Kew Gardens and a musical

Monday, August 26, 2019
Apex Temple Court Hotel, England, United Kingdom
I didn’t wake up until 7:30am this morning, despite going to sleep at around 9pm. The rude awakening by the fire alarm probably contributed to my need for a sleep in! 
After using Dencorub and some medication, Michael’s neck felt considerably better. (He think the way he carried his camera around his neck may have caused the problem.) His morning run also helped loosen things up a bit.
After a delicious continental breakfast, we walked up to Leicester Square to buy some discount tickets to a musical. Michael is rather hard to please, and so I had let go of my idea of seeing ‘Tina’ (the Tina Turner story) and opted for ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie’. We discovered that each outlet has different seats to sell — something to bare in mind in the future. The first agent had a couple of premium seats in the stalls (8th row towards the side) for £45 each. I had been checking for seats online in the weeks leading up to our time in London and had noted that full priced seats for that amount were way up with the gods. 
Pleased with our purchase, we found our way to a tube station and successfully navigated our way from one train to another, our destination for the day being Kew Gardens. Having purchased our seniors tickets online for £14 each (there are a few advantages to getting older!), we were able to skip the ticket queues and enter relatively quickly. 
Kew Gardens is a huge rambling garden that reminded us a little of Central Park in New York, except for the fact that there are a number of large conservatories housing temperate, tropical and desert plants from all around the world. It was a hot day, and so we strolled slowly, covering the main areas and displays in 3.5 hours. 
Back at the station, we enquired from the woman on duty as to where we could find an M&S store (Marks & Spenser’s) in the city, as there were a few items we wanted to purchase. She informed us that there was an outlet about 10 minutes’ walk from our current location. With enough time to spare, we followed her directions, bought the required items, and then returned to the station within half an hour, even though I took us up the wrong road on the way back.
After freshening up, we went for dinner at the Thai restaurant that offers a reasonable meal deal (if you don’t order wine), and then located the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. We passed the security check and found our seats with less than 10 minutes before the performance began. It was disappointing to have the understudy in the lead role, as his voice was not as strong as we imagine the usual lead’s voice would be. The other cast members were very good, particularly the mother and best friend. The story is about a teenage boy who wants to be a drag queen. Overall, it was entertaining and well staged, but we did struggle at times to understand the Sheffield accents! The audience clearly loved the show, as it received a standing ovation. (Next time, I think I’ll choose ‘Tina’.)
I love the vibe of the West End at night when everyone is coming out of the theatres, but we had to hurry back to our hotel, as it was already late for us. (I do like the way London shows start at 7:30pm and end at about 10:30pm. At least we were in bed by 11:30pm, rather than midnight.
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Kew Gardens looks gorgeous lovely photos


The title of today’s report covers the two main events of the last Monday of your holiday, namely Kew Gardens and a musical. Like you, our visit to Kew Gardens in 1982 was on a pleasant warm day, but our route was by ferry boat up and down the Thames. Our musical was “Fiddler On The Roof” at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, the lead role played by Topol. Is that the theatre you went to?


Yes, Dad — the musical we saw was at the Apollo Theatre! :-)