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Around The World, Food

How to save money dining in London

April 20, 2018

As any London resident will quickly testify, the amount of food temptation in the capital is bordering on the staggering. Whether it’s your typical national, or international, chain, or even an independent establishment, the variety is up there with the best in the world.

As you’ve probably gathered, this poses problems for the Average Joe.

Target the areas with a high concentration of restaurants

One of the biggest favours you can do to your wallet is at least offer yourself variety. The more restaurants on offer, the more choice you have and the less likely you are to spend money. Suffice to say, if you just have one expensive deli in the area you happen to be, you’ll be spending plenty regardless. If you have numerous restaurants in one place, it doesn’t have to be like that.

This is where areas such as Covent Garden really come into their own for eating. The choice here is aplenty and you can find some real gems that allow you to dine out without spending your week’s budget on one meal.

The power of social media

Love it or hate it, for those of you who are searching for food bargains on the streets of London, social media can be absolutely invaluable. This is the medium in which companies can quickly announce their special deals and if you’re not following them, you’ll be sure to miss out.

The big chains tend to advertise their discounts weeks in advance, but smaller, independent ones usually do it on the fly. They’ll usually do it in the middle of a slow day so if you are following them, you can quickly reap the rewards.

Sure, it’s probably not a tactic that is going to work every day, but with so many restaurants in London you will be able to obtain a lot of savings via the approach.

Vouchers are now completely portable

We all know about voucher websites – they’ve been at the centre of our online shopping habits for a number of years now.

However, many of these websites have spanned right the way across to apps and this means that you can quickly use them on-the-go. Gone are the days where you have to use the office printer to print your coupon; by simply carrying one of the many voucher code apps on your phone you can obtain your discount instantaneously.

Most discounts of this ilk aren’t available during peak times, so forget it if you’re looking for savings across the weekend. However, for those of you who like nipping out on your lunch hour to one of the main London eateries, this can save you considerable pennies through the course of a month.

Around The World, Food

Macau: A culinary City awaits!

April 13, 2018

Macau represents the exciting, energetic and entertaining side of China, and luckily for those who are visiting ‘the Las Vegas of Asia’, there are plenty of dining options, too.

Grab a bite, Macau style

This autonomous region on China’s South Coast has a unique cuisine all of its own, in part owing to the Portuguese influence of the colonial era. Minchi can be considered to be Macau’s national dish and contains ground pork or beef in a sumptuous sauce, often topped by a fried egg. It is filling and nutritious, so ensure you give it a try. Then there is the Portuguese soup known as Caldo Verde, which is another hearty affair containing potatoes, kale, olive oil, and sometimes a meat such as ham. And don’t forget about Bacalhau, which is the salted cod popular with those of Chinese and Portuguese origin alike. They are often fashioned into balls and grilled in the cooking style favoured by the Portuguese.

Out and about

There are plenty of restaurants worth your attention in Macau if you can tempt yourself away from the casinos! In the case of Mizumi, situated in the Wynn Macau, you don’t have to leave the casino complex’s many baccarat tables at all. This Japanese is noted for its Australian wagyu beef shabu-shabu and 32 varieties of sake. You should also consider a trip to Zi Yat Heen at the Four Seasons Hotel, where you can try the best in Cantonese cuisine, including sautéed lobster with egg white and a good selection of vegetable dishes. The stunning Vida Rica restaurant takes centre stage at the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where you can find a good mix of both Cantonese and Portuguese cuisine, and marvel at the ornate interior.

All in all, Macau makes a compelling stop for foodies in South East Asia, as well as those who have come predominantly for the nightlife options which make the city famous. It offers an interesting mix of cuisines, and if you want to fall back on some comfort food, it is also not short of a good Italian and burger spot.

Around The World

Is Hong Kong Still One of The Best Places to Visit?

February 9, 2018

Are you looking for somewhere interesting to take a vacation? Hong Kong has been near the top of most travel sites’ rankings for so long that people are beginning to take it for granted. Is it still as good as it used to be? What can you expect if you go there? Will it provide the kind of experience you’ve been hoping for?

The sights of the city

With its many stunning skyscrapers, outsiders often think of Hong Kong as being dense and crowded, making it hard to get around and appreciate the sights. The reality is very different. In fact, the city has several large, open squares with beautiful surroundings, spacious parks and open sea views. A trip up to the Peak will allow you to see the whole thing from above, spread out like a map. You can climb to Po Lin Monastery to see the imposing Tian Tan Buddha or take the Star Ferry out across the water to admire the city’s skyline. Children will be thrilled by Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.


One of the first things people fall in love with in Hong Kong is the food. It’s a city with a strong culture of eating out and you can find restaurants serving high quality cuisine from all around the world, as well as some excellent fusion cooking. Must-try local dishes include sweet and sour pork, roast goose, snake soup, fish balls, phoenix talons (actually made from chicken), roast pigeon and congee. Egg tarts for dessert are a must, and you should also try wife cake, pineapple bread and ginger milk curd.


Hong Kong has many excellent museums, including a hands-on science museum that is much loved by children, and a maritime museum that provides an insight into the city’s history of trade. The numerous art galleries showcase the products of the thriving local art scene and also reflect the cosmopolitan nature of the city with influences from all around the world. At night, head for Lan Kwai Fong, where you’ll find numerous bars and local people ready to party all night.


If you love to shop, you’ll be a fan of the streets around Causeway Bay MRT Station, where the atmosphere is electric and there are some amazing malls. Head out to IFC, Pacific Place or Horizon Plaza to find luxury boutiques and designer brands, or try Tsim Sha Tsui for the hottest youth trends. The Mong Kok street markets are full of great bargains and you can keep on shopping at Temple Street night market into the small hours.

Why not stay?

Some people enjoy their time in Hong Kong so much that they choose to stay. It’s an easy city to settle in, very welcoming to immigrants. There are ample employment opportunities, you can get by in English most of the time, and you can even find American style education in Hong Kong. There are also plenty of American-style restaurants and entertainment venues if you are homesick.

This is a city where there’s always something happening, and its cosmopolitan nature allows room for everyone. It’s definitely worth a visit – and perhaps more than one.

Around The World

Pros And Cons of Cycling in 2018

December 10, 2017

2018 is the best year ever to take to the streets on a bicycle, and this list of pros and cons will show you why. As you can see, most of the pros are pretty constant, and most of the cons have solutions that mitigate or even abrogate completely their negative value:


-Cyclists have more rights on the road now than they ever have before. In many jurisdictions you can take up a whole lane if you want to. And if cars don’t respect you they will get fined and points on their license. And if the worst happens and you get in an accident, contact a good attorney that knows about the subject like Slater & Gordon at once. The law is on your side more than ever now.

-Cycling is a lot safer if it is done in the right way. This includes not only obeying the rules (cyclists often think that red lights don’t apply to them, for example), but also knowing how to make yourself visible on the road, not camping out in drivers’ blind spots, etc. And it’s also very important to remember to keep your bike in good shape. Just like with any other vehicle, proper tire pressure is extremely important for a bicycle, as are brakes and lights. Most jurisdictions require by law a white light in the front of your bike and a red light on the back. And it’s a very good idea to have reflectors on your bike and reflective clothing as well, to increase visibility.

-Cycling contributes greatly to overall health, as if you had to be told one more time. Pro tip: cycle to and from the gym. This meshes beautifully with almost any routine you are doing in there. For example, if you usually warm up on the treadmill or elliptical, you can skip that step. And going back will give you that “after-burner” extra fat burn that is so beneficial.

-Cycling is a very green option; it uses very little resources and has almost no environmental footprint whatsoever, requiring generally very few repairs with small and cheap parts. Because of this, it’s also the cheapest option available. It’s the only mode of transportation that burns less calories per distance travelled than walking does!


-Bikes get stolen really easily. Even in cities like Amsterdam and Singapore (which are famed for having very very low crime rates), bicycles get stolen all the time. The best is if you can bring your bike in with you, or if there is some sort of enclosed parking area for your bike that is secure beyond just a basic lock and chain.

-In some cities, networks of bike paths aren’t very well developed and/or other vehicles don’t respect bicycles properly. This, of course, is rapidly changing and dependent very much on where you are in the world. Ironically, in many cases, small towns can be worse than big cities for this these days.

-Weather can be hard to deal with. In the summer you may wind up being a sweaty mess by the time you get where you are going, and you do have rain to worry about. Also, in most situations, biking in the snow and ice is practically like playing Russian roulette. Aside from snow and ice, these issues can be mitigated by bringing a backpack with wet wipes and a change of shirt and/or proper rain gear.

Around The World

The Importance Of Safety Checks On Your Vehicle

December 4, 2017


As the holiday season descends upon us, some of us are looking at some longish drives as an inevitable part of it. For better or for worse, a lot of us are going to be taking to the roads to travel long distance, for whatever reason.

It’s important to make extra sure your vehicle is up to snuff in every way shape or form before you drive that first mile toward that destination.


Everybody knows to check the pressure, but not everybody knows what the correct pressure is. Consult your vehicle’s manual (If you don’t have it anymore you can Google it, it’s easy). And these days, most rest stops and petrol stations have digital gauges that stop automatically when they reach the required pressure.

Also, check the tread for any sign of uneven wear whatsoever, and also for  Don’t hesitate to replace tyres if they are no longer in optimum condition.  Go somewhere like TyrePlus and get some real tires on that car if you have to, and you will see the difference immediately. Not only will your car handle better, especially in nasty weather, it will obtain better fuel efficiency instantly, and be much safer on the road.


There are two main types of brake pads, ceramic and steel. Ceramic brakes should make no noise whatsoever, and in the UK are generally considered the better of the two. If you do have steel brake pads, they do sometimes make audible noise (ceramic brakes “squeal” at a supersonic frequency so we don’t hear them). However, it should be a very high pitched and almost inaudible noise.

Check your brake pads, making sure if they are not ¼” thick to change them before your trip. It’s easy to neglect brakes, but they are a cheap part to replace, and the labor to replace them is also minimal.


There’s a very easy check for your suspension. Push down hard on each of the vehicle’s four corners. The vehicle should bounce back to equilibrium quickly, without bouncing back and forth or making any undue noise.

These three things are crucial components of any vehicle, and taking what is really minimal time and effort to get them right before a trip, especially a long road trip, is something that nobody has ever regretted ever. Go and make sure that vehicle is in tip-top condition and happy holiday driving!