[Food] Ducksoup

Ducksoup is a restaurant next to Lobster and Burger in Dean Street. We always walked past the restaurant however we never went inside until recently. As it was on a Friday night, it is quite packed. Luckily we went there slightly early enough to get a seat. The restaurant is similar to the Spanish place we went on Lexington Street. You eat at a bar table, however they have chairs and tables in the basement.
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I quite like the bar table option, because you can see how things were made and also chat to the waiters. The menu changes often depending on the food ingredient season. The menu is also handwritten, it reminds me of family owned restaurant. I quite like the food itself, the presentation and flavour were appealing and appetising. The main came at the same time, so that we didn’t need to wait for the food for other people. The speed of service is quite fast comparing to other restaurant nearby. The waiters are helpful and knowledgeable with their menu. It can get quite loud in the bar table when it is full. But it is a good place to have a quick gathering with friends. I do recommend the fish (Lemon sole) dish at the restaurant.

For more information, please visit their website: http://www.ducksoupsoho.co.uk
Address: 41, Dean St, London W1D 4PY

[Food] Vitao

I went to a vegan restaurant with my friends the other day. I haven’t been to one before, so I might as well give it a try. The restaurant is located close to Tottenham court Road station, lieterally it is 1 minute walk from the station. The restaurant itself doesn’t stand out, as the shops are quite close to each other. The food of the restaurant is a healthy type of options, from vegan to raw food (which means it is not cooked). It is so different to the vegetarian restaurant I’ve been to. The food itself is really nice, the aroma and flavour is really appetising. I also like the presentation of the food, the portion is quite big. The drink itself is really nice, I quite like their mixing of mocktails. It is not too pricey for this type of restaurant, as I would think it would be on a high £20 each for dinner. But we had 2 starter and 3 mains and 2 drinks and the total is not even £60. I thought it is value for money. I quite like the starter, we had kimchi and crispy kale, of course it is not the traditional kimchi. They made a healthy kimchi, but taste a bit similar to the traditional one.

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The service itself was quite slow, we asked for the bill a few times before coming to us. They were a bit short staff, even on a weeknight, the restaurant is really busy. They accommodate eat-in and take away customers with 3 waiters. Although we booked a table, we were asked to move to a smaller table to accommodate a large group of people, which we didn’t mean. It would be nice if they offer us a free starter for the move (I had a similar situation at Nandos, and we receive free olives for the move). Overall, I quite like the restaurant despite of the service, next time, I would go for take away rather than eat-in. I’ll hope the take-away service would be better than eat-in service.

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For more information, please visit their website: http://www.vitao.co.uk/
Address: 25-27 Oxford street, W1D 2DW

[Tips] Floatworks

Floatworks is something I saw on the national rail 2 for 1 brochure. We didn’t know much about it until we went onto the website. It is basically floating in a tank, more of a relaxation activity. What made it float is they use salt water, similar to how it works in the dead sea. High in salt content just make everything floats. So we decided to give it a go. You can book online or calling for a booking. This place is located near London Bridge tube station. It is about 5 minutes walk from the station. It is quite hidden as it is on a side street and you need to buzz to get in the building.

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Once you are in, it reminds you of going to a pool (except in this case, you are going underground, it is in a basement). There is music to relax yourself and nice reception to assist you. Once your tank is ready, each person gets its own private tank and is in an individual rooms with shower. You have to rinse yourself first before going into the tank. First 10 minutes, there is music to relax you and the last 10 minutes, music is to wake you up. It is so easy to get salt in your eye, which is why they have a fresh water bottle for you to clean the salt off. It took me about 20 minutes to get used to the feeling. In the beginning they did warn us about the discomfort around the neck area. But the feeling will ease as your body starts to adjust. Once you have finished, you will need to rinse all the salt off before washing yourself with soap. (or else salt will get all over yourself).

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I would recommend this place if you like a relaxation activity for a weekend. They also offer massage as well.

For more information, please visit their website: floatworks.com
Address: 1 Thrale St SE1 9HW

[Food] 101 Thai Restaurant

I found this place when I was finding out what is good and cheap to eat around Hammersmith. I found this place on the timeout website and decided to give this place a try. You will notice this place immediately as the exterior is pink and quite bright too. The food itself is quite good although it is not cheap. It is quite expensive comparing to other thai place which we have been to. The interior is similar to other Asian restaurant we have been to, wooden floor with about 10 tables cramp together.
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The restaurant wasn’t busy when we first arrived but it got a lot busier as time passed. The portion for soup and rice is alright, but the curries and stir fry is quite small in my opinion. You may need to order 1 or 2 dishes more in those categories. The flavour is quite similar to the Thai food I had previously, I really like the tom yam soup. It is really nice and flavour, had the herb and lemon grass. I would recommend the tom yam soup, crab fried rice and also the starter platter. The service is not efficient, I think they were a bit short staffed. We had to call the bill a few times and in between our entrée and main, it took more than 30 minutes to arrive. But all the main came at once rather than scatter out.

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For more information, please visit their website: http://www.101thaikitchen.com/
Address: 352 King St, London W6 0RX

[Trip] England – Windermere

Windermere is one of the main town in the Lake district area. So we went there and decided to look around Windermere, it is an astonishing beautiful place. We went there on a weekend, so it was packed with tourist (especially we went on the day when Great North swim event was on). It was quite hard to find a parking, it seemed like everyone had the same idea. This is the home of Peter Rabbit, although we didn’t go inside the museum, but we walked around the souvenir shop and as well as the café. It does remind you in the story books, the way how it is set out. I’m sure the museum inside is just amazing (there is an admission fee to visit).

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Anyway, we walked around and basically it is a small town, similar to other English towns we have been to at Cornwall. You can walk around the town in 2 hours. What is amazing about this town is the view of the lake. We went there around sunset period and it is absolutely beautiful. The lake is so calm and peaceful and you see the ducks are swimming in the lake. Although we could go for a boat ride in the lake or drive around on a boat in the lake, we didn’t choose to do that, instead we walked around the lake. I guess if we had a bit more time, we would have chosen to do the 2 activities. Walking around the lake with an ice cream is another way to admire the beautiful scenery.

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[Trip] England – Lake District

Lake district is located north of Liverpool, it is about 5 hours drive with no stop and no traffic. It is about 3 hours via the train. It is quite a beautiful place with lots of hiking paths. It is similar to Lake Geneva or Lochness.

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Through lake district you will be able to see water and land. Sometimes you will travel through farms, totally different experience and scenery to what you get in London. You will be amazed to see these type of places around England. What fascinated me is the farm animals running in the wild. Of course, drivers will need to be careful when they drive. Sometimes the animal will panicked when they see a car.

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A similar situation happen to us, the boy was driving and came across 2 adult and 2 baby lambs. 2 adult on one side and 2 babies are on the other. 2 babies tried to follow the 2 adult and came across the road. They needed to jump over the fence before reunited. First baby jump and made it over the fence. However the second one didn’t. The second one started to panicked and started to run all over the place. The boy went slowly so that it won’t get in the way of the baby lamb. The baby started to panicked and go towards to the main road. There were people trying to help the lambs reunited however it made the animals panicked even more. Luckily just right before the main road, there is a bridge and the lambs went underneath the bridge and they were reunited.

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[Trip] England – Ambleside

Ambleside is a small town just about 20 minutes drive from Windermere. It is one of the town along Lake Windermere, it is quite beautiful. Just off Ambleside, there is a drive which the boy quite likes. It is called Hardknott Pass, this pass has one of the steepest road in England. It had a sign of gradient at 30 degrees. We were using a hire car, luckily it had enough power to take us all over the pass. It is quite beautiful once you get to the top of the pass and look back down. There are a lot of sheep, lambs and cows wandering around the area, so when driving, we had to make sure that they are off the road before we passed them.

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Ambleside is quite beautiful English town. They had a few shops around the town. One of the restaurants we went to is called Lucy’s on a Plate. It is located on Church Street, Ambleside. The food is quite good and quite cheap for 2 courses lunch. But the speed of service and the service itself is quite slow. The food presentation is quite nice and you may get to see Lucy the owner as well. They have ice cream stores all over the town. They use double cream to make their ice cream, I think this is a speciality around the Lake district.

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For more information about Lucy’s on a Plate, please visit their website: http://www.lucysofambleside.co.uk

[Food] Bilbao Berria

We came across this restaurant when we were walking around Piccadilly Circus. We didn’t know or seen it at first until the boy noticed that there is a self serve montadito. The boy quite like it as that was one of his favourites when we were in Barcelona. I noticed the Jamon and that made the place appealing to me. The place itself is located next to Pret a Manger.

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You will miss it if you don’t look closely, because the front of the restaurant is quite dim and hidden. The restaurant itself is quite grand and pretty, a type of place that reminds me of high tea. The service is quite fast and the waiters are really nice and helpful. The food is brilliant and the presentation is quite good. I like the fact that they hand craved the Jamon and also you can order for 50g or 100g. Although it is on a pricey side, each montadito is £1.85 (we had 1EUR each in Barcelona, of course we can’t compare, as London in general is quite expensive). I quite like the different type of Montadito, I guess if you were very hungry, you may need to get few more to fill you up.

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For more information, please visit their website: http://www.bilbaoberria.co.uk/
Address: 2 Lower Regent Street SW1Y 4LR London

[Food] Dirty Bones

So we came across this restaurant while researching on what to eat on a Saturday night. We didn’t make any reservations so we search around places where it is a first in first serve type of restaurant. You probably know that London is quite hard to get seating at a restaurant on a Friday or Saturday night. Anyway, we came across this restaurant at High St Kensington. It is quite hidden, you won’t even noticed it unless you look closely. The restaurant is called dirty bones, at the front of the restaurant, there is a sign of a bone and as well as a waiter who would assist you.

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You will need to go down the stairs (It reminds me of going to bathroom in a restaurant). Once you open the door, it would take you to a bar and as well as a reception. The waiter would show you to your table which is in another room. The atmosphere is quite good, it is on a darker side with slim lights. The restaurant is quite clean, not too clutter with tables and chairs (it is not your typical American diner). Basically this restaurant is an American cuisine, just hot dogs or chicken or ribs. The portion is quite small, so this place is good if you are not too hungry. Just a plate with a sausage and some sauce if you ordered a naked hot dog. However it is on a pricey side. The service made up for it, the service was brilliant, the staff is willing to help and assist you. The speed of the service is quite quick although it is about 75% full capacity. I quite like the drinks, it is not too expensive, comparing to the food and the portion.

For more information, please visit their website: dirty-bones.com/
Address: 20 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 4EP

[Tips] Wimbledon

So we got tickets to Wimbledon, so we caught the underground tube to Southfields (The boy’s mum told us not to get off Wimbledon, because it is not close to it). Southfields station is covered with Wimbledon fever, the floor were covered with tennis ball material and welcoming passenger to the home of tennis. From the station to the courts, it is about 15-20 minutes walk. There are signs which direct to the tennis centre.

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Of course when you are in Wimbledon, you have to have strawberry and cream. It is not hard to make, but it is delicious. The food is expensive inside the court, you can bring your own food and drinks in. But if you didn’t (like us), you will need to fork out some money for food. We bought 2 salad, 1 nacho and 1 drink for £22. The food is alright, but is enough to get you through the day. Murray hill or Henman hill is a place to catch the action if you don’t get tickets inside the court.

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It is packed with people, quite a nice atmosphere. It reminds me of picnic in a park with a big screen of tennis playing. You may get to see tennis star near the press centre and as well as practise courts. A chance to take a photo with him and get some autograph. There are booths everywhere that sell Wimbledon souvenir. They have a megastore which you can touch and fill the products before buying. It is always packed with people.

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