Sunday, April 20, 2014

First Time In the Philippines - Part 1

Finally another blog post! I've been wanting to pen down my thoughts for the longest time but I always seem to have reasons not to. Sigh. It's sad how work has taken such toll on me.
Anyway, in March, I decided to go to Manila to attend my friend's wedding. We were supposed to be there in a group of 5 but due to unforeseen circumstances, only Babe and I could make it there. :(
Our flight was supposed to be at 1am on the faithful 8th of March but it was delayed till 3am. Not too sure what the reason was but we got to know about the MH370 tragedy upon reaching Manila. :(

Hazelnut chocolate to keep our eyes open!
Touched down in Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 7.30am! Took a taxi to OCY's place and trust me, when people tell you that the traffic in Manila is notorious, believe them.
I was just thankful I didn't puke in the taxi.

Oh and a tip on travelling on taxi from the airport, remember to NOT take the airport taxi.
Make your way to the arrival entrance and get a common taxi from there instead. It'll save you more than half the amount the airport taxis charge!

Hola, OCY!

Our first venue in Manila (Makati to be exact) was the Serendra where we had our breakfast there.
Nice ambience and there were quite a few restaurants and cafes to choose from!

I had a cuppa latte!
OCY had red velvet and watermelon juice.

Poor dear accidentally ordered a cheesy pie..

After breakfast, we decided to go to Intramuros, where the core history of Manila is located at. The journey there was an interesting one. We got to see the people, the lifestyle and not forgotten experiencing first hand their driving skills!

This is called a Jeepney. They were once used as jeeps during wartime and we were told that it was then elongated to become one of the most common modes of transportation in the Philippines.

In front of the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica which was under construction. :(

Went on the horse carriage for a 30-min tour around the historical buildings. We were charged P350 for all 3 of us. Remember to bargain to get cheaper if you can!

In San Agustin Church where we witnessed an ongoing wedding! Of course the wedding hasn't started when we were snapping this pic.

Had a short walk at the church museum which was located directly beside the Church. Too bad most of the art pieces and artifact were all over the place so we didn't spend much time there.

The weather in Manila was as hot as in Malaysia but maybe less humid. Still, it calls for something cold to quench our thirst so we stopped by a quaint cafe beside the church and ordered Philippine's version "ice kacang" - halo-halo! Though I find it a little too milky for my liking.

Normally served with a scoop of yam ice cream, nuts, nata de coco, shaved ice among others.

After Intramuros, we decided to go to some place cooler and OCY suggested to go to TriNoma, which is a huge shopping mall owned by one of the biggest developers in Philippines - Ayala Land. It was HUGE.

We were there quite late in the afternoon but we still had our lunch at the mall. OCY suggested a restaurant which I've forgotten its name. We ordered so much for 3 people and ended up not finishing the food.

Squid cooked in oil. Okay, it's called something else but it was way too oily. :S

Pork knuckle which was really good!

Ordered some vege to compensate the rest of the food we ordered. Can't remember what vege this was but it was crunchy and cooked with coconut milk and prawns.

Fried fish which was obviously too much for us! :S It was not bad though!

The rest of the day was spent walking around in the mall and doing what girls do best. So to make up to Babe, we went to Dairy Queen to get some ice cream!

Up next: My friend's beautiful wedding!


Friday, February 28, 2014

Brunch @ Ante Kitchen & Bar, Publika

So...I have actually drafted a post on our 10th anniversary but looks like Babe beat me to it!
If you haven't read it, click on the link and have a read! :)

So on the ValentineSunday, we decided to go to somewhere nice for brunch because why not!
As usual. I'll do the homework while Babe will just come along and I decided to go to Ante Kitchen & Bar!

Ante Kitchen & Bar is located at Solaris Dutamas aka Publika. It's pretty easy to find the restaurant as it's facing the main road.

We were there at about 2pm (what BRUNCH?!) so it was pretty empty....that could only mean more snaps!!! :P

Oh yes, nice coaster.

Babe ordered their citron presse juice (it claims to be 100% juice). It was priced at RM7.
(I hope I got the name of the drink right)

Me, as usual, ordered a cuppa latte (known as Caffe Latte here) to kick start my day!
Okay, who am I kidding, I'm a morning person, obviously I've already started the day long time ago and even did my laundry!

Caffe Latte - RM10

For mains, Babe ordered Ante Caesar because he claims that he's a flob - fat blob. Can't blame that dude, he's a health freak!

Ante Caesar - RM12, served with the usuals

I thought the salad was not bad though, the croutons get a few brownie points from me! :)

As for myself, I had their - The Real Bacon Carbonara because really, who can resist carbonara?!
Okay I know there are lots of people who don't fancy cream, aka Babe but I decided to order anyway because there's a little hat icon beside the dish on the menu - it's recommended!

The Real Bacon Carbonara - RM27, very creamy and yummy! Recommended, INDEED!

Love the ambience! Dim lights for more romantic feeling.

Smoking area outside the restaurant.

It's good hair + skin day! Rarely get that these days so yes, it calls for more photos! :D

OOTD: Cropped top from Bershka (got it at half price!) and skirt is from Nichii,

RANDOM: Photo of Momo!!

Momo's probably the best dog I've ever met. She's so friendly, anyone could just fall in love with her anytime.
She wags her tail ALL the time when her name is called and she doesn't bark (not even when you don't give her food, well we fall for her puppy eyes anyway) except when she sees us coming back!!

PS: None of the photos above are edited. Gotta love my Canon G15 (Ginny)! :)


Sunday, December 29, 2013

2nd Weekend In London - Bicester Village

All hail all shopaholics out there! If you haven't heard of Bicester Village before, maybe it's about time you do.
Situated in Oxfordshire, England, Bicester Village is like our very own Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) in Malaysia.
Known for discounted prices of branded high end goods, Bicester Village houses brands Prada, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and etc where a lot of them are at up to 60% off the RRP.

When I was informed about this place, it took me not long to decide to go because I just can't help it!
I mean, come on, one of the reasons people go to Europe besides vacation (or work for my case), is also to get cheap(er) luxury goods.
So I booked by my trip there using their official website here and waited patiently for the day to arrive. :D
It took approximately slightly more than an hour to reach there from London via bus.

The Polo Ralph Lauren store is smacked right at the centre as you enter the village. 

One of my favourite brands of all times but unfortunately I couldn't find what I like there.

There are somehow a few brands that are more famous than the rest as it requires the customers to queue up before going into the store such as Prada and Gucci.

Poor kiddo have to look after the goods while his parents are somewhere shopping..

It took me about 2 hours to complete a round at the village as I already have in mind what I am looking for. So I went and chilled at the restaurant nearby for lunch while waiting for time to board the bus.
We were given 4 hours to shop and it's really more than enough unless you plan to go into every single shop and shop like mad.

And what I got myself you ask? I got myself a Prada tote bag for more than 50% discount of its original price!
To those who think it was Babe who got it for me, you can go suck your balls now.
I'm working and earning on my own, would it be impossible for me to get my first (and only) branded bag on my own? NO.
And if you think I'm a spoilt brat, flashing my Prada bag everywhere I go, why don't you say the same to those people who are carrying their Chanel, LV and Burberry bags around?
I don't deserve such treatment and uninvited comments from you just because I can afford my own branded bag.
Now go play far far away.

Taken at York.

And of course, I also got some others stuffs for my mom like Clinique skincare products which are wayyyyyy cheaper there!

Oh, and a few reminders to foreigners who are planning a trip there:

1. Please remember to bring along your passport or at least remember your passport number if you plan to do a tax refund at the airport. This is so that the sales assistant can print out the tax refund form for you to claim back your tax later.

2. Some airport staffs are quite strict when it comes to reclaiming the tax. To reduce hassles and whatnot, DO NOT check in your luxury goods and make sure they still look as good as new if you have used them, which also means, DO NOT throw away your receipts and put the goods in the boxes and carrier bags. If you have checked in, it might take longer than expected to do the tax refund.

I have a colleague who was denied the tax refund because he was wearing the shoes which he wanted to claim for tax at an airport in Germany which I don't quite remember..was it Dortmund Airport or something.

So, good luck in shopping in Bicester Village! Hope you find what you want there.


My Traveled Map

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