Location: IKEA Wembley (North London)
Direction: From Clapham Commons, take Northern Line to Elephant & Castle, transfer to Bakerloo Line to Stonebridge Park, then wait for the IKEA shuttle bus.
Travel time: 60 minutes one-way
Items to bring: oversized suitcase, credit card, Ipod, The Economist, lots of patience, muscles to lift 21kg (46lbs), warm clothes, and sturdy walking shoes.
Items purchased: New Dining set (46 lbs), two chairs (8lbs each), rug, misc. items (light bulbs, extension cord, etc.)
Results: New dining set!
The trek to IKEA from Clapham was a pain in the @$$! It wasn't like back home where I would hop in the car and drive to IKEA Emeryville. Imagine: no car, the Tube, at least 4-6 sets of stairs, and then carrying a 45 lbs box home from Clapham Commons (our luck, there was no black cabs out). Not so fun, right? We wanted to get a new dining set and a few rugs for the living room and bedroom, as our flat has hardwood floors. We were tired of eating off the coffee table. We did it back in Berkeley b/c we wanted to watch TV while we ate, but we have no TV here in London. And, honestly, we don't miss the "tellie."
It took almost an hour to get to IKEA Wembley on the Tube. Once you get to Stonebridge Park, a free IKEA shuttle runs every half hour to take you to the warehouse. If you plan on making a trip to IKEA, plan on a good half day, which includes transit time and browsing time. Keenan and I debated whether or not we should rent a car, but neither of us were ready to drive in the U.K. -- they drive on the opposite side. Renting a car would have probably been a huge hassle anyways, plus the IKEA parking lot was madness. We decided to brave it on the Tube and bought along a huge suitcase to carry misc. items. I don't know how we managed, but we made it home okay without breaking our backs!
We re-arranged our living room-- it more cozy now. We moved the love seat over by the window and got a new area rug for the living room.
New dining table - it expands to seat 4. I still have my beloved hutch from my undergraduate days. Look Chi, somehow that bottle of wine (in the blue bottle) made it from your Burlingame apartment, to Berkeley, to London.
Okay, we're ready for dinner guests!