This week a large group of Spanish teachers arrived at the school. With the very sunny and warm weather we have been having, and the sound of Spanish all around, it was very hard to remember that we were still in London, England! We've had a busy week on the social, with two outings each day!
Owen and his lovely little dog Jess took two groups of students out for a walk around town. On Monday the temperature hit 32 degrees and was incredibly humid. Tuesday, for the second walk, was cooler but a massive thunderstorm broke out. Luckily everyone had an umbrella but even so, they had to shelter in a gay pub in Soho – everyone felt welcome, even Jess! The poor little thing looked like a drowned rat by the end! This group of students all come from Spanish towns in North Africa – Ceuta and Melilla – so they’re not used to wet weather like this. Owen took the students for fish and chips at the end of the walk at a great little restaurant called The Rock and Sole Plaice. Do you get the joke in the name? Rock, sole and plaice are all varieties of fish… Other groups went to the Museum of London for a photo exhibition on London Streets on Monday, and to the British Museum on Tuesday. The British Museum is so impressive, and there are so many things to see, that some of the students decided they would have to go back on another day to finish the visit! On Wednesday there was a boat trip on the Thames, which took 27 Spanish students from Westminster to the Tower of London. It's a nice little trip which takes about 20 minutes, during which one of the boat's staff comments on the different buildings and important landmarks. The students were lucky again as the weather was lovely… Little drama… A student "may" have got lost in the crowd of Oxford Street on the way! Keep together people! When walking in big groups in busy places!! (We did get in touch with her in the end!) The other Wednesday event was the National Gallery visit, which was led by Charlie and Amy. They had a respectable group of people (see picture in front of the gallery, on Trafalgar Square) and had a nice time, enjoying all the classics such as Monet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Turner… Finally, the last two this week: On Thursday, half of the Spanish group joined Amy and I for Afternoon Tea at Brown's in St Martin's Lane. Now, I've been organising those afternoon teas for a year now, but had never had the chance to experience it myself in this restaurant. I had eaten there once before, but a long time ago, so as I walked in through the big double doors, I was really pleasantly surprised. I remembered the restaurant being nice, but nice doesn't really cover it. It is quite huge really, the waiters all wear quite a traditional uniform, there are big chandeliers attached to the ceiling, and the table we were led to was very neatly presented… we ordered our teas and scones, and the staff presented us with a lovely serving tray and little salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, scones, 3 different types of cakes… I knew from previous feedback that it was a nice place to go to, but I was definitely pleased to have experienced it myself! Join us for this next time, it's lovely! At the same time, Willy and Charlie were off with the second group to the Tate Modern , on the South Bank. There were not many students there, but they had a good time, walking from St Paul's tube station, taking in the amazing Cathedrale. Then they crossed the Millenium Bridge (the best views of London are from the Thames Bridges, try Waterloo Bridge at sunset! As in the Beatles' song) and once inside the museum, they had a good look at the surrealism section, before all going into different directions. Today is Friday, and the teachers are having a Leaving Do for our dear colleague Clare who is leaving us to move to Ireland… Also, right now, Sonia is teaching her last lesson of the summer.. She has decided to take a little (2 months) break, and she'll be back with us in September, so we're having a double event! I hope you have a great weekend, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, and see you next week!