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Top 5 Halal places to eat local to Southbourne

Here is a list of the Top 5 Halal places to eat in Bournemouth – ranked by TripAdvisor reviews.

  1. Agora Mediterranean Restaurant

Turkish and Greek cuisine that is a cut above the rest, this restaurant takes the top spot for Halal restaurants in the area. Serving delicious mezze, succulent dishes, mixed grills, kebabs and delicacies that are cooked over a real charcoal fire. The reviews are near flawless, with compliments to the lamb ribs, Adana kebab and mixed grill. 96% of reviews are 4 or 5 stars.

  1. Luxor Lebanese Restaurant

Another very strong candidate for best halal restaurant in the area, Luxor restaurant offers a taste of finest Lebanese and Moroccan cuisines. Top reviews rave about the hummus, lamb and falafel dishes – with 92% of reviews at 4 or 5 stars.

  1. Spice of Lahore

If you like Indian and Pakistani cuisine, this is the place for you. The best Halal Indian restaurant in Bournemouth offers a wide selection of traditional curries to spice up your evening. From Balti to Biryani, take your pick.

  1. Abduls Indian & Bengali Cuisine

Another fantastic Indian Asian restaurant in Bournemouth, with a vindaloo to blow your socks off! Indian and Bengali cuisine that has an overall rating of 4.5 stars in service, food, value and atmosphere.

  1. Narenj Persian restaurant

This is one of few Persian restaurants available in Bournemouth and by far the best, reviewed as “Best Persian food outside of London”, it has a fantastic reputation for providing great halal food, good service and serious value for money.

My internship at Southbourne School of English

My name is Felix and I’m 21 years old. I am from Germany and I currently do an internship at “Southbourne School of English”.


In Germany I do an apprenticeship as administrative assistant in a council administration. I have to deal with different laws and deal with different enquiries the inhabitants have.

I currently stay with a host family in Bournemouth. Living here is pretty much different to living in Germany. Everything starts with communication. Back in Germany you won’t be asked if you could please do something. In Germany you get advised to do something. But of course we can be friendly as well.
Communication is not the only thing that is different to Germany. The whole landscape in and around Bournemouth/Southbourne reminds me of novels written by famous authors with green shires and hills.
I am from the near of Hamburg and I am only used to flat shires where you have a view of about 15 kilometres and you can just see the next village.

The atmosphere in Bournemouth / Southbourne is very nice. If you just enter a pub the people immediately start a conversation and they just want to know everything about you. You just feel welcome in the moment you arrive.

I really enjoy the nightlife in Bournemouth. There are so many different locations you can spend the most of your money and have a really good time. If you like pubs, go there. If you like going into a pub which turns into a club, just go there. If you want to go into a club which used to be a church (!) just spend your time there. If you just want to relax go to the beach and have a nice time there, with a length of 7 miles you should find a place.

When I heard that I will work in an administration office in a language school I thought: “How should I ever survive this? I’ve never spoken to real English people.”
But when I came into the office and introduced myself to Sonia, because I did not know who the principal is, I immediately felt very welcome. She was just so happy about me being here and then the principal just came over to introduce herself, a very lovely person by the way.
Then Abdi just showed me around, introduced me to the whole team and I felt so comfortable that it was clear for me that I don’t really want to leave and that these three weeks of my stay will pass too fast. And it actually did.
The team spirit is very special in here.
The whole team is just so professional. When I heard the first couple of students speaking in English with me I wouldn’t think that they are from a foreign country and that just mirrors the great work that is done in this school.

I would totally recommend this school to everyone who wants to learn proper English and how to speak in a proper way.
The work that is done inside this building is just awesome!


This was written by Felix, one of our interns from Germany – all of the views expressed in this post are his and were written in his own words. 

William Shakespeare and how he contributed to the English language

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He wrote plays during the 16th and early 17th centuries, which became so popular within English literature that they have been performed and read in theatres ever since.

In celebration of his life and contribution to the English language, we have put together some interesting facts about him:

  • Born: Stratford-upon-Avon, 23 April 1564 (or thereabouts). Died: Stratford-upon-Avon, 23 April 1616.
  • William Shakespeare day is celebrated on 23 April! The date believed to be of his birth and death!
  • Shakespeare invented over 1700 words, by turning nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, connecting words together and inventing brand new words.
  • He wrote plays such as Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth
  • Shakespeare married his wife Anne Hathaway when he was 18. She was 26 and three months pregnant with Shakespeare’s child when they married.
  • Fun fact: ‘William Shakespeare’ is an anagram of ‘I am a weakish speller’

Easter Facts

Easter Sunday falls on 1st April this year (also April Fool’s Day so watch out!) Here are some facts about Easter than you may not have known before:


  • Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion


  • Easter takes place on a Sunday, after the 40-day period called Lent. Lent is a time where someone gives up something that they usually crave, for example: chocolate or alcohol.
  • The white lily, the symbol of the resurrection, is the special Easter flower.


  • The name Easter owes its origin from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess who symbolizes hare and egg.
  • Chocolate sales at Easter in the UK account for 10 per cent of the annual total.
  • When eating a chocolate bunny rabbit, 76 per cent of people bite the ears off first.

  • The tallest chocolate Easter egg ever was made in Italy in 2011. At 10.39 metres in height and 7,200 kg in weight, it was taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant! 
  • The UK’s first chocolate egg was produced in 1873 by Fry’s of Bristol.



What to do during the Easter Bank Holiday?

On 30th March (Good Friday) – 2nd April (Bank Holiday Monday) we have the Easter Bank Holiday when the school is closed. We want to make sure you make the most of these days off, so here are some suggestions to make your bank holiday a fun filled one!

1. Jurassic Coast – if the weather is nice, we recommend going to the Jurassic coast that stretches nearly 96 miles of coastline and contains 185 million years of the Earth’s history. You can see from the picture how gorgeous a place it is on a clear sunny day – perfect for a long relaxing walk with friends!
HINT: Catch the number 50 bus from Bournemouth square for 360 degree views of the coast, and why not stop at a local pub called The Banks Arms or Corfe Castle (which has many pubs) for a traditional British Sunday roast.

2. London – with the arrival of the Easter bank holiday, London will be buzzing! Visit the capital and experience everything it has to offer, including shows, street music, great food, historical landmarks and much more. Take a look at some Easter holiday activities available here

3. Paris (if you’ve got the visa) – with the extra days, you can afford to go a little further afield, you can take this opportunity whilst you’re in Europe to visit France, just a short train or flight from us. Another beautiful place to check off your bucket list! Voila!
HINT: Visit the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, Notre-Dame de Paris and all the beautiful sights. To book, you can come to the reception! Or… book online at National Express for coaches, or for flights!

4. Or… stay in the local area! Follow the clues to find the Easter chicks hidden around Poole Museum on its Easter trail, from March 25 to April 10 during museum opening hours. Entry to the museum is free. Also, voted the best beach in the UK, and the best seaside town in the UK, Bournemouth is on your doorstep and is a popular destination for everyone – during the bank holiday go shopping, grab some food by the beach, and appreciate the nightlife!

For example: DJ at The Cellar Bar on Sunday 1st April (Over 18’s only) – listen to uplifting reggae music through the night from 9pm to midnight.

The history of Mother’s Day and why we celebrate it

Mother’s Day was created to appreciate motherhood and it is celebrated around the world in different ways. In the UK, Mother’s Day falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent and is celebrated by bearing cards and gifts for mother figures, to express your gratitude for their role in your life.


Mothering Sunday, as it was traditionally named in the Catholic Church, was originally for people to visit their “mother” church, but in recent times has moved away from religion and towards a holiday for children to show their appreciation for their mothers.

The UK was influenced by the USA’s version of Mother’s Day, which was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother, by 1911 all US states observed the holiday. However, Anna Jarvis became resentful of the commercialisation of Mother’s Day, as people saw it more about money/profit than sentiment, she even tried to remove it from the calendar altogether!

Why we celebrate it

Today most people recognise that Mother’s Day is about spending time with their mother and expressing how much they mean to them and the family. Cards and small gifts are bought as gestures of their love, a heartfelt message.

We want to thank all of our host family mothers for being so amazing – Southbourne School of English appreciates all of our host mothers for doing such a wonderful job welcoming students into the home!

mothers day

Valentine’s Day – Origins and how we celebrate it

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February, where couples and admirers exchange flowers, gifts and chocolates to show their love for each other. But where does this day come from?

The origins of Valentine’s Day are a mysterious one, we know that February has been celebrated as a month of romance for many years and has ties to Christian and ancient Roman traditions. The Catholic Church recognises at least three different saints named Valentine, all of who have different tales behind their name – one tale tells of an imprisoned Valentine who sent the first “valentine” greeting to his prison guards daughter, before his death he wrote a letter that was signed “From your Valentine” and this expression is still used to this day in Valentines cards.

How do we celebrate it?

In the UK, we often celebrate Valentine’s Day by offering gifts and flowers (typically red roses) and writing intimate cards to loved ones, spending time with them and having a likeness to the Saints and their romantic ways!

Write to your Valentine!

This Valentine’s Day buy a gift and write something nice in a card to someone you like, sign it “From your Valentine”, ask someone else to give it to them and see if they can guess who it is from!

Popular gifts to buy on Valentine’s Day!

1. Flowers – normally red roses

2. Chocolates

3. Perfume/Aftershave

4. Jewellery

5. Champagne

Event at the school

New Year, new language. 12 tips for 12 months on improving English

The New Year is here, 2018 is the time for you to improve your English! Whether you are elementary or even proficient – there are always ways to improve, we have put some of our favourite tips together for you to follow, 12 tips for the 12 months of 2018!

  1. Practise your English speaking with friends – have an English only trip to a café once a month, for example.
  2. Use internet websites to practise grammar and vocabulary. is good practise if you are taking a Cambridge exam and BBC Learning English ( has some great material to help you stay up-to-date.
  3. Visit or return to the UK: studying in England means you are always exposed to English, this is arguably the fastest and most efficient way of learning.  (And it would mean that we would see you again, so that’s a bonus!)
  4. Read in English: it’s easy to buy magazines and books in many countries. Or use the internet: reading will increase your vocabulary and it’s amazing how much grammar you can pick up that way, without the pain of doing exercises!
  5. Listen to podcasts: if your friends are busy and there are no English speakers available, you can always use English-speaking podcasts to improve your English listening. Check out the TED Talks at
  6. Watch films in English.  At first, you might want to use subtitles, but have the courage to try without from time to time!
  7. Sing along to English songs: it’s a great way to work on your pronunciation, rhythm and intonation.
  8. To practise writing, join in a discussion at Dave’s ESL Café:
  9. Be a good penpal: keep in touch with the people you have met in England.  Make sure you write to each other regularly either by e-mail or instant message like WhatsApp.
  10. Keep a diary in English: it’s a good way to keep secrets from non-English speakers and will help you to keep your language from going rusty!
  11. Why not throw an English Party?  The music is all in English, people dress up as characters from Britain or British literature and everybody speaks English as much as possible.  (You can provide a sheet with simple phrases for anybody who can’t speak English yet!)
  12. Follow the Southbourne School of English Facebook page, Twitter and Blog.


Credit to: Alison McBain – Assistant Director of Studies, Joshua Garner – Multi Media and Marketing Assistant

British Christmas Traditions

The Christmas Tree

When Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert put up a Christmas Tree in Windsor Castle in 1848, the Christmas Tree became a tradition throughout England, the United States, and Canada.

Mince Pies

Mince pies were originally filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than the dried fruit mix they are made with today, hence the name! Meat disappeared from the recipe by Victorian times.

dusted mince pies


Christmas stockings originate from the legend of St Nicholas, who was a gift giver. He once sent bags of gold down a chimney at the home of a poor man, which fell into stockings that were drying in the fireplace.

Christmas Crackers

Tom Smith, a sweet maker in London, invented Christmas crackers in the late 1840’s which originally did not ‘crack’, it was only when he found a way to make them crack that they became very popular.

Christmas pudding

Similar to mince pies, Christmas pudding was originally filled with meat. They date back as early as the 14th century and in 1714, King George decided it should be a part of the typical Christmas meal.


The tradition of kissing below a mistletoe was first introduced by early Christians, a berry would be taken from the mistletoe with every kiss, until none remained.

Christmas Carols

Carols originated from pagan times and continued into the Christian era. Ever since then carols have been written, especially in Victorian times. In the more recent day, songs such as White Christmas by Bing Crosby and All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey are modern day Christmas carols.

For everyone celebrating Christmas – we hope you have a wonderful one and a Happy New Year!

Things to do at Christmas for students

Things to do at Christmas for students

There is so much to do in Southbourne during the Christmas holidays – Bournemouth town centre comes to life, with a German inspired Christmas market and seasonal decorations covering the high street and gardens.

An ice skating rink and Alpine Bar is open to everyone in the lower gardens, from mid-November to the beginning of January, this is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not try a Glühwein (if you are over 18), which is a fruity hot mulled wine and enjoy getting involved in singing the traditional Christmas British carols.

We even work with a local student tour company called UK Study Tours, who offer fantastic tours to great destinations during the Christmas period, all provided with details below, see their website for full information:

If you like the idea of discovering how other countries celebrate Christmas in Europe, why not go with other foreign language students and learn about so many different cultures?

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