In addition to that, we would welcome advice about places to stay in either the south of England or easily-accessible Europe between January 1st and January 5th. Our criteria are privacy*, comfort, ease of transport and the presence of bacon, with value as a tie-breaker. Staying in London and day-tripping to see people and places is perhaps the best option, but also the most expensive; if there's somewhere cheaper, reasonably pleasant and within convenient reach of public transport, then so much the better. We're idly thinking about picking a low-cost flight to Spain; I would rather draw upon people's personal experiences of Barcelona (good places to stay, suitability for those with little/no Spanish) rather than researching sources I can trust less well. Alternatively, resources that you trust would help considerably, too; this is a trust issue rather than a too-lazy-to-do-my-own-research issue.
* ...which means that any kind offers of rooms are likely to be declined gratefully, and I shall leave it at that. Isn't it funny how it's (almost) always the men who go "ugh, TMI! TMI! Wah!" and the ladies who are practical and positive about such matters? Not very helpful, much of the time, but funny.
It probably helps you if we can be a bit more specific about price range. In the past we've stayed in what was the London Euston Plaza, probably London's cheapest **** place. (One time it was excellent, the other time it was OK.) Large en suite room with a huge bed and a good bathroom for nominally a rate of £69 per night, but add tax and breakfast and we're talking £96 per night. That's still very good for zone 1 London, I guess, but I think we're looking for somewhere further out in the sticks and hope to make significant cost savings (say, £60-70 per night inc. tax and breakfast?) in order to offset the transport costs. So, yes; information on London bargains, surrounding town bargains and accessible, warm European bargains all requested, please.
Lastly, promoting other people's polls upon request: sophie10 has a Harry Potter poll about the Black family, alhewison has a survey about diversity and earthquake1906 has a poll about book buying. Please help all three out!