Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Covent Garden Piazza

The piazza holds many stand alone stores, bazaar stands, nice cafes and italian restaurants. In the afternoons, street artists carry out live performances where there's usually a large crowd engaged.

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Night view from Covent Garden
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Lyle & Scott

Unfortunate thing they only design for men!!! (Edit: They also carry women's items but I couldn't manage to find them somehow) Find them at their Covent Garden flagship or at Urban Outfitters. 

Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger. The tens and hundreds of Prets in London. They sure were one of the best parts about being there. Every single time we indulged in the famous, always fresh, always yummy, always hard-to-pick-which triangle sandwich (meaning, each morning, afternoon and times in between) we prayed for the day big boss Julian Metcalfe decided to stretch his arms abroad and bring his lovely store chain to Turkey was near. This is an open request. We are serious. If you don't wanna do it, let us provide this sacred service for our people. I am not ready to give up you guys' skinny cappuccino just yet, please.

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Lamb & Flag

Regardless of how many urban city guides, travel maps, tourist books, shopping lists you gather before visiting a city like London; most of what you end up doing is a result of your own walkabout on foot. Then again, every once in a while sources like Time Out do help out. Without it, we probably would've never found Lamb & Flag in its miraculously well hidden little spot at Covent Garden. It's a very old, cozy historic English pub where the moment you step in, being there immediately feels like a ritualistic experience (although it's most probably your first time there). Inside you'll become the part of one of the most hybrid crowds you can eve encounter in a pub scene; with 70 year old grandma's clapping hands after a live performance along with 17 year olds at the back drinking tequila and eating potato chips. Yes, there's an orchestra.

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London Shows

I am not saying 'Go see Hairspray' specifically. But it's good if you spare the bucks to see at least one infamous show now that you've come all the way to London. 'We will rock you' would be a safe start; and alternatives like 'Mama Mia' and 'Dirty Dancing' are also available for those of you with stomachs to stand them. Leicester Square is the place to pick up discounted tickets at tkts booths. Expect a queue, though. People actually do care for art.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Entertainment Exchange @ Camden

This place is a piece from heaven if you want to build yourself a rich DVD collection... then again, who doesn't??? As shopaholic geeks in soul, we stormed into this yet-another-DVD-store-looking place without bothering what the sign actually read, so it took us some time to figure out that the store was PACKED with second hand stuff (from PS2 games to external hard drives) selling at amazing prices. That is, it took some scrutinizing to figure out they were actually second hand, as they sure looked no vintage and/or trash. The House M.D. Collection Season 1-5 going for £60 will keep haunting me in my dreams for some time, that's certain.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A little Italy in London

Ok. If you are not exactly a red meat lover and have hard time smelling pork stuff, let alone tasting it, London can be a tough city to fill your tummy up. Thank God London has its own Italian town just like any other city, and cute little (these are little for good) Italian restaurants with some real delicious mediterranean flavors. Visit the Old Compton Street at Soho to indulge in yummy caprese and lasagna whenever you get fed up with fish&chips and sausages with mash. Our favorite is La Porchetta. Beware though. My advice: think twice before you decide to grab your after meal drinks at the pubs right across the street. At least if you claim to stay 'straight' I mean.

They don't look so, but both were yummy. They also called my dish soup, which made me laugh.LONDON - 053

Lake View @ Camden

Probably the best view in London, it is.

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By the Lake @ Camden

Why would anyone want to sit in freezing cold on uncomfortable motorcycle seats and eat some horrid smelling far east stuff while watching a shitty-colored lake, I couldn't figure.

Camden Lock Village

Camden Town is to be seen, just for the experience if for nothing else. If you are one hardcore high street lover, I am not exactly sure you will pay the second visit , but do take the Northern Line and see that punk is not dead for just once.

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Marquis of Granby

Marquis of Granby is a nice little (not so little in London standards really) typical British pub. Like every other British pub, it is situated in a cute corner btw two cute streets with cute stone buildings, offering a humble selection of booze including Guiness, various ales, apple cider and an occasional snack menu comprising mainly of potato chips (served packaged, yes), sausage rolls, fish & chips and the like. It's also packed with a crowd (as all pubs, actually) whose extent of locality is impossible to tell for sure. So, expect the pub scene to be a magnified version of your living room, with a bar in the center and a couple of more stools and people in crew neck sweaters drinking beer and shouting around.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Houses of Notting Hill

3-story, cramped, stone houses of London. They are there to make sure you love this dark, pale, damp city.

P.S. We did but don't you skip The Hummingbird Bakery somewhere around here. People had made this queue stretching its way towards the street at 4 P.M. in front of the little shop. Londoners do take their afternoon tea and cookie treat seriously.

Portobello Road

Visit this place on a Saturday. Not that we've seen it every other day of the week, but any London guidebook will tell you to do so. Houses are pretty enough in their own right but it wouldn't hurt seeing a few boutique shops and browsing stalls crammed with peculiar vintage items, would it?

George Orwell House @ Portobello

Running into George Orwell's house at Portobello makes you wonder whether those walls witnessed any of what had gone through the severs of the mind that put down something like 1984.

On the Stansted Express

The old blue train. Be sure you yake the Stansted Express if you've landed on the victorian territory on a cheap flight, and wanna keep saving some more pounds for Topshop, Guiness and fish&chips. If you wanna pick up your snacks from the airport grocery for the 45-minute ride, you might be surprised that edible and drinkable stuff is being served on board...(edit: sold, not served). Also, the train takes off every 30 minutes but can start at odd times like 04:33 A.M. And a few minutes do matter. This is not Turkey, folks!