Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Today is all about London ♥

I thought I’d take a little break from the France related posts and sneak in a cheeky one about London. Cause what’s not to love about London?!?! (ok-apart from the traffic, crowds and the fact that almost everything comes with a hefty price tag). Even so London has so much to offer and I just love to discover new places each time I go to visit. In all fairness I can say that I have come to know Tokyo a lot better than London (since I lived there) and Tokyo still holds a special place in my heart, but it’s not quite like London.
Even the first time I went to visit with my best of besties, L., I was in awe of the place. We didn’t have a lot of budget to play with so our visit consisted mostly of sightseeing places that didn’t require an entry fee. Fast forward a few years later and even though still on a tight budget London hasn’t lost its charm. There are so many interesting and exciting things to see and there’s always something going on. You have to be mad to be in London and be bored because the way I see it, it has a little bit of everything for every taste and interest. And to prove you that London doesn’t have to be an expensive journey, just start by looking at the coach prices for getting there. Now although the infamous £1 ticket that Megabus was advertising is nothing more than a mirage these days, the cost is fairly reasonable if booked in advance (they still need to work on a more convenient timetable, but it can work). So, geared with a pair of (flat) petite shoes you can be more than ready to explore the vast and wonderful things the capital has to offer.

I have promised myself that whenever I go to London I will try to visit a museum/gallery or at least part of a museum (I think you need a minimum of five goes to see the Natural History Museum properly). You can find some of the best collections of exhibits in the world here and most of them are free entry!- unless you want to enjoy a special exhibition.  Now my commitment to go and see a display on my every visit may not have been always so strong (oups!) but I gave it a good go and explored some parts of the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and even the Saatchi Gallery.

The Natural History Museum 

The V&A Museum

The Costume and Fashion collection at V&A Museum- not to be missed!

This is so 'Pride and Prejudice'... I can already see Mr. Darcy and Elisabeth wearing these 

Can you imagine having to be dressed in this!!!

But it doesn’t have to be all about museums on your visit there. Apart from the wonderful shopping (oh how it can lead you to bankruptcy) the London streets cater for every taste and pocket from McD’s (not that I would ever advertise for people to go there, but hey, each to their own) to Pret-A-Manger, Sushi places, small ethnic restaurants (surprisingly affordable for lunch) and so on. And if you are there for more than just a day don’t miss the weekend markets that just spring on the streets all over the city. And you can definitely get a bargain, with sizeable ‘bowls’ of different fruits and vegetables going for just £1 (I tell you it is better than Aldi prices! Not even mentioning the superior quality). 

Furthermore, something you can’t always guarantee but a frequent occurrence nonetheless, new bar opening nights! If you are in luck and stumble across one, they usually have an offer on (i.e. 2 for 1 cocktails, half price drinks, etc), or if you are really lucky and come across a new champagne bar, free champagne!!! J (and they did not hold back on filling up the glasses- very lucky us!)

Very generous pouring :) 

However, not all good things come for free (although some people might disagree ;-)). You have to be prepared to pay a little in order to gain a little. And if you are into your burgers, steaks and ribs look no further than the Big Easy restaurant on King’s Road. Now, I cannot call myself an expert when it comes to the London restaurant circuit (far from it!) but one knows a good place to eat when one comes across it J. Only been there a couple of times but it did not disappoint. Food portions are LARGE and DELICIOUS, prices are sensible and they make one of the best margaritas I have ever tasted! If you do want to give it a go (the margarita that is) don’t bother with the small glasses and go straight for the pitcher. Because I’ll tell you a little secret; the margarita is frozen and by the time you finish your first couple of glasses from the pitcher, it starts to melt and you end up with twice the size in liquid margarita. That is if it lasts that long of course ;-). Another thing they are rather famous for is their crab and lobster. Since it was a Saturday night, I decided to treat myself to a not so little lobster. The waiter did not have too hard a job to convince me to go for it especially when he said I was getting an extra glass of margarita for free- result! And oh, it did not disappoint! I only had proper lobster once before when I was in Thailand. It was caught that morning and I have to say it was absolutely delicious. But the one in Big Easy definitely topped that one. Juicy, full of flavour and if you bothered to break the shell and claws thoroughly (which I did), it had a substantial amount of meat too. 

Surely this sign would tempt you in

Quite a plentiful bar if I may say

Oh Margarita... you make me happy :) 

Busy, busy, busy

Oh, hello there

Ribs in a JD glazing 

Ready, steady, GO! (you gotta love the bibs- funky and practical)

Yes, I managed to devour all of it

All in all there’s nothing not to love about the place. It’s been opened for twenty odd years (and that says something in the very competitive London market), it always seems busy, has an ample bar and the food is delish. On top of that you get to use your fingers when you eat, without people starring at you! Now that alone deserves extra bonus points J . In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. And I forgot to say that although quite meaty/fishy orientated, it also has a few veggie options on the menu (the veggie burger looked rather scrumptious, although I did not try it myself). And there we go. Simply could not complete another post without focusing on food. Oh well…..until next time x

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