B’s Day Trip To Cambridge

I’ve recently decided that I have to explore UK as a country.  It sounds pretty obvious but somehow when you live in a place, you often take it for granted.  I had the opportunity to travel within UK while my sisters were visiting and the voice in my head basically screamed “THIS IS AS GOOD AS A EUROPEAN HOLIDAY – DON’T OVER LOOK IT’S BEAUTY”!  Yes – Cambridge was nothing less than beautiful.  It reminded me of a combination of Venice (primarily its canal like structure) and London (the British Architecture).  

We hopped on a direct train (45 mins) from Kings Cross Station and alighted at Cambridge.  It was pretty straight-forward as we didn’t get lost.  I’m quite directionally challenged otherwise!  I usually rely on my husband on holidays where directions are concerned.  However, we reached just fine…

My number one tip would be:

See Cambridge while punting!  You will be able to cover all the major sites of Cambridge in this 45 minute experience.  The punters are pretty good looking too 😉 HAHAHA!  But yeah friendly punters are a great bonus!

ImagePunting made me nostalgic.  I was reminiscent of Venice!!  Saying that – gondolas are definitely overpriced in comparison.  Just FYI – we should all buy little boats next time and take them to Venice.

Tip NO 2:  Take photos with King’s College (as it’s free to do so!) ok – so take photos with everything.  The architecture is simply immaculate.

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Go into Pembroke College if you want to see a college for free 🙂 The name seemed pretty apt with “broke” in it.

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Enjoyed Cambridge very much and would recommend it as a day trip for visitors in London 🙂

xx

B

B’s Been Busy – With Her Sisters!

My sisters just left London today (I’m missing them already btw..)! Had loads of fun- travelled around UK a bit and ate a bit. OK so no one would believe that – LOL! Yes, I completely pigged out. I think I’ve gained at least 2 KGS. I haven’t checked my weight yet as I’m horrified at the very thought!

A glimpse of our midnight snacking included left over scones topped with Nutella and hot custard:

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Hmmmmmm….

Well so my fat content has definitely exponentially increased.

X

Review: Tastecard + Tastecard App

One of my favourite perks about living in London is the affordable prices of eating out.  Eating out often is often seen as a luxury in many countries.  In Japan, Australia and Singapore – all the countries I’ve lived prior to my move here had a common thread.  Eating out in restaurants were expensive.  A night out with friends in an average restaurant would cost about 30 SGD per head.  If we take this value as a dollar-to-dollar value not accounting for difference in currency value, it is astoundingly high!

Eating out in London with the tastecard is very reasonable.  You can walk out a meal paying just 8-10 pounds per head.  The tastecard gives you either a 50% discount or a 2 for 1 deal in thousands of restaurants across UK.  This even works in Dublin, Scotland, Wales.  I’ve used it in all those countries.  It makes travelling across UK more affordable as your daily budget factors less money to food.

Tastecard has an app which makes finding restaurants near your radius simple.  Often we try new restaurants based solely upon the fact that there is a 50% discount.  That proves to be an incentive to try an unknown restaurant.  We have discovered many hidden gems this way.  I’ll be reviewing must-eat restaurants in London that are part of the taste card group!

This is the home screen of the app:

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It allows for easy reference to history, recent search and allows you to search.  I’ve recently searched for afternoon teas – as you can see!  I love good afternoon teas!

If you click on the search tab below, the screen would look like this:

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This allows users to make specific searches.  It helps me narrow down restaurants to the cuisine that I feel like eating 😉  (A girl needs what she needs!)

I strongly recommend this app to anyone who has tastecard.  And if you do not have tastecard and live in the UK – you should get an annual subscription now.  It’s usually 30 pounds (on offer).  One of the best inventions in UK!

Travel Thursdays: Dublin

B travels.

In Ireland do as the Irish do!  Wear a leprechaun hat, just because you want to.  Walk around in green the whole day because you want to celebrate St. Patricks Day but are just a few months late.  Just.. HAVE FUN!  That’s what we did!

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Just because I am a serious person who takes life far too seriously. 😉  HAHA! I actually try to adhere to the aphorism “Don’t take life too seriously, it’s not like we’re going to get out of it alive anyways.”  I’ve met some people who are far too gloomy and make the sunshine seem grey.  Really not my sort of thing! Try to put LIFE in LIFE and LIVE.  I did that in Dublin.  Walked around like a looney and had tons of fun! Ok, so many people assumed I was drunk. It happens when you try to be high on life.

Dublin is a bustling city with surrounding beautiful nature.  I was there on a family trip with cousins, aunts, and my husband.  It was a nice mix of company and ambience.

We stayed at Louis Fitzgerald Hotel (4 Star) and very reasonable priced from lastminute.com.  I would highly recommend it as the rooms very comfortable, there was free wifi and it was air-conditioned.  However, my cousins would disagree as they argued with the manager (long story).  So I won’t get into the technicalities of that as it had to do with noise control.  We were a tiny bit noisy. 😉

Places to see in Dublin:

  • Main city centre (very much like London actually)
  • Ha’penny Bridge over the Liffey River – beautiful for pictures.  There are many love padlocks here to symbolise undying love of a couple. You can put one too! Though I didn’t!
  • Trinity College – pretty college to stroll along.  It’s near the city centre so you can simply walk there.  We met a friend from that college to show us around.
  • Temple Bar- the bar that holds a Guinness World Record of 114 hours and 30 minutes of guitar playing.  You go DAVE!  Yes, so we went there to see this famous bar.  It was bustling.  I don’t drink but it was worth seeing the atmosphere.
  • Day tour from Dublin – I highly recommend to do one! You get to experience nature like never before.

We did the Connemara Day Tour.  We left the hotel really early as we had to be in the city centre at 6.30 am.  This is an early start, especially for someone like me.  I stress about waking up early.  All my university classes were always late as I simply could not do early mornings.  Therefore, if someone like me is highly recommending waking up early, it must be completely worth it.  The tour lasts 12 hours in which you pass through Galway to make your way to Connemara.  A boat tour is also included in the tour package of around 38 Euros per person.

This was the breath taking view of Connemara (the place where the romantic movie PS. I LOVE YOU was shot):

ImageIt resembled a beautiful postcard.  The photography-freak in me could not help but keep clicking pictures.  Some on our DSLR camera and some on my iPhone to whatsapp my family and friends who were missing out.  The view was really breath-taking.

We stopped in Galway and were free to roam around for an hour in the small town.  We grabbed something to eat and were back on the coach.

All in all, it was beautiful.  I even saw a beautiful sunset!  I love sunsets – there’s just something about the sun setting that gives me peace.  The beauty it exudes lights up the sky and then in a moment it’s dark.  Sunsets are mystical in my opinion.  There’s just something about them that I can’t describe as words do not seem to do justice to it.

ImageThis was taken on my iPhone and was edited with just one filter on Instagram.

Like any holiday, it becomes a memory that is etched in your heart.  The adventure that it entails is a story for one to always tell.

Dublin was a wonderful memory!

xx

B

Living in the UK Exam – there’s an APP!

Hello everyone! 🙂

I PASSED the exam! CELEBRATIONS are in place!  My husband picked me up from the centre and he got take away for lunch! How sweet of him.

I was in exuberance upon getting my result.  Ok, the actual exam was very tricky.  I was surprised that the first question left me dumbfounded. I was like huh? The Crimean War? What does that even have to do with Living in the UK.  Luckily, I remembered a bit here and there from the study guide.  I studied more on UK policies than the history.  Studying does pay off. I started off Uni in law school – that actually really helped me study smart and mind map concisely. All in all – I’m just so happy to get it out of the way.

Completely side tracking, but the examiner loved my nails. 🙂  Pretty nails are usually a conversation starter or just a simple ice-breaker.  🙂

YES.  So I passed.  The APP really did help.  I’d suggest anyone applying for a settlement VISA in UK to download the app.  It was 2 or 3 pounds – enough to make me pause and think.  Then I weighed out the opportunity cost and logically thought to myself that I just makes sense.  And it did.

There were about 7-10 exact questions, or very similar.  It’s a bit of a blur right now.  Somehow after an exam its always hard to recall EXACTLY what was asked.  Saying that, I know exactly what was not asked (nothing about the elections or the UK coalition party).  Which makes me wonder about the importance of the exam in the first place.

Furthermore, around 10 questions were completely new to me.  They weren’t in the trial mock exam database in the app and the remainders were just similar content but different wording.

Tips for people taking this exam in the future:

  1. I’d suggest to actually study.  Even if you feel nerdy doing so, do it.  It’s 50 pounds – don’t waste it.
  2. Download the app – do the mock exams repeatedly until you know the answer before reading the question.
  3. Make notes – trivial facts are actually asked.
  4. Be confident but not overconfident. Re-read the question.

Good luck to all.  Migrating often seems adventurous and fun to most.  Unfortunately there’s endless paperwork and issues regarding legality that need to be followed.  To top it off – an exam!