Getting Owned By London in 24 hours

The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world. -Oscar Wilde

“I have the most genius idea ever.”


“You know how we planned on checking out the London Eye this afternoon? Let’s go first thing in the morning. Apparently, you can see London in its entirety from up there! We might be able to cross off a few sights while up there. We’ll also beat all the crowds.”

This was the start of multiple errors which kicked off the time my friend and I spent in London.


“Isn’t this a nice view?”

“Sure! I feel like I’m exhaling from a massive cigarette.”

The receptionist at the hotel warned us against going to the London Eye early in the morning. Sure, the crowds would be less, however, there was a great chance that it would be overcast. It would also be much more difficult to see sights further in the distance. 

We took a chance and went.

Don’t let the photos deceive you- I couldn’t see a single thing. In fact, I probably had a better chance of seeing Mt.Fuji. 

London Eye-

Oh well, went back the next day and took a photo in FRONT of it.

….and closed my eyes. 

London Trip-


“Man, we are on NEIGHBOURS. Your country’s favorite Aussie tv-show!”

That was the final excuse we used to get a photo with them. It was also the final excuse which failed miserably.

After our failed attempt at using the London Eye as a map, we DID stumble our way (after asking a plethora of people) to Buckingham Palace. We probably didn’t need to ask, but rather follow the hoards of tourists…and the lovely smell of horses.

Sorry, ROYAL horses.

We spotted the guards standing by the gates, with several walking around in pairs. We thought it was a little odd that no one else was around taking photos with them, but we also knew we were both a little random.


The guards didn’t say anything to us, and we tried everything to get their attention. Eventually, some other guards came up and started telling us off. This was when we tried using excuses to get a photo with them. From walking all the way from Ireland to get here (Luke), saying we were Australian refugees (Luke) and even telling them we were royalty (Luke, again).

We ran away, our stomachs rumbling, and no photo with a guard.

Too bad, they were probably focused on that night’s synchronized swimming practice.

Picture Source


“We need to get fish and chips. That’s the quintessential British food.”

“How about we just ask a local? There’s probably something more ‘British’ than that!”

I used to think I was good at reading accents. Clearly, I was not. We spotted a couple who looked like they were in their mid-twenties. We randomly stopped them and asked where they’d recommend some amazing British food.

“Oh, you guys NEED to go to Itsu! It’s just down the road.”

“Is it British?”

“Oh yes! The best I’ve ever eaten!”

We thanked them and walked off in the direction towards Itsu. While Luke was excited with this endeavor, something about the name ‘Itsu’ made me feel a little reserved.

Turns out, my reservations were correct.

Enjoy my very British (CHAIN) lunch- 

Itsu London-
Picture Source


“You failed with lunch. You will NOT fail with dessert. I want a true British dessert. You keep your mouth shut.”

We’d just left Itsu and I’d convinced Luke not to also stay to enjoy the very British ‘Green Tea Frozen yogurt.’ I was set upon finding a true British dessert, so asked a few people first before settling upon our next culinary delight. 

“Hi, would you know where we’d be able to get some classic British desserts?”

Person 1- “Harrods food court- They have the creme de la crumb.”

Person 2- “Hands down, Harrods. You can’t get any more British than that!”

Person 3- “Downstairs at the store, Harrods. Your eyes will drop at their amazing variety- Your sweet teeth would thank you!”

I’m not sure if these three people mistook me for looking like a wealthy Aladdin, or mistook my $10 scarf I bought in a French stall as a poor Burberry copycat. I’m not sure if my accent made them think I was rolling in the gold, or if my battered black wallet was considered couture. 

My eyes DID drop at the Harrods food court. 

They DID have classic British desserts.

…You probably had to be a prince or a shah to enjoy ONE of them. 


We went to a frozen yogurt place nearby (Snog), and drowned our sorrows in sugar-laden, non-dairy, non-fat disappointment.

I ate it with my pinky raised…and a scowl.



“Dude, TOPSHOP. We could buy all these clothes you can’t get in Australia and wear them out at the clubs.”

In Melbourne during my ‘peak clubbing period’ (to this day, I still try to erase it from my memory), most guys followed a certain dress code- Classy shoes, skinny jeans, and a fluoro t-shirt.

And if you were like me, lion inspired hair.


Topshop had been high on our list, as we planned to stock up on well-priced t-shirts, jeans, and other necessities. After being blown away by both the prices and the ranges, we started piling up things to try on and buy. I spotted these awesome ripped jeans, but they didn’t have my size. I asked the sales assistant who checked out back, but advised me that they had sold out.


Until I spotted them on a mannequin. 

“That tourist is fondling the mannequin!”

“NOooooo. I want those jeans- they are my size.”

“Your hand was down his crotch.”

“I was unzipping them. UNZIPPING them! You guys glued them on the mannequin”

“I think you guys have had enough in here.”

Thankfully, neither of us had burnt our fluoro goodies yet. 


 We were exhausted from our first day and nothing sounded better than buying some cheap, beer battered fish, chips, and calamari, and headed back to our hotel to eat.

Fish and Chips- London-

After full tummies, we got a second wind and decided to hit a popular bar down in Soho- Bar Rumba.

Just our luck.

It looked like the entire menswear team from Topshop were there too. 

Thank you, London. You owned us within 24 hours.

Bottoms up and here’s to day 2. 

Have you ever been to London before? 

Ever undressed a mannequin (for the right reasons!)?

The Big Man’s World ® Arman Liew owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes, pictures and content to be reproduced anywhere other than this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed this recipe and would like to publish it on your own website, please re-write it, in your own words and link back to my site and recipe page. Copying and/or pasting full recipes and pictures to social media or personal blogs is strictly prohibited. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Travel + Lifestyle Uncategorized



29 thoughts on “Getting Owned By London in 24 hours

  1. From the title alone I knew this was going to be a good read!

    The food endeavours sound all too familiar. I think it took us several weeks before we stopped ending up at familiar chain restaurants or with a sandwich from the nearest Pret when we got hungry. Yet I wasn’t really as easy going as I am now at that time.

    I feel I should add: Never listen to the super broke guy. My room mate told me that if he wants to take a girl on a fancy date he’ll take her to Nando’s! I needed a few weeks to try it out because I thought it’s a super posh restaurant ;-P

  2. Hahaha! I have totally undressed a mannequin before…a female mannequin. (I was helping Laura shop for sweaters, darn it!!) This is a fun post to read. I haven’t been to London in years, and it’s been on our list of places to go back sometime soon. But I will definitely not be going to the Eye early in the morning now. Thanks for clearing that one up!

  3. OMG today has been ridiculously blah, so thank you for the smiles 🙂 And yes to taking clothes off the mannequin. They always put the one smallest size on the mannequins (even though the mannequins are too small for even those), so I’ve done it a million times. It’s embarrassing every time.

  4. Why are you so white girl!? Eating sushi and froyo in London. I am appalled.
    But seriously, those fish and chips. This was very entertaining to read. We definitely took photos with the Palace guards when we were there. Maybe it’s an Asian thing?? People have selfie sticks these days too (*cough* my mom).

  5. Ah London, I miss you!
    Yeah never ever ask a Brit for food recomendations, as a generalisation, we don’t know good food if it hut us in the face. Hence why I moved! 🙂
    Actually Itsu is one of the good ones!

  6. Haha I feel like you’d be an awesome travel buddy. I really enjoyed London. I feel like we ate as un-British as possible while we were there (except for a delicious meat pie from a place in Notting Hill), but we definitely had a lot of awesome meals.

  7. Lion inspired hair. LOOOOL. I absolutely love These travel posts. You know stuff like this happens ALL THE TIME to me not onl when travelling (sigh). Bring them on, bring them on with some lion inspired hair.

  8. Hi arman, I’ve been to londin decades ago and proved by my photograph with the beefeater guard in front of buckingham palace! Didn’t know that has all changed?? But true to form, we could not get him to break a smile, not the teeniest bit.could not believe it!! me? Laughing with tears, snorting(we WERE so funny) #ultimateprofessional.
    The fog, the June temps?? I brought all my fav chicest summer clothes. ::sigh:: ended up wearing the same 6 pieces layered with an irish(new,same trip)sweater and a blazer:-(
    ……..utmost speed, london, lake district, dudley(my grandfather from &?? Name: John dudley?? Could that be a 1910 immigrant thing??)then my favorite, scotland..all if it. I would go back there. Glasgow Zoo: the daily spectacular PENGUIN PARADE!!!! Huge grin at the memory..??
    London felt like NYC with cool red double decker buses…#offthebeatenpathpreference

Have a comment? Go for it!