Five Things I'm Doing This August
Never for a second did I think that we would still be affected in such a big by Covid when we entered Lockdown back in March. But as things start to open up, and slowly get back to normal, I'm finding little has changed from the past few months for me personally if I'm honest.
Living in the City of London means that it's still as quiet as ever, and I have to say I am missing the hundreds of thousands of people who descend on my doorstep come Monday to Friday.
I still don't feel 100% confident to go to any restaurants, art galleries or museums which is a shame, but I hope many of you are making the most of the city and its attractions with it being this quiet.
So for this reason, my suggestions of what to get up during the month of August are similar to what they have been the past few months I'm afraid, as I spend much of my time still as home!
Online Wine Tastings
I've mentioned West London Wine School before, but I'm still carrying on with their online wine tasting sessions, and it's good news for people like me as they are going to carry on online, alongside "in person" tastings at their school. I'm about half way through the French Wine Scholar, which I'm absolutely loving. Having completed the WSET diploma (Wine and Spirits Diploma) already, I assumed there would be a bit of an overlap, but I couldn't have been more wrong. It's incredibly in-depth and there's an awful lot of stuff you need to know for the exam, but I highly recommend if you're into wine or work in the trade.
Last week was jam packed with wine tastings with them for me - from a tasting of six Nebbiolos to start off the week, to a chat with two incredible Loire winemakers whilst drinking six of their wines. A few exciting online tastings of theirs that are coming up is a vertical tasting of the wines of Chateau Musar (Lebanon) and the "Fine Wine Tasting: Volcanic Wines of Europe" - and of course I've signed up for both!
Out of London
It seems that many of us will opt for a holiday a little bit closer to home in the upcoming weeks, but I'm lucky enough to be a short train journey away form my parents when I need a bit of a break from London!
I've been walking the Cotswold Way recently, and have managed to get about two thirds of the way through it as I make my way towards Bath. If you like walking definitely give it a go - there's a lot of hills, incredibly views and when the weather is as beautiful as it has been recently, it makes you appreciate this incredible little island even more so.
Other walks I suggest in the UK I can suggest are the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, routes in the the Lake District, the Peak District, the Thames Path and the Ridgeway. Do you have any suggestions?
I've definitely used Lockdown as an excuse to try as much wine as possible, and it's slightly worryting that I've started to store it in the bathroom having run out of space... For past recommendations of where to buy wine online at the moment, see my May blog post here.
A few recent highlights of mine have been
The wines of Staffelter Hof by winemaker Jan Matthia Klein
Tutti Frutti Ananas (their rose is incredible)
the Loire wines from Domaine Vincent (beautiful Chenin Blancs)
Rousette de Savoie Cru "Frangy" from Domaine Lupin
Supermajer from Slobodne winery in Slovakia
Davenport, one of the best English sparkling wines out there
Any pretty much anything from the online wine shop Low Intervention (who do next day delivery FYI)
Is there anything that you've tried recently that I should give a go as well? Do let me know!
What I'm reading
I'm a huge reader, and it's been great to get a few books a week done and dusted now I've had plenty of time on my hands. A few of my suggestions which I've loved, or currently reading and can't put down include;
Six Tudor Queens - Katherine of Aragon by Alison Weir
Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey also by Weir
Richard III & the Princes in the Tower also by Weir (she's great!)
Keeping an Eye Open by Julian Barnes (art history)
Behind the Picture by Martin Kemp (art history)
London is Open
London slowly seems to be getting back to normal in recent weeks with the National Gallery now open, both Tate Britain and Tate Modern since the 27th of July, the V&A from the 6th of August, Museum of London and their Docklands site on the 6th as well.
But there's plenty of other smaller lesser known attractions which need our support now more than ever. A few which have opened their doors include;
I hope you have a lovely August, and do let me know what you've been up to in London in recently, as I would love to hear from you! If you've enjoyed reading any of my blog posts, why not subscribe? You'll find the form on the homepage
Heard in London