Readers, I must confess something to you: I love British food. I know that every world traveler is supposed to pooh-pooh British cuisine as bland and boring. I’ve just never found that to be the case.
I’m fond of meat pies. Some people get squeamish when they even think about eating kidneys. My mouth just starts to get juicy. I think kidneys are tangy. And I assume they’re vaguely good for you. I like shepherd’s pie, too, even though it isn’t really a pie, and is rather a mashed potato concoction. I always forget exactly what “bangers and mash” are when I leave the isles, and order it again blind when I return, and am generally pleased by the sausages nevertheless.
But perhaps more than I have any right to, I actually enjoy guzzling warm beer in London
pubs. Perhaps it’s just the many trips that I’ve taken to London that have warped my my mind and corrupted my once-good taste. I don’t particularly enjoy football – soccer to Americans, or “footie” to a certain kind of fan – but I do enjoy soaking up the energy in an authentic pub as one set of footballers trounces another over on the “telly” above the pub counter.
You won’t find better London accommodation
than there. It was a long time ago, but I recall that the shower heads in their bathrooms are set up so that the water falls directly on your head rather than at an angle. It just sort of falls on top of you like an artificial rainstorm. Perhaps because Londoners are so accustomed to being rained on, some enterprising British plumber decided to turn it into a kind of five-star being-rained-upon experience. When you head out onto the street in front of the hotel, men in white gloves and black hats hail down cabs for you.
Not many travelers to London will be able to afford the rates at the Savoy, even though we might aspire to, but there are plenty of other more affordable choices – from Easy Hotel, a functional but low-cost outfit, to Umi London, a high-service three-star hotel.