Sunday, 3 May 2015

London's a gem but Manchester's home

Studying abroad (with your other half) is amazing and a dream come true; but even so, it can sometimes get pretty lonely at home (especially when we’re both locked up in our own rooms studying). We were as excited as little children meeting their playmates when Russy came over! It was his first time in the UK (in fact, in Europe) and we were eager to show him around Manchester London. Furthermore, we were endeavouring to surprise Jia Lok (for his birthday) at his door step in London. IT WAS A SUCCESS. 

As we only had 3 days to explore, we filtered down to the few (must-go) places.

1. Hyde Park (& Buckingham Palace)

It was my 3rd time in London and each time I visit, I'd never miss a walk in that awe-inspiring park. I absolutely love how such a huge green space exists right in the middle of such a bustling city. Just imagine taking a walk or having lunch in such a park during your break at work - how refreshing! It's a pity we don't have such luxury of space in Singapore. Of course, since we were at Hyde Park, we took the opportunity to walk through Green Park to visit the epitome of the monarchy. 

2. Stamford Bridge

I wanted to skip this one (it's the 4th stadium I've visited and the only stadium that I still wish to visit is the Santiago Bernabéu!) but the boys (being fervent Chelsea supporters) were adamant about stepping foot on their home ground. It was... just another stadium. (Objectively, the Emirates stadium is by far the nicest stadium that I've visited.)

3. Burger and Lobster

BURGER AND LOBSTER!!! London, to me, is all about the food. (Especially since I've pretty much explored all the tourist attractions.) The Lobster here is huge, succulent, mouth-watering and worthy of every penny. If you were to ask any Londoner to recommend a restaurant in London, I assure you that it'd be B&L. It was my 2nd time there and I'm looking forward to more!!! Apart from B&L, Gold Mine's Roast Duck is on my must-eat-in-London list. It is better than the duck rice they have in Singapore - can you imagine?! Apparently, it is very popular with the (London) flight crews of Singapore Airlines. We tried Kanada-Ya Ramen Bar (recommended by a Jap friend) as well and the feeling of satisfying my 7-months-ramen-craving was indescribable.

4. Borough Market

It was my first time there and it was a pleasant experience - although I would describe it as a "High Class Pasar Malam". Everything was overpriced so we basically "sampled" our fill. What was interesting was the types of meat they sold there. After trying a sample of one of the meat they offered, I asked the sales girl what it was and she replied, "Bambi!" Oh. Gosh. She ruined my childhood. The boys tried Kangaroo and Ostrich meat as well but it was a no-go for me. For the rest of you (unadventurous people) who are just like me, the duck confetti was really good!

5. Wicked

It was truly wicked! We enjoyed every single bit of it, from the plot to the singing and the props. It was sick. I watched Billy Elliot the first time I came to London but this completely nailed it. Les Misérables and Phantom are next on the list!

This pretty much sums up our 3 days in London, not forgetting Hillsong (our London ritual) and its amazing worship! Yes, no Big Ben and Westminster Abbey (just because I've seen it before and it's a see-once-and-tick-it-off-your-list kinda thing and Russy's not interested.) Having said all of this, whenever someone asks me, "Manchester or London?", I would say "Manchester" without thinking twice. London is amazing for so many reasons but it really needs to chill. (Not literally, of course.) The amount of people in the city and the pace in which they move at is...dizzying. And when people are so caught up with getting to the next place, they tend to forget to stop and appreciate their surroundings, to be nice to the people around them. That is why Manchester triumphs over London. (Well, also because everything's cheaper!)

London's a gem but Manchester's (a second) home!

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