Friday, 6 November 2009


OK- you'll probably have gathered from my month's adventures that I live on a pretty tight budget. Make do and mend is nothing new for me, although I have ideas way beyond my purse. But I want to tell you about two tips for living the high life on a low income in the capital. Today I really wanted to go to a spa. Having been on the road for 4 weeks, I felt I could do with a bit of relaxation and pampering. But of course, the bank account couldn't take it. So instead, I went to one of my favourite London haunts - Ironmonger row baths near Old Street tube. The baths were built as a public washroom - and now they house a Turkish bath, a laundry and a swimming pool. I've tried the pool before, and it's fine - big with lots of lanes. But today my destination was the Turkish baths. For £13 you get to spend as long as you like trailing between the steam room, cold plunge pool and three rooms of varying shades of hot. You can hire a towel for an extra £5 (refundable on return) which means you don't have to traipse around town afterwards with something dank and damp in your bag. It's a bit rough and ready down there - there's no piped music, glasses of champagne or fluffy gowns, but I like it. There's a real camaraderie and on ladies-only days you don't even have to bother with your swimming costume. After relaxing in the water and heat treatments you can lounge around on a variety of odd looking beds, so I was able to get on with my knitting! I also treated myself to a salt scrub - which at £12 was busting my budget a bit - but compared to a spa - it was really good value. A sort of massage plus booking just ask on arrival and you're fitted in. After all that doing nothing I was feeling a bit peckish and headed to the Japan Centre near Piccadilly Circus. It's really the best value and best tasting sushi in London. BUT - imagine how thrilled I was to find that just before closing(at 9pm) they knock a whopping amount off everything. I bought my six California rolls for 65p instead of £2.60!!! All the rest of the fresh sushi was similarly reduced. So my advice is get down there after a film or a drink and stock up. It tastes all the better for being such a bargain! I'll race you.....!

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