Category Archives: Holidays

Easter in Sydney…

sydneyJust a quick hello to let you all know that i’ve recently come back from my 2 weeks Easter holiday in Sydney, and i’ll be back to blogging very soonHere is a sneak peak into what i did and saw throughout my holiday upon stepping foot on the land of the Aussie. Hope you all are having a lovely Easter holiday!

Photo source: all photos by me

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Day Trip in Copenhagen

As i was in Denmark for two weeks last Christmas, i had more than enough time to explore around the beautiful city, Copenhagen, where i met up with friends and family and had a lovely time.  If you ever happen to be visiting Copenhagen but for a shorter stay, I recommend the following places to visit.

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Torvehallerne, a market that opened publicly in 2011, is a place that will definitely excite both your sight and senses. It consists of two market halls where there are endless stalls selling fresh bakeries, cheese, fruits, seafood, savory dishes, and many special Danish delicacies, such as their famous open sandwiches (smørrebrød).

There are also restaurants and cafes inside Torvehallerne where you can sit down and relax, while you enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a cold pint of Danish Carlsberg beer. The food varieties are also plenty if you feel hungry, ranging from Danish open sandwiches, burgers, sandwiches, to even Spanish and Japanese food. I decided to have some open sandwiches that day, and ordered my favorite fish fillet with remoulade sauce, frikadeller (Danish meat ball), and potato with red onions. My friend ate some quite interesting tuna sashimi wrapped in cucumber.

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 After enjoying a much filling meal, you take a stroll inside the market, where you can admire some fresh and beautiful flowers. You can even do a stop over at Summerbird, a prestigious Danish chocolate and confectionary brand. One of my all time favorite are their almonds covered in different chocolate flavors, including raspberry, strawberry, lemon, coffee, seasalt, cocoa, nougat, and many more. It’s a perfect gift to take home for your friends and family.

You also have to try their flødeboller, which is a waffle base with marshmallow like filling inside, and covered in chocolate on the outside. It was my all time favorite snack growing up in Copenhagen. In fact, there was a Christmas tree made of flødeboller inside the Summerbird shop when i was visiting, and it looked sooo pretty and yum.

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If you are in for a bit of history and culture, I suggest you to visit the Rosenborg Castle (Rosenborg Slot), which is a mere 15  minutes walk away from Torvehallerne. This castle was used as royal residences until around 1710, and was also built as a country summerhouse in 1606. This is only one of Christian IV’s many architectural projects back then. To have a full experience of the Rosenborg Castle, and if time permits, take a tour inside the castle to see the real life of a royal back then. You are allowed to take pictures inside the castle but you need to pay for this.

The Knight’s Hall, which is located on the third floor (as shown below in the fifth photo) is one of the rooms that captivated me the most. It was originally intended to be used as a ballroom, and as you walk in, you will be mesmerized by the long hall, along with the golden walls and high ceilings above you. I think the high light of touring the Rosenborg Castle must be witnessing the crown jewels and crown regalia at the basement, where you will find the crown of Christian V and  the queen’s crown.

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To end the day, head over to Tivoli Hotel for happy hour and enjoy some cocktails. This hotel carries the theme of the amusement park, Tivoli, into its interior design and decor, where everything feels very fairytale and dream like. The lobby has these pretty red and green lights along the window, and paired with the iconic Swan Chairs (as designed by Danish designer, Arne Jacobsen) in a very clean white color.

Upon arriving to sky bar on the 12th floor, the crowd was already bustling with everyone chatting and laughing away in their own world. What i really liked about this bar was that their seats were in the form of swings and had a beautiful  night view of Copenhagen right in front. My friend and i decided to become kids again and sat on the swings as we sipped on cocktails and chatted the night away, just as we saw some fireworks up in the air from a distant. And if you are feeling a little peckish, you can head over to Sticks ‘n’ Sushi for some Japanese food, which is on the same floor as the sky bar. Having the best of both worlds, what isn’t there to love, right?

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Photo source: all photos by me

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Tivoli Christmas Market By Night

Tivoli is an amusement park in Copenhagen, and being the second oldest amusement park in the world, where it was opened in August 1843, this is definitely a place worth visiting. Tivoli is a fun place for both adults and children, where there are rides for all ages, and you can enjoy Denmark’s famous and delicious soft ice (soft ice cream), as well as other savory foods, while intaking the lovely view of the Tivoli Garden.

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I’ve never been to Tivoli during the winter season so when i found out they were having a Christmas market during December, i was more than thrilled to see it with my very own eyes. The entrance of Tivoli always amazes me and this time was no different, except it looked even more beautiful with it’s dreamy Christmas lights shining amidst the night. There were also some baby reindeers not long after we walked into Tivoli, which is a fun event for those with children and an opportunity for them to learn about animals. Or you can even stand in que and wait to take a photo with santa clause.

There were a lot of shops selling cute Christmas decorations, and some shops serving hot drinks, such as mulled wine, warm waffles with jam and chocolate sauce, and savory food, to fight off the cold weather. One of the best things about visiting Tivoli at night during Christmas, is just how magical the place turns into, with all the pretty lights shining everywhere.

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A few of my favorite spots at Tivoli was the Taj Mahal building lighting up with a beautiful white peacock at the front, the very fairy tale looking swings, and the one that really made me stand still in admiration was the tree that had these lovely red hearts hanging down.

I was also lucky enough to witness the water and light show, just as we were on our way to leave Tivoli, as it was near closing time. The music playing in symphony along with the water, while the lights changed to different colors, was such a beauty.

I will definitely be going back to Tivoli, just a matter of when.

Tivoli - Chinese Stage

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Photo source: all photos by me

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Visiting Beautiful Copenhagen

With Denmark being reported as one of the happiest country in the world, it’s no wonder one must take at least one trip, to this wonderful land of happiness. As Copenhagen is my home town, i always go back to visit families and this city never fails to take my breath away.  And my visit back home last Christmas was no exception. If you are ever planning to visit Copenhagen, here are a list of my top things to do so you can make the most out of your trip.

One of my favorite things to do in Copenhagen is to walk by foot as it’s a relatively small city, and just admire the history and architect that this historical Nordic city has to offer. Museums and galleries are always in my agenda when i go traveling, and i feel it’s a fun way to understand more about a country. Amalienborg is the winter residence of the Danish royal family and definitely a must see. Take a walk along Amalienborg Palace, which consists of the four rococo palaces, and take photos of their majestic and historical  buildings.

If you are at the Amalienborg Palace during noon time, you will even be able to experience the change of guards in the court yard, where the Royal Life Guards are dressed in their distinctive black and blue uniform. However, you can also witness their vibrant red and blue uniform during special occasions or ceremonies, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and etc, within the royal family.

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You can also visit the Amalienborg Museum  if time permits, and understand the history about the Danish royal family. You are allowed to take photos inside the museum but you will need to pay for this. The dining room was one of the rooms that impressed me the most, which was where Christian X and Queen Alexandrine used at the time. The white detailing of the dining table, chairs, and cabinets, along with the golden wall gives it a very royal look. The lovely plates hung on the golden wall were actually wedding gifts for Christian X and Queen Alexandrine in 1898.

And if you want a little souvenir, you can check out their shop where they sell post cards and books relating to the royal family, and some other cute Danish souvenirs. One of my most common souvenir purchases are magnets and postcards and this shop was like heaven for me. In fact, i’m a collector of magnets and postcards for every country or city i visit.

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You can also do a quick stop over at the Marble Church (Frederiks Kirke), which is located on the west of Amalienborg Palace, and is only a mere 10 – 15 minutes walk away. Admiring this beauty from a far or close up is just as exquisite. The dome of the Marble church is also known to be the largest church dome in Scandinavia (according to wikipedia). If the exterior of this church is not enough to impress you, then take a walk into the church itself and experience a magical moment, where you will walk into a space of serenity. The dark and quiet ambiance along with with candles lit up, against these tall concrete walls and a beautiful  ceiling of the dome, was enough to take my breath away.

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After a long day of walking and if you want to take a break but not go too far, then look no further then visiting the Mormors Cafe (Grandmother’s cafe in English translation), which is also near Amalienborg Palace, located on Bredgade 45, Copenhagen 1260. You can find more details on their website here. My friend and i happened to stumble upon this local cafe by accident, as it started to rain, and we were tired and hungry. The cafe has a very traditional homey ambiance to it, with the floral wallpaper, wooden chairs and table, and old white cabinets to display their goodies. It’s almost sort of a moment you experience when you’re visiting your grandmother in her old cottage house.

I’m not sure if this cafe is a popular spot in Copenhagen but it definitely is a cosy and quiet place to chill with friends. I ordered a cappuccino and their home made apple crumble cake with cream, and was more than happy to stay out of the cold. It was just the perfect way to end our night.

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Photo source: all photos by me

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Top Things To Do In London

When it comes to traveling, i will definitely say i am a planner, where i will always have a rough idea of the things i want to see and do (i carry both a mental list and a written list, for the perfectionist that i am). And revisiting a place i been before such as a vibrant city like London, makes no exception either. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not those freaks who sticks to every single detail of a plan, and depending on my mood and the weather, i sometimes do enjoy those laid back moments where i just go with the flow, realizing the unknown is just as fun.

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My trip to London back in December didn’t involve too much planning as my friend that came with me was a laid back traveler so it was perfect for me, considering how many times i have been to London. But i definitely had a mental list of things to do with my friend and i’ve decided to compile a list of top things to do in London, in case you shall ever visit this lovely city. Hope you guys enjoy these tips.

Piccadilly Circus is definitely a place to visit in London. It’s in the center of London, and you really get a feel of the buzz and hype that this metropolitan city has to offer. There are loads of shops if you are into shopping, whether its high end or low end fashion, or restaurants and cafes to visit if you ever fancy a cup of coffee or experience a proper afternoon tea, the British style.

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One of the afternoon tea places that i really wanted to try was Fortnum & Mason, which i learned about from the fabulous and lovely British blogger, Milla. Although i didn’t get to try their afternoon tea, the shop itself was enough to impress me. The entire shop was filled with lovely packaging of their food and tea products everywhere, but displayed in moderation. The signature color of their products are in this lovely turquoise color, but i was also very much attracted to these purple tined Earl grey biscuits that i spotted minutes within walking in there, and of course i had to buy them. I ended up buying loads of their teas, such as the green tea flavored Elder flower tea, Earl Grey, and English breakfast. I wanted to try their macarons, being the macaron fan that i am, but i guess i was too overwhelmed by all the things inside Fortnum & Mason that i completely forgot to try some.

Ever since i spotted these alphabet mugs from other bloggers, which are available in Anthropologie, i made an immediately pit stop to their store in London. Lucky, i didn’t even have to buy it that day because my sweetest sister had already bought it for me as part of my Christmas gift, after she heard me talk about it for like ever and ever.

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An afternoon tea session is a must if you visit London, a city that is well known to serve the best scones ever. I decided to pay a visit at Sketch, which i’ve not tried before yet heard good reviews of it from other British bloggers. The entrance of Sketch was very mysterious, where you are guided through this dark hall upon entering the lobby.

The interior and ambiance inside was very relaxing and with a lot of wooden and green color incorporated into its design. One of the things that really got me attention was this giant chandelier that hung in the middle of the ceiling, where it had these wooden branches look alike branching out. My friends and i ordered two sets of the afternoon tea and we did not finish it. The thing with afternoon tea is that the food are bite sizes but the fullness slowly creeps up on you. The savory and sweet dishes were both delish but up to this day, i still haven’t tried an afternoon tea place that has blown me away. One thing for sure was that their sea salt caramel and pistachio flavored macarons were yummy!

Another interesting thing about Sketch is their wash room. I know, you would think what? Upon entering the washroom, you will see these individual oval shaped toilet cubicles. The  colorful neon ceiling also gave it a very out of space feel to it, and it definitely gave it a whole new meaning and experience for washrooms.

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It’s also great fun to experience London by night. The night time of the city with the beautiful lights lit up is a breath taking view for sure. Regent Street is an area that i would recommend visiting, where they always display these beautiful Christmas lights during the festive season. A night out with my girls was definitely on the list, and what better way to celebrate than going to Aqua at the Shard, and enjoying a glass of wine while admiring the night view from the 32nd floor. The Shard also claims to be the tallest building in  the EU (according to Wikipedia), which gives you  another reason to pop by this place.

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For those that are more on the arty side and like some entertainment, make sure to leave a day out to watch a musical. Cheap tickets can be purchased at ticketing booths in London as well, and i often go to the one in Leicester Square, near China Town. I remember watching Phantom of the Opera in London before and it was the best musical ever. Although no other musicals have topped Phantom of the Opera on my list, i decided to give Wicked a chance, and it didn’t disappoint. The music was great, where the costumes and stage settings were gorgeous. Due to the heavy rain fall and strong winds, my friend and i decided last minute to go One Canada Square bar (located at Canary Wharf) to enjoy some wine and cocktail before we called it a night. Since Canary Wharf is a central business district, it was no surprise that the entire bar was filled with men in business suits but since it was the closes bar to our home, it was the perfect spot. I would only recommend going to this bar if you are within this area, otherwise there is nothing special about it. Although we were served by a very friendly Italian waiter so that is a bonus. Good customer service is always appreciated!

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Last but no least, it’s also fun to visit museums to learn some history and better understand a place, from a different perspective. So a trip to the British Museum was arranged, and with its free admission fee and the sun shining, we headed out earlier that morning, in an attempt to make the most out of our last day in London.

If you are into markets, you should not miss out on Covent Garden. It’s a market that sells a lot of delicious food, desserts, art, clothes, and other nick nacks. I visit this market whenever i’m in London. One of my fave things to do is eating their Belgian waffles with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, as i sit in the center of the market and enjoy a bit of my people watching moment.

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securedownload-35Photo source: all photos by me

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February Love 2014

20140301-165507.jpgBeautiful and colorful flowers blossoming as we welcome the Chinese New Year. Putting on my very first Dior perfume, Forever and Ever Dior, as gifted from a special friend during my visit to Denmark during Christmas. Invitation by a friend to try out this new Spanish restaurant, Zafran, where her bf was recruited as the executive chef there recently. All the tapas dishes were divine and displayed like a piece of art. The mushroom and ham croquetas was amongst one of my favorites.

BFF being ever as sweet and got me my fave macarons from Paul Lafayet for Valentines Day. Savoring my macarons whilst wearing my feminine Tocca perfume and flashing my fluffy heart fur shaped key ring to feel extra lovely. Admiring my cute Russian doll, a gift from a friend during her business trip to Harbin, and deciding where this beauty should stand in my room. Enjoying my pink guava and cranberry gelato with a friend in town visiting, as we slowly walked the Victoria harbor and admired the night view of Hong Kong.

Celebrating BFF’s birthday with a dinner surprise at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, as I patiently waited for the birthday girl at the lobby. Having a much needed “me time” and ending a Friday night with some froyo at Yomama and purchased the Glamour 75th anniversary issue for March, on the way home. Reuniting with my darling after our Euro trip, which calls for cocktail time at Lilys and Bloom. I absolutely loved my Chester’s Cup cocktail, and it contains one of my recent favorite ingredients, elderflower!

I am blessed for each and everyday that was filled with love, fun, laughters, and sharing special moments with people I love and care for. You are my February Love 2014.

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Winter holiday in London…

After 12 grueling hours on the plane, flying from Hong Kong all the way to London, i was glad to had finally arrived to London Heathrow airport. My friend had decided to tag along with me to celebrate Christmas with my family and i was more than delighted to have an extra company to share this festive season with. As my sister and her boyfriend picked us up from the airport, i was more than happy to have a personal driver to take us home as oppose to taking the ridiculously over priced taxi in London. It would be last thing i needed after a long haul flight.

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Every time i visit London, i get this sense of familiarity and home that takes over me, where this city acts like a constant reminder of the fun times I had here during my university days. However, as i walked through  Canary Wharf, a Central Business District, which i used to live near by and frequent a lot, appeared to have gone through some changes over the years. There were a lot more tall sky scrapers than i could remember from the last time i visited. It also appeared that many hip restaurants and cafes had surfaced around Canary Wharf.

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For old times sake, my sister decided to take us out to lunch in Canary Wharf at this relatively newly opened restaurant, by the name of Tom’s Kitchen. I ordered the sirloin beef with roasted potatoes and water cress in red wine sauce, along with their renowned British Yorkshire pudding. The dish was simple yet amazing, where the beef was juicy and tender and not too big in proportion, and the Yorkshire pudding was warm and soft. I have to admit, there was nothing special about the potatoes but it went really well with the steak. The ambiance was contemporary with high ceiling and a lot of wooden  and white tiles to its interior decor, which is a westernized decor style that i am very fond of.  The customer service was impeccable as well, with the staffs coming back every now and then in the right consistency to see if we were alright. It is definitely a place that i would go back again for a chilled lunch with my girls on a weekend.

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As i had a friend visiting this time, I knew it would be mandatory to take her to the usual tourist attractions and despite seeing it a million times before, i never get tired of this beautiful city. All of the architectural buildings and history just never fails to impress me.

It was a cold and rainy day, and after a much satisfied meal at Tom’s Kitchen, we headed to Tower Bridge. Along the way, we spotted the Shard Building, which i have been told that its the tallest building in the EU, which is quite impressive.  Yet the Tower Bridge is always the winner in my book and it always takes my breath away no matter during day time or night time, its just one of those beauty that you can’t stop admiring, and the whole majestic vibe that it holds.

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After taking like a gazillion photos of the Tower Bridge in every angle that you could possible take, it was starting to get dark and so we headed to our next destination, the Big Ben and the House of Parliament.

As we got off Westminster station on the underground, we were greeted by drizzles of rain. We decided to not let the weather spoil the mood for us, especially after we surfaced from the underground and looked upon the beautiful view of the Big Ben set against the giant Underground signage (first picture shown above in this post). We opened our umbrellas and leisurely walked along the bridge as we took a moment to enjoy the night view of the Big Ben and the House of Parliament. I still remember my graduation being held at this venue in 2005, and it seems like only yesterday. That day was such a special day for me where my families were there to witness my big day, and it was nice to see this scenery again, 8 years later.

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As i walked along the bridge and got closer to the oh so familiar view of the London Eye, my sister told my friend and i to keep walking along the London Eye until we reach the end of the road and then turn back. And we did exactly that. What I saw was the beautiful London Eye in full view, where it was glowing in blue lights, and there were rows and rows of trees in front of it also shining in blue lights in unison. It was one of those magical moments that i wished to have an other half whom i could share this moment with, but my sister and friend was just as good company during that very moment.

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As the night unfolded, and our feet being tired as ever from walking the whole day, we decided to stop by a local cafe, Le Pain Quotidien, nearby Waterloo station. We walked into Le Pain Quotidien, where the smell of fresh bakeries and our body warming up to the central heating was more than inviting to us. We quickly got a seat and started looking a the menu. I took no hesitation and decided to go for my all time fave carrot cake and my friend went for the Lemon tart. Coffee and tea, and an elderflower drink were ordered as we slowly savored our desserts and relaxed. Not long after, i had arranged for dinner with an old friend that i’ve known years back from university. Due to lack of time ,we were only able to meet briefly and grab some local food in a British pub. Those short but sweet 2 hours of catching up over good old British food, which consisted of Bangers and mash, and Fish and Chips, were priceless. We laughed into the night as we shared good old memories and spoke of the present and future. As the clock stroked 9 o’clock at night, it was time to bid our farewells and hugged each other tightly, knowing we would meet again very soon. It was a bittersweet moment and just like that, my second night in London ended…

1561107_10153852792115425_1161734817_nPhoto credits: all photos by me

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