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London - private House of Lords and Westminster

new york city
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London - private House of Lords and Westminster

We're planning our 1st trip to London (we've traveled extensively (live in NYC) but never to London - 2 adults and 1 18 year old. I'm sure I'll have many questions - tripadvisor forums have been lifesavers for other trips we've taken. I have an odd question to start tho. mid-June travel dates.

A family friend happens to be a retired member of the House of Lords - and has invited the 3 of us to lunch there and a personal tour of the House and Westminster. She did say that for dining (and she didn't say where exactly we were dining) my husband needs a jacket and tie (not a suit but min. jacket and tie). I need some direction on what my daughter and I need to wear to this - would a nice day cotton dress with a cardigan and nice sandals suffice? (worried about the sandals part). I want to be able to walk - so heels are out if we're out and about all day.

Thanks!!

Oxfordshire
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1. Re: London - private House of Lords and Westminster

There's no dress code for women - whether guests, workers or peeresses - in the House of Lords.

The American oddity that trousers are somehow less acceptable for women than dresses is an all-American peculiarity, and most workers and guests will be in trousers, though most peeresses and female robed officials wear dresses or skirts in the Chamber (where male peers and robed officials also almost all wear suits).

The Lords eating places most certainly aren't places for dressing with excessive elegance - and peeresses are almost all of an age, and retain a work ethic, in which comfort and efficiency trump style, especially in footwear: except for a tiny number of Ministers requiring intense security, ALL Parliamentarians arrive on foot.

Birkenstocks might be overdoing it - and if it's that kind of sandal you're planning to spend the rest of the day in, you might bring something a tad less hiker-y - but the Shabby Chic that characterises women's footwear in the Lords makes female US Senators look like a bunch of adolescent fashion addicts .

Even more than in London theatres, overdressing in the House of Lords is a solecism.

Edited: 13 April 2013, 16:45
new york city
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337 posts
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2. Re: London - private House of Lords and Westminster

thank you for your very thoughtful reply. (not birks btw! but comfortable black strappy dansko sandals...good to walk in but nice enough).

Rutland, UK
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3. Re: London - private House of Lords and Westminster

What a fantastic opportunity. I'm so envious of you. Twice before I've taken a tour of Westminster Palace and found it absolutely fascinating but what else have you got planned to live up to this highlight?

new york city
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4. Re: London - private House of Lords and Westminster

i think this might be a highlight! other than that, a classic 1st trip to london.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: London - private House of Lords and Westminster

<< retired member of the House of Lords >>

What's one of those. I thought you were a Lord until you died.

London, United...
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6. Re: London - private House of Lords and Westminster

No, you can choose to retire, but it's a fairly new provision.

7. Re: London - private House of Lords and Westminster

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