London

London 2014 Part 2

Time past so fast, and we were now at the tail-end of our vacation!

You would have read about our London Part 1, and our 5 days in Iceland. After coming back from Iceland, we just wanted to take it slow and did not plan a lot of activities. The previous posts were some of the places we visited and ate.

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Cream Tea @The Rubens

Cream Tea Set

Cream Tea Set

We had difficulty making reservations for an afternoon tea session at the more popular places, as we had failed to realise earlier that it was Halloween today. The hotel staff tried to help us call a few places, but alas, all were fully booked.

Hot scones

Hot scones

Eventually, on the actual day, they offered us cream tea at their own cafe instead. This was fine with us, since we were still too full from breakfast anyway :p

We had Earl Grey with scones, clotted cream and jam. We loved that the scones were served warm and the clotted cream was oh-so-lovely and light, we had to resist getting more!

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Vale Victoria @Victoria

Latte and Hot Chocolate

Latte and Hot Chocolate

It was our last breakfast in London, so we gotta have more traditional London food!

We had walked past Vale Victoria when we went to TILES, so we decided to give it a try as well because it looked like an authentic London cafe, and there were many customers when we walked past the last time.

The decorations were actually quite old school and the staff were all dressed up for Halloween, making this a rather interesting (and scary at first because we didn’t expect the face of the waitress to be full of blood!) breakfast experience 🙂

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Micky’s Fish Bar @Paddington

Simple Fish & Chips

Simple Fish & Chips

Micky’s Fish Bar was a short 10-minute walk from Paddington Station, and was a no-frills place that Michelin-star chef Heston Blumenthal (he’s one of the celebrity chefs in MasterChef Australia) frequented during his childhood. Simple menu, simple food.

Hubby enjoyed his Cod & Chips, while I preferred the Haddock & Chips. The fish fillets were big in portion, fresh and the batter was excellent! The over-generous chips were thick and yummy. However, hubby preferred the mushy peas at The Tiles.

This is where Prince George of Cambridge emerged on July 22, 2013!

This is where Prince George of Cambridge emerged on July 22, 2013!

It was a lovely catchup with M and her hubby, and we thoroughly enjoyed the chit-chat session under the friendly atmosphere. We also exchanged (our little) tips on London sight-seeing!

After dinner, we had a bit of recreational activity, where hubby and I posed at the same spot outside St Mary’s Hospital, where Prince William and Kate Middleton emerged from, with their newborn baby, haha!

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  • Location: 29 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QH, United Kingdom
  • Hrs: 11am – 11pm
  • Nearest Tube: London Paddington
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Patisserie Valerie @Paddington Station

We were meeting our friend, M, and her hubby, who were currently staying in London, for dinner… M promised to bring hubby to a lovely Fish & Chips place, so that hubby can finally announce to he world that he has tried some authentic Fish & Chips :p

We met at Paddington Station, which was near where M was staying and it was also a short walk to the Fish & Chips place. As we were early, we decided to have a mini tea break first… Haha!

We have heard great reviews on Patisserie Valerie, and there happened to be an outlet at Paddington Station, so this was where we parked ourselves.

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Primrose Bakery @Camden Town

Pretty bakery deco

Pretty bakery deco

Our spread

Our spread

We were walking and walking till we were so tired, before we finally spotted Primrose Bakery, that was recommended by LadyIronChef!

It was also upon reaching this place that I realized it was the same shop where the gals and I bought some cookies for a quick dinner prior to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

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Hampstead Heath @London

Serenity lake

Serenity lake

Wifey and her friend, Ms M, had wanted to do a forest walk when they were in London, and they had initially planned on visiting a distant forest. But after sharing their plans with their boss, he suggested Hampstead Heath instead, which is more do-able and is nearer to London.

Hampstead Heath (locally known as “the Heath”) is a large, ancient London park, covering 320 hectares. This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate. The Heath is rambling and hilly, embracing ponds, recent and ancient woodlands, a lido, playgrounds, and a training track, and it adjoins the stately home of Kenwood House and its grounds. The south-east part of the Heath is Parliament Hill, from which the view over London is protected by law.

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The Regency Café @Regency Street

Happy couple!

Happy couple!

Another day, another breakfast decision. We Googled for a nearby breakfast place and The Regency Café (opened since 1946) seemed like a good option for some classic, traditional full English breakfast! It was voted as the fifth best restaurant in London by users of the website Yelp in 2013, and was included in the list of the top five less expensive places to eat in the UK.

But we have read many reviews about poor service, so we were also prepared to go elsewhere if things didn’t work out. Getting shouted at early in the morning is not the best way to start the day! (Apparently, the procedure of the day is to order your food at the counter first before you find a seat, or you will be shouted at!)

It was an easy 10-15min walk from our hotel and we managed to arrive close to 9am, and it was almost full, with only a couple of empty tables.

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Four Seasons Restaurant 文興酒家 @Chinatown London

Preparing for the rush of customers

Preparing for the rush of customers

We met up with Lao Ban Niang again and this time, she was granted permission to come out for lunch!

She wanted to try this new branch of Four Seasons Restaurant, so we met at Chinatown for an early lunch. However, we discovered that all the Chinese restaurants in this area only open after 12noon, so we ended up shopping at the nearby Chinese supermarket instead. We all paused in surprise in the supermarket when we heard traffic announcement over the radio station informing all shoppers of traffic jam at Upper Thomson… Singapore Y.E.S. 933 station, haha!

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The Breakfast Club @Soho

Bright yellow exterior

Bright yellow exterior

Hubby woke up bright and early today! Because we were going out for a proper breakfast! The wifey was still hiding under the bed covers when he was ready… Haha! What to do? It was very cold this morning!

Anyway, we made it out of our hotel and managed to arrive at The Breakfast Club (Soho branch) before 9.30am. It was almost full because it opens from 8am, but there was still one 2-seater available, yay!

The Breakfast Club Cafe has 7 branches spread all over London and there is always long queues in all its cafes. It is popular for its brunch menu which is served until 5pm. Hubby got the recommendation of this place from his graduate student who became a stewardess, and hence had numerous opportunities to visit cities all over the world and visit nice eateries, like this one!

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