The Bucket List: Bills Restaurant

Bills is British Chain restaurant that you can find in most places around the UK. For example, they have more than 21 restaurant in London. I am sure you will not miss it. They serve up pretty good western dishes at a fair prices. The quality is pretty good as well. Sometimes, it is really awesome, especially when you are looking at the set lunch or something. It might be a good spot if you are looking for a balance between quality and price. Furthermore they are also prized for using local produce. I had the chance to try it while in Manchester!

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The Bucket List: AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester City Centre

Immediately after arriving at Piccadilly Station from London. We took the Metrolink to the hotel which the nearest stop is Shudehill. The AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester City Centre is located just out of the main shopping district of Manchester. The location is not too bad, given its price point. It is just 5 mins from Arndale Centre, the main and largest shopping centre in Manchester. In fact you can literally walk anywhere in Manchester. Although I won’t want to walk all the way from Piccadilly. Victoria is a short stroll away! This is one of the newest hotel in Manchester, only recently built in 2018, located right in the Northern Quarter. Surrounding the hotel are a couple of renovations site since I guess this is an upcoming area. I am alright with it. The hotel does have a super fresh exterior, heck, in fact everywhere in the hotel looks new, clean and fresh. It is a 4 star hotel under the Marriott group. This is also my first time staying in an AC Hotel, for the 4 nights that we were here, the rate was 223 SGD for a family room, although with Citi Prestige 4th night free, that brought it down to 176 SGD. It is one of the cheapest in town. I was actually considering the Crown Plaza as well given the similar price point, but the ability to earn Marriott Points as well made the decision.

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The Bucket List: Virgin Trains London – Manchester

This is gonna be a rather short post, also one of the rarer ones where I share about my train journey rather than a flight experience. I always like to share about my very first experience on a particular train product so that people can get an idea how it is like. Especially since in Europe there are so many different trains, the ICE, Railjet, etc etc. Furthermore this time around, it is my very first time taking a train in the UK. The funny thing about trains in UK is that there is no unified national rail operator like the DB or SNCF in other European Countries. Rather, the National Rail just regulate operating companies, for example in this case, Virgin Trains. Comparing my options, it does seems that taking the train would be the most efficient and cost effective way for me to get to Manchester. Bus is out of the equation since it take such a long time. Virgin Trains also seems rather quirky and fun.

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The Bucket List: London

It feels good to be finally be back in London after 4 years. London is a huge city and even though I was in town for 5 days previously, it felt that there was still much left undone. This is also another reason why I am back. I would be staying away from most of the touristy place and definitely trying out spots that I have left out previously. East London for example would be totally new to me. It will be more of like a living in London experience this time around. Some of the places that I would like to share with you this time around would be Kensington Palace, Kensington, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, Portobello Market, Camden, Primrose Hill and East London. Of course some of my favourite eating spots as well. Without further ado, lets go!

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The Bucket List: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester Three Star Michelin Restaurant

Hunting for good or perhaps amazing food is one of the things I constantly do when I am out travelling, especially when I am with my family or friends. When I am doing solo travelling, I am rather casual with my meals. I do not know why but it always seems that fine dining, especially when aiming for the “stars” are constantly cheaper abroad than in Singapore. All of my michelin experience with the exception of one have been out of Singapore. Up to date all my 3 Star Michelin dining is in New York, London and Paris. Sounds expensive but still much cheaper in SG! Odette, a 2 star establishment here cost almost 200SGD for four course. While this lunch at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, a 3 Star Michelin Restaurant cost me 80 Pounds, 143SGD all included with 2 glass of wine, coffee/tea to finish.

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The Bucket List: Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington

Immigration was smooth and we were thru in mins due to the new policy that Singaporeans are now able to use the egates in UK. Kudoos to that. For my 5 days in London, I choose to stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington. It is actually a long term stay property but you can in fact stay one night as well. It is more like a aparthotel. Usually you can find a wet bar with cooking facilities as well. What really attracts me was its fair pricing. London is an expensive place to stay in with prices usually around 300-400 SGD for something decent and in the city centre. The hotel location was superb, right in the heart of Kensington, the most upscale area in London, Tube station nearby. You are right in the heart of the city centre and could walk anywhere, Westfield mall is just mins away on food. High Street Kensington is a stroll away. I also realised that there is a direct tube line from Heathrow to the hotel on the Piccadilly, so that is really affordable and easy to get to the airport. Best of all, a large Tesco is located right next door. I will shall more about this later on. I paid 309SGD per night, after Prestige 4th night free that brought it down to about 239SGD. Furthermore I get to earn some Marriott points.

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The Bucket List: Singapore Airlines SQ322 A380R SIN – LHR Business Class

Welcome onboard Singapore Airlines flight, SQ322, from Singapore to London Heathrow. This is a line that I wish I could hear everyday, maybe I should record it and use as my ringtone. It was quite an uproar back then when SQ refresh their cabins and released the new hard products. I have also always wanted to try out the new J Class and Suites onboard their newest A380, also known as the 38R in the community. Currently as of writing they are only flying the plane to London, Zurich, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney. Tokyo seems to be next as well although I can’t say for sure. I went all out to secure a business saver ticket onboard SQ322, one of the flight on the newest 380 with the new products. Super excited to try out the new business class seat after having high praises for the old ones. SQ are always known to be the benchmark for the industry. Previously, I have shared about my lounge tour in the airport. The flight depart from Gate A5. In Singapore, security is located at the gate, perhaps on the bright side you do not have to wait for super long, on the other hand you can bring liquid onboard. Thankful there was a premium line with no queue and boarding literally started once I cleared security.

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