Written by Michael

6min read

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We all know that every country in the world is different. Different traditions, customs, and social norms are a wonderful new experience, but can often take a unsuspecting visitor by surprise. Britain is no different, with such a rich history certain things have evolved that may want to take note of before you visit.

Continue reading “15 Things Worth Knowing About Britain Before you Visit.”

Written by Michael

4min read

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The food at London Markets is one of the many sprinkles on the giant cake that is London.

South London has no shortage of these mouthwatering markets.

In recent years the south of London has exploded in with cool things to do and trendy places to be.

Whether it’s a day out with family and friends, or a cheeky evening date, these markets will leave you wanting more with their quirky little stalls and unique vibes.


Maltby Street Market – Bermondsey

South London markets food
Maltby Street Market has delicious offerings!

Maltby Street Market is getting rave reviews from the people who go there. Thankfully it can still be classed as a hidden gem – some people who live in Bermondsey don’t even know it’s there!

The market runs down a thin strip of road that is sandwiched in between the arches of a railway line on one side and modern blocks of flats on the other.

Maltby street London markets
The narrow slither that is Maltby Street Market

Open on Saturdays and Sundays the market caters for all types of food. You’ll find sweet and savoury waffles, dedicated beef stalls, Brownie stalls, and a cheese truck.

The market also caters very well for vegans and vegetarians. Enjoy!


Flat Iron Square – Southwark

Flat Iron Square London Markets
Flat Iron Square seating

Flat iron Square is the newest addition on this list. Opened in 2016 it carries on the theme from Maltby Market of railway arches.

Situated within 7 of these arches you can find a fantastic pizza joint, Motherclucker, Savage Salads, a pancake stall, and south east Asian cuisine.

The market contains a green space that is perfect to relax in during the day.

The project is the first step on trying to link together different communities along the bankside rail viaduct. Hopefully this will lead to more unique South London markets!


Greenwich Market – my fave London markets

Greenwich market London
Greenwich market is my fave (not biased at all)

Image via Flickr from Garry Knight

Having recently gone through major restoration project, Greenwich Market is now a fresh and shiny covered market that plays host to every kind of stall you can imagine.

Within the main hall of the market are the temporary stalls that range from hand crafted watches all the way down to the tastiest Chinese food.

Around the edge of the market, built into its structure, are permanent shops. Some of these range from a dedicated map store to a shop full of antique posters.

The food is towards the north side of the market and literally ranges from all corners of the world. The sushi stalls are my favourite.


Spa Terminus – Bermondsey

If you’re visiting Maltby Market that’s number 1 on this list, then you also have to take a trip to Spa Terminus. Spa Terminus is literally down the road from Maltby!

Spa Terminus is a new addition to the area and is made up of sellers who were previously at Maltby market. The sellers decided to set up another market with a slightly more traditional feel.

Here you will find among others: Ice Cream Union, the London Honey Company, Mons Cheesemongers, and fine wine establishments.


Venn Street Market – Clapham

Venn street market in the sun
Venn street market in the sun

Open every Saturday on Clapham Common Venn street market is a market that works specifically with local producers and farmers.

You will find vegetable stores, fish mongers, bakeries, cheese stalls, and of course brownie stalls!

There are plenty of areas to sit down and soak up the atmosphere. There are also plenty of places to sit down and enjoy the lovely food and drinks that on offer!


The best food at London Markets?

These 5 markets are each unique in their own way and have slightly different vibes.

All these markets are south of the river and within public transport distance, so you could definitely visit more than one in a day if you like.

The food you find will be different in each market, as will be the establishments in which you sit down and eat in.

Take note of these 5 markets and let your tastes buds have a great day out too!

Written by Michael

7min read

9 Comments

Planning one month traveling Europe can feel extremely exhilarating and daunting at the same time. With so many countries residing so close together, it’s tough to decide what to see, where to go, and how much time to spend in each place. With that being said, it’s also incredibly tempting to try and just see it all. One day in each country should do, right?

While the idea of adding 20 or more stamps to your passport is enticing, it won’t be worth it in the end. Instead, choose an itinerary that allows you to fully immerse yourself in your surroundings. Whether you’re a new traveler or a seasoned wanderer, here’s how to get a taste of what every region in Europe has to offer.

Continue reading “How to Spend One Month Traveling in Europe.”

Written by Michael

4min read

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Let’s be honest, there are no shortage of Sushi restaurants in London.

Like most things in life however, not all sushi restaurants are created equally.

You can pop into some sushi restaurants and leave feeling like a wet fish full of disappointment.

What you’re really looking for are those restaurants that transport you to Japan, where local Japanese people go, and where you will leave feeling like a puffer fish full of delicious sushi and optimism.

Thankfully, if you are in London, you are blessed with some great and varied sushi options, here they are.


Eat Tokyo Sushi Restaurants

eat tokyo sushi restaurants london
Be warned – the lines do get quite big!

Stupidly, i’m going to start this list with my favourite sushi restaurant. I know you should save the best till last, but i’m just so excited about it!

Eat Tokyo is very popular; you’ll usually have a 10-15 minute line outside the restaurants, especially the one in Soho. Once you’re in however, its awesome and bustling.

The selection is so vast that you are literally given a ring binder by your server, who by the way, will likely be dressed in traditional Japanese attire.

The food is great quality and super cheap for London. Salmon Teriyaki nomnomnom.

Soho, Holborn, Notting Hill, and more. 


Zaibatsu – Greenwich

Zaibatsu Sushi Greenwich London
Zaibatsu Sushi Greenwich London

I cant write this article without including my local favourite.

To be honest, Zaibatsu in Greenwich South East London, looks rather drab from the outside. However, when you enter the very small and cosy establishment, it is full of atmosphere.

The small plastic chairs that surround the few tables remind you of South East Asia, and the food is good quality yet cheap.

You have to book to eat here because its so popular and seating is limited!

Greenwich


Sushi Cafe

Sushi Cafe platter london
Sushi Cafe platter London

All you can eat great sushi? Its not a dream you little munchkin!

Sushi Cafe’ in Battersea has a great fixed menu full of traditional and fusion style sushi, from which you are free to order.

However, it also has a buffet full of great sushi rolls and other dishes!

You have 90 minutes to eat as much as you can before the staff will roll you out like a sushi roll.

Battersea


Roka

Roka is rather fancy, and because of that, its rather expensive. However, if you’re willing to push the boat out a bit, its so worth spending the extra money.

The restaurants have an open grill in the middle of the room where you can see the sushi being cooked.

You can sit around this table if you want to get really close to the action!

Charlotte Street, Canary Wharf, Aldwych, and Mayfair. 


Sticks ‘N’ Sushi Restaurants London

sticks and sushi london

Sticks ‘N’ Sushi is extremely well established across London. It’s probably the second most expensive option on this list, behind Roka, but its provides great quality sushi in a warm and cosy atmosphere.

With soothing music playing in the background, all you need to do it sit back and let the extremely professional staff serve you beautifully created and scrumptious sushi.

Greenwich, Covent Garden, Wimbledon, and more. 


Rock Star Sushi Restaurant

Rock Star Sushi Bar is consistently rated 5 stars by pretty much everyone who visits it.

The establishment itself is tiny so you need to book, once you’re in however, the sushi looks and tastes amazing. The restaurant prides itself on the presentation of the food and it will delight you with its concoctions that are reasonably priced.

After you leave here and you’ll feel like a rock star sushi roll 😉

Merton

Written by Michael

4min read

8 Comments

Theres a special green oasis in London, and its called Richmond Park.

It’s always special transporting yourself to one of these places in the middle of one of the worlds busiest cities.

Getting away from all the people who cant drive, shutting out the other annoying people in the world, and not having someone say sorry a million times after they’ve trodden on both your feet.

The park is situated south of the River Thames in west London and covers 2500 acres. The park is one of 8 Royal Parks in the city and is a National Nature reserve.

Richmond Park in London contains a unique environment that resembles much of what England used to look like hundreds of years ago (and I wish it did now). Thick forests with overarching trees, ponds dotted around the park, and hundreds of deer roaming freely.

Continue reading “A Winters Stroll Through Richmond Park in London.”

Written by Michael

4min read

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With endless backpackers heading off to South East Asia, posting pictures from Thailand, Vietnam and Kuala Lumpur, you may be tempted to follow in your friends’ footsteps. But how about opting for something different? Britain might not have been the first place on your mind when considering traveling, but it could provide you with the trip of a lifetime!

Continue reading “A Sterling Vacation: Where to visit in England.”

Written by Michael

3min read

6 Comments

It’s time to explore the large cities of Europe, discover a mix of cuisines in each country, and watch the scenery change as you arrive at your next destination; add your favourite travel companion, and it is a dream come true. The sad thing is that we usually need to save up for these trips, and often an entire year in advance if you’re a student – it kind of puts a damper on the excitement, doesn’t it?

Continue reading “Your Guide to European City-Hopping On a Budget.”

Written by Michael

4min read

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London is a truly amazing global city. From the iconic London Eye to the historic West End, Buckingham Palace to Regents Park, and from Hipster Shoreditch to upmarket Mayfair, you’re never short of things to do in this magical melting pot. Of course, however, any trip like this will come at a cost; London is one of the most expensive cities in the World for people to visit and stay. Unfortunately, the pure expense puts off a lot of holidaymakers from visiting the capital. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, with the right research and time, you can find cheap alternatives to the expensive hotels in London. To help you out, this post will be going through three of the best ways to stay in London without breaking the bank. So, once your accommodation is sorted, all you have to do is head out into the city and explore!

Continue reading “Finding A Place To Stay In London.”

Written by Michael

3min read

36 Comments

Whatever your reason for going, Shoreditch in London has to be one of the best places in the world to see street art. Situated in the East of London, this inner city district has gained a reputation as a haven for hipsters and tourists alike.

Street art is often more than just something pretty to look at; It can help brighten up a dull part of town and give it a hipster reputation. Street art can carry a powerful political or social message, and of course, provide the backdrop for your next Instagram photo.

Continue reading “Shoreditch, London: Where To Find The Best Street Art.”

Written by Michael

3min read

2 Comments

Unique ways of remembering trips always make a great gift, either for a friend or a way to treat yourself ;). After you’ve had a great trip to a destination, you have your photos, but it’s always nice to have another ay to remember it! Forget your fridge magnets, it’s all about map art! Passing a map on a wall in your house you will be able to see all the different destinations you’ve travelled to, each one evoking different memories and feelings! Modern Map art provide great maps of most destinations across the world!

Continue reading “Gift Idea: Check Out These Great Maps Of Your Favourite Destinations!”

Written by Michael

4min read

18 Comments

London is known for having some of the world’s oldest and most iconic luxury hotels. It’s not surprising, considering it’s one of the world’s oldest cities. It was founded by the Romans back around 50 AD, and the concept of letting a guest stay in one’s house, or accommodation so to speak, actually dates back to Biblical times.

Continue reading “The Best Luxury Hotels in London.”

Written by Michael

3min read

8 Comments

You might think farms are mainly for the kids, and so did we, but as Connor and I found out, apparently farms are just as much fun in your mid 20’s.

We visited the urban oasis and unique site that is Mudchute Park and Farm near Canary Wharf in London.

mudchute farm London entrance

I remember going to farms as a youngster; the excitement of seeing all the animals, feeding them, and thinking I could actually talk to them.

My favorite were the sheep and goats who nearly took your hand with them when they gobbled up the food you gave them.

Now that i’m older I realize, to my disappointment, that I am no Dr Doolittle. However, the memories of visiting farms as a youngster are still very vivid and i’m sure I learnt a thing or two when I visited them!

mudchute farm London map

Nestled in the shadows of the financial center of London lies Mudchute Park and Farm.

You can get on the DLR and hop off at either Mudchute or Crossharbour, then take the short walk over the road to one of the many entrances, one of which has quite a nice arched walkway.

sheep at mudchute park and farm

Entrance to both the park and farm are free of charge. I don’t really know how they do this, I think they rely on charitable donations and the income from the few shops there.

If you come into the same entrance we did then the first animals you will see are the sheep and Llama. It has to be said, they do like their picture being taken.

Llamas are just funny animals who look clueless, and the way Raphael the sheep had been sheered left him a cute little afro which he appreciated being stroked…

There’s a variety of animals at Mudchute to keep you entertained and you can feed them all. I’m sure a few kids over the years have lost fingers to sheep and goats gobbling down the pellets offered to them!

Goats are particularly ballsy and will grab at anything they think is food! Unfortunately they don’t have any baby goats jumping around everywhere like you’ve seen on Facebook recently!

feeding goats at mudchute park and farm in London
bird enclosure mudchute park and farm London
lambs at London farm

There’s also a few shops near the stables that serve food and drinks. The small fish shop provide good fried shrimp and squid which is advertised as £3 but costs £4.50 so watch out for that.

The other main cafe is open on every day apart from a Monday (we went on a Monday lol) so there’s opportunities for a relaxing meal! There’s also a couple of sweet stalls for you to get tooth decay at 🙂

mudchute farm London park

Slightly to the south of the farm there’s a few little nature trails that look really nice and something you wouldn’t expect to find right next to the financial district! Further on there’s lots of football pitches, seems like Mudchute is a decent place to live for greenery!

All in all Mudchute Farm and Park is a great day out for all ages. I saw families there, couples there, and two strange guys in thee mid 20’s stroking a sheeps afro…

Written by Michael

5min read

33 Comments

Service charge In the UK sucks.

“Can you take the service charge off the bill please?”

The idea of asking to take off the service charge in the UK probably fills you with dred.

Don’t worry, it’s very British of you.

Now let me set out from the beginning: I do not have any issue whatsoever with receiving the bill for what I ordered and paying the server a tip for their good work.

waitress taking service charge in the uk
Now, that’s a happy waitress!

What I do have a problem with is restaurants adding on to the bill automatically service charge in the UK. This “optional” service charge is usually 12.5%, which can add up to a decent amount.

Now this isn’t the servers fault, it’s the companies themselves who decide to put it on the bill. The funny thing is, you are perfectly entitled to have it taken off the bill.

You don’t have to pay it as along as it was not made aware to you that it was a ‘compulsory service charge’ somewhere on the menu or verbally.

The 4 main reasons for my utter dislike of this “optional” service charge in the UK are as follows;


1. Servers might assume that their tip is safe.

Now I know many servers work bloody hard in their job.

However, I am sure that if some know that the tip will be included on the bill no matter what, that some may drop back a little on their enthusiasm and effort.

It’s just natural not put in as much effort if there’s no reward. I’ve been to plenty of restaurants where this optional service charge has been included and the service is average at best!


2. It rewards bad servers.

The optional service charge also rewards bad servers just as much as the excellent ones.

Now anyone knows that this isn’t fair. How can a miserable server who doesn’t smile and doesn’t pay you any attention get the same tip as someone who is bubbly, conversational and helps you out whenever you need it?


3. Servers get paid a decent wage in the first place.

In the USA I don’t have a problem with paying the optional service charge which is included with all bills.

The reason I don’t have a problem with this in the US is because the servers literally need it to survive.

You see, servers are paid differently in the US; in many states they’re allowed to be paid as low as $2.63 per hour. The tips and gratuity are expected to make up this short fall and bring wages up to, or above the minimum wage.

As a result, in America you can blame the sates and the government for paying so little, not the restaurants.

However, in the UK servers have the same minimum wage as every other profession in the whole land.

Now I know this might not be much, but again, let tips that the customer CHOOSES to leave bring this wage up to a higher level.


4. It takes advantage of the fear of embarrassment.

If you’ve never said the sentence at the beginning of this post, you’ve probably wanted to at some point in your life, but you haven’t.

This is absolutely fine and it’s very British of you.

However, restaurants take advantage of this fear of confrontation/embarrassment by knowing that not many people will question the 12.5% optional service charge in the UK, even if the service was poop.

restaurant service charge uk money
A well deserved tip!

Do you have to pay service charge in the UK?

Now, if you feel like your waiter didn’t deserve the tip, or you just cant fathom the idea of paying someone extra for a job they’re already paid to do, then you can ask for the optional service charge to be taken off.

Because it is just meant to be that – optional! Restaurants cant refuse to take it off unless it was made aware to you before that it would be added and it was compulsory.

I remember one time I went to the rip off that is Busaba Eathai. As soon as we sat down and before we had ordered we were brought food, either the servers were mind readers or it wasn’t our food.

The glass for my drink had lipstick on, the portions were tiny, and we had about 13 different servers during our time there.

At the end I asked for the service charge to be taken off.

They then asked why!? As if I had to give a good enough reason or they wouldn’t take it off. I kindly reminded them that it was optional and they removed it.

I haven’t been back since!

I’ve never really understood service charge in the first place. Waiters are doing the job they’ve been employed to do.

You don’t see a lifeguard rescuing someone then asking for a £10 tip for the pleasure. I don’t know how this “optional” tipping culture has come about. But it needs to stop.

If restaurants took off this optional service charge i’m sure there wouldn’t be much of a dip in tips. Even if there was a dip, it would be a dip for the bad servers who would have to up their game, while the good servers will keep on bringing in the tips.

Restaurants need to remove these “optional” tips from the bill and let the customer chose the tip, they will see an increase in the standard of service and it will reward the good servers.

To the restaurants: We’re not in America, we’re in the UK, so stop taking advantage of the brilliant British shyness.

Written by Michael

4min read

29 Comments

Zaibatsu in the borough of Greenwich in South London is a hidden gem of a Sushi Restaurant. The establishment dishes up excellent sushi at a fraction of the cost you would normally expect.

Situated on Trafalgar Road the eatery won’t receive any awards for modern looks, but that’s all part of the charm.

The outside is pretty drab – however, this only adds to its hidden gem allure. You wouldn’t expect anything decent to be beyond the old and faded signage of the facade.

Sushi has seen its popularity sore recently with boutique restaurants opening up all over London.

One of the main reasons for this surge is claims that it’s a great food for your health, as well as tonnes of celebrities eating it.

In all honesty its actually pretty calorific and high in sugar due to the way the sushi rice is made, Sashimi is actually the healthiest as not too much is added!

However, i’m not attracted to the food for the health benefits, the main reason for my love of Sushi is the fact that it just tastes bloody good!

zaibatsu Greenvich from outside
zaibatsu Greenvich from outside

Step inside Zaibatsu Greenwich and you will see that the small restaurant has just enough room for one row of chairs and tables either side of the door.

You’ll be greeted as soon as you enter and then shown to your seats. As it’s so small its best to book in advance – most of the time they’ll probably be fully booked!

The seats are cheap plastic ones and the tables are a mix match of colors – it definitely reminds me of my time eating out in South East Asia.

If you want to drink alcohol with your meal Zaibatsu don’t actually serve it as they don’t have a licence (A reason their food is so cheap). However, they’re happy for you to bring your own alcohol and they’ll even uncork it for you, how nice.

inside zaibatsu sushi restaurant
inside zaibatsu sushi restaurant

The menu provides a huge selection of Japanese food; you have your standard rolls, Katsu curries, tempura, and sizzling dishes.

If you haven’t used chopsticks before the back of the menu provides pretty clear instructions on how to hold chopsticks and look like a boss.

Zaibatsu Greenwich menu chopsticks
Zaibatsu Greenwich menu chopsticks

Now here comes what you want the most – the food!

From where you’re sitting you can see the fridge where they store the fish and take it out for your order. You can order platters at Zaibatsu that are are very generous and good value for money.

The one below was the classic platter which was £14 and filled you up quickly!

zaibatsu sushi platter
zaibatsu sushi platter

On another visit I had 4 Salmon Nigiri (£5) as well as a huge Chicken Katsu Curry (£6.50) which I could hardly finish.

People are amazed at how much I eat sometimes and these two plates very nearly defeated me but tasted great!

The Katsu Curry was very filling! Within the curry there are potatoes in addition to the rice you already have, and the chicken is a very decent size.

The restaurant take great care in decorating each dish with a variety of vegetables, leaves, and cones.

My absolute favorite dish (out of the ones I’ve tried) is the Sizzling Salmon Teryaki (£8.50).

The plate comes out steaming hot to your table and the serving of salmon is always generous and slightly crispy on the outside. The vegetables taste great as well as the rice.

sizzling salmon teriyaki
Sizzling salmon teriyaki

There are plenty of other dishes on the menu at Zaibatsu Greenwich and you’ll struggle to decide what to have.

After you’ve eaten you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the total price of the meal.

You’ll probably also leave realising not all hidden gems appear shiny at first 😉

Written by Michael

3min read

13 Comments

There’s a general rule when it comes places to go and things to do in destinations:

If the locals like it then its bloody good and you’re going to have a unique experience.

Greenwich in South East London is no different and contains hidden gems that you wont find through your tour operators. This list contains a Sushi restaurant, a pub, a wine bar, a jazz cub an a planetarium! Variety is the spice of life 😉

Continue reading “Greenwich, London: The Top 5 Places The Locals Go.”

Written by Michael

3min read

27 Comments

Excuse me sir, no photos!

Alright Kanye, calm down.

I have to say, the start to my Sky Garden adventure was a rather annoying one; a very well dressed security guard jumping up in front of me to stop me taking a photo of the entrance lobby was not what I expected – I still got the photo though 😉

Continue reading “London Sky Garden Adventure.”

Written by Michael

5min read

34 Comments

So apparently London is going to fall apart since we’re now leaving the EU. Somehow, I think this glorious city is still going to be around for a while. So, why not pack a bag, hop on over to old Blighty and breathe in British traditions whilst being surrounded by this ever changing city.

Continue reading “Your London Travel Guide (From a Londoner!)”

Written by Michael

9min read

17 Comments

It can be pretty overwhelming coming to London and deciding what to do! There’s soooooo much! Well relax, take a chill pill, all is well; a Londoner has written down 40 things for you to do….
Continue reading “The Top 40 Things To Do In London.”

Written by Michael

3min read

6 Comments

So you’re thinking of visiting old blighty and taking a trip to London ay? Well here are a few places to hit up in the evenings that you might not of heard of but are sure to be a hit!
Street Feast – Various locations, East London.London+Union+-+Dinerama+-+Night+Time+Site+4+-+Credit+Johnny+StephensStreet feast has 4 venues across East London; Shoreditch, Canada Water, Lewisham and Dalston Junction.  They’re open from  March/April until late summer and contain some great independent pop up food and drink stalls. At the Market you can sample Indian, sea food, steak, Chinese, Mexican….the list goes on. All of this in a buzzing atmosphere with pool tables and beer pong!
 
Waxy O’connors – Just off Leicester Square.waxy-o-connor-s-pub (1)Enter this Irish pub just off Leicester Square and you will feel like you’ve been transported back into something out of Lord of The Rings. The decor in this place is simply magnificent; with amazing wood carvings, dozens of little hideaway rooms, enough staircases to rival Hogwarts and to top it off – a tree in the middle of it all! This is all accompanied by great live music and the unbeatable Irish charm.
 
Bounce – Holborn and Old Street.Booking Ping Pong 17th 1040x360If your into table tennis, good drinks and delicious bar food (lets be honest who isn’t!?) – then Bounce is the place for you! If you fancy a slightly different date or just want to have a hit and a beer with a few mates then you can pre book tables at a reasonable price! Be prepared to get some amazing rallies going – automatic win if you get it in your opponents glass 😉
 
Blues Kitchen – Shoreditch.The-Blues-Kitchen-Shoreditch-2.jpgWith a lovely rustic decor, live jazz music and one of the best atmospheres I’ve been in, Blue’s Kitchen is a place to visit! This bar has great blues acts playing into the early hours and a dance floor to show off your slick moves. The picture says it all – why wouldn’t you want to drink there?!
 
Flight club – Shoreditch.flight-club-london-4-optimisedSocial Darts is the name of this place. Darts boards to hire by the hour and set up kind of like a bowling alley. Don’t worry – you don’t have to deal with the tricky maths as there is an automatic score keeping system! A great place for a laugh on a night out, surrounded by nice rustic décor and the place isn’t too expensive either.