See This, Skip That: London

The chic culinary scene in London has drawn celeb chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Joel Robuchon and Nobu Matsuhisa. Delectable dining for sure. But the alternative food scene is booming, and worth pulling up a chair. Try the Wild Food Café in Neal's Yard for cutting-edge all-raw cuisine. And you'll have plenty to taste, though nothing to see, at Dans le Noir, where you can enjoy one of three menus by dining in the dark and discovering what you've ingested only when the lights come on at meal's end.

Skip Hyde Park, See Victoria Park

A boating lake has helped make Hyde Park (which also includes Kensington Gardens) one of London's most beloved open green spaces. But Victoria Park, the city's first public park dating back to 1845, is a nature lover's secret. It's teeming with flowers, lakes and trees of all kinds (from cherries to oaks to hawthorns), and kids will love checking out the deer enclosure.

Skip Buckingham Palace, See Eltham Palace

OK, Buckingham Palace is a must. But if time permits, or if the crowds turn you off, consider Eltham Palace in Greenwich. Built in the 1930s on the grounds of a former medieval castle, this Art Deco mansion features stunning furnishings and lush gardens, and you'll find London's oldest working bridge over the moat. The entry fee – under £10 (about $16) – is about half the price to visit Buckingham Palace's State Rooms.

Gabe Saglie is senior rditor for Travelzoo. For deals on the web for London hotels, shows, restaurants, spas and shows, check out Travelzoo's U..K site at www.travelzoo.com/uk.

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