It was time to leave Bracknell and heading towards London. Weather that day was rather shiny but we expected raining in London. We pre-booked the same 8-seater taxi that brought us here from Gatwick Airport the other day. It costs us GBP 100.00 (Bracknell - London).
Meet Dave, the man who read 'Pregnancy For Men'. Personally, I found Britons are not friendly but not this one. We chatted the whole journey, the issues ranges from family matters to government's policy. I definitely recommend Dave should you require a lift in London and expecting a fairly good hospitality, just make your booking at www.bracknell-taxi.co.uk.
We knew it that we have reached London by the scene. Say goodbye to the calm countryside, hello to traffic congestion!
London is preparing for the Olympic 2012 in the summer. Road constructions were common sights.
Despite the traffic, we were managed to get to the hotel on time. It was Berjaya Eden Park, Bayswater. We pre-booked it online via www.booking.com. The rate was GBP 60+ per night. For that rate, do not expect the kind of hotel room you would normally indulged in Malaysia. But it's ok for us since we don't plan to spend most of the time in the room anyway.
It's the lobby. Classy and welcoming. The service was superb too. At the time of arrival, our rooms were not ready yet, so we just dropped the luggages and headed to our first destination in London.
Before we started our journey, first thing to do was to buy an Oyster ticket at the nearest Underground station. It costs GBP 5 (refundable) + top up value. With Oyster, a bus trip costs at GBP 1.35 while Tube costs GBP 2.00 - 2.70 (peak time). I believe it is the cheapest way to travel in London (provided you've made a prior research on the route).
Natasha enjoyed the bus trip, especially the double-decker one.
Just 7 stops away, we reached the Portobello Road Market. It opens on every Saturdays & Sundays.
Before the shopping spree, we get our lunch first. This is a Malaysian-owned restaurant called Makan.
It serves Halal Malaysian cuisine. We never get starved here in London, there are lots of options to dine-out really.
The restaurant is popular among the locals since it offers good tasty foods with reasonable price.
The Nasi + Teh Tarik costs GBP 6.10.
3 or 4 hours will not enough to cover the whole market area. You never know what you gonna get here in Portobello. This cottons sell at GBP 2.00 per meter. Not particularly my kind of cotton though..
This is the heaven for graphic lovers (especially vintage). I bought an 1926 Vintage Advertisement Poster for GBP 8.00 only. Anyhow, validate the genuine of the product first. Ask the seller as they are mostly informative and eager to explain (things that Malaysian sellers should have).
Enter the Fresh Market.. they are seriously FRESH!
Veges, fruits... and you can bargain too.
Sweet strawberries for GBP1.00/box.
We never get enough of these strawberries, we bought a few more along the way and one of them came with chocolate... hmm.
For crafters, lots of materials here. They are not cheap though.. huhu..
Leather jackets priced from GBP100 onwards. Sellers here will approach you saying they knew you're Malaysian/Muslim and make you believe they offered you the best price for it. Trust me, they are not necessarily true.
My new found love. English Chic is for me alright. You will find Cath Kidston everywhere in UK, and I never missed them everytime I passed by.
Raining or not, people couldn't care less, so could we.
This is the beginning of the Antique Market (towards Notting Hill).
Toilets are not easy to be found here. Only if you look harder, you will find one at the other part of the road. Do not expect you can enter into one of the store's toilet, they would not allow you to.
Here is the best place to buy souvenirs. They are cheaper here as to compare to other parts of London.
Tin posters/signage, looked like vintage but I guess they are reproduced. Selling at GBP10.00 each.
Paddington bear, the local re-known cartoon character. They are not cheap, normally at GBP20+ and surprisingly, they were priced the same wherever I found it.
We knew it will be raining that day, and Arif will surely fall asleep. So, the stroller with plastic cover came handy indeed.
One thing about Britons that I respect the most is they are very proud of their originality and creates products around their identity, like the Union Jack. I found myself fascinated by the creativities they've showed.
Buskers. They are the spice of the readily vibrant street market. I love them and couldn't help myself from stopping by and appreciate the music.
London is culturally diverse. Cross cultural items are commonplace. But personally, I would rather buy one of these hand woven rugs in Iran or Turkey instead here.
Then, there goes my first day in London. Happy but tired.
Stay with me cause I'll come back with more stories about London.