Sunday, September 28, 2008

Still more of London

Friday is the day of saying goodbyes......It's Audrey's last day as well. Quite a surprise that she's leaving cuz she joined about the same time I did. I quite like her really. We all left office early today for drinks at Red, the bar round the corner. Super sunny day it was, but the guys wanted a seat outside to enjoy the sun.......sigh, they haven't tried being in the sun everyday.....

This was taken at a supplier's warehouse and that's my colleague, Ken in the picture. See how small he is in the pix! There's archive files on the left and storage crates on the right. Super big, I felt really small standing right there.

Last day of my trip, I took a train to London to meet Mingzong, lugging my luggage up and down steps at the train station and tube. Not that bad, I did not get lost. :p

Sign on the opposite platform says "Welcome to Weybridge", but I'm sad!

Mingzong was late due to some subway train fault - and that's pretty common there. I made my way over to the library based on his directions to wait for him.That's the British Library at King's Cross station. The building reminds me of TianAnMen Square somehow....

That's Newton doing his Maths homework in the library....:p

This is the start of the ultra shortcut sightseeing tour courtesy of Mingzong. Mind you, it was a very good one, no less. You'll find out why as we go along. We started with a tour around the CBD area with all the banks.......

This is a shopping area but it's Saturday afternoon in the CBD, so shops are not opened. No shopping for me :(

That's 3 relatively iconic buildings in London: Lloyds building on the left - a cold, metal structure that looks totally out of place in London; that's the Gherkin in the centre- yeah, it got its name from how it looks, like a gherkin but I think it looks quite cute. And the third building on the right- I dunno what building it is but it is also one of the few in London that have a modern look.

Ladies and Gentlemen, can you guess where this is?

Oh yeah, that's just it. You would have though it looked a bit more grand that that -The Bridge that we all have cursed to fall since we were young. To think we still sang it so happily, evil leh. And oh, for the record, I was told the Bridge has actually fell twice before, this is the 3rd one. So actually, the song works......oopz.

And there is Tower Bridge in the background....taken on London Bridge :)

I think Millenium bridge has a nice design and the view on both ends are really good. You have the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral on one end........

And the Tate Modern Gallery on the other end.....

Sunset captured on Millenium Bridge

Pictures of St. Paul's cathedral from different directions. Super big building.

This was a little patissiere shop near St Paul's Cathedral that was called Paul. Erm, no relation to the church but it has really good hot chocolate and huge yummy macarons.

This is obviously a resturant opened by a Singaporean. Wat a name!

This is the last pix i took before we head for dinner at a small but cosy Japanese restaurant. And all the places were covered in about an hour and a half, wat a rush! It was generally a tour of London's bridges and a few other must-sees and given the limited time I had, it was quite a lot covered. Dinner was simple Japanese soup udon with tempura and sashimi so I didn;t take any pix. But the food was really good. Left for the airport right after dinner, and made it all in good time for my flight.

Yep, everyone said it's a pity I didn't extend my stay, go shopping...etc...but i didn't really think so. I had really enjoyed myself this trip. Afterall, I had a very different experience since I was staying in the countryside which was so beautiful. Anyway, I'll have opportunities to return again next year and I'll be sure to extend my stay the next time round. Anyone wants to join me for London trip 2009?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More of London

Thursday was a pretty fun day, cuz I was almost out of office the whole time. Was out with my cute colleague on a survey the whole morning and then went to visit one of the company's key accounts in the afternoon with one of the bosses - just only because they wanted to show me how amazing this office was. Really, I haven't seen any offices like this. I'll say it looked more like some rich man's mansion than an office.

That's just the exterior. The interior was gorgeous. We had our meeting in a boardroom which was more like a family room with a bar counter, a billiard table at another corner, huge comfy sofas and armchairs that seem capable of swallowing me whole when I sat down. Furnishings were rather elaborate, I suppose you call it Victorian styled furnishing? Plush! It makes me feel like a tai-tai immediately. I was too shy to ask to take a pix of the room but below pix i found online should give you a pretty good idea :p

Left the office earlier with the gals to catch a train to town. We were off to catch "Dirty Dancing" at the theatres, so exciting!

A pix of the train we took to Waterloo Station.

Now I'm really in London! That's Waterloo station from across the street - Waterloo is like the CBD area of London.

The River Thames from OXO Tower - where we were to have our dinner before the musical.

As you can see, it was a good day with quite a bit of sun :)

Me, Susannah and Emma at the resturant on level 8 of OXO Tower with our cocktails while waiting for dinner.

Views from OXO Tower.

That's Waterloo bridge, one of the many bridges you will see in London

Now for food! This place is somehow affiliated to Harvey Nichols. Menu leans more towards fusion food. (Check out the place: My starter dish of seared rare beef was absolutely heavenly. Someone commented it looked like a garden. :)

Emma's starter of artichoke.

Susannah's starter of tiger prawns

My main course of scallops with Thai red curry and salad

Emma and Susannah both had 28-day aged Angus beef which tastes as good, (and as expensive) as it looked....yummy!

N off to watch the musical - Dirty Dancing! Nothing really RA about the show, just to let you know, in case you have not seen the movie before and dunno wat's it about. Nice retro show with lots of cool dancing but it just doesn't get to me. No tunes got stuck to my head after watching it. I suspect I might enjoy Mama Mia more but then again, I didn't have to pay for it! It was all fun anyway - have always wanted to watch a musical in London for the feel of it.

Theatres in London seem to be rather casual - people dress casually and you actually can bring food and drinks into the theatre. They even sell ice-cream inside, during intervals! It's more like going to the cinemas.

Streets of London - the night pictures suck terribly. Just dunno how to work my sis' camera properly plus new phone just CMI. Oh, I am now really feeling very very sorry for not bringing my SE phone, damn.

By the time we were out from the show, shops were all closed and I could only window shop. Sigh. Went for a round of drinks around the area before heading off for home. Took the tube back to Waterloo to switch onto a train for Weybridge. Doesn't it looks like what you see at the airport? This screen shows the departure timings for the trains to various directions and respective platforms the trains will be at. So there will be a lot of people standing around staring at the screen waiting for the Platform number to be flashed. Funny thing is, the platform numbers will not be displayed on screen until minutes before the train comes. As soon as that happen, you will see a mad rush as people start rushing towards a particular direction for their trains cuz some platforms may be a distance away...... Can't they think of something better than that? Think they enjoy making people run for their trains. So strange right?

It was about 1am when i arrived back in hotel. Super long day, I'm so sleepy! Took a pix of the brochure before i went to sleep.

to be continued..............

Monday, September 22, 2008

I love London

This is a trip of many "first times".

First time I......

travelled on an A380
took such a long flight & alone too
experienced a terrible flight delay of 15 hrs ( oh yes, the delay was due to the A380...phui....)
have been to London
haven't bought a single thing on an overseas trip
had a ride in a Porsche...weeeee.....

Stranded passengers of the bloody A380 in the waiting area - see the people sleeping on the ground? They are probably the people who had 18 hours of transit time between their flight from Australia/ NZ before they had to deal with this delay. My heart goes out to them.

Other than the delay, everything was great. Weather was really nice n cool too - i even had some sun, which they told me was rare in London. I muz have brought the sun over from S'pore, they said...haha. Hotel was nice, although ulu, with a king size bed all to myself. Get driven to n fro work by a cute colleague in an Audi n do very little work. Went out with colleagues to see clients and suppliers n basically waste a lot of time on the road cuz you practically drive a long way to get anywhere, we were in Surrey afterall. What a nice way to work, I could do it everyday. :p

View from my window

Hotel grounds - I know it sounds dumb, but the grass is really greener there.

Was taken out to dinner on Tuesday night at an Italian restaurant called Cambio. That was when my boss picked me up from the hotel in his Porsche, first time i had such a fast ride, so exciting! The restaurant was a nice place with great ambience. Food was nice too, though i found the main course a tad too salty.

The whole gang from work. It's kinda blur cuz i took it with my new phone. I really should have brought my trusty K800i with me instead. I so regret it but it's ok. I'll be back again.

My lobster tagliolini - looks great but really too salty.

My colleague's tagliatelle was much better, although it did not look that good.

Went to visit a client who was moving that day. Poor couple was evicted as the landlord's place was re-possessed by the bank. They had to move to a smaller apartment further down the road. Here I am taking pictures as my colleague and the client were downstairs. :p

Generally, houses look like this in London, so nice.

And flowers look absolutely fake.

Alright, need to sleep le. It's back to reality tomorrow, boohoo..... Will be posting more pictures soon!