Monday, June 30, 2008

We have our moments

Last weekend: Saturday girl's night out

This weekend: gym, PB sandwich, gym, PB sandwich, PB sandwich, gym

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What I learned this time around

While in London, I frequented grocery stores for cheap eats and more unconventionally, recipe cards. Waitrose (pronounced way-
troʊs) my favorite supermarket beating M&S hands down, had lovely recipe cards at their door and lovelier still a website with archived recipes. Of course I collected these cards along with their catering catalogs for Macarune inspiration.

As a digital marketer, I have to say I'm especially impressed with what Waitrose's website has to offer. Don't be fooled by the Web 1.0 looking nav bar and ever-so-simple layout. There are a million possibilities to this site. You can read a professional food blogger's post, SMS yourself ingredients to a recipe, create a recipe scrapbook, utilize unit conversion tools, plan a summer picnic or donate to charity. Naturally I'm hooked, although miles away from the actual store. Sure the navigation threw me off a little (there's a link to food, drinks and then "summer"?) but it's still quite an exciting web journey for,might I add, sadly domesticated folks like myself.

Gluten-free summer berry polenta cake, by Waitrose for Laurie's going away party

Even though I accidentally doubled the berries needed for the cake (word of advice: read the recipe!) it turned out edible

Other things I learned in England this time around:

2. It's pretty easy to spend hundreds at Myla (or as I learned, a little more than that)

...even though it's worth a million

3. UK Glamour and Cosmo openly publishes the word f*ck
4. BCBG doesn't exist in London! What does a girl do without Runway?
5. Beyond the borders of California, people are generally a lot less health-conscious when it comes to food
6. New words - mostly involving clothes because what else do I educate myself on besides baking?

British American
Boot Trunk
Cozzy Bathing suit
One thousand three hundred Thirteen hundred
Plaster Bandaid
Playsuit Romper
Plimsolls Sneakers
Quid Dollar (yes I kept getting this wrong)
Suspenders Hold ups
Vest Underwear (top)
Waistcoat Vest

...and here are some I've always known having grew up in Malaysia. This may come in useful should you plan to visit England any time soon:

British American
Bill Check
Biscuit Cookie
Chips Fries
Crisps Chips
Football Soccer
G Floor 1st Floor
Jumper Sweater
Lift Elevator
Macintosh Raincoat
Nutter Mad person
Queue Line
Sarny Sandwich
Scone Biscuit

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I've been told I'm not human

To be more exacting: inhuman.

Let me explain. I was lamenting to my friends over brunch how Suen and I had to leave my lil' sis in the "hotel" on her 18th birthday because she didn't feel like going out. And the response I received was, "That's not just being a bad sister. It's not human!" Eep.To my defense, we asked if she wanted to go anywhere or do anything else, but she only felt like staying in that night and we had already made arrangements to go to this place Mahiki. PLUS it was Suen's last night! So it all made sense for everyone to do what felt the most comfortable. Right?

If you're reading this sis, I'm sorry. For what's worth, we were thinking of you ALL night long. I stopped drinking/dancing past 1AM and even made it a point to get back earlier so we could make it for your birthday dimsum the next morning :)

Lil' sis and I on our walk along the Thames. Between the two us, I'm quite sure we've had 6 Mr. Softee's during this trip - all thanks to an inexplainable addiction ;)

Adrienne on the night of her 18th

Documenting our evilness before heading out

Bird (3), Suen (3) and me (1) at Mahiki. Highlighted in parentheses were the number of drinks thus far. Can you tell?

I told Bird and Suen how I looked evil in this shot, and they both nodded simultaneously. Such honesty is hard to find :) Sigh. Old friends

Me and Bird

At the "hotel." This was a major downgrade from the Met. Army barracks just didn't work for us and it made us feel doubly guilty about leaving the lil' sis behind that night. Thank god it was just for a night

Of course we did what we could to make up for the lousy stay. Ice cream at Fortnum & Mason's Parlour. Lil' sis' treat. Oops!

My Peach Melba: Chopped peaches with Raspberry Ripple with Raspberry
Liqueur and Vanilla Bean ice creams and Bellini Classico

Adrienne's Beekeeper®: Stem Ginger with Borage Honey, Vanilla Bean
and Praline ice creams topped with Fortnum’s
honey and honeycomb chunks

See she's happy!

Digging in despite allergies and all

We spent quite a bit of time in stations

This one shot highlights Adrienne drinking water from Harrod's

Once in the country with our hospitable family friends, we celebrated Father's Day and the lil sis' birthday with a garden BBQ

On an equally nicer day, Ane took us to Garson's farm in Esher to pick fruits

First stop: gooseberries!

This was my first time tasting gooseberries. I have been imagining how they tasted since watching Disney's Snow White. Remember the scene where she made Grumpy a gooseberry pie with his name on it? I did the exact same thing for the bf once but with chicken pie. So of course I was delighted to be trying gooseberries!

Here's me picking berries in the wrongest outfit ever - white leather Tod's and all. If I had known, I would've worn shorts and flip flops. Honest

Lil' sis and me with our spoils

On to raspberries

Raspberries were scarcer and we assumed that the weekenders got most of the good stuff

Ane sorting our picks as Adrienne watched

A perfect berry

Strawberries were the most fun to pick

AND the most tiring. You had to get down on your knees and look for hints of red amongst the green bushes. This was the lil' sis hard at work

We picked so few at first...

...only to be told by Ane that they were hidden beneath bunches of hay

Since I ate half of the ones I picked, we weren't left with much after all

Here's Adrienne super psyched about the We Will Rock You musical

It was a great show. There's really nothing to hate when Queen's in the picture

Followed by
Häagen-Dazs at Leicester Square

Not half as classy or dreamy as Fortnum & Mason but still good - especially since they're open till midnight! Service, not so much. I guess people get grumpy past 9PM

Monday, June 23, 2008

Is this London?

Or is
this London?

Drinking GBP6 shots at Pangaea

Ghetto dancing

Having your picture taken by random men dancing on tables

Taking a picture with a random man dancing on tables

Walking out of the club to see drunkards throwing up

Finding yourself in a familiar place -
Hey wasn't I just here yesterday?

Burning the alcohol away at the ever so nostalgic 97

Taking silly shots in the hotel elevator

...and waking up the next day hoping no one was looking through CCTV

When I wasn't crazy, mostly during the day, I spent time exploring neighborhoods:

This trail started at Chalk Farm Road where Camden Market and Camden Lock are. I arrived only to find that it's not my scene (at all) but can certainly see the appeal for tourists (?)

Punk rockers on the bridge

Indian fast food for lunch

The trail did however, lead me to a pleasant discovery...

Melrose & Morgan: kinda like Boulette's Larder with a British touch

There I got myself a slice of treacle tart, something I've always read about in Enid Blyton's books but never tried. It's sticky, slightly grainy and has a rich golden syrup flavor. With each bite comes an aftertaste of fresh lemon. Delish!

Finally at the end of the trail, I found myself on Abbey Road where The Beatles walked. Traffic was so heavy it was impossible to take a good Beatle-like shot. I guess you gotta be a Beatle to do what they did

The V&A Museum where I got this poster

I love historical museums and especially loved this place for its focus on art. In a week, I managed to do 3 museums. When asked if she wanted to go to one with me, my sister winced and said, "Are you serious? You're sooo boring" Tsk. Teenagers

The dress I loved most in the fashion section of the museum was dated 2005 by Chloe. So much for being historically inclined

Portobello road, Portobello road
Street where the riches of ages are stowed.
Anything and everything a chap can unload
Is sold off the barrow in Portobello road.
You’ll find what you want in the Portobello road.

I spent a lot of time rummaging through racks and racks of vintage clothing in Portobello Market. What I did end up with were treats from Myla, a few handmade clothing and a Hummingbird Bakery cupcake

What I liked most about this place was the lack of pretentious air. How often does one walk into a store only to be told "No cameras allowed!" Here there was none of that. The baker with a pink scarf on her head was waving to customers from the kitchen as she frosted cupcakes. The cupcakes themselves were as good cupcakes are: moist and sweet (unlike this one)

Next post will be on the little sister's visit.