Archive for the 'Don’t get voted off the island' Category

Westfields Shopping: High Street vs. High Roof

So if you ever get tired and weary of trudging up and down crowded High Street, especially Oxford Street which is just unbearable on the weekends, then head over to Westfields at Shepard’s Bush.  Westfields just opened last year before Christmas time and it is the best indoor mall in London.  The first time I walked into there it was like being back home (States) at our local mall since the high street model has fallen out of style other than quaint main streets in small towns.  This is the case at least for where I live in Virginia.  Westfields holds all the high street shopping under one roof so you never have to worry about the rain or finding the next tube station down the road because everything is convenient in the shopping centre.  You’ll find your main departments stores such as Debenhams, House of Frasier and your favourites off the high street including Zara, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, H&M, Gap, Aldo….the list really just goes on and on.  You don’t have to worry about the crowds too much, the walkways are the widest I have seen and they have plenty of seating where you can take a break and have a smoothie from Boost or a coffee at one of the many cafes around the shop.  You can even stop for dinner at any of the dozen of well-known restaurants located inside and outside Westfields.  Also, a movie theatre is going to open soon so you really can make it a full day.

This is where I spent this rainy Saturday today and I finally came away with the essential summer clothes I have been lacking these past few weeks of nice, warm London weather.  Had a smoothie then headed on back to Angel all under 3 hours. Whoohoo.  Where you feel you need a new outfit, or retail therapy or even just to help the economy out, Westfields should be at the top of your list!

Westfields London Shopping Centre

Mon-Wed 10am-9pm; Thurs-Fri 10am-10pm; Sat 9am-9pm; Sun 12pm-6pm


Best London blog there is: Londonist

Enjoy TimeOut but get a bit bored of their endless listings? Enjoy reading London blogs but always looking for one that covers it all? The answer: Londonist

My friend and fellow London-phile, let’s call her ‘E’, recommended me to this group blog 3 years ago just after I had left London after my study abroad program. I visited it frequently, and I must say it was actually a huge factor in getting me to come back to London. is simply wonderful – a constant stream of news, lists, reviews, cheap stuff, ephemeral things to do, major festivals, minor festivals, random lunch spots – it’s all there, and it’s all delightful. It’s a blog that is alive with passion for London and the amazing variety and sheer volume of stuff this city has going on all the time.

Whenever I’m looking for something to do, whether it’s that night or over the next week, or whenever I want to ‘connect’ back to the sense that this city I live in is not just the busy road outside my flat and my commute to work but a thriving, incredible place full of wonderful, interesting things, I always find myself going to Londonist and browsing their frequent postings.

So, thank you Londonist. You make this world a better place, and I would say bookmark it, RSS it, go there frequently – it’s pretty impossible not to fall in love with London all over again after reading just a few posts.

A Challenge to Ourselves

Following our last post about how much we’ve been slacking in the blog department, I pose a challenge to C and myself.  We will post one blog entry a day for the next two weeks–that’s right 14 new posts starting from tomorrow 31 May to 13 June.  In an ideal world/my fantasy world of having abundant amount of time I would like to post everyday, let’s be realistic shall we, that isn’t going to happen and I know I will be on holiday starting 10 June for 2 and 1/2 weeks so I doubt I will update much during that time too.  But Challenge On!  Hopefully this will make up for the lack of posts in May (I know the last actually one was on 3 May).  Bad sunshine…bad.  Post 1 of Challenge–see you tomorrow!


A & C

Days Out Guide 2-for-1 Offers: Fancy a Friend?

If you haven’t heard the economy is pretty much dragging everyone down, but if you’re in or around London (and have a friend) you’re in luck!  Days Out Guide promotes hundreds of 2-for-1 offers on many London attractions.  I’ve used it for Kew Gardens and should have used it for Hampton Court Palace.  All what you need to do is travel by train.  Go to their website and find which attractions you’re looking for and sign up to get the 2-for-1 voucher for the attraction you’re interested in and then bring the voucher with proof of your train ticket and voila:  bring a friend for free or split the cost 1/2 price.  The only trick is if you live in central london like we do some of the attractions listed might be hard to get the 2-for-1 since you can’t really travel by train.  However, places like Kew Gardens are accessible either by train or tube so the vouchers work!  Go see those sights!!!

Gumtree: Your London Internet Friend

If you’ve needed to sell something, wanted to buy something cheap, need a flatmate, have looked for a flat to share or rent, wanted to hookup/make friends, find free stuff, get rid of that old coat rack/lamp/dress, and/or spend an interesting hour being amazing at what people put online and you haven’t been to yet, we are shocked. Yes, craigslist exists for London, but gumtree is by far the more used site in London. Roughly similar, gumtree still has a flavor all of its own, and it’s always interesting.

For example, we’ve been looking for a new flatmate, and gumtree has been a great source of potentials so far. ( is also good for finding flatshares, in case you are interested). But what really sparked this post was an experience A and I just had. A won a new ipod nano from a Guardian web survey (I know! People actually win these things!) and since she already has a 30g ipod she likes, she decided to try and sell it. Went to ebay first of course, since that’s a natural first thought when looking to sell something, but of course they want you to set up a huge account and paypal and then they take a cut of each sale. Then we realised, oh right, we live in a huge city it’s easy to sell something and then actually meet up with a person to exchange goods and cash, or goods and goods. So A put up an ad on gumtree last night, and within a few hours had found a buyer at a good price. They arranged to meet today at Warren Street station, but the email was kind of sketchy – the person’s email included the word ‘gang’ and had never mentioned his/her name – so A was like, C, please come with me so I don’t get mugged/serial killer murdered/scammed etc at 5pm in broad daylight in Zone 1. So I put on my most menacing pose (ooh yeah, I am definitely scary AND I went to the gym this morning and ran all of 6 minutes on the cross trainer before I had to get off because I was dying! Yeah! Watch out!) We bused it to Warren Street and then…A texted, I began scanning the scene all CIA like, looking out for any trouble (back up off! I will take you down!) when the person called her and then we spotted him – and his friend! We both brought friends for protection! So we met up and the guy was like, uh let’s just go down this side street a little bit and we all four walked together, all totally scared and nervous – it was so adorable, seriously – then A hands over the ipod, guy hands to his friend, friend checks it out, gives the okay sign, guy hands A money, she and I count it together, give each other the nod, and then we say okay, thanks, separate, and then A and I burst out laughing. SO amazing.

p.s. the ‘free’ section is endlessly fascinating, and you might find something as long as you’re willing to travel a bit (sometimes) to go get it. Hint: if you’re looking for something, set up an RSS feed search. It’s easy – just search (I was looking for luggage this summer to move all my stuff in, so I just searched luggage) then RSS that search – it constantly updates so as soon as anyone adds anything that fits it, like ‘luggage’, it will come up. Enormously useful – this can be done for stuff for sale on gumtree as well.

Happy selling/buying/exchanging!

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Off to Giraffe to do some quality brunch research!

Quick hit: london recommendations by the trendy

Or at least that’s how it feels from the look of  this slick/pretty website

Stumbled across this recently and am still enjoying it – they have maps of unique and interesting places to visit in cities around the world. The London one is pretty decent – a good mix of obvious and more difficult suss out yourself hip things. I don’t agree with everything they recommend – the White Lion Pub in their Covent Garden section, for example, is always so mobbed with people I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole when I lived around there – but all in all pretty cool.

Word of warning: this is definitely aimed towards those who have a bit of cash for shopping and eating, but they list a lot of gems so check it out.


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