Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 2


Itinerary of today:
Breakfast @hotel 
Cycle hire 
Camden Town 
Lunch @Siham Lounge Bar 
St Regent’s Park 
Sherlock Holmes Statue
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Oxford Street
Seven Dials
15 Neal’s Yard 
Dinner @hotel

It's Christmas Day and supposed there was almost nothing opened in London. We woke up at 9-ish. Hubby made use of the kitchen and prepared our first meal of the day. Toasts with ham, cheese and jam and a few baked chicken drumsticks surely gave us enough energy for some intensive walk and exercise today.

Without any public transport on that day, I did quite a lot of research online. the worst would be planning a short route around our hotel doing some sightseeing. Fortunately, some bloggers shared the info of renting Santander Cycles for GBP2/ day. It was such a great news for us. Even though I am not good at cycling, we both gave it a try.

We simply went to the nearest docking station terminal with our credit card, touched the screen to begin hiring a cycle. It took us no effort at all following the on-screen instructions and taking the printed release code for our bikes as the guidance was apparent. Making it GBP2/ day, we needed to return the bikes within every 30 minutes. Since there are lots of docks along the way, it didn't bother us at all. Just the fact that we gotta plan properly beforehand as we didn't buy a sim card for going online with our mobile phones. 

It was a bit rainy that morning. We practiced cycling for around 10 minutes and I was pretty confident having a ride to Camden Town. Lawrence was concerned about my safety riding on a completely wet road, we finally made our way walking there instead. 

Lawrence at the fire station every time he visited any cities.

It was such an unusual sight seeing almost no people in town where usually are flooded with tourists. Taking 30 minutes walk to Camden Town, we felt hungry again. It was so easy to get an empty feeling under such a cold weather. 

Initially I had made a reservation online for lunch in Andy's Taverna. Arriving there seeing no one made me feel insecure and we decided to cancel our booking instead. We popped into Siham Lounge Bar seeing the menu with welcoming price. Bruschetta topped with different toppings, beef linguine, coffee and hot chocolate were all great. (GBP13.5) To our surprise, the portion of each dish was pretty large. We were both stuffed. Couldn't believe that we were able to find a restaurant for lunch in great value on Christmas Day. How lucky we were!

Siham Lounge Bar
Address: 15 Pratt St, London NW1 0AE
Tel: +44 7538 632782

Time to explore Camden Town. Still remember the hustle and bustle streets around the area when I first visited there 7 years ago. What a big contrast with only a few people passed by from time to time. 

This graffiti was so picturesque and aesthetically pleasing.

The famous Poppies claimed to have the best fish and chips in town. Was recommended in a travel TV program in Hong Kong. There's another branch at Brick Lane and would go and try it there.

Heading to St Regent's Park, we rented another bike to ride across it. It was a very large one and it took us around 20 minutes to go across it even by bike! (Of course the time we got off and took pictures in between was counted)

The other way out of the park was at Marylebone Road, just right close to Madame Tussauds. Nevertheless, it wasn't our target but where we started our Sherlock Holmes hunting journey. 

Souvenir shops were mostly open during the day. Bought some postcards for my friends and myself. (GBP4 for 12)

The Sherlock Holmes Statue outside Baker Street Station.

Sherlock Holmes Museum was a block away. It was closed but many tourists just dropped by to take photos like we did.

Sherlock Holmes Museum
Address: 221b Baker St, London NW1 6XE 
Tel:+44 20 7224 3688
Opening hours: 0930- 1800

By the time we rented bikes again, it was already 4pm. Time passed really fast and we skipped many places we planned to go and rode straight ahead to Oxford Street. Even most of the shops were closed, we finally were able to see crowds of tourists! Everyone seemed to be so happy wandering around to see Christmas lights. Shops selling souvenirs were full of people as well. 

Besides taking heaps of photos, we also tried to spot out the shops that we may visit before we left for Amsterdam. It definitely saved us some time trying to looks for the shops we like. 

With our 'iron legs', we were able to make it to 15 Neal’s Yard in the end! It was a hidden gem inside Seven Dials. I was in love with it in the fist sight I saw the picture online. Even it was not as colourful as I expected visiting there at night, it showed another side of its beauty with the twinkling Christmas lights.

Riding back to our hotel didn't take much time as we thought. We arrived at the dock near to our hotel in 20 minutes. Our Christmas feast was quite simple with mashed potatoes, lasagne, baked chicken drumstick, lettuce and veggie soup bought from Sainsbury's. It's not common to see greens in restaurants except salad. For people who can't survive with veggies like us, eating fruit is another option. With this special occasion cooking on our own, a big dish of lettuce and veggie soup definitely made our day. Felt satisfied and finally could take a great sleep earlier tonight.

Total expenses for 2 =GBP19.5
Breakfast @hotel                /
Water @supermarket          GBP1 X2 =GBP2
Cycle hire                           GBP2 X2 =GBP4
Camden Town                     /
Lunch @Siham Lounge Bar  GBP13.5
St Regent’s Park                 /
Sherlock Holmes Statue       /
Sherlock Holmes Museum    /
Oxford Street                     /
Seven Dials                        /
15 Neal’s Yard                    /
Dinner @hotel                    /

No comments:

Post a Comment