Thursday, 31 December 2009

Elton John's Out the Closet 2009

On our last day in London, Rommel and I stumbled upon Elton John's Out of Closet 2009 sale while taking a walk around Covent Garden. I'd seen it in the news that Elton was donating part of his wardrobe to raise funds for his Aids Foundation so we thought we'd check it out.

In less than half an hour, we walked out of there with 4 pairs of posh men's shoes for Rommel (a Bottega, a Dior, a Gucci and a Louis Vuitton) and 5 cashmere scarves for me (Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto).... All for 650 quid. What a bargain... And all for charity too!

After a very good lunch at Kulu Kulu Sushi with the family, we brought my brother and dad back there again for them to have look. The boys came out with another 9 pairs of shoes (ranging from Bottega, Louis Vuitton and others I cannot recall now) - 2 for Rommel, 3 for my brother and 4 for my dad. My dad also bought 2 Versace belts, 1 Gucci jeans (which fit him extremely well, I must add) and 1 Diesel jeans.

So much for the boys not shopping that much!

While they were paying, I was quietly stalking a really nice worn-out brown leather bag. A couple was holding on to it and couldn't seem to decide whether to get it or not. When I finally gave up and started walking out, I saw from the corner of my eye that they'd put the bag back on the rack and I practically jumped over and grabbed it. I had no idea what brand was John Varvatos (which I later found out to be a designer specialising in menswear, figures), I didn't even check the bag properly, and I just grabbed it and headed to the cashier. The bag was pretty much brand new and cost me 195 quid, vs the original price (the tag was still in the bag) of US$995. I love it!

As we walked out, we were stopped by some journalists from the Daily Mail, asking questions about what we bought and what we thought about the sale etc. Here is the article following that "interview".

I wont post the whole thing but here is the snippet on us:

"Shoes were the biggest sellers. The Chong family, on holiday from Malaysia, went crazy for Elton's distinctly unshocking black and brown leather loafer collection, rather than his Versace black bovver boots with diamond encrusted toes.

Between them, they bought 13 pairs of sensible Bottega Veneta shoes for £99 each and armfuls of cashmere scarves by Yohji Yamamoto for £50 a throw.

'Your Song is one of my favourite records,' said John Chong, 55, an owner of a chemical business. 'But that's not why I bought all this - they're just great bargains.' "

Looks like it's not only my mother who knows how to shop.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Knit FO: Isabelle's dress

Say "Hi!" to the super-cute, super-chatty Isabelle!

She is wearing the dress/top I made for her second birthday in September. This is my first attempt at kidswear and I only had 3 days to complete it (her birthday party was a week earlier than I thought so I had to rush). I was rather nervous about giving it to her, you know, worried that it wouldn't fit, worried that it would be uncomfortable etc... I met up with her and her parents Tim and Jo last night and they said that it fit her well. I hadn't seen this picture Jo posted on Facebook so decided to check it out.

Pattern: None really. I just followed the instructions from the aunties at Jet Sun Sg Wang where I bought the yarn from.

Here goes:
CO 130 stitches on circular needles and join.
Knit in stockingnette stitch until desired length for the skirt portion.
Decrease until it's half the number of stitches (i.e. K2tog one round).
*K1, P1* repeat for about 3-4 inches and bind off. (You can also do a K2, P2 rib.)

This forms the basic tube dress. I then crocheted simple straps onto the dress which can be tied and adjusted so that as she grows up, Mommy can adjust the lengths and make it a top. Judging from the picture, I'll say the dress grew too short very quickly since Isabelle is tall for her age. Or it was just my own bad estimation for children's clothes.

Yarn: Katia Bombay, 2 skeins in Pink (Lot No. 2004) - lovely colours in cool cotton, perfect for our tropical weather!

Needles: 4mm/60cm circulars.

Confession - I bought 2 more skeins of Katia Bombay to make another baby dress but have not been motivated to finish it. I'm now thinking of ripping it all out and starting something different. We'll see!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Cilantro tonight!

I have been anticipating the reopening of Cilantro since its closure for renovations over a year ago. I have heard so much about it since coming home from London and starting work in KL but never got round to trying it. Then when I finally decided to give it a try, it closed for the MiCasa renovations. :(

I have since tried Sage, Cilantro's sister restaurant in The Gardens (blogged about it once here) and have enjoyed many great meals there (which I took many pictures of but never got round to blogging about them - New Year resolution - to actually post all the food pictures I keep taking!).

When I heard from Rommel that Cilantro had reopened, we knew at once we had to give it a try. Tonight was one of the few spare nights we have left (before my brother flies off back to London next week) and I managed to get us a table. Yippee...... Good nom tonight!

And just for comparison, I'll be having dinner at Sage at the end of the week. ;) Good thing losing weight isn't on my New Year resolutions list.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Have a Blessed and Joyful Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Blessed and Joyful Christmas!

Here are some pics from London.... (while we are still sorting the rest out)

My sister's graduation was held in Southwark Cathedral - which sounded awfully familiar to both of us and we didn't realise why until we got there. It's the church right next to Borough market! We knew it was in that area but hadn't realise that it was that same church we've been staring at all this while.

After the photo taking sessions, my parents and sister headed into the cathedral for the ceremony while Rommel and I headed towards iKnit (which btw I now realise I didn't take pictures in because I was busy playing with yarn).

Of course, we had to stop by and peek into Borough market, which was expectedly quiet on a Wednesday afternoon. My usual fishmonger was open though and I found it funny that they were selling curries from my part of the world.. I ended up getting their Furness fish soup which was good. And the Thai green curry looked good I must say.

This is me waiting patiently outside my favourite sandwich shop, Farmer Brown in Covent Garden. I used to live less than one minute walk from this shop during my uni days (so I ate there almost all the time!). This time around, we stayed at the Citadines Trafalgar Square (I got a good bargain for a 6 person apartment) which is about a 10 minute walk from Farmer Brown on New Row. Needless to say, I made everyone have this for breakfast at least 3 times (we were in London for a total of 6 days). When they were lazy to walk out in the cold winter morning, Rommel and I walked out and packed the sandwiches for them. Great, now I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

And finally, I am grinning from ear to ear at the discovery of this market stall somewhere in Bath selling haberdashery. We were walking around going from one Christmas market to another when I stumbled across this place. I didn't buy any yarn though, having just splurged in iKnit a few days earlier. And, the yarns were mostly Sirdar and other brands which I knew I could get in Spotlight Singapore so why waste luggage space?

That's it for now.... Happy Holidays!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Bonjour from Paris

It's our third and final night in Paris before heading back to London. It's been pretty good so far... We've done the must-do touristy stuff (Tour Eiffel and Musee du Lourve done), had probably our best meal on this entire trip in a quaint French restaurant near our hotel (we're staying in the St Germain des Pres area) and also shopped quite a bit!

We arrived at Tour Eiffel around sunset but didn't quite manage to walk up in time to take sunset pictures. Patteh, Rommel and I walked up to the second level too and it was freezing! Good to know I seem to have lost my fear of heights this time around. The last time I walked up Tour Eiffel 4 years ago, I was scared to walk to the Level 2!

Here I am with my brother after we reached Level 2.

Sadly, we were not able to walk the entire Lourve (which I guesstimate to take about 3 days at least). But we walked through my favourite part - the paintings.
We met Monalisa, who has moved to a much better location from where I remember her to be. We also went to see Aphrodite (sorry picture is in my sister's camera).

That's it for now.... Now we have to decide where to go for dinner. We wanted to go back to that quaint little restaurant I mentioned earlier but it's fully-booked today (it is Saturday after all). I tried booking Ze Kitchen Galerie literally the moment we arrived but they were not as friendly and told us they were full for both lunch and dinner until next week. Let's hope we find something good!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

And... we're back in London!

First: I stocked up on my yarn stash at iKnit!!! Had great fun in there playing with yarn noms while Rommel had some ginger beer and shandy to entertain himself. I also finally bought a swift and the KnitPicks interchangeable needles set.... Yippee! This was during sister's graduation ceremony since only my parents went in for it and Rommel and I had one and a half hours to spare.

After sister's graduation ceremony at Southwark Cathedral (which incidentally was RIGHT next to Borough market = perfect!), we headed for Shrewsbury to visit my brother. Or so was the plan...

We did see him yes, over dinner on the first night we arrived at our accommodation - Acton Pigot B&B which was 2 mins drive from Concord. The next day, we didn't see him at all! Cos we were too busy shopping at Cheshire Oaks up in Chester. I planned for this little "detour" to keep my mom occupied and shop she did. Ok ok, we all did!

We arrived back in Acton Pigot late in the night with our 9-seater VW filled with shopping bags. John, the owner of Acton Pigot, was amazed at the amount we bought.

Our next trip was to Bath which was supposed to be some all historic site visit but I also timed that to be at the same time as the annual Bath Christmas market (read: SHOPPING). I'm not sure now if that was a good thing because it was raining all of Saturday, the streets of Bath was so packed with shoppers and all restaurants and cafes were full of ppl. Madness!! We ended up heading back to the hotel early after sunset mass at the St John the Evangelist church and packed Thai food for dinner! The weather improved the next day so we had some time to shop in Bath.... *phew*..

Now back in London, spent the whole day at Westfield, the new shopping mall near Hammersmith since the weather was looking good at all for walking about outside. My brother is on his way down from his Cambridge interview (hope it went well, Fatteh!) so we're waiting for dinner....

That's it for now.... more updates to come!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Hello from London

It's Day 1 in London and it's cold. We spoke to friends and shop assistants and they said it's the coldest day so far this year. The BBC weather forecast says it's supposed to get warmer tomorrow. Let's hope so!

We had breakfast at my old favourite: Farmer Brown on New Row in Covent Garden... Yum! Pictures to come.

We also covered a good number of places today. Started with sister's uni for her to sort out stuff, then St Pancras Intl to collect our Eurostar tickets and then it was Camden Town since we were already up North. Came back to the centre for some M&S essential shopping.

Ok that's it for now! Someone's waiting to use the computer.... Ta.....