Just Back From… London
Trip Duration: Six days, five nights.
Where I Stayed: I stayed with friends who had a lovely apartment just off Kensington High Street — crowd-free shopping at Cos and Zara Home was amazing. It was also a nice 15-minute walk away from Portobello Market; Notting Hill fans can have their fun searching for locations that Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant shot at in the movie.
Best Thing I Ate: After a few meals of eating lobster rolls, roasted turkey, salads and potatoes, I had to have some Asian food. And Dishoom hit the spot with its authentic butter chicken and fish tikka. A new dish I’m glad I tried was the Chilli Cheese Toast… I left well-fed and happy as I proceeded to do some shopping along Regent Street.
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Best Hang Out Spot: The Ivy Chelsea Garden. Housed in a 18th century Tudor building, this restaurant feels posh and fancy with its lush greenery, marble and parquet floors. I imagine the garden outside to be perfect for al fresco dining in the summer. The best part of this dining experience was that I didn’t have to wait longer than 15 minutes to enjoy the Lobster Eggs Benedict.
Best Daytime Activity: All admissions to museums are free (excluding special exhibitions), so if you want to escape the crowd at Harrod’s and Selfridges, be sure to check out my personal favourite: the Tate Modern.
Trip Highlight: The delicious meal with an awesome view at Duck & Waffle. Situated on the 40th floor of a towering skyscraper, it’s best to make reservations at this popular restaurant. Not for those with a fear of heights, try to ask for a table with a unobstructed view of the city. The fog lifted and I got to enjoy a picturesque sunset with a bird’s eye view of the Tower Bridge and Millennium Tower.
Aside from the must-have crispy leg confit and waffle dish (that mustard maple syrup is so good), be sure to order the smoked mackerel and seared octopus if you love your seafood as much as I do. And don’t skip on dessert. I couldn’t get enough of the Torrejas with maple caramel apples and cinnamon ice cream.
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Could Not Leave Home Without: My Uniqlo seamless down coat. Super lightweight, water repellent and it kept me warm when it was a chilly 6 degrees. A cotton shirt, jeans and I’m good to go.
Favourite Shopping Trip: To Dover Street Market. The lift was broken… that meant walking up all five floors, but who can say no to all that Comme, Molly Goddard and Gosha Rubchinskiy? Though I couldn’t bring myself to spend GBP580 on the classic striped shirts from the Vetements x Comme des Garçons collection.
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I Wish I Had…stayed for the weekend. I would have checked out Broadway Market. A gem of east london, the market is known for its high quality produce, and there’s even a good mix of well-edited vintage clothing, interesting bookstores and independent boutiques
By Debby Kwong