Activities - Shop

Best way to experience Karuizawa

Karuizawa is a beautiful upmarket mountain resort located in the Nagano Prefecture. It's definitely not a cheap place compared to some other countryside areas, and has developed as a popular place for many Japanese to visit especially during Summer, with many affluent ones owning a second home here. I aptly call it the Hamptons of Japan. The great part of Karuizawa is its accessibility to Tokyo via the Hokoriku Shinkansen in slightly over an hour, making it even possible as a day trip. And some fun facts if you didn't know, this was John Lennon and Yoko Ono's favourite place to spend their summers with their son John back in the 1970s. I would caution anyone coming here not to just spend a day here, it's nice...

Megeve Ski

Finally after years of wanting to go Megeve, we finally did it this year! It has always been on my hit list after reading so much about this charming and chic ski town in France, close to the Montblanc. This place is definitely laden with old money and best described as discreet luxe as compared to the other 'moneyed' ski resorts like Courchevel, famed for its more opulent lifestyle attracting the Russians. This quaint farming village was first discovered by the Baroness Naomie de Rothschild in the 20s who wanted to create a French version of St Moritz. It started with a remodelling of the Hotel du Mont d’Arbois, which she bought. She hired a young architect - Henri-Jacques Le Meme to develop a new style of...

Tokyo Best Eats 2016

In part 2 of my late summer Japan vacation, Y and I adjourned to Tokyo to meet R after our girlie trip with LY ended in Fukuoka. I managed to eat at some good ol' regular favourite spots such as Mikawa Zezankyo (my favourite tempura in Japan), and also tried up some new exciting eats in Tokyo, ranging from a modern French restaurant, to delicious yakitori, succulent Tonkatsu, to beef centric meals - sukiyaki, burger and beef tasting course, to even the casual good ol' Ramen. Read it all here! Florilege - Creative Mod French cuisine (2 Chome-5-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan, Tel: 03‐6440‐0878. Reservations a must. Online booking here) This 1-star Michelin restaurant helmed by Chef Iwate is definitely one of my highly recommended go to...

Karatsu favourite eats and shops

After our stay in Onyado Chikurintei in Takeo, we made our way through Imari for a quick stopover Imari beef lunch, before arriving at Karatsu in the late afternoon. Karatsu (唐津) is a coastal city on Kyushu, about 50 km west of Fukuoka. Karatsu has always been prosperous since ancient times, being an important trading point for Mainland China. Its most famous attractions is the Karatsu castle and the annual Karatsu Kunchi festival in November, which unfortunately we were too early for, and especially famed for its local pottery - yeah! Beautiful pine grove lined road - known as Niji no Matsubara Pine Grove Me in front of the famed Karatsu Castle (nope I didn't walk up there if you were wondering!) We stayed at Shioyu Naginoto - a simple...

Exploring Arita and Imari

In my September visit to lovely Onyado Chikurintei for a nice well deserved rest and relax in their ryokan and onsen, we gals also had the chance to explore for a short day the nearby areas around Takeo. We made full use of the only day we had to explore the spots important to us. I had read up a lot about Arita, which was extremely well known for pottery other than Imari in Western Saga. Interestingly, they were also the first place in Japan where porcelain was produced about 400 years ago after kaolin - the mineral essential to making porcelain - had been found at a local mountain. Subsequently, skilled craftsmen from Korea were brought into the country to develop this industry. My guide below...

Stay in Aix En Provence

For the last leg of our Provence trip, we decided to stay in Aix En Provence, given that we might need to have some 'city life' after a few days of countryside and small towns. And it's convenient to depart from here back to Paris via the TGV. I acknowledge we didn't thoroughly explore Aix, but our first and last impressions of this city is we really hate the traffic, enough for me to strike it off my list of cities to visit in Provence. It's notorious for its high traffic and constant jams on the town roads and highways during summer and this runs on till maybe autumn when both the domestic and foreign tourists have dissipated. Sculpture in the square at Cours Mirabeau. Given we spent...

St Remy Provence shopping and sights

The second stop in our Provence virgin trip was St Remy. This town is picturesque with its tree lined streets and has a great selection of art galleries, gourmet shops and museums, spread throughout the main boulevard and the tiny streets. I love especially the mixture of pastel and bright coloured windows that accent the old buildings through the various tiny streets, it makes for a perfect picture. It's also most famous for being the place which inspired Van Gogh and where he produced many of his most important works while staying in the asylum at Saint-Paul de Mausole monastery. Remember the famous Starry Night? SLEEP We stayed at Hotel L'Image, a 4 star boutique hotel with 32 rooms. Upon check in, we were given a tour of the premises before...

L’Isle Sur La Sorgue sights and shops

After a fun filled week in Paris of shopping and eating, we made our way with bestie CG to beautiful sunny Provence in France. After taking a quick train to Avignon which was really like a touch and go, and resting nearby, we made our way early on Sunday morning to L'Isle Sur La Sorgue. Sorgue river running through the town and Place Xavier Battini. The small town of L'Isle Sur La Sorgue, which used to be a fishing village, is known for its many water wheels that once powered its textile industry in the past. It's easy to see them as we walk along the famous Sorgue river which starts from the Fontaine de Vaucluse, although our eyes are more focused on food and shopping! Every...

Fendi Haute Fourrure Collection Preview

After admiring the breathtaking fur coats at the Fendi Haute Fourrure defile at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Y was invited for an exclusive preview two days later to 9 Avenue Hoche. A beautiful space in this Haussmann style building had been specially converted to host the exquisite Fendi Haute Fourrure collection where customers like Y had the privilege to be up close and personal with them, and learn from the best in Fendi – their in house resident fur expert accompanied with other fur artisans who were responsible for making these furs come to life. We were picked up in a car and whisked away to this building where Guillaume, the Retail Director for Fendi SE Asia, and another friendly French lady from Fendi greeted us and brought us...

Fendi Haute Fourrure 2015

This year’s summer holidays had a special meaning for Y and I as it was a first time we were taking a full month off to travel with Y’s friends in different cities, and also the first time that Y was invited to a fashion show in Paris, and it wasn’t just any show we were talking about here. It was the FENDI Haute Fourrure show, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld’s first collection debut at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week with the collection titled aptly ‘Silver Moon’. This show was also held to celebrate Karl Lagerfeld’s 50th anniversary this year designing for FENDI, and what better way then to showcase it through its luxurious furs which the house of FENDI is so known for! Karl Lagerfeld’s...
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