With spring sunshine swiftly approaching, it felt like a wonderful time to share a garden of gorgeous guest posts. First up Kelly Michelle, from Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes with her ultimate Kiwi OE bucket list.
As Kiwis, we tend to run away to London to do our big OE as soon as we have the cash to do so, as we are always looking for an adventure. So I thought I would create the ultimate Kiwi OE bucket list for your two years (or possibly longer) stay in London.
Tea with the Queen
In January, the New Zealand Embassy in London opens up a ballot for the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. If there is only one afternoon tea that you are going to do while in London make sure it’s with the Queen. This is will also highly annoy your English work colleagues as they won’t understand how you could be invited to a Garden Party!
Remembering our Boys
Each year, an ANZAC service is held at Westminster Abbey to remember our fallen soldiers. It is a joint service for the Australians and New Zealanders and I think it’s the only time I have ever sang the Australian National Anthem (forgive me for I have sinned!). The service is very traditional and they generally send along a random royal whom you would have never heard of before. Make sure you turn up on time otherwise you will get an escort down the aisle (like I did)! You can check out the London ANZAC services here.
Pomp and Pageantry
If there is one thing to love about London is the Pomp and Pageantry that surrounds this great city, and the Trooping of the Colour is all about the Pageantry. I have still to tick this off my list so fingers crossed I get tickets!
Check out the best view in London
I love that the Kiwis have stolen the best panoramic view of London from the Penthouse Suite of New Zealand House. Pop into one of The New Zealand Society events which are a hoot and half; meet some new kiwis, support NZ businesses located in London and take in the glorious views.
Escape to the Countryside
When you mention England to any foreigner they instantly assume you are based in London however there are some truly beautiful parts of England once you leave the capital. Case in point is Cambridge, York and the Lake District. You need to explore!
Be a Princess for a night
Ok you can be a Prince as well if you want! Let’s be totally honest, we have a slight lack of castles and palaces in New Zealand so make the most of living in England and actually book yourself a night in a castle. There are some great places dotted around England, there is something pretty thrilling about telling everyone back home that you are off to spend the weekend at a castle. Some great places to look into are Amberley Castle, Thornbury Castle or check out these great Landmark Trust properties.
Once you tell someone that you are from New Zealand you generally get asked about the All Blacks or Rugby; case in point – coming through the Marseille Passport Control and all I got was All Black All Black – yeap I’m a Kiwi! You can’t leave the UK until you take in a game at Twickenham. Tickets can cost an arm and a leg however there is a slightly cheaper option and that’s actually supporting New Zealand at the Rugby 7’s.
Queen Vic’s Toilet
London is the home to the world’s best Museums; the British Museum, V&A, Natural History Museum and the list goes on. If you are at the V&A make sure you check out the toilets that were made especially for Queen Victoria – if you need a tour guide then the lovely Emma will point you in the right direction.
Quirky and then some
Make English friends, they can be weird, slightly eccentric and don’t seem to be able to speak proper English but once you forgive them for this they are rather quite nice.
Blog It Baby
Create a blog (it’s easy peasy) and document your adventures while abroad; it will be a great way to reminisce about all your adventures but also let your folks know that you are still alive. The Kiwi in London blogging community is pretty amazing and I thought I would introduce you to a few Kiwi’s living it up in England and sharing their adventures; Runaway Kiwi, 25 before I’m 25, Chocolate Cookies and Candies, Big World Small Me and Me.
All I know is I still have some work to do – luckily I have a place in the ballot this year (eek!) for the Garden Party. Now just to convince the boy we need to sleep in a castle…
Thanks so much Kelly!
What have been your favourites (non-Kiwis welcome, we’re very inclusive except in the Rugby – you’ll allow us that right)?