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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fashionista's Travels: Newlyweds in London

We went to London last April. I think you know that already from my previous post. The trip lasted for 10 days (including two long 8-hour flights, KL-Heathrow-KL) covering London, Paris, Manchester, Glasgow and Scotland. Sounds hectic, right? Well, indeed it was. And here are the photos depicting our short trip in London (we only had somewhat about 3 days and a half in London):


Arrived at Terminal 4 in London. The airport is currently undergoing renovation, so there was nothing much to see.


Newlyweds in London. Can't really say that we're newlyweds though, it's been about 5-months since the wedding. But then again, it's the love that counts, right?


First stop, Barkston Gardens. We arrived in London at 4 pm and stayed at Barkston Gardens that night. Bear in mind that the time difference is about 8-hours, so 4 pm in London is similar to midnight in Malaysia. It's normal to feel jet-lagged, lucky for us we managed to steal some snooze time before dinner. FYI, this place is about a minute's walk to Earl's Court Station, so it's a very, very convenient place to stay. Not only that, there's plenty of halal outlets right along the street by the entrance of the Station.


First outing, Malaysia Hall, London. For Malaysian food lovers, there's a canteen downstairs selling Malaysian food. Take note that the food doesn't come cheap and please don't convert the pounds (GBP) to ringgit (MYR), just enjoy the food. Oh, just in case you were wondering, my Nasi Ayam costs about GBP5 which is equal to MYR25. I must say it's the priciest Nasi Ayam I've ever tasted.


Next stop, Hard Rock Cafe, London. My must visit store. I think I have more than 10 (or maybe even 20) Hard Rock shirts now, so I guess it's kinda a hobby to me, collecting Hard Rock shirts as a memento of my trips =).


The Big Ben. We didn't get a closer look at Big Ben or Westminster Abbey (we only had 3 and a half days, remember) so we skipped both so that we'd have time for a cruise along the River Thames and a ride on the London Eye .


Oh, hello Mr. Becks =). Met him while we were queuing to get tickets for the London Eye. He's there to entice people to drop by Madame Tussaud's but unfortunately we didn't have time for that either.


Queuing for our turn to cruise the River Thames. My dad has this thing for river cruises. We went for a cruise along Pasig river in Manila, Philippines and we almost went for another river cruise along the Seine River in Paris (luckily we didn't, there wasn't enough time. We opted for the Hop-on, Hop-off bus instead).


Us on the cruise ship. You can opt to sit below deck or above deck for the cruise. To better enjoy the view, it's better to be above deck. There's also a guide above deck with you and he'll be sharing stories on the sights along the River Thames (not all of them are true, though. Luckily I know my history well to discover that some of the things that he says is mainly for the entertainment of tourists and not necessarily actual facts).


Hubs, posing on the ship at the River Thames. Behind him is the famous Big Ben.


London Eye.


Parliament house and Big Ben, among London's famous landmarks.


Millenium bridge. Was featured in the Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where the bridge collapse after an attack by the Death Eaters.


Tower Bridge of London. If you're wondering where is the London Bridge (from the song London bridge is falling down), it's actually is in Arizona, the bridge was sold to make way for a better bridge. For the full story, click [here].


London Eye capsules.


The view from our capsule.


They say three's a company but I beg to differ. It's me, hubs and Big Ben =).


London Central Mosque. This mosque is about a stone's throw from Regent's Park. Unfortunately there's no nearby tube station for me to recommend to you so I don't know the best way to get to this mosque except via driving.


Emirates Stadium. This is the stadium for the Arsenal team (if I'm not mistaken). Unfortunately we didn't go for a trip inside the stadium (hubs is not a fan so no trip was planned to this stadium to avoid offending his loyalty to Manchester United).


Sunday Market at Walthamstow. Unfortunately not that many stalls were open for business that day.


The East London Mosque (not far from Petticoat Lane).


Petticoat Lane.


Shopping for souvenirs at Petticoat lane. Love those expressive tea towels (am used to the RM1 Good Morning towels in Kuching) so this was a nice change.


Marble Arch. This place is not far from Edgware Road (where there's plenty of Muslim food outlets especially Middle Eastern food) and Oxford Street (hint: shopping). Unfortunately I can't remember our reason for being here *sheepish grin*. Marble Arch is accessible via the tube station, Marble Arch.


Us in the tube. Having the tube map is certainly a handy guide as it helps us to move around easily (not to mention helping us from getting lost).


Oxford Street. As you can see there's plenty of people miling around (meaning there's plenty of shopping going on). Oxford street is definitely the shopping haven in London. But, shopping need not be limited to Oxford, there's plenty of other shopping havens (should you be keen to explore).


The Science Museum.I was recommended a trip to the museum by my good pal, Esthna so we went to the museum on our last day. The place is huge (as all museums are) and I'm sad that we didn't really get to enjoy all that the museum had to offer. Admission is free and in case you feel like dropping by, the museum is accessible via the tube. The train station is South Kensington. And if you really have time, there's two other museums nearby, Victoria and Albert Museum and Natural History Museum.

Here are some of the stuffs that we found at the Science Museum:


An old cariage. Fancy riding in that for an afternoon about town. Heh.


And actual plane. There's actually many other interesting finds at the museum but I'll leave them to your imagination. Or better yet, if you have the opportunity to visit London, do drop by the Science Museum.

Two hours later, we found ourself at one of the landmark stores in the world of shopping: Harrods.


Got me my first Longchamp. Yeay! Me is happy =). Harrods is like the best shopping mall ever! It's the first time I've seen shoppers (including yours truly) been serenaded to in a shopping complex. I would certainly love to drop by to Harrods in my future shopping expeditions.



Just in case you're wondering, this is what I got, the Longchamp Maroquinerie (LM) Metal White. Got this at a 10% discount as there was a weekend member's benefit going on (signed up as a member, the membership is free, I think, and got my discount immediately). Bought it at roughly GBP80, post discount and even got a GBP6 GST refund later at the airport. Shopping has never been this good *grin*. Psstt.. The bag is currently being sold at RM850 at Longchamp Pavilion...
I initially wanted Longchamp by Mary Katrantzou but I was told they were out of stock. Apparently we went to the wrong section (travel section) which was on the 3rd floor and there were stocks of Longchamp by Mary Katrantzou on the lower ground level. As the Malay would say 'bukan rezeki' meaning 'not my luck'. Maybe another time perhaps *wink*wink*. 


Took the tube from Knightsbridge straight to Heathrow. Since Heathrow is pretty far from town, the journey took us almost an hour.


GST refund. If you're planning to shop in London (or anywhere in Europe) make sure you request for GST refund form from the store and you can claim your tax refund from the last point of departure in Europe. In our case, we bought our Louie's in Paris and claimed the refund in London (because last point of departure is from Heathrow airport). If you're doing your refunds from Terminal 4 (like us) there are two refund points, the easiest one to find is inside the departure hall, you won't miss it. Refunds can be made in cash (there'll be a small deduction to your refund for cash refunds) and via credit card (i.e. the amount will be deducted from your credit card account balance one week later).

If you fancy some last minute shopping (or if you have some spare change) I do recommend the duty free shops inside the departure halls, perfumes can be as cheap as GBP20 (roughly around RM100) and I did manage to get this bag for myself at the Harrods outlet:


Marc by Marc Jacobs Eazy Monogrammed Black Bowling Bag for only GBP132 (the price is already deducted by GST so I definitely got it cheaper than Harrods Knightsbridge). Hurrah!! And the best part is, the bag is currently being sold at RM1090 in Marc Jacobs, Pavilion. Life is good =).


xoxo Mrs Fashionista xoxo