Archive for October, 2014

UK Trip: Oxford

And now we’re in Oxford!

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I know I say I love every city I went to, but Oxford was one that lived up to every storybook fantasy I had of gorgeously old architecture and utter British-ness (my childhood books were pretty idealistic, admittedly). Of course I couldn’t cover the entire city, but every area I passed was almost straight out of a postcard whether it was the centre of town or the quiet streets of houses.

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The first stop was the Oxford University Press (we had to fulfil the educational part of our trip). There was a little museum inside that chronicled the history of print at Oxford; the collection of old books and tools were a pretty interesting exhibition to walk around.

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Like this big Bible and mini Bible! I wish I could’ve leafed through the pages (and thumbed through the little one) but they were all kept in glass. For obvious reasons, I know, but stillgirl

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And then I had a go at this printing press, which was a lot heavier than expected (but made for a good photo op). The museum guide showed me how to do it without losing my fingerskira kiraSpeaking of the guide, he had the most perfect, deep, gravelly voice that was straight out of a film trailer…just had to throw that in.

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Following the museum visit was a little shopping time on Cornmarket Street and the area around it. I was in an extra touristy mood that day and determined not to leave Oxford without getting a college T-shirt or sweater, so popped into one of the souvenir shops to get one. The hoodies were hugely tempting—I was already en route to the till until I suddenly reflected on the rationale of bringing a thick wool-lined jacket back to my fever-hot country.

I got a T-shirt in the end.

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In my quest for a souvenir to impersonate an elite college student at home, I sacrificed my eating time and had another sandwich for dinner. This was one from Pret A Manger, which I completely adore and wish I could import back herehappy girl

As for breakfast the next morning…

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Really. Of all places.

To be fair, the meeting point of our walking tour of the city was outside McDonald’s on Cornmarket Street, so it was convenient to bundle everyone there for an early breakfast and make sure we were on time.

Still I generally avoid fast food, and I don’t like meat much (except for fish). I was hoping for at least a little saving grace in the form of a fish fillet—but everyone got a McMuffin so I took out the entire patty and ate the rest. I’m sorry, meatcryBut anyway, it was still a decent breakfast because I like English muffins (sans patty).

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After breakfast we went on our walking trail! It was honestly one of my favourite parts of the entire ten-day trip. This is where I discreetly sing praise of my own selfless love for Oxford…because it rained for the entire two hours we walked and I’d forgotten to pack an umbrella and jacket. But I still loved it.

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Our guide for the day (who was handsome, eloquent and every bit the quintessential Oxford graduate) led us around the vast campuses and told endless stories about the college traditions and history. It was a bit like walking around with C.S. Lewis.

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Speaking of C.S. Lewis, we saw the lamp post that inspired him to write the Chronicles of Narnia, and the places he spent time at in Oxford. I may as well have been in Narnia.

We also took a walk past Christ Church College, the home of Alice in Wonderland. I would’ve taken lots, lots more pictures but each time I took my camera out my fingers got one step closer to frostbite. Once the tour was over I ran straight to Starbucks for a desperately needed hot chocolateargh bear

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Despite the rain and wet sweater and freezing wind, I had a glorious time at Oxford seeing all the grand places and hearing the stories that came from behind the walls. The tour guide did a great job keeping us all interestedneko

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We said goodbye to Oxford, and went for a side trip to Bicester VillagesmileIt’s an outlet mall with little houses of designer brands, of which most were too fancy for me to buy. Even the bathrooms came with luxury hand cream.

I didn’t mind not shopping because it was fun just to walk around the villagehappy

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But there was a Cath Kidston store packed with all its girly floral goodness, so I bought an apron and kitchen mitten back for my mom! They’re matching with a pink strawberry pattern, which my mom likes a lotnekoThe only thing is she still hasn’t quite gotten round to using yet; it’s become more of an ornament that she displays on our dining table.

Snapshots in Oxford

Some quick pictures of my time in OxfordcameraCaptioned (from left to right) Finally found that red phone booth of tourists’ dreams, Most valuable lamp post in the world, and My name has just been Starbucks-ed.

Next post: London!

Tiny Me

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UK Trip: Leeds

Good morning!

I ended up posting only on a Tuesday because the last two nights I was up working on school things. New school semester blues, something like that.

After Manchester, the next stop on our trip was Leeds!

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If I have to describe UK with one word only, it would be charming. It’s not just an easy description for convenience’s sake either; there’s a real beauty in each different city that leaves different impressions in me.

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My favourite part of Leeds was walking around in town! I loved this cosy place with its pretty streets sprawling across the city, and an easygoing vibe that made me feel right at home.

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We had free time to find our lunch, and we weren’t picky about it so decided to just wander around and see what we could find. One of my favourite parts about the trip was exploring different places to eat. You didn’t have to think hard about it because everything was unfamiliar and fascinating and you just wanted to try something newhappy girl(Though obviously I passed on Asian food)

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Eventually we found this snug alley with lots of flowers and a little pub tucked inside, and ventured in (out of both curiosity and concern for our rapidly disappearing time). It was called The Ship, and was a warm, cheery pub with a very nice owner who went about chatting here and there about the food and calling us loves. I would move in if I could.

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I had veggie pie with peas and chips on the sidegirlBefore that I had a good browse; I liked looking at all the classic English pub food that I’d always read about in my books.

After lunch we headed to the University of Leeds for a tour! The place was so gorgeous I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking. Or serenading, like cherubs playing seraphic music on a cloud above while you walk and wonder how a university can look like a postcard from every possible angle.

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We got to meet the students there who spoke to us about life at Leeds, which was great but just made me really wistful. I think I’m just too impressed because my school doesn’t have a palatial campus with grand buildings or cobbled streets or a supermarket.

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Dinner in Leeds was the yummiest risotto at Bella ItaliaheartWe sat there for a good hour or so in the middle of the chatty dinner atmosphere, and also met a waitress with the prettiest pastel purple hair.

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The next morning we got up early to get ready for the day’s programme, and snuck in some photo time in the alleyway at the back of our hotel. After that it was time for a proper city tour of Leeds! The walking trail started at Leeds University, and brought us around the streets and buildings until we ended up at the Leeds Kirkgate Market.

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There is nothing easier to win me over than a quaint market packed with all sorts of colours and interesting smells. There’s so much character in every corner I’d need the whole morning to drift from stall to stall. (Not just being an overly impressed tourist either, I have a huge love for places like these)

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The covered market had lots of food stalls which I adored, but didn’t get to eat because there wasn’t much time to buy anything. A pity, because I really liked the look of the sweets and crepes and snacks I passedneko

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Look at this massive golden mountain of cashew nutslove rabbitI am a big fan of cashews and would eat them by the dozens if it were healthy to do so.

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That was our last stop at Leeds! We said goodbye to this sweet city and boarded the bus to our next destination—Oxford bound for the next few hourskira kira

Again there was only a quick stop for lunch, so I got a sandwich from Waitrose. I’d never get sick of sandwiches easily; I love eating bread, and it’s even better in UK when the sandwiches come in such fun and attractive packaginglove girlTake me shopping at Sainsbury’s or Tesco anytime!

UK Trip: Manchester

Hello!

I didn’t manage to post last week at all—sorry if Slice of Apple Cake went a bit stale. I disappeared because I was away in the UK! I’ve just come back from a school trip, and I had a really good ten days eating good food and pounding down the streets of England in the chilly weather.

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The route was like this: London Heathrow Airport → Manchester → Leeds → Oxford → London. We spent a day each in the first three cities, and then the remaining six days in London.

The first blog post will be about Manchester!

Our flight left at about 1am, so I was sleepy and completely buzzing at the same time. And then on the plane they served us dinner at two in the morning, which made it even weirder. But it was a good suppergoodI didn’t sleep much during the 12-hour flight, so I watched a lot of movies instead (at least I saved some good money on cinema tickets).

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As soon as we landed in Heathrow we had to catch a train to Manchester! Since it was too much of a hurry for a proper lunch, I got an almond croissant from a pastry shop at the station. It tasted like a dreamlove rabbit

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You need to see the soft doughy inside so be my guest and have another picture. I would really much rather let you eat the real thing but it’s 7,000 miles away.

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I can’t remember the last time I ate a croissant (that wasn’t out of a plastic box on the shelf either); this was fresh and flaky and pillowy soft and completely deserved the honour of being my first gastronomic affair in the UK.

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After spending three hours on the train—we played games and saw lots of cows and sheep—we arrived in Manchester! The sky had gone a bit gloomy, but at least it didn’t rain (yet). The first stop was Old Trafford Stadiumkirakira

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I’m not a Manchester United fan or even much of a soccer follower, but my dad is a huge fan so there must at least be a trace of it in my blood or something because I felt oddly excited when I went in (and not just because I visited the players’ dressing room).

I was genuinely interested in the trivia and history of the club, so I had a nice stroll in the museum and bought my dad a Manchester United mug with his name on it later on in the gift shopneko

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It was a good tour of Manchester United’s home stadium!

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After that was dinner; the first day’s meal was provided for us so all fifty-odd students packed into Nando’s and ate chicken and chips. I’m not much of a chicken eater, but the chips were really good.

The next morning we were still in Manchester!

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Breakfast was provided by the hotel we stayed in, and it was a little buffet-style English breakfast menu. It was an indulgence to get to eat so much in the morninglove girlGranola is one of my favourites so I had it almost every day, sometimes with scrambled eggs or a croissant and jam. Yum.

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We went to the National Media Museum, where we looked at retro arcade games and played around with the film equipment on exhibition (being media nerds students and all).

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While waiting at the gift shop I saw this shelf full of sweetssmileI always think traditional English sweets are adorable, so I bought quite a bit during this trip. The packaging alone is enough to make me sweep them off the shelf; they make great gifts.

That was the end of our Manchester stay! Apart from the Old Trafford and museum visit, we didn’t really do much (Nando’s is hardly a tourist attraction) and the city was kind of sleepy when I was there, but still nice and peaceful. The houses and streets were pretty, and that alone’s enough for mesmile

Next stop: Leeds!

Manchester Snapshots


Welcome ♡

▷ . Cheryl

I'm a university student in Tokyo blogging every weekend about cute food and cute places in Japan٩( ᐛ )و

Read my About Me ☆ to know more.

はじめまして!
大学一年生のシェリルです
毎週日本の可愛い食べ物や場所についてブログ更新していますヽ(´_`) /♪

よろしくお願いします

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