Touristy yes, but still fun

Last Friday I shared some photos of unusual sites you can see in London. This past Saturday we did a typical tourist thing. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe in London. The waiter informed us that the HRC in London was the first one. Two Americans, Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, founded it in 1971. It wasn’t until 1979 when the cafe started hanging rock and roll memorabilia on their walls. According to their website, Eric Clapton wanted to reserve his favorite seat so he handed over his Red Fender Lead II guitar to mark his spot. This guitar started the whole memorabilia collection. I would like to apologize. I tried getting a photo of the guitar but I was sitting on the opposite side of the restaurant and there was a large crowd in the bar, where it now hangs. Here’s a photo of John Lennon’s guitar.


I have two warnings about the Hard Rock. First, it’s pricy. The Better Half and I shared the appetizer combo and there was enough to feed both of us for the night. This turned out to be a good deal. My second warning is that usually there is a wait. We popped in during the England rugby match so there wasn’t much of a wait.

Still crowded, but we didn't' have to wait for a seat

Still crowded, but we didn’t’ have to wait for a seat

When we left, there was a line outside and it was cold and windy. If there was a line when we arrived neither one of us would have opted to stay.

Now that the warnings are out of the way I have to say we had a good time. The appetizers were pretty decent. Mostly I enjoyed gawking at all of the memorabilia.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Elton John

Elton John

Also they played a ton of old rock and roll videos on the TVs. It was a fun trip down memory lane. Not sure I would go back, unless some guests wanted to go, but it was worth a visit. And now that I know that it’s the original Hard Rock, well that’s just cool.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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41 Responses to Touristy yes, but still fun

  1. Add this to our list please!! 🙂

  2. LaVagabonde says:

    The HRC is definitely pricey, but no matter where you are in the world, you can be sure that the food and service will be good. As much as I prefer to be away from crowds of tourists, I prefer to eat here if I don’t have another, specific recommendation on a place to eat.

  3. bocafrau says:

    I’m not 100% sure but I think, we went to the Hard Rock in London when I was there on the class trip when I was 15. I’ve only been to one or two of them but have always enjoyed the atmosphere and looking at all the memorabilia. 🙂

  4. winsomebella says:

    Quite a nice collection they have at that HRC 🙂

  5. Beth Ann says:

    They are certainly fun places to go to and to be able to be at the original one—wonderful! I loved the pics even if you couldn’t get really close of shots!!! Now I am hungry!

  6. fgassette says:

    We have one here. I always just walk pass, now I think I will go inside to see what it is like. Thanks for the inspiration. Love your photos.


  7. aFrankAngle says:

    Your title says it all … Touristy and fun (paraphrased) … sometimes one needs that! …. just like Miles needs the ball. 😉

  8. Novroz says:

    Cool place!!! that Lennon guitarvis a treat

  9. I’ve still never been to the London one, but have done Rome and Paris.

  10. Wow, great memorabilia! Had no idea this was the first one. I’ve only seen the HRC in Vegas, D.C., Baltimore and San Diego.

  11. Geoff W says:

    Sometimes you just have to be a tourist! And that is pretty cool it’s the original. I’ve been to one in NYC and somewhere in Florida (Orlando maybe?) not out of a desire, but that’s just where we ended up.

  12. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’d like to go 🙂

  13. Definitely cool. Wish we’d known about it when we were there.

  14. I’ve only ever been there once 30 years ago with my first boyfriend! Can remember that we could afford one cocktail and a burger and felt teribly grown up and cool 🙂

  15. Colline says:

    Always wondered what the cafe was like. Now I know 🙂

  16. Fergiemoto says:

    I’ve been there!
    One of the things I used to do in my travels is to seek out the Hard Rock Cafe, have a meal and buy a T-shirt and guitar pin.

  17. The Guat says:

    Lennon’s guitar … dude very awesome. Very awesome.

  18. shabnamphoto says:

    interesting post, took me back to the time when we were in Gold Coast city inside the hard rock cafe store when suddenly the guitar on the facade started sparking and caused a real big fire…..

  19. The Hook says:

    Touristy works sometimes.

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