Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, London /

It wasn’t all for me, I promise…

I am shattered. If it was down to me, I would go straight back on holidays right now. Today, for instance, my daughter was finishing school at 2.30 pm. How am I supposed to get anything done? I couldn’t help thinking that if you arrive late for school, you might bump into those who leave early. How do women work in this country? But miracles do happen: yesterday, I was invited by the lovely Charlotte of @LDNWalks for a secret pub tour. This was exactly what I needed: I met fellow bloggers, including my old friend Flora @AccidentalLDNr (old because we have known each other for more than two years, which is a long time in the blogging world. She is obviously very young and also very bright). I met other talented bloggers (and they were so young. Sigh), namely: @SquibbVicious @MissKatyEnglish  @whoismilly  and found an unexpected ally in gin. Who would have thought? After all, it is only berries, right? And as I am not a huge fan of beer, the girls made me discover gin. What a fantastic medicine ! And boy I loved it so much that I couldn’t be stopped…My head hurts today. 

I was a bit worried that we were going to walk a lot. There was no need to. We ended up drinking a lot, and frankly the walk was the least of my worries! We started the tour in Blackfriars, and Charlotte was waiting for us with pink balloons (I promise) at the station. She took us to five different pubs around the city, and I am ashamed to admit that I knew none of them. It looks like I have been far too reasonable. I don’t want to spoil the surprise if you take the tour, and I will only say that we went to an Art Deco one, a haunted one, the oldest in London, one that specialise in gin -of course-, and also a literary one. Each pub was a gem for different reasons. I think that I will return to each of them to spend a relaxed evening and grab a proper bite. Charlotte was very knowledgeable and explained lots of historical facts such as the origins of some street names and the colourful life of Henry the VIIIth. She even said that champagne was invented by an English scientist before the French claim they did, and although I was initially offended, after a couple of gin & tonic, who the hell cares? Champagne will always be champagne, but last night was a gin sort of night.

St Bride’s church: wedding bells anyone?

However, the real encounter of the evening was the one with London. I thought I knew it all. Well, I clearly didn’t. If you look closely enough, London is full if hidden treasures: old prisons in the basement of fancy pubs, churches with funny names (St Andrew by the wardrobe, anyone?), old buildings that look like they will crumble any minute next to brand new ones looking like swords, viaducts without rivers, old palaces where history was made. The list is endless. And I fell in love all over again with London. And with gin. 

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London