[Trip] England – New Quay

When we first arrived to Cornwall area, we got a place to stay at New Quay. You would say why new quay, it was just a random choice and luck finding this BnB place. We got there around late afternoon, checked in and had a look at the town. This town reminds me of Home and Away scene, because of the small little town with a nice coastal beach area. But due to the recent storm, the beach didn’t sustain the power of the storm. We noticed that there are quite a number of Aussie expat who lives in this area, we could tell by their accents. It does remind me of Wollongong, a place where I grew up except New Quay is a lot smaller than Wollongong. There isn’t much to see or do in New Quay, but we found some nice restaurants in the town.

When we were wandering around the town, we found this little restaurant which overlook the beach and it does do good food. Their seafood plate starter is brilliant and I do recommend anyone who tries this restaurant to order it. The restaurant is called New Harbour Restaurant. The view is gorgeous but it can get windy in the evening if you sit outside of the restaurant. However they do have heater and blankets in case if you are really cold. The service is pretty good in the beginning but when they get busier, they decrease the service (maybe due to lack of staff). The speed of the food is quite fast. You will need to book on Friday and Saturday evenings because they do get book out. However you can be like us, try your luck. The main, we ordered a soup and crab pasta. The crab pasta is also a must to order, it is fresh and taste delicious. The presentation is really nice and appealing.

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Another restaurant you should try when you are in New Quay is the boathouse. This is the first time where I tried Spider Crab. It reminds me of Alaska long leg crab. Once again, this restaurant can get packed during Friday and Saturday dinner, so you have to book. (or like us, try your luck). The service isn’t that good as they had plenty of staff available. The speed of the food and drink is quite slow. The good thing about the restaurant is freshness of the food. I really like the spider crab, it was done with butter and it takes the crab flavour to another level. This restaurant is located on the pier and smaller beach of New Quay. I do recommend trying the spider crab if you ever go to the restaurant.

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[Trip] England – Padstow

When I first got introduced to Padstow, it is a suburb in Sydney, quite close to Bankstown. Nothing special about it. I knew some suburbs in Sydney are named after towns in UK. The boy did his research and said we should visit there. I wasn’t too convinced what is special about this town. The reason why we visit this town is the national Lobster Hatchery. So when we visit Cornwall area, we made a stop at this little town.

When we arrived (it was a long weekend), the place is packed with visitors. All the carparks were full by the time we got there about 11am. We ended up finding this open space, where you can park your car all day and ride a bus to the town. It costs you about 4GBP, I thought that was a clever business and good for us, as we didn’t know where we can park our car.

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We went to the National Lobster Hatchery, it is very small but you ended up filling your knowledge with lobster during the visit. There is an admission fee to go inside, we spent about 20 minutes and that covers the whole places. I quite like this idea because baby lobster tends to die quickly at a young age by other predators. By having this type of place allows the survival rate of lobster to increased. The hatchery nursed the lobster to a matured age before releasing it into the wild. You can also adopt a lobster or donated to the lobster hatchery for their funding.

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After the hatchery visit, we went to the town for a visit. It is a really small English town, there are a lot of small stores with Cornish made products, from souvenir stores to café. I quite like this type of English town, although it took us less than 1 hour to walk through the whole town. When we went there, I found that there are a lot of dog owners around Cornish towns. It is almost 3 adults to 1 dog. Although there isn’t much to do in Padstow, but on a good weather, it is a nice place to relax and enjoy English town.

[Trip] England – Penzance

In one of our road trip, we decided to explore the beautiful coast of England, an area called Cornwall. The first thing comes to our mind when associating the word ‘Cornwall’, we would have told you Duchess of Cornwall. After this trip, if you ask me the same question, I would say either ‘Cornish cream tea’ or Clotted cream ice cream. We went to the most western point in British Isle which is Penzance. We went there on a wet and cold day, these are the three tourist attraction which you should visit if you visit Penzance.

Lands End

Lands End is the most western point of British Isle, you can post a postcard from there and you will get a Lands End stamp mark. Although it is free to enter, if you drive (like us), you will need to pay for parking, 5GBP per car. You will need to rug up if the weather isn’t pleasant. It can get quite cold. Basically Lands end has a tourist information office with a few stores (such as souvenir stores and cafe/restaurants). You can walk along the coastal route which would take you to the first house (the most western house in British Isle). It is quite beautiful scene but it can get quite windy.

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St Michael’s Mount

Another place which you should go is St Michael’s Mount. There is a castle on the top (we were a bit castle out by the time we got there), you do need to pay an entrance fee to visit the castle but the town below is free admission. The interesting thing about this place is that when it is on a low tide, you can walk from the beach to the place. However when it is on a high tide, you can only access by boat. You will need to time it well if you want to visit. In the town below, there are a few stores such as souvenir/cafe. It is quite interesting to see how well it preserves throughout the histories and erosion. This is located on the North of Penzance. If you are driving, you will see signs leading to it. You will need to pay for parking for the car if you drive, like us.

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Minack Theatre

One of the most fascinating things in Penzance is the outdoor theatre, Minack Theatre. When I saw the photos, it was beautiful on a sunny warm day. However the day when we went it was cold and wet. There are 2 ways to visit the theatre, one is to pay the admission and just the theatre or the other way (which we chose) is to see if you see a show in the theatre. A note to ourselves: remember to rug up, it can get quite cold. Also bring waterproof especially when it rains. Overall it is an experience which I won’t forget, how many times would you see a show in the outdoor theatre. A good thing about Minack Theatre is that it is free parking but you will need to pay to go inside the theatre.

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[Food] Harana

We came across this place one day when we were wondering around Shepherds Bush. We always go past this restaurant but never went in until one day when we felt like having dinner around the area. There are quite a number of similar restaurant on that street, but this one appeals to us, because of the lighting and the number of customers in the restaurant. It is quite busy when we went there, we ended up getting a table after few minutes later. It is similar to Woody Grill (from previous post), it is kebab and meze plates. Because of the grill, the restaurant can be quite hot.

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I quite like their chicken soup because it tastes similar to Jamaican style of chicken soup, it has a full flavour and wholey. The portion is quite big and it will fill your stomach up. The lamb shish kebab is quite nice and hot when arrived on the table. The portion is quite big, it will definitely fill you up. I do recommend to go to this restaurant if you are into meze. The speed of the food is quite fast, which I like. The service from the staff is quite helpful and attentive. The price is worth its value, it is quite cheap for the portion of the food.

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For more information, please visit their website: http://www.haranameze.co.uk
Address: 118 Uxbridge Rd, London W12 8AA

[Food] Brook counter and table

We came across this cafe when we were wondering around Hammersmith area. During a nice sunny weather, this cafe is packed with cyclist and customers getting food or drinks. I quite like this cafe because it is a half shop and half cafe. So you are basically eating in a shop with tables and chairs. The cafe is located on the main road, Shepherds Bush Road. The cafe is stand out because it has a green shading.

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It opens for breakfast and lunch, I quite like the food. The breakfast and its presentation was quite well down and we both have eggs and it is really good food. The eggs are done perfect, not too raw but yet not overcooked. Although the price was quite expensive on the cafe category, but I think it is worth it. The staff are really helpful and friendly. The service wasn’t too fast however it was quite packed by the time when we arrived. We had the juices for drink and it is a bit different to what we normally have. I asked for berries smoothie, but it tasted like orange juice.
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For more information, please visit their website: counterandtable.com
Address: 140 Shepherd’s Bush Road, London, W6 7PB

[Food] Benugo

We came across this place when we had a gathering with a group of friends. We were planning to go a coffee shop however it was packed. So this place had plenty of spaces and also it does food and drink, the place has 2 level of seating. It was a good time for us to have brunch. This place is located on the high street, we went to the one at Bond Street. The price itself isn’t too pricey despite the location.

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The food itself has a pleasant presentation. I like this place does your own DIY sandwiches, it does remind me of back home in Sydney. The coffee is quite nice, it doesn’t taste like the franchise coffee. The food was pretty good, I ordered a toasted sandwich and when it arrived, it was still nice and hot. The atmosphere is quite good, as I do like the wooden and warehouse feel of the cafe. The service of the staff was pretty good and the speed of food was alright, it wasn’t fast. The portion is quite reasonable, my stomach felt up by the time I finished my baguette. I quite like this type of place, a good relaxing cafe on a weekend.

For more information, please visit their website: http://www.benugo.com/‎

[Food] Kim Chee

We came across this restaurant after a meal one night. We went in to see what it is. It turned out a fast Korean food, which is similar to Wasabi (Japanese) or Pret (UK_. I quite like the idea and do wish they expand out a bit more. At the moment, there is only one restaurant in London. They sell popular Korean food, such as kimchi and bibimbap. The interior reminds me of Asian culture, as it is light brown wood it use. Although I wasn’t hungry but I did want to try their food to see what it is like.

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I had the kimchi beef soup, I didn’t expect too much. The soup wasn’t too bad, it reminds me of soup from Eat. The soup had quite a bit of kimchi which I like but the soup based wasn’t too good. The staff was alright, similar service to what you get in Pret. I guess it was closing up so the staff wasn’t paying too much attention. The service was quite fast, as it wasn’t too busy. Maybe next time I would try the bibimbap before deciding whether it is worth going back again

For more information, please visit their Website: http://www.kimchee.uk.com
Address: 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6EA

[Food] La Tasca

La Tasca is a Spanish tapas restaurant near Covent Garden. This restaurant is located across London (but the one is near Covent Garden is the one which I have came across to). The reason why we went to this restaurant is because we miss Spanish food from our Barcelona trip. At first we thought it was a small restaurant, but when you go in, there is a bar on the left. Once you past the bar, you will see 3 levels of restaurant. It was bigger than I first thought.
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The service was alright, wasn’t good but yet wasn’t too bad. They were starting to get full house when we left the restaurant. During the restaurant it was about 75% full. There were several staff but all were quite busy. They were very helpful but wasn’t too attentive when we needed service. The food was really food and it does taste similar to what we have in Spain. It is tapas so the portion is quite small but you can order as many as you want. I quite like the idea of tapas because you can try different types of food and style in a small portion. The drink was quite nice, I had the non-alcoholic Spanish beer and the boy had Sangria.

For more information, please visit their website http://www.latasca.com

[Trip] Sweden- Food

I was told to try Reindeer meat in Sweden. Yes, I did ate Rudolph, just kidding… We went to a restaurant near old town and looked at the menu. By the way, there are quite a number of restaurant which does reindeer. We picked a restaurant randomly. So we gave it a go, of course, I tried to reindeer meat. It tastes similar to rabbit and kangaroo meat, it is really chewy and tough. It went well with Lingonberry sauce. The staff were really helpful when we asked for recommendation. The service was quite fast even though the restaurant was quite packed.
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We got a Swedish pub food, we had to meatball and potatoes. It was a different experience to what we had in Swedish restaurant. The staff were really friendly and nice. The pub is located at the lower end of the main shopping strip. The service was quite fast, which was really good especially we were so hungry. The food was quite nice. The meatball tastes similar to the Ikea one but a bit better. Overall it was a pleasant experience.

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We were wandering around the old town and decided to try a viking restaurant. It is quite interesting as we didn’t know what to expect. The staff were dressed like viking and our cutlery were also viking like. We had a warm welcome by the staff by introducing us when we entered. The service was a bit slow but the restaurant was about 75% full. The staff is quite friendly and warm, but not too attentive.  I had the moose dish as I haven’t try it before, so I gave it a go. It tastes similar to reindeer but it went well with Lingonberry sauce.

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[Trip] Sweden – Stockholm

One of the reason why we visited Stockholm is because of the girl with dragon trilogy, I want to see what the place is like. Stockholm is the capital city of Sweden and they are 1 hour in front of London. They speak Swedish but the people are fluent in English. You can get away in the city with just English. They use Swedish Kroner, you can exchange money via money exchanger or use ATM (of course there are charges using either ways). The weather is beautiful when we went, of course we brought a jacket just in case. It is slightly cooler than London during summer. Swedish transportation is quite efficient and clean. It is easy to navigate and to get about places. They use an oyster card system like, which you can top up the card and your ride will be deducted from it. There are 2 airports in Stockholm, one which is near the city and the other one is 100km away (that is the one ryanair uses). So we caught a bus to get to Stockholm, it takes almost 1.5 hours.

One of the things we went to in Stockholm is Old town. It is one of the top things to do in Tripadvisor. It is quite beautiful town, and there are a lot stores around the area from restaurants to souvenir stores. We spent half a day wandering around the old town and went back a few times for food. There are small streets around the old town which takes you either to the lake side or back to the shopping strip. You can catch a train there or you can walk there from the main shopping strip. It took us about 15-20 minutes by foot.

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The Stockholm palace is located at the Old town. You have to time it right to view the changing of the guard. It starts at about 12pm when we visit. Of course, check the website before you go or like us, we were lucky to be there at the right time. We figured out when the soldiers were setting up the fences. It is quite interesting to see a changing of the guard, it goes for about 45 minutes with the change and a military performance. We were there quite early so we got the front spot and got a close view of the band.

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We came across this restaurant while wandering around Old town, the restaurant is called Restaurang Gondolen. We noticed that there were people at the top of the tower and we decided to go there to see what it is about. We went to the tower via the street entrance. The restaurant and the lift are closed on Sunday but you can get there via street entrance. Boy, what a view of Stockholm. We went there during sunset and it was beautiful, also an amazing view of the old town.

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One of the things we tried in Stockholm is the Swedish massage. Basically it is like your normal massage, we went to a place opposite to our hotel on the main shopping strip. The place is a spa and massage, it is quite nice and not well known. It is a indoor swimming pool with spa and sauna. It is not packed in late afternoon, it is quite nice and quiet for a change from tourist attraction.

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