Tag Archives: blog percutian london

Brick Lane, London

Brick Lane, London

October 2017

From the busy intersection of Regent & Oxford street, we took the tube from Oxford Circus to Aldgate East headed to Brick Lane for lunch in one of the many halal cafes.

Brick Lane is a well-known street in East London. It is the hub of London’s Bangladeshi community and is known to some as ‘Banglatown’. It is also famous for it’s authentic curry restaurants.

In the yesteryear’s, ‘Jack the Ripper’ is known to have operated on the side streets of Hanbury and Fournier Streets, off Brick Lane.

Brick Lane, London

A simple metal arch welcomes you to Brick Lane.

Brick Lane, London

The narrow street of Brick Lane only caters for one way traffic.

Brick Lane, London

A typical stretch of Brick Lane.

Brick Lane, London

A supermarket along Brick Lane. Note the license plate of the Range Rover.

Brick Lane, London

‘Banglatown’ cash & carry caters for the 30% of Brick Lane Bangladeshi community.

Brick Lane is world-renowned for its street arts. The side streets create an extensive gallery of eye-popping street art to explore. The area is alive with art.

Brick Lane, London

Street art in one of the back lane.

Brick Lane, London

An art work along ‘Fournier Street’.

Followings are street art captured along Hanbury Street where you’ll find plenty of them. These art aren’t permanent as it may be whitewashed and painted over with a new one. A work seen today may not be there when you come again. Thus what you see in Google streetview may not survive for your future planned visit.

Brick Lane, London

At the intersection of Brick Lane & Hanbury, a wall gets a new artwork over the old.

Brick Lane, London

Just beside the wall undergoing repainting above.

Brick Lane, London

A much photographed street art along ‘Hanbury Street’. Due to it’s large-scale and being off the ground, it has survived for a long time.

Brick Lane, London

Take a few steps backwards and another work (gorilla) comes into frame.

Brick Lane, London

Another work along Hanbury Street, across ‘Banglatown’ cash & carry.

Brick Lane, London

An art work at an entrance gate.

Brick Lane, London

Street art on the walls of ‘Banglatown’ cash & carry.

Brick Lane, London

To the right, another work on the walls of  ‘Banglatown’ cash & carry.

Brick Lane, London

Art on the shutters of a restaurant.

Brick Lane, London

Agreed, what the sign says.

Attractive colored door and windows along ‘Princelet Street’ heading towards Old Spitafields Market.

Brick Lane, London Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London

Several markets are in Brick Lane namely the ‘Old Spitafields Market’, ‘Boiler House Food Hall’, ‘Tea Rooms’, ‘Backyard Market’, ‘Sunday UpMarket’, and the ‘Vintage Market’. The best day to visit Brick Lane markets is on Sundays where there will be a large flea market with people hawking their second-hand wares selling everything from antiques, handmade clothing, accessories, jewellery, music, arts and crafts along with street food.

Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market built in 1876. It is one of the surviving Victorian Market Halls in London and you’ll find daily fashion and vintage stalls with restaurants and boutiques. Having had lunch, we just strolled around for a look-see before exiting.

Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane

One of the several entrances to Old Spitalfields Market.

Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane

The interior with plenty of cafes.

Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane

Modern facilities around.

The Brick Lane Jamme Masjid (Brick Lane Mosque) built in 1743, has functioned as a chapel, a church, a Synagogue and as a mosque since 1976. We took the opportunity to perform our midday prayers at the Brick Lane Mosque. The mosque is well maintained, with modern ablution facility and fully carpeted prayer hall.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

Brick Lane mosque from afar.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

Brick Lane Mosque right along Brick Lane.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

The modern ablution area.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

The main prayer hall.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

Fully carpeted prayer hall.

Regent Street, London

Brydges Place to Regent Street

October 2017

Visiting London 3 years in a row, we’ve covered many of the main attractions in our must visit list. This year, we’ll visit some of the attractions we’ve listed previous years but never got to see. First place on our list today is a visit north of Trafalgar Square, to Brydges Place an alley that is supposedly to be London’s narrowest.

An alley is a narrow lane, path, or passageway, often for pedestrian use, running behind or between buildings typically used as a rear access or service road. Brydges Place runs for 200 yards and connects St Martin’s Lane to Bedfordbury end-to-end and becomes a handy shortcut for those who know. Although it has been said that the narrowest part of the alley is 15″ apart, I can attest that it isn’t. The narrowest point is the entrance via St Martin’s Lane and one can comfortably walk through with inches to spare on each side.

Brydges Place, London

The entrance to ‘Brydges Place’ on Bedfordbury sandwiched between ‘The Marquis’ pub and ‘Thai Pot’ cafe.

Brydges Place, London

The street sign confirms.

Brydges Place, London

Looking towards the other end (St Martin’s Lane) 200 yards away.

Brydges Place, London

The narrowest alley is a public highway.

Brydges Place, London

Approaching the end looking towards St Martin’s Lane. Around this point, the stench of urine is present.

Brydges Place, London

The western entrance fronting St Martin’s Lane is sandwiched between the ‘Coliseum Theatre’ and ‘Notes’ coffee shop.

Trafalgar Sq Map

So where is Brydges Place ?

You’ll pass by ‘Harp’ pub if you approach Brydges Place via Bedfordbury.

Exiting Brydges Place at Coliseum theatre, turn left and walk a short distance to Trafalgar Square. As we were early, crowds were building outside the National Gallery waiting for it’s door to open. Across the Gallery is Trafalgar Square with Nelson’s Column at the far end and across the roundabout you’ll see Admiralty Arch and walking along the Mall, will take you to Buckingham Palace. To complement London’s narrowest alley, Britain’s smallest police station is at one end of Trafalgar Square. Read our earlier post to find where.

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery. Visitors waiting for the doors to open.

Trafalgar Square, London

Nelson’s Column rises above Trafalgar Square.

Admiralty Arch, London

Admiralty Arch across Trafalgar Square. The archway entrance to the Mall will lead to Buckingham Palace at the other end.

Trafalgar Square, London

Traffic congestion in-front of Trafalgar Square requiring ‘bobbies’ to control.

From Trafalgar Square we took a bus headed towards Regent Street. Passing Piccadilly Circus, we noticed the electronic advertising board was still out of commission for upgrading works. Piccadilly Circus whether night or day is busy with hives of activities.

Piccadilly Circus, London

Piccadilly Circus with the electronic advertising board still switched off for upgrades. It should be on by the time you read this.

Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London that connects Piccadilly Circus with Oxford Street. Regent street is packed full of shops and is more upscale than Oxford Street. It is one of the world’s most prestigious shopping and lifestyle destinations, home to more than 75 international flagship stores as well as British brands. Hamleys, the toy store and Liberty, the fashion brand, are two British examples. It is a busy place with an estimate of more than 70 million visitors coming to shop, relax and dine along Regent Street annually.

On the eve of the Wembley contest between the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins, Regent Street from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus becomes a traffic-free street for American football fans. It  hosts football festival, features interactive games, on-stage performances and appearances, merchandise and much more, hence the NFL buntings along Regent Street.

Regent Street, London

The NFL buntings up on Regents Street.

Regent Street, London

British & American flags along Regent Street.

Regent Street, London

High end shopping along Regent Street.

Regent Street, London

The intersection of Regent Street & Oxford Street. The stairs to Oxford Circus underground on the right. This is early October, no where near Christmas yet.

Right on Regent Street is Hamleys, established in 1760, is the oldest and largest toy store in the world. This flagship store is set over seven floors covering 54,000 square feet with more than 50,000 lines of toys including computer games, plush toys, gadgets, classic games and specialist collector areas on sale. Each floor caters for different categories of toy. Hamleys provides the ultimate play experience for children and took an hour of our adult time just browsing the store. It is considered one of London’s prominent tourist attractions, receiving around five million visitors a year.

hamleys, london

Hamleys, London. Credit: thesun.co.uk

Hamleys, London

Display in Hamleys.

Hamleys, London

Superhero figurines.

Hamleys, London

‘Hornby’ train set display.

Hamleys, London

Stacks of ‘Hot Wheels’ to choose from.

Hamleys, London

The Queen constructed of ‘Lego’.

Carnaby Street is a pedestrian shopping street located behind Hamleys. It is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers including large numbers of independent fashion boutiques catering more to the taste of youngsters. It’s a short 3 minute walk from Oxford Circus underground station. The 14 streets at Carnaby accommodate over 100 shops with 60 places to eat and drink. Carnaby was once famous for it’s history of the mod and hippie followers during the swinging 60s and became the epicenter of London’s counterculture scene.

Carnaby Street, London

Welcome to Carnaby Street.

Carnaby Street, London

Shopping street for hipsters.

Carnaby Street, London

Busy, busy Carnaby Street.

Off Regent Street, on Great Marlborough Street, is Liberty London. This is a beautiful Tudor building department store with wooden paneling inside. Liberty spreads over 5 floors selling luxury women’s, men’s and children’s attire, cosmetics, fragrances, jewellery, accessories, among others. Liberty is also particularly well-known for their floral and graphic prints. Prices at liberty are rather steep but did not dither my wife from acquiring 4 metres of fabric.

Liberty, London

Liberty, London. Credit:designbyccd.com

Liberty London

Entrance to Liberty.

Liberty London

Interior of Liberty.

Liberty London

The fabric corner.

Liberty London

Stacks of fabric to choose from.

Liberty London

Looking down to the ground floor.

Liberty London

Meticulous packing of spouse’s purchase.

Oxford Street to Shepherd’s Bush

October 2017

Start of our 2nd day in London, we are off to Primark at 499, Oxford Street. What’s peculiar is Primark opens for business as early as 8.00 a.m. We’re not shopaholic to come early but to beat the maddening crowd during the later hours as what we had experienced the previous years.

Nice to note Primark has a return or refund policy within 28 days of purchase. The return or refund can be made from any of their branches. This means, purchase made in Edinburgh can be returned or refunded in London. Foreigners who are entitled for VAT refund, bundle all your purchase receipts and get it done from any of Primark’s branches irrespective of which branch the purchase has been made.

Primark, Oxford street.

Primark at the ever ‘busy’ Oxford Street at 8 a.m. Try photographing this location at 4.00 p.m.

Once shopping done, we took a bus in-front of Primark and headed to Italian Water Gardens located within Kensington Gardens. We got off at the bus stop on Bayswater Road opposite Lancaster Gate tube station. One of the entrance gates into the garden, is just by the bus stop. Unlike Hyde Park, the Italian Water Gardens is gated and opens at 6.00 a.m. and closes at varying times according to the season.

Italian Water Gardens, Kensington Garden

Entrance into Italian Water Gardens via Bayswater Road. The Lancaster Gate tube station is directly opposite.

Kensington Gardens

Park map of Kensington Gardens.

The Kensington Gardens where the Italian Water Gardens is located, was part of Kensington Palace in the past. It was built 150 years ago as a gift to Queen Victoria from Prince Albert. The park covers an area of 270 acres and is located to the west of Hyde Park. The main attraction is the fountains and its quiet surrounding even though Bayswater Road is a stone’s throw away. From here, we can see from a distance, the Speke Monument.

Italian Water Garden, Kensington Garden

The Italian Water Gardens with it’s fountains running.

Italian Water Garden, Kensington Garden

The fountain pump house and In the background, the ‘Royal Lancaster London Hotel’.

Italian Water Garden, Kensington Garden

The white marble Tazza Fountain.

Italian Water Garden, Kensington Garden

The pump house viewed from across the garden.

Italian Water Garden, Kensington Garden

Autumn leaves evident at Kensington Gardens.

Italian Water Garden, Kensington Garden

Speke Monument in the distance.

Back on the bus heading towards Shepherd’s Bush, we got off at Notting Hill Gate (stop N, about 4 stops away) just before the tube station. Walk ahead and turn left for Kensington Church street. About 80 metres to your right across the road, you’ll find ‘The Churchill Arms’. The whole building is almost entirely covered with colourful flowers, even in Autumn. This is a favorite photo spot not to be missed.

The Churchill Arms

A London bus passing by ‘The Churchill Arms’.

The Churchill Arms

Entrance fronting Kensington Church street.

The Churchill Arms

Closer view of the entrance.

The Churchill Arms

Blooming flowers in Autumn. It would be a riot of bright colours in spring. This entrance is fronting Campden Street.

The Churchill Arms

The dual frontage at the junction of Kensington Church street and Campden street.

The Churchill Arms

Winston Churchill intensely looking at you.

Back again on the bus, we headed to Shepherd’s Bush getting off at Shepherd’s Bush Road bus stop ‘J’ on Goldhawk Road. Along this road, there are tons of textile stores if you are looking for fabric. A little further up is Goldhawk Road tube station and across the road is Shepherd’s Bush market. We’ve been here in 2016 and as written in our previous post, it’s just an everyday market. If you are short of time, you would not miss much if this market is not in your itinerary. Our main intention getting here is to have lunch at one of the restaurants at the other end of the market besides Shepherd’s Bush market tube station and to perform our midday prayers at a nearby mosque.

Shepherd's Bush market

Welcome to Shepherd’s Bush market.

Shepherd's Bush market

Begs & children clothings.

Shepherd's Bush market

Pillows & kitchen utensils.

Shepherd's Bush market

Purses, begs, luggages & in between.

Shepherd's Bush market

Varieties of souvenirs.

Shepherd's Bush market

London begs @ £1.50 each.

Shepherd's Bush market

Cheap fridge magnets @ £1 each.

After lunch, it’s a 300 metres walk from the other end of the market to Shepherd’s Bush mosque. The mosque is located in between shop lots at . The female prayer hall is upstairs whilst the male downstairs. There was a big congregation for the midday ‘Zohor’ prayers full to the brim at the male prayer hall.

Shepherd's Bush mosque

Main entrance into Shepherd’s Bush mosque.

Shepherd's Bush mosque

Women prayer hall upstairs.

Shepherd's Bush mosque

Male prayer hall. Main entrance at the far end.

Shepherd's Bush mosque

Male prayer hall.

After prayers it’s back on the bus heading to Westfield London, a huge shopping mall close to Shepherd’s Bush tube station. Don’t be confused with Shepherd’s Bush Market tube station which is ½ mile away. At Westfield, you’ll find all the big brand names. Westfield is where most Londoners shop, not at Oxford Street where it’s flooded with tourist. Although you can find big brand names along Regent’s Street, Westfield offers the convenience of everything under one roof.

Westfield, Shepherd's Bush

Westfield London located close-by Shepherd’s Bush tube station & bus stop.

Westfield, London

Westfield London shopping mall.

Westfield, London

Overview of a section of Westfield.

Westfield, London

A favorite store for the youngsters.

Westfield, London

A small section inside Debenhams with items on sale brought in the crowds.

Westfield, London

For the sports addicts, Sports Direct.

Westfield, London

Multi floors House of Fraser.

Pelangi!, Westfield, London

.Penang!, a halal Malaysian restaurant outside Westfield opposite House of Fraser.

Places visited plotted on Google map.