So our fourth day in London was spent walking again. We walked all the way to Covent Garden, and I just couldn’t help but smile when we went in and saw this …
The vibe—the crowd, the pigeons, the music, the chattering in the background, the sun shining in, the skylight itself, the architecture, the boutiques, the cafés on the lower level, the warmth, the happy and relaxing atmosphere—was heartwarming. (This clip should give you a feel of it.)
• lunch at Brasserie Blanc •
• Victoria Embankment Gardens •
• withering hydrangeas in the foreground of York Watergate •
Behind the York Watergate (the arch), you’ll find one of the coolest. places. ever. In terms of concept anyway. A sign read Gordon’s Wine Bar to the right of York Watergate. We entered the gate and were greeted by this outdoor hall of groups of wine drinkers sitting in circles and just chatting. No waiters around, we were a little bit confused, and figured we had to walk up a bit. Then to our right there was a tiny doorway leading down to this …
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen anything like it. It was quite unique! We only stayed for a glass each, then we went on to explore London some more.
• the cozy and funky interior of Bill’s along Wellington Street •
• blackberry fizzzzzzzz •
During dinner, we decided to watch The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to give us something to do to force ourselves to stay up late. (We’ve been going to bed really early and have been waking up before 7 am every morning!) When we were five minutes away from the cinema, we spotted a huge sign that read GHOST STORIES, and I could just tell by BZ’s smile that we were dumping the movie for the horror play. We hurried in, got tickets, and sat and nervously waited for it to start …
Although it wasn’t as horrifying as it was worked out to be, we left the theater all smiles. My overall impression of the entire experience was: Brilliant. ♥
Oh my, I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last blogged! I’m terribly sorry for that, but since we left Perth for Manila, every day has been extremely hectic. And now here we are in London! We weren’t supposed to leave Manila until the second week of August, but so much has happened, things too personal to share, alas, so we decided to leave for London the same day my family flew back to Bergen.
(It’s our fourth day already here in London, so please forgive my photo-dumping. I regret not bringing my SLR; all these are taken with my phone camera.)
• we were struck by how flat England is •
• here’s BZ overwhelmed by the overpriced taxi fare •
On our second day, we wandered the streets closeby as we looked for a place to have lunch. We are so fortunate to have come at this time—the weather is just beautiful. (Talk about ~20℃!) I love the London vibe, I really do! It is very chill and relaxed. I love it! ♡
We ended up having lunch at another Italian place, Zizzi at St. Giles. Italian seems to be a favorite over here, and I’m not complaining at all—Italian is my favorite cuisine as well!
Just after I instagrammed this photo with the caption: What is this rainy London they speak of? It’s sunny and bright here this summer!, it started drizzling(!) and short after, it poured. London!
For dinner on the same day, I had the best meal in London (so far)! Thanks to Tripadvisor’s recommendation, we tried out The Real Greek along Long Acre. The interior was very cozy with narrow tables and tiny seats. The dishes came on tiny plates as well, but we found that the servings were just perfect. I ordered a chicken skewer with couscous salad, and they were just lovely. I strongly recommend The Real Greek!
We hadn’t really done anything touristy until yesterday, our third day. After breakfast, we took the tube to Notting Hill Gate and walked to the Portobello Road Market, about fifteen minutes away. It was the first thing we ticked off on my list of must-see places in London. We arrived around 9am, just before the crowd grew …
We enjoyed the Antiques section the most, where we saw everything from fossils to over-110-year-old paintings to china thimbles (no, they’re not mini teacups, baby, hahaha), to vintage LV suitcases to vintage sports goods. As the crowd grew around 10 am, we were just so drained. We then went back home to have lunch, showered, and napped for over 2 hours to try to shake off the jetlag.
The Big Ben was another must-see, of course! We got dropped off just where I snapped the photos above, and I was amazed by the architecture. BZ however was disappointed by the size of it, said it ought be called [just] Ben. The photos don’t justify it. Even from afar, its details are awe-inspiring. Hungry and having just woken up, we didn’t really get to cherish the sight of it. I’ll definitely be going back to Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square—the architecture around those areas is just magnificent.
• Whitehall Court •
• London Eye along River Thames •
• London Eye and Big Ben on opposite sides of River Thames •
• Whitehall Gardens — another place I’m most definitely going back to •
We ended up having dinner at Fish Works along Swallow Street. I just had to take a photo of the neighboring restaurant’s logo. :))
Have you been to London? What are places or experiences you found unforgettable? If you haven’t been, what are places you’d like to see or things you’d like to do when you get to go? :)
Today, I attended my last clay sculpture session with Dee Jaeger in Fremantle Arts Centre. I’m grateful for the experience I’ve had there. It’s been so much fun working with clay, and I still have half the bag of clay left, so I will definitely be making many more figurines when we get back from our travel.
I got to bring just my first figurine home. The others have still not been bisque fired. Well the only bowl that had been (above), I still had to glaze, so I won’t be seeing its final result until we come back to Perth, which will be late August! I’m going to miss working with clay, that’s for sure.
I can’t believe we’ll be leaving Perth in three days! I just did my last shop of pasalubongs a while ago, so I will just be relaxing and packing our suitcases these last days … and hopefully I’ll have the motivation to use up my last two sessions at the gym!
I know I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to. I have this love-hate relationship going on with interior design at the moment, but I’ll be active blogging while traveling, updating you on our mini adventures. Oh the following months, you guys, they look promising to me. I just know I’ll be filled with motivation and inspiration soon again … I can almost taste it. ♥
Life in Perth lately has been alright.
My clay sculpture class has rekindled my creativity. It’s nice getting my hands on something again, and I can’t wait to show you everything I’ll manage to complete.
I love these summery pants I got for our Manila trip! In eight days, you see, we’ll be flying to Hong Kong to visit BZ’s boss and wife for a weekend. After that, we’ll be flying to Manila to stay for a little over a month.
My family will also be there on vacation from Bergen, so can you imagine how excited I am!? To have the whole family gathered again, in the Philippines at that, is something we’ve all been looking forward to for months and months!
Until then, I’ll keep sipping lattes to keep me warm here in chilly Perth.
(I’m looking forward to Kuppa‘s berry nut latte though!)
I don’t usually show off food, but I love it when BZ gets inspired to cook, and this is what we had for dinner: seared yellow fin tuna on mango salsa. Although it had a pinch too much of chili, it was delicious.
Two nights ago, I convinced BZ to take a walk with me to King’s Park. It’s a tourist attraction in Perth, and I can’t believe it was his first time after almost ten months of living here already! We missed the sunset, but the skyline view made it worth it.
Although Perth is a beautiful city, honestly, there isn’t much to do. I have the right to say so because I don’t work, haha! I’ve tried motivating myself to focus on fitness, but even that has started to bore me … to the point where three days can go by without me moving a muscle. Tsk, not good, but I’m sort of hoping that our trip to HK and Manila will reignite a passion in me I feel I’ve lost. ♥
• interior architecture of InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto Hotel •
• beautiful interior architecture of H&M •
• Melbourne Central •
• Royal Arcade •
• love padlocks on Southbank Bridge •
So our 5-day trip to Melbourne was such a great experience! Although I’d been thrice before, it was like experiencing Melbourne for the very first time. The three first times, we stayed at BZ’s house in a suburb 45 minutes away from the city. So driving into the city was not a daily thing. But this trip, we stayed in the middle of the city. Since BZ wasn’t feeling too well, I got to explore Melbourne on my own.
And I loved the buzz of Melbourne—something Perth completely lacks. I loved how there was always people out. In contrast, Perth on a Friday night is dead empty. No kidding, you’d see more people out on a Monday morning in Melbourne than on a Friday night in Perth. So we were completely drawn to the buzz of Melbourne.
Although BZ has lived in Melbourne for 16 years, he agreed that staying in the middle of the city (as opposed to his childhood home 45 minutes away) opened his eyes to a whole new side of Melbourne. He reckons it’s his new favorite city. So we’ve talked quite a lot about it, and we’ve decided that we’re trying out Melbourne for a few months once our lease is up here in Perth!
BZ has the amazing opportunity of working from anywhere [with internet] in the world. Wouldn’t it be a waste to settle down in just one place when we have the privilege of experiencing different places to live? Especially when we don’t have kids?
It has been quite depressing for me not being able to score an interior design job yet. I really appreciate how BZ considers my happiness—where having a job I thrive in plays a huge role. I just don’t understand why it’s so difficult to get a design job here! I’m already considering visual merchandising.
Staying home every day, doing chores just to fill my day with things to do, has taken its toll on me. I don’t even have friends here! How depressing! Seriously. While in Melbourne, I met up an acquaintance from college who’s lived there for four years. Just having someone new to have lunch with was so nice. Someone who didn’t know what was going on in my life—someone genuinely interested in me. That was really nice.
You know, once you enter a relationship, you gotta have your own life. That’s what this whole experience so far has taught me. You can’t rely on your partner to fill in every role you need in your life. Not even his/her family will do. You have to have a life separate. That’s also another reason why I want a job so bad.
But I’m so grateful for everything I’ve experienced. And life will only get better from here. ♥
• [disappointing] result of a 3-hour digital perm session •
It has taken forever to grow out all the dyed part of my hair. Although I want to have completely natural hair, I just got sick of the straight look, so I decided to have a digital perm done to my hair. I looked up hair salons in Melbourne (because I knew it would be way cheaper than in Perth) and found that not all salons offered that service. Which made me think that the few that did, would show good results.
So I went for Nara Hair salon along Lonsdale Street. I spent three whole hours in the salon, and after all of it, the curls weren’t as curly as I’d expected. I was told to not wash my hair for two days! I couldn’t even tie it up, so that evening for dinner I put bobby pins into my hair to look half decent.
The next day, I woke up to straight hair! So I went back to the salon that afternoon and said I wasn’t happy with the result at all. I was hoping I’d get my money back, but then I started feeling so bad for the Korean hairdresser who had a hard time understanding me and communicating with me. Sweat kept on dripping down his head, you see, so I instantly switched into a I-just-want-to-know-what-to-do mode from being an unsatisfied client.
He offered to do the treatment all over again. But I didn’t want to spend another 3 hours in the salon that beautiful Saturday noon (not to mention my hair smelled burnt), so all they did was wash my hair (yes!) and applied a curling serum to it and blew it dry while twisting my hair to “bring out the curls.” Then all of a sudden it looked the way it did the day before. As I walked away from the salon, I thought to myself: Now I know to never try this again.
I just don’t have patience with styling my hair, so if it’ll take that much fuss every time after I shower, never mind. Although my hair didn’t turn out as I’d expected, it has a waviness to it, which I’m okay with. At least it isn’t too straight anymore! But yea, never again.
• loved shopping in Melbourne: Steve Madden heels for $50! •
• back in Perth: floral arrangement at Gordon St. Garage •