Not ideal if scared of heights, but hell.. ton of fun: Canyoning near Porto

It’s been nearly three years since the Barbarians went on a one-day canyoning trip near Porto with Latitude41. Back then we had been involved in a number of collaborations with other providers of adventurous activities and we did not want to take any of the shine from them. However, now is the right time to start singing the praise for the good people of Latitude41. Considering that our blog is featuring plenty of activities involving height, including skydiving and rock-climbing, it feels silly to mention it again and again, but here we are: I’m terribly scared of heights. I’m not at all being cute or joking. If I’d have to pick one thing that scares me more than anything else it would definitely be heights. After more than ten years of happy marriage, Ms B, who is totally not scared of heights, still does not understand how I can be […]

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‘Zip Now’ – the London Zipline – Shooting past the London Eye at 50km/h is fun

Last week I did a ride on the world’s longest inner-city zipline, Zip Now London, for the second time in a year. I’m terribly scared of heights, but it has to be done, it’s just so much fun. Pied-à-terre The zipline is located in the beautiful setting of Archbishop’s Park. Lambeth Palace, which adorns the Park, is the London pied-à-terre of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This role of the principal leader of the Church of England and symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion has been held by former oil baron Justin Welby since 2013. He is perhaps best known for his defence of bankers during the banking crisis. He was extremely helpful in explaining to the UK Parliament’s Banking Standards Commission, that, as a rule, senior executives avoid being given information about difficult issues. This is so they can plead ignorance when the proverbial hits the fan. Welby openly […]

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The Barbarians started with carbon-offsetting, better late than never

The Barbarians fly a lot. Or at least used to. For the past two years I’ve been working mainly abroad, which meant that most Monday mornings, I got up at 3:30am, took a cab to Heathrow at 4:15am, then hopped on an airplane, just to return to London on Friday evenings. Sometimes Ms B and I also met in other locations, so I would take a plane from Frankfurt to New York or Paris while she would do the same from London. Ten years ago, we were even worse, we used to treat ourselves to overseas holiday trips two out of four weekends per month and even added some inland air travel to places like Newquay or Edinburgh. In short, we’ve been doing an awful lot of damage to the planet during those past ten years since we met, and we’ve not been feeling great about it. Could I have […]

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Ice-Skating at Somerset House

Every year Ms B & I go ice-skating at the Somerset House ice rink at least once, preferably in the evening, when they put on a bit of a light show. The rink is open from mid-November to mid-January. It’s been this way for twenty years now. The building itself is 250 years old. Out of all London ice rinks (not counting Hampton Court, which is kind of outside of London), this is by far our favourite one. Winter Wonderland is usually completely overcrowded with mostly intoxicated people. The Natural History Museum looks rather beautiful too, but for some reason their rental ice skates are more uncomfortable than most medieval torture instruments, complete no-go for us. For several years now Somerset House has partnered up with Fortnum & Mason for the decoration and some of the catering. And no one beats them on Christmas decorations or chocolate fondue.     […]

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Horseback Riding in the New Forest

During our recent visit to the New Forest, Ms B & I did a 60-minute horseback riding session with Brockenhurst Riding Stables. We had done the same two years ago, when they were still located near the Forest Park Hotel, where we usually stay (they moved to the new location just off Balmer Lawn Road, just over five minutes walk from Beresfords restaurant (see our blog post here), walking away from Brockenhurst). Sharon, who runs the yard, is a lovely person and very skilled at what she does. Her sense of humour and way with people can perhaps best be described as a bit rough on the edges, but in a very good way. Just like last time around, she immediately made us feel welcome. As requested, we had arrived half an hour before the start of the session. Five, six other guests had already arrived and the rest of […]

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