Sat, 29 Dec 2018
In the morning, I had a breakfast meet-up with a Nik who works in London.
Previously, Nik helped me numerous times in arranging engagement sessions between SPAD and Malaysians in London (link to old post in 2016).
After breakfast, we took the tube to King’s Cross as the family wanted to visit The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4. It was my first time at King’s Cross. The station architecture was really impressive. As for the Harry Potter shop, we were quite shocked to see the incredibly long line to go in!
Aliaa and Mak Su went into the line to get into the Harry Potter shop while I was tasked to manage the kids. I took them for a snack at the nearby Leons and around the station.
Later in the afternoon I went to Stanfords near Covent Garden. I’ve been wanting to get a historical London map, and decided to spend some time looking for it.
After browsing for almost an hour, I decided to go with the reprint of A Balloon View of London from 1851. It offers a panoramic view of London from high above with street names and notable buildings labelled clearly.
After a long day out, we headed back home. I ordered GBK for myself. The onion ring and the crispy burger was absolutely delicious. Overall, our food experience in the UK has been excellent.
Sun, 30 Dec 2018
Early in the morning, I went out to get coffee at Costa’s and had breakfast at home.
We bought crumpets from a nearby grocery store and it was superb. It was actually our favourite breakfast at the flat during the holiday. The crumpets tasted really good in the cold weather (anything does, actually!)
Nearer to noon, we started our day by going out. We took the tube to Kensington. Erina was sleeping so I had to carry the unfolded stroller, with her in it, up the stairs (most UK tube stations doesn’t have lifts). This has happened a few times during our holiday and I treat it as some sort of a workout, haha!
We visited Kensington Palace and had tea at the cafe. The Victoria Sandwich cake was surprisingly quite good.
From Kensington, we headed to Harrods (again) as I wanted to get earphones and Aliaa wanted look at some things.
I hardly buy stuff during holidays. I took me a few days of browsing online before I decided to get the Bose Soundsport earphones. With the Harrods sale discount and VAT returned, it became substantially cheaper than Malaysia.
Mon, 31 Dec 2018
Early in the morning, I took an Uber to the Royal Mail Delivery Office in Hammersmith to collect my Kendo uniform.
It was delivered to the flat yesterday but we were out, hence rerouted to the Delivery Office. It was a Blue Moon Kendogi and Featherweight Pleat-Lock Hakama from KendoStar. The material of the gi was really light and suitable for practice in a hot country like Malaysia.
After breakfast, we finished packing our things, and loaded it onto our transport. We plan to be out the whole day before heading to the airport for our flight back.
Our first stop is The Noble Collection at Covent Garden. They have a lot of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones (and other fantasy movie goodies) merchandise on sale. If you’re a big Harry Potter fan, this place is a must visit. The wand collections alone will make you go crazy!
After that we headed to John Lewis on Oxford Street for some last minute shopping, before having lunch at Comptoir Libanais inside the same building. Comptoir, as usual, doesn’t disappoint.
We had a bit of time so the driver took us for some Christmas sightseeing around the city. We stopped at Sloane Square for a short walk at the shop area. Although the name is very familiar, I just realised that I haven’t actually been to Sloane Square. Nothing like a a quick visit to a new area before flying off.
Early in the evening, we headed to the airport. We had a lot of bags and needed some time to properly re-arrange everything. After checking in, we headed to the Malaysian Airlines lounge to sort out the kids.
The flight back was actually much more pleasant as it was late in the evening and Erina slept mostly throughout the flight. That allowed me some time to relax and enjoyed the flight. I’m sure many parents with babies can relate to this.
All in all it was a really enjoyable holiday. Having more family members together on the trip made it much more fun. I hope to visit London again in the near future when the kids are slightly older as they would enjoy it better.