From Regency to Renaissance, I’m really geeking it out in England. Since I’m in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of one William Shakespeare, I had already booked tickets to two shows by the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company): Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist (£5 standing), and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (£16 restricted stalls). Yup, I always go for the cheap tickets, but the sight restrictions don’t bother me (and that’s how I tackled my Bardathon Long Weekend earlier this year).
My day was relatively laid back, starting with a satisfying English breakfast at the New Inn Hotel (£49). While the hotel is a little out of town, most of the accommodation within the centre had already been booked, and I didn’t mind paying a little extra for transport given this was by far the most affordable (and it helps that the staff have been super friendly and helpful so far!). I took a bus into town (£2.70; the taxi back was £7.40), then went to the three Shakespeare Birthplace bits in town. I got a Five Houses pass last November for about £20, and it lasts a year—so for the purpose of my current trip, I got free entry! Yay!
Of course, when I passed a cardboard Shakespeare asking me to take a selfie with him, I had to obey. A lady tried to offer taking a photo for me, but that would’ve been cheating—it had to be a selfie. Always obey the Bard.
A couple of other Shakespearean funtimes ensued, and I had a meander at all three places (the Birthplace, Harvard House, and Croft Hall).
My first show was at 1:30pm, and it was wonderful. I’ve actually never seen anything live and in-person at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre before, and absolutely loved the Swan Theatre. I’ve also never seen any Ben Jonson before, so this was a real treat—I’d highly recommend The Alchemist to anyone up for a good laugh. I had some snacks with me during the interval, so that served as a light lunch of sorts.
A meander, an excellent secondhand bookshop (The Shakespeare Bookshop), and then it was time for dinner! I’d discovered a lovely place called 33 The Scullery, which blew me away with its delicious dishes. I had a 20% discount on food items because I was there super early, and a g&t, starter, and main totalled £22.47. Apparently the restaurant is quite popular with locals, but not many tourists swing by—if you’re ever in Stratford-upon-Avon, I’d highly recommend going to 33 The Scullery, if only just for the Stratford Gin & Tonic!
And then I laughed till my sides hurt at A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Excellent stuff once again, Master Shakespeare.