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JENNY ECLAIR ON DUBROVNIK’S TOURIST TRAPS

Camberwell-based comedian Jenny Eclair is glad to be back from her holiday in Dubrovnik, Croatia – turns out it’s all tourist traps and overpriced breakfasts…

I am returned from my holidays and not a minute too soon – lawks a-mercy, Croatia is expensive. Ok, so we went to Dubrovnik, which is an exquisite tourist trap disguised as a Medieval Walled City, albeit a medieval walled city with laminated menus.

Holiday resorts have two options – capitalise on the culture or push tat in tourist’s faces. Dubrovnik should be doing the former, but it is insisting on doing the latter. The Ancient One and I were the only two people in its glorious modern art gallery. Possibly because you could only gain entry on a multi-museum entry ticket – buy one, buy all, but I didn’t want to go to all! I just wanted to see some art. They didn’t even have a cafe.

How peculiar that a place with so much going for it can get it so wrong, I will never complain about the price of a Pret sandwich again. There is something about feeling ripped off (and for a Londoner to feel ripped off is really something) that can really put a dampener on a holiday.

What can you possibly eat for breakfast that’s worth 25 quid? I’d want lobster on toast, swan waffles or carpaccio of unicorn for that

Our hotel was exquisite. Beautifully positioned with stunning views and far from the madding crowds, but rather oddly there were no prices on the breakfast menu. I thought it was included in the deal – it wasn’t. Breakfast, regardless of whether you had one croissant or 18 boiled eggs, cost the equivalent of €30, which is £23.50 in our money – for breakfast!

What can you possibly eat for breakfast that’s worth 25 quid? I’d want lobster on toast for that, I’d want swan waffles, I’d want carpaccio of unicorn (actually that sounds disgusting), but do you understand where I’m coming from? There is nothing more distressing for a sensible middle-aged British female holiday maker than seeing a child toy with half a muffin, spill a glass of orange juice and then leave the table, knowing that he has cost his parents £25!

So we’re back in London town, where everything feels reasonably priced, apart from houses, which are on a par with Croatian breakfasts. That said, a 19th century bomb-proof fort on the Thames has recently been on the market for £500,000 which, compared to some one-bedroom flats for the same price locally, sounds like
a bargain to me.

While I’m on my penny-pinching band wagon, one of London’s favourite freebies, the Imperial War Museum, has re-opened after a £40 million refurb, spent mostly on what looks like the biggest staircase in the world. There were still some snagging problems on our visit, like no way of telling which floor the lift had arrived at, actually finding a lift in the first place, and the painting galleries seem airless and squashed.

However, the current exhibition, Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War, is a stark reminder that sometimes you’ve got to put things into perspective, that 100 years after the First World War there are still bigger and scarier problems in the world than overpriced breakfasts and lifts that don’t land where you expect them to. I decided to get a grip.

jennyeclair.com

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