Lifestyle London

The scariest slide in the world

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine took me along with her to ride the slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbital inside London’s Olympic Park.

The building was installed at the Olympic Park as another attraction for those who had come to witness the exciting events during the 2012 Olympics. Those visiting the park were able to purchase tickets and see the sheer size of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for themselves.

It was closed for some time and later reopened as a tourist attraction allowing people to see the city from another perspective – the views of the city are awesome!

But now it’s also home to the longest slide in the world. Those who take a ride on the slide travel at a top speed of 15 miles per hour. For one single person that’s pretty fast and I can certainly tell you that it feels even faster.

It’s made up of 30 different sections including a corkscrew!

slide-new-1

TOP-OF-SLIDE-MOCK-UP

Needless to say that when I got to the top of the tower I was secretly crapping my pants. I came to the decision to go first because deep down inside i’m a big scaredy cat and might chicken out if I went last.

We were given those rugby style hats for protection along with elbow pads and then had to sit in a toboggan like object.

When we were secure, we were told to lean back and just go. I may have screamed the tower down. It was steep, almost vertical and it was bloody terrifying.

ride the slide

And then it turned pitch black. you couldn’t see anything and the slide kept swooshing you from side to side.

And then there was an even more vertical drop. Holy cow it was scary.

Suddenly there was light and it had come to an end and just like any other scaredy cat, I whooped when I got down and wanted to do it all over again! Sure, it was terrifying but it was damn good fun!

Riding the slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit costs £15 which includes entry to the viewing platform as well as the scary and thrilling experience. Thanks to ArcelorMittal Orbit for taking the photos.  All images belong to them. 

Lifestyle London

Becoming a Wok Star at School of Wok

I love cooking but I can’t say i’m good with a wok. More of a cake girl myself.

You definitely couldn’t call be a wok star but after my lesson with School of Wok, I definitely left feeling like one. After my class I tapped my toes around Chinatown looking for inspiration for my next cooking adventure.

Having lived in China, I always found it a little embarrassing wandering around the food aisle in Sainsburys, knowing that I could make something so much better than the random can of Sweet and Sour sauce that I was about to buy.

And so on a quest to become a Chinese cooking queen, I spent last Saturday taking part in a group ‘Cook your own Chinese banquet’ class. I was a bit nervous because it can be quite daunting having to make conversation with people who you’ve never met before especially when you’re holding cleavers.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

But after a brief introduction, we were all good friends ready to get stuck into cooking Chinese food.

The first part was knife skills. We were given giant Chinese cleavers and shown how to use them. We were taught different methods for cutting vegetables. Just you wait until I cook my next pepper – I got this under control!

Then we started getting peckish with all of the food around us so we cooked our first serving – prawn toast. I haven’t had it in ages and it was such a treat.

Once we’d had our little (actually rather large and delicious snack) we got stuck into two big dishes – pork fried rice and chicken with cashew nuts. And then we even got to make Wontons – it was good to understand how to fold the pastry and make them look authentic.

When we were done cooking the three mega dishes, we sat down them along with a Tsingtao beer and got stuck in.

It was interesting to see why people had decided to come for a class – many had been given them as a gift and had travelled from great distances – one even from the Isle of Man.

PicMonkey Collage

After lunch – which made me feel so full I never wanted to eat again – we got stuck in on making spring rolls. They were one of my favourites as they were a lot easier than you’d think and of course they’re a bit flashy if you want to show off to people.

Then we moved onto the Chow Mein followed by Sweet and Sour pork – an amazing recipe that took me back to some of my first days in Hong Kong. I have to say, it’s always good to find something that reminds you of your travels and this was definitely the one for me.

We sat down again and tried to eat but this time we could all only manage a couple of mouthfuls – thank god for the doggy bags and endless amount of vegetable spring rolls. I am set for days.

PicMonkey Collage1

After finally admitting defeat, it was time to ask any last questions about cooking Chinese food – thanks for the tip about the Wonton soup. I can’t wait to make it.

We all had one last sip of our beers and then waved goodbye, all of us carrying giant brown paper bags crammed full of food.

And the funny thing is, this evening I cooked myself Chinese tomato and eggs with rice. Maybe I am going to be a wok star after all!

Thanks to School of Wok for letting me come down and play chef. All words, views and pictures are my own and I hope to replicate the delicious food I made in the near future. Don’t expect me to hold a dinner party though! 

London

Getting inside Wimbledon

I’ve always been part of a family that loves tennis. I remember my mum rushing me home from brownies one day because Tim Henman was doing well and he might reach the quarter finals.

So I guess it made sense that when I worked at a radio station in China, they sent me off for ten days to report on the Shanghai Rolex Masters. And now ever since catching live tennis for the first time, i’ve been hooked.

Having never actually visited before, I knew that this year it was time to visit Wimbledon which will forever now be known as the Disneyland of tennis. Because, well it is.

wimbeldon 4

As my mum was in town we decided to try and give it a go visiting after work on the second day of the tournament.

We took the tube to Southfields station and followed the signs all the way to the Queue.

When we got there it was literally chucking it down with rain and being the insanely British person that I am, I did not have an umbrella on me.

We queued for about ten minutes until we were let in and told that there were some tickets left for the match on centre court. So after paying our £5 ground entry pass (it was cheaper because of the rain and the time we had arrived) we headed over to the ticket resale booth and purchased two tickets for Centre Court at £10 each – couldn’t believe how much of a bargain it was!

And to top it off, the seats were incredible!

Wimbledone

We got to see Coco Vandeweghe play Kateryna Bondarenko and funnily enough some family members caught a glimpse of us on the tv. Bet that must have been a shock.

Although we only saw one match, I personally thought it was a bit of a bargain for a tenner. It meant that I got to tick one thing off the London bucket list and finally get into Centre Court although it did make me want to come back for more.

Of course no trip to Wimbledon would be without making a trip to the Wimbledon shop. Unfortunately, everything was appealing. Some money was spent but I couldn’t help buying this jumper even if I have to eat rice for the next week because it’s just so cool! I promise I will get as much use of it as possible!

I can’t get enough of this year’s tournament, everything is so exciting especially now that Djokovic is out which makes the lead up to the finals even moe thrilling. Of course I will be rooting for Murray but I wouldn’t mind a Murray v Federer final. We’ll see!

And as for you Wimbledon – getting my envelopes ready for the ballot as we speak!

Lifestyle

That awkward moment when you delete your blog

13416955_1031665556880981_186963265274025560_o

Hello.

Well this is a funny one isn’t it? Firstly, you’ll notice that the blog looks a little different and you’ll also notice that there’s only one post.

Yes, I was that unlucky person that forgot to backup her blog and then forgot to pay for the next lot of her hosting. Thus deleting the past four years into the depths of doom.

As upset as I was about the whole thing, I still have my memories, my photos and you know what I do have now, the chance to use this domain to do something real.

I loved my blog. It was a piece of me and I loved interacting with my followers but now I feel this is time to make a change and make my blog more real, more personal and more in touch with what I’m doing now.

Don’t worry, it will still focus on a lot of travel and I will be sharing some of my favourite memories especially from my travels.

To all of you bloggers that follow Luggage Tags, remember to back up. And to everyone, let’s get started on this big journey ahead.

It’s real, it’s exciting!

Kuala Lumpur

How to spend 24 hours in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is in a fantastic location for travelling South East Asia and also heading down to Australia and New Zealand. It’s also one of the main hubs of Air Asia aka budget flying in the region. Most people tend to spend a day or two exploring the capital before heading onwards to their next destination.

I headed to Kuala Lumpur a while back for a bit of a break from China and a bargain getaway. I’ve posted some photos from my trip on instagram and have had some questions from followers on what to do during a short stopover so i’ve put together this guide on how to spend 24 hours in the city.

Breakfast

Grab some breakfast from a local vendor outside. On my first day in KL I just randomly picked a dish and it turned out to be the one below – delicious!

beef-mee-goreng

Make sure to order some Teh Tarik, one of the nicest teas I have ever tasted. If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth then you will love it!

Batu Caves

Batu Caves is the furthest location out of the city you’ll be seeing today. It’s easy to get there – take the train from KL Sentral all the way to the final stop which happens to be Batu Caves (see! Simple).

Ladies make sure if you’re wearing shorts or a skirt that you either bring a scarf or hire one to cover your legs as its seen as respectful and you may be denied entry without one.

DSC_0481

And beware of the monkeys – they are feisty and will steal anything you have especially food! Entry to the Batu Caves is free.

The caves are a good place to stop and grab an early lunch – there are some food stalls and good fresh juice stands outside.

Kuala Lumpur National Mosque

When you’re done head back on the train and get off at KL station. When you exit, it’s a ten minute walk to National Mosque of Malaysia.

It’s free to get in – you will have to queue to be given appropriate dress and you have to leave your shoes outside. Ladies will be given a headscarf.

DSC_0433

Petronas Towers

Hop in a taxi (only one of the day and it’s cheap anyway) to the KLCC centre. The journey should only take around 15 minutes. See the beautiful 452m twin towers up close and personal. I would say that you don’t need to go up them as the main point of interest is the towers themselves.

Petronas Towers

Outside there is a sign telling you where the best photo taking areas are to get the perfect snaps. When you’re done taking photos  stop by the shopping mall for a bite to eat – there are plenty of restaurants to choose from and there’s a food court inside too which includes food from Malaysia and all over the world.

And if time permits before your onward flight, you HAVE to stop by the Helipad lounge. I mentioned it in a previous blog post and when people ask for KL recommendations, this is always on the list.

m1NHuPYsl

It’s a helipad by day but after 6pm, it becomes an open air bar with the best views of the city. All you have to do is order a drink – hello Long Island Iced Tea and enjoy the view. If you’re looking for the perfect way to end your day in Malaysia’s capital,then this is it.

And by the time you’ve had a drink or two then it’s time to head back to the airport. And after this trip, you’lll probably want to come back and explore a little bit more. Until next time KL!