Ice Skating Fail

Christmas is over and London is absolutely freezing cold so here at EC Covent Garden 30+ we, naturally, decided to take our students ice-skating. We advertised it a week in advance and watched as the sign-up sheet filled up. It looked set to be an amazing evening out, ice-skating and falling on our bottoms to much hilarity. What a day it would be! Sarah took all of the students out after their classes to the Broadgate ice rink  all ready to show off her silky skating skills. That was until she asked the students to line up to collect their ice-skates. “Oh no! I don’t want to skate,” they said. “We just want to watch!” And watch they did. They sat down and in the time-honoured tradition of London, they bought a round of pints and had one of the best nights out of the past year, according to Sarah. So while we might not have ended up skating, a great night was had by all!!!! For more information on our weekly social programme, check out our 30+ Facebook page every week. If you think you’d like to join us on one of our outings, check out our adult English courses.

A Life of Pies

I’m not sure if anyone eats more pies per person than the British – or the Scottish, but we here in the UK certainly love a bit of meat in pastry or potato. But now autumn is arriving and the mornings are getting cold, where are best places near EC London 30+ to get your hands on a hot, crusty, flaky, pastry-covered mouthful of meat? My favourite pie shop (near to EC London 30+) is the Newman Arms, just north of Oxford Street  – and it seems Time Out agrees in its TOP FIVE PIE RESTAURANTS IN LONDON! But what is a pasty? What is the difference between a ‘Shepherd’s pie’ and a ‘Cottage pie’? – here are a couple of examples to whet your appetite… SHEPHERD’S PIE & COTTAGE PIE The Daily Mail did a survey a couple of years ago to find that Shepherd’s pie is the most popular winter dish in the UK. It is made with lamb (‘shepherd’s’) or beef (‘cottage’) with sauce covered with mashed potato. Mmmmm. HISTORY: Potatoes became popular as a food of the poor in the 1700s in the UK – the word ‘cottage’ (a small house for a rural worker) became associated with the dish. Originally, cottage pie used leftover roasted meat of any kind, inside a mashed potato ‘envelope’ INTERESTING LANGUAGE FACT: It was only in 1877 that the term ‘shepherd’s pie’ was first used for a lamb pie, separately from the beef based ‘cottage’ pie. AROUND THE WORLD : In Argentina and Chile a similar dish is called “pastel de papa” or “pastel de carne”. The Chilean version includes minced meat, minced and fried onions, black olives, raisins and hard-boiled eggs. In France, “hachis Parmentier”. In Russia, “Картофельная запеканка”. In Portugal, “Empanada”, with two layers of mashed potatoes and a layer … Read more