Parking at VSC

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Narcissus, Apr 16, 2007.

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  1. Taking the young lady to chicago (the musical not the place) and will be residing at the VSC of the evening, anyone give guide on the best (and best priced) place to park?

    Also what do you wear to the theater?
  2. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    I was there recently but took the train....personally you wouldn't catch me driving through that part of London to save my life...can I suggest finding a car park outside of town and catching the tube/train in, there is a tube station about 100 yards from the VSC.

  3. Yeah I am a bit dubious about driving to be honest, just with its proximty to Oxford St and knowing the Mrs there wil be hell of a lot bags!
  4. There is a reciprocal agreement with an NCP car park and VSC. The car park is about fifty yards away and cost me £24 for about three quarters of a day but this was about two years ago (ish) so not sure if the agreement is still going. Seems expensive but worked out quite well if you tried to feed a meter for that length of time. Driving there didn't seem that much of a drama but then I used to live in London a few years back and if you have a satnav - job done.

    As for the theatre? As it's Chicago and not some poncey Islington theatre, wear what you like but as it's a nice night out with your shopaholic Doris, why not dress up a little?

    Have fun!
  5. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I lived in the VSC four days per week for years when I was in consultancy. I wouldn't even bother with a car, full stop. ISTR the Congestion charge now starts virtually outside the club, so if you take a wrong turning, you'll be clocking up congestion charge unnecessarily. I once invited a Recruitment Agent to the club to conduct an interview while I was looking for my current job ten years ago. Even parking at night was a nightmare. Now that Obertsgruppenfuhrer Blair has a house next door, with the advent of the CC and the increase in traffic over the last ten years, I would hold out no hope whatsoever of parking there. Not saying you won't get a space, but you have been warned.

    The Oxford Street area theatres (I am thinking the Palladium and the one on the junction with Tottenham Court Road whose name escapes me, which are both down the far end of Oxford Street) are comfortable walking distance and when you come out there will still be plenty of people on the streets to make you feel as safe as you might on London streets these days. And you can pick up supper from a number of places on the way back.

    It may be two stops on the tube but it's no distance on the surface.

    It's 2 minutes' walk from Marble Arch tube. I have sat in the Caffe Uno and the Lahori restaurants next door and watched traffic move more slowly than that up the Edgeware Road.

    Don't take the car. No, really, (as the 'Amster would say) don't.

    Edited to add dress for the theatre. If I visited the theatre during the week, I'd be in office dress (jacket and tie as per mess meetings) and often as not was over-dressed. Whatever you wear, you'll be safely mid-table between those in DJ and those in ripped jeans. Wear whatever you are comfortable in: you'll be sat there two hours or more.
  6. What day are you going to stay at the VSC, I was there in Feb arrived 1030 Saturday and left 1830 on Sunday, cost me £24 in the NCP car park just round the corner of Edgeware Road. Dress should be smart casual for the theatre, but you will see some right scruffs there.

    PS. No CC at weekends
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Americans, no doubt...

    I'll add my voice to those recommending travel other than by car. The VSC is not in a good area for parking, unless you want to be ripped off big style.
  8. As someone residing in "the Smoke" don't drive let the train take the strain. Realise this may reduce other halfs shopping spree, however the £8 you save on congestion charge/£24 parking may pay for taxi to get shopping back to VSC. On the plus side you can have cocktails in the Savoy/G&T at theatre safe in the knowledge that you will not be driving next day with thick head.

    As for dress at theatre, it is pretty much what you want to make it. Special date, smart casual then you can always go on somewhere else. Devils cloth only if you can do a passable American accent or DJ and silk scarf if delivered by Limo (though parking Q sort of precludes that!)

  9. If it's a week day you will need somewhere as far out as West Acton to get free on street parking and even then it's likely to be a ten minute walk to the tube. If you go into an NCP at, say, Ealing, you are not going to find it cheap - at least I didn't think so when I researched it the other week.
  10. Thanks chaps,

    Will be going by train, mrs fully debriefed on this. An slacks and a shirt should do the trick!

    Thanks for the advice!
  11. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    One more point. You didn't ask about food. (I haven't visited for a while so I cannot guarantee how up to date it is but ...)

    The Caffe Uno on the corner. It's a standard franchise place but it's close (same building as the VSC) and not badly priced. Once you've worked your way through the menu, it begins to pall, but entirely adequate for one evening. Compact and bijou. Friendly waitresses ;o)

    Walk down Edgeware Road toward Marble Arch without crossing (opposite side to the Odeon) and just beyond the hole in the wall Newsagent is (was: I hope Health and Safety law hasn't swept it away)) a Lahori restaurant. It looks rough as a box of frogs but you can get an awesome curry or kebab in the Kashmiri style. Superb food at good prices (cheap as chips, or is that curry?). Clientele is largely ethnic but I never had a problem in there. I once heard some old dears in the reading room of the VSC whinging about it, but they probably thought their butlers could do better.

    Talking of ethnic ...

    On the main junction as you approach from Marble Arch tube, diagonally opposite the VSC building and a few metres down Seymour Street toward erm I think Seymour Place is a Lebanese restaurant. I thought it was a little pricey and the food was unlike anything I'd ever sampled before but it was clean and well run.

    All the way up Edgeware Road there are countless ethnic eateries. The further you go out from Marble Arch toward Marylebone, the more ethnic they get. Maybe worth a look if you're feeling adventurous. Don't be surprised though to feel like you're in downtown Baghdad though, as the place is jam-packed with whole families in ethnic dress.

    The opposite direction, beyond Marble Arch, is Park Lane. Fine if you have a bottomless wallet ... I believe the Cavalry Club is down there somewhere if that's useful to you.

    Oxford Street speak for itself.

    The opposite direction from Oxford Street is Baywater Road. Nothing of interest unless you go as far as Notting Hill, but if you are doing theatre I doubt you'll have the time or inclination.

    Going back to Seymour Place. If you read Chris Ryan's The Kremlin Device, you'll find the climax takes place in a mews off that street. It's my fault. I met him in Waterstone's when he was publicising his previous book and I told him about the VSC and he could buy me a pint. A year later he released The Kremlin Device. He owes me that pint, but he's a tight Geordie get and I haven't had it yet.

    If you get the chance (probably not) visit the VSC library. If you can find a signed copy of a Chris Ryan book (forget which), I donated it. During my time I worked through a lot of that library, so I thought a signed Ryan was the least I could do to repay them. It is a charity after all.