A tourist in my own city

I always think there is something magical about May. The whole summer is ahead of you and there are so many adventures waiting to be had. In Britain, we get two ‘bank holidays’ in May, which means that we get 2 Mondays off work. I always try to go away on these weekends. The first one I went to visit my parents in Scotland, and catch up with some of my friends there. The one at the end of the month is where I go on my ‘Tuscan Tour’, which I will tell you about later. But for now, let me tell you about my adventures in London.

This year I decided that I needed to do more things in London, and really enjoy being a tourist in my own city. I’ve been taking time to re-explore areas that I love and used to go to a lot when I first moved to London, such as walks along the canal or going to areas like Notting Hill. This month I did a couple of new things, including going to the Albert Hall to watch Harry Potter and going on a tour of a gin distillery:

Harry Potter at the Albert Hall

 

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I grew up reading Harry Potter, and I am an unashamed Harry Potter fan. So when I saw that the Albert Hall was showing Harry Potter on a big screen with a full orchestra I booked tickets. The Albert Hall is one of those incredible buildings, both on the inside and outside. The tickets weren’t cheap, but it was so worth it. To re-live Harry Potter on the big screen while watching the conductor and the orchestra perform was incredible. There were times when I couldn’t decide if I wanted to watch the film or the orchestra. It was also really fun as we were encouraged to give a cheer to our favourite actors as they appeared on screen, even Mrs Norris, Filch’s cat got a cheer! My housemates decided that I belong in Slytherin (I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing?!), so when Professor McGonagall called out Slytherin I made sure to give ‘my house’ a cheer! It was a great evening and such a lovely way to spend a Saturday night in London.

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Gin tour

I love gin. It is my drink of choice on most nights out, and I feel like I there are suddenly so many wonderful gins to try. My friend and I headed to Beefeater Gin Distillery in South London to take a gin tour. This tour was split in to a 30 minute self guided tour where we learnt about the history of gin, then a 30 minute tour with a guide. I found this an interesting tour for lots of reasons: there are only 4 people in the distillery who actually make the gin! Beefeater gin stands out from its contemporaries as it was the (I think) first gin that wasn’t named after the person who made it. Instead it took its name from the Beefeaters, the guards at the Tower of London who look after the Crown jewels. The rest of the tour was learning how the gin is made, smelling the ingredients and seeing the massive stills they use, and the original one that started it all. I also discovered that Scotland plays a part in making this gin, as it is shipped up to Scotland where it is bottled due to part of the process needing good quality water (Scotland has ‘soft water’ whereas London has ‘hard water).  Oh, and of course we got a nice, large G&T to end the tour.

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