Wednesday, January 14, 2015

(Not) Lost in the City of London
Last Christmas, me and my family had our second chance of visiting the lovely city of London. Google didn't fail when it said the weather's freezing cold. brrrrr! We had to wear layers of clothing and sip in a cup of hot chocolate to make us feel warm, but like Princess Elsa from the movie Frozen, "The cold didn't bother us anyway." It didn't stop us from exploring and enjoying the ravishing capital city of England. Also, time permitted us to fly and sojourn in Italy for two days. 

( Warning: Lengthy post ahead! )



We visited a few attractions and did quite a lot of shopping. My brother, who's a shopaholic, made our itinerary and that explains why. haha! :) We decided not to get a tour guide this time, 'cause we wanted to have the freedom to stay in the places we want longer. Based on experience, here are the pros and cons of having a tour guide. Pros: You don't have to worry about transportation, plus you always know where you are headed. Cons: Everything is planned and you should abide by the schedule. Once late, you’re doomed. Basically, they own your time. :/ So going back, here's a glimpse of our wonderful trip. ( Let the pictures speak for themselves. :> )

Warner Bros. Studio Tour



just a random street in London

my two sisters posing at Marylebone Station
Winter Wonderland
on train en route to Florence
Leaning Tower of Pisa: Catch me, I'm falling (for you)
Me: Okay :)
Leaning Tower of Pisa


Christmas Market
sitting on a huge rocking chair at Ripley's Believe It or Not! 
couldn't leave London without taking a picture with this famous red phone booth
Now that Christmas holiday's over, we can only look back and reminisce about the beautiful memories we had. And so I want to unearth London with you guys and share with you some ideas if ever you're planning to travel to this city in the future. 

For this post, I decided to make an outline of our London trip so as for me not to sound boring. Here are the list of hotels and restaurants we've tried and some malls we've been to, as well as attractions you'd love to see. ;)

Hotels
( The Mayfair Hotel )
1. W1, Cumberland Hotel, located in Marble Arch, London, is a simple hotel but has a good location. Lots of restaurants, shops and sightseeing are nearby the area. If you’re not so particular with hotels, well.. this will do.

2. The Mayfair Hotel, located in Mayfair, London, is a 5-star luxurious hotel. Good place to stay although a bit pricey! It’s even impossible to forget the fragrant aroma of the hotel plus, I love how modern and trendy the rooms here are! ( see pic above ) 


Restaurants
( Da Kou Japanese Restaurant )


( Shake Shack )

My top 5 picks (not in order) you shouldn't miss out!

1. Da Kou (Japanese Cuisine) – sushi, chicken teriyaki, ebi tempura, ramen, name it! You definitely have to drop by this restaurant if you’re craving for a Japanese food :) It has great food, service and ambience! but this one’s in Florence hehe. (perfect 10!)

2. Nando's (Portugese) – peri-peri flame grilled chicken restaurant :) Nothing special when you’ve tried Peri-Peri Chicken in the Philippines, but I guess this one’s more authentic? (8/10)

3. Four Seasons (Chinese) – this restaurant located in Chinatown offers the best roast duck in London :) We always eat here so we can eat rice. ( shh! It’s an Asian thing! haha ) oh, and beware of long queues for tables! (8/10)

4. Shake Shack (American) – fast food burger that also offers fries, hotdogs, frozen custards, milkshakes, and more! :) but I think California’s In-N-Out Burger is still way better. (8/10)

5. Spaghetti House (Italian) – excellent food! We ordered pasta, steak, salmon, risotto, pizza, and they all taste so good!! ahhh! Thinking about food makes me wanna go back here again! (perfect 10!)


Malls
1. Harrods, located in Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, is London’s most famous luxurious department store or London’s “Rustan’s” hehe :)

2. Bicester Village, located on the outskirts of Bicester, is an outlet shopping center of high-end brands, where you can enjoy shopping at a discounted price.

3. Covent Garden Shopping Center 

4. The Mall, located in Italy, is the most famous outlet in Tuscany, where you can take home lots of good finds.

5. Barberino Designer Outlet, located in Italy, is a shopping center of a great range of designer brands, offering up to 70% off designer and clothing brands. 


Attractions 
Changing of Guards at the Buckingham Palace

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

M&M's World

Ripley's Believe It or Not!
uh-oh! where are my legs?? :o

·  London Eye

· London Bridge

· Big Ben Tower

· Winter Wonderland

· Buckingham Palace ( changing of guards )

· Palace of Westminister, Westminister Abbey and St. Margaret's Church

· Theatrical Shows at Leicester Square

· Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter

· M&M’s World

· Ripley’s Believe It or Not!



I suggest you download this app called Trip Advisor. It's so useful especially when you're not so good with directions ( like me ) haha! :)



Hope you enjoyed reading this post and that I was able to give you guys a taste of London. Ciao! <3

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