Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Things we did in London

1. Watch a Musical!

I love musicals but don't really watch them often, as they are usually in German here. So when we were in London, we happily splurged on one musical. You can get heavily-discounted tickets when purchased at short notice. We got ours at a ticket outlet near Picadilly circus. Phantom wasn't much cheaper than the original price though, supposedly because its such an immensely-popular musical.
Her Majesty Theatre where we watched Phantom of the Opera. There are so many concert theatres in London, one is spoilt for choice
In the theatre, waiting for it to start. Our verdict: Very well-written script, strong vocals, amazing props and lyrics were easily understandable (inspite of the English accent). Overall, highly-recommended to watch!
See what I told you about being spoilt for choice? I had to take a photo of the musical with my name. Nope, we didn't watch "We will rock you" but we went to church in the same theatre!
Hillsongs Church - The interior of the theatre. I must admit that I wasn't used to having church in a theatre but the cool thing is that the acoustics were awesome! The live band sounded very good.

2. Go for awesome Chinese food!
After church at Hillsongs, we went straight for some Dim Sum at Chinatown (about 15mins by foot away). Dim Sum, a Cantonese meal is really popular among the Chinese. You get small portions of basically anything steamed / fried, ranging from the usual egg tarts and barbecued meat pastries to more exotic porridge (rice with a lot of water) with fish / chicken. I miss Dim Sum soooo much!!! Oh boy. And the price was reasonable too!

One clue on how you know that the restaurant is good. The smell....ok, the second I stepped into the restaurant and took a whiff, I knew that I was at the right place! There was this dim sum smell! Ok, for those without a "chinese" nose, you can just observe the customers there. If majority of them are Chinese, you know that chances are that you'll get authentic Chinese food there and not just the westernized, watered-down Chinese cuisine.

Stephan indulged in his favourite fried beef hor fun (flat noodles). Its pretty difficult to replicate the same taste at home, because one needs really strong fire to ensure that the frying of the noodles does not break it into little pieces.
Obviously the food was sooo good that we had to go back to Chinatown for another meal. This time we went to a different restaurant that is supposedly world-famous for their roast duck. Rumour has it that Singapore's prime minister goes there for his duck too....don't quote me though!

And guess who we bumped into? Ok, guess who Bel. bumped into while on her way to meet us for lunch? None other than one of my bridesmaids and schoolmate, Charissa! She happened to be in London at the same time with her hubby. What are the chances of that happening???
Where you go for great Dim Sum: London Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant
Where to go for great roasted duck: Four Seasons Restaurant (photo above)

3.Go to the many museums they have in London

Well, I must admit that I'm simply not a museum person. Try as I might, I really can't say I consider time in a museum well-spent.

Hence, it was an accomplishment in itself that we managed to spend a few hours in Winston Churchill's War Memorial museum and I read through 90% of the exhibits there! It was really interesting, I must say. I was reminded of history lessons in school, which I took between the ages of 13 and 14, but just more interesting.
Apparently, he was a workaholic who clocked 14-hr work days and expected his cabinet to be just as dedicated to their jobs as he was. The museum was located in the actual basement of a house from which Churchill led his military war strategic operations. He was apparently a foodie, who despite war rations, was served pretty good meals 3 times a day. Another interesting to note is that if Churchill died a few years before he became Prime Minister, he would never have gone down the history books. He apparently had quite a few major failures in his life that categorized the early part of his life. Yay, there's hope for us!

Our best days are still ahead of us! In Jesus Name!

A portrait of Churchill and on the right, a guy trying to de-code secret messages from the Nazis. Churchill had a team of people who managed to de-code these messages such that he knew how to prepare / warn other countries of impending attacks

4. Try a restaurant!

We decided to try Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant, the world's most famous Naked Chef. I liked what I ordered - some beef steak dish, but don't expect "Jamie Oliver" quality. After all, the food isn't cooked by him, but by a team of chefs trained by him. Our favourite Italian restaurant in Stuttgart easily beats the standard of the food at Jamie Oliver's. Still, its worth a try, if you want simple, home-cooked fare at reasonable prices. Its a nice place to hang out for most Londoners after work, since its located smack in the middle of Canary Wharf.
Our thank you and see-you-again dinner. We stayed over at Bel's place so we wanted to express our gratitude at her allowing us to mess up her living room and bathroom while we were there.
Some of the food we had

5. Go shopping!

There were 3 guys and 1 girl. Needless to say, shopping wasn't on the agenda. However, I managed to go shopping with Bel and my sister-in-law, Sabrina one afternoon. Boy, there's sooo many stores and too little time! Great thing that we managed to pop by Primark where things are like dirt cheap! And pretty good quality too!

Ok, I think that's all I have for our London trip! Hope you liked the photos and captions! Still have my Paris one to tackle! Hmmm...I wonder if I can do that before I leave for Singapore in exactly one week's time!


Aunty Grace said...

I luv dim sum too. Is it comparable to the Crystal Jade dim sum in Singapore?

Beau Lotus said...

Looked like a great trip, you made a great choice with Phantom!

However, sorry, the best roast duck is at Gold Mine next door to Four Seasons. I always stay at Bayswater when I'm in London and have eaten a number of roast ducks there and there is no doubt that the best is at Gold Mine. Four Season's former roast duck chef works there now.

Pris said...

Hi Aunty Grace
Hmmm... I don't think the Tim Sum is as good as Crystal Jade's. But definitely the best Dim Sum I've eaten in Europe!

Pris said...

Hi Serene!
Thanks! Phantom was awesome! My bro has watched it twice - once in Singapore and once in London.

Hmm... I really don't know about the Roast Duck thing. I'm inclined to believe your taste buds. We went to Four Seasons because my friend suggested it.

Perhaps when I go back to London, I'll try Gold Mine then! But before that, Singapore's calling!

lilacdropsofdew said...

What a lovely photo you have with Charissa, Pris! So nice that you girls managed to meet up .. and all because Belinda bumped into Cha - what are the odds!?!

You looked like you had a lovely time - enjoy Singapore when you're back!

- andrea

Pris said...

Dear Andrea! :)
Ya! It was great meeting up with Char in London! And yeah, the odds are crazily slim, isn't it?

Yeah, had a great time in London! Paris too! But haven't had time to upload photos!

You enjoy your last month(s) in Shanghai too! -b4 you go back Sg.


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