Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Walking with dinosaurs and some yummilicious roast duck

Day 12 (Fri, 13 June 2014)

As our trip drew near to the end, we decided to take a more leisurely day by going to the Natural History Museum. Instead of taking the Tube, we chose to take the London red bus! It was an easy 18-minute ride, stopping right across from the museum entrance.

The Natural History Museum is housed in a beautiful, historic building. Entry is free and there was a line before the museum opened this Saturday morning.

The museum is famous for its dinosaur exhibits and when you enter the main central area, you immediately come face to face with the 32 m-long replica Diplodocus carnegii skeleton.

The dinosaurs exhibition features the skeletons and various fossil parts of different dinosaur types.

There's even an animatronic replica of a full scale T-Rex. As close to Jurassic Park as you can get!

In the mammals section, there's a model of a 25m-long blue whale.

Entering the core of the earth.

We'd spent more time at the museum than we intended but the kids really enjoyed it tremendously. Now for a spot of lunch! We took the Tube down to Covent Garden to visit Covent Garden market. Covent Garden market is quite a high end one, with fancy restaurants and shops.

This is where buskers gather to show off their tricks and skills. A levitating man:

A string quintet:

As we walked by this pub, a waiter handed us a 2-4-1 coupon, so we decided to eat here.

Burgers and pasta. Reasonably tasty fare at good prices!

A short walk away from Covent Garden is the Royal Opera House, home to the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet. The first ballet presented here was in 1734.

We caught sight of a harpist lugging her instrument to work. Talk about occupational hazard...

These are the number of ballet shoes the Royal Ballet dancers wear out in a week.

Upstairs at the foyer restaurant, there was a jazz band and lots of elderly couples dancing. It was like a scene out of the time of the Great Gatsby.

Since it was still early, we took the Tube down to Knightsbridge to take a look at Harrod's.

The famous food hall:

The toy floor has some very special Lego exhibits:

And of course, the Harrod's bear.

That evening, we were ready for some Chinese food! This would be the first time we had Chinese food on the trip, if you didn't count the unpalatable pseudo-Chinese we had in Paris. Following the recommendation of my friend Lilian, we went to Four Season's at Bayswater for their famous roast duck.

We ordered half a duck, kong pao chicken and stir-fried beef. The chicken was dismal - tasted nothing like kong pao sauce and the chicken slices were large and tough. The beef was tender and very tasty. But the star of the show was obviously the duck. Greasy and flavourful, the texture reminded me of the roast goose we had at Yat Lok in Hong Kong.

Two thumbs up!

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