The New York Times has a great article on one of London’s suburbs – Richmond.
Here’s an excerpt:
A scheduling quirk had handed me 36 hours to kill in London while en route from Oxford, England, to Portugal — a happy proposition for anyone with deep pockets. Perhaps the braised rabbit at Michelin-starred St. John and an orchestra stall seat at the Royal Opera House before retiring to a suite at the Covent Garden?
For me, alas, such luxuries are well out of reach. I also had little time to waste on leisure, with several deadlines to meet before catching my flight.
The path of least resistance would be to one of the lower-end hotels near Paddington Station, and a day of nursing a pricey latte while defending a table in a crowded cafe. Instead, I set out to find a nearby spot that might have a sight or two to see, a cheapish place to stay and a calm spot to work in.
Richmond, a town about 30 minutes from downtown London (though still officially within the city limits) – a £4 (about $6) train ride — with a reputation for being quiet and lovely seemed to fit the bill. It also had two nearby attractions that appealed to me: the deer-filled 2,360-acre Richmond Park, and Henry VIII’s former home, the Hampton Court Palace. (The palace is in the borough of Richmond, a bit outside town.)