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A mini-break with a few surprises!

Combining a visit to some of our nearest and dearest with a theatre trip, we found ourselves in a ‘family friendly’ hotel in Aylesbury earlier this week. Arriving late on the first night and struggling to find our way in from the car park, we asked directions of a glamorous young lady who seemed to know where she was going. She smiled sweetly and admitted in a strong eastern European accent that actually it was her first time there too. The significance of the fact that she had no luggage didn’t occur to us until later on when we saw her being escorted to a room a few doors down from ours by a smirking receptionist. Could you blame me for scanning the faces of all the men eating breakfast alone the following morning and wondering which one had been her client?

London Covent Garden Maggie and David

We decided to drive to Amersham and take the Underground, one day travel cards from there being only around £10 each, a great deal cheaper than going directly from Aylesbury. By the time we reached Covent Garden we were more than ready for some refreshment.

London Covent Garden Bruce and David

Compared with Ripon, the price of even a simple coffee was quite startling and we purchased a very modest lunch from one of the stalls. Eating it as we walked around watching some of the street entertainers on the Piazza was fun, and we confined ourselves to one visit each to the 50p a time public loos located down some steps near St Paul’s. (Not to be confused with the cathedral of the same name and generally known as The Actor’s Church, it was designed by Inigo Jones and hosts many a memorial service.)

London Matilda

The main focus of the day was a matinee performance of ‘Matilda’ at the Cambridge Theatre and what a show that was! Our seats were in the second row from the front and we were so close to the action that we could count every hair on Miss Trunchbull’s legs. Yes, that role was played by a man, but Alex Gaumond was very far away from being a pantomime dame – more like everyone’s nightmare of their school P.E. teacher! I can only comment on the show in superlatives, every aspect of it being the slickest and most entertaining that I’ve seen in many a long year, perhaps ever. The children performing that afternoon were superb, the adults amazing, the scenery and special effects brilliant…  Gush, gush, gush! If you’re thinking of seeing the show for yourself, I suggest that you take a look at the official website: http://uk.matildathemusical.com/

The icing on the cake came that evening. We decided to eat at a popular restaurant in Leicester Square. It was busy, but we were shown straight to a table and our drinks appeared quite promptly. Deep in conversation and in no particular rush, it didn’t occur to us for quite a while that the food we’d ordered had failed to appear. Even then, we were content to wait and were completely taken aback when the manager, prompted by our waiter, appeared at our table and apologised profusely for the delay. Not only that, she insisted that we accept the entire meal – the drinks we’d already had and the food which appeared very shortly thereafter – compliments of the house. We certainly weren’t expecting that but were, as you may imagine, very happy to accept!



12 April, 2014 - There are 2 comments on this story

  1. You certainly packed a lot into your minibreak, and actually to get your meal free? What a bonus!

    liz young -

  2. Indeed it was. Especially as we hadn’t even complained about the delay.

    Maggie Cobbett -

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