Program 249a: Home, High Tea, and Book Lust To Go

Release Date: 01-19-2013

On Air Description

On this week's Travel with Rick Steves, Bill Bryson points out what the rooms and items in your house can teach you about the world.

Tour guide Britt Lonsdale explains your options for enjoying an elegant afternoon tea in London.

And public radio's favorite librarian Nancy Pearl inspires us to read about the far away places of the world. 

Travel adventures from the comfort of your own home, and tea time in London.  It's all on the next Travel with Rick Steves. 

Notes to Stations

Program #249a is comprised of re-edited material which originally aired on Programs #249 and #242 in April and June, 2011.


  • Travel writer Bill Bryson, author of At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Random House)
  • Britt Lonsdale, Blue Badge guide from London
  • Nancy Pearl,  librarian at large for the public library system in King County, Washington, and author of "Book Lust To Go"  (Sasquatch Books)

Related Links

  • Random House featured Bill Bryson's book "At Home."
  • Bill Bryson's publisher has links to his latest book, "African Diary."
  • Britt Londsale is a local Blue Badge guide in London. Her e-mail address is for sending an inquiry about her guiding availabilities.
  • Fortnum and Mason in London's Picadilly is one of the places Britt Lonsdale goes for an afternoon tea service at its fourth floor Georgian-style St. James Restaurant. Their website includes a brief promotional video depicting the afternoon tea service there.
  • Other places mentioned for afternoon tea in London include the Orangery (behind Kensington Palace), the Ritz Hotel (where sittings start as early as 11:30am), the Langham Hotel, the Wolseley Cafe, and the Landmark Hotel.  Caller Cheryl particularly enjoyed afternoon tea at London's Dorchester Hotel.
  • Nancy Pearl is the author of "Book Lust to Go" and offers other reader recommendations in her "Book Lust" series.
  • The publisher's page for Nancy Pearl's "Book Lust To Go."


  • Recommends afternoon tea at the Dorchester Hotel. "I've been twice, first by myself, and then when I took my mother. The atmosphere was relaxing and both times the service and the food were impeccable, especially the sandwiches and the double clotted cream served with the scones." (Cheryl in Portland, Oregon)
  • "While in London, had High Tea at Brown's Hotel, the Ritz, and the Stafford Hotel. They were all great and fairly pricey. Where are some of the less traditional places that serve great Afternoon Teas?" (e-mail from Diane in Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • Adds to the travel fiction reading suggestions: Wayne Johnston's "Colony of Unrequited Dreams" about Newfoundland and "Easter Island: A Novel" by Jennifer Vanderbes. (Gail in Albany, Oregon)

Incidental Music

  • Susan Scott, "Early One Morning," Variations on a Dream: Music for the Celtic Harp / Horizon West Music
  • Hen's Tooth Discs, "Home Sweet Home," Authentic Musical Box Arrangements - Disc 2 / Hen's Tooth Discs
  • The Kings Singers, "Home Sweet Home," Annie Laurie: Folksongs of the British Isles / EMI Classics
  • * Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood, cond., "'Air' from 'Water Music' (Handel)," Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre: The Original Sound (collection) / L'Oiseau-Lyre
  • George Shearing, "Country Gardens," The Best of George Shearing, vol. 2 / Capitol
  • Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood, cond., "'Hornpipe' from 'Water Music' (Handel)," Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre: The Original Sound (collection) / L'Oiseau-Lyre
  • Trudy Pitts, "Take Five," Cocktail Mix, vol. 2 (collection) / Rhino
  • Babbie Green (aka Soldiers of the Heart), "High Tea with Lewis and Carroll," Soldier of the Heart: More Songs of Babbie Green / LML Music
  • Pianist Jack Gibbons, "A Foggy Day in London Town," Gershwin: The Authentic Gershwin Box Set / ASV
  • * Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by Gavin Sutherland, "'Minuet' from 'A Downland Suite' (John Ireland, completed by Geoffrey Bush)," English String Miniaturees, vol. 5 (collection) / Naxos
  • Martin Souter, "Keyboard Sonatina No. 3 in F major (Ignaz Joseph Pleyel)," Jane Austen Piano Favourites / The Gift of Music
  • Al Stewart, "Year of the Cat," Year of the Cat / Rhino
  • Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by Gavin Sutherland, "Suite navarraise - Le vert galant' (Paul Lewis, composer)," English String Miniaturees, vol. 5 (collection) / Naxos
  • Amber Rose Guitar Duo, "Teddy Bear's Picnic," Amber Rose Guitar Duo 2 / Rose Guitar Music
  • Roy Hogsed, "Snake Damce Boogie," Bear Family: Perfect For Parties (collection) / Bear Family Records (Germany)
  • Perry Como, "Far Away Places," Greatest Hits: 1943-1953 / RCA
  • Benny Carter Quartet, "Far Away Places," Sax a la Carter / Clean Records

Dated References

  • At 18:23, Rick says "At Home" is "Bill Bryson's latest book."
  • At 23:00, Britt says a posh tea service at The Langham, Ritz, Landmark or Fortnyum and Mason could cost up to £40, which is compared to US$60-70. Britt adds that she and Rick were able to split a tea order at the Wolseley. At 31:35, she says the Orangery serves a less expensive, simpler afternoon tea.
  • At 32:56, Britt says the Langham Hotel recently won an award for their afternoon tea, which is served between 2-6pm, and usually requires a reservation.
  • Nancy Pearl references a program about literary travel she hosted at the mid-Manhattan library in New York City "a few weeks ago" at 41:04.
  • At 43:40, Nancy refers to "a new book" about North Korea by Barbara Demick. At 44:37, Rick refers to Nancy Pearl's "new book," "Book Lust To Go."
  • Nancy mentions at 52:52 that Burma/Myanmar is being run by a military junta, and that she chooses to call the country Burma to be more in solidarity with its history and writers.

Additional Info

Books mentioned today by Nancy Pearl include:

  • Donna Leon's "Guido Brunetti" series of mysteries set in Venice
  • "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" by Barbara Demick
  • "Tiger Tail" by Gus Lee
  • "The Saddest Pleasure" by Moritz Thomsen
  • "The Colony of Unrequited Dreams" by Wayne Johnston
  • "Easter Island: A Novel" by Jennifer Vanderbes
  • "The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax" by Dorothy Gilman
  • "Between Terror and Tourism: An Overland Trip Across North Africa" by Michael Mewshaw
  • "Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile" by Sara Wheeler
  • "Finding George Orwell in Burma" by Emma Larkin
  • "The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia" by Paul Theroux
  • "Dark Star Safari" by Paul Theroux
  • "Travels with a Tangerine: From Morocco to Turkey in the Footsteps of Islam's Greatest Traveler" by Tim Mackintosh-Smith