Thursday, February 16, 2017


When I first met Scott, he had this theory about starving himself on long haul flights in order to avoid jet lag. According to him, if one consumes food or drink during a long flight, one experiences disrupted sleeping patterns upon arrival on the other side. I was unconvinced. I’ve always been a firm believer of the in-flight meal service, because being 40,000 ft in the air on an empty stomach makes me sick. Literally. (So does downing 3 glasses of Bloody Marys in the span of an hour, as I learnt during my solo flight home from Paris three years ago.)
Anyway, because Scott and I enjoy doing things everything together, he threw caution to the wind and abandoned his sound theory so that we could eat on the plane together. We decided to pre-order Indian vegetarian meals, even though neither of us are Indian nor vegetarian. We are just two people with a big love for Indian vegetarian food, ok? And we don't like waiting for our food. (Pro-tip: If you select a special meal in advance on Singapore Airlines, you get served your food before everyone else.) I ended up not eating the Indian vegetarian meal because I saw something else that sounded more interesting on the menu. Plot twist: it was not.

I was under the impression that Scott didn't eat much on flights because of his pre-existing notion, but outside of our meals we ate crisps and tuna sandwiches. And when they’d run out of crisps and tuna sandwiches, Scott asked the steward to "just bring whatever you have, please." The steward obliged our request and returned with an assortment of snacks – chocolates, peanuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit – laid out nicely on a tray for us to pick and choose according to our hearts' desires. "Thanks!" Scott said, as he swept ALL. OF. THE. SNACKS. off the tray and into his lap in one swift motion.

To be fair, what else is there to do but eat when you can't fall asleep on a long flight? Watch movies I guess, which we did. Together. By pressing our ‘play’ buttons simultaneously. We watched Captain Fantastic, which had me crying throughout the whole movie. It hit us close to home because the movie is basically everything Scott and I talk about when we talk about raising our five yet-to-be-conceived kids – homeschooled and breastfed till they are seven years old. Hahaha… Just kidding? (Not really.) It's a really good movie! 5 stars. Highly recommend.
We also watched Gone Girl, which was such a mindfuck to watch. The show unsettled both of us but it's got really good ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and apparently 'exposes the irrational side of our fear of coupledom,' according to The New Yorker. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to convince your boyfriend that you're not a psycho beyotch, watch this movie with him. The female protagonist will make you look like a darling in comparison. (Scott now thinks I'm sweet!) For the record, let it be known that Scott chose this movie.

Then we watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which was ok. Amazing cinematography! And made me feel like anything is possible. And like, why haven't I visited Iceland? Then we watched Big Hero 6, which was heartwarming. (This is the first time I’ve watched so many movies on a flight! I usually just sleep.)

OK. So. We arrived at The Queen's terminal at about 8 in the evening and then rode the Piccadilly line for three quarters of an hour into midtown London before jumping off at Holborn station, where it was cold and drizzling. Welcome to the U.K.!

Side note: I insisted that we took the train from home to the airport when we were leaving Singapore to prepare us for our London Underground journey with luggage. But nothing can prepare you for your London Underground journey with luggage. Except maybe 10 weeks of HIIT exercise.
Mr. Muscles

When we finally got to our hotel at Charterhouse Square, we were shivering, tired, hungry… and getting grumpy. Our initial plan was to dump our bags in the room and then head out for a wander in search of food, but my face basically said, “I NEED FOOD. AND I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK OUT INTO THE COLD, WET NIGHT. AND I NEED FOOD. NOW.” Is that too many words for a face to say?

Our hotel had a really nice bar/restaurant in the basement, so we had our dinner there. Scott had a hot tomato soup and a kidney pudding, which could kindly be described as "robust." Him being a gizzard/offal aficionado quite enjoyed. I ordered a burger, which I finished in three bites, and then fell asleep at the table.
Paint me like one of your French girls

True enough, I woke up at 4am the next day. (Is this punishment for eating the entire galley clean during our 14-hour flight?) Now comes the part where Scott’s version of the story differs from mine. He seems to think I woke him up. But what I actually did was flop around in bed for 10 minutes and then asked, merely rhetorically, “are you awake?” (Stay woke, people!!!!!)

Then we took a stroll through Lincoln's Inn Fields and Somerset House, past Scott’s old workplace and went to Covent Garden for breakfast. Scott brought me to Balthazar, where the interior of the restaurant makes you feel as though you’re on the set of a dated French film. The enchanting space was gorgeously enveloped in a warm, sepia glow; gigantic mirrors hung on nicotine stained walls and the floor was handsome mosaic tiling. The menu was familiar, offering the usual brunch suspects. Scott’s poached eggs sat on a generous portion of spinach (Eggs Florentine) and my pancakes were really fluffy. “The toilets here are also really nice. Smell my hands! ” Scott said when he returned to our table. His appreciation for and enthusiasm about nice toilets and complimentary hand lotion confirmed my suspicions that he is indeed my soulmate.

Then we met up with Scott’s friend Matt who gave us a comprehensive walking tour of central London: St. James Park, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, the Serpentine, Horse Guards Parade, Admiralty House, Birdcage Walk, Westminster Palace, Big Ben, London Eye, Embankment. Even better was the audio guide, packed with stories about the both of them window shopping for expensive furniture, speeding around roundabouts and narrowly escaping traffic police, and Matt’s latest business venture.

Matt (lad in the hat – not the bearskin) took us to Gordon’s Wine Bar for lunch. They have outside seating, which I imagine is lovely during summer. But being February, we chose to go down a quick flight of narrow stairs that led us into a dim basement. Matt beckoned us to follow him further into the cellar, where the ceiling was low and tables were lit with candles.

Then we crossed a bridge to the south bank and walked by the Royal Festival Hall, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, through Borough Market, past the Tower Bridge before stopping for tea at a charming little café. I cannot recall the name of the café, but I know it has a fancy gold tape dispenser that costs £200 sat by the cash register.

We had a 6 o’clock train to catch from Paddington station, so we parted ways with Matt and got on our way.

Please enjoy my 'Pink Powder Room' series taken at the Ritz

Part 0 – Packing

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