When thinking about the UK, one of the first things popping in my mind are pubs. They are literally on every corner here, at least that’s the case in London. You do not even have to be in the city centre to find an authentic pub. Honestly, I felt like they were everywhere. As I am not so into beer and drinking in general, it wasn’t really my priority to check out every single pub in London. However, as part of our “Food and Beverage” course, we had to analyse a pub in London and create a completely different concept to attract new customers, increase revenue and improve its image. Moreover, we had to make sure to keep an eye on competitors’ strategies. Therefore, my team and I went to the city centre of London, specifically to Leicester Square, to check out some of the pubs London has to offer.
We went to 6 pubs in total. We started at “The Salisbury” pub, which had an amazing, historical interior. Then we headed over to “Mr. Foggs”. The atmosphere was insane. We almost felt like we entered the world of Harry Potter. The other pubs were called “The Round Table”, “The Long Acre”, “The Bear and Staff” and “The Brewmaster”. All pubs were so unique and totally cool considering the atmosphere and interior. However, looking at the menu and service, they were all pretty similar. Overall, those pubs were all great! Otherwise, they wouldn’t even exist in the centre of London. Finally, we decided to choose our least favourite pub for our project, “The Brewmaster”, as we saw the biggest potential in creating a new concept.
Before heading back to campus, we stopped by Five Guys, a very popular Burger joint in the UK and I guess all over the world.
That was probably less interesting for you to hear. What I actually wanted to share with this blog post is another exciting day I spent in London. My friend and me went to Westminster Station by subway. Big Ben and Westminster Abby were both, and I think they still are, under construction. I am happy that I saw them once before. From Westminster Station you can easily walk to all the beautiful parks that London has to offer. There is St. James Park, The Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Park. We just walked a through St. James Park and The Green Park, as it was on the way to our breakfast/ brunch spot. It took actually quite a while, until we reached Bond Street. But I definitely enjoyed walking there, as I discovered some streets that I haven’t seen before.
The café we decided to go is called “Feya café”, a very instagrammable café I would say. The interior and the food looked so beautiful and cute. But it was definitely more on the expensive side. We ordered two special lattés, avocado toast and a smoothie bowl. We also had to try one of their delicious cakes. Overall, it was a really cool, delicious and girly breakfast.
Afterwards, we took the bus to Victoria and Albert Museum to meet two other friends. At school, we signed up for free tickets to the “Kyoto to Catwalk” exhibition. The whole exhibition was about Kimonos, the traditional Japanese clothing. I was just interested to go, because I lived and worked for 6 months in Kyoto, Japan. Moreover, I did wear a Kimono there. Therefore, it was really interesting to just see all different kinds of Kimonos, from traditional to modern. Besides the Kimono exhibition, the Victoria and Albert Museum has so many more art galleries and exhibitions. We looked at some jewellery, sculptures and paintings. Just walking through the building was super stunning.
Then, we decided to split up. Elle met another friend. Ilya and Michelle went to Harrods. And I headed to Piccadilly Circus, where I met some other friends. I still had some time; therefore, I decided to walk around and check out some other places. I took the subway from South Kensington back to Green Park. From there I walked straight to Buckingham Palace and watched the guards changing. Then, I walked to Oxford Street, where I checked out some stores. I also walked through Carnaby Street, a really cool place to be. I even discovered a little courtyard, where everyone was just sitting together eating, drinking and chatting. Such a cool atmosphere.
Afterwards, I made my way to China Town to buy some Asian groceries. There are always so any people around. Even street musicians are playing and funny disguised people, for instance looking like a panda, are walking around. A totally different atmosphere. And then finally, I headed to Piccadilly Circus, where I met my colleagues. As I never ate Chinese Hotpot before, my Chinese friends wanted to go with me to Haidilao, an extremely famous Hotpot place in London and even in China. I was so happy that they went with me, as I had no idea how it actually works. They ordered everything for me and showed me how to mix the dipping sauce, etc. It was really cool! We divided the pot in different parts with different soup bases. Therefore, you could decide the flavour and the spice level, in which you cook your meat, seafood, tofu, vegetables, noodles and co. We even had a life noodle show right in front of our table. It was so cool and so delicious!
To end the night, we went to “Coco” to get some bubble tea. It was quite a perfect day I have to say. And at that time, I didn’t know it would be the last time that we were able, allowed and brave enough to go together to the city centre. Then from that moment, pandemic life in London started.