A little bit of insight to London; art, bars, cafes, clubs, restaurants, and other things to do in this wonderful multicultural city.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


When I was young and I lived in Chelsea I used to go to the Victoria and Albert museum very often. I pretty much have the permanent collection memorized. I really like some of the Asian and African works they have.  In September I went to the V&A to see a collection of British ballgowns. Walking towards that section of the museum I saw this statue. I really liked the draping on the dress, and the light was hitting the statue really softly. I've seen a lot of classical art pieces throughout my life and I think this was one of the few times I really appreciated it. 
The patio in the V&A is really beautiful and their food selection makes you want to stay outside even more to enjoy your day. The architecture of the building is incredible. These arches are really breathtaking, and the different sized arches really attract your eye to the positive and negative space. On the exterior of the building on Exhibition Road there is a wall that has dents from fire arms during WW2. I find these kind of things really fascinating because it tells the story, and it holds a part of history that you can see and physically touch. I often find it hard to stop and think about these kinds of things, but on rare occasions you're presented with the story and you can't look away. 
Overall, as a museum I recommend the V&A, but if you're planning to go there expect to be there for at least half a day because you don't want to rush your browsing and you're likely to spend at least 40 minutes in the museum shop alone. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Yesterday I went to a late lunch in Soho, we ended up walking for so long that we got to Dean Street. I know of two Sichuanese restaurants on that street, but my friend didn't feel like Chinese food. So we went to an Italian place called "&Pasta". You get to choose from a variety of sauces and different pasta and make the combo you like. The cheapest dish of pasta is about 5 pounds, and the most expensive is around 9 pounds.
I had fish filled ravioli with tomato and basil sauce and I loved it. I would have liked to have parmesan cheese on it but you're not supposed to eat cheese with fish in the Italian culture. As an Italian I felt like I shouldn't ask for cheese with a fish dish. Its almost as bad as when people cut their Spaghetti, if you're a foreigner its somewhat acceptable, but if you're Italian its practically a sin to cut your pasta. 
Overall, the "fast food" restaurant was really good, especially since it is prepared in a fast food style. They also have a huge variation of Focaccia available which makes me want to go back even more. And you can eat there in a hurry or you can take your time. They do all their dishes to go as well as serving them to you seated. They allow you to pay after you've eaten your meal if you choose to eat there. I don't know how full it gets when its busy but it was really nice being there while it was quiet. If you want to go somewhere nice, with good food, but cheap its a place to go.

Here's an animation of the book "The Geometry of Pasta": http://www.geometryofpasta.co.uk/animation.php

Monday, 4 February 2013

Funky Buddha, Mayfair

In Mayfair, there is a club called "Funky Buddha" which is well known for celebs and expensive drinks. The entrance to the club looks cheap, but there are several security guards to check your id, and the contents of your hand bags. Once inside you get a stamp on the inside of your wrist. If you're a girl you get free entry until 11pm. After 11 entry is 20 pounds, which I find really expensive. The queue to the cloakroom is generally quite fast, and the cloakroom lady doesn't mind if your bag doesn't close with your jacket in it unlike some other places. I've often been charged double because my handbag didn't close. 
My flatmate Emily and I went to Funky Buddha because we know a guy that does promotion for the club, so we got to go there for free and we were at a table with a free bottle of Grey Goose Vodka.
I'm the one in the white and blue dress. The girl on the left of me is my flatmate Emily. We're really close, we live together, go out together, and pretty much can't not talk to each other for 24 hours. We're going to be living together next year. The other girls in the photo are semester abroad students from NYU that we met at Funky Buddha, they are really friendly, and I think they'll be coming out with us tonight.
The shot girls and guys at Funky Buddha carry around these "smoking shots" trays. Its really cool. Next time I might treat myself to one.
Emily and I tried taking a picture together about 50 times, this is the best one. Overall, I had a good night at Funky Buddha, but I think next time I'll need to pace my drinking.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

From Notting Hill

 Today I went to Portobello market, its between Notting Hill Gate and Ladbroke Grove stations. I was really sunny, but the wind was super chilly, so I didn't spend much time at any stands. All I bought was food because I didn't want to stand in the cold for too long. In general its really crowded with tourists. They often stop to take pictures, and to look for someone from their group so if you can't handle crowds I don't advise you to go. 
There are so many cute little stands, such as this one. This stand has teacups, teapots, and all other types of dishes. Every cup has a different design. I was so tempted to buy this set of blue teacups, but I would never use them. The shop behind is really cute as well, its called "Alice's" and it has a lot of different home accessories. They have some really unique coasters; some have cheesy prints and others have funny quotes about the UK.  
This one stand we went to had so many interesting carpets, and I'm thinking about getting one of these pillows next year for my new room.
Overall I think the general area near Portobello Market is really nice and fun, and so many shops have interesting antiques. I also go there to see the different styles of houses, because living in East London I rarely see cute individual homes. I'm used to seeing tall buildings with flats. Walking down some of the streets in Notting Hill give you the impression of being in a fairy tale, and its often hard to believe that such perfect houses can be found in such a big city. I'm such a sucker for romantic detailing like the windows above. My dream house would have windows like that, maybe without the metal railings. 

The Background Story

I recently moved to London in September 2012. It was always a dream to come back. When I was young, in the spring of 1999, my family and I moved to a flat in Chelsea. In 2004, we moved to Luxembourg, leaving London. I grew up with the thought that I belonged here more than any other place in the world. London has this nature, it accepts everyone from anywhere. I often freeze and find it difficult to explain where I'm from. I've learned to briefly say I'm Italian and leave it at that if I don't want to make conversation. If I opt for talking to someone for longer then I explain the whole story. I'm Diana, I was born in Hong Kong when it was still British, my sister however was born after it became Chinese again. I lived in London, then moved to Luxembourg, but both my parents are Italian, and I only hold an Italian passport. I speak English, Italian, French and my German is rusty. I chose to come back to London for university. I attend London Metropolitan University and I study Events Management. I often feel as though my university isn't that good, but it was the only "good" university in London with that course, and I knew that Events was what I wanted to study. I currently live at "the Curve" between Aldgate East and Whitechapel. I love it because I started getting to know a different part of London than the London I saw when I was a kid. Hopefully this blog will be about all the new experiences that I'll gain from living in London. I may recommend a place more than once, or talk about certain people frequently, but that's only because there are somethings in life that should be a little more routine, unlike my university schedule. Back to the point, the image above shows a section of my room in my dorms here in London, its just a quick snapshot to give you a general idea of what surrounds me. I want to post more photos in the future, but I can't promise I will because my camera is a bit annoying to carry around.

Friday, 1 February 2013

starting out...

I'm  starting this blogging thing in a serious way. I want to write down thoughts, ideas, comments, and share part of my life with the internet. I'm not gonna promise anything but let see how this goes. I'm hoping for the best!