How do i love London? Let me count the ways…Part IV

hello! (: i’m back with another post on food ^^ hehe. can’t seem to get myself away from it aye :P actually this post shouldn’t really be classified under my london posts since i didn’t eat any of these in london. but then they’re all over UK, and definitely you have got to try them when you’re in london! (: i just absolutely love how UK is so health-friendly, and has such great options for on-the-go lunches when you don’t have the time to prepare your own! they’re so affordable as well! at least in relative terms, which makes it even more attractive (:

Pret-a-Manger can be found everywhere in uk, and it’s the go-to place for quick meals that are oh-soooo-yummy!!!!! i really really love how uk has healthy fast food ;) this is totally grab & go! so convenient, but makes me super happy eating it ;) they have a selection of salads, wraps and all, which are super balanced with all the veggies, meat and (sometimes) carbs. and they all sound so delicious! healthy food is really tasty here, so there’s no reason at all to be unhealthy ;) and their soups!!!!! made fresh everyday, and they’re so delicious ^^ i tried their tomato soup and it was chock full of ingredients and beautifully flavoured with fresh tomatoes. SO good :D

another thing i like about Boots? it carries the Jamie Oliver range of healthy lunches!! :D very interesting variety of salads, wraps and sandwiches. i’m always spoilt for choice! and i especially like how he has these meal plan options, where you can get a salad, drink and snack for a mere £3.45 (if i rmb correctly)!!!! super duper affordable, and it gives you a very complete meal (: i looooove rumblers!!! it’s this granola yogurt which is so yummy! this set super worth it because rumblers is about half this price on its own already.

and marks & spencer has something similar too! ^^ LOVE the M&S here. it’s so much better than the one in singapore!!!! their stores are huge and they sell everything under the sun ^^ i could spend hours in their grocery store, seriously. haha. and their household stuff are so nice too!!! if only it wasn’t so ex :P i think the groceries are still quiteeee reasonable though (: anyway, they’re always having all sorts of promotions, like they have this dinner meal-plan thing, where you can get a three-course meal for two people for a fixed price which is v worth it too! 

i just love how there are so many options for me to choose from when i need to grab lunch. so convenient, so healthy and absolutely tasty ^^

and yay, i’m finally done with my london posts :))) 




Advertisements

How do i love London? Let me count the ways…Part III

no #3 on the to-do list in london is S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G!!!!!! you have absolutely no idea how much i spent in primark. omg. haha i contributed to boosting their economy mannnn :P and together with all the markets in london? ^^ AMAZINGGGG. i just love going to markets (haha but i loathe wet markets in singapore) and there were so many to go to in london! all so different, and great for shopping for different things ^^ 

anyway, let’s start with the more obvious ones first hehe.

primark!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the happiest place on earth haha (not disneyland? oh no, if you’re a girl, primark is your happy place :P)
this was a mere fraction of the stuff that i got from primark. i really went crazy there. and i guess that’s why it’s not a good idea to stay in UK for too long :p i stepped into primark three times, and each time i bought something. shorts, tops, dresses, pyjamas, shoes, accessories, blazers…you name it, i bought it. >.< haha not good at allllll. i did really go crazy there haha. but it was SO CHEAP. i mean seriously!! haha every piece that i got was totally worth it ;) that's what i told myself, which is why i kept buying. but i'm serious! all my shoes were under £5, which is less than $10 especially considering the current exchange rate. so worth it!! the only thing that was probably not considered cheap, but comparable to singapore's prices, were my blazers, which were £15. but they came in such gorgeous colours i just had to get them! super love my new wardrobe now ^^ 

Boots was my heaven #2 ^^ heehee. this is such an awful picture of it. but i LOVED IT. all the beauty products!!!! i swear i could spend hours in there just looking at their whole range of products omgggg. sooooo nice!!!!! and i left london with a huge regret cos i didn’t get some soap&glory stuff i wanted (yay thanks yi for bringing it back for me <3). but it's really so much more worth it to buy the stuff there!!! like less than half the price of that in Sephora in singapore! :O not kidding! bcos boots has the most awesome 3 for the price of 2 deals hehe. love it ;) and plus their range of products is soooo extensive! gonna blog more about the stuff i bought in subsequent posts. i'm so crazy in love with all my beauty products :)) plus they have jamie oliver's lunch sets there which i love too!!! (also will blog about this soon hahaha).

H&M, New Look, Topshop….
I never realised how amazing H&M was until i started shopping for clothes for exchange while i was in singapore. strangely when it first opened (maybe bcos of the crowds), i didn’t really enjoy my shopping experience there and couldn’t find anything i fancied! :( only when i started looking for clothes for exchange then i found sooo many nice long sleeved tops (which i’m completely bored of now haha after wearing them repeatedly for the past 5 months T.T i’ve had ENOUGH of long sleeves and pants tyvm). and in europe i loved it too!!! it’s one of the places that i can actually afford to shop at here, and i just loooove their collections (: 

New Look had a 1-for-1 accessories sale while i was here, and so i had quite a number of good buys which were damn awesome! ^^ plus the store has a 10% discount for students! similar to topshop and a few others (:

Paperchase
Paperchase has the most adorable notebooks and papers and all sorts of stationery there!! it’s not cheap, but i wouldn’t say it’s expensive as well. and it was so fun to just look at all the pretty products there! they have a super wide range of the cutest cards. seems like every outlet has slightly different stock though. and i was super sad that i couldn’t find a notebook that i wanted cos i didn’t buy it at another store :'( i still managed to find other nice ones though ^^

BHS
haha this is quite an unconventional store to be talking about. but it just happened that i was looking for some stuff to decorate my bedroom with and so this place was my favourite for shopping for these things!! i guess it’s kinda strange to be buying stuff for my new room to bring all the way back to singapore, but i figured that it was more worth it to buy my stuff here! i know there are places like francfranc in singapore where i can get similar stuff, but for some reason, these pretty things in singapore are just priced quite ridiculously high imo -.- much better to get my stuff here (especially when i was SO LUCKY to buy my stuff when they were going for half price!!! *squeals*) and bring them back in my luggage hehe :P

Markets 
okie and now about the numerous markets london has! :D 

Covent Garden (nearest Tube station: Covent Garden) was great for all the little knick-knacks and quirky stuff! (: i wish i had more time to spend there, but we were completely rushing through because we were on the way to the musical. i managed to get a gorgeous ballet painting/photo that i’ve been searching for a long time though :))

Portobello market is also another market selling lots of knick-knacks in the very quaint and pretty estate of Nottinghill (nearest Tube station) (: they have almost everything you can find there – clothes, food, vintage products etc. and they’re all arranged in an orderly manner (check out the sign in the picture!) which makes for easy shopping ^^ go on a friday or saturday where the full market is open so that there is more to see! hummingbird bakery is there too, remember to get your share of cupcakes ;)

aaaaand my favourite market of all!!!! Borough Market!!!! :D :D :D (nearest Tube station: London Bridge) omg it’s seriously foodie heaven haha. i ate so much there! just trying all the food samples could make me full already :p it’s always so nice going to all these places, where the food is just amazingly fresh! the fruits look so mouth-watering don’t they? ^^ 

before you step into Borough Market itself, check out Rabot Estate! it specialises in all sorts of cocoa products, and their range of merchandise in the store is really interesting! i would say the food is only so-so though. we ordered the classic hot chocolate (£2.75) and the supposedly award-winning sweet cacao wrap (£3.50). i like italian hot chocolate wayyy better, so maybe i’m biased :p but we were really kinda disappointed that the wrap was just a normal crepe, and there was nothing very special about it.

first thing we tried at the market were these delicious portuguese egg tarts!!!!! (: when i saw something that remotely reminded me of home, i was soooo happy. and these were really good!!! i think they were definitely one of the BEST portuguese egg tarts i’ve ever eaten ^^ 

first drink of the day – a glass of champagne each! ;)

and this rump steak sandwich was so so so good!!!!! gosh it looks amazing doesn’t it?! okay the photo is blur, but you can’t deny that it looks so mouth-watering!!!! and it tasted as good as it looked. absolutely juicy, it was literally dripping and we had a whole lot of fun slurping it up hehe. it went so well with all the cheese, vegetables and the dollop of mustard that i added on top. we were just left wanting more more more! it’s so messy to eat, but totally worth the effort ;)

ended off with a cup of sangria! ;) and that’s not all we ate haha. there were LOTS more in between but i shan’t tempt you here. go check it out for yourself! have a light breakfast and head there for lunch ;) the full market is from thurs-sun if i remember correctly! go on those days to get the full experience :D 

didn’t manage to visit camden and bricklane markets!! definitely will go back for them the next time ;) the markets require some planning cos the full markets are usually on the weekends, where you’ll get the most out of your visit, so check the days online and plan accordingly ;)

Pollen Street Social

Hiya! (: so i’ve been wanting to do this post for the longest time, but as usual i’ve been procrastinating :p supposed to do it before my london food post actually! but i’ll link it to that page anyway, now that it’s up ^^
Pollen Street Social was the last restaurant we went to before leaving London (boohooooooo), and it was such a great way to end off our trip with a bang! :D good food always makes me happy ^^ and OMG. i just realised that Pollen at Gardens by the Bay is related to this restaurant!!! :O it’s under the same head chef! how cool is that ;) never tried the one in Singapore before though haha. Pollen Street Social isn’t a michelin-star restaurant, and to be honest, i wasn’t too stoked about the food until dessert came around. but the ambience and service were top-notch, comparable to that of Petrus (:

a three course set lunch at Pollen Street Social will set you back £29.50.

we began with a starter of crackly pig’s skin. it was fried beautifully – not too oily, with a delightfully crisp texture to it. this came with a bowl of green olives, which were really tasty!
for the appetizer, i went for the grilled mackerel with “waldorf salad”, walnut powder and english radish. the salad was deconstructed for a gorgeous presentation, and i loved how fresh and simple the mackerel was done.
my main dish of Wiltshire pork belly, spiced cheek and apple mustard puree had a surprisingly Asian flavour to it, which was much appreciated! the pork belly and spiced cheek were braised till wonderfully tender, and they melted in my mouth, releasing a cacophony of tastes.
then came desserts! :D my favourite part of the meal, and i was glad that it was the longest part of the meal ;) hehe.
we were firstly invited to the bar, which was an AMAZING experience, being so close to the dessert chefs, watching them prepare our food. it was an absolutely mouth-watering experience ^^
our dessert amuse bouche were these adorable ice creams! i realised that such tiny ice cream cones seem to be pretty common in london! at least, i’ve noticed them in at least three places. so adorable!! the chocolate ice cream was deliciously rich, and it had nuts inside which i loved :D 
a lemon-y sorbet followed, to cleanse our palate. i loved how refreshing it was, and it helped wash away the richness from the chocolate ice cream and meal before that, to prepare us for our ACTUAL dessert ;)
i was initially apprehensive about ordering the “tiramisu” hot chocolate coffee because i was worried about it affecting my sleep during the flight. (needn’t have worried because i subsequently conked out for 10hours on the plane without knowing lol) but i’m SO GLAD that i did!!!! it was soooo good. the lovely wobbly custard-like pudding below complemented the chocolate ice cream perfectly, with the bits of chocolate cake and chocolate pieces. and the hot chocolate coffee that came with it? tasted like a blend of italian hot chocolate + caffè (espresso). nice!! (although i only took a couple of sips haha)
and finallyyyyy, we ended off with these lovely little cakes! kinda like madeleines, i guess that would be the closest thing i could liken it to. loved loved LOVED these!!!! they were absolutely delicious!!!! they’d popped out freshly from the oven, and this ended our meal on the sweetest note ever :’)
happy people xx 
Pollen Street Social
8/10 Pollen Street, London, Greater London W1S 1NQ
Tel.: +44 20 7290 7600

How do i love London? Let me count the ways…Part II

Food. 
ah, it makes up at least half of the beautiful memories when i visit a place ^^ haha can’t resist at all lol! my tastebuds took a trip all around the world while i was in london! love how international this city is, just like singapore :)) where we can get ANY kind of food we want, and at any time of the day. i had so many delicious meals while i was in london! of course the best was Petrus (haha duh, it’s not michelin-star for nothing and i’m not being biased here!). but there were so many other awesome ones as well like burger & lobster, roast duck, english tea and pollen street social ^^ those in this post are (without a doubt) good too, but for the special mentions, must try them first! ;)
on our first night there, my tastebuds travelled to Belgium, which is somewhere i haven’t been to yet! (pity…i must plan a trip to the benelux-cologne region sometime!!!!)
at Belgo, they have this weekday beat-the-clock promotion where you pay the price at the time shown on your food order! so cool right ;) so means the earlier you go, the cheaper your meal is! this is valid from 5pm-6.30pm, for certain dishes. in UK, you have got to try MUSSELS. i swear i’ve never seen such huge, plump mussels in my whole life (never knew they even existed in this size :O) until i first tried them in scotland! and they are AMAZING!!!! super big and juice and tasty ^^ 1/2kg of traditionalle and another 1/2kg of provençale, to make the most of the deal ;) super worth it. they come with fries on the side which are really addictive! haha. since UK is famous for fish and chips, that’s what we ordered as well (£12.50). although i really don’t know what’s so special about it? haha. it was quite nice, but to me, fish & chips is about the same everywhere.
Belgo
50 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LJ, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 20 7813 2233
there are so many types of places to eat in London, and Harrods is one of them! haha the food hall is omghhkp!!! i was literally gonna start drooling the moment i stepped in. SO.MUCH.FOOD. everywhere! pies, cakes, paté, chocolate, breads, tea, meat, seafood. whatever you want, i’m pretty sure they have it there. don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing that we went there right after Petrus and we were stuffed already :'( couldn’t eat a thing. just walked around and looked and omg i wish i could have bought something!! haha we didn’t. but you definitely should! and of course, if you can afford it, go shopping ;)
Harrods
87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL, United Kingdom
now don’t these little darlings look so delectable! i’ve heard raving reviews about Hummingbird Bakery‘s cupcakes way before i came to London, whether on instagram or from friends’ recommendations. haha. bought then while i was portobello market! (: and i love how fluffy and yummy they were!! i found the icing on top a little too sweet though. anw, the red velvet is da bombz – you must must must order it!!! and also the carrot cake flavour! (: 
Hummingbird Bakery
133 Portobello Rd, London, Greater London W11 2DY, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 20 7851 1795

for some sweet and savoury crepes, try Kensington Creperie! (: they have a really wide range of crepes and waffles for you to choose from, which makes it fun! there are some hits and misses though. so choose wisely :p the crepe that we liked was the mexican chili crepe (£8.95) – with chicken, chopped red hot chili peppers, red kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, sweetcorn, hot chili sauce and cheddar cheese. sounds like a mouthful! and that’s what we liked ;) how it was full of ingredients and had a lovely spicy zing to it :D for sweets, i didn’t like the crepe we chose, but instead i’d recommend the chocolate crunchy nuts waffle (£6.95). take your pick of milk/dark/white chocolate on a waffle topped with hazelnuts, peanuts and flaked almonds, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! :D crunchy and scrumptious ^^ the service here sucks though. the only instance of BAD SERVICE i experienced in the whole of UK. super annoyed -.- gonna blacklist them haha. but it was really quite irritating how the service staff had such a poor attitude, all the way until we were supposed to pay the bill then she became more polite -.- oh please, that is so not gonna work. 
Kensington Creperie/Creamerie Creperie
2-6, Exhibition Rd, London, Greater London SW7 2HF, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 20 7589 8947

wow i love this pic! haha. looking at it brings back memories already :D of huge portions and walking really far to find this restaurant lol! Big Easy is an american diner, which serves humongous portions as you can tell from this picture here. this was just our appetizer, can you believe it?! and it’s meant for two people, but it fed four of us just nicely. the restaurant is located really far from the Tube station though! we walked like maybe 1.5km from Sloane Square station O.o although i think South Kensington station might be nearer. the good thing is that it helped work up our appetite for this huge meal haha. it was soooo good. just look at that! impossible to resist haha. it’s the grand appetizer platter for 2 (£19.50) consisting of wings, jalapeno peppers, calamari (loved this!), tenders, potato skins, corn chips (yummm!), prawn crackers and dipping sauces (honey mustard, tartar sauce, salsa etc). 
i got my baby back ribs (£15.90 for the full rack)!!!! which was SO AWESOMELY GOOD. not as big as i imagined it to be (after seeing the potential of the appetizer haha), but it was really good! slathered in smokey bbq sauce, the meat was ultra tender and fell off the bone when i pierced it with my fork. *drools*
the new england clam chowder (£5.95) was good too! very thick and surprisingly filling even though the bowl didn’t look thaaat big. it was a little too peppery for my liking though! but we were happily stuffed at the end of the meal :D for hungry people and americans craving some hometown food, this is the place to be ;) they also have super good daily deals which you have to check out! if i’m not wrong, monday is the day where you get free flow of ribs :O now i’m tempting you aren’t i? ;) check it out.
Big Easy
332-334 King’s Rd, London SW3 5UR, United Kingdom ‎
Tel.: +44 20 7352 4071

for our last dinner in london, we went to Bill’s Restaurant. i realised that every single meal i had was a different kind of cuisine! :O amazed. hahaha. Bill’s serves mediterranean style food, and it has a really pretty restaurant setting (: for starters, we got the crispy lemon squid (£5.95), which was done perfectly crispy and not too oily. the lemon added a zingy refreshing flavour which was nice! our marinated half chicken (£10.95) had a generous taste of spices, and i loved the rice that came with it. the king tiger prawn and salmon skewers (£11.35) was probably my favourite dish with its interesting presentation and blend of flavours. finally, the halloumi and hummus (£8.95) was good too! we also ordered the chargrilled chop of suffolk pork (£11.95) from the specials menu, but i found that slightly dry. 
haha this is an attempt-to-be-artistic shot :p nah just kidding. it’s just that we ate halfway then i decided it’s nice so i took a pic of it. looooved their pecan pie (£5.95) :D the pastry was crumbly-delicious and anything with nuts appeals to me ;) 
Bill’s Restaurant
St Martin’s Courtyard, WC2E, 9AB
Tel.: +44 0207 240 8183

How do i love London? Let me count the ways… Part I


i’m finally getting down to blogging about London! yay ^^ it’s been too long aye? :P and i haven’t forgotten that never-ending list of more places i’ve not done haha. oh well, makes for a more interesting read eh ;) lots more coming up!! 

sooooo…what do i love about london? sorry for those who have seen my facebook album, i’m just gonna copy and paste a chunk of my album description here haha :p it’s hard to decide which is my favourite part of the trip…my first ever michelin-star meal/chilling on the grass in front of the london eye and big ben/an evening stroll through hyde park/being awed by the magnificence of st paul’s cathedral/eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Buckingham palace guards/admiring the grand tower bridge/breathing in the freshest morning air at Kensington gardens/stuffing myself silly at borough market/simply soaking in the beautiful sights along the streets of london :’) plus london has the NICEST people ever!! :) the service staff are the best, really (for everywhere in uk actually). and the number of people who offered to help me with my massive luggage in the subway? so super duper amazed and touched by their kindness :’)

*warning: this is a super long post. beware. haha :p 

What to do in London
oh where do i start? there are SO MANY things to do in london (i think i’ve probably said this a million times whoops! haha) i really didn’t think i would manage to cover everything in a week. well, we did see most of the places, but lots of them are places i would want to go back to, just to spend the time chilling and soaking in the atmosphere for longer :)

it’s really easy to go around london by the Tube :) love how they have so many alternative routes of going to places! makes things really convenient, especially when they have train maintenance on weekends. singapore should learn!!! one day when we have more train lines -.- if not the mrt is gonna keep breaking down sigh. the good thing is that london’s tube network is super extensive! and so it’s super convenient to replan your route even if some train lines aren’t operating. 


first things first, watch a musical! :) it’s a must-do when you’re in london. i have heard raving reviews about Phantom of the Opera, so must watch!!!! i didn’t get to catch it this time :( because we’d already watched it in singapore so mummy didn’t want to go again. but i’ll definitely make it a point to catch it the next time im in london! i watched matilda instead! which was pretty good too! i would say it’s quite different from all the musicals i’ve watched so far (like phantom & wicked), probably more light-hearted, like lion king! i guess cos it’s based on a kids book haha.

*[RANDOM: omg thank goodness for blogger saving my draft so well even without me having to do it! stupid chrome suddenly closed on me and i didn’t save -.- haha]

anyway, i recommend matilda too if you’re going to london and wanna watch more than one musical! ^^ definitely worth the experience :D Matilda is performed at the Cambridge Theatre. (Nearest tube station: Covent Garden – note that different musicals are at different locations & tube stations!)

there are TONNNNNNS of must-visit tourist attractions when you’re in london haha. not kidding. and i was super lucky to have really good weather when we were there! (: look at the sky!! so blue and pretty :)) thought it would be raining most of the time but surprisingly it didn’t! (: anyway, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey (nearest Tube station: Westminster) is one of the places for a compulsory photo opportunity! :D 

and so is the London Eye (nearest Tube station: Westminster)! which is just across the road from the big ben. they’re along the River Thames which is this huge river flowing through the city of london, and we had the happiest time sitting on a random grass patch near the river and just watching the world go by :)

trafalgar square (nearest Tube station: Charing Cross) is another pretty place for photos :D i think there is some history behind this place, but i’ve got no idea what it is about haha :p zhen & i really had a ball of a time climbing up the statues to camwhore though :p hehe. 

for those who don’t know, the “london bridge” you hear in the kids nursery rhyme isn’t much of a looker, so no one actually goes to see it in london :p what’s wayyyy grander and nicer to visit is Tower Bridge (nearest Tube station: Tower Hill)! 

and while you’re at it, check out the Tower of London as well! it’s this huge castle (?) where you can have a tour by a guy dressed in the traditional soldier’s costume (our guide was HILARIOUS! :P) and explore the exhibits in the place! there is an admission charge for it (£21.45 for adults), but it’s pretty interesting (: check out the crown jewels when you’re there!!!! i think there is some 500 carat diamond ring there (if i rmb what the guide said correctly haha) ooh la la *.*

Piccadilly Circus (nearest Tube station: Piccadilly Circus) is kinda like London’s equivalent of NYC’s Times Square :) it’s just a very pretty and happy place to be in! i guess also since we went there on our last day, i really enjoyed just walking along regent street all the way there and admiring the London streets :) 

i love how london has so many parks for people to chill in as well :))) and they’re HUGE! not kidding, they’re really humongous hahaha. i think one thing that london is really similar to singapore is the crowds. zomg. after going there from glasgow and york which had pretty small populations and lots and lots of land and space, and also from being used to the space in the rest of europe, i actually kinda got a culture shock in london from all the crowds on my first day in the subway. but it’s still less crowded than singapore definitely. and less hot, so it’s not so uncomfortable -.- haha. but it’s okay, i still love singapore :P oops, digress very far again haha. 

first park we went to was Hyde Park (nearest Tube station: Hyde Park Corner). probably the largest park in london! (: haha okay don’t quote me, i’m not entirely sure, but from the map it really looks HUGE. and i only covered like a tiny portion of it! but i loved walking along the huge lake, watching the kids feed the ducks and swans, watching the sun set :) it’s lovely how the sun was setting so late when i was there (although it’s a pity cos we didn’t get to see london’s night scene at all because we just didn’t want to stay out so late >.<) so that we could really make full use of our long days.

another one is Green Park (nearest Tube station: Green Park) which is near where the Buckingham Palace is!!!! :D 

you must go there to watch the changing of guards ceremony!!! it takes place every day at around 11am. okay actually if you want to watch the actual ceremony inside the palace, you’ll probably have to go damn early to plant yourself at a good spot right outside the palace gates (see where the people are standing at the gates in my photo background?). if you can’t, then just watch the marching in part. there will first be the band marching from mall st down to the palace. and we had a good spot there (reached around 10.30am?) to catch them coming in! ^^ but then we were wondering how come there were so few guards?! and omg shucks we suddenly heard music coming from the opposite direction and we realised we were standing at the wrong side!!!! :O :O :O haha totally ran all the way to the Buckingham Gate side and i was simply insanely sticking my hand above the crowd and snapping away, not looking at my camera at all hahaha. quite miraculous that i managed to find this straight photo cos more than half were slanted :P lol! 

my absolute favourite park of all :’)))) Kensington Gardens (nearest Tube station: Lancaster Gate). so so so breathtaking! i stepped in there in the morning, with dew still hanging in the air. kissing the leaves and refreshing us as we strolled through the greenery. breathing in lungfuls of the freshest morning air, the light breeze was comfortable on our skin (: it was amazing. it was so relaxing. and all i wanted to do was to stand there and close my eyes and melt into my surroundings :’) i didn’t even take many photos! because i just wanted to enjoy the serenity of this atmosphere. absolutely, spectacularly amazing ^^

visit Kensington Palace as well!! the humble abode of Prince William & Kate ;) hehe. aww we didn’t get to meet them! :p but it was nice exploring the place :D there is a museum on the british royal history which was pretty interesting!!! entry to the palace is £15 for adults. 

london has lots of museums that are open for free to the public!! i think that’s really nice of them to do so! (: very educational, if you’re into this kind of thing ^^ haha i’m not much of a museum person, but i guess spending a couple of hours in there is pretty fun and all part of the experience too! we went to the British Museum (nearest Tube station: Tottenham Court Road *harry potter!!!!*), which is massive and has collections from all over the world!! really no idea how they managed to get so much stuff haha. i think it’s after they colonized all the countries, they just happily excavated all their artefacts. if you’re a museum buff, you can probably spend an entire day in there. 

we also visited the Victoria and Albert Museum (nearest Tube station: South Kensington), named after Queen Victoria and her husband, which is an artsy museum with not just classical art pieces, but also contemporary, functional art pieces including furniture and costumes.

and finally, St Paul’s Cathedral (nearest Tube station: St Paul’s). the most magnificent and beautiful cathedral i’ve seen in my whole life! not kidding. i’ve seen more than i’ve needed to in a lifetime from travelling around Europe haha. quite bored of them already to be honest. but this one was something else altogether :O the interior was really beautiful, and it’s such a pity that i couldn’t take photos inside to show you guys! :( the audio guide is really great because it gives a really good introduction to the cathedral, and it’s very interesting! there is this whispering walls thing, where if you climb up a flight of stairs, you’ll get to an area where you can have a vantage view of the interior of the church (beautiful!) and apparently if you whisper into the walls on one side, it can be heard on the opposite side. we tried, but it didn’t work -.- and if you climb up 500+ steps of a winding staircase, you’ll go all the way up to the top of the cathedral to have a bird’s eye view of london! to me, i felt that exploring the interior of the church with the audioguide was the best part though! the view of london was unfortunately rather disappointing. london has many many many beautiful streets (i took so many pictures of just random streets – sam would have probably fainted haha – just bcos they were so pretty) but somehow the cathedral just wasn’t at a nice part of london so the view wasn’t so nice :( or maybe it just doesn’t look good from the top. unlike NYC :))))) anyway, you have to buy tickets to enter the cathedral (£16 for adults), but i assure you, it’s worth it :)

ah, and of course, there are markets, and shopping ^^ but i guess you’re tired of reading already (or rather i’m tired from writing haha!) so i shall save that for another post :D oh yes, and a couple more last tips! 

1. Check the weather forecast daily, and re-arrange your itinerary based on it (thanks jiayee for this ^^). it does make a difference seeing the attractions in the sunlight, or at least in the absence of rain.

2. Most indoor attractions, like london tower, museums, and i think st paul’s too, close around 5pm, so make sure you give yourself ample time to explore the place at a pace that is comfortable for yourself! (: 

3. Shops in london close later than the rest of UK (yay!) around 8pm i think, and they’re indoors obviously ^^ so you know where to go when it rains/at night! 

okay that’s all :D lots more parts of london to go! hahaha.