Family Holiday

Family Holiday

Our first beach sunset taken in Mai Khao Thailand.

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Afternoon Tea at the W Singapore

I have to admit, I miss afternoon tea. There’s nothing like a few cups after a morning of shopping or getting dressed to meet your girlfriends for some gossip. My husband has sworn off afternoon all teas since he says all we do is talk about other people.

I was invited for afternoon tea to celebrate a birthday. Quite a different experience since it was warm (maybe an iced tea would have been better) and the view was of the sea and the spectacular W pool. It was fab just the same! Thanks to A & C for the invite 🙂

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The sweets came in a cage. A CAGE!!! I Love it!

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The deconstructed cheesecake in the mason jars were my fave.

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The savouries were the best – I ate more than my share of the wasabi sashimi (ooops). The foie gras tarts (check out the bling!) and prosciutto burgers were tasty as well.

Afternoon tea at the Woobar is served daily from 15:00-17:00.

Kanin Club – my favourite Filipino restaurant (in the Philippines!)

I’m alive! Not sure if anyone’s noticed I was gone but I just got back from a long holiday in the Philippines and with food being at the heart of Filipino culture, every meet up / trip / activity was related to food. In fact, they way we say hello is “Kumain ka na?” which means “Have you eaten?” another is “Ang taba mo na!” which means “You’re so fat!” but let’s not go there.

I’ve been dying to eat authentic Filipino food since forever (well it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been back) so I finally tried one of my sister’s favourite restaurants. Kanin Club offers a fresh take on traditional Filipino dishes without the pretentiousness of other establishments 🙂

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Sinigang Rice – the Filipino version of Thailand’s sour soup (Tom Yum) without the spice. It’s among the top 7 dishes that every Filipino cooks on a weekly basis. Although the original is a soup dish like Tom Yum, this is an exciting twist wherein we mix the flavours with rice. Pretty cool considering Filipinos eat everything with rice, even noodles!

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Bicol Express – named after a city south of Manila (Bicol) where the cuisine is spicy and made with a lot of coconut milk. This version has wing beans and pork belly. Filipinos love unhealthy cuts of meat with lots of fat. Fact.
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 Crispy Dinuguan – deep fried pork belly (unhealthy x 2) in blood. Yes really, pig’s blood. The sauce is made with pig’s blood and vinegar. This is a tricky dish because it can go horribly wrong, even in our family we only eat this dish when we know who is cooking it. This is a great version – couldn’t stop eating it.

Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay

I miss London. I especially miss our Southwark neighbourhood where the Thames, the Tate Modern, Southbank and a couple of parks are a short walk away. I miss walking. You could walk in Singapore but goodness – the heat! As much as I love everything British, I will be forever Asian when it comes to sun exposure (NO sun and NO exposure).

So I was amazed when I first went to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay because it had air-conditioning! It was a mix of the things I love – plants and cool weather. It may not be a quick walk to the flower dome but it is one of my favourite spots to take my daughter for a few hours. We’re now ‘friends of the gardens‘ so we pop by once or twice a week.

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The war of the roses floral display is on until 6 April 2014.

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Aside from the temporary exhibit, the flower dome is divided into several gardens where you can see different plants from around the world.

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Daisies are the happiest flower (You’ve Got Mail)

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Coco Chanel’s favourite flower

The best part? It’s a child friendly place where there’s a good changing area and a nursing room which allows us to stay longer when my daughter has the occasional meltdown 🙂

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Fabulous & Free – The British Museum

People love the British Museum for different reasons – my husband loves the mummy collection, others crowd around the Rosetta stone or (a part) of the Babylon wall but I love it for an entirely different reason. There’s nothing like sitting inside the great court when the weather is good.

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The collection is massive and the hoards of people equally so – my recommendation is to take a walking tour. There’s nothing like a guide taking you through the highlights in the most painless way possible. You can easily go back to the places that you want to dive in deeper after the tour.

Borough Market Food Tour

Borough Market is our neighbourhood foodie haven here in Southeast London. It’s also the go-to place whenever people visit us from abroad and they tell me to take them somewhere “local”. Admittedly, it’s a healthy mix of tourists and locals but the food is fabulous and cheap. There are lots of stalls but below is the route I usually take. Just buy 1-2 of the dishes (depending on how many you are) and share so that you’ll have space for everything. Think of it as a buffet!

Starting at Southwark Cathedral, go down the steps towards Borough Market. With the cathedral to your right and the first row of stalls to your left, go to the very end to Kappacasein where they serve the most delightful raclettes and cheese toasties.

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New potatoes, gherkins and cheese – glorious cheese!

Right in front of Kappacasein is Fish! a fish and chips restaurant. Turn left towards the entrance of Fish! but do not go in. It sounds strange but the same restaurant has a takeaway counter right beside it where you can have fish and chips at half the price of eating in.

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Cut through the market entering through the arch in front of Fish! and don’t worry if you get distracted along the way, that’s half the fun). Go to the very end where you’ll see Le Marché du Quartier. In a big paellera, you’ll see duck confit being cooked. Grab a duck confit sandwich before heading to the last stop.

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Last but not least, head towards the road but do not cross it. Turn right and you’ll see Brindisa where you’ll see chorizo sandwiches being prepared.

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Go for a double (I know you want to!) – 2 chorizos, rocket and bell pepper.

If you’re not bursting yet, cap things off with a coffee at Monmoth right in front of Brindisa. They have excellent coffees from all over the world and super helpful and knowledgable staff who’ll tell you the different nuances of the beans. They’ll be able to grind your beans according to use – french press or stove top.

Do you have any favourites that I might have missed?