Two years ago I went to London with my Dad (the father-daughter-bonding trip) and dragged the poor man up and down St. James’s Street (Little Sandy: “Oh, look, that building down there looks exactly like St. James’s Palace.” — Some moments pass. — “Oh, that is St. James’s Palace.”) (Have I mentioned I’ve never been really that good in geography?). The main aim of walking up and down St. James’s Street, however, was not finding out it leads to St. James’s Palace, but looking at the gentlemen’s clubs. All the old, famous London clubs can be found in this street, which accounts for the fact that during the Regency no gently bred woman would be seen driving or walking through St. James’s St.
One of the most famous clubs there is White’s. In the days of the Regency, Beau Brummell held court in the so-called Bow Window, which used to be the former entrance. And if you’ve read THE LILY BRAND, you’ll know that the scene in which Troy meets the queer Lord Dudlin and later on confronts his cousin takes place in White’s.
So, dragging my Dad up and down St. James’s St. was research. And I took many pictures. Especially of White’s. And of the famous Bow Window. Unfortunately, though, there’re no doorplates or such which would tell you the stupid names of the stupid clubs. So you sort of have to figure it out on your own and with the help of your guidebook (which is not very specific, though, and includes only photo, which you somehow don’t notice anyway because you’re so excited). So, imagine geographically challenged, totally excited Sandy running up and down that stupid street, taking umpteen pictures, and grinning inanely — and then, when she finally prepares the pics for putting on her website, she realizes she took pictures of the wrong club. And the house she thought was White’s, is, in fact, Brooks’s Club. Talk about being embrassed… *blush*