Thursday, 24 October 2013

Antoinette

Photo spam! Missing you trucks!!

Just before I left for London, I caught up with Shona at Antoinette, a place I've been wanting to visit for the longest! Yes this post is about a month late, but I still remember how amazing this little tea salon was, and of course the great 2h spent there haha :) Looking at these photos now is completely making me salivate - I haven't had such good food in London! :X I'm definitely going back to Antoinette when I'm back in Singapore next summer!

The plush interior of the tiny Parisian style tea salon

Jasmine Tea
Frankly not worth the money... The waiter kept coming over to my table to ask if I wanted to order anything while I was waiting for Shona though (annoying max!) so I decided to just order a drink...

Savoury pancakes with bacon and creamy mushroom sauce 
Nothing short of fantastic! The pancakes were smooth, thick and fluffy - everything a pancake should be! I do however think the service staff were particularly zzz, my dish came first and after quite a bit of waiting we decided to ask if Shona's food was ready. And I still remember the waiter going "yes it's coming soon, please start on your dish first" LOL MAX.

Sweet French pancakes with a generous scoop of caramel ice cream (argh, I'm drooling!)

 
Antoinette
What's a visit to this cafe without trying their signature cake! Can't ever go wrong with this rich and indulgent chocolate cake but hmm, I'm still wondering what that metallic looking blob is! It tasted vaguely fruity and very sweet I remember haha!
  
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Antoinette
Mandarin Gallery #02-33/34
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While waiting for Shona I made my first trip up Emerald Hill - believe it or not... I have no idea why I have never visited this place despite its frequent mention in Singapore history/SS textbooks haha. I'm definitely loving the intricately designed (and frequently very colourful!) colonial houses, but what makes this place even more amazing is how it's nestled between the modern high rise buildings of Singapore's shopping district. It'd be a dream to have a colonial-styled house next time! (Relatedly, I really don't like the new house architecture fad with all the metal/sharp edges/flat surfaces!)

Till the next! I'm super procrastinating my coursework which is due in 2 weeks time... But in a week I'm scooting off to Oslo!!!! Too excited. Plus, a trip to Iceland has just been booked as well. Northern lights, faultlines, volcanoes, glaciers here I come!!! *geog geek alert*

x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Je t'aime, Paris! (part 1)

Hello folks. I have not updated in ages, but I'm back in London now and settling in really well so all's good! I've been travelling like crazy as well, first to Paris almost just after touching down in London, and then a week later to a little city beside Stuttgart, Germany. Life is good! :) I love travelling, the wandering around is both aimless and purposeful, and you get to immerse yourself in new cultures and new people, plus of course try some amazing food (esp in Paris!!!)

So, here's a little post about my trip to Paris just a couple of weeks back. Get ready for a picture spam as well - I loving my new DSLR camera heh! It is probably quite an understatement to say I love Paris - both the glamour and grime, and of course the food. YUM.

One of the things you MUST do everytime you visit a major European city is definitely to go for one of these Sandeman's New Europe Tours. They are free, and AMAZING. I've been to the tour in Prague as well, and both times the tour leader was really knowledgable, funny and engaging. MUST GO! (You are expected to tip them of course, but with the great quality of the tour, I won't hesitate!)

 The ticket to Sandeman Tours

So halfway through the tour, just after we went around the Louvre, we stopped for a quick break along this rather busy road lined with shops and cafes. Imagine my delight when I saw Eric Kayser!! Don't salivate too much, but omg don't the tarts look delicious?! I wish I had time to go back for more! Yum!


 Boulangerie Eric Kayser
16 Rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002 Paris, France ‎ 

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Of course, when in Paris, a visit to the Louvre is quite the essential. While the art exhibits are housed in a magnificent and grandiose building like many others in Europe (sorry, not an architecture aficonado), I thought the glass pyramids at the courtyard were, while rather out of place, quite a breath of fresh air. Of course, they also made rather good photo taking spots.



After a bit of a queue, we finally got into the museum. Psst, EU students get in for free at most (if not all) Paris attractions - just bring your student visa! Like most other tourists, we made quite a beeline for the star painting for the Louvre - the Mona Lisa. Well, like most other tourists too, I cannot quite understand why this painting is so famous. I'm not a particular fan of art, especially if its before the impressionist era, so this was just another 'tourist-checklist' for me. Truth be told, the art-insensitive me did not enjoy the Louvre. On the contrary though, Musee d'Orsay was fantastic. I could spend an entire day in there with its extensive impressionist and post-impressionist art galleries! More about that another time.



 The next day, we headed to another one of Paris' most-visited landmarks - le Tour de Eiffel. The Eiffel tower certainly exceeded my expectations, and with its meticulously designed metal frame, has definitely earned a spot on my list of "most amazing landmarks to have ever seen". We decided to climb up to the 2nd storey for a panaromic view of Paris. 2nd storey, however, is a massive understatement!!! The climb felt like it took 30min to complete, and it brings you to a pretty high vantage point (more than 10 storeys I reckon...) where we enjoyed quite an impressive birds eye view of Paris. Our initial plan was to go all the way to the top of the tower, but after seeing the snaking queue, we decided to head down instead.


 Mandatory Jump Shots! 


We then headed to a restaurant located pretty near the Eiffel Tower for lunch. Unsurprisingly, french food just cannot go wrong! I ordered fowl which was light but flavorful, and the cod in mashed potato was so creamy and mega delicious! French desserts are the best as well. Of special mention has to be the chocolate lava cake with the most amazing pistachio sauce ever. I ordered one of my favourite desserts, creme brulee and it was definitely more than passable too! Heh I really enjoy cracking the caramelised layer of creme brulee hahaha!





Le P'tit Trouquet
28 Rue de l'Exposition, 75007 Paris, France

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Also on our to-visit list was the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, which looked even more splendid in that day's perfect sunny weather!


Loving the bokeh from my new prime lens (with a Canon 100D)

Dinner was at le Zephyr, a restaurant just a 10min walk away from where we stayed in Belleville. It is best to stay away from the city centre in Paris - food is so much cheaper, and as good! A main at le Zephyr would set you back only around EUR10, which is something you definitely can't get at the city center!


Free flow of freshly baked baguettes! Yum!

Duck Confit
Definitely one of my favourite french dishes! This did not disappoint, and I especially loved the garlic infused chips! They were fried to crispy perfection, and with the garlic, I could eat this all day!!! Highly recommended!

Lava Cake with Ice Cream
 The lava cake was nothing spectacular, and I was disappointed at how it wasn't oozing out liquid chocolately goodness when I cut it into half! ): The ice cream had a rather dinstictive taste to it though, and was largely enjoyable. But at only 5EUR, I'm not complaining!

Le Zephyr
1 Rue du Jourdain  75020 Paris, France


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Till the next! Totally regretted writing this at 11pm!! I'm so hungry now argh! ):