Free Beer & Sangria, Huh?

27 Mar , 2015 Uncategorized

Guest post this week from Lucy. Can’t wait for summer now after reading all about her travel plans. 😉 Free beer and sangria too with Stoke Travel…


So we’re already in a pretty hip and happening place. Shoreditch is no ordinary neighbourhood. Every night out is different and unique.


Last week, I found myself down the pub, imbibing my third pint on an empty stomach because I have dinner plans and they won’t be ruined. Unfortunately, this means my tolerance is not at it’s peak and already I’m feeling the effects of the gaseous golden liquid. I’ve stumbled across a shaggy blonde Australian and we’ve tripped into a full-on debate. He’s a traveler, worldly, waxes lyrical about the beauty of Italian alcoves and the heated intensity and frivolity of a Barcelona night out. I’m firmly holding my ground on the Britain is better front…or not so much Britain, but at least our little piece of it, our beloved Shoreditch.


“I’ve never had a better night out than one in this very pub surrounded by my mates with good vibes and good music,” a point well made I think to myself, despite my slight slur and spit at the end of the sentence.


“Okay, so take that experience, put you and your mates and your beer in a massive beer hall in Munich surrounded by Germans dressed up to the nines, boobs everywhere, beer everywhere, bands onstage kicking out the tunes. The atmosphere is electric. That is Oktoberfest. It’s your favourite thing times a thousand.”




“Okay, well where else in the world can you have loads of little bars and studios and rooms and pavements littered with local musicians and artists just doing what they love for all to enjoy?” My voice is raising a little. Nowhere is where.


“Sziget! Go to Sziget festival in Budapest and it’s a week-long tribute to art in every form. Music, painting, dancing, the whole shebang. Any way you can think of to express yourself, you’ll find it there.”



San Vino 3

“Well, look at the variety of food here. The best curry in the world. Thai food. Vietnamese. Italian. Greek. Why do you need to travel when you can have the world’s cuisine on your doorstep?” I realise I’m starting to sound like a stubborn child, but it’s the best I can do at this point. How does he so eloquently outmanoeuvre me when he’s clearly pissed beyond his bracket?

“Yeah alright mate, but look, do you have Basque pintxos like you get in San Sebastian? Can you spend your day in the surf in San Seb and then go into this little town centre and eat some of the best damn food you’ll ever taste and wash it down with cider…and that’s the places in between the Michelin-starred joints?”


Alright fine! So there’s some benefits, but I certainly won’t be joining one of these contrived tours where they take you from monument to monument and your trip is a series of photos that you have no connection with. And if I were to go alone, I wouldn’t know where to start.


Then he starts going on about Stoke Travel and their passport. At this stage his drunken ramblings and strong Aussie accent are too much to decipher and I have a butter chicken date, so I

politely excuse myself.


Next morning, nursing a hangover and ploughing through my leftover curry, I did look into it and it seems he was right. This company does a passport where you can choose from loads of trips that they do and they’re all really flexible and allow you to choose your own adventure in a way. They make it easy for you, but don’t treat you like a child and herd you around like cattle. Plus they throw in a lot of free drinks, which pleases me.


So now I’m looking at a five festival pass called the Gypsy and I’m thinking of San Vino, Van Surfari Spain and Portugal,   Sziget, La Tomatina and Oktoberfest…and I’m grudgingly excited I guess. If you want to check ‘em out, head here. 


Dictionary Hostel has scored you the goods. Book any Stoke Travel trip with the promo code DICTIONARY for freebies like unlimited beer and sangria.