Sunday 11 February 2018

From Draft... to Published | Afternoon Tea :: With the Prime Minister

Looking through  my draft posts, I have realised that there are so many that are in various states of completion. I don't know why I never finished some of these, and so I am aiming in the first part of this year to go through them all, and either finish and publish them, or abandon and delete them. I have decided not to re-word any that were already written, which means some of them may refer to the situation as it was when they were written (where I worked for example) but I want to maintain the post as it was originally intended. So here is the first of my From Draft to Published posts: Afternoon Tea at the Houses of Parliament.

Ok ok, not really with the Prime Minister, but at the House of Commons.

A couple of weeks ago my mum and I went to the Houses of Parliament (or the HoP as I refer to them at work!) for a tour and afternoon tea.

It was really interesting to experience the tour because I book many many guided tours for our student groups and now I know exactly what they get to experience. It's probably not really a revelation to say that they are super interesting. So much history has gone down in those walls! You're not allowed to take photos inside, except in Westminster Hall. This is the first area that you enter, the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster and houses numerous plaques laid into the floor commemorating important events or notable people.

Both House of Commons and House of Lords were much smaller than I had thought they'd be. The TV definitely makes the rooms look larger. The audio commentary was full of little extra stories and facts about the decor and traditions that still take place in the hallowed halls.

After the tour, we gathered with the rest of the diners to be taken down to the cafe. This was down below the commons area and looked out onto the river. Despite the the weather not being great -the water looked pretty choppy - it was still nice to look out over the water. The food was ok, a pretty standard selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones. The tea likewise was fine. It was a fairly cheap options for afternoon tea, and we did have an incident with the waitress pouring the tea out far too early when it clearly wasn't brewed enough.

I think that this is a quite a unique experience, and fairly good value (although you can only get the afternoon tea in combination with the tour). I wouldn't rush back, but I don't regret going.



Friday 2 February 2018

Wanderings Lately :: January

We made it through the first month of the year! Everyone at work yesterday was saying how long January had felt, but for me it's flown by pretty quickly. And that despite not having that many weekend plans. January had been a month of getting into routines for 2018, I've successfully made it to bootcamp twice a week - Tuesday & Saturdays - continued with netball - Mondays and Thursday - and cycled to work most days. I've also pushed myself to do a few new things - open mic, Jive classes and an alumni talk at UCL. So my wanderings for the first part of 2018 aren't exactly far and wide, but they have felt positive and fruitful and that's definitely a good way to start the year!


Last year, I bought the #cookforsyria cookbook, and I finally cooked something from it this month - making my own flat bread and poaching some figs and nectarines. Yum yum!

Winnie the Pooh

I booked a couple of days off this month, as I had some holiday to take before the start of Feb, and I decided to do something with my time, so booked to go to the Winnie the Pooh exhibition at the V&A. It was really good, and I'm so glad I went. So much original artwork was on show, and I enjoyed seeing the WtP products from around the world! I also ended up going on AA Milne's birthday which is now marked as Winnie the Pooh day, which also gave me a little thrill!

Life without Internet

We started January without internet, as we were changing providers and despite our best efforts, we were let down by the new company. This left us without an internet connection for 2 weeks, and the phone signal in Rotherhithe is particularly bad, so we found other ways to amuse ourselves. Our house became puzzle central, and after we finished the Liverpool puzzle that Siobhan had given me, Carola bought another one - Harry Potter inspired - to give us something to do. It was actually really nice, and I found doing the puzzle to be really satisfying and quite relaxing. 

We back connected to wifi now, but it was certainly nice to have a forced digital detox for a little while.

:: Onwards to February... How did you spend the first month of the year? ::