Activities - Eat Drink

Milan weekend escape to Lake Garda

From a tiny Lake Iseo, we ventured next to a giant Lake Garda on our weekend escape near Milan. Lake Garda is the largest lake of Italy and sits halfway between Brescia and Verona, which of course made it the perfect location to explore after we had driven to Brescia earlier on. So many of Y's friends that have been here, have told us it's beautiful, amazing, and I was really hoping to see that same beautiful charm that I had seen in Lake Como back in 2013. Lake Garda is clearly a lot larger, with many different towns - from roman ruins in Sirmione to a dead poet's home in Gardone Riveria, to a bustling town and pebbly beaches in Bardolino. Plus Italy's popular ski resort...

Milan weekend escape to Brescia

After Florence and Pisa, Y and I continued our wonderful springtime travels to Milan, where we met R at the Milan Centrale to do a nice 4 day weekend escape to Brescia region and the Lakes. After picking up our car from EuropCar, we made our way to the Brescia region, where our plan was to stay 2 nights in the spa retreat L'Alberetta, check out some of the nearby sights around such as Brescia town, Lake Iseo and of course not forgetting some amazing restaurants like Da Vittoria and Miramonti L'Altro. The exterior of the italian villa - Hotel L'Albereta STAY  Hotel L'Albereta Via Vittorio Emanuele, 23, 25030 Erbusco BS, Italy, Tel: +39 030 776 0550, Classic Room cost Euro 443,71 for 2 nights, taxes included This well known spa...

Florence Best Eats

After a wonderful skiing trip to Chamonix over Easter, I was very excited to be heading to a new city I have never been to with Y - Florence! Our best pals - YW, AL, Baby G and TW was very sweet to join us on this short adventure to this lovely capital city of Italy's Tuscan region. Known for the birth of Renaissance architecture and home to some of the world's most impressive art galleries, no wonder it's always so buzzy with tourists even when we were there in early April (technically not the peak season yet). Florence is really best explored on foot which we did a lot of. I could just feel its own magic and charm as i walk down the narrow pathways or...

Chamonix Spring Skiing

Chamonix is the place where the first Winter Olympics were held in 1924, and also holds the reputation as one of the world's leading ski resorts, known for some of it's really challenging slopes and one of the best views of Mont Blanc. This explains why it's pretty much on the bucket list of every hard core advance skier and snowboarder given its variety of mountain and some really tricky slopes. Erm well, as for the rest of us, can't say that all of us are extreme advanced skiiers but we chose Chamonix as a venue for some early spring skiing over the Easter week, since its high altitude would guarantee us some decent weather. After comparing the various Europe ski altitudes, Chamonix stands out with its resort...

Sydney eats and sights and stay at Old Clare Hotel

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In my second half of my week in Sydney, my landscape changed from surfers paradise - Bondi Beach to Chippendale, where I stayed with Y, and buddies WT and CG in newly opened industrial chic Old Clare Hotel opened by our own Singaporean hotelier Loh Lik Peng. Close to Chinatown and a 10 minutes car ride to the CBD area, and home to local universities like University of Technology and University of Sydney, my friends told me Chippendale used to be rather gritty. However, over the last few years, this area has been getting a new lease of life and becoming rather gentrified with art galleries, design studios, chic restaurants & cafes sprinkling up amidst new buildings like Foster + Partners designed luxury residential building - One Central...

Sydney Bondi Beach – Stay and Sights

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In March this year, Y and I made our way to Sydney with our buddies CG and WT for some chillax week in Sydney, the main reason coming here was for Madonna's final leg of her Rebel Heart World Tour, but it was nice to come visit Syndey with our friends who used to call this sunny place Down Under their home when they studied here. For a refreshing change which is quite untypical of Y and I, CG suggested to stay in Bondi Beach area for the first part of the week which the rest of us didn't mind, as we have never really explored this area thoroughly in the past when I last came here in early 2005 with Y. Familiar sights of the promenade along Bondi....

Kotohira Kadan Ryokan Japan

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No matter what, I have to squeeze in a ryokan with a hot spring whenever I am in Japan during their winter time, and I didn’t expect everywhere that I wanted to go to be fully booked up when I started looking around for options sometime in August. Yes, so I have warned you, if you do decide to go ryokan and hot spring hopping in end December to January, I have news for you - it’s one of their peak periods which means book very early plus everywhere be pricier. After much research, I decided to try Kotohira Kadan, located in a small town called Kotohira in the Kagawa Prefecture. It seemed the ‘closest’ to Osaka (and by that I mean a crazy 3...

Michel Bras Lake Toya – World’s Best Restaurant

For a change this trip, we decided to take a break from skiing and do a day trip with AL, YW, her mum and Baby G to Windsor Hotel at Lake Toya, about 1 hour and 15 minutes car ride from Niseko Village. We had planned this in advance with NG another friend who was staying there with her family and arranged for us all to have a nice pre New Year catch up at the famed Michel Bras Lake Toya location. Breathtaking views of Lake Toya. Lake Toya is a large volcanic lake spanning 228 km along the coast of Hokkaido, and may have seemed unusual as the choice location for Michel Bras offshoot from his famed Bras restaurant Laguiole, France which has held...

Niseko Eats and Drinks

After spring skiing in March, I was back in Niseko again with Y and R and her good ol’ skiing buddies. Amidst all the skiing she did this time around, there were some new eventful discoveries of eats and drinks thanks to us having a dedicated car to just us 3. Here’s the rundown! Mountain Kiosk Coffee Stand 倶知安町字山田204 ウェルカムセンター横, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan 044-0081. At the base of Mount Annupuri in Hirafu on the left side of the Welcome Center (beside the Bus Terminal) Tel: 0136-22-3735. Opening hours: Daily from 8 am – 5 pm This new coffee kiosk, next to the welcome centre in the Upper Village, was a great discovery thanks to us starting our lessons higher up at the Grand Hirafu Mountain...

Okahan Ginza Matsusaka Sukiyaki

Every time I am in Japan, Y and I must have at least one sukiyaki meal, it’s like a food ritual that we must have otherwise we will be cranky. Typically I always head to Imahan as it has so many locations and is pretty dependable, but I decided to do some research and try something new this time around. I read about Okahan Ginza known for their Matsusaka beef and after seeing many pretty decent reviews online, I decided to give it a shot for our entire group of 10 adults and a baby for lunch on Christmas Day. Matsusaka beef is one of the 3 revered beef ‘brands’ from Japan other than Kobe and Omi beef. It’s well known for it’s soft texture...
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