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Violating Sanctions

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The London Logs: Affordable, Accessible Art & Leisurely Lunches for a Wannabe Art Slut!

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 11th, 2012 | Comments No Comments

Tonight, I’m enjoying a late lunch of luscious mussels on Leicester Square, wondering how much more alliteration I can pack into this sentence. They’re in a wonderful cream sauce and served with pomme frittes that the Brits insist on deromaticizing by callingchips. Fabulous dinner in this outdoor corner restaurant overlooking the square is only £7.50 (about $12 US).
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I’ve been here for nearly 3 hours catching up on these blogs and savoring my meal and coffee. No one cares. Londoners are leisurely diners.

In ½ hour or so, I’ll head over a block to the London Coliseum to see the English National Ballet (www.eno.org) perform Swan Lake.
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I’m so impressed with how accessible and affordable the arts in London is. Most museums are free. Theatre tickets can found for ½ price at one of the many outlets at Leicester Square. Standing tickets for only £5 (about $8 US) for the symphony at Royal Albert Hall or Shakespeare at The Globe are readily available. The Globe sells 700 standing room tickets to each play and the Royal Albert Hall has 1400 standing room tickets! The ballet I’m seeing tonight is £10 (about $16 US).

What really is the budget-saver is that the venues are all Tube-accessible. In Los Angeles, I’d pay more for parking than for the show tickets I’m buying here! For £5 - £8 (about $8 - $13 US), I can travel round-trip to a new section of the city, hang out all day, enjoy a fun new restaurant and not worry about running up the parking meter.

And at these rock-bottom ticket prices, I can be an Art Slut and experiment with art forms I’m not familiar with, confident I can leave if it’s not my cup of tea. I haven’t been to a ballet in probably 2 decades and next Wednesday, I’m going to hear the Sao Paulo orchestra perform with guest conductor Marin Alsop at the Royal Albert Hall.

Enrichment just ain’t for the rich!
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Category: London, Shakespeare
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