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Thursday, October 13, 2011


According to a survey, London has the world's most expensive hotels. A night's stay in central London is more than twice as expensive as a room in Sydney, Toronto or San Francisco and 25 times more expensive than Mexico City. A night's sleep in London would cost a traveller 110 times the price of a McDonald's Big Mac. Paris was the second most expensive at 84 times the cost of a Big Mac. At the lower end of the scale, Mexicans could stay at a hotel in their capital for the price of just four Big Macs.

How does the thought of lying on a bug-infested bed with springs poking out of the mattress in a room the size of a broom closet with paper-thin walls sound to you? How about a smelly, mouldy bathroom on the side?
Stained sheets and towels, chipped teacups, holes in walls stuffed with tissue paper and malfunctioning heaters were some of the nightmarish experiences shared by reviewers on budget hotels in central London in a travel forum I visited. The most scary one was of a thief breaking into the room of a couple and stealing the cellphone that was charging beside the sleeping girlfriend! Horrors!
Choosing safety and a good night's sleep over inconvenience, we decided to stay in an outskirt of London instead and ended up in Croydon, a charming borough off the beaten track. And what a gem it turned out to be!

Loved the victorian charm of this quaint town,

the largely pedestrianised town centre and

the blend of the old and new.

The Whitgift almhouses

The red brick houses with chimneys made it easy to imagine yourself in a previous century.

A traditional English pub

American beer is not normally considered a manly drink by British males! Bitter is what Americans call beer. And beer in the UK is what Americans call lager. Confused?!!

Pub Trivia
1. The word pub is short for public house.
2. Pubs have traditional names which date back over 600 years. Some typical names are The Chequers, The White Swan, The Crown, The King's Arms, The Red Lion and The White Horse. People often refer to the pub by its name when giving directions: Turn left at the Rose and Crown. There is usually a sign outside the pub showing the pub's name with a picture.
3. There is no tipping in an English pub! Instead, if you wish, the common practice is to buy the publican or bartender a drink. The correct etiquette for offering a drink to the publican or bar staff is to say "and one for yourself?"
4. And if you're buying the bar staff too many rounds, he/she will think you're hitting on them!

And look what we found!!!

Finally, nasi lemak for the daily chili fix we had been missing back home but at 6 times the price you would pay for a plate in Malaysia? Er.....No Thanks! So it was back to bangers for breakfast again, everyday!! Ughhhh!!

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  1. Scarey hotel stories! That is my worst fear... staying in a hotel that is unsafe and dirty, yuck! But then... if we can't afford a hotel that cleans up everyday and put chocolates on our pillows... where will we sleep! We are going to try hostels as soon as the children are old enough to carry their own bags. I think that might be fun -- like camping! (we'll see!) Wow, I didn't know you could offer a bartender a drink! Drinking on the job is okay? And what's a banger for breakfast?! Did I miss that in a previous post?

  2. Ha! Ha! I think the daily fix of nasi lemak can wait. Croydon looks charming from the pics. yes, I love the names of the pubs.

  3. What a great suburb! I love the old feel of all of those buildings! :D

  4. Wow, oh my goodness! That is crazy... the prices and the stories. I've never been, but would love to visit, and your photos make it look so beautiful!! Enjoy your trip! :)


  5. It looks like such a great place! I so want to travel overseas and your posts are making me more antsy to Love the architecture of the buildings!

  6. Glory to goodness I'd move to the suburb hotel too!!!

    Ya gotta love those old buildings!!!

    God bless and have a super day sweetie!!! :o)

  7. When I grow up, I want to be just like you, Veronica, lol!!

    Very interesting.

  8. Can I just say that I'm really glad you stayed in a safe hotel?

    And by the beautiful pics, it looks like you had a great adventure.

    Love the pub trivia. :)

    Happy Weekending!!

  9. Fantastic shots! And I just love all the background info you included in this post. I've never been to England, but hope to visit one day.

    What fun!

    Glad you found a wonderful spot to stay and enjoy your visit ;)

  10. Lady, you so could be a travel writer. Are you already one?? And beautiful photos as always.

  11. How cute is that mouse on top of your blog! Nice to meet you! My sister and brother in law, travel a lot, and they have the funniest stories about hotel rooms cause they choose the cheapest!! One in the heart of Paris- they had a room on the third floor, no elevator, and the lights blacked out when they plugged a water heater. The proprietor couldn't understand their "french" or refused to, so they stayed the whole time without lights! Hello from the Philippines!

  12. I'm glad your family found a safe hotel that you enjoyed!!!