Myra DuBois may be the self-declared siren of South Yorkshire, but she also knows a thing or two about London. Here, she takes us along on the ride for her perfect day out in the capital... which may or may not end up with us watching her new West End show.
9am: wake up in the Hoxton Hotel, breakfast at Borough Market
Admittedly disorientating, this particular Hoxton Hotel is nowhere near Hoxton. Still, it's awash with instagrammable splendour thanks to its tastefully-curated mid-century aesthetics. Now, you can grab breakfast from the hotel if you like, my love, but we're a stone's throw from Borough Market, so I'm going to summon a rickshaw. Yes I could walk, but we've a long day ahead. Plus I'm terribly famous and the people of London shall want to see me being chauffeured around.
11am: a morning stroll along the Thames
Once we're done enjoying the endless rows of artisan produce at Borough Market, I think a little Thames-side trot along the river is in order. We'll take the rickshaw back to London Bridge, then work our way westward on foot, spotting landmarks like the Golden Hinde, the ruins of Winchester Palace and Shakespeare's Globe. (I'll wear my headscarf and sunglasses to avoid too many autograph hunters, but I'm sure you'll be fine as you are.) And we must do the Tate Modern, of course. I'll be in the members' rooftop bar, enjoying the views across the river. Come and find me when you're done. Then it's on to the South Bank and Waterloo Bridge. Look at St Paul's over there! Isn't she wonderful? An icon in the capital! Much like myself.
1pm: liquid lunch on the Strand
The Strand is home to many a hidden gem tucked down an alleyway, and I want to show you a couple before they get too busy. Let's nip into Bull Inn Court, and the Nell Gwynne Tavern. Named after a famous English actress. Just think! In hundreds of years from now, thirsty tourists might be seeking refreshments in the Myra DuBois Tavern! Mine's a little gin and tonic, if you're buying. Large. Not much tonic. Cheers!
Next, we'll skip across the road to the LGBTQ+ Retro Bar. It's been here in some form for centuries, and I myself used to host pub quizzes here (no, not centuries ago). The jukebox here is the best in London, and long-time guv'nor Lesley Lush takes great care in making sure a drink is a unique experience. Go on then, I will have another gin. Since you're at the bar.
3pm: a spot of retail therapy in Covent Garden
Now we're properly fed and watered gin and tonic-ed, it's time to work on our inner peace. I love a pootle around Covent Garden market; Pollock's Toy Shop soothes my inner-child with its wall-to-wall Victoriana. Then let's wander down to Seven Dials and into Soho. I CANNOT visit Soho without popping into Maison Bertaux for a cuppa and a cake. Let's not get too full though — it's nearly time for dinner!
5pm: dinner at Joe Allen
Where else would we dine but at the infamous Joe Allen. This legendary brasserie — moulded in the Broadway tradition — has been pulling them in for years, with a scrumptious menu, extensive cocktail list, and a pianist tinkling in the background. And all those theatrical posters are enough to put one in the mood for a show — which reminds me...
7pm: taking in a West End show
The West End is chocka with top shows, but right now, there's only one to see — my latest masterwork! Be Well was a smash with audiences and critics alike at the Edinburgh Fringe, I'll have you know. It's about being well, of course, and what I can do in my role of beloved celebrity to help. There are songs and music and costumes and... well, you’ll find out when you see it, won’t you?
10pm: post-show drinkies at CellarDoor
Wasn't I wonderful?! I imagine you feel incredibly healed after that. Post-show wind down? I should think so. Let's shuffle on down to a favourite late night haunt of mine, CellarDoor! A converted lavatory on Aldwych, they have a wonderful selection of cocktails and live and intimate cabaret into the small hours. I played some of my earliest gigs in London here back in 2008. What a lovely note to end on. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my rickshaw is outside...
Myra DuBois: Be Well is on at the Peacock Theatre in London 13-16 September, and continues on tour around the country until mid November. The show returns to London — this time at the Comedy Store — for a one-off show on 14 November.