So you are coming to this year’s Bash. You’ve dug out your best hat, because Sacha is a stickler for standards, polished your shoes (Graeme, ditto) and invested in a Kevlar jacket (to deflect the ferocity of the Hugh Hug – he’s not known as the Swansea Strangler for nothing). You will be arriving in the great souk that is London on a Saturday morning, when all sorts of ne’er do wells and foot-pads are abroad, determined to discombobulate you and deflect you from your Pilgrimage.
So how can I help ease some anxiety? How do you get to:
Grange Wellington Hotel
71-72 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA, United Kingdom
Where this door awaits.
What is behind it? Who? Why? All will be revealed on Saturday 15th June 2019. Well not all. Hugh’s tattoo has been known to melt people’s sinuses. Viewings are strictly by appointment.
Arriving at the Portal Of Infinitely Numinous Trifles (or the POINT) is always tricky for me, but here goes.
First assumption: you can get to somewhere in London on your own. Come on, you bought a ticket to the Bash; how hard can it be?
Second assumption: you might want to walk there from wherever you first alight in the Big Smoke, you may wish to try the buses, or even come in a car (as to which see later).
However I have assumed you will arrive via the tube, the metro, the underground. After all wherever you land in our magnificent metropolis you will be within a gnat’s gusset of a tube station. And even the most unsophisticated of arrivistes (and let’s face it, you blog, therefore you are used to solitude and a sepulchral indoorsy existence) can find a tube entrance with one of these jonnies above it/by it. Note to the wise: they won’t all have Victoria in the middle stripe. Natch..
Descend into the Stygian depths, oh brave heart, for there, and beyond, lie riches outwith mere mortal contemplation – aka a squee of delight when Sacha realises who you are which, be warned, isn’t a given since she’s a blind as a myopic cabbage on a first date in a Reykjavik rave during the midwinter gloaming and a power cut.
You will need a ticket thingy. For the tube. Queue or cue or even Kew, though don’t actually go to Kew, nice though it is at this time of year if you want a paper one. You can buy it at a machine or a window. But better still grab an Oyster (other crustaceans are available) card – unless you already have an Oyster card (it’s cheaper than a paper ticket) or if you have a contactless credit or debit card (which works in the UK) you can use that (cheaper than an Oyster).
You’ll need to go through the barrier. If you have paper, use the slot at the front; under NO CIRCUMSTANCES put you Oyster card or credit/debit card in the slot – a lugubrious man in his sixties will have to be called to open the machine to retrieve it; this will take 30 minutes and during that time a rent-a-crowd will be dispatched by London Transport with the sole purpose of humiliating you – not that I have any personal experience of this.
No, all plastic has to be placed adjacent to the yellow circles you see on the machine in the picture below. Give the chap in front some space, btw. Many is the time the cheating doofus in front has no credit on their card and if you use yours too soon, he/she will go through on yours leaving you railing against life’s vicissitudes.
PS, if you have phone thingy with a contactless function, no doubt this works too but, come on, I can’t be all knowing…
Here’s the helpful bit. They close different bits of the tube at the weekend while they look for auntie Margaret’s dentures. Here is a link to the status updates (you need to adjust the date – top right). Currently those useful parts of the District and Circle line that go through Victoria station are to be shut on the 15th but the Victoria line is good to go. Use that. Please. It’s worth a dander just to make sure nothing last minute has been included by find the miserable toads at London Underground just to stymie you.
And then you need to get to grips with the map. This
Easy, huh? You need to get on the blue line only there are two of them and since I don’t know your range of pigmentary perception, me saying ‘the light blue’ may be as useful as a chocolate teapot, but suffice it to say it’s blue. With Victoria as its title and that is a clue. A plot spoiler if you will since, when choosing the venue, we had one requirement (well two is you include a supply of endless peach mojitos) and that was that the journey there had to be idiot proof.
Here’s the hint
Find Victoria Station
Victoria is not a she but a thing. Though maybe stations are female. Like some countries. It’s certainly a woody name with tinny undernotes, which I think is quite important on a Saturday when there isn’t an R in the month.
Victoria station is, frankly still a bit of a mess. They’re rebuilding around it and any one with half a brain would not have chosen this as the place for a big meet up of a group of introverts who think cutting the crusts of cucumber sandwiches the height of sophistication. But then you’re not us, are you? Ha! We like to set a challenge…
You will come onto this platform. Just to note here, Victoria is a step free accessible station from train to street.
And will turn left off the train (if coming from the north – most will; I won’t but I live in the deep south). Head for this
And past this
And go up this
And find you way up some steps (there is/are a lift(s) too that will take you up if you need it)
to emerge into some chaos. Not quite the Alien-in-Gotham look of a few months ago.
You are now in daylight. With the platforms ahead of you. Ideally you will head for the lower numbers (1-7) to the left of this exit though since there are several exits and you may find yourself someone other than here
You may need to wander a little to get back on track. But nil desperandum, my peeps for life is simple – once in front of platforms 1-7 here
you need to look behind you for an exit. Here
Once outside turn right. Towards this
And then towards this
Let’s look at a map, for a mo
The above images are in Wilton Road. As you can see you follow under the buildings on Neathouse Place
and right onto Vauxhall Bridge Road
Carry on ahead, up to Rochester Row on your left (which is the junction before the one shown on the map. Here
You can turn here and go ahead to here
And then ahead towards this
And turn right here and then left to the Hotel.
Or, as per the map, walk past Rochester Row and turn left onto Hatherley Street
And ahead past St Vincent’s Square to the hotel
And you’re there.
If you come by car, it appears the metered parking bays are free on Saturday
And there you have it. I doubt you’ll notice anything and get there spit-spot without help. I can’t say it’s a great walk because frankly I’ve had greater walks to my fridge after a morning at the dentist. But as a means to a rather nifty end, it’ll do. We’re looking forward to seeing you all…
PS, if you need food there are several outlets as you head back to the station or you could grab something if you like. The hotel will, I expect, be pricy. it.
And if you’re still confused, well get a bloody cab, cheapskate.