Larin i i ndon
From the moment it opened, the debate's been raging over London's biggest marquee. The List thought it was time to make a fair but firm judgement on the Dome and the other new additions to London's
skyline. Words: Maureen Ellis
Cast your mind back exactly one year and try picturing London‘s major tourist attractions. Buckingham Palace. Big Ben. the Tower of London and even Harrods might spring to mind. If you had trouble thinking of attractions which don‘t include a dome or a wheel. then rest assured. you‘re not alone. London has taken to the millennium in a big way. and scale is the all-important factor: so much so. that the urban tourist landscape of London has changed almost beyond recognition.
But it‘s not all been plain sailing. and the
most notorious of its latest icons is the
Millennium Dome. As a spectacle. the Dome is amazing: the facts alone speak for themselves: did you know it can hold two Wembley Stadiums. and the structure is lighter than the air it encapsulates? Like a cocooned Disneyland with advertisements. it is a full- blown assault on the senses. a mass of colour and activity. noises and space. Yet the more you explore inside. the more disappointing and disillusioning it becomes. There is lots to see. less to do and less again to take an interest in. Constantly looking and observing quickly becomes tedious. and anything remotely interactive is so busy it manages to make this massive space claustrophobic and cluttered. The Millennium Show is worth watching for its spectacular aerial effects and acrobatics. but like the rest of the Dome. it is disjointed and fails to evoke any strong emotions. With queues for almost everything. and full price
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entrance a whopping £20 (and that‘s on top of any tax contributions you may already have made). it makes you realise that someone somewhere has really got their stuns wrong. If you‘re still planning a trip. take advantage of the half price entry after 4pm: it’s quieter and dusk affords some impressive views of London.
Despite initial teething problems. the Millennium Wheel aka London Eye has had a smoother ride. Again the structure is striking. but call me naive. l was disappointed it wasn't a massive Ferris wheel and you only got to go around once. The views are impressive. but a couple of tips: take along a native to point out the major landmarks — I managed the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace on my own — and if possible. wait for a clear day: there‘s no point queuing for hours to watch raindrops trickle down the pod whilst you‘re inside.
Just a short walk along the Thames is London‘s most impressive millennial addition. Tate Modern. An awesome building in size and design. its sheer magnitude is breathtaking. fusing the industrial past with the postmodern future. The revamped Blackhill power station. which incidentally still provides much of London‘s electricity. houses a collection of art which can only be described as phenomenal.
On entering the mammoth Turbine l-lall. you are met with Louise Bourgeois‘ huge iron sculptures. complementing the iron girders
Rather than rely on the guide books, we asked London girl and music-biz insider Anita Higham for some nightlife recommendations.
78 West Central Street, Ho/born — Ho/born tube station (Central and Piccadilly linesl Hip bar/restaurant adjacent to the famous London club The End, co-owned by the Shamen's Mr C. Bustling bar downstairs, fu5ion restaurant upstairs serVing food until 3am during the week.
70 Lexington Street, Soho — Piccadilly Circus tube station (Piccadilly and Baker/00) Also found in Camden, Kens/ngton High Street, Knightsbrrdge, Bloomsbury and Mary/ebone. Part of a chain throughout London serVing big bowls of ASian soups and plates of noodles. Served at long bench tables, there is often a queue but worth it for the good food at good prices!
35 Ear/ham Street, Covent Garden —
C ovent Garden tube station (Piccadilly) Cocktails are the speciality at DetrOit, a subterranean dwelling With mellow