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I know it’s cheesy & clichéd to go shopping at a mall or department store when you’re on vacation, but London has some of the most well-known, iconic, & oldest department stores in all the lands. So, it was an obvious choice to put these touristy famous shopping destinations on my list of must visit places. I wasn’t necessarily planning on buying anything, but I at the very least wanted to step inside & take a look around & to be able to say that I’ve been there.

Fortnum and Mason is one of those department stores where you know there’s going to be a lot of old, stuffy history, & where you know you’re going to look severely underdressed (& undertitled) compared to all of the high-society ladies who stop there for some exclusive afternoon tea. Jian is not in the least bit interested in shopping malls or department stores, so it was a bit of a task to convince him to go with me to Forntum and Mason.

When we got there, the place was packed to the gills with other tourist shoppers, all with the same intentions as we had…to buy semi non-kitschy souvenirs for friends & family. Of course Fortnum and Mason is well-known for their teas, but they also carried a massive variety of confectioneries & cookies/biscuits. We bought a few small tins of cookies/biscuits for Jian’s parents & a small box of marzipan for my mom. However, there was one item I kept passing by while we were browsing. It was a box of milk chocolates, but it wasn’t the chocolates that got me hooked. It was the absolutely adorable & clever packaging that caught my eye.

I am always a sucker for product packaging like cute gift wrapping, or souvenir boxes/tins. This chocolate box packaging was no exception. I 100 percent fell in love with the packaging as soon as I saw it. Also, I love chocolate, so it was a no-brainer that I had to pick this up as a souvenir for myself. Check out the packaging below.

 

fortnum chocolates collage.png

Please excuse my crappy photo-taking & editing. These were all shot on an iPhone SE.

  1. The box cover says “Cute as a button”. That got me hook, line, & sinker. Also, I loved the pink & blue pastel color scheme of the box.
  2. The back of the box has all of the nutritional information, blah, blah, blah…
  3. Inside, the chocolates are wrapped in tissue paper with a gold foil bumble bee sticker.
  4. I love the clever sewing theme of the box. The bottom side of the box lid has an adorable sewing lablel graphic that says “100% Delicious Made in England”.
  5. The side of the box lid has a super cute graphic of a pincushion with a thread & stitching graphic wrapping around the box lid.
  6. Inside is the real prize. The chocolates are shaped like actual antique buttons. That is just incredible attention to detail.

I can’t wait to sample these chocolates for myself. They almost look too delicious to eat, but who can pass up a piece of yummy chocolate? I know I can’t. Until then, cheers to chocolate mates!

Today’s song of the day:

“Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest

can i kick it.jpg

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Ok, before I tell you about my epic trip to London, let me tell you this story first. Let me start by reminding you of my previous blog post, the one where I talked about how I’ve always dreamed of going to London & spotting a celebrity. I think I’m having a lucky streak meting famous people overseas. I once met Gwyneth Paltrow in Tokyo while she was on vacation with her daughter Apple. Then, I shook hands with my favorite Japanese rap artist VERBAL (from the famous JPop duo m-flo) in Shanghai.

This time…I spotted another celebrity on the street. Have you ever heard of the TV show The Royals (shown on the E! Network here in the U.S.)? Do you know of the newly famous actor Tom Austen, who plays a royal bodyguard to the princess on that TV show? Well, in case you don’t know who he is, here’s a photo for your reference. If you do know of him, here’s a reminder of what he looks like.


Ok, ok. So I didn’t actually meet this actor in person, but I did spot him randomly on the street, & I think that should count as a celebrity sighting. I was walking with Jian in the South Kensington neighborhood looking for a place to grab some lunch. We walked by a French restaurant with a large window wall facing the street. This actor, Tom Austen, was sitting directly in front of the window at a corner table with a mystery woman whom I assume is a private friend of his. He just happened to look up from his plate at the exact time Jian & I walked past the window, & we made brief eye contact. Of course, Tom had a puzzled expression on his face. I tried to look nonchalant & like I wasn’t deliberately looking into the restaurant window.

Jian & I kept walking, but I had to stop him to explain to him all about my excited behavior. Jian at first didn’t believe that this guy we walked past was a real celebrity, so I had to convince him to walk back to the restaurant so we could get another glimpse, & I could prove to him I was right. I made up some lame story to pretend to be interested in the restaurant’s menu, like we might eat there for lunch. Of course the actor knew we had circled back to where he was eating with his friend, & he had another puzzled expression on his face as he noticed us walking by his area again. Then again, this actor always has a puzzled look on his face. In every photo I’ve seen of him on the internet, he always looks puzzled.

Walking back to the restaurant & getting my second glance only bolstered my confirmation that I indeed spotted actor Tom Austen in public…in a high-end, well-to-do neighborhood…having lunch with a semi-attractive brunette woman. In order to truly convince Jian that it really was the actor that we saw, I had to show him Tom’s IMDB profile. Jian’s still not fully convinced, but I’m sticking to my story, & that’s that. Well, I’m off to start on my London vacation blog… Until then, cheers mates!!

Today’s song of the day:


I’m finally at the airport after waiting for so long. The time has finally come, & I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I still can’t believe I’m actually going to London. It’s going to be a wild ride. Will catch up on the other side of the time zone. Until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

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