I went to visit my friend who lives about an hour away from London last weekend, so for a Saturday adventure we decided to head into the capital for the kicks. It was nice to actually travel to London without any official plans or itineraries planned months in advance as I’m used to it being a holiday destination, what with living on the other side of the country.
We decided to meander along Oxford St but took a few side streets to check out the quirkier side of the shopping central. I missed out on going to Tokyo Toys the last time I was in Landaaan so I made sure we popped in along the way. It was a much smaller shop than I had imagined, which is a shame considering how much I LOOOVE all things anime/gaming/asian culture in general. Nevertheless I spent like £50 on a SUPER COMFY Totoro fleece, a Totoro t-shirt and a Totoro phone case. Went a bit Ghibli mad. I’ve been meaning to get a new phone case for months now as I was stuck with one of those plain black ones that were the only choice right at the beginning so that’s my new favourite item at the moment!
On the way, I noticed a Nickelodeon shop too, which to my boyfriend and friend’s delight, I made them wander through with me among the mainly 10 year olds. It was pretty much just a spongebob and TMNT shop though with the softest PJ trousers I’ve ever felt (for £18 – too much after my £50 spree). A young woman (about my age) told me they’re her guilty pleasure and it’s totally ok for us ‘adults‘ to buy them. Not gonna take away the £18 price tag though is it! Oh and I also noticed a random Big Time Rush t-shirt, which I almost bought but realised that wearing it would make me look weird… Their fan base is mainly kids… At least Totoro has some form of adult fan base, right?
We stumbled across a really nice pub called The Duke of York off to the side that had a basement gaming room with monopoly and scrabble tables! We actually ended up just watching the rugby with pints of cider (proper somerset-ians) and let our feet rest. Was a surprisingly quaint little pub/bar for the middle of London!
We then thought it would be hilarious to take the mick out of all the overpriced ‘fashion’ in Selfridges and found a watch that was over £30,000 and a leather jacket for nearly £3000!! We also found this big puffy jacket with a really creepy hand reaching around the back of the jacket. So creepy. However the best item we found was a weird uncomfortable feeling long white apron thing covered with random scribbles and doodles for around £1500. It was essentially a school leavers shirt (cameo appearance of my Tokyo Toys goodies). Seriously. What is fashion. We kept giggling at everything stating ‘who would even wear this!?’ when we saw this asian guy with scraped up pig-tail hair stroll around wearing what can only be described as yeti boots, a leather cape and a fur scarf. He was also carrying an A4 sized leather wallet with furry tassles and had a skulking henchman following him around with a notepad who looked relatively normal. Must be studying the ways of fashion.
Watch out for weirdo back-rubbing mannequins as well by the way!
We then trekked through Mayfair, admiring all the super posh hotels, businesses and apartments on the way to the Hard Rock Cafe (fave restaurant chain of all time). However, by the time we got there it was peak dinner time and was told the waiting time was 1.5 hours. Ha, no. So we then subway-ed it all the way back to Leicester Square and dashed into the nearest place, which was Angus Steakhouse (why was there 5 restaurants of the same chain within a 1 mile radius?). The menu’s were 4 pages long and double sided, so it took AGES to decide what to eat. We eventually chose nachos to start and I had a caesar salad for main, which was pretty standard. It was actually a really nice meal and fairly good value for money in the end so no hard feelings about Hard Rock (that pun).
I then totalled up my street pass hits on my 3DS, which hit a whopping 17 wooo! So will be dragging myself back to playing street quest to battle my way through some more stages to rescue my mii! They’ve been trapped for years as I don’t find other people on street pass that often, coming from the countryside and all.
All in all, it was a really fun day and I would totally recommend visiting London without an agenda to anyone who can find the time as I think that you appreciate it a bit more for what it is. Still could never survive in that crowded environment though, too much of a hermit!
I felt really welcomed on the drive back to sunny Wales (funny joke right?) with a sky that looked like a giant red planet (not Mars though) was hurteling towards the Earth, ok maybe not so welcoming… But the familiarity of the Severn bridge made me feel like I was actually returning to a home, which was a really nice feeling.