Hubby’s favourite musical is Les Miserables and he has been dropping hints about seeing it for years, however, it has never really been on my radar and I have been putting it off.
The hints have been getting progressively stronger as time goes on, the film has been on the TV more times than I can count and the album is in his car, so I knew something had to give, so when Red Letter Days offered me the chance to review one of their theatre packages, I knew just which musical I was going to pick.
It is really easy to book a London meal and theatre package, simply click the buy this package on the website and make your payment and a gift certificate arrives in the post a couple of days letter.
Inside the distinctive red envelope is a gift card for the restaurant voucher and a gift card for the theatre experience, both of which can be booked online for selected weekday matinée an evening performances. I recommend booking the theatre before the meal to ensure they have availability for the performance you want to see.
Our chosen restaurant was the London Steakhouse Company in Chelsea, owned by Marco Pierre White.
What struck us first was the stylish, but comfortable and inviting dining rooms and the impeccable service from the word go.
I chose to upgrade our basic package of a two course meal and a cocktail to include dessert, for an extra £10 when we booked, but here are also the options to add further additions to your meal including a bottle wine if you choose.
Our starters included a spare rib dish and pea and mint soup, both of which were delicious and then it was onto the main course – steak.
One thing I will point out, is it is just the steak and sauce that was included in the price and we had to pay extra for any sides you want to add.
Dessert was Pecan Pie and Caramel ice cream and I had Lemon Posset and raspberries.
The food was amazing and we left the restaurant replete and in need of a walk, so we headed to Stamford Bridge for a look around a much quieter stadium than we are used to.
It was then time to head into central London to the Queen’s Theatre to collect our tickets for Les Miserables from the box office.
Seen by nearly 70 million people worldwide in 45 countries and in 22 languages, Les Miserables is one of the world’s most popular musicals ever written, with new productions continually opening around the globe.
Les Miserables, translated as The Miserable, is the story of Jean Valjean who goes to prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his dying family. He is released on parol 20 years later, but having been a slave for so long, isn’t accepted back into society and gets arrested again, this time for stealing silver from a kind bishop who takes him in for the night. Taking pity on him, the bishop says he gave the goods to Jean Valjean and he is set free, thus swearing to himself that he will turn his life around and become a decent person.
After re-inventing himself, a few years later he becomes mayor of a town and finds a woman dying in the street who used to work in one of his factories. He cares for her on her death-bed and promises to find her child, whom she is paying an inn keeper to look after, and take care of her. The Inn Keepers however, have been fleecing the woman (Fantine) for money, saying her daughter, Cosette, is sick, so when Jean Valjean finds her alive and well he buys her from the Thenardiers and brings her up as his own child.
As a teenager, a chance meeting with Marius sees Cosette fall in love, but like all good love stories, something has to get in the way – the French Revolution and drama and action ensues. Beware of the gunshots – they made me jump!!
After all this time avoiding it, I have to say I absolutely LOVED Les Miserables and can see why it is still going strong in the West End after so many years. We had the most incredible seats in row B, which really added to the atmosphere and the set was one of the most impressive I have ever seen, with seemless changes all the way through.
The music, the singing, the choreography, all of it was absolutely fantastic and I think finally understanding the story really brought it to life for me. The highlight of the show is definitely the comical Thénardiers, who had Hubby and I roaring with laughter.
I hate to admit it, but Hubby was right – it is by far, one of the best theatre experiences I have ever had and I can highly recommend the Red Letter Days package as it gave us a lovely day out in London to enjoy without small people in tow and is the perfect gift for a special occasion.
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary London meal and theatre package from Red Letter Days for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.