Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 4


Itinerary of today:
Breakfast @All Bar One Euston Station
Westminster Cathedral 
Buckingham Palace (Changing of the Guard) 
Horse Guards Parade
Lunch @Flat Iron
Fred Perry
Covert Garden 
Old Spitalfields Market 
Dinner @Poppies Fish & Chips
Brick Lane Market 
Stena Line (ferry)
Hoek van Holland 

Our last day in London. We woke up late again since it was too tiring the day before. We decided to go out for breakfast instead. We had no ideas for restaurants nearby and just dropped by All Bar One Euston Station right next to Euston Station before taking the train to Victoria Station for Westminster Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.

Obviously the location makes it a great place to eat due to ease and convenience as well, and ideal when waiting for a train. We ordered full breakfast, egg benedict latte, iced lemon water (GBP17.95) Food and drinks only took a short while to arrive. They were all hot enough and nice. To our surprise, the latte came with some M&Ms chocolate. It was the first time I saw this combination and it was pretty interesting.

All Bar One
Address: Euston Station, London NW1 2FD 
Tel: +44 20 7388 5315 
Opening hours: 0730- 0000

Arriving at the Victoria Station, we saw signs of Britain all the way. Queen-like logo at the station and two-deck red buses... 

Arriving at Westminster Cathedral, it is said to be the mother church of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Not overly impressive from the outside, but the moment we stepped in, it had an incredible change. There were gorgeous mosaics on the ceiling. Happened to visit during the mass and was not able to stay long though. 

Westminster Cathedral 
Address: 42 Francis St, London SW1P 1QW 
Opening hours: Mon- Fri 0800- 1900, Sat- Sun 1000- 1300

Finally came to another iconic landmark for the programme that we couldn't miss in London- Changing of the Guard. No visit to London is complete without a trip to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. We didn't get there early to get a good view. We arrive there just in time and the Changing of the Guard was just about take place. The crowds were large. Luckily we managed to get a view. Maybe the waiting time was too long, Lawrence and I were not really excited to see the soldiers come along the Mall. For me, the red uniforms in summer look much better than those grey ones in winter.

Buckingham Palace 
Address: London SW1A 1AA 
Tel: +44 303 123 7300 
Opening hours: 0915- 1945

Headed to see the Horse Guard at the other side of The Mall. Lawrence obviously was much more interested in horses than the guards.

Horse Guards Parade
Address: The Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX
Opening hours: 1000- 1700

Thanks to my hubby finding information online last night, we were able to have lunch in another branch of Flat Iron, making me have no regrets before leaving London! (Still remember how upset I was being not able to try it after the football match the day before!) Before we took order, popcorn was served. This is a nice little restaurant for meat lover. The menu was pretty straightforward. They only serve steaks with some sides (spinach salad?). Perfectly done medium well steaks for us. We ordered fries to share and they tasted ok. Excellent value for the quality. (GBP27.5)

Flat Iron
Address: 17/18 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QH
Opening hours: 1200- 2300

Fred Perry was at the corner. Lawrence wanna sleeveless waistcoat jacket for a long time. It was the best chance for him because it was on sale! He was able to buy one in the end. (GBP50- GBP2.93 tax refund)

And I was able to post the postcards at the post office nearby.

It was very close to the Covert Garden. The Christmas decorations were gorgeous there. 

Saw Burberry again and did go inside to look for handbags for my mum. And finally, I found one! (GBP695- GBP89 tax refund)

Fun street with entertainment as well.

Covert Garden
Address: Covent Garden, London WC2E, England 
Tel: 020 7240 9731

Old Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane Market were our final places to visit. We could have dinner at Poppies trying the famous fish & chips and check our train schedule at Liverpool Station at the same time to make sure where to go carrying with our baggage tonight. Knowing that the train to Harwich was cancelled and it was replaced by a coach, we felt a bit nervous we would probably be in a rush. 

Old Spitalfields Market was 5 minutes walk away from the station. There was a wide variety of shops and stalls that tailor for pretty much all tastes and preferences including clothes, accessories, leisure pieces, equipment for outdoor pursuits and crafts, and various restaurants or cafes for those who get hungry. 

Old Spitalfields Market 
Address: Horner Square, Spitalfields, London E1 6EW 
Opening hours: 1000- 1700

We wanna have an early dinner at Poppies first to avoid queuing up for long. A plate of Cod fish & chips with a bottle of coke cost GBP11.65It would be essential to experience British fish & chips culture with a restaurant getting a Michelin star. I would say the restaurant is definitely for tourists but the food is good enough with reasonable price.

Poppies Fish & Chips
Address: 6-8 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR 
Tel: +44 20 7247 0892
Opening hours: 1100- 2300

We also managed to visit Brick Lane Market. It was a very unusual area, with lots of vintage and independent shops. Many food stalls selling international food in good price, but our stomachs had no room for them. We didn't see much of the market actually due to the time that many shops were about to close. Another reason maybe it was not a Sunday. But I am sure it is a great place to wander according to my memory of some online research.

Brick Lane Market
Address: 91 Brick Ln, London E1 6QR

Back to our hotel and picked our baggage. Sadly, we didn't get to tour London much because we had to head off to Amsterdam. See how grumpy his face looked.

There was Marks & Spencer on the 2nd floor of the train station. Bought some sandwiches, yogurt and drinks in case we felt hungry. (GBP9.85) Gotta go to the terminal next to platform 10 to catch coach. We both think that it was not as comfy as taking a train as we couldn't stretch our legs much. with tiny space.

Arriving at Harwich in two and a half hours. We were amazed with the speed of the coach. It used pretty much the same time to send us to the pier compared with travelling by train.

Got through the custom and checked-in for the room we stayed. We bought the Rail and Sail package via Stena Line and it cost us GBP146 for 2 in total with a 2-berth cabin (no windows). It saved us both time and money getting to Amsterdam. Someone may think that taking planes is faster, but with the time getting to the airport and checking in at least an hour in advance, we'd rather choose ferry as the mean of transport. 

We labelled the ferry as our 'second home' as we will be spending the whole night on it. We were driven into this huge ferry that will transport us from London to Amsterdam directly. How cool it was! 

We dropped our belonging in our room before seeing the facilities. The room was in great standard and even much better than we expected! Beds were fine. Shower area was big enough. There was a sofa and a TV. Enough space in the aisle to open the suitcases and walk. 

The train tickets that we could use for the whole day after we landed was included in the package.

The ferry itself even had duty-free shopping, Starbucks, canteen and a mini casino - almost like a cruise.

Back to our room for supper bought from Marks and Spencer. (GBP8.95)

Had a great sleep at night coz the ferry was very stable.

Total expenses for 2 =GBP861.12
Breakfast @All Bar One Euston Station          GBP17.95
Westminster Cathedral                                 /
Buckingham Palace (Changing of the Guard)  /
Horse Guards Parade                                    /
Lunch @Flat Iron                                         GBP27.5
Fred Perry                                                   GBP47.07
Covert Garden                                             /
Burberry                                                     GBP606
Old Spitalfields Market                                  /
Dinner @Poppies Fish & Chips                       GBP11.65
Brick Lane Market                                        /
Marks & Spencer                                          GBP8.95
Stena Line (ferry)                                         GBP142


  1. Rail and Sail package! sounds interesting indeed! but I ALWAYS have seasick... :(

    1. I also got this problem but it's surprisingly stable and I am sure you won't get seasick taking this! Really much better and time saving travelling with ferry!