Local Tourist: Central London
Where, When & Why
The British Museum, London// February 2018 // Coffee & culture on the cheap
It's no secret that the second you step out in London money haemorrhages from every orifice (gross) so I wanted to see if I could manage a self-care day date avec moi for less than £20. Adding the caveat of a solid homemade breakfast, here's how I got on...
Total Budget: £20 // Total Spend: £15.30
Travel: my monthly Oyster covered it
Smashed avocado & crumpets, homemade: £0.00
Entry fee, The British Museum: £0.00
Chai latte, Starbucks: £3.30
Cocktails, The Old Crown: £12
The weather was grim but my itchy feet wouldn't allow me to stay indoors. The need to get back in the saddle is strong at the moment but it was too late and too snowy to book a hack so I decided on expanding my mind at the British Museum instead. Somehow after many years living in London I'd never actually stepped foot inside this treasure trove.
Given it was pissing down and bloody freezing the queue outside the British Museum made my insides sad to the point the Starbucks across the road was an oasis, and I found sanctuary in the form of a chai latte. Basic, I know but whatever, at least they spelled my name correctly!
One thing I learned very quickly was the queue's bark was far worse than its bite and purely to get through security checks, so don't freak out if it's a biggie and you can bring your hot bev through with you. Ideal seeing as it'll never be cold enough to actually want to down a hot concoction of aromatic spices & soy milk.
My hit list for The British Museum was a fairly simple one: see mummies & sarcophagi, check out the Rosetta Stone, visit the Easter Island Head, & take THAT photo of the atrium roof. I won't sugar coat it, the Egyptian exhibitions are busy and although I managed to see brain hooks and many, many wild artifacts the constant bustle was a little much after a while.
Thankfully the back stairwell, covered in old af mosaics, was far less congested meaning my journey to Hoa Hakananai'a, the Easter Island moai, was dare I say it, a breeze. It appeared most opt for the Rosetta Stone route than walking passed homages to nothingness. Situated in the wide & open back room on the ground floor, this treasure takes centre stage. Short of hopping a flight to South America - a little out of budget for this particular excursion! - being so close to one of these ancient stone monoliths in my city was an exceptional experience. One I urge you to take full advantage of.
The British Museum is a one-stop round the world trip allowing every visitor to the experience and education of thousands of years worth of anthropology. I made it to the vicinity of the Rosette Stone, it was snowed under by visitors trying to take impossible selfies, and while I managed a glimpse I soon moseyed on to Africa. As it turned out this was the absolute right decision as this was the most immersive part of the museum, in my opinion.
After filling up on a world class education and bumping into a couple of friends, it seemed only right to reward ourselves with a cocktail. The Old Crown has the classic British boozer vibe about it and serves up a delightful prosecco smash (gin, bubbles and fresh plums. Ooh la la!) at £6 a pop. Not bad and stumbling distance from the museum, it seems it was meant to be.