Fun

A great night out… sober.

What counts as a great night out? For many, a bar or night club might spring to mind. But what if there was another perk of your early twenties beyond partying stamina and being of a socially acceptable age to frequent many forms of night life. What if there was a way to have a great evening out and not wake up in the morning with a hangover. What if you took that fiver reserved for club entry and went to the theatre.

National Theatre’s pop-up, The Shed

At the start of my second year of university in London I decided that I would make more of this city. After all, if you’re forced on a daily basis to negate your student bubble when standing in the armpit of a commuter on the tube, you may as well laugh to yourself in the theatre when the man next to you grasps a ticket on which it says that he paid forty-five pounds more than you did. So, having established that with a National Theatre Entry Pass this evening will be affordable, it’s about time I said how enjoyable it is too.

I can’t deny that, when pouncing on the release of cheap theatre tickets, one has to take a punt as to what sort of show they might be signing up for, but in my experience, it’s a gamble worth taking. The first performance I saw was one called People. It was a simple production about the future of a stately home and the aged occupants, but it was full of wit and humour and great acting. I emerged from the theatre beaming, already primed for my next visit.

The Magistrate

Following this, I saw some better known plays – The Magistrate and One Man Two Governors. Of the latter all I can say is that you have to see it for yourself.  Yet, it was the most recent and smallest of productions I’ve seen, a play called Table showing at the National Theatre’s The Shed, which had me raving. It was an intimate venue and a heart-felt play. I laughed and I cried, which is quite something for someone who a year ago would barley chuckle at the TV. It was an evening out that I certainly won’t forget, which stands as quite a stark contrast to a drink fuelled clubbing experience.

Perhaps some people favour the drunken night out as a way to lose themselves, but one can still most definitely get lost in the theatre. It is a different way of relaxing, but without doubt a fantastic one. Of course, if you still fancied a drink to wind down with beforehand, there’s many a ‘happy hour’ along Southbank – Las Iguanas two-for-one cocktails are always a winner for me. But in truth, I’m yet to see a play that needs it; I always have a great night without. So it suffices to say, if making more of London is on your to do list, I would highly recommend the theatre as a excellent place to start.

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Food, Fun

Oh Heston – if only I had riches to spend on ice cream.

What to turn to when I’m not sure what food I fancy? Ice cream.
I am, without doubt, a bit of an ice cream fanatic.

So when I discovered Heston Blumenthal’s Sage ice cream maker would play an ice cream van tune when the deliciousness inside was ready, I was sold. If only I was as sold on the tune of the price. At £349.99 it’s not really worth the buck – yes, you can choose your preference of ice cream firmness, and yes, you can make sorbet, gelato, frozen yoghurt and ice cream with this machine, and yes, you would jump up and down with a child-like excitement at the sound of your frozen delight being ready to enjoy, but unless you really have cash to splash it probably won’t be a winner for you.

Heston sage ice cream maker

Maybe I’ll just have to get my ice cream van music fix elsewhere.

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