Tag Archives: free food

more tourists come to uk because of the weak £

2 Aug

london 1.57pm 23C cloudy friday 2019

i was coming back from a freebie, a free burito from tortilla, to celebrate the opening of a new branch in wardour st, soho. there was the usual grid lock in trafalgar square, that seems to be quite common now, i wonder why it should be happening so frequently. maybe there have been some changes in the traffic lights sequence. 

also saw the tourists sitting on the tarmac in front of the westminster abbey and taking photos and it occurred to me that  it is all rather silly really, that people are touristing around all over the world to look at these things. all this tourist business, and i read one of these tourist package holiday company has gone bankrupt. malvern group.

i cant really blame people for wanting to be tourists, because i too was guilty of these tourist trips when i was younger, so i guess i am just as silly. and since then there are all those young people following me so i guess it is just the nature of things. i have done it and enjoyed it, so i guess i should not tell others not to do it. haha. i am sure they too will come to realise how silly it is one day in the future, but then they can look back and say they  have enjoyed it while it lasted and so can stop now and not feel they have missed out. i guess every generation have to go through it for themselves. 

this free lunch at tortilla i only found out today, because steve sent me information of it. they were there too, and i asked for the naked burito, without the tortilla. i must say i did not enjoy it as much as i should. i found the meat very salty and i mistook the salsa for salads, and asked for it, not realising it is an extra to be paid for. and then she asked me if i want guacamole, and even though i am not that keen on it, i thought it was included in the free offer. then they lumped my order with steve and his wife’s, and asked the poor chap to pay an extra , i dont know how much he paid… but in the menu list they say salsa costs £1, guacamole £1.60, not worth it as it was just a small smidgen of both that they add to my open dish. if it had happen to me, and they asked me to pay, i would have told them to take it off again… but as it is , i did not even realise they have included my dish to theirs, until i saw them put all of it into a bag and gave it to steve. i saw my order have disappeared and realised it is in steve’s bag. if i had known i would ask them to remove those items. they are not really worth the extra. 

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it looks like a big dish, but i did not enjoy it that much. not much meat, too much beans and rice. meat was too salty for my taste, but steve liked his burrito, so i guess it must be me.

added. 8.46am saturday 3.8.19. saw this article about more tourists coming to uk from china and india because of the weak £, so that is the good thing if anyone asks what are the advantages of a weak £.

local businesses will benefit from those increased tourist numbers. and london and all other towns can cope with the increased numbers unlike barcelona and the spanish islands. or venice , who are overwhelmed. but i also wonder if threats of strikes in heathrow and gatwick, which this article says have allready affected 172 canceled flights next week will deter tourists. though it might be too late for those who allready are flying next week. but the threat of further strikes might make them think twice about flying to those airports for the rest of the summer.

with all these disruptions, i would not bother to fly anywhere at all, so i wonder if many will decide to staycation esp if u are from uk, the £ so low makes it more expensive to travel abroad.

free sausage, and found a spiderman bag

1 Mar

london 2.01pm 11.4C cloudy friday 2019



i went earlier this morning to islington, it is a new opening of a restaurant that sells specialised sausages from international sources which seem to imply from all over the world (though i suspect they are sausages from europe ) today they are giving away a free meal. i got their special, costing about £10. i dont know where this sausage come from… it looks like one of those german sausages. it was a lovely long size. (i have seen other’s orders  and their food is sausages inside a bun, so not as much as mine) the mashed bits are chick peas i think and beetroot i think which gives it its red colour. i was amongst the first few  to order so i got my food quite quickly. its quite nice. you might think it is pricey, but the price is normal for this area. its fun to try these places when they are doing a opening promotion and giving away free food.  

on the way back, i took the tube to pimlico, and decided to go to the library nearby and passed by a recycling bins and saw this, a spiderman child’s bag. its quite nice isn’t it? i think so. i like the 3-D effect. and i find the size very suitable for my things. i find it is better to have a small bag, so that i dont get tempted to put too many things in it. i have been using a gym bag (it’s a sleeping bag cover)but it is getting frayed and have holes in it. it is about 2 and a half yrs old. and it is still serviceable. i think it got an extended life because ian sewed the bottom with his sewing machine and that sealed the seam very effectively. i might keep an eye out for a tubular bag like that (a ex sleeping bag cover is what i should look out for) in case in the future i revert to using such a bag instead of this spiderman one or when this spiderman bag gets too worn. 

i think this spiderman bag is a lunch box. and an insulated one at that.  it has a label -disney store. this spiderman bag is too small to take my chromebook, but i can put it in there as long as i dont zip it up. so it is a bag i can use if i am not bringing my chromebook with me. or if i do, i need to find an elastic to secure it with the top unzipped. it even got a label on the inside where u can write your name. 

added. i was curious to see if people really send their children to school with packed lunches, and found this article about it. there were a lot of warnings about keeping the food warm or cold, and warnings about bacteria, that even i got to wonder if it is worth it. after reading it, even i felt it is too dangerous to make a packed lunch. and i have been packing my lunch for years and think nothing of it.

in all the years when i have eaten my packed lunch, i have never had any problems, and i never keep the food in insulated containers. or even in the fridge at my workplace. and i know people in malaysia never bother with all that either. and none of us have even got ill and we live in the tropics where it is a lot hotter than here with more chances for germs to grow. but here we all hear or read of food poisoning, and warnings not to eat leftover food. dangerous to eating leftover rice, is one that i keep hearing about. it is enough to frighten u off making your own lunch ever again. 

a day of free meals

28 Sep

london 8.02pm 13.7C dry night friday 2018

i got a email from steve, this morning, when i woke at 10.30am about a free mac and cheese lunch at debenhams, oxford st starting from 12noon today. i allready have booked  a free meal this evening at a pub in elephant and castle. i was half thinking of giving the lunch a miss, but then i realise it is so near me, it does not take much effort to just wander there. so i did. and steve was there, near the head of the queue. not many when we arrived, but it later got busier. it was a very filling meal, it was macaroni pasta in melted cheese topped with meat , or veggie. mushrooms was one of the veggie options. i got a spicy chorizos with halloumi, which turned out to be melted as well. so not a good choice as it made the dish very salty indeed with so much salt in those cheeses. it costs about £5.59 usually. if u are hungry it would really fill you up. actually when i compare to what they are charging for mac and cheese in spitalfields market, this one is quite low priced.

then i went to liverpool st, spitalfields market to get the free icecream given away. this icecream is not sickly sweet, so i like it. they will do this promotion for another two days.   there were lots of people there, sitting around eating, listening to a band playing. i passed a stall selling brisket of beef. it looked very good, piles of meat . there was a sample board and i took two slices to eat. and found out they are very salty. they look so tempting, but the salt puts me off so that i lost all desire to eat anymore.

i might go again tomorrow, to get another eat of icecream, and visit the library there to see if they are open and have the daily papers.   i went in there to read them today after eating the icecream. those papers look unopened and it seems not many people go in there to read the papers.

the free meal at the pub in elephant and castle was very filling too. for some reason they gave me two portions. each portion consist of 3 small burgers, with different meats. and i got another tray of it . steve and his wife were there before me. they were sitting with me after their meal, for us to chat, when the food came and we were all surprised at me getting double rations. they were too full to eat it so i had to eat it myself. 

i thought i would be very slow getting served as there were two large tables with huge numbers of people allready there, and they were drinking beer and wine. but they never did get any burgers. so i dont know why , because they had numbers on their table just like us. so they must have ordered the meal.  still i am glad the kitchen was able to cope with the large numbers.

in the end, i was so full, (made worse because that mac and cheese really filled me up), that i just ate the meat and left the buns. as i noticed others have done the same too. it has been ages since i went south of the river, to elephant and castle, and the whole area  has certainly risen up in the world. so many high rise, and they got a sainsburys!! and the central roundabout, that used to be such a mess of underground tunnels for pedestrians was no more. they have buried all those tunnels  and just made the whole thing above ground now.

the actual shopping complex in the old elephant and castle building does not look at all as if it is lively. the building is all dark and looked closed. i wonder what they have planned for it. i was expecting it to be pulled down and a new classy building rising up in its place.

in the past, it housed the clothes stalls, and food stalls, run by small businesses. i was thinking they will be turfed out to make way for more expensive businesses i expect. though i hope it wont happen and they try to retain the market stall groceries and small wet and dry market type businesses.

not much profit in those unfortunately, if u want to preserve the low prices you will have to charge low rents. that is why those kind of markets are doomed to go extinct. 

added 3.10.18 a clever way to make mac and cheese for one. 

free food, no wifi.

10 Aug

london 10.56am 19C rain friday 2018

first day i am experiencing life without home broadband. its a pity there isn’t a public wifi i can use at home, because there is no starbucks or cafe nero, nearby . the nearest wifi i can get is from the tate britain. now i am in  a public library to get online. 

yesterday, i went to a free food given by pilau, in goodge st. they are giving away a thalli of butter chicken, or paneer(some kind of cheese). only two choices because that was all that was in the menu. steve and his friend were there too and they tell me it is to advertise their evening opening. but there are only two choices in the menu. there was also free beer, in bottles.

i met quite a lot of the others who i see regularly go to these free food offers. a chinese lady who brought along her english partner and her elderly mother and father. she is a banker but she said she had taken voluntery redundancy and got a years salary. so she is taking that year off to travel. bringing along her parents with her. she said she is enjoying it and not feeling sick of it . i think because she is taking it in doses. coming back to london in between. rather than buying a one way round the world ticket and travelling all the time. she is from china. 

as for the food, i find they are generous with the chicken portions, but being buttered chickens, they are not spicy. later i saw a chinese lady eating, and she had asked them for  chilli paste. i think i expect it to be spicy because it is served in a thali dish. i was expecting a curry sauce too,actually, but they only gave us chutney. there were not many people taking up this offer. they are only giving away 50 meals, but there was no queue. it costs £8 for the chicken thali, £7 for the paneer thali. i found the beer quite strong, and gave it away to the lady who sat next to me and who i got chatting to. from what i see, most chose the meat option. i think the restaurant has a charity connection. the sign says they provide free meals and mentioned how many they provide but there was no mention of who they gave the free meals to.



if u are a tourist, speak english.

24 Jun

london 1.48pm 25.2C sunny sunday 2018

i was at the john lewis department store in oxford st, and was browsing their laptop section, and was surprised to see only one brand of chromebook, on sale. and it cost £285 and 10inches. it does not seem to be reduced. (in the past, they sell for £200 or less.) john lewis are the only ones giving a free 2yr guarantee on all their electrical goods. it is worth while getting that. 

i wonder what happened to all the other brands of chromebooks. i got chatting to one of the assistants and she said john lewis seem to have  stopped selling chromebooks except for that one. she too did not know why. i am a huge fan of chromebooks. they are perfect for the person who just want to get online with the minimum of fuss and bother and who could not be bothered with antivirus , or uploading of updates or slow downloads. she did say keep looking, because after the sales john lewis might have more chromebooks. 

my own chromebook, this one i am using now, is coming up to 2yrs, and if what i experienced of my old one is any indication, it will conk out after 2yrs. haha. it is a replacement of my old one , which conked out after 2yrs. i was glad for the john lewis free 2yr guarantee, because they gave me a new replacement at no charge. and this is the one i am using now. if it conks out it wont be replaced.   

here is hoping it bucks the trend and keeps going for longer. i have read that the pc is going down in sales, as people are buying smartphones instead. i hope they are not discontinueing the chromebooks.

on the way back, i passed by trafalgar square and got off the bus to see if they are giving away free food there. it is the hare krishna festival, where they drag 3 juggernauts through london. and they always give free food. and sure enough they were doing so, even though it is quite early and the juggernauts have not arrived frm their starting point in hydepark corner. the queue for the food is not long.  the food is delicious. and quite filling too. no tea this year. or maybe it has not arrived yet. they are giving water instead. it was quite early , it has only just started at 1pm. that explains why the queue is so short.

there were tourists there, but they did not know what was going on i think. at least these two white women and their two children. i tried to tell them of the free food, but they did not speak any english and gave me suspicious looks and edgeing away when i tried to tell them. haha. i suppose i cannot blame them for looking so suspicious , after all, if they dont know english they will be getting a lot of people who will be trying to sell them things and will rightly assume i am trying to sell them things too. but it does mean they lose out a bit on the local events like this, just because they dont know the lingo. i was thinking the kids will enjoy the free food.

frankly i think if u are going travelling as a tourist, learn english. even if u are not visiting the uk. it is such a common language there will always be someone , wherever u go, who will at least know some bits of english to communicate with you. i know others reading this will say i am arrogant to suggest it, what makes you think english is so common… haha. well all i can say is i have travelled the world and it is my experience that it is always possible to find someone who can talk english for you to ask information . so when u are in the middle of a crowd, you can ask what is going on, and someone in the crowd will invariably be able to answer you in english. 

easy life in london

1 Nov

london 11.25am 14.2C cloudybut bright. wednesday 2017 victoria library

i got notified that linkn is giving away a free breakfast sandwich,made by sub-cult.co.uk  just to celebrate success. it is in the shoreditch boxpark, near liverpool st station. i first stumbled across the boxpark when i went to the nun’s free soup kitchen. its an interesting place built of containers to carry goods in cargo ships. the boxpark itself was closed, it opens at 11am, whilst the free sandwiches were cooked up in a van near the shoreditch overground rail station, just outside the boxpark. i arrived around 9.30am, only a short queue, and they were making a veg version, and a meat version. i got the meat version, very nice it was too, egg and chunky pieces of beef. the veg version was avocado mash with bits and pieces of veg. 



its very nice, we each got half a sandwich. 6inch one.  its that nice that i wish i got a whole 12inch sandwich.haha. worth while to go there again tomorrow and the next day if u are around the area. the meat makes it worthwhile. go after 9.30am i think, because i imagine earlier the office workers will be crowding round it, the worst of the queue will be over by 9.30am, i think, as they will be at work. also if u go there by tube and bus, the tube wont be so crowded.

but of course, it is very cheap to make your own breakfast. it is very cheap to eat if u cook it yourself. i know it, that is why when i hear this… i keep reading of newspapers saying so many families are too poor and have to decide to eat or heat… i dont believe them. 

we are all familiar with advertising, and i think have gone along with the premise that advertising pays… that it will bring in customers. i dont think there is any one testing it , it just seems to have gotten into the general consciousness. and of course everyone wants it to be so, because if we are customers we get freebies… haha. and the whole internet is available for us at low costs because of these adverts. this article in takimag.com talks a bit about it. it questions whether internet advertising is effective; and concludes that if u tag your advert to news, it helps. and gives an explanation why billionaires like bezos, buys the washington post.

does giving away free food helps? what do you think?

does internet adverts really works to persuade u to alter your behavior and buy their stuff? i know it does not affect me , in fact i go even further and say a lot of the clicks that i do on the internet is done by underhand tricks of the website, i click on the adverts accidentally, or i was fooled by their layout to do so, or even they automatically switch on the advert without me even knowing about it as soon as i land on their page. so if you, as the advertiser is paying money to them by clicks on your advert, you might find it is based on misleading statistics. as for giving away free food, well, i hope they continue haha. if i ever get to do a survey asking me if i am influenced by free food, or free samples, i shall tick yes… haha. and i bet plenty of us will do that , not only me. haha. i think adverts affect me only in that they make me hungry watching them… esp if they are food ads. but instead of making me rush out to buy them, i just go to my kitchen and make some food. haha. though if i know i am not hungry but just seem to crave for something to eat, i just drink water. a mug of tea takes care of the cravings. 

10/11/17added that free breakfast sandwich was sponsored by  linkedin, and found out that microsoft paid $26billion last year to buy it. 

24 Oct

london 2.48pm brightcloudy tuesday 2017

i went again to the billy and the chicks restaurant this morning for their freebie. this time the doorman told us it will be a pulled chicken over chips with their special hot sauce, called fuck sauce. haha. i could not believe he said that. i misheard him say fuck chips, but a couple, who looked indian and waiting along with me told me it is the name of the sauce…  i was chatting with them as they joined just after me. then the daughter of  the elderly chinese man  just ahead of me came and joined him, and they discovered they know each other. the daughter who is in her 20s said she  works around here and able to get time off to come. she said it was for her father to experience it. they spoke mandarin to each other, so dont think they are from malaysia. from singapore, or from china i think.

i dont usually see chinese or indians queueing up for these things. but this place seem to attract them, because yesterday there were a lot of young chinese guys queueing up too. but the rest of the queue this time was composed of young black and white guys wearing trainers and track suits… so perhaps they are not the usual office workers. perhaps they are from a construction firm working near by. 

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i was hoping for proper chicken fried with batter but maybe that would be expecting too much. i found out kfc actually have a special , two fillet of chicken sandwich, no buns, the fillet are the buns. i thought that would be rather nice to have.

on the way to the library, i pass by victoria station, and went up to the mezzanine floor of victoria place to see how much they are selling it. £6.09. hmm, it sounds like a better bargain. it would be difficult to compete with that. looks like kfc got the chicken market all sewn up. haha. but will it taste good though. i have yet to buy one to taste it. 

the chicken burger of the billy place which i got yesterday is very nice. very tender and juicy. usually chicken breast  can be very dry and tough. i think they use chicken thighs. it must be difficult to make sure it cooks right through and still not overcook it.

i suppose one of the things that we amuse ourselves with is finding nice food places , people do that all the time in malaysia, thailand, singapore, but here i think we have a bit of variation, where to find free food. haha. the only thing is they are confined to the hamburger, chicken, pizza type of food.  its interesting that none of the chinese, indian, food places offer free food. i guess they dont need to as they have enough customers… or do they? maybe competition between burger, pizza, and chicken joints is much fiercer. or there are so many new restaurants opening offering the chicken, hamburger, pizza variations, that they have to advertise by giving free food to let people know they are there. whereas not many of the other types of restaurants are opening. i hear there is real shortage of cooks for indian, chinese food so maybe that might be the reason why there are so few new chinese or indian restaurants opening. 

added. 8.20pm. hmm, it seems london is the chicken capital of the world. it seems there are tons of chicken shops all over london catering to the locals. it seems school children allready have a £2 chicken deal aimed at them. so might be those young guys in the queue are all from the outer reaches of london where fried chicken is king.

free food, and a tale of woe

16 Aug

london 12.58pm 22.1C sunny tuesday 2016

i was at the library this morning and a timeout magazine was stuck between the pages of the daily mirror newspaper. so i got to read it, it came out today.

and i saw a entry saying free sandwich given out by this place,cure and cut, in seven dials, covent gdn. it starts at 12pm, so i went there and there was not much of a queue. only two people and i found out that they are the same couple who i saw at the bodean free ribs lunch. and at the free breakfast at hoxten square. haha.

this sandwich is made of some very salty pastrami , and there was cheese too, between two slices of bread and the whole thing toasted.

there was no queue at all, it might be no one knows of it as it is only today that the timeout came out, but this promotion continues tomorrow, where he gives away another 50 sandwiches . so tomorrow might be a busier time.

the couple told me if i want more free food, there is a promotion down the road by shake shack, giving away free hamburgers.

but i got chatting to a guy who got his free sandwich, and ask me if it is pork or beef. i did not know… so he asked the couple who said it was beef. turned out he can eat beef, not pork. but he said he wont eat the cheese as it is so salty… and he mentioned he was working once at a well known chain sandwich firm, and saw the workers there putting in so much salt.

he is so particular about eating salt, that he did not eat the other half of the sandwich. so he is even more disciplined than me. i would eat the other half, as i dont like to waste food.

i told him the salt is the one that stop me buying food from outside… so i only eat them when it is free.

though even then, i did not go to the shake shack to get the free hamburger…

we chatted about his marriage to a moroccan woman, he brought her to uk from morocco, had 2children by her, she brought over her father , who continuously say morocco is better, ( one wonders why he came to uk then, maybe the daughter told him to. not realising that to him morocco is best and that he would be happier if he had remained in morocco.   now he is forever missing morocco. so  all you children who think u know best for your parents and bring them here, you are not doing them any favours…)

and he was telling me how he lost everything when his wife suddenly turned against him and got him evicted from the council flat he had, (in sloane square too, he is damn lucky to get a council flat in sloane square), lost now to his wife who kept the kids too and cut him out of their lives, while he still have to pay maintainance to the child benefit agency. all in all, a sorry tale of woe.

there has been a hooha from feminists asking that a conservative MP be suspended from parliament , because in a conference speech he said the justice laws are biased against men, and that feminists want to have their cake and  eat it. he was only speaking the truth and this chap’s woeful tale  is just one illustration of how men get the worse end of the stick. here is a transcript of his speech.

 chatting to him and hearing his tale of woe i told him i am right glad i am gay and have nothing to do with women, because from all that i hear, they are toxic. 

what is showing now in the vue cinema in leicester square. i confess i am only attracted to it by the big central poster of zac effron.haha.

smokey tails free breakfast promo

25 Jul

london 11.51am 21.2C monday 2016

eggs forrestier, 2 poached eggs on top of buns and mushrooms and spinach. very nice it was too. (from the menu they put up in the front, it normally costs £8 or so.)

i was at the free breakfast given by smokey tails, to commemorate their extending their hours to breakfast. they are at hoxton square. i saw it being served earlier while waiting in the queue and asked that person what it is called. so when it is my turn i asked for it without any hesitation and got my order in straight away. there was free coffee or orange juice, i chose the coffee, and it turned out it is free refills as well. and they use full cream milk too. though if u add a lot of milk it does cool the coffee somewhat.

the music was rather loud, so i used the ear plugs i found in my bag. i have no idea where those ear plugs came from but it is one of the things that i must have picked up in my wanderings around the city. turned out to be very useful.

there was a bit of a wait for the order to be cooked , which is to be expected, but i was able to while the time away by taking pictures of the other people there, and to read the free newspapers which i got from the tube. it was really crowded on the tube, even though it was about 8am , those commuters really have to suffer this everyday. i took the northern line at stockwell, right in time for the early morning rush hour to the city.

 it was very pleasant taking my time over breakfast because i was given a seat at a corner just inside the restaurant so not exposed in the garden outside where you can feel the eyes of the people queueing boring into you if u continue to sit there after u have eaten. haha. actually the queue thinnned out when i finished… about 11am…so it was not so selfish of me really to hang about a bit and enjoy the whole thing.

 it seems many have to work and cannot really hang about. they open at 8am and i think that is a busiest time as many workers will try to get there before their work starts at about 9am. so u would have a shorter wait if u have gone nearer the 12pm end of their free deal. it was a very nice experience all in all. and my thanks to them for doing it. 

it was very unhurried and pleasant.  a pity i did not remember to take a photo of the egg forrestier… it was really nice looking and tastes great. the staff are really very nice and friendly.





an enjoyable day

19 Nov

london 1.49pm 11.3C raining thursday 2015

the day progresses splendidly.

i decided to go to the free burger and beer offer by the well, a pub off st john’s street, in the middle of an area with angel at one end, and farringdon at the other.

they are celebrating their 15 yrs. thank you to them for doing it. very generous of them.

i went to angel, and walked down , it was raining,and arrived about quarter to 12pm when it was supposed to start. there were very few people queueing outside and i thought it must be the rain putting them off. at the head of the queue was a young guy , an indian guy who told me he took early lunch to get there. normally lunch , he said his lunch is from 12pm-2pm. ( come to think of it, it is very long… he says he works in the IT business.) he heard of this via facebook, i heard of it via a newsletter emailed to me by londonist.

then he said lets go in, even though it was not yet 12pm, and just inside the entrance they were giving away free bottle of beer, and directing us downstairs, where we got a place to sit with a low lying  table. there were a few other people seated in that downstairs room allready.

later a huge crowd of people came trooping down the stairs and i said to the guy, i am glad i met you. i would have stayed upstairs queueing, and would not be able to get a seat. and what’s more because we were all early, all of us got the burger served to us, very quickly.

it was very nice burger, cooked medium rare, so that it was pink in the inside which i like. now that i am used to eating it like that i find i prefer it much more than the well done burgers u get in macdonalds or burgerking. also they dont make it salty either, which is great. they have a table full of condiments that u can add if u like, but my new found friend, and his girl friend who joined us , did not bother. they both looked indian, but seem not to be adverse to eating beef. though the girl did not finish the burger.

later,when i left, there was a huge crowd queueing outside, and the place was crowded. they have a cake shaped like the number 15. perhaps they will cut it later… but i was glad to be going haha. it is nice to have these freebies.

i went there by tube as it is quicker, but on the way back i arrived at the bus stop just as the 38 came, so i took that. it was nice to be inside the bus out of the rain. then i shifted to the 88.  there were so many of them it is like having a surfeit of them. 2 came at the same time. i have seen 3 tagging each other.

nice thing about london, buses are so often , u dont need to run for a bus, another one will come along soon enough.