Last week I turned in my last essays for my MA, which means now all that’s left to do is my dissertation. No pressure. Before fully diving in I wanted to take a few days to just relax and recharge so I took last week as a mini-break, which worked out wonderfully as it was an especially sunny and warm one. The rest of this post will detail some of the things I did, which also happen to be fun things to do generally if you find yourself with some time to spend in London.
To kick-off this mini vacation week, Cameron and I headed to one of our favourite cocktail bars, the Portobello Star (located on the famous Portobello Road). Besides toasting the end of classes, we had a bit extra to celebrate as Cameron got a job! The Portobello Star is a bit small, but if you can grab a table it’s a wonderful place to linger. They have a fantastic cocktail menu, and a sort of speakeasy vibe that’s great for catching up with a friend, or having a date night, though the later it gets the more it fills up, so try to get there early.
I’d been wanting to rent a paddleboat on the Serpentine in Hyde Park for ages, and since Friday was such a gorgeous day we decided to finally give it a go. We brought a small picnic (and some rosé) and paddled our way into the centre of the lake to relax and enjoy the day. While it was definitely tempting to stay our all day, our hour was up before we knew it and it was time to head back to shore. It’s definitely something I would do again, either with Cameron, or with friends–there are enough seats for 4-5 people at least.Be warned though, that if yo go the paddleboat route that shorts/trousers are optimal, and taller people may feel a bit cramped.
On Saturday night I went to see the new ballet of Frankenstein at the Royal Opera House with a friend. There was a special student initiative, which meant that our 5th row tickets were only £25 each, and that there were some really fun talks and events before the performance. My friend and I arrived in just enough time to grab a glass of wine and a table to watch a pre-show performance in Paul Hamlyn Hall, which set the mood for the main event. The ballet was amazing, and even though it was quite long (with two intermissions), we were on the edge of our seats the whole time. If you can get a ticket I definitely recommend going to see it– it’s a familiar story with a bit of everything from romance, to a few pyrotechnics, and of course tragedy, while also absolutely gorgeous.
I definitely feel like I’ve made the most of my mini vacation, and am a bit surprised to say that I’m excited to get to work on my dissertation. I’m sure I’ll manage to make some time for fun through the rest of the summer though.