The first week in April is exam week for me, so to be honest I won't be able to do much which doesn't involve the National Gallery, the area of Spitalfields or studying for the "Background Knowledge" exam. These three exams are the first in the Blue Badge tour guiding course, and will also see the end of my first year training towards this very intense two year course. Although it's sad to see the end of the first part of the course (which has gone super fast!), it does mean that I have some free time over the summer to explore bits and pieces which I haven't been able to do as revision has been top of my list of priorities!
After the exams, of course the only logical thing to do is to go away on holiday, and it just so happens that during exam period I turn the big 30, so I'm off to one of my favourite places in France; Champagne. So in turn, it means that not much of April will be spent in London, but nevertheless, I'm more than interested to see what's going on throughout the month ahead.
There's a few good movies coming out during April (and towards the end of March), and because Dumbo was my absolute favourite Disney movie growing up, I'll be spending my 30th at the cinema watching this. The sacrifices we make for revision...but to be honest, I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday! Another movie which I'm looking forward to seeing is At Eternity's Gate (released the end of March) about the last years of Van Gogh's life. Which leads me onto Number Two...
Pay a visit to the new Van Gogh exhibition at Tate Britain. This major exhibition is running until August, and shows 50 of his works in which the artist was inspired by Britain and how he inspired British artists. Another art exhibitions which are worth a visit this month is the recently opened Sorolla, at the National Gallery. A Spanish Impressionist artist, deemed the Spanish Master of Light. Which leads me on to Number Three...
Try out the new Sorolla inspired set menu at the The National Gallery Dining Rooms. Two courses for £19 or three for £24 which is a real bargain, and the menu looks really good; from smoked ham and manchego croquettes, to blackened kale with romesco course. Other places to try this month on my list include The Barbary in Covent Garden, Lina Stores for a plate full of pasta in Soho and the Taiwanese teahouse and restaurant XU in Chinatown.
It certainly is a month full of important events! First off it's not just my birthday this month, the Queen turns an incredible 93 on the 21st, so expect the regular gun salutes at Hyde Park and at the Tower of London. St Georges Day is on the 23rd and celebrations all across London will be taking place, with the main events going on in and around Trafalgar Square. Another major event going on the following weekend is the London Marathon, although I would never even consider taking part myself, there is always a great party like atmosphere along the route, and it's good to cheer along all the competitors!
I've seen a lot of posters advertising the current exhibition at the Museum of Freemasonry recently, but the Bejewelled: Badges, Brotherhood and Identity has actually been on since September last year. It's free to enter, and runs until August, but it's going in as one of my things to do this month. You've probably walked past the building itself many times before; it's the large almost Gringotts looking building you can see on the corner of Great Queen Street when walking down Drury Lane, not far from Covent Garden.
Heard in London