Friday, November 01, 2019

'Wellington Hotel'

London The Unfinished City
The perfect place for an overnight stay.

Thursday October 31-November 1, 2019.

Since it was half-term and we had a few things planned (London Ghost Bus Tour, British Museum), we thought it wold be simpler to stay in London, overnight, rather than travelling  back and forth to Watford.

Usually we stay at Premier Inn, but, on this occasion, we decided on somewhere different. We had walked by the Wellington a few weeks before and thought that it might be an interesting place to stay. Situated just across the River Thames, from where we were to pick up our Ghost Bus, on Northumberland Avenue, it was also close to all the transport links we might need. The Wellington was perfect.

Our check-in was at 15:00, which was the exact time we arrived. The lady at reception was friendly and efficient and within minutes we were booked in. With swipe key in hand we made our way to the top floor, where our family room was situated.

The room was quite spacious and had 'London Eye' wallpaper across one wall. All of the rooms have this sort of design, apparently. With an en-suite bathroom, desk, television, well-stocked fridge, kettle, heating, free wi-fi and more, our room was perfect. There are also other room sizes available, depending on your needs.

London The Unfinished City
Our Family Room. 
Once we had settled and watched a bit of TV, and had a drink, we made our way out for some dinner. Just around the corner, on York Road, is the 'Enough to feed an Elephant' restaurant, where we had eaten before, while waiting for our trip on the London Duck Tour. Fully fed we headed off to catch our Ghost Bus.

Following an excellent Halloween evening out, we headed back to the Wellington. With two tired girls soon tucked up in bed it was time to relax, take stock of the day and plan for the next day.

The windows and blinds were very effective in blocking out the noise from the road and train line outside, allowing for an uninterrupted night's sleep. This allowed us all to wake up fully refreshed and ready for breakfast. Hurriedly we descended the stairs to the restaurant area of the bar, where the girls tucked into croissants and cereal, while Emma and I decided on the Full English, washed down with fresh juice.

The food was perfectly cooked and served without delay. The staff, again, were friendly and helpful, making for a great experience.

London The Unfinished City
The Losers.

After breakfast we headed back to our room to pack and get ready for the day ahead. Checkout was a breeze and, after a nice and interesting chat with the landlord, who was possibly the friendliest landlord I have ever met, we headed off on the next part of our two-day adventure.

With so many great thing going for it, I don't think it will too long at all before we stay at the Wellington Hotel, again.

London The Unfinished City
The Victors.
If you are walking past Waterloo Station and fancy a really nice beer, great food and an amazing pub, you should pop into the Wellington and, at the very least, check out the murals.

Brief History

The Wellington was used as an infirmary for wounded soldiers during the Great Wars, while also being a depository for dead bodies. This may explain why the ghost of an old army soldier is said to frequent the building.

The site became a pub in the 1950's and was used for many social and cultural gatherings. It was also a music venue, hosting the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Jam and the Who.

The pub was also known for its more villainous clientèle. The most famous of these was probably Richard Christopher "Buster" Edwards. Edwards ran a flower stall on Waterloo Road, opposite the pub, from around 1975. It is said that Edwards had two large vodkas, at the end of the bar, before being found hanged in a lock-up on Leake Street, behind Waterloo Station.

When the Eurostar train service stopped at Waterloo International Station, additional hotel rooms were added to the building, to serve the increased demand from overseas travellers.

In the pub is a mural depicting the Battle of Waterloo, on June 18, 1815. If you look closely at the mural many of the faces are of famous people, past and present. 

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