Friday, December 21, 2007

London, thus far...

London postcards (cropped)

Dear Diary,

It's been over a month since we arrived in London and how quick time has flown! We haven't done as much as we'd thought we would've but it just seems like after the first week, days just seem to go by and sometimes we feel a little uninspired and lack luster?

Days are shorter here too. The sun sets early here. Before you know it, the room becomes dark and the lights all come on and you start thinking it's night 7pm at night when it's only 4pm in the afternoon.

We're staying with friends at the moment, in Central London. Free loading is great, except you feel bad so you start cooking (actually that was a requirement for free loading here) and cleaning and doing the laundry for them. Before you know it, you're someone's full-on maid! Hey isn't that great, your best friend is also your maid. Ah.. I digress.. life's too short to complain about that.

Did you know the Brits love their sandwiches? There is a sandwich bar/pattiserie-cum-sandwich bar at almost every corner offering sandwiches (duhh..), pannini and baguette rolls for breakfast, lunch and dinner. According to one of our friends, most Brits grab a sandwich for lunch and a packet of crisps (English for Chips!). No wonder subway does so well here and get this, you know those subway meals that we used to get with a cookie and a drink? The meal deals offered here are with cookie or crisps. Wow! It must be true!

So what have we done in the last 4 weeks? Umm... not much London wide - strolled across the London Millenium Bridge and Hyde Park, did some window shopping from Oxford Street down to Piccadilly Circus, stopped by Leicester Square and had dinner in Covent Garden. We also took a trip down to 2 of the most famous London Markets - Borough and Portobello in our first 2 weeks and since then we've also made our first 2 trips to Europe! Yay... We spent the weekend (just past) in Bremen, Germany and the weekend prior in Luxembourg.

Will write about Bremen and Luxembourg at a later time, for now here's a peek of some of our London photos.

Portobello Markets:

1. Hummingbird Bakery

hummingbird cupcakes

2. Cakes, Olives and Bread

bread cakes and olives

3. Others



Borough Market



Ok. Gotta go. I'm so buggered. Am sick again (2nd time now) and have been baking christmas cookies all day. Til next time..

xx iL


Manggy said...

oh WOW. Thanks for reminding me why I love London so much. Fine! Fine! I'll studying already so I can take the licensure exam there :)

Eep! Everything's so expensive! Beautiful pics, though :)

NJ_La said...

i see my special appearance in the photos. great paella!

Jeanne said...

Oh what gorgeous photos! Haven't been to the Hummingbird Bakery yet which I know is an oversight - maybe next year ;-)

Isn't Borough just the best?

K & S said...

did you check out "Melt" it is a chocolate shop in Notting Hill. :) Merry Christmas!!

Ellie said...

It looks and sounds as though you're having an absolute blast! Can't wait to hear more of your travels and time O/S :D

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Joy said...

If you want to see classic True Blue British shopping go to Fortnum and Mason. It's pretty pricey, but good to look around. Twinset and pearls wearing optional...

thanh7580 said...

Your photos are just so great. It transports me right there. I can feel the atmosphere and smell the smells in the markets from here.

ilingc said...

Manggy: Thanks :) I still have yet to visit a lot of London but I just love the markets.

I loved the antique serving wares they were selling but yeah.. they were soo expensive!

Ange: Yep, don't you feel special?? hehe

Jeanne: Thanks Jeanne. Hummingbird Bakery is a very small place but they were soo busy. There were queues out the door. The red velvet cupcakes were delicious though :)

Borough was awesome. I'll have to make sure I go back again a little earlier in the day so we dont have to fight the crowds :)

Kat: Oh.. I didn't see the chocolate shop. I'll have to check it out the next time I go.
Thanks for the recommendation and a belated Merry Christmas to you :)

Ellie: Hi darl. London is great. You'll love it here. It's a haven for all those ingredients that is hard to come by in Melbourne like chanterelles, valrhonas (on the shelf of supermarkets) etc. :D

Joy: Hi Joy. I've been to Fortnums hehe. Love the tea and biscuits but boy is it crowded. And it's so funny, I saw some ladies with thick fur coat and large pearl earrings. :)

Thanh: Thanks Thanh. The markets are just awesome. I love it.