lundi, octobre 19, 2009

Bayswater, London

Angus is a magical word

I actually flew from Bologna to Birmingham this time. Hadn't been too impressed with London Stansted when I was in London in April for Singapore Day. It took longer to fly to Birmingham, but there was relatively little queue at passport control (as the only other person around travelling on a non-EU passport I even managed to cut queue) and the rail link to Birmingham International Railway Station took only 2 minutes. One can choose to travel with National Rail or with Virgin and the journey to London took 1h15mins. On my way back I spent the night in one of the Accor hotels just opposite the airport as I had a very early flight this morning.

Birmingham from the plane

I went straight to the Burberry Outlet in Hackney Central. They have moved next door to a rather nice boutique that made shopping there much more pleasant than the last time. Well, Dutchess, for your info, I spent at least an hour trying on more than a dozen trench coats but wasn't pleased with any of them. Finally I came upon this gorgeous cream-coloured leather trench but alas tried as I did to suck in the chest it still wouldn't fit me. Still, I managed to spend a small fortune in the store.

Burberry Outlet in London

I stayed in the same room at the same hotel though they have jacked up the price by 50%. It came with English breakfast this time though I wouldn't recommend it. The bacon was as tough as leather, the grilled sausage was very oily. I opted for the buffet breakfast instead the next morning - and was really pleased with the pains au chocolat, croissants, hard-boiled eggs etc.


Inverness Terrace where the hotel is

I have probably tried almost all the Cantonese Roast Ducks in the Chinese restaurants lining the Bayswater-Queensway area. My favourite is Gold Mine's, its Chef apparently used to work at Four Seasons. The meat was succulent and tender, the skin nicely roasted and not dry and the sauce that came with it went really well with just steamed rice. Its Char Siu and Siu Yoke were so-so on the other hand. Never got round to eating Tim Sum like I wanted to as the queue at Royal China was very long. Wendy and Franck brought me to eat Singaporean/Malaysian at Kiasu instead. Merci encore pour le déjeuner!

Whiteleys since 1863

A building in Bayswater

I wanted to visit the Tate Modern but failed to find the time. It was a toss between that and checking out H&M for Baby Boy's ski suit. The latter won and I spent 2 hours at Whiteleys buying out Marks and Spencer (I love its food section), H&M, Boots and weeping before Gap, Zara and HMV because I couldn't buy anymore due to lack of luggage space (and this time I had 25 Kgs instead of 10). The ground floor at Whiteley's stank a little as they have a fresh fish and meat mart, but the cake and pastries stand nearby made up for it. By the way, I resisted. I will be in France in December, I can wait. But check out the French pastry shop just outside Whiteley's instead. I almost stopped breathing when I saw the Fraisier in their window display.

Alley behind my hotel room

If you ask me, London is not half as beautiful as Paris. But it is nonetheless such a charming and wonderful city I just love it. Everywhere you go there is something to eat and something to do, it's just so happening. Every corner I turn I hear people speaking French, Italian, Spanish, German...And most of the Chinese there speak Cantonese. This augurs well.

More buildings in Bayswater

They are going to increase transportation prices in January. But it would still be better than having to take the car. While I was there, all the newspapers were harping on the MPs and their expenses - or Stephen Gately's funeral. I read about 3 papers daily (courtesy of the hotel) and was really happy just being alone in my tiny room with nobody to talk to. I am back just one afternoon and I've already lost my voice screaming at the kids. I should have extended my stay.

Aucun commentaire: