Saturday, 30 May 2015

Park Visits

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

On the day that the weather was so nice and sunny, we decided to go visit the park and have a picnic. The most interesting park that I've been to that is nearby is Holland Park.

I thought of bringing them to this park as they arrived, but due to the bad weather, it had to be postponed and made my sis and her family missed it, as they've already went back home.

Holland park is beautiful and full of interesting flowers. You can refer to my previous post too about Holland Park.

There's beautiful flowers, especially tulips where most people come here to see.

Large playing chess for serious players (not children toys).

The most interesting part in this park is the peacocks. This is a female one if you noticed.

There's also the male peacock. As we went to see it, it opened up it's tail feathers, which was lucky!

My mum and I got a chance to take pictures with it opening it's feathers.

The peacock can roam around the park freely (it was not in captivity or a pen). At this time, it was near the Japanese park which was beautiful too.

We were supposed to have a picnic here because the park has many picnic tables located all over.

 But nobody seemed to be hungry. So I just ate the fruits. The strawberries my mum bought earlier at the Shepherds Bush market which was so sweet!! The sambal kicap was brought by my grandma all the way from Malaysia. Need to restock in a couple of month. The handsome model at the back? Well, that's my dad. =D

While sitting around, I saw these two beautiful British Bulldogs. According to the owner, they are pure breeds. Very difficult to find and are very expensive.

Dog toilet? That's something interesting too. haha..

After that, we went to Hyde Park. We parked our car at the Q-Park because there were no parking available. It is the weekend after all. I don't remember the actual rate, I just know it's expensive.

My Atok is wearing his new shoes that I helped chose. hihi...We had to walk a bit underground to go to the park and exit here..

At the Speaker's Corner. My mum said people come all over the world to see this, where anyone can just stand on a stool or something and speak up about practically anything. Mostly they talk about politics, of course. Free speech at it's best. You can even rebut with the person speaking. Have an argument just for the sake of having one. huhu..

All the arrows showing people who are speaking on a stool. A lot of people gather to listen and sometimes to argue with the point that they are talking about.

They have these lounge chairs where you can sit. have to pay. chair for £1.20. Opportunists.

We had to pray here because it was coming near to 'Asr. My mum took this pic. I looked online for the Qiblat direction and performed my prayer, but then when I finished suddenly there's some guys saying that our direction is wrong and had to perform again facing another direction. huhu..

After that, we stopped by Bayswater to buy some souvenirs where one of the place that I know it's cheap.

Until next time..

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Manchester + Peak District

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

After the Liverpool trip, we stayed overnight at Manchester. I booked an apartment which is located near the city centre which is really convenient. I'll write the review on a later post.

The next day, we get a head start to visit the main thing Manchester is known for which is their football team. First, we visited Old Trafford Stadium which is home of Manchester United team.

We didn't go inside the stadium for the tour because of the elderlies. They won't be interested anyway. So we just visited the store.

They were overwhelmed enough inside the store.

A lot of memorabilia, jerseys and products to choose from to bring home for their friends. 

After that, we went to see the Etihad Stadium which is home of Manchaster City FC. 

At both these stadiums, parking is free.

The weather was not so good when we were here. The wind was blowing strong.

Hence, the lovey dovey photo. huhu..

The store is located quite far from the main entrance. It's quite a challenging walk if you're blown away by wind from the opposite direction.

As the previous stadium, I only brought them to buy anything they want. So I just waited.

Zafirah just woke up from her nap, so she's a bit attached. After they had enough of stadiums and footbal clubs, I took them to find some lunch. However, because it's Sunday, a lot of stores are actually closed.

We went to this street to find a Malaysian restaurant called Ning, but it was closed. See the flag? My bestie saved that from the pavement during the Malaysia Kitchen Spring Market. So proud to be driving around with this flag for people to see. huhu..providing that you don't break any street rules that is. 

After not finding decent food joints, we decided to find a fast food place. My BIL had found a nearby KFC earlier, so we tried searching for it. It turned out, the KFC is located at a shopping complex. Next to it is Nando's and Pizza Hut. All of which are Halal. So we decided to eat at Nando's instead because at least they have rice (Malay stomach always needs rice  =P).

After filling up our bellies, my mum and my grand aunt wanted to buy some snacks for the road and maybe for some picnic at peak district. So they went to M&S inside the complex. Others followed to do a little bit of shopping while they're at it. 

After that, I took them to the place I felt most beautiful at Peak District.

This is located near Speedwell Cavern. When we arrived here, it was already 5pm, so all attractions have already closed.

We only took pictures at the signs and outside the Peak Cavern. Other people didn't want to come out because it was drizzling and still pretty windy.

You can refer to my previous posting about Speedwell and Peak Cavern.

Peak District is actually one of the locations in Pride and Prejudice 2004 movie (the one with Keira Knightley). I didn't know it during the first time I came here that nearby is Mr. Darcy's house which located at Chatsworth.

You can see the sign clearly as you approach the house.

When we came, it was already late and the sign already stated no unauthorized vehicle allowed. But I ignored it due to my flaming desire to see the house!

This is a private property outside opening hours. After it is closed, it became a private residence. Meaning, someone actually live here.

Oh..Mr. Darcy! Will definitely visit here again. =P

Can only take pictures from afar.

Even the guards told us to leave and not stop. I just can't help myself. I's Mr. Darcy's house!

Afterwards, we just enjoyed the beautiful sceneries along the way back.

Until next time...

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Bicester Village to Oxford

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

The initial plan of this day was supposed to be going to Cambridge and experience some punting. But because the weather has not been on our side for the past few days, my parents thought punting may not be the best idea especially my grandad could not stand the cold.

So, because my sister has been annoyingly persistent wanting to go to Bicester Village (she didn't want to follow us to Cambridge anyway), so I thought why not we all go there together and unleash the beast of shopping. 

We arrived quite early in the morning at Bicester village. Unlike Cheshire Oaks that we went to during Bank Holiday, there weren't a lot of people here seeing that it was during the working days. So parking was quite easy to find. Especially if you are a family with small kids, there will be plenty of available parking at the front.

Beautiful. Even the entrance is beautiful.

Bicester village is more suitable for people with money to burn. It's a place for high end products, the really most expensive ones that you can think of. The price here is cheaper than the stores, of course. But the range is starting from a hundred. So imagine.

The only cheap and interesting while affordable store that I'm mostly interested in is just Cath Kidston. You can get half the price as compared to the ones sold at stores.

The outlet is beautiful though. Even the surrounding areas are beautiful.

This is a road heading towards the city.

This is a bus stop. Nice right?

One good thing that I can think of is Bicester Village has a prayer room or as they call it as contemplation room.

They even have ablution areas. Super convenient.

It's located inside the baby changing room.

The prayer area is super comfy too. However, we encountered a snobbish arab who may have an 'arab supremacy' type of mentality where they think they are the 'best' muslim and others now nothing of Islam. 

Anyway...we didn't let one bad egg spoil our day. No sir!

The whole time we were there (other than shopping for cath kidston bags), I just accompanied my grandad, sitting and waiting for others to finish shopping. 

For those who didn't know or maybe had only guessed, my grandad is an actor. Used to be huge and widely known as Anjang Aki. While accompanying him, there were some malays that recognized him and said hello and chatted with us. Funny thing is, while we were waiting, one of the person we were chatting with turned out to be my dad's old colleague from his old job. Small world. Or is my dad developing the same fame as my grandad? Is it hereditary? Will I get them too??? haha...*harapan*

Moving on..after Bicester village (we didn't spent a lot of time here anyway), we went to Oxford because it's nearby. Just a half hour drive. I felt it might be a waste if they didn't visit the city that is known for it's university.

However, the only thing that we went to see is this! hahaha...thanks to me. This was a last minute plan anyway, plus when we arrived it was already past 4 o'clock and people were heading home from work which made the traffic horrible to bear. 

I made this 'I am shocked' pose and my mum wanted to follow.

Come on mum! That's not a scared face. Why are you smiling?? Try again.

This place is called The Headington Shark. Google it to know more.

Until next time...