checking in and freshening up, I went out in search of dinner, and having landed back on British soil, it’s going to be fish & chips for the win!

I didn’t need to go far. The area around Paddington was quite lively at night, and the first fish & chips shop that I came across was Micky’s. Needless to say, I walked in as a customer. I decided to have one of their meal deals, can’t remember the specifics of it but it was definitely fish & chips. This is where problems started coming.

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Staff was grouchy throughout the whole time I was in the shop. Fish was rather bland and chips were soft. The oil remaining was excessive as well. Portion was fair. While I was eating halfway, a drunk (I’d assume) gentleman came up to my table and started spouting gibberish, something about Hong Kong and some shit while making odd gestures as well. I’d rather not assume that this was racial in nature, but the staff did nothing while this was going on. The gentleman left on his own accord, and I booked it out of there right after finishing my meal.

Was it worth it for the price? I’d say no, largely due to the actions of the staff. The food was mediocre but edible, not the worst fish & chips I’ve ever tasted. I’ll have to write a post on that someday.

Will I come back? Definitely no, again largely due to the staff. It doesn’t even hold a candle to The Golden Chippy that I reviewed earlier. If it weren’t for the distance, I would have went back there.

After leaving Micky’s, I wandered around some of the souvenir shops in the area. This was where I picked up my “Mind The Gap” and London patches, and on my way back to the hotel, I ran into more restaurants, including a Malaysian one! What a coincidence.

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