Two unforgettable weeks

bridge of sighs
bridge of sighs

We’re Julia, from Spain, and Marie, from France. We’ve had an amazing two weeks here with Kate and Peter. We’ve done many things such as going to London (twice), to Canterbury, to Harry Potter Studios, to a pub quizz and even flying in a little four-seater airplane. It’s been a great experience, and although we were a bit worried about the food, it’s been very good!! Thank you Peter and Kate for this two week in England, we will never forget what you’ve done for us. Bye!!

st Albans park

Toast at Thiebault and Hannah's new house
Toast at Thiebault and Hannah’s new house



Fish and chips :P
Fish and chips 😛


First trip to London
First trip to London


Platform nine and three quarters
Platform nine and three quarters


Natural history museum
Natural history museum


Music festival
Music festival


Let's go flying!!
Let’s go flying!!


Sunny days in St. Albans

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.

 abbey road brighton lanes brighton camden market DSCN6426 platform nine and three quaet sherlock holmes museum trafalgar square

IELTS preparation in St Albans

Post walk refreshments
Post walk refreshments
Brown Bears at Whipsnade Zoo
Brown Bears at Whipsnade Zoo
Post concert socialising
Post concert socialising
Kate and Peter
Kate and Peter

My name is Hao. I came to Kate’s house to study for my IELTS. I got the result I needed. I’m happy.
Every Monday night we played Quiz in pub. Peter played Quiz very well.
Every Wednesday we went to concert to listen different music.
After my IELTS exam I worked in a charity shop.
I visited London, Cambridge and Whipsnade Zoo.
I spoke with Kate’s friends. They were very friendly. My speaking is much better.
Sometime we went to theatre to watch a play.

Our course in St. Albans



We are Mathilde and Silvia and we come from France and Italy. We spent two weeks in Saint Albans with Kate Irving.


We were welcomed by the teacher, Peter (her husband), Hannah (their daughter) and Thiebault (her boyfriend), and during the course we met the rest of the family: Jonathan and Lucy.


We had a chance to meet all the family, neighbours and friends, so we did a lot of conversation.


We did a lot of activities with Kate and Peter and on our own. We went to London 3 times to visit the city and to see a play at the Globe Theatre.


We really improved our English and had a lovely holiday.




Mathilde and Silvia

Us on Tower Bridge Dinner with the family Pizza after the Globe Theatre  Family BBQ

Adel and Tanguy in St Albans

      We are two of Kate Irving`s students, Adel and Tanguy. We are 16. We came to England to study English for our future. Adel`s from Russia, Tanguy`s from Switzerland.

       We had a great time with this family. We visited many amazing places. For example, first we visited London.  It was wonderful. We saw Buckingham palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, London Eye, Tower Bridge and many galleries. By the way, Adel went to the London Eye. She liked it very much. After that we had time to go shopping.

       Next we visited Harry Potter. It was fantastic. We saw many unusual things, for example, Hogwarts from inside and outside and all teachers. But we were very surprised, when we saw Hogwarts outside, because… We won`t tell you why, you have to see it yourselves. Also we saw Harry`s room, his house, his clothes and “dark side” (Vol De Mort, etc). By the way, we took very interesting photos.

      Then we had a good evening when we drove for a walk. We met very interesting people. We talked with them lots about everything. Also we had a lot of walking. After that we continue our conversations in local pub.

       After that on Sunday it was very sunny and hot so we had a barbecue with Kate`s family. This family is the most interesting, the coolest when we`ve ever seen. Kate and Peter have got three marvellous children.

        Next day we went to the zoo. It was Tanguy`s birthday. While we were driving in the car, we were playing “alphabets zoo”. It was very funny. In the zoo we saw a lot of animals: chimpanzees, bears, penguins, lions, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, lemurs, etc. We really enjoyed presentation of birds and sea lions. We had a great time.

        As well we had many concerts, live music. We did a lot of sport activities: especially climbing and swimming.

       Finally, we want to say Kate`s the best teacher. She`s very clever, very beautiful, very funny and she really loves her students. By the way our English is better than at the beginning. We will never forget this learning course. Thank you to Kate and her family for everything

in the car at the zoo.  birthday barbecueKate and Tanguy at Harry Potter, 4 July  IMG_2344adel at harry potterbarbecue

Learning in St Albans

Hello,  my  name  is  Jiebin,  i  come  from  China,  I’m  19.  I  stayed  in  St  Albans  with  Kate  and  peter  for  ten  weeks,  i  had  plenty  of  fun  with  Kate’  family.  I  came  to  England  to  learn  English  and  to  prepare  for  the  IELTS  exam.

It  was  amazing  to  describe  my  long  journey  in  England. I  went  to  London,  Durham,  cambridge,  Brighton,  Blenheim  Palace  and  the  zoo, i  especially  like  visiting  Durham,  Cambridge  and  London.

In  Durham,  Kate,  Peter  and  i  lived  with  Kate’  brother  in  law  for  two  days,   her  brother  in  law  was  quite  funny.  He  taught  me  cooking and  we  went  to  Durham  university,  It  was  very  beautiful,  then  we  visited  the  Durham  cathedral,  it  was  one  thousand  years  old  and  still  very  beautiful.

In  Cambridge,  we  visited  Cambridge  university  and  there  were  30  colleges.  we  saw  many  building  about  famous  people,  like  Isaac  Newton’s  accomodation.

In  London,  i  visited  the  Madame  Tussauds,  which  was  very  fantastic.  There  were  400  waxworks  inside,  including  actors,  singers,  bands  and  politicians.  It  was  quite  interesting.  Then  i  went  to  BFI  cinema,  tower  bridge,  Buckingham  Palace  and  Chinatown,  they  all  were  good  experiences  for  me

In  addition,  we  still  have  many  activities.  We  went  to  concert  every  Wednesday  and  i  had  lots  of  conversation  to  practice  my  socializing.  Sometime,  we  visited  some  new  teachers  and  Kate  gave  some  advice  to  teachers.

Now,  my  English  is  much  better  and  i  will  never  forget  this  lovely  journey !

Thank  you  for  everything.


New Year 2013 in St Albans

image P1100035_first_dinner,_on_Boxing_Day,_with_trifle,_mince_pies_and_christmaspudding_ P1100072 P1100173 P1100202_fish_and_chips,_and_steak_and_ale_pie,_in_The_Eagle

I stayed at Kate and Peter’s house for 2weeks from the date of December 26

They are a very friendly family.
So I enjoyed 2weeks as part of the family.
I went to London and Cambridge.
On New Year’s Eve they took me to a party.
We celebrated the New Year until 5 in the morning!
It has been a valuable experience for me.
Kate is a very active and talkative person.
So I really enjoyed her lesson and St Albans life.



Kate and Peter gave me the opportunity to have many exciting and amazing experiences.

Kate and Peter took me to many places.

I went to London and Cambridge and the Cotswolds.  They are amazing places.

My confidence developed and I went to Brighton and London independently.

And they taught me a lot about history.

They often took me to a lot of local places. I met a lot of people in carols, concert, Nursing home, in pub. I also had many experience of real life in the community.

And St Albans is a very lovely city.

Most of all, they are always kind to me.

I want to come here again.


Yuki and Pam in a traditional pub - The Cock At Verulam House Nursing Home Listening to Carols in St Albans  Concert Group Indian lunch at Singhli, Wed 12 Dec Champagne celebration for Hannah

London is amazing!

Hi! I’m Tachapon, from Thailand and I’m 15 years old.

I came to London for one week to improve my English and I had a great time with my host family. We talked about my country, my religion, we cooked, we laughed, played football, we went sightseeing in the weekend and during the week we played computer games and we even went to the cinema to watch Skyfall which was fantastic. I am more confident about my pronunciation after this wonderful week that I spent with them!