One last pub, one last museum

Historic Prospect of Whitby pub.

By the time I left the Lush spa in my blissed-out, sweet-smelling state, it was early Friday evening and time for some dinner. After two weeks of pub food that ranged from mind-blowing to food poisoning, it was tough to choose one last place, but I went with the Prospect of Whitby.

This historic pub is along the Thames, a bit away from the city, and kind of in the middle of a residential area that doesn't have a whole lot else to offer. This 16th-century pub was frequented by people like Samuel Pepys and Charles Dickens, and at least the old stone floor — if not the wood-barrel bar and the rest of the dark old wood decor — seems to be from their era. The space was as lovely and historic as any of the pubs I'd visited, but alas the fish and chips were pretty mediocre.

I got up Saturday morning, the last morning of my trip, and was glad I'd opted for a late afternoon flight. It gave me a chance to get in just a last little bit of sightseeing, and sort of eased me into the end of my trip. Usually, the last day of a trip has nothing but a flight or a train ride — at least the latter is scenic, but there's absolutely nothing redeeming about the former.

So for my last few hours, I opted to spend more time at the V&A museum. I'd been to the British Museum on my last two trips and was always impressed at the range of world history just waiting there for you to view — for free. What I didn't realize was that across the city, there was an equally large, equally grand, slightly quirkier museum. The V&A is famous for its textiles collection, and I guess I'd sort of assumed it was all about textiles and fashion.

Main entrance to the V&A.

Wrong. The V&A has exhibits on a variety of materials, but it also covers the gamut of world history. I spent a lot of time Saturday wandering through the European galleries, viewing furniture, art, and clothing from a span of about 500 years.

One of the mammoth galleries at the V&A.

Too soon, it was time for one last ride on the Heathrow Express train, out to the airport for what turned out to be a delayed flight (if only I'd known...more time at the V&A!). And, I suppose, it's time to wrap up the blogging on my trip. There are a lot of things I probably should have blogged about, but didn't, like my attempt to travel with only one carry-on bag, plus a messenger bag (a good idea that worked out well, generally, although I wish I would have used a wheeled bag, and the last-minute need to take an air cast threw a wrench in bag space). But it's time to move on to planning new trips!

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