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Monthly Archives: February 2012

You know, I’m one of those kind of people who think a lot, too much, people call us philosophers. Ever since I step foot in the British soil, I’ve been thinking hard, again and again, asking myself:

What is your dream? What is it that you really want? What is the one thing that makes you wake up everyday grinning like an idiot?

I must have mentioned Marthe’s blog The Freedom Experiement before, it was such a big inspiration for me. On that sight there is a Dreambank, where the blogger invites you to share your dream. I think nowadays, especially in our community, success is intrinsically linked to the dollar sign that any slightly crazy/outrageous thoughts we call Dream is often laughed upon. Have you every proudly announced what’s your dream, without worrying someone will laugh in your face?

If you ask me a year ago, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what I want in my life, what’s my passion, what I want to do to make my life FULL. But now I’ve got some idea, I wrote an email to Marthe and shared my dream, and now it is on her Dreambank page too. It may not be easy to achieve them, but there we go, at least I said it, that’s one baby step towards the goal.

My dream, or dreams, is to be able to travel around the world, write and share about them to many others who doesn’t have the chance to see it themselves yet. I hope to be able to work in the Art/Cultural development industry (precisely what I haven’t decided) but I feel really strongly for a need of some different kind of fresh air into my busy financial hub hometown. I want to raise awareness of elderly welfares because I feel like that is really something that connects to my heart.

I think most of all, I want to be free from the burden of family and peer expectations and do what I love, so I can wake up everyday eager to move forward. Don’t know the exact plans, still exploring, but I’m sure God had planned for something good.

I was so lost a few months ago, but I’m so thankful God has put so many angels in my way guiding me, enlightening me, pulling me back on track. I can’t wait to take the next step to make my dream come true, and I really do believe in one way or another, you can really achieve something if you want it enough.

People say if you’ve never been to London, Paris and Rome, you’ve never been to Europe properly. I’d say there are so many other countries that one should visit to get a real mingling taste of Europe, and Prague is one of the hidden gems.

Tucked away in the border of Western and Eastern Europe, Prague has an eccentric mix of the flourishing, rich Western Europe style of architecture and also maintaining its own distinctive Eastern European flare. The buildings and streets are so beautiful its just a pure joy wondering around aimlessly. The Castle District, Old Town Quarter and Jewish Quarter are “must-sees”, especially if you are a castle/cathedral/church maniac like me. The city is divided by the Vltava river, but the town is pretty much accessible on foot. Do leave some time, maybe an afternoon to let yourself relax and wonder around the Castle district neighbourhood or the old town square, I guarantee you will find so much peace in it.

Best season to visit?

This was my second visit to Prague and both times I went in Winter. I know, I know, I heard EVERYTHING about the lovely summer garden and beer festivals (Czech beer Pilsner is good and cheap by the way) and I know summer is better for ladies’ skin, but having been there twice I would say one of the best reason is to avoid getting into a situation like this:

Imagine all the sweat and frustration you’ll get from pushing people (or being pushed) around just to have a glimpse of the Astronomical Clock or the St Vitus Cathedral. If you get to the spots early (say before 10am), most likely you can find yourself owning pretty much the whole square.

Where to stay?

Last time I went to Prague (February 2006), I was with my Mom and Dad so my parents obviously had a bit more to spend than me on the budget. We stayed at the really cute boutique hotel, Neruda Hotel that has a light pistachio green wall with Art Nouveau decor, very chic. It was conveniently located, just below the Prague Castle and within 10 minutes walk to Charles Bridge. If you have some extra cash to spend, i would definitely recommend this. Oh, and their hot chocolate in their cafe is heavenly!

Where to visit? 

If you’re a “to-do list” freak (like I am), check out the following “must see” sights!

  1. The iconic Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral is a place you simply CAN’T miss. Go early in the morning before the place is swamp with tourist to enjoy the simple solitude of soaking in the magnificent interior and peace within the Cathedral. Take a close look at the stained colour glass windows, you can find some of them are works of the famous Czech artist Mucha, whose Art Nouveau style feeds in perfectly with the richly composed colour. The place is rich with History so if you have the spare time and money, do join a guided tour or get yourself an audio guide and just wonder around the Cathedral. Hike upthe flight of stairs to the watch tower of the Cathedral to enjoy a panoramic view of the city, 150Kc well spent.The Golden Lane, which used to be servant quarters when the Prague Castle housed its royalty, is also an interesting place to visit. There are reconstructions of how people lived back in the 19th century which was a really different experience.

     dont you think it looks like Hogwarts here? 

  2. Walk from Prague Castle to Charles Bridge, you will see a lot of colourful houses on hilly cobble road, whats better than sitting in a small coffee shop sipping hot chocolate watching the world go buy? Turn around and you may find a small surprise here and there… The best time to visit Charles Bridge is before Sunset, make sure you get there to see the beautiful transition of the skyline!
  3. The Old Town Quarter and the Jewish Quarter are on the other side of Charles Bridge, all major festivities, celebrations or big events take place in the Old Town Square. You won’t miss the Astronomical Clock, many free walking tours are on offer and in my opinion they are quite good! A 2 hour condense Czech history lesson with all the major sightseeing places checked, and you might even have time for a coffee break in a French style patisserie, what’s more to ask for? Spend 2 hours before dinner and visit the Jewish Synagogues, these sights are sometimes overlooked, but the stark presence of history and the suffering of those innocent people should always be reminded. You might find the Jewish Quarter a bit familiar to Paris, but surprise surprise! When reconstruction of the much damaged Jewish Quarter began the architects were actually inspired to copy the architecture in Paris, that’s why you see such similarities!
  4. Don’t miss out on the great offerings of cultural experience the city gives you! Check out their monthly performance schedule, I managed to see an Opera and a Swan Lake ballet performance on both nights for tickets around GBP10 (around HKD120~130) each! You can’t find any of that in Hong Kong, London, Paris or NYC!

What to eat?


Prague is probably the new “it” place for gastro-lovers! Be it authentic local Goulash and Bread Dumplings or extravagent up-market Czech-French fusion, the city offers it all. Try Lokál, which is a local chain restaurant that serves hearty Czech nationalities for very reasonable price. On another side of the spectrum, try V Zátiší, an upmarket Czech-French restaurant that offers exquisite 4 or 5-course Degustation menu. I tried the Bohemian Degustation Menu  for 1350Kc (about GBP45/HKD560, can’t do the maths) Their Crispy Duckling was particularly impressive, also the barley risotto. In between the spectrum there are tons of other restaurants that offer all kind of different cuisine at very reasonable price for their quality. Prague is certainly taking its toll on improving the culinary scene, catch the current before it goes big people!

*****

Big shout out for my buddy Margaret who made this trip very enjoyable! Two food lovers and amateurs playing with camera wondering around Prague was such a pleasant experience (despite the cold was really getting me). Keep warm everyone! I shall update again soon! Just spent another long weekend in Dublin and Edinburgh which was really fun too!

Until then,
xoxo

Today is my second day in bed, rather than at the office. Why? Because before winter completely makes it way out, it wanted to gift me a bad cold virus. I’ve been sniffling, sneezing, coughing and aching all over; what could be sexier on Valentine’s Day?!

V is for… virus, winter’s Vendetta (it’s February — there is no love, none whatsoever, anymore for frosty  weather time), and today… Valentine’s.

A perfect excuse to get all crafty and cute. Naturally, my first destination is foodgawker: http://foodgawker.com/?s=valentine — for a photo gallery of all the heart-shaped treats people around the world are making. Since I’m having dinner made for me tonight I think I should bust some out too.. but what? I’ve got this little heart-shaped scone cutter…

Inspiration strikes – I think it’s got to be red velvet brownies with a swirled cream cheese frosting — like this (below), but cut into heart shapes..

(http://bakeitafterall.blogspot.com/2011/01/red-velvet-brownies-with-cheesecake.html)

Wait. I’m making this for a boy, so… kill the heart shapes, before someone gags and chokes to death!

Holidays are such a great excuse to bake something… especially since holidays have specific colours associated with them. Can’t wait til Easter, now. That is, if it will ever come… winter is just dragging on, and taking me down with it!

Just a quick shout to say that I’m very happy my buddy is back here!

So it was quite a while ago since my last update. Why? I’ve literally been a jetsetter hopping all over the places, not that I’m complaining though.
The last two weeks of January was packed with classes and travelling, parents was here for Chinese New Year so we all flew out to Switzerland to ski in the Alps, stayed in Wengen where you can see the Jungfrauyoch which is amazing (further update follows). Literally DASHED from Birmingham Int’l Airport back to Uni to catch class before hopping down to London Stansted 2 days later to fly out to Prague for a weekend (another update shall follow). I also started my Art Law class at Sotheby’s Institute, which is rather fascinating. To top it off, life has been… somewhat different in a certain aspect, which I guess should remain unspoken until i really figure it out…

I feel like I didn’t have time to catch my breath but I’m happy that way.

promise will update, but catch up on beauty sleep is of cardinal importance

Until then

xoxo

More colourful interiors coming at ya, by way of incredible Venetian glass art. Several weeks ago I popped into the Halcyon Gallery on New Bond Street. They have been exhibiting the famously sinewy, raw and wild organic glass art of the artist Dale Chihuly (and will be, until the end of March). You all know Chihuly even if you don’t recognise the weird name — most famously his twisty, spiky and wriggling green and blue glass chandelier hangs precariously from the high ceiling of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

At the Halcyon, the works on show were more organic. The glass works looked like every variety of coral under the deep blue sea, and you felt like a little fish dipping in and among these diaphanous forms that seemed to sway, sigh and float gelatinously – so unlike its shattering glass properties!

 

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Step out of the snappy cold weather and into the Halcyon… you’ll feel like you;re in the exotic Tropics, and get your winter colour therapy. Or, just have a swim through the above slideshow…

HELLO WORLD!

I have been horrendous at keeping up… or, actually, I’ve been great at keeping all my thoughts down. This is why we started this space to begin with! To let it all out! So really, now, I’ll start again, this time with a burst of creative decor inspiration to cut through the January blues (which really are just a reflection of the colour of my toes and fingers in the -2*C weather; far from my optimistic state of mind).

I bring you: creative, uplifting, delightfully crafty and lovely decoration seen at boho-beautiful Anthropologie stores:

 

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When it’s cold out, it’s early February and you’re so OVER winter already, colour is what you need; especially if, like me, the heating is just plain broke and you are reduced to hermiting away in your tiny (but sweetly minimal) bedroom, with the electric heater running full blast to counteract the gale-force drafts! Think spring…