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Tour of the Theater District and Traditional Afternoon Tea

January 12: Today we received an informative and lively tour of the Theater district from a local guide and actress.  Our tour began at the Embankment tube station where we learned about the history of the theater in London. We learned that royalty and members of the aristocracy would access the theater via boat along the River Thames rather than subject themselves to the filth and squalor of the streets of medieval London. We also explored a number of prominent sites associated with the Theater District, such as The London Coliseum; The Theater Royal, Drury Lane; and the London Opera House. In addition, we visited the Oscar Wilde Memorial and learned all about Nell Gwyn, who was an actress best known for being the long-time mistress of King Charles II of England.  

Later in the afternoon, we met for a traditional English afternoon tea at a restaurant in the Borough Market near London Bridge, which is what the students selected for our final group meal in London. The tea included a selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones, and clotted cream. 

Students looking at a large sculpture made of dark stone on the streets of London

The students visit a rather modern memorial to Oscar Wilde in the Theater district while learning more about his life and influence.  

Five students on a street in London standing in front of a bright red old fashioned callbox. The students are wearing rain gear and one of them is holding an umbrella up

An unsual telephone box sighting along the way captured the attention of a few students.

Image of sign saying Theater Royal Drury Lane on exterior of building

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the oldest theatre site in London still in use.  This is the fourth of a line of theatres built on the same site.  

Image of students seated at a long table in restaurant, taken from the head of the table

The group at afternoon tea in Borough Market, near London Bridge.

Two students seated in front of a cafe window

Ben and Gabe discussing course related issues and interests at afternoon tea.

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