Le Monde Entier [#587]

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Le Monde Entier [#587]

Although a westernised English speaking country, as with any foreign city there are certain things to London that are different and every time I come back I learn something new – hence, I thought I would pass on a few of my thoughts and discoveries on to you!
Tip 1: London, or England in general, is often mocked for its ‘warm beer’; however, it wasn’t until my latest trip that I really discovered this for myself – and the way to avoid it. The pubs here have two types of beers/ales/stouts etc. on their taps and they are easily distinguishable. The cold beer will be in the often higher, longer and metal taps, where to pour the barman only has to flick down the handle once for a constant stream. They will also often be recognisable, foreign beers, and if you actually touch the metal beer tap it will be cold (duh).
The other beers are in a larger pump that is manually pumped up and down into each glass, and these beers are often local brews that are not kept or pumped though a chilled system. They are not exactly warm, but you can definitely tell the difference between this one and one from the refrigerated pumps.
Tip 2: When ordering or buying a breakfast juice, don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll get a tropical/vegetable mixture like at home (or in Australia at least). In London, it’s citrus and pink grapefruit, and if you don’t realise that before your first thirsty gulp, you’re in for a bitter surprise!
Tip 3: If you, like me, take your coffee without milk then make sure to specify. It’s just a given in England that milk and often sugar is added to your drink, and you’ll probably feel rather rude not drinking the cuppa you’ve just been given! Which leads me to my next point: always accept a drink when invited into someone’s house. English people are very hospitable and won’t settle until you do! Visiting my in-laws recently I was offered a tea, coffee, juice, water, sandwich, sweets, wine and beer three times before we had to accept and the conversation could move on!
Tip 4: The tube is going to be the quickest and easiest way around London, but make sure you buy an Oyster card. You tap on and off in each tube station with it and can easily top up in stations, stores or online. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and time if you have your Oyster card with a few pounds on it at all times. Get yourself a small copy of the tube map, too, to pre-plan a journey.
Tip 5: If you’d rather walk around to acquaint yourself with London instead of the hop on-hop off buses, try getting the tube to a stop like St. Paul’s. From here you can easily walk to St. Paul’s cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, and if you want to see it all from the sky, or near enough, buy yourself a ticket on the London Eye: a Ferris wheel on the bank of the Thames River to view all of London.
General tips for travelling apply: be polite, be careful of your belongings, and relish in being a tourist – because after all, you are!
Written by Madelin Baldwin. lemondeentier.net