London (review published 2007)

It was like a dream come true. I was within touching distance of Kylie Minogue’s famous gold hotpants.
This time, however, they were not struggling to contain the pint-sized pop princess’s perfect posterior – I should be so lucky.
Instead, the hotpants were forming part of an exhibition – and behind toughened glass to stop blokes like me copping a feel!
The collection, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, celebrates Kylie’s glittering career with original costumes, accessories and memorabilia.
It’s all there. From the less than flattering overalls she wore playing mechanic Charlene in soap Neighbours to the ostrich feather headdress she modelled on the Showgirl tour, which was interrupted by her treatment for breast cancer.
The hotpants, designed by Stella McCartney, featured in the sexy video for Spinning Around in 2000 and were credited with relaunching Kylie’s career.
Even more revealing is the hooded white jersey jumpsuit, slashed to the waist, worn for the popular Can’t Get You Out Of My Head promo in 2001.
Other highlights include an 18ft dress which hid a dozen dancers and a Dolce & Gabbana crystal mesh miniskirt, bra and choker, both from Kylie’s 2002 Fever tour (below).
KYLIE1..PIC EDWARD MOSS Kylie live at the NEC 6th May 2002
You can spot some wear and tear on the touring outfits caused by rushed costume changes, microphone pads and make-up.
The walls of the exhibition are lined with giant screens playing videos and concert footage and iconic pictures of Kylie from album covers and magazine shoots.
Plus, there’s a recreation of the star’s dressing room at her Wembley shows in January and her two Brits statuettes.
The V&A Museum is also playing host to an exhibition exploring the influence of surrealism on the worlds of fashion, design, theatre, interiors, film, architecture and advertising.
Over 300 of the most extraordinary objects ever created, including Dali’s famous Mae West Lips Sofa are displayed in a theatrical setting.
My wife Jayne (also a big Kylie fan) and I were enjoying a weekend break in the capital and, with our first baby on the way, we were watching the pennies.
We were staying at the Travelodge Covent Garden, where rooms start at just £26 a night, and our return train tickets from Brum had cost just £15 each.
Admission to the Kylie exhibition was free and when you travel to London with Chiltern Railways you can get two-for-one entry at many top attractions. The offer includes  London Dungeon, Madame Tussaud’s, London Zoo, HMS Belfast, the Tower of London and more.
Just pick up a leaflet from Snow Hill or Moor Street stations, cut out the vouchers and present them, with your train ticket, at the attractions of your choice.
By my reckoning, a couple could save over £50 on a weekend and a family even more. So go on, as Kylie would say, do the locomotion…
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Travel file
  • Kylie: The Exhibition runs at the  V&A Museum in South Kensington until June 10. Admission is free but to guarantee entry at busy times it’s wise to book in advance (booking fee £2 per  transaction). Call 020 7942 2000 or click here
  • Surreal Things runs at the V&A until July 22. Admission: adults £9, seniors £7, 12-17-year-olds £5, under-12s free. Two-for-one tickets are available through Chiltern Railways (see below).
  • For more great ideas about what to do and see in London and everything you need to know about the capital click see the Visit London website here
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Hotel rooms from £26 a night
The no-frills Travelodge Covent Garden is a five-minute walk from Holborn underground station in London’s theatre-land.
Its £26 rooms are available on selected nights and must be booked online at least seven days before the date of arrival. Family rooms are available for the same price (subject to availability). They are non-refundable and non transferable.
The clean and comfortable rooms have a king-sized bed, en suite bathroom, TV, kettle and tea/coffee. But to keep the costs down there are only two towels, no toiletries, no teapot and no biscuits. Hairdryers, irons and more towels are available at reception.
Guests should also be aware that they can’t ring reception from their room and that the hotel does not operate a left luggage service. For more information and to book click here
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Return travel from £10
Chiltern Railways has hundreds of seats available on up to 28 trains a day between Birmingham and London Marylebone for just £5 each way.
The ‘E-Day’ tickets are sent by SMS text message to your mobile phone in the form of a barcode which can be scanned by staff on board the train. The tickets must be booked online by 6pm the day before you travel.
An off-peak ‘Just 15’ ticket gets you between the West Midlands and London for £15 return without having to book in advance.
They are valid on trains arriving in London anytime on Sundays, after 1345 on Saturdays and between 1345 and 1555 Monday-Friday and departing London anytime on Sundays, after 1100 on Saturdays and between 1100 and 1555 or after 1955 Monday-Friday.
For more details and to book tickets click here

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