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25 Things Women Should Know About London

Free music ...
Lots of famous London venues offer free music in London. Here's few for you to check out even before you leave home. (1) St Martin's in the Fields, (2) Festival Hall (3) St James's Piccadilly (4) Royal Albert Hall


Best food without breaking the bank...
I recommend (1) Café in the Crypt, St Martin in the Fields Excellent food in an historic setting. (2) Masala Zone Restaurants offer top Indian food at reasonable rates. (3) Fancy some tasty fish & chips? My choice is The Golden Hind, 73 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2PN. Tel 020 7486 3644. (4) My favourite for a traditional roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding is Rules on Maiden Lane. However, it's pricey so special occasions only. Make sure you book weeks in advance.


Affordable women-friendly sleeps ...
Come and stay in one of my homes! Especially for women travellers it's good to come home to friendly, helpful hosts. You'll have your own door key so you may come & go as you please. Website:


Free museums and galleries ...
Here is an excellent, all inclusive list. Yes these are ALL free entry except for their special exhibitions. I love the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton (2 minutes from Hoxton tube) with furniture and household goods from the 17th century. My all time favourite is the John Soane Museum because you really get the feel of the man, his life and pets. I go every time I am near Lincoln's Inn Fields.


What to tip in the U.K...
10-12.5% is fine however many restaurants automatically add on 12.5%.


How about a picnic in the park?
Buy a picnic and head for one of our beautiful central parks: St James', Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regents Park, Holland Park and the Brompton Cemetery. Or try a small, interesting square like Soho Square with a park and garden area at its centre. Built in 1681, history books suggest that a brothel once stood on part of the square. And, in the book, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Soho Square is where Lucie and her father, Doctor Manette, reside. Today it's a quiet little haven in the middle of the bustle of Soho.


Browsing the markets ...
Take a stroll down Petticoat Lane or Portobello and search out the bargains. My tip for Portobello market is to go very early, before breakfast, on a Saturday morning. This way you'll get the bargains without all the crowds. My father once picked up a violin, started playing and before long there was an audience putting money in a hat. As a teenager I thought it was THE most embarrassing thing in the world! I've picked up a couple of 1940s jackets in Petticoat Lane Market. Again the earlier you get there, the better. Open on Sundays 8am-2pm, Middlesex Street, London E1. Bonus! Want more? Here's a full list of interesting London markets


Are you an Arts & Crafts kind of girl?
Start at (1) Contemporary Applied Arts. (2) Move on to Falkiners, a treasure-trove of beautiful paper & artist supplies. (3) Then to Cornellisson. (4) Ending at the London Graphic Centre. Have fun!


Take time for Afternoon Tea ...
With major hotels charging over £35.00 each for this British delight, I'm tempted by these gorgeous, less costly places. (1) The National Portrait Gallery offers afternoon tea £19.95 each, with great views over London, including Lord Nelson's backside! (2) Tea for two at the UpsyDaisy Bakery costs £29.95. They've recently won the best Alcoholic Cupcake Award & National Championship 2012.



Reader's Bonus Tip - Lunch in a museum ...

Treat yourself to lunch at Victoria and Albert Museum. Arrive in time to eat your mid-day meal in their cafe. You'll marvel at the choice of fab food delights on offer. Yes, it might cost between £8 - £10 but I promise it will be worth it. The Café is located in the V&A's original refreshment rooms, the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms. Being there is part of the enjoyment. These three rooms formed the first museum restaurant in the world and were intended as a showpiece of modern design, craftsmanship and manufacturing. Once you're done you can take a free tour of the museum and delight in all its marvellous exhibits.

Submitted by Jane in Delta, BC, Canada



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