Our final day in London. Bittersweet, indeed!
We began the day by successfully navigating our way to the Victoria and Albert Museum via bus, which was sadly only a one decker.
When we arrived there was a crowd already queued up so we amused ourselves taking pictures of each other in the phone booth. Another couple of American girls joined in and thoughtfully offered to take a picture of us together. When the doors to the museum finally opened we were among the first to buy tickets to the two special exhibits they were showing.
Our first exhibit was Ballgowns; British Glamour Since 1950. Both of us preferred the older gowns to the strange new Project Runway looking creations in the modern section. My favorite was a frock created for Elizabeth Hurley’s Est?e Lauder campaign in the 80s. I also loved the white pearl number Princes Di wore to China. Of course, the ultimate gown was a sweet little number worn by Alexis Carrington on Dynasty!
Our next special exhibit was Hollywood! This included costumes from many of my favorite movies. Of special note was Scarlett O’Hara’s green curtain dress and a couple of gowns from Marie Antoinette. My other favorites were the blue velvet Austin Powers suit, the Big Lebowski bathrobe (which turns out came from Marshalls), an early Indiana Jones ensemble (including the bullwhip), the robe worn by Ming the Merciless, Darth Vader, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and Cat Woman.
We toured the rest of the fashion wing and two gift shops before we realized it was time for tea! Luckily Herrods was just up the road. In spite of Jenni’s dairy issues, we were able to enjoy tea for two in Herrods’ quintessential tea room. Our tea was a fine
vanilla blend and we also enjoyed a few finger sandwiches, scones and some fancies. Once fortified we headed up to the top floor’s Urban Retreat so I could get a sassy new London bob before heading home. My stylist was lovely (that’s British for really very nice) and also provided me with a cup of tea while she worked(I love this place!)
Our next stop was the Herrod’s shop, then we visited the Christmas Shop, and we finished it up with a walk through the food markets looking for the Candyland Jenni remembered from her last visit. When we couldn’t find it, we gave up and headed out to visit the tacky souvenir shops across the street.
We had to return to the Doubletree in Westminster to collect our bags and decided to give The White Swan another go before we headed up to Heathrow for our new hotel. Jenni had a salmon sandwich, which she said was very good. I ordered the steak and ale pie which had to have been better cause it was delicious! I also enjoyed a fantastic Bloody Mary which completely restored my faith in British barkeeps!
The instructions to journey to the Hilton Terminal 5 seemed fairly simple, and given our dominance of the public transportation system here, we headed out with full confidence. We didn’t have any problem catching the first train on the underground, or transferring to the second. We even found the right bus stop and boarded the right bus. Thankfully the bus driver was super helpful, cause he had to tell us which stop to get off on and that we had to “walk around the corner and up a ways” to find the Hilton. That turned into a thirty minute walk over some very rough and muddy sidewalks, dragging our overstuffed bags through a very dark street!
Although we found the hotel without any problems, the length of our journey prevented me from getting here in time to enjoy the executive lounge since they stopped serving cocktails at 8. Fortunately for me, they were kind enough to welcome me with a lovely bottle of merlot and a big fluffy bathrobe in my room.
Tomorrow I head home and Jenni is pushing on to Paris, although I’m already googling flights for my next vacation…