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Saturday, May 7, 2016

UK & Canary Islands Travelogue | Travelling to the UK

If you have been following me on social media, then you would know that I am finally back from my month-long trip with my parents to the UK and the Canary Islands. It has been an amazing month and now the UK is probably my all-time favourite country to go to (well at least it definitely is on par with Korea and Thailand). I honestly cannot wait to head back there some day soon because I absolutely love it there and I had the best time ever. 

I'm finally more or less done with unpacking everything and I just put a load into the washing machine so whilst that is going on, I thought I would sit down and do up this post so lucky you if you've checked back on this space and found this little post.

So, the parents and I got on an early flight over to London and we spent a good 14 hours on the plane (1 of which happened because there were a couple of issues with the air conditioning and we couldn't take off because they had to sort the issue out.)

Before flying, we grabbed breakfast at the airport and I got myself wonton mee from the departure hall. Just your average run of the mill plate of wonton mee to be honest.

I don't know about you but the best part about airplane rides for me is the food, that and the fact that I'm heading to somewhere exciting. I love airplane food even though I'm sure they are chock full of MSG and salt but they do just taste amazing, don't they? I don't reckon I know anyone who doesn't like airplane food.

For "breakfast" which was really lunch for me, I got the Singapore Nasi Lemak, which is Malay style coconut rice with peanuts, ikan bilis, grilled fish cake, omelette and fried chicken. A local favourite served with sambal chilli. Mmm, this was pretty delicious.

For lunch, I managed to snag the last braised beef brisket in onion mushroom sauce. It was accompanied by roasted vegetables and mash potato. This was amazingly tasty. I savoured every single bit of this dish.

What I love about taking Singapore Airlines is that they serve ice cream on flights now! And it isn't your average ice cream either, it's Magnum!

Since none of us were expecting a delay in the flight, we were pretty worried that the cab we hired wouldn't wait for us. (By the time we touched down, we were actually nearly 1.5 hours late.) But we were very lucky and our driver was still patiently waiting for us at the arrival hall. It took us around 45 minutes to reach our hotel in central London due to a bit of traffic and we finally arrived at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in London Kensington.

Our room was a pretty basic one with all your usual amenities but with no frills. It did suffice for the 4 nights that we stayed in London before we flew to the Canary Islands. My mum got the club membership so we stayed in one of the club rooms on the top floor which afforded us a lovely view of the surrounding buildings.

I would have to say that the location was lovely. It is just a mere 3 minute walk away from the tube station and being situated in a place that's so central, going to most places by the tube was really easy and convenient. There were a lot of shops along the high street as well. Zara, New Look, Boots, TK Maxx, Uniqlo, Gap... You name it, and you'll probably find it along the high street.

Auntie Sau drop by to welcome us and have dinner with us so we headed to Bugis Street Brasserie which is a Singaporean Chinese restaurant located on the ground floor of the hotel so that was where we went.

The food here was pretty decent but not authentically Singaporean. I would say that the food is a lot less spicy than what it would normally be like in Singapore. Also, a lot less flavourful. It kind of feels like they reduced the flavours on purpose to suit the Western palate.

Stir fried long bean with minced pork (£8.50)

Chicken satay (6 skewers) served with peanut sauce (£8.00)

Mapo tofu (spicy) (£10.50)
 Slow cooked minced pork and tofu

Kang kung belacan (£9.50)
Water convolvulus in spicy sambal sauce

Roast duck (£10.50)
Served on a bed of Chinese leaves and gravy

After dinner, I basically washed up and crashed because being on the plane for more than 13 hours really isn't a joke at all. That was actually a really good thing to do because I managed to beat the jet lag. Although the first day didn't seem like much, I was so excited being in the UK and I can't wait to share this journey with you over the subsequent posts. 'till the next one.

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