After a quick nip back into London to our cosy apartment in Canary Wharf, we packed up again to head down to Canterbury.
So far, our road trip around the UK has brought us to York & Cambridge, Edinburgh and the wonderful Lake District. It’s been so amazing, I cannot even begin to explain how I felt at this moment. London feels like home, and despite the cold summer, I’ve started to unconsciously embrace and tolerate it.
Folks, I am starting to fall in love with London! Look at this view from our apartment! Hello people of Canary Wharf!
So, we drove down to Canterbury where we would be (sneakily) cramping in Christopher’s dorm room at Canterbury University for a night. #typicalasians
We had no choice though, graduation day had all the nearby hotels fully booked and we didn’t want to split up because we only have one car between the 5 of us. Therefore, we had to endure one night of freezing, squeezing and slipping around on air mattresses. Chris had to sleep on the common room couch because there was just no more space. Not the best sleep of the night (I’ll take the YHA Ambleside dorms again, anytime) but we are grateful it’s just for one night.
Canterbury is yet another cobblestone-university-town which has its own old town charms. We walked around and had some food while Chris ran about to collect his graduation gown and other errands. There were a few graduation ceremonies happening throughout the day at the Canterbury Cathedral,which is world famous for it’s olden day grandeur. I can see why.
While my aunt and uncle rushed back to change for the graduation ceremony, mom and I strolled around the town, shopped a little at Primark and ate some food. We came across Pork & Co, a lovely little shop selling customisable pulled pork sandwiches. They are delicious! The homemade brioche bun is soft and the pork is lovely. I also love their special apple slaw that goes perfectly well together.
After having our fill, we walked around and stopped by a few sweet shoppes so that my mom could buy souvenirs. The shops here are quite similar to the ones in Cambridge (university towns have that in common).
A little more walking and shopping later on, we came across a street stall selling crêpes! We thought about the amazing Japanese crêpes we had in Umeda, and we wondered if the English version would taste better. It was literally a one-man-show where this dude made crêpe-after-crêpe without pausing. He cooks, takes orders and handles the financials without even batting an eye! I decided to go with a classic Nutella crêpe, while mom takes a coconut flavoured one. Verdict? Delicious, but it is still not as soft or fluffy as the Japanese ones. It’s still good though!
We found this adorable little bookshop, which was purposely built tilted at an angle! So cool!
We met up again with the rest, at the entrance to Canterbury Cathedral, with Chris looking real nice in his graduation robe. His parents even got him a special Paddington Bear graduation bouquet. He took us for a short tour around the cathedral grounds (mom and I are not allowed inside the cathedral though, only parents are allowed, due to the limited space).
The place reminds me of the halls of Hogwarts shown in all the Harry Potter movies. I kept saying, “This looks so much like Hogwarts! Are you sure you’re not a wizard, Chris?”
Chris.. who may or may not be a wizard. And Paddington Bear, who may or may not be a house elf.
The graduation ceremony took about two hours, so we shopped some more and stopped by somewhere for a hot chocolate. When they were done, we all headed to ASK Italian to have dinner with some of Chris’ friends, before heading home.
The next morning, we stopped by Whitstable Harbour on our way back to London. We came here early because Chris told us that the Whitstable Fish Market (which is also a restaurant) serves really fresh oysters. *jumps in joy* Fresh oysters are my favourite, I can easily devour a dozen in one sitting. So.. we were there early. In fact, too early, they were not even ready to serve yet. We had to wait a good 2o minutes before they were ready to take our orders – fish & chips for everyone, with a side of oysters. ❤
The fish was fresh and the oysters are soooooo good! You can literally taste the freshness of the sea. I think I had four of these babies before I started to worry about getting an upset tummy (we have a few hours drive to get back into London, you know). I stopped at half dozen, to be safe. They were so worth it too, at only £1 per oyster! Really, really pleased with our breakfast. 🙂
They used empty oyster shells as décor for their little fountain. I call it a wishing well that only accepts oyster shells.
We passed by some of these colourful beach houses along the harbour (they remind me of Brighton Beach in Melbourne). None in use now even though it’s summer, because summer here means freezing out in the open winds.
After that we drove to a little place nearby called Dover, to see the famous White Cliffs. The cliffs are formed by naturally white rock formations. From the top, you can see the entire Dover port. My uncle told me that on a clearer day, you would be able to see France in the distance across the English channel. This is where the French schools would transport school children over to, for a quick day trip.
We parked at the entrance and saw a gated section of the cliff that is filled with free-range horses! OMG! I literally ran in and locked myself in with the horses. They are so fat and pretty, but the owner/caretaker wasn’t around, so I didn’t dare go too near, lest a horse kick me off the cliff. But it was so cool just to stand so near and observe them.
That pony looked ready to kick him if he ever dared get closer.
We took a walk down one of the scenic trails. It was nearly an hour’s walk as we made our way higher and towards the edge of the cliff. The view was amazing! There are no rails, so if you’re leaning over to take a photo, like what I did, be sure to have someone around to hold your leg or something. And don’t drop your phone/camera! No one would be around to help your retrieve it.
On our way, we spotted a little cave/tunnel that was quite hidden and small. I wanted to climb in to explore, but everyone else said no. They think it’s where all the wild rabbits and bats hide in during the day.
After our long scenic hike, we snuggled into the car for a nap while the men drive and navigate us back to London. We still have another day trip ahead of us, where we will be checking out the Mayfield Lavender farm. Until the next post!