I finally had the chance to go London this past week! Spent 6 days exploring the city, eating out, doing all the touristy stuff and of course being able to see Jiro! For some reason as a kid I always pictured London as this grand city where everyone sipped their tea with the little pinkys pointed out and the flag being on display everywhere. I always wanted to live in London someday, there’s just something about that accent..
My impression of London was great! But then again so far I’ve loved every city I’ve been to. However, the difference with London is that I can actually see myself living here..for a long time. It almost seems like a bigger Vancouver with more british accents and less mountains and beaches, which is totally contradictory but I hope you get what I mean. Anyways, its a HUGE city, and you HAVE to get around by the tube, using the oyster card. Yah I laughed a little when I first heard the name. There was no signal when you are in the tube (underground metro system) so that takes out the fun of bbming and texting to kill time when trying to get around. Transportation is a lot more dependable than in Dublin, and is surprisingly easy to learn how to get around. After a couple hours I was riding the tube like a pro! (The term ride here is used by the canadian definition..).
Christmas had already arrived in London so the streets were lined with decorations, window displays were set up and its just beautiful. You can really feel the happy Christmas spirits. My favorite area was of course Oxford Circus where all the shopping was, but Picadilly Station was also a lot of fun! If you go down Oxford Circus and find Wardour Street which is in Soho area that was my favorite place to eat. Princi was an amazing Italian pastry/bakery shop where it is always packed full of people lining up to get desserts and real italian food. Across the street is this delicious Thai restaurant, and don’t worry the queue moves quickly. Hummus Bros was also good for a quick lunch. If you’re willing to spend the money Ping Pong had great dimsum style food. And I was a total shopoholic, and my favorite had to be Hemleys Toy Store and Selfridges :)
10 Things I didn’t Know Until This Trip
1. Don’t laugh..But I just learnt that the UK was England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I always thought it was just England..
2. It is impossible to party as much as they do in Ireland. It took 2 hours to get home from the club. TWO HOURS. Left the club at 3am, got home when the birds were chirping
3. Sainsbury is way better than Tescos. Way way better. They have nature valley granola bars! (which I haven’t found in Dublin yet..)
4. You don’t go through any customs when going between London and Dublin. That means one less stamp in my passport..
5. All museums are free. Yah free. No wonder everyone is so cultured there.
6. It is way cheaper to get a week unlimited oyster card for 28 pounds than to pay 1 pound something each time you get on the tube
7. If you’re a tourist and leaving the EU within 3 months you get tax free on pretty much all your shopping! Tax free..that’s 17% you’re saving off the ticket prices!!
8. Not all british accents sound good. Aka Chav
9. Everywhere opens pretty late, lunch starts at 12 apparently
10. You need more than a week in London. For sure. And bring money.. shopping is intense.