Tag: visit London

Sliding Doors filming locations in London

Just like yesterday’s post about Bridget Jones, let me tell you about another of my favourite films, Sliding Doors, which was released in 1998 and how I went to a really amazing filming location from the film the other day!

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First, for those of you who might have not seen this film, I personally think it’s a gem of a rom-com and I won’t give too much away. Its story line focuses on Helen (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) who is fired from her job in PR, drops an earring in the lift as she starts her journey home (which is picked up by ‘James’ played by John Hannah) and goes to catch the London Underground train.  However, at that point, the story splits into two parallel worlds: the one where Helen just about squeezes onto the tube train (and consequently gets home to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman and is befriended by James who she bumps into again) and the world where she misses the train, gets mugged and lives with her boyfriend, unaware of his infidelities. There are many moments  in the film as the story lines intertwine.

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The idea of the film came from director Peter Howitt who was late meeting a friend one day and was walking down Charing Cross Road.

“I impulsively dashed across the street, and was nearly hit by a car, and that brush with death got me thinking. Something inside my head thought, ‘That’s interesting. What if he had hit me then?’ What are the knock-on effects, the domino effects.”

And actually, Peter gave himself a cameo role at the restaurant where Helen is working as he’s the long-haired guy who orders food. And at a pre-filming party, John Hannah’s wife (actress Joanna Roth) got the part of the ‘suspicious lady’.

Much of Sliding Doors is filmed in London, obviously with the London Underground taking a central role and it’s Embankment Station where Helen catches/misses the train. The mugging takes place outside the Landmark Hotel on Marylebone Road, close to Regent’s Park. The Landmark itself is a stunning 5 star hotel and you can have afternoon tea in its Winter Garden Restaurant which I did many years ago.

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Many of London’s bridges feature in the film as well as restaurants such as Bertorelli’s in Fitzrovia where Helen works in the one of the story lines and, in the other, she drinks with James. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on Fulham Road features in both parallel worlds.

But the location I’m most excited to tell you about is Fat Boy’s Diner which features a couple of times in the film and it’s where my action packed day to London started with breakfast. It’s a typical American diner and located just across the River Thames from the O2 in Trinity Buoy Wharf. Having caught the underground train to North Greenwich station, I walked to North Greenwich Pier and jumped on the ‘Predator’ boat which I had all to myself! The staff were lovely and I devoured a Cumberland sausage baguette knowing that I had a very busy day ahead. And if you’re in the area, do take advantage of the Emirates Air cable car that also goes across the Thames from near the O2 to the Royal Docklands. During rush hour, it’s a 5 minute journey each way but outside of its busiest times, it doubles its journey time so that you can listen to the running commentary and see the Docklands beneath.

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And don’t forget one of the most famous quotes from the film:

James: Cheer up. Remember what the Monty Python boys say.

Helen: “Always look on the bright side of life”? 

James: No, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.”

Visiting some film locations is one of the many things on my bucket list and tomorrow I’ll tell you about somewhere else I checked into the other day, a STUNNING location from Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Happy Sunday everyone ♥




Had THE most action packed day in London!

Wow! Wow! Wow! I’ve been home for about an hour and I could swear that my feet are about to fall off from all the I’ve done today. Over the past week or so, I’ve mentioned on here about the things that I hoped to do and I did them all….and more! There’s too much to tell you in one blog so what I’m going to do is run through everything in brief detail with some photos to give you a flavour of the day but then go into a lot more detail over the next few days.

So, the day started with going to Fat Boy’s Diner which is THE diner used the film Sliding Doors. Well, to get there from North Greenwich underground (at the O2 arena), you have to call a guy on a mobile and he comes to pick you up in his boat! It was like having my own boatman to tend to my travelling needs! I was the only person on the boat (there and back). The diner is fantastic and I thought I’d have breakfast there to start my day. Then, after going back to the O2, I caught a cable car which goes above the Docklands and O2 which gave the most impressive sights of London.

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I did various things today which related to some of my favourite films, mainly British rom-coms. So, I photographed the door of Bridget Jones’s flat in Borough Market, the famous blue door in Notting Hill, St. Luke’s Mews from Love Actually, St Bartholomew the Great Church from lots of films (including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love) and the entry to the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. At Kings Cross station, I found platform 9 3/4 with a very long queue of people waiting to have their photos taken in their choice of scarf depending on which of Hogwarts’ house they felt they’d belong to! 

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Markets featured today with trips to Borough Market (oh, wow. I wish I could cook as it’s a paradise for walking buying the most amazing ingredients) and the beautiful Leadenhall Market (which also features in Harry Potter).

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I didn’t think I’d fit in Little Venice but the taxi drove overhead on the way to Notting Hill and the barges on the canal looked beautiful that I had to go there too. And by complete surprise, I found that it was right next to Sheldon Square which is used in the summer to show films on large outdoor screens.

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I found Neal’s Yard tucked away in Covent Garden which provides a splash of much needed colour on an overcast day. It’s full of healthy food, drink and treatment so a diet coke was out of the question and I paid for the most expensive apple juice ever! I then found one of the Seven Noses of Soho (more about that to come later this weekend).

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I went to the British Library (which is the biggest in the world), the British Museum  (although this was my last thing of the day and my feet didn’t carry me far into it) and the Sky Garden! Oh, wow! It lived up to my expectations and more.

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I could not have fitted in anything else today and I feel like quite the tourist! I’m absolutely shattered and I’ve got a bit of work I need to finish off tonight. But I’ll tell you more about the above things over the weekend. I hope you all have a good one ♥


Planning an ACTION PACKED 5 hours in London!

I wrote fairly recently about whether people are either tick-box travellers or whether they like to spend time reading the plaques on landmarks to find out about the history, etc. And when writing this, I had my forthcoming 6-day road trip in mind.

But I’ve got an adventure to go on this week….I’m off to London on Friday afternoon and I’ve got SO many things I want to do. Yes, I’m the type of traveller who wants to get in, take photos, tick it off my list and head off to the next place. Now, I live in Sussex which isn’t far from London but I rarely go up there and I want to make the most of my time. So, these are the places that I’m really hoping to visit and photograph:

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  • The trolley going into the brick wall on ‘Platform 9 3/4’ at King’s Cross train station (yes, referencing Harry Potter)
  • The British Library which is in the biggest library in the world
  • The British Museum (which is open until 8.30pm on Friday)
  • Neal’s Yard (I’m so excited about ticking off this one)
  • Leadenhall Market including the entrance to the opticians (which was a filming location for the door into the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)
  • Little Venice
  • The blue front door used in the film Notting Hill where Hugh Grant’s character lived (and also photograph the coffee shop where Hugh spills his orange juice over Julia Roberts and the bookshop where Hugh worked.
  • St. Luke’s Mews which was a filming location for Love Actually where the character Mark declares his love to recently-married Juliet by holding up cue cards
  • The Globe Tavern (which was used in the film Bridget Jones’ Diary for her flat)
  • Borough Market
  • And………..my VIP visit to the Sky Garden where it’s been arranged for me to bypass the public ticket/queue. I’m going to be signed in by someone who knows someone who knows someone I used to know!

Actually, now I’ve written it, that’s a very long list!  If you look at my bucket list, you’ll see how some of the above will be positive steps towards either ticking off or working towards some of the challenges. So, this is going to take careful planning, a heap of energy and a fully charged phone to capture everything! And, yes, I’ll blog on Saturday afternoon to tell you how many of these I managed to tick off.

I’d love to hear about your favourite places in London…..just in case I can squeeze in one more place!