Great sporting experiences in July in London

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The sun shines bright and the nature is alive in July, so it is the right time to do outdoor sports. In the following you find suggestions for everyone, for cyclists, water-sport lovers and the ones who want to find their balance.
It does not matter if you are a beginner or a pro.

Did you ever have the wish to feel like a participant in the Olympic Games?
Now you can test your fitness on the Olympic road-race route for 2012 from London to Dorking.
The course leads you through the beautiful countryside from the Mall over Richmond Park to Weybridge and then down to the Wey Valleys until Surry Hills.
The whole course takes 43 miles, but beginners can use the train and cycle only along the part of the route they like to.
The area is, with its riversides and flat valleys, very lovely and photogenic. Therefore you can easily spend two days on the course and rest at The Talbot in Ripley or pop in the pub Seven Stairs for a short stay.
If you have achieved your goal and you are in Dorking, cycle upon Box Hill and enjoy the beautiful view and the feeling that you made it.

For all water lovers and the ones who like cool things – try kitesurfing near Brighton.
The team of Kitesurfkings in Shoreham near Brighton can teach how to handle your board and chute for a safe ride over the sea with adrenaline rush . The three-day-course for beginners takes place on Shoreham Beach in West Sussex, a few miles from Brighton. It is perfect not only for teenagers, but also people up to their 60s can enjoy the sport.
For lunch or a break after your sporting activity Due South in Brighton is the right place to eat a pan-fried sea bass. The ones favouring sweets will fell in love with the chocolate desserts. When you prefer the healthy lifestyle, V Bites a vegan cafe is to be recommended.
Going to Shoreham takes you only about an hour by train from Victoria Central Station, so nothing stands in the way for a few active days by the sea.

Bournemouth is another beautiful place by the sea with its beach, pier, gardens, surfers and sea kayaking. There you can find your own balance during a yoga session on the beach.
Frank Markham, a qualified teacher can show you some moves in self-defence and martial arts. The yoga lessons are held on a silent and remote part of the beach from May until September come rain or shine. The equipment is given, but the yoga course should be prebooked.
During your stay in Bournemouth enjoy lunch or dinner at the Bistro on the Beach or the Goat and Tricycle, an old Victorian pub. Find accommodation at the Urban Beach and enjoy yourself at the hotels’ own sauna, gym and off-site pool.

Enjoy July with all its sporting activities!

By Marina

A Yankees guide to good old London town

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London: A big city with a small town feel

I feel quite lucky to say that I have been living in London for three months now and I couldn’t be more pleased to have had this opportunity in such a beautiful city. After getting over the brutal truth that I nearly threw half of my savings account away after the conversion to GBP, I was able to fully enjoy this city and all that it has to offer. Although I have been here for three months, and have only a few weeks remaining, I can say with certainty that there are areas of the city that I won’t have the opportunity to see at all, for there are just too many bloody things to see and do! As author Samuel Johnson’s sums up perfectly, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life itself.” However, I have taken advantage of the many sites and bites that can be found in London and here I share with you my thoughts of this city.

From the double-decker buses, to the iconic red photo booths, there was no mistaking that I was in London when I stepped off the plane. At first, seeing cars drive on the wrong side of the road was nauseating, but after narrowly escaping death while crossing the street for the first time, I quickly realized the importance of paying attention to those conspicuous “Look Right à” signs painted at nearly every crosswalk (thanks for looking out for us London!). I love how walkable this city is, and the pieces of history that are scattered along every street keep me interested and continuously exploring. The streets are not overwhelming and the buildings do not loom high over your head, as they do in the new cities of America. Rather, the city feels manageable and inviting.

Let’s talk lingo. Behind that infamous accent, which still makes me feel like I am on set of a Harry Potter movie, lies some of the most interesting words in the (British) English language. I have found that it is impossible to pass a day without hearing “Cheers,” and “Mate.” I am fairly confident that Londoners are capable of using these two words in any situation, from toasting in the pub to saying “thank you.” Confusion abounded when I hear the word “quid” for the first time. Excuse me, was that “squid” or “quid”? (A quick Google search provided that answer for me). One of the most important lessons I had to learn was that “chips” mean French fries, and “crisps” mean chips. It’s all quite confusing.

It seems that all cities are bursting at the seams with tourist traps, and London is no exception. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I spent my first weeks here touring the famous sites in the city, took my Facebook picture (even got a few nice profile pictures out of the deal), realized the dodgy scene that is Leicester Square on a Saturday night, and learned the hard way that the Tube closes at midnight (this aspect I will never understand). However, it’s safe to say that my time after these initial explorations was much more memorable. I embraced pub culture, and have taken quite a liking to hard apple cider (I’m still wondering if this can be considered one of my five daily servings of fruit). London’s food markets are fantastic on the weekends, as are the vast parks and lawns. Some of my favorite memories from my time here were from my random adventures wandering the city and popping into various cafés, shops, and museums.

London seems to me like a giant neighborhood, where I have come to know the people in the stores and cafés I frequent weekly. There is a laidback atmosphere that blankets the city (as well as a shield of grey clouds most of the time) and I have come to appreciate the Londoners’ sense of humor and way of life. I am envious that so many of you call this place home, but I know that I will be back later in my life to see this constantly evolving city. Cheers!

This has been written by Lucas Piazza , one of the marketing interns at umi Marketing . I think he has a great job and hope you enjoy his guest post!

A Bit of a Guide to Budget Eats in London

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Over the past ten years , London has become a real capital of food culture. from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White and The Roux Family and their Michelin stars, to he world food clusters on Brick Lane and in China Town, London has food to meet everyones tastes and budgets. Here are a few of my tips to enjoy food in London without breaking the bank.

1) Markets – British Produce…. Yummy!

Having trained as a chef when I was younger, I have a personal love of visiting markets and have been fortunate to visit many around the world. Although the numbers of markets dwindled a few years ago there has been a recreant trend in the UK of supporting British produce and hence seeing a rise in popularity of food markets. Dotted around London are a number of once weekly food markets such as the Queens Park Farmers market on Sunday in North West London. One of The biggest and best near central London is Borough market. Why not catch the tube or a Boris bike down there, pick up some fantastic British produce (we even do wines these days!! And they are actually quite good (don’t tell the French !)) and enjoy your treats either by the Thames or in one of London’s many park. A great way to enjoy some food on a budget and also enjoy the outside spaces that are wonderful in spring or summer in London.

2) Michelin Stars on a budget …. never?!

But it is true! During the tough times of the previous few years, there has been an increasing trend of some very famous restaurants (even ones with Michelin stars!) to offer fantastic midweek, lunchtime (and sometimes dinner) set menus. A great website to see where the offers are is where you can see who is offering what and when. If you register with them you can even gain points so if you come to London a lot you maybe able to get a free meal next time! I have tried it myself and managed to go for a 3 course set lunch at a one Michelin starred restaurant in Central London for an amazing £30 or about US$45!

3) Vouchers and 2 4 1 s

Another result of the financial crisis in the UK has been for some of the bigger chains of restaurants to offer amazing 2 for 1 deals or even 50% of meals. The most famous chains doing these offers are the Italian themes Zizzi and Pizza Express that offer pretty much something new every month. Either sign up to their newsletter or go to website such as Voucher Cloud or My Vouchers Codes where you will find their offer along with many more.

4) Ye Good Olde English Public House – cheers Guv’nor One of the most popular thing to do for any tourist is a visit the great British Institution (not the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace a d you are probably thinking) …. The British Pub. As the Brits tastes in food have improved over recent years , as has the quality of food served in the hundreds of pubs located in the London area. Notting Hill is a great area to wander around to see where some very famous people have lived (Jimi Hendrix to name one of many), catch the Portobello Market on the weekends, and more importantly explore a great cluster of fantastic pubs. two of my favourites are the Prince Edward And the Cow.

The Prince Edward is situated on Hereford Road , close to  Hyde Park and the trendy Westbourne grove. It serves great quality British fayre such as Fish and Chips and Sunday roasts as well as a few unusual specialities such as Wagyu Beef burgers. Serving a selection of British  ales (know as bitter by some publicans ) it is a great stop off the beaten track to catch a breath whilst exploring the area.

Another one of my favourites is an old favourites of many in the area … The Cow. go there on a sunny Friday evening as you will see throngs of the Notting Hill locals enjoy some wonderful Guinness served with succulent fresh Oysters and a pint of freshly steamed Prawns. Situated on Westbourne Park Road, it is a great place to grab a snack after a hard days sightseeing and shopping around Notting Hill or a great place to grab a snack before an evening out on the town .

5) My favourites food… Yum yum it’s dim sum!

I am a bit biased on this one. London is an amazing multi cultural city, that I have spent most of my 30 years on this planet, in. Since a very young age (about 3 years old) my favourite food has been Chinese. When I was about 14 years my sister introduced me to the wonders of Dim Sum, and my love for it has never wained. I don’t know if it is the social part of sitting round a large round table with friends and/or family or the fact that you can sample loads of little dumplings with a wonderful variety of fillings, or that when sharing with a number of people it works out as a great value lunch option 7 days a week. My two favourites for Dim sum are the Royal china on Baker Street or Pearl Liang in the Paddington Basin near paddington Station. Dim Sum is a lunchtime thing and is generally served between 12 and 5pm.

Another favourite part of my love of Chinese food is Chinese Roast meats (normally chicken , duck or pork). You can pick up a portion of missed roast meats (char Sui pork, roast pork belly and roast duck) with cabbage steamed rice and Chinese gravy for about £6. It fills you up and is extremely tasty. My two favourites for that are the Magic Wok on Queensway or the Green Cottage near Swiss Cottage Station.

Whatever you choose to do. I hope this helps and enjoy eating your way through London!


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