Ana (14) and Nina (15), respectively from France and Germany: We spent three weeks at Kate's house in St. Albans, a lovely Roman town twenty minutes by train from London. Kate lives in a modern house (built in the 1960s) with her husband Peter. They have three children (Jonathan, Lucy and Hannah). Each of us had a tiny yet comfortable room where we liked to relax in the afternoon after the lessons in the morning. We also enjoyed watching films and Nina loved running in the evening in the nearby park. The lessons were absolutely fitted to our needs - as our English level is quite good we wanted to focus on speaking and pronunciation which we did.
We went on a few excursions to London, to visit the British Museum and the National Gallery, to go shopping in Camden Market and Oxford Street and to see Let It Be the musical (Nina is a crazy Beatlemaniac and was close to tears). On one day we went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour which was a truly magical experience. We even tried Butterbeer but it was a huge disappointment as it was strange. Obviously we spent lots of money in the shop and around London, so by the end of the second week we each had only about £30 left, but that wasn't a problem. We went on a one day excursion to Brighton where we got temporary tattoos, had fish and chips on the Brighton pier and Nina had a swim in the cooling sea. It was a very hot day and the city was crowded but absolutely lovely. We met the rest of the family (Kate's children and their partners) on our very first day here for a belated birthday meal in a pizzeria as Peter's birthday had been the day before. The family was very warm and welcoming so we didn't feel homesick at all. We met lots of the family's friends and chatted with them which helped us improve our speaking skills. Peter is a walking encyclopaedia and was always happy to tell us about the history of various buildings we saw on our way through the city. The weather was awesome and really warm, which was amazing as we actually got to tan a bit. Despite the stereotypes the food was very good and we gained a few pounds. We had lots of activities but also enough free time to relax in the garden. Ana and I became friends after initial insecurity/shyness and loved laughing, talking and watching films till midnight.