Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Fashion on the Piste

The one thing I love as much as skiing while on a skiing holiday is watching what people wear in these resorts. It is almost like a game, who can look more chic and more expensive? Go to St Moritz, Courchevel or Cortina and it's a sea of fur and Moncler. A bit cheesy and lame maybe? It is an expensive hobby to look that good but I have to say I love fashion in the snow.

Lately I have been obsessed with wearing all-white ski gear, it's so cute but I feel like maybe you need to be very skinny, tall and blonde to complete the look? Here are some of my favourite...



I would hate to run into someone wearing the exact same jacket or ski gear as me and therefore I never like the stock they have in Snow and Rock or any other high street store. Make the effort to do some research before you invest in something.

It is so hard to find good fitting ski pants. A lot of them tend to come quite baggy and not girly enough for me, but here are some I found that are super chic from www.winternational.co.uk








Most skis are very colourful, flashy, and full of funky animation. I prefer my skis very clean and simple, which unfortunately usually means that they are more expensive. Here are a few I love...

Ultra Fab - Zai Spada Skis

Zai Spada Skis


Bogner Gold Rush Skis


Luxury Alfred Dunhil Ski

Kastle Skis

Kastle Ski

I don't actually wear a helmet when I'm skiing, if you see a girl going down a questionable run with a pink-grey woolly hat that's likely to be me. Dangerous I know, but I have never found a helmet I liked so I stuck with my woolly hat. Fortunately, when I was in Verbier I finally found some ultra fab ski helmets from Bogner...






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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Culinary Singapore

I get so excited when ever I am in Asia because of all the food I am going to get to eat which I can't find in Europe. Singapore is home to some of my favourite Asian dishes because it is such a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, and Indian.

My friends who live in Singapore wanted to show me some real Singaporean food and all swear by Long Beach Seafood Restaurant. Entering the open air restaurant the atmosphere is noisy, buzzy and packed like any real Asian restaurants. I knew it had to be good. I have heard them talk about this chilli crab and pepper crab all afternoon and I'm finally going to get a taste. Long Beach apparently do the best crabs in town. (http://www.longbeachseafood.com.sg/index.php)

Razor clams in soya sauce with glass noodles

BBQ Chicken Wings Singapore style

Buttered Prawns - so crunchy and oh so good


What we came here for - Pepper Crab

The one and only Chilli Crab
On the third night of our stay, I made reservations at a new restaurant called 'Andre'. My friend April had been before and was raving it about it to me. Seeing as she has given us great recommendations so far, I wasn't going to argue, even if I had my doubts. I've dined at Noma and numerous michelin star restaurants, it would take a lot to impress me now. The chef 'Andre' (who owns and runs the restaurant with his wife and a small team) is Taiwanese but moved to study cooking in France when he was 18. He had worked under numerous top chefs in France including Joel Robuchon and is now bringing fine French dining to Singapore. Tut, a Taiwanese guy cooking French food? C'mon.

Seafood risotto you could say
Shame on me. Shame on me indeed for judging before I tried. We arrived to the restaurant and were warmly greeted by staff at the door who knew exactly who we were before we uttered our reservation name. The restaurant is beautiful and very intimate with just 30 guests at max capacity. The staff spend time to get to know you and you get a sense from every single person that they are extremely passionate about food and really love what they do. I mentioned that I felt cold where I was sitting so our waiter brought me silk blankets they had prepared for this occasion.  I mentioned right at our very last course that we were celebrating my boyfriend's birthday and they still manage to get us a specially made cake with his name and a signed birthday card from the chef himself. In fact, all through out the night, the staff was two steps ahead of us, I never again had to ask for anything else. This is what I look for, very small attention to detail. The kind of details a lot of restaurants forget.

Andre only has a tasting menu only of 11 courses so we took it with matching wine. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single dish that came out was heavenly every bite I took. I finished every single course with no difficulty and with the greatest of pleasure. The wine too was ridiculously good, majority coming from less well known vineyards in France. If I could only put into words how good the food and wine was. It frustrates me that I can't tell you. You will just have to trust me on this one.



De-assembled Mars Bars, one of our 3 desserts
The only thing I would say is that it is not cheap. Our dinner was close to 600 pounds for the 11 courses and matching wine for two people. And I never thought I would say this, but I would pay 600 again to go back.
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The New Singapore

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Singapore has changed and transformed dramatically in the last 10 years. The financial sector really took off and is catching up with Hong Kong and there's no slowing down. I used to visit Singapore 6-7 years back and there was not much to see nor do apart from shop and one attraction which was the Singaporean Lion statue. Friends who live there would complain endlessly that there's nothing going on and nicknamed it Singabore.


The Fullerton Hotel




I went back to Singapore twice in 2012, and some parts were unrecognisable. The area that used to be bare land is now filled with high rises and odd-shaped buildings mostly belonging to investment banks, a couple of new hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping mall, casino, botanical garden and museum. The list is endless. Universal Studio also just opened its doors in 2011 and not to forget the F1 week. The futuristic tiny country now has a lot to offer and if the last time you went to Singapore and found that you ticked off the to see list after 5 mins of landing, then I would suggest you to go back again.

Science Museum
Sunset walk





Financial District

Louis Vuitton Island - the only LV store on water
My friend April recommended the Fullerton Bay Hotel to us so we went along. Do not make the mistake by booking The Marina Bay Sand Hotel (the three-legged hotel with the infinity pool). It may look good in pictures but the reality is that the hotel is full of big Chinese tour groups who come mainly for the casino and the new shopping centre. The pool is so busy, full of young children making way too much noise anyone would want on holiday. The Fullerton Bay however is a new sister hotel (opened in 2011) to the already prestigious The Fullerton Hotel. It has a much more boutique and intimate feel with a smaller number of rooms and it boasts a very cool roof top bar called Lantern. The staff here all know your name and remember who you are every time they see you in the corridor.

Complimentary Champagne at check-in because they thought we were on our honeymoon. We didn't correct them.

My favourite lounge bar in Singapore - Lantern
View from our room over looking Marina Bay Sands
Bath Time
Private pool
Marina Bay Sand Hotel infinity pool

Wiiii

Sippin' Margaritas
 Saturday night we went out to Pangaea Club in the Marina Bay Sands. We ended up partying there till 6am and was introduced to Eduardo Saverin of Facebook, who had a harlem of Asian girls around him.   I guess the movie was accurate on his preference of choice.


April and I at Pangeae


At the beach...soo hungover



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Saturday, 26 January 2013

My Grandma's Village

My mom's side of the family is from Udon Thani which is the North-Eastern region of Thailand. Its predominantly an agricultural part of the country. If you have ever had Thai rice then it would have been highly likely that it came from this area. It is the poorest part of Thailand, but the people are happiest and most generous.

Rice Paddy
Some happy locals
It is not an area very well known to tourists but I think it has some of the most amazing sceneries. My mom has always told me that she was such a happy child growing up here. No body had vdo games, television, and back in the day not even electricity sometimes. She used to tell me that she would play with her brother and sisters outside while she tended to the water buffalos and picking rice from the field. That was her job when she wasn't in school. Can you imagine trying to give a 9 year old in London a serious chore?

I just want to share some photos that my brother took the last time we were in Udon Thani. It's been a long time since I had been here and only now that I start to wonder why.

Lady hard at work

The field in front of our house

Thai lady crushing garlic, gotta love the kitchen

Neighbourhood
 My mom took me to go visit a lady in the village who hand makes these beautiful sarongs. She must be nearly 70 but she spends all her time making them to sell. She wanted to give them to me for free but I refused (you see what I tell you about people being so generous here).
Old lady who makes these quilted sarongs

Beautiful sarongs

Where she makes the sarongs

Monks walking 





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