Thursday, September 29, 2011

London - Day Two

Fortified by a Full English breakfast, The Heiress strolled and I limped to the Boots shop on Tottenham Court Road for band-aids before making our way to Oxford Street for bedding.  We found the extra long sheets needed for her dorm bed in Debenhams but the duvets were rather pricey so we made our way to Primark.  The Heiress' eyes were wide with glee when she scanned all that is lovely and inexpensive there...and I do mean inexpensive!  It was already packed with university students stocking up on household items and browsing this autumn's fashion.  She found a duvet, a cover she adored and a polar fleece throw to match for 18 GBP.  With a huge smile on her face and thoughts of her dorm room beginning to shape up we made our way back to the B&B to shed our bags.  I was nervously calculating just how much "stuff" we had to cart to St Pancras the next morning.

We're immensely interested by the World War II era in our house and hearing about my last trip The Heiress wanted to see the Imperial War Museum for herself.  I wish that I had taken down the details of the painting above but my attention kept being pulled by a group of seniors visiting the museum.  We listened to snippets they were sharing with family about being evacuated to the countryside, wearing gas masks or their treasure of half a tin of biscuits from the family's ration book.  Oh to sit down with them for an afternoon!  Forget the balled up tissue tucked inside a cardigan sleeve and their slow shuffle, I could easily imagine these seniors in wool short pants and starched dresses playing or helping out.  After a bit I steered The Heiress to the exhibit with the bomb shelter you sit in and listen to bombs falling while it's completely dark inside...then a blast hits and the bench actually shakes!  Or was that a hunger pang?  We had a delicious soup and salad lunch in the cafe and strolled back in the sunshine to the tube station.  The half-price ticket booth in Leicester Square was our next stop.

With tickets in our hands for Betty Blue Eyes we wearily made our way back to our roost for a rest...and then it was back out to Covent Garden.  We don't sit still for very long do we?  The hustle and bustle, the crowds gathering outside the pub, the fashions and the buskers...there is so much to see!  The candy shop, pictured above, was busy with people buying up bags of sweets to see them through their theatre production of choice.  But we had something else in mind.

The Heiress had spied the delightful, and ever so popular, Primrose Bakery.  Before you could say "Yum!" we were in the shop and I was counting out pound coins.  I wanted to try the carrot cake cupcake to see if their recipe was as good as mine.  Oh my this is heaven!  The Heiress had a lemon cupcake and she did offer me a bite but that would have meant I had to reciprocate and I wasn't sharing.
Fortified by sugar we crossed the street to the Novello Theatre to have the best time at the theatre we have ever had.  This wonderful musical is based on the movie A Private Function a hilarious comedy about meat rationing just after the war, a particularly lovable pig, social climbing women and a confused mother-in-law.  We knew Sarah Lancashire was starring and were thrilled to watch her perform but someone else came as a complete surprise.  At one point three gentleman appear on stage wearing overcoats and fedoras and one in particular catches my eye...can it be?  Leaning over to The Heiress I whisper "Is that Mr Collins?" (you know...the wiener vicar/cousin from Pride and Prejudice).  Sure enough, it was David Bamber playing Dr Swaby!  And can he ever dance!

Choosing this musical was complete serendipity and it couldn't have been a more perfect choice given our day at the war museum.  The Heiress and I were thrilled with our evening at the theatre and we'll never forget it.  Especially since my daughter has the clothes peg that Sarah Lancashire had on her nose and flung into the audience!  We met a lovely couple in front of us visiting the city to participage in a road rally and a couple behind us from Los Angeles.  They laughed when they found out we had just bought our tickets that afternoon, theirs were purchased six months ago.  Unfortunately this show has had its run and is now closed but if it ever pops up near you don't hesitate to rush out to get a ticket.

Tucked up in bed it wasn't long before we were out like a light.  The Heiress was too tired to even worry about the butterflies that would come the next morning as we packed up her worldly goods for the next stage of her life in Canterbury.


  1. Darlene, wait until your daughter discovers The Sugar Boy shop in Canterbury
    which is miles better (and cheaper) than Hope and Greenwood. I try to force myself to walk past because it's all too tempting. But those maple brazils ...

  2. I love Sarah Lanchashire, she is a fantastic actress. I don't know how you find all the energy - but am glad that the IWM was included!

  3. This looks like such a wonderful trip for you and your daughter. Enjoy every minute.

    Thanks for sharing all of your great finds!

  4. I have enjoyed seeing Simon and Rachel (and others?) post about your meet-ups and I hope you don't mind me mentioning how striking you are. I don't think I have ever seen a picture of you before and I must say when I first saw the photos I thought they were of your daughter not you. I am not sure what I was expecting. I can't wait to read about the rest of your peregrinations.

  5. What a lot you have packed in!

    And you have to also love Primark!

  6. Oh Darlene! I am exhausted just reading about your trip! What a shame Betty Blue Eyes is closed - I would have loved to have seen it!

  7. mary, Great name for a candy shop! Her dentist won't thank you but I'm sure she would, thanks!

    Verity, Oh you have me beat in the energy department any day.

    Elizabeth, And thanks for dropping by...I have a list of things to see and do already started for my next trip.

    Thomas, Well that is kind of you to say. I've just been blessed with youthful genes I suppose. Which wasn't always appreciated, like when I was handed a complimentary baseball hat at a Blue Jays game on "14 and under day"...when I was 25!

    Jo, Can't even imagine that place on a Saturday!

    bookssnob, The clothes were to die for, Rachel. If you haven't seen The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre it would make the perfect night out closer to Halloween.

  8. Did you know, there's a film of Woman in Black coming out shortly?

  9. Hello, Darlene - I've just popped over from Book Snob.
    How I envy you visiting London - and especially meeting up with Rachel.
    The painting you liked is by Ardizzone, one of the best ever illustrator. The clue is in the way the child is sitting and the lovely free lines he used.

  10. mary, I've seen the trailer and plan to be at the head of the line when it finally arrives at the theatres here. Thanks for the heads up my friend!

    Chrissy, If you haven't met Rachel yet then you're in for a treat, she is every bit as lovely as you could imagine. And better still, she has a wicked streak! Thank you so much for filling me in on the artist of a painting I adored. Off to look up more work by Ardizzone!

  11. I've had to backtrack as I want to read about your adventure as it happened. Sounds like another lovely day. You know, of course, that I am taking notes in preparation of someday going back myself?!