Let’s face it, the UK comes with unpredictable weather. A trip to London may seem hampered by the lashing rain and howling wind, but fear not, this guide will give you plenty of undercover, alcohol-involved activities to do while the rain is pouring down.
Just a warning, all of these may require bookings and are for those who are 18 and over.
It’s Time to go Back to School, Wine School that is
Just a short trip away from the Park Grand Paddington Court London Hotel lies South London Wine School, a place to visit whether you want to learn all the tricks of the wine connoisseur trade or whether you simply enjoy a glass of the grape. It promises to be a night of enjoyable, relaxed fun without all of the pretentious wine jargon that usually comes hand in hand with events such as this. You have a choice whether to go for a night, or for 4 or 8 weeks, and you can choose from the beginner, intermediate and Foodies courses, whichever one suits you best.
The beginner course comprises of the single night course which goes over the World of Wine, giving you tips on how to detect which wine is from which region, each night looks at a different region, so you can turn up and enjoy several different wines. There is also an entire workshop held on a Saturday which will cover all of the basics of wine tasting, including standard techniques used, different wines and it all comes with a two course lunch and a glass of Champagne.
If you feel that you need to go the whole hog, the 8 week course is perfect for you. You will take your tastebuds on a tour of the world and every week you will learn about another wine region, how the wine is produced and what notes are synonymous with that region. If you are a wine fan, this course is for you.
The intermediate course is for those who know the basics of wine tasting and want to learn much more. Unlike the beginner’s course, the intermediate is a WSET accredited course that is a recognised qualification in the wine world. It will give you a more in depth look at wines, regions and techniques and you can choose from Level 1, 2 or 3.
The Foodies course is for those who love food and love wine but not sure how the two can work together. The Food and Wine Masterclass delves into how wine and cheese can work together in harmony, as well as chocolate and wine; you are guaranteed to come away from this course full of food and knowledge.
If You like Gin with a Side of History
If you are a gin lover, then the Beefeater Gin distillery is going to be the place for you. Not only is it one of the most famous gins in the UK, it is also London’s oldest gin distillery and encapsulates the spirit and history of London beautifully. Mother’s ruin, as it was known as, and London have a tumultuous relationship, it was seen as the ruin of many, especially in the Victorian era and the 150 year company had to keep their business on the quiet side until recently.
The Kennington distillery holds a tour which allows Londoners and tourists to come and experience the juniper drink in all its glory; from the beginnings of gin centuries ago, to the sophisticated drink that it is today and something that London can be proud to have in its heritage.
The tour begins in a replica of a street in the 1700’s, when gin was on the lips of everyone, so much so that the government had to curb the ‘Gin Craze’ that was threatening to engulf the city. The tour includes facts, figures and historical tidbits that will keep you fascinated, right up to where you are introduced to the place where the magic happens, the distillery itself. Now, you can’t visit a gin distillery and not taste the goods, so to finish the tour, a hearty helping of gin and tonic is offered to see you on your way. Not bad for a £12 price tag.
Nothing Like a Pint of Beer
If wine and gin is not your thing the brewery is the place for you, and what better brewery to tour that Fuller’s, one of the oldest breweries in London.
Opened in 1845, it was owned by Fuller, Smith & Turner, until Fuller became the main shareholder and has gone from strength to strength, creating some of the finest and most famous beers in London. A tour around the Griffin Brewery costs £12 and will give you an insight into the success of Fuller’s and how it has been around for over 170 years. You will get to see how the world famous brewery works, the history behind the company and its brewery, who Fuller, Smith & Turner really were, tips and guides to brewing your own beer and some samples for you to try.
The tour will take an hour and a half in all, and it will end with the best part of any alcohol tour, a tasting session guided by the experts. The tour runs only on weekdays and also allows has the facilities to book private tours, for any beer lover, this is a dream come true.