Instead of saving my money for shopping like I always did, I spent most of my money travelling in comfort. From the more expensive Singapore Airlines flight (instead of BA) to staying at a nice B&B with an ensuite (instead of cheap Central London hostels – yuck Piccadilly Backpackers never again), to eating proper food in restaurants, bistros & pubs (instead just cold pasta and sandwiches) and actually paying 32 quid for a cab to Heathrow (instead of relying on public transport that’d cost me half that). About 2/3 of my suitcase going home was stuff for friends. My personal shopping only took up the space in my nice pink NIKE backpack. Despite that, I think my break scored 7.5 out of 10 stars.
Here’s a summary of the good stuff:
- I had a good time staying at City Continental London Kensington for less than SGD100 a night. Earl’s Court tube was a 2 minute walk and there were lifts; there was a good sized BOOTS, M&S Simply Foods, Burger King and other proper eateries & pubs; clean and newly renovated bathroom where I had the best hot showers.
- I had a good time at Wasya and Ben’s house in Poole. I had the best nights sleeping in their cosy guest room. Wasya and I giggled like school girls & lounged around gossiping. Ben always put on good movies as with the last few trips.
- I had a good time staying with Rydwan. Cold, wintry nights huddled over tea, soup and home-cooked food. I became the mayor of Five Bells, a pub at the corner of his street in East Finchley (food there was good & cheap). Running off to see him at his workplace at least 4 times (once to properly watch a musical).
- I had the best deals shopping at The Broadwalk Centre in Edgware (Northern Line underground). Spent one afternoon there and that was it! Must visit – Topshop Clearance Outlet store and Choice (lots of NEXT stuff & good accessories). I also went into New Look (albeit a small one), M&S (also limited but good enough for me), Boots, Claire’s, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Poundland. It was great going up and down into all the stores in Oxford Street but this was better!
- I went to the British Museum for the exhibition on Buddhism artifacts, spent half an afternoon at Tate Modern, watched WICKED at Apollo Victoria (alone), went to Phoenix Cinema to watch The King’s Speech (alone but my 6quid ticket came with a hot drink), Pollock’s Toy Museum, spent about 2hrs at the British Library exhibition called “Evolving English: One language, Many Voices”, had my fill of cupcakes at Hummingbird (Nottinghill) and Primrose Bakery (Covent Garden) and of course, I made the trek to Rough Trade East!