Friday, February 10, 2012

22/12/2011 Thursday and a water crisis in the condo

No water in our apartment did not stop us from enjoying the day at Borough Market

Wynne, APLH's rep , called that morning, and asked me to do some troubleshooting, totally ignoring that it was 4am. Cold water was trickling from the tap, but nope, still no hot water.

Borough Market is all about food
By 8am, many calls were made by different people from APLH but even a visit by APLH's  rep to the apartment at 8.30am did little to fix the problem. Cold water was restored , the pump resumed working but there was not even a drop of hot water from the tap.

Veggie stall which was said to be patronized by J Oliver.
We went about London, half worried about the water problem with APLH's plumber scheduled to visit the apartment while we were out. We visited Borough market and experienced a crowd many times what we saw  the last visit. I bought cheeses , 5 types in total. Lunch was simple , delicious street fare of sandwiches and burgers. We ate standing but enjoyed every morsel. The weather was cool but sunny , the perfect day for a market visit.

Seriously delicious fresh fig
Bread, bread and more bread !
Kings college medical department was around the corner and we dropped by to get an undergraduate prospectus. We conducted a self guided tour, which was not at all informative. The tour did not meet the main objective of understanding the ins and outs of themedical school  because of the spartan information gleaned from the tour.

We missed all the hourly window shows at Fortnum and Mason
The second highlight of the day was tea at Fortnum and Masons. Although our reservation was for 5.30pm, I tried my luck and got ourselves a table at 4pm.  This was a peek into what a English butler service might be, with accomodating and attentive waiters and exquisite tea bites. The tea,  served in F&M tea china set, was delicate, which I believe was partly due to the type of water used. H didn't think much of the live piano music in the background while Pat suggested requesting a piece of music. We voted no.

Not a real meal, the entire F&M experience cost  a mini fortune of 110 GBP. I was very out of character to even plan this but H's piano teacher raved about it and we simply had to verify it. As hearsay goes, F&M's high tea experience was matched by its price without an overly exclusive ambience.

Endless supply of cakes
It was a fortunate thing  we had tea early (  till 6pm ) , between which Pat had to liaise with APLH regarding alternative accommodations for the night. From our observation, the water heater most probably burnt out but the plumber had indicated that there was a problem with water supply in South Kensington. We verified with our neighbor that it was not true.

Some more photo sessions at PicadillyCircus after  F&M's high tea and then it was time to check out the situation at our apartment. It was unfortunate hot water was not restored by the time we were back and we had to spend our last night in London in  a hotel instead of the apartment.

Crisis management mode kicked in and we packed and sought lodging at Cranley Gardens Hotel ( 8 Cranley Rd )for 125GBP a night, a small fortune considering it was for us to bathe and sleep for the night before heading back to the apartment at Gloucester Rd for packing up. APLH promised to reimburse us and we hope they will honor their words.

Cranley Gardens Hotel was cozy but since we have grown used to a big apartment, the hotel room was uncomfortable for us.  This experience, of leasing the apartment from the agent instead of the owner, proofed the severe shortcoming of the lack of ownership of problems from the apartment , since we could not make contact with the agent outside working hours and weekends. Had we encountered this problem last weekend, we would have had a miserable time with freezing weather and water.

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