All Posts By

Jo

Europe, family

Paris 2017 (Part Two)

Oh Paris, take me back now.  I love Europe so much.  I’m already planning another trip there next year so I can wine and dine again.  Paris is indeed so charming and getting around the city is quite easy.  I have no problem not speaking a word of French.  Most places, the Parisians speak English and they do not have the snooty attitude.  We are so thankful because we encountered very nice, friendly people on our trip.

La Grande Epicerie de Paris – Arguably the best gourmet market in Paris.  It has everything you desire – fresh produce, pastries, wine and a variety of comestibles.  They even have L’atelier Maison De La Truffe right in the middle of the market.  We had lunch there and it was one of my favourite meals in Paris.

I forgot the exact names of these cheeses, but we had a bit of everything from truffled brie to goat cheese.  They’re all so tasty!

Holy smokes, killing me with this ravioli with summer truffles!

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Europe, Vacation

Paris 2017 (Part One)

Both my sisters and I concluded that Paris is our favourite European city (so far).  It’s a cliché to say Paris is romantic, but honestly, it is!  My sisters love it for the food, but I love it for the shopping.  The last time I went to Paris, I focused more on food and neglected to shop.  I know, hard to believe eh?  A shopaholic like me, LOL!  But this time, I managed to go to stores I haven’t been last time and bought some items I have been eyeing for a long time.

We stayed at Hotel L’Antoine.  The interior is designed by the famous fashion designer,  Christain Lacroix.

Look how cool the door is.  Do you like it?

Interesting design, isn’t it?
I love taking pics of random strangers.  When I saw this girl, she just screams Parisian to me.  Don’t you think?
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family, holidays

Madrid 2017 (Part Two)

We spent a short three day trip to Madrid.  I wouldn’t mind adding one more day but we had two more cities to explore.  If I had more time, I would visit their museums.  Madrid is a vibrant city with friendly people.  Apparently, it is a sunny city (over 300 days of sunshine per year), so it’s perfect for those who loves hot weather or those who suffers from SAD.  I’m definitely the former.

No, we didn’t purposely co-ordinate our outfits, but it worked out fine. =)

We had dinner at Taberna El Sur.  This is our favourite Spanish restaurant.  We loved it so much we went twice within three days.  And of course, we always start dinner with sangrias.

Always down for Jamón Ibérico ham :)

Random chicken curry dish but boy was I ever happy to order this.
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Lifestyle, Vacation

Madrid 2017 (Part One)

The one thing I love about Europe is that I can travel to a new country rather inexpensively and get to experience a new culture.  Each country has its own cuisines, traditions, and history.  There is so much to see and do!

Madrid is so different from London.  First off, it’s BOILING THERE, an average of 36-degree Celsius (97 Fahrenheit) a day.  We did a lot of walking but of course a lot of resting as well.  It’s a very clean city and the people are very friendly.  Uber services are quite limited (compared to London) but that was fine because most of the places we went were very accessible.

The best way to travel is on EasyJet.  Flying from London to Madrid only took 2.5 hours.  Always remember to check in online.  We forgot to and we checked in at the airport.  We were seated separately, and I almost didn’t make it on the flight.

My first impression of Madrid – hot policeman.  My sister is trying to locate our uber while I have my eyes on the cop in the back (who speaks very limited English) therefore, it was just eye candy for us. =)

Do you think this is big enough?  I think my grandma can see it too. I think it’s hilarious!

It was nice to stay at a hotel.  It feels so good to have someone make my bed every day.
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Lifestyle, Vacation

Dining Experience: Hélène Darroze at the Connaught

Have you guys ever dined at a Michelin star restaurant?  Michelin stars are a rating system to grade restaurants on the quality ranging from one to three stars.  One star indicates a “very good restaurant”; two stars indicate  “excellent cuisine”; and three stars means “exceptional quality, worth the visit”.

The first time I visited a Michelin star restaurant was three years ago in San Sebastian.  You can read the post here.  Since we’re in Europe, we knew we had to try out some of the Michelin star restaurants.  There are 163 Micheline star restaurants in the world and sadly, none in Canada.

Thanks to Jeanie who chose Hélène Darroze.  Hélène Darroze is a renowned female chef who owns two Michelin restaurants.  She is also the winner of the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award in 2015.  I’m elated that we were able to dine at one of her restaurants.
While walking towards the hotel, I saw a Goyard Store, so I just took a pic with it.  We don’t have this brand in Vancouver.

This prestigious hotel is more than 100 years old but it still looks luxurious.

The interior is sophisticated with beautiful wood panelling, plush furnishings, and an intimate vibe.

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