Beyond the Stereotype


Today, on my way back from dinner I had to pick up a tailoring job from a store and like usual it didn’t take more than a minute. But in this minute, I was forced to stop and think about stereotypes and the desperate need to break out of them.

When I entered the store, my pack was ready at the counter and I went straight for it as the shopkeeper handed it to me. In the queue although were a few European and Korean (looking) guys, waiting for their turn, so while I grabbed my pack I said ‘excuse me, sorry!’, exactly what I would have done if I were back in the UK, but instead of the suspicious stare I got from that group of guys in Pakistan, I would have probably just gotten way. I realised in that moment, that our behaviour (many a times) is not based on what the situation is, but on the pre-assumptions that we bring into that situation about each other and the situation itself.

I could also relate this stare to something which we do to people from our own cultures too. Sadly, you get to see a lot of that here as the inequality is enormous – It is when the more educated, sophisticated people judge the individuals from the lesser well off backgrounds. This got me thinking about the true solution to the problem is to truly and really accept the diversity within human beings and stop judging them based on their backgrounds, colour or ethnicity. Living in one of the most multicultural societies in the world, importance of tolerance is clear in London, where we know that only if someone looks brown, black or white, they wouldn’t necessarily be cultured a certain way or live a certain lifestyle. But I wish we could take that thinking with us everywhere – so that in every relationship, in every situation we’d start with an empty slate, with no pre-assumptions and stereotypes, so we’d really see things for what they are and know people for who they really are.

I think, one understands the true meaning of diversity when they see someone who they assume to be exactly like them, with similar backgrounds but they happen to have completely different ideas of what life is all about and different values and habits. I think that shakes us more than when we see someone from a different culture, doing things similar to us.

What I am trying to say is, whether a person is from your own or another race, you never know what hides under that skin and flesh – and I think we’re all worth that fair chance of showing each other who we really are and what we really stand for because beyond that stereotype is a whole different; and similar person in each one of us!

London Food Scene: Jimmy’s Grill, O2


There’s lots of amazing and unique places to eat in London but if I had to think about great buffets around, there might not be as many contenders for that. Although, I wouldn’t think twice about the best buffet experience, with great value for money in town – Jimmy’s World Grill.

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I say ‘best’, because every single item tastes great and they have amazing range of mocktails to go with it.

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They also have live stations for pasta, fajitas, naans and ice cream, which make dining a bit more fun. These stations allow you to pick and choose your ingredients, while the chefs work their magic infront of you.

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For chocolate lovers, there is also a chocolate fountain! Their fish pakoray, pasta and Chinese curries are my favourites. And their strawberry and peach mocktails are always on point.

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The prices range between £15-£20 for food and drink. [Halal food is served]

London in a Day


Earlier in my blog, I wrote about tourist-ing Zurich and Amsterdam is a day and as I come close to saying my good-bye, I am recording some of my favourite things to do in and about London. While I think it is impossible to see everything London has to offer in a day, I think it is possible to get a good glimpse of what the city is all about and here is a mini-itinerary if I had to see London in a day (this blog has also been inspired by tens of trips I have taken to show my visiting friends around London):

Emirates Airlines at the North Greenwich O2

There is a cable car which takes you from North Greenwich O2 to Canning Town and back in about 10ish minutes across the Thames River, giving you amazing views of the city – which I am guess you could also witness in the London Eye but at a much higher price. Also, it takes ages for the London Eye to go around and it could get boring and time consuming. On the contrary the cable car gives you a glimpse of the London’s bird’s eye view while making it time and budget efficient.

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Experience the City Life in Canary Wharf

Many tourists forget that London is not only special because of its Royal palaces and traditions but also because it is one of the world’s major business hubs. Canary Wharf is the Wall Street of the UK – only that it is much prettier and nicer to walk through. Walking in the Canary Wharf you ‘d not only see Bugattis, suits and tall buildings which make the London sky line one of best in the world, but you will also have the chance to shop, sit by the fountains, relax at a bar by the riverside or even go to the cinema. I think it is a must see for all tourists.

Enjoy a drink with the view of St. Paul’s Cathedral in One New Change

I am all about the beautiful views and amazing food and aren’t we all? I think one of the best views which is yet to be explored by mainstream tourists is the one of St. Pauls Cathedral from the One New Change. You can shop in the mall and drop by at the Madison’s Rooftop Bar to enjoy a drink with this stunning view. There is also Caffe Concerto which has amazing desserts, and other restaurants.

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Shop at Harrods, Knightsbridge

Harrods is one of a kind. It is a shopping mall which has got the culture and class. While you will only find the most obnoxiously expensive brands in the mall, you have got to expensive the customer service, environment and just the shops themselves. And if you like sweets or are buying them for anyone, go all the way to their top floor where you can find a jelly beans stations. Here you can choose the flavours you wish to buy. I find it pretty cool!

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Dinner Leicester Square -> Walk to Piccadilly Circus

Well known for all the right reasons are the Leicester and Piccadilly Circus, not a long walk away from each other. I think of Piccadilly Circus as the mini-Times Square and it has some tourist attractions one could visit as well. And Leicester Square has the M&Ms chocolate heaven and plenty of restaurants, cafes, dessert lounges and clubs. You could drop by to eat or just look around. Some of my favourite restaurants in London can be found here.

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If you still have time, take a walk along the South Bank and enjoy the stunning views of the London Bridge and River Thames, which are beautiful by the night.

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Having said this I think London attractions are a great way to explore the culture and enjoy yourselves, but all of these require lots of time which is why I have included bits and bobs which are my favourite about this city, less touristy and yet they entail a fair bit of what this amazing city is all about.

London Food Scene: Godiva Café, Harrods


We went to Godiva Café when I was in Harrods with my friends to get some shopping done. The ambience and service, to no surprise, is great. There is some great selection of chocolate and chocolate drinks/ desserts to choose from. There is also coffee and tarts on the menu.

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We tried their almond cake and mocha. Both of the items were very rich in chocolate content, which was very high quality and it tasted great. Although, even if it may not look the biggest, the portion of dessert really does fill you up and one person cannot finish a whole portion. In our case, us three friends split one, which too we struggled to finish, even though it tasted great the chocolate rich dessert did make it a heavy one.

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You can expect to pay £25 for drink and dessert.

London Food Scene: Kahve Dunyasi


Being in love with Turkish food and their desserts, I got very interested when I heard about Kahve Dunyasi. Some nice pictures on the Instagram only helped. So, we ended up there for a quick dessert and drink.

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The location of this café is very convenient, based only a little walk away from the Piccadilly Circus and the service is great. The ambience too is very impressive, although the food is expensive and most drinks and dessert are too sweet for my liking. I would although like to try their chocolate someday!

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London Food Scene: The Real Greek, Stratford


My hunt for world cuisines took me to the Real Greek tonight. This was my first time trying Greek food, but with the help of little English descriptions it wasn’t difficult at all to understand your choices. Speaking of choices, you won’t run out of them while at the Real Greek as the menu has countless items to try from the more common wraps to octopus.

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I tried melitzanosalata & fries starters and Halloumi & Falafel wrap for main course. The food was fresh and good quality, but I felt that there was too much sauce in the wraps, which made it drip and a little hard for me to eat. It was a rather satisfying meal but service was a little slow as only one waiter was serving the whole lot at once. My favourite part about the restaurant is their presentation. All the food is served in multiple tier racks/ stands.

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To top it all off, the prices are very cheap for what you get. You can expect to pay about £15 per person for food and drink. [Halal food and drink is served]

London Food Scene: Seventeen Bar & Restaurant


Seventeen is a fancy restaurant based in Nottinghill Gate. Londoners know that this area is known for its restaurants, cafes and ‘the festival’. So, it is really not a surprise that Seventeen really impresses. I went here a few years ago with a bunch of friends who absolutely love sea food, sadly for me I don’t (and I still enjoyed my experience), so it goes on to say that there is something for everyone, well most people.

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I tried their Vegetable Men and Virgin Pina Colada, both were outstanding with a generous portion for both. So, the serving really leaves you full. My friends who tried sea food dumplings and noodles were rather impressed too.

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In terms of the ambience, the restaurant is a win. It has a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing purple sofas, curtains and seating area. The service too was great!

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All this doesn’t come cheap though, you can expect to pay £30 per person for food and drink.