was really hard to resist all London's wonderful
winter sales that take place every January.
to keep travel costs to a minimum, we satisfied
our urge to splurge with the purchase of
only a very few tiny souvenirs. Instead
we learned about British style and products
by browsing through museum gift shops, the
food hall at Harrods,
the shelves at Boots
Druggists and the magazine
racks at Waterstones.
one of the world's largest toy stores was
an absolute delight to explore -- perfect
for the child in each one of us! (188-196
Regent Street). It was there that I bought
a Thomas the Tank Engine zipper pull for
£1 and a mini book called ' Mummy
Laid an Egg!' at the new Tate Museum for
We had loads of fun and finished the day
with our budgets intact.
visited museums galore -- each one more
interesting than the next. Entry to the
main collections was always free. The only
costs were for special exhibits that the
museums were offering. Those fees ranged
from £8 for a Reuben exhibit at The
to £6 to see the photography of American
Diane Arbus at the Victoria
and Albert. On a budget?
Just skip those extra choices and seek out
all the other fashion, architecture, art,
doll houses and ceramic displays plus much,
much, more that have no entry fee at all.
You can be busy for days and never see all
that is on offer. P.S. If you're interested
in knitting, look into the information at
the V & A. You'll be a very happy Journeywoman!
out the Women's
Library situated on Old
Castle Street (Aldgate East Tube stop).
Their unique collection of female-centered
research material includes topics ranging
from women's rights and the suffragettes
to cookbook collections along with the journals
of women travellers who journeyed the world
long before it was fashionable to do so.
The present exhibit (until August 26 2006)
entitled 'What Women Want: Stories from
The Women's Library' sounds like it can
be most informative and great fun as well.
Miss that one and there'll be others that
follow. Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:30-5:30, Sat:
10:00-4:00. Website: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/thewomenslibrary
final big splurge...
rained our last day in London. Though the
light drizzle did not deter us from our
morning sightseeing, by the afternoon our
toes were cold and we were running out of
steam. Suddenly, like a mirage in the distance
appeared the Savoy
on The Strand. Opened in 1889 this venerable,
grand hotel is still one of 'the' addresses
in London. It's posh, posh, posh and every
afternoon formal high tea is served in their
lush art deco Thames Foyer. At £28
per person ($US49.30/$CAD57.30) it's definitely
a great big splurge and that's exactly why
we chose it. Afternoon tea is a ritual in
Britain so why not participate in one of
the classiest? After all, history tells
us that this is where Noel Coward performed,
Caruso sang and Pavlova danced in Cabaret.
The Savoy has an extensive tea menu, including
a fine selection of natural and decaffeinated
teas. We were free to test as many types
as we liked. A three-tier plate laden with
goodies was placed on our table. The lowest
level contained a selection of tiny, tasty
sandwiches (smoked salmon, stilton and apple,
hummus); layer two was filled with tantalizing,
miniature cakes and pastries. On the top
layer sat a variety of fresh, warm scones
accompanied by strawberry jam and thick,
heavenly, clotted cream. Formally dressed
waiters circled the room ready to refill
your goodie supply as requested. Need more
smoked salmon? Want more éclairs?
Just ask and it was presented with a gracious
smile. Oh my goodness it was wonderful!
We never felt rushed and were free to remain
and unwind for as long as we wished. With
the tinkling of a piano in the background,
Marilyn and I surveyed the scene and reminisced
about all the fun we'd packed into the last
five full days in London. We also calculated
how we would spend the extra holiday money
we'd saved by skillfully balancing penny
pinching with a few calculated splurges.
We were JourneyWomen who'd learned our lessons
well. P.S. Dress code at the Savoy is smart
casual attire. We wore pants and a turtleneck
and that was adequate. Reservations are
generally recommended: + 44(0)20 7420 2356
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The Savoy closed to
undergo a £100 million restoration.
The hotel will reopen some time in 2010.
travel guide to consider…
members of the Journeywoman Network, Polly
Boline and Barb Chesley have written, ‘You
Go Girl, London – A Travel Guide Just
For the Girls.’ The
back cover of their guide reads, ‘See
the sights women like. We highlight the
top historical sights, museums, shopping,
eateries and theatre.’
To whet your appetite, the following is
an excerpt from their female-centered guide
‘This was the first permanent memorial
to Princess Diana following her death. The
walk is seven miles long and winds through
four of London’s most beautiful parks,
linking places that were important in the
life of Diana. The walk is marked by circular
plaques that have been set into the walkways.
These plaques point the way to the next
site on the walk. A wonderful place to start
is at her final home, Kensington Palace.’
To learn more visit: http://www.yougogirltravelguides.com
Read lots more