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Vacation

Europe, Vacation

Brussels 2017 (Part One)

We took the train from Paris to Brussels.  It was a short 90-minute ride.  The train ride was very comfortable and it went by pretty fast.  The only problem was we shopped too much in Paris so we had more luggage and it was a pain to bring it on, but luckily there were three of us and a couple of nice strangers who helped us.

The Gare du Nord station is one of the busiest railway stations in Europe.

I don’t mind riding on the train.  It saves a lot of time and money.

Love our room, it was so spacious!I was dying to try Belgian waffles, but I was disappointed with the texture.  I think the ones in Vancouver tasted better.  I guess this always happens when we have higher expectations eh?
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Review, Vacation

Dining Experience: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

We always wanted to try another Michelin-starred restaurant since we’re in Europe.  Joel Robuchon is very popular so we booked this restaurant for lunch.  The experience we had at this restaurant was very different from our last one.  We didn’t have the same amount of food and I was just full, not to the extent as last time where I couldn’t eat for the next 10 hours.  I guess it’s a good thing. :)

The restaurant was pretty hard to find as it was located in a dark cellar inside a drugstore.

As you can tell the menu is in French, but our server professionally and patiently translated the menu for us.

The decor is very modern and romantic.  We sat facing the open kitchen which was perfect to see the chefs in action.

We started off with an amuse-bouche with tomato and ricotta.
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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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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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