Pic: Chai Yi Lai 


The second winner of our #TLGCourseWin competition, Chai Yi Lai, a.k.a Michelle, has been in the city for nearly two weeks now. We caught up with her to see what she’s been getting up to in London.


Michelle has been exploring all around the city and its surrounding areas, one of the places she went this past weekend was a lavender farm just outside of central London. “I went to Mayfield Lavender Farm, they were in their harvest period, so they had already harvested most of it. But they left some there for visitors. I think it is going to be very pretty and beautiful in full bloom season.”


Having been keen to try an authentic British meal of fish and chips, Michelle visited the Rock & Sole Plaice in Covent Garden: “I had cod and chips, it was very good! The portions were very big. Everything tasted really fresh.” She also tried the steak at the restaurant Flat Iron, and was impressed: “I loved Flat Iron! The steak was so good, I really liked it. For the price it was really worth it.”


Fish And Chips

Pic: Chai Yi Lai 


A lover of the theatre, Michelle has been making the most of being close to some of the best musical shows in the world, and went to see the acclaimed production, The Lion King. Having seen Phantom of the Opera last week, Michelle compared the two: “I would say Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King were both as good as each other – you can’t really compare them. If it was just about singing, definitely Phantom of the Opera, but creatively I would say The Lion King, because it is so hard for a human to look like an animal. The costumes are amazing!”


“I plan to go to Mamma Mia next, but it is very popular, so it is hard to get tickets. The same with Les Misérables. I have tried a few times to get tickets on the day, but I’ve had to give up!” She added.


Exploring some of the other famous places around the city, Michelle visited Westminster Abbey: “It was quite breathtaking. When I saw it I was surprised by the size of the building. I didn’t go inside, but I think I will go back because I have heard that the interior of the building is very impressive.”


Making the most of the afternoon once her classes were over for the day, Michelle was attending a SMART Learning trip to St Pauls Cathedral: “Everyone in my class is very friendly, if they know you are new they will all say hi to you first which is very nice and welcoming.”


In the UK, this weekend is a bank holiday, so Michelle has made some big plans: “This weekend is bank holiday, so I have 3 days free. I am going to go to Notting Hill on Saturday because it is Notting Hill Carnival this weekend. Sunday I am planning to go to Seven Sisters; it is a white chalk cliff near to Brighton. I also want to go to Hampton Court Palace! Everyone has been telling me it is worth visiting.”


The content she has been learning in her General English classes have been proving useful for Michelle, and she has noticed an improvement in her skills already; “I have been picking up on English here quite quickly. I feel like I am improving my pronunciation which I have always had a problem with, and my teachers pointed out that I had a weakness when it comes to my sentence structure. It was helpful for me to see where I needed to improve.”


With two more weeks left of her London experience, Michelle is keen to try the nightlife in the city: “I am interested in trying the London nightlife sometime soon! My classmates and I are all planning to have a night out together a week before I leave.”


“I want to try a pub while I am here!” she added.          


We will catch up with Michelle’s newest adventures next week, when we will find out the latest about her experiences in the city.