Tag Archives: free

holly

23 Nov

london 11.11am 9C cloudy saturday 2019

 

london 3.16pm slight rain 10C

i just got back from a pleasant time in a coffee shop, near elephant and castle. it is their first day of opening, a family affair, sitting at my table were two kids, a boy and girl and we found out that it is their parents who are opening the shop, and they are from rome. there were lots of italian looking men. it makes the place feel like it is in italy… a nice italian atmosphere. and everyone gets free coffee and snacks, and food.

and i got to chatting with the others sharing the table, a group of 3women, who told me they like coming to these freebies. i have not seen them before in the other freebies, but i guess now that i have seen them, i shall be seeing and recognising them in future events. i wonder what motivates people to set up coffee shops, it seems to me a lot of hard work, but maybe the profits are big. but the hours seem very long, but then maybe not for the owners, but for the workers who work for a salary.

ah well, for us who go to these freebies, we dont have to make much effort, but we can see those workers really work very hard serving the customers, and in free events, they dont get any tips at all, seeing there is no bill to pay.

here in uk, customers dont pay tips, if they dont have a bill, because the service charge of whatever percentage(12.5% nowadays) are included automatically in the bill. theoretically you can cancel it and pay what u wish, but nobody bothers to do it. people just pay up. but when it is freebies like this, where no bill is presented, no one feels obliged to tip  either.

here it is selfservice, but people still need to clear the tables, and wash things up.

steve sent me an email about it only this morning, i received it when it is allready 12pm. but i can get there quite easily, even though it takes two buses, i was expecting to see them there, but the whole time i was there , for about 2 or 3 hrs, i did not see any of the regular gang turned up. haha. so it must be too short notice or the place is quite difficult to get to for the others. 

 

11 Nov

london 1.30pm 9c cloudy monday 2019IMG_20191111_114714

towering high chicken burgers by this place near liverpool station, to commemorate the opening of their 4th branch in london. the chicken was wrapped in a batter that was very delicious, nice and crackling. the waitress mentioned it involved a high pressure fryer. i said i have never heard of a high pressure fryer, and said we wont be able to replicate it at home then. 

 i thought it was all done on the premises and said glancing at the back of the place where the workers can be seen preparing the food, it is all done very quietly isn’t it?   does not look like they are doing a big operation, there is hardly any oil or steam coming from there , and steve said it is pre-prepared. all done off the premises and brought in, remember that man bringing in the tray of chicken earlier? all precooked before. no wonder the food came so quick, i said. they only have to complete the final cooking, and that means they can get the food done quickly and served quickly. i said i can understand why people like kfc. the fried batter on the chicken is really delicious. its much nicer than kfc actually. and so it should, seeing it costs £11, normally. 

taco day, so got my free taco

5 Oct

london 11.13am victoria library cloudy 13C saturday 2019

i seem to take pleasure in eating these days. or rather, discovering foods that i have not eaten before.

like for eg, yesterday i saw entirely by chance,on a website, that taco bell, is giving away free tacos, only for that day, to celebrate taco day. they dont have many branches in london, and they mention one near holborn, and when i read of this, it was allready 7pm at night. i was in my flat, but thought i might just go and take a bus there. it is fairly near, in that i only need to take the 87, and then change to any bus at aldwych. and it was a nice night, warm, and dry and very clear and hardly any traffic on the road. so i arrived and there was a bunch of people waiting, but not queueing. only one woman ahead of me, and so i asked when my turn came, if there was free taco, and there was, and so my number was 610. i saw three young people, a boy and two girls waiting and i asked if they are waiting for their free tacos too. the boy said they were 605. when their turn came they were given a huge takeaway bag, and 3 paper cups, which they fill up on the serve yourself drinks machine. it dispenses fizzy drinks. i think they must have ordered more than just the tacos. because when my turn came, i saw it was a small taco, filled with salad and minced meat. the taco was like a poppadom folded up on itself, so u cant really put a lot of stuff inside it, or it will break the taco. i have not eaten this before, so everything was new to me. i did not realise it cant take a lot of fillings.

they do burritos,also, but their prices are £1 more than ‘tortillas’, (its not really higher prices. i was mistaken because i have forgotten how much they were in tortilla.  like a lot of things i am mistaken about.  for eg, that bag that the kids got which i thought was full of more things than 3 tacos, i forgot that it contain all three orders , for the 3 of them.   ) tortilla is the other mexican fast food restaurant chain which have more branches in london.

actually i think there is a mexican food called tortillas, but i dont know what it is. i have to google it and found out this was what it was. they look like chapatis. anyway, the free tacos, is really not worth the bother of going specially for it. in my case, it was allright, because i live so nearby. and i just wanted an excuse to go out , seeing the night was so nice. and there was nothing on tv. haha. there was also a free offer of coffee from giraffe, the cafe chain, valid only on that day, (yesterday) but it was nightime, when i first read of that offer, and so i dont fancy drinking coffee at night. 

i have discovered that i am not missing out by not eating out.

if you are out and about a lot in london, walking  around london and seeing all these fast food places, i can imagine it is easy to feel left out, and to think that those places are serving delicious food that maybe if u are not buying them, you will miss out. but i can say to those who feel that way, that they are not missing anything at all. your own home cooked meals are more delicious, and so nobody need to feel they are missing out on anything. now if u were in s.e.asia, then i would say not eating those hawker foods, you will miss out, because they are more delicious than how you can make them… but not so with fast food in the western countries. perhaps i am biased, because i grew up in s.e.asia, and so my tastes would be influenced by foods that i have eaten all the time when i was growing up. so i am bound to like those foods more than when i have grownup and gone to live in london. your upbringing can really influence your tastes in food much more than you realise. i think. 

eating

19 Sep

london 7.40pm thursday 2019 17C dry night

its been a very nice day, cloudless blue sky and all that.

we have been out and about a lot, eating free food, because there have been a free aubergine promotion in camden market, they give away a aubergine for u to exchange for a aubergine based dish in those restaurants that are around the north yard in camden market.

we got our aubergine quite early at about 10am when they first start giving it away, and the restaurants dont start their kitchen till about 12pm, so we decided to bus to goodge st, to a shop near it, who are giving away yaar quark bars, it taste like cheesecake, and is sold as a snack, though here they give us free samples topped with various things. it is quite nice actually as a snack.

it  is on tuesday too, and some friends went there to get it, and we met them at the virgin lounge and i got one to taste. it is quite nice esp with coffee. this time, we ate it sitting near there, and we had no coffee, so it did feel a bit too sweet, but the taste and texture of cheesecake is rather nice.

since i ate that blueberry cheesecake from john lewis’ cafe, i seem to have a liking for it now. i can see how someone can get to start eating it a lot, and upping their suger in their diet. i even went to the supermarket , lidl , and bought their frozen cheesecake. so it even got me too. for someone who normally dont like sweet stuff, it seems to have got me even… but i think i wont be eating anymore of it, not even cheesecake, because i am not buying anymore of it. haha.

i guess the downside of all this free food and samples they give away is that you do get to eat a lot of suger. like today when we went back to camden, and  i exchanged my aubergine for a vegetarian pizza… the cheese in it was lovely, all hot and gooey, and so salty, which is nice, but i can see not something you want to be eating everyday. i could only finish half of it, and pack it to take home to eat later… it was so filling. though my friend, she ate all of hers in the restaurant. and so quickly too… it just shows me up, eating mine so slowly and being full so quickly. last i saw of her, she was in another restaurant , so she was still going strong eating her way . she is 25 so when i was her age, i too could eat a lot. it seems it is true that when we get old, we cannot eat a lot anymore. but then, i know of a friend who is fat, and he is older than me, so it never is good to generalise.

 there are a lot of free eats around, i thought at first that it would die down, but no, it seems the restaurants want to advertise their christmas office parties, and are giving us free food to show us what they have, hoping that some of us would go back to the office and recommend them and so they get bookings  for the office parties. there must be plenty of offices in london all looking for venues to host their staff christmas parties. i think they make their profits from the drinks bill. i know that it can be as much if not more than the food costs. and the profit from drinks is very high and easy to serve as it hardly needs any preparation or cooking unlike foods.

its no wonder pubs were so plentiful in the old days, where someone can make a profit just by selling nothing but alcohol. except now everyone have been told how bad alcohol is for us, so like cigarettes, people have moved away from just drinking only. now they need eating as an excuse to drinking. haha. so now you not only can get to destroy your liver from alcohol, but can destroy a whole lot of other organs  from overeating too. it seems no one can win. haha. life is a losing game. and we all lose in the end, because we all die dont we? i guess we can win if we enjoy our life as much as possible between being born and death. maybe travelling for leisure is a good way of enjoying life. jetting off all over the world, seeing sights and meeting people, and eating your way through all those cultures, that is a way of spending and enjoying life i guess. 

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there are some small pieces of aubergine in there. but it is nice for the cheeses in there. later, i found out from one of the others that the shop gave them the aubergine after removing the stickers and she got 13 aubergines, which she gave away to friends to cook dishes with it. i myself would not mind having a few , because they are nice in mackerel fish curry. and they go well in lasagne.

free iced latte from pret

30 Aug

london 10.38am 21C cloudy 2019

its a cloudy day today, so not ideal for the free iced coffee that is given out by pret, to its followers, if we say ‘have a iced day’. they do these promotions regularly to their followers. last time i got a free cookie from them, this time it is free iced coffee… choice of latte or americano, and a free shot, i had a hazel nut shot in one shop, and a caramel one in another. it is all within an hour from 10am, so i am on my second coffee, and still drinking it, haha. i imagine i wont be able to get a third one, as the time runs out, at 11am.

it is a fun thing to do, with this password quite a reasonable one to say, instead of some outlandish thing that might make people feel really shy about saying it. haha.

i have not tried their iced coffee before. and this latest one is a cold brew. cant say it tastes any different from one made ordinary, perhaps it is a bit more bitter, because even with a caramel shot, it tastes much more bitter than the first one i had. i am no expert drinker of coffee and wont know the difference, so it is kind of wasted on me, all this fancy coffees. that is why i dont buy coffee from coffee shops as they are too strong for me.   i like weak instant coffee so i wont blame coffee lovers for thinking i am a lost cause. haha. but these coffees are quite nice, because of the shots, they flavour the coffee and makes it less bitter, i think. at least i could drink them without need of adding suger. 

this charity boss tweeted about food poverty in today’s metro paper, saying it is no such thing and got a scolding… i think he is right, in that poverty is relative, some can easily cope, whilst others through ignorance dont know how. but his choice is a bad one. his meal to me is quite expensive . i can think of many egs where you can make a meal for much less than 97p a head. tesco now is selling a head of celery for 25p, and you can buy 3 cucumbers for £1 in the fresh market in upton park. and chicken thighs are £1.66/kg in tesco. just think how many meals you can make out of those… i would compare this to someone lost in the woods, one person can die of starvation , whilst another can survive, because one person dont know how to find food in the wild, another dies of starvation, surrounded by food if only they know how to find it.

 

 

a garden party

16 Aug

london 11.15am 19C cloudy friday 2019

a huge rain cloud is coming to london, forecast to hit us at about 3.15pm today. that cloud seems to cover the whole uk. so the whole country is gonna rain. 

yesterday i went to a free food garden party at kew bridge. i was early, and nearly could not find the place, because it was a really narrowed road leading to a new build housing development with a football stadium in it.

it was right next to the railway track and kew bridge station. the station  is in zone 3, and is on the overground train line. not a tube station. have no gates and no ticket office, and it trusts u to log in and out with your electronic oyster card or debit card. mind you if u forget and either log in but not out,or vice versa,  the system will charge you the cost of the whole 8 zones. so that is the penalty for not logging out for those who are thinking of getting away with not paying. haha. 

we found out it was actually a collaboration between a housing developer ecoworld, (who seem to have some malaysian backing, ecoworld have other housing developments elsewhere in london) with brentwood football club and the local council to build a football stadium and add luxury housing to it.

they tell us to dress for a garden party. i have no idea how one dresses for a garden party, until i went there and saw people wearing jackets and tie and thought oh so that is how one dresses for a garden party.

it was a pleasant evening, unlike yesterday when it was raining all day. and the catering was done by the kerb people, a streetfood company. and i stuck to the malaysian caterer, only managed to eat two bowls of their laksa, a fried meehoon dish, and two sticks of satay. haha. i was so full , but still managed to down a doughnut from the doughnut stall. could not manage to eat the malaysian desserts.

i pass over the pulled pork burger stall. i was so stuffed… sat at a table full of malaysians who seemed to have flown in from malaysia to support the consortium. at the start we were told we might not be able to get in as they expected 50 people  from malaysia, to come to the party. the elderly couple i talked to said they came for a holiday of two months, and to visit their daughter who lives here.

we were at the head of the queue, so it did not go down well for us to be told that as well as we have to wait till the bus load of expected guests come… some people in the queue actually left the queue, being angry about it all. but there was no need really to tell us that , because in the end, that big bus load of malaysians did not really bring in many people, and we were allowed in. they even provide free cocktails, though i did not bother to queue up for that.

there were some football players, tall fit looking young men, wearing suits, who must be from the football club, invited to help spread the word. haha. i am not a fan of football so cant say if they are famous or not. though they could be mistaken for security guards, if we were not told the football players will be there. in the end, the place was not full really, but maybe just as well, because it was a small space, and we have plenty of room to move about. and what is more to be able to get the food easily without much queueing.

there was a short ceremony to officially open the development, and then the dj came on for the dancing, and that is when i left.

i saw these two articles that interests me. what3words an app that makes it easy to tell others where you are. esp if u are lost and want the rescue service to find you. added. i dont have a smartphone so cannot download their app, but i find i can do everything just by going into their website what3words.com. you can find out what 3 words describe your location by searching for it in that website search engine. fascinating really, you can tell people where u are without giving them your address. or postcode. which is how i usually tell people. 

added. in fact ian wrote me to ask if we can meet up on sunday. and i gave him the link via that what3words website to let him know where it is exactly that i want to meet up… it would be impossible to describe it, because regent st has two parts , north and south side, and there are all those points around oxford circus … but just giving him https://what3words.com/sleepy.limes.trash

tells him exactly where. it is really a very useful website. 

and this one , peculiar photos . that one about the dog in the background, which is actually a profile of a gameplayer with head phones on, really fooled me. i saw that image a few days ago, and could not see the player… and was really puzzled at why a dog is there… but this time when i saw it again, because they pulled up a close up of the dog, i could very faintly make out the profile face of the player. 

added. i just have a thought, who in their right mind would want to live near a football stadium, the noise! the crowds! every match day just cannot bear thinking about.

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this is the second laksa i had. there are 3 large prawns in there. 

added. 3.58pm rain 17C. just got a free cookie from pret a manger, they give it to u between 3pm-4pm today if u say ‘bake my day’, the password. it is rather fun, and you can have a free cookie. just perfect with coffee. there were two of these pret shops near me, actually there are 3, but i only went to these two and got a cookie from  each of them.

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this is my second cookie, and it has been allowed to cool down so that it is quite firm. the first one came straight out of the oven and was still gooey. they both are very chocolatey…

you could be forgiven to think who would want to queue up for these, and on a rainy day like this… but there was a long queue in both of those shops. one said come back half hour later, when the cookies will be baked… the other let us wait, the queue stretched out of the door. people like their cookies in london. they seem to be office workers around the area. a group of 4 indian guys were in front of me , and one of them was holding a tray of cafe nero coffees. he pointed to one with letters on the cover and said that one is for the manager. he mentioned he can get a free coffee because of the stamps he can get , for each coffee and he gets a free one when he collects enough stamps. i said it is great , if his manager pays for the coffee and he gets the stamps. then he said he pays for it, and i said what! that dont seem fair, then i said maybe u want something from him, and i said maybe you can get a day off when you want and he will give it to you. and he said yes, and added that he and the manager are good buddies and he would buy him coffee because he wants to. then one of his coleagues observed that they are entering a pret shop with cafe nero coffees and wonders if that might cause offense from the people in there. that might explain why they decided to leave the queue. though i also said the coffee will get cold and the manager will have to drink cold coffee. one of them did say they can microwave it hot again. though i secretly wonder if that might spoil the coffee… to be reheated like that. who knows, i am not a drinker of shop bought coffee who would allow his coffee to go cold and reheat it. haha.

i often find people who work are out buying coffee from these coffee shops. how come they dont have a kettle in the office and given free coffee … to make themselves and save money… or if the firm is so stingy at least provide a kettle. and you might be able to bring your own tea bags, whcih are so much stronger than the ones u can buy from these coffee shops… what am i missing i wonder. don’t office workers make their own coffee or tea anymore???

 this rain cloud is really huge, the rain cloud seems to stretch way out over the whole of england , earlier, it stretched right across the whole length of uk, no wonder they said the country will get a month’s rain just today.

freebies

16 Jul

london 1.15pm 26C sunny tuesday 2019

such a sunny hot day today. i have just been to a free chicken burger given by meatmarket, their branch in jubilee market in covent gdn. they want to publicise their new menu, which has a caeser chicken burger, and that is what we got. a chicken breast meat with a whole huge little gem lettuce between two buns. with lots of gravy… or i should say dressing. very nice indeed. there were not that many in the queue, just our gang of 5, and maybe another 6or 7 others. 

they are giving out only 50 but i only know of it this morning, from a email from steve, who knew it because he has joined their newsletter which told him of it a few days ago.  when i heard from steve, i went to check it out in their instagram, and saw they only made the announcement yesterday. so it is very short notice. steve said it is a good idea to join their mailing list, as they give u a free meal on your birthday. i shall join even though my birthday is over for this year.

the burger,  you can see that big lettuce , and underneath it is a huge chicken breast.and also the free choc ice cream given by another place hotel chocolate in covent gdn, which we went to after the burger.

steve got a voucher from them for 4 free choc icecream, and invited me to join them. surprisingly, the shop assistant gave us 4 icecream. very creamy the icecream, and a lot of it, that cup is huge. i only managed to finish one, whilst steve and his wife finished off the other 3. it costs about £3.85p normally. it was certainly good weather for eating icecream.

life is very pleasant here in london. its warm , not hot, highest never goes higher than 26C recently…in spite of dire warnings of hot weather coming our way. and no drought, so no water rationing. we got the best of worlds really. unlike new york which have a blackout recently, and it seems it suffers these blackouts; london has not suffered anything like that within my memory of living here all these years. london utilities run well. most people dont appreciate it until it goes wrong, than they get all upset about it. but london runs well and so we dont suffer any interruption of these basic services.