Category Archives: Little Adventures

Little Adventures - Travel Series

Whimsigirl in London : Waterloo, Southbank & Borough

December 16, 2014

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

We’ve come to the second last part of our travel series in London and it’s an exciting one! I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with the places because they’re sandwiched between the major tourist attractions and historical buildings. But I’m going to cover them anyways because they really are too good to skip 🙂

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market map illustration

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

Whether you need some peace and quite OR an exciting evening outing, South Bank is the place to be. As you walk along the riverside, you’ll find stalls selling ice-cream pops, an outdoor skatepark, pop-up restaurants, vendors selling popcorns and candies, and even a festive carousel! The Jubilee Gardens playground right in front of London Eye is JUST the coolest playground. Only kids under 11 years old are allowed though, otherwise we big kids would have went to town.

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

There are plenty of things usually lined up over at Southbank Centre on a weekly/monthly basis. So be sure to check their website on what they have going on before you go! It’s so good that most of the activities are so interactive and colourful, as if they purposely wanted the kids to enjoy it as much as the adults do. You could literally spend the whole day just walking & stopping as you please 🙂

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

Right beside the Southbank Centre, Wahaca is this container restaurant which serves good mexican food. It’s perfect for sharing because they encourage you to order two/three small dishes. That way, you’ll have 8 dishes to try between the four of you 🙂 I keep on coming back because it’s kind of a thrill to know you’re eating in a container (hehe) AND because it overlooks the river, you get the best sunset view during dinner.

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

I really hope that Malaysia would have more museums that host continuous exhibitions that would interest not just the adults, but kids as well. That would be so good. I’ve been to a few shows at Tate Modern, but the one that really had an impact on me is the one that Yayoi Kusama did two years back. There was a section for everyone to see her original installations and see what her creative process was like. It blew my mind, BUT! it’s not really something that kids would enjoy, per se.

That’s why there was another section for the kids, where they were given free stickers to just go wild and stick them wherever they wanted in the white room. Yayoi Kusama is the queen of polka dots and psychedelic colors, so they wanted the kids to participate and to see theirrr take on the subject. Fav exhibtion evah!

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

You must make it your priority to eat this at least once in your life, okay? THAT cheesy potatoes at Borough Market is the best thing since slice bread. Just imagine a plate of baked potatoes topped with cheese. Not just plain ol cheese, it’s cheese that’s put under heat and the melted top part will be scraped onto your plate. OH MY. I am now officially hungry.

Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market Whimsigirl in London Southbank river, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Wahaca, Borugh market

Don’t forget to check back because there will be a Travel series video that will accompany the next post! See you!

love,
sarathira


Good to know
1) Southbank Centre – Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
2) Wahaca – Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road London SE1 8XX
3) Tate Modern – Bankside London SE1 9TG

4) Borough Market (closed on Sundays) – 8 Southwark Street London SE1 1TL

 

Little Adventures - Travel Series

Whimsigirl in London : SOHO & Covent Garden

December 12, 2014

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster

I know I’ve covered plenty of food options that could probably last you a lifetime in the previous posts(heee) but honestly you guys, when the weather is below 10degrees, your appetite goes wild and you find yourself wanting to eat, drink, or eat AND drink, every alternate hour! That’s exactly all that we did, and THIS is the time to try them all. Thank god for all the loose layerings!

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster map

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster

If you’re anything like me, and you’re a chicken person but always have to opt for fish when you go abroad because of the difficulties of finding a suitable place, I FEEL YA. It could be quite tricky to find halal food in Covent Garden, so I’m oh so grateful for Masala Zone… and their gazilion hanging dolls. You can nevereverever go wrong with good ol Indian food 🙂

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster

You really suck the joy out of visiting museums if you’re rushing to go somewhere else after that. Two or three hours is a good period to spend at the London Transport Museum to soak up on all the history behind each transportation, admiring vintage leaflets, and climbing on the old trains, busses, platforms…you name it!

Only thennnnnnn can you be that annoying person that’s always quoting the facts you just learnt as if you’ve known about it forever 🙂 Here comes one…. fun fact; the museum was originally the home of the Flower Market back in 1980! This glass building were used for all kinds of trading and having some of the original cast-irons on display lets you imagine the whole market scene. You, are, welcome. hehe

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster

You’ll be bombarded with the craziness of what London is about the moment you get off at Piccadilly Circus tube station. Don’t be scarrrred and just walk along for 10mins, and wallah! You’re already in SOHO and that would only mean one thing; time to start exploring, eating, tasting, seeing, snapping, and trying until your body says otherwise. Anybody that has been to SOHO, will always remember SOHO 🙂

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster

Whimsigirl in London Covent garden SOHO Masala Zone Transport Museum Princi Gelupo Copita Burger &  Lobster map

Happy weekend, sweet peas.

love,
sarathira


Good to know
1) Ladurée – 1, The Market, Covent Garden Market London WC2E 8RA
2) Masala Zone – 48 Floral St London WC2E 9DA
3) London Transport Museum – Covent Garden Piazza London WC2E 7BB

4) Princi – 135 Wardour St London W1F 0UT
5) Copita – Copita 26 D’Arblay St London W1F 8EL
6) Burger & Lobster – 36 Dean St London W1D 4PS
7) Snog – 9 Brewer St London, Middlesex W1F 0RG
8) Gelupo – 7 Archer St London W1D 7AU
9) Monmouth Coffee Company – 27 Monmouth Street London WC2H 9EU

Little Adventures - Travel Series

Whimsigirl in London : Kings Cross, Camden, & Hampstead

December 9, 2014

Whimsigirl in London ; Kings Cross Granary Square, Caravan, Camden, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Bakery, Ginger & White map

Before we start the second week of the #whimsigirltravelseries, I hope the past & upcoming posts will be helpful for you in one way or another. I’m always on the look out for some helpful travel tip whenever I’m online or talk to someone, and chuck it in my ‘just in case’ file. You screenshot other people’s Instagram adventures for your future reference too right?? hehe

My point is, even if we do it discreetly, it still proves that any good secret spots or must-try activities that we find usually come from a very reliable source, and I’m always so grateful for that source. Travelling would not be as rewarding as it is if it’s not shared! So I really hope everyone is enjoying the travel series as much as I am 🙂

Whimsigirl in London ; Kings Cross Granary Square, Caravan, Camden, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Bakery, Ginger & White mapWhimsigirl in London ; Kings Cross Granary Square, Caravan, Camden, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Bakery, Ginger & White

Situated opposite the newly located Central St Martins Art School, Granary Square is the shiny new addition to Kings Cross. The square is individually controlled with over 1,000 choreographed fountains. They’re SO pretty when they light up at night. Summer or winter, rain or shine, just know the kids are just going to run towards (and through!) the fountain. Kids and water fountains are just inseparable. Just bring a change of clothes, and your job is settled!

If you’re there during lunch time, you can find an array of traders serving coffee & street food. Oh and when the weather is good, you can enjoy your food overlooking the Regents Canal! That’s my spot right there. However, if you’re feeling chilly, you can choose between Caravan and Grain Store to eat as they’re located inside Central St Martins.

Whimsigirl in London ; Kings Cross Granary Square, Caravan, Camden, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Bakery, Ginger & White

If you’re in the Camden area and wanting a quick sweet fix, Primrose Bakery has the most colourful mini cupcakes that are mostly baked with the finest organic ingredients. Just nearby, there’s a Latin Caribbean restaurant, Guanabana which serves halal steaks and burgers for the meat lovah.

Whimsigirl in London ; Kings Cross Granary Square, Caravan, Camden, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Bakery, Ginger & White

You’ll surely find London’s best dressed eggs at Ginger & White with their soft-boiled egg with buttered soldiers (above). On top of being kid-friendly and animal-friendly, the baristas are friendly too; they will most likely recognise you on your second visit 🙂 Another plus point, it’s walking distance from the Hampstead station and the Hampstead Heath park!

Whimsigirl in London ; Kings Cross Granary Square, Caravan, Camden, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Bakery, Ginger & White

I personally feel that Hampstead Heath is the people’s park. It’s not as condensed as Hyde Park, but big enough for you to have personal enjoyment. My friends and I would usually bring a blanket with us to the park when it’s colder, pick a spot, lay a mat, take out our food and just breath it all in. Winter should not rob us from going to the park, dang it.

Hampstead Heath is so well spread out that I even got lost for a good hour once, and because it was getting dark, there wasn’t that many people to ask for directions. But! that little hiccup made me talk to this nice lady that happened to conveniently have a map of the park in her bag. She told me she’s been going to the park every single day to read her newspaper while her dog play with other dogs. She’s been doing this for years, without miss. Daily routines can be sooo comforting 🙂

Whimsigirl in London ; Kings Cross Granary Square, Caravan, Camden, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Bakery, Ginger & White map

love,
sarathira


Good to know
1) Granary Square – 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA
2) Caravan & Grain store– Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA
3) Primrose Bakery – 69 Gloucester Ave, London NW1 8LD
4) Guanabana Restaurant – 85 Kentish Town Rd, London NW1 8NY
5) Ginger & White – 4a-5a Perrin’s Ct, London NW3 1QS
6) Hampstead Heath park – London NW5 1QR

Lately... - Little Adventures - Travel Series

Whimsigirl in London : Brick Lane & Old Street

December 5, 2014

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Sunday up market
It’s part deux of east London and I’m going to try to cover the spots that I myself have enjoyed (every time) and are family friendly! In my book, Shoreditch, Bricklane, and Old Street are all mashed into one big ball of eatery goodness. The multiple weekend markets, cafes, restaurants, and pop-ups will satisfy any craving that you possibly have, for less than £10 (mostly). First stop in our list; the Sunday UpMarket in Brick Lane!

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London map illustration

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Sunday up market

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Sunday up market

I stayed in Bricklane 2 years ago for 6 months and it forever changed the way I look at the city. If you take the underground and stop at Aldgate/Aldgate East, you’ll be greeted by a longgg stretch of Indian restaurants before you get to the market. The diversity of culture that is being thrown at you from left to right  is unbelievable. Sunday UpMarket consists of two parts; the vintage fashion pile + the food market covering almost 30 ethnic cuisines. I usually just head to the food section straight!

As much as you enjoy trying new things and being experimental with food, sometimes you just need food that reminds you a little bit of home, even it means paying £3 for a small apam balik! You know what they say…you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl 🙂

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Exmouth Coffee Company Poppies fish and chips petticoat lane market

2) Before going to market, you can fuel up at Exmouth with their stacks of pastries. The staff are super helpful and friendly, therefore, you must go!

3) Finding these donuts was a real happy coincidence. There was a van in the middle of the Petticoat lane market, selling donuts with multiple fillings(!!). Each of us finished one donut on the spot… just so that we can order another one freshly made. It’s a bit tricky to find the van though, but it’s definitely worth the search. Now i want some donuts…

4) Can’t get any better than a (crispy) fish and (fat) chips from Poppies on a cold afternoon

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Sunday up market Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Sunday up market map illustration

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Sunday up market ozone coffee yalla yalla dishoom

5) Oodles of space at Ozone & you can see the coffee being roasted onsite! So you basically have a coffee roast-y smell happening the whole time you’re there, and we all know THAT is the best smell in all of the land.

6) I remember reading about how Yalla Yalla was only supposed to be a 6 months pop-up thing, but 2 years in, it’s still there. Try the Lebanese kebabs if you’re feeling hungry or churros if you’re feeling snacky.

7) Dishoom is zee best looking Indian restaurant! Everything is thought out down to the detail. You just need to see and try it to take it all in.

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London Sunday up marketWhimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street London cafeand albion Maison Trois Garcons 8) If you need a break from all the crowd, Cafeand is the place. They serve a couple of vegan meals and gluten-free cakes

9) Funky furniture shop at the front, cute cafe at the back! The spacious space is definitely kid-friendly for the whole family

10) Albion pulls the breakfast crowd like no other with their menu options. If you opt to sit outside during winter, they’ll provide blankets to warm your up. Nice touch, Albion.

Whimsigirl in London Bricklane Old Street I’ll catch you next week, have a fulfilling weekend.

love,
sarathira


Good to know
1) Sunday Up Market (Sundays) – The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane,
London, E1 6QL

2) Exmouth Coffee Company – 83 Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX
3) Donuts at Petticoat Lane Market – Middlesex St, London E1 7JF
4) Poppies Fish & Chips – 6-8 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR
5) Ozone Coffee – 11 Leonard St, London EC2A 4AQ
6) Yalla Yalla (pop-up Beirut restaurant) – 186 Shoreditch High St London E1 6HU
7) Dishoom (indian food) -7 Boundary St London E2 7JE
8) Cafeand – 77 Redchurch St London E2 7DJ
9) Maison Trois Garcons – 45 Redchurch St London E2 7DJ
10) Albion – 2-4 Boundary St London E2 7DD

Little Adventures - Travel Series

Whimsigirl in London : Shoreditch & Columbia Road

December 1, 2014

1_east-london-1
Hello world! Sara here. How is it that it’s already Dec?? If you had noticed on Whimsigirl’s social medias, we posted a few pictures from our London-Paris trip earlier in the year (here, here, here). Since we were there for a whole month exploring both cities, we also thought that a fun travel guide could possibly come out from the trip!

But by the time we got back, work had piled up and we sadly had to put this travel series on the back burner. AND also because, it just wasn’t weather appropriate to post anything up. Talking about winter holiday during the summer? Urm, depressing much? Okay fine, it was mostly because of the whole work/busy thing.

map of columbia road market

2014 has brought us tremendous luck and joy that we thought we want to force our way into making this travel series happen and cap the year in the best possible light! So, you can find Whimsigirl’s Travel Series post every Tuesday & Friday, from December to January. Every post will cover a certain district of the cities and will show you some of the amazing places to go/see with aaaaanyone you want during the winter!

Our amazing designer, Zurisha has created map illustrations for each post to give you a rough idea on where everything is located to help with your explorations. I mean, it is crazy cute. First up, (my favourite), East London!

Whimsigirl in London covering Shoreditch and Columbia Road flower marketI understand flowers isn’t necessarily enough of a reason to wake up early on a Sunday morning. And to do it on repeat every Sunday morning, you might think there’s onnnly so much flowers one person needs right? Well, lets just agree to disagree on that.

Columbia road flower market ice cream truckTo be honest, the reason I keep on coming back every week (usually on my own!) is because of this ice-cream truck parked by the market. The happiness of eating £2 ice cream while you walk along the street + surrounded by flowers + the weekend crowd is just what Sunday mornings are allll about!

1_east-london-2To me, the flower market isn’t just about flowersflowersflowers. It’s one of those markets that you’re guaranteed to have a good time with anyone really; friends/family/date/kids/ or solo! The crowd tends to get heavier after 9am though, so try not to bring your strollers along as it will just restrict you from moving freely.

Just make sure you go to every single crook & corner, because you will find the tiniest coffee booth, little girls sitting on a chair selling cookies, musicians playing all kinds of folk music, £4 antique frames and Ryantown, a store selling intricate paper cuts.

Whimsigirl in London covering Shoreditch and Columbia Road flower marketIf the market gets too intense for your kids’ liking (it CAN get a little crazy), the playground besides the market is such a hit with the kids. The graphic black & white wall above was always my go-to place if i’m in an Instagram funk and needs a cheer me up picture 🙂

Whimsigirl in London covering Shoreditch and Columbia Road flower market Whimsigirl in London covering Shoreditch and Columbia Road flower market Whimsigirl in London covering Shoreditch and Columbia Road flower marketCan I just say that it’s an amazing time to be a kid visiting or living in London right about now?

Lily-VanilliThe Lily Vanilli Bakery only opens on Sundays, and it only sits pretty much just 10 people. You might as well just que up anyways because that cheesy bread + hot chocolate combo is a winner.

Next up… say hellooo to my little friend.

The-Breakfast-Club
Since The Breakfast Club is just walking distance from the Columbia Rd, it’s a Sunday tradition to have brunch here right after the market. English people do NOT take weekend brunches lightly, it’s a serious thing. Reggie the veggie is always a good option for a full blown meal and their pancakes* are so good that sharing a plate is just.not.possible. (* flamingo sticks come separately)

El-PasoEl Paso is just opposite the road and has the quirkiest deco. I’ve been here around 7 times now, and 6/7 of those times, I ordered the nachos and tea! It is the perfect sharing snack combo on a winter’s day.

Part 2 of east London will be up on Friday, so see you at the end of the week!!


Good to know:
Columbia Rd Flower Market (open on Sundays): 
Columbia Rd London E2 7RG
Lily Vanilli (open on Sundays) :6 The Courtyard, Ezra St. London E2 7RH
The Breakfast Club : 2-4 Rufus Street, N1 6PE
El Paso : 350-354 Old St London EC1V 9NQ