TRAVEL DIARIES: Hotel La Villa Nice Victor Hugo

Hotel La Villa Nice Victor Hugo

My dream to visit the French Riviera or the Côte d'Azur finally came true this autumn! It was the perfect antidote to my Vitamin D deficiency and the dark gloomy Berlin cold season. I found Hotel La Villa Nice Victor Hugo on Booking.com and we were really happy with the rate-t0-newness and cleanliness ratio, considering how expensive hotels can be in Nice this was a great deal. We like staying in newly renovated hotels because the chances of it being clean and looking like their [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Hotel Henri Paris

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If you are looking for an affordable yet nice, clean place to stay in Pari that is conveniently close to public transport stops, and in a nice neighbourhood that has a delicious 24 hour restaurant, boulangeries, stationery shops,and other neighbourhood shops; Consider staying in Hotel Henri, previously known as Hotel Residence Les Gobelins.  I love that it is not in the crazy touristy area and we were able to see how the locals lived during your stay in Paris. It also allowed us to practice some [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Pinoy Restaurant

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I am happy to say that after so long there is now another Filipino restaurant her in Berlin. In the past it was only Pan in Prenzlauerberg, but now we have Pinoy in Charlottenburg. The location is only 9 minutes by car from the Philippine Embassy and they serve pork, which is so essential to Filipino cuisine.  I liked the interior deign of the small restaurant. They used a lot of wood and warm colours. The style was modern and there were lots of orchids greeting us when we entered. I thought [read more]

Lilian Syrigou Art and Handmade Jewelry

Lillian-Syrigou

During the Berlin Bazaar, one booth in particular caught my eye. From a far, I wasn't sure what she was selling and when I looked closer, I realised she was selling wearable art. Lilian Syrigou creates jewelry so fanciful, that it's definitely a work of art! Originally from Greece, her jewellery gold or silver-plated copper materials. She has many different lines and these are what caught my eye. Home Sweet Home City Skylines Women of the World And last but not the least these super [read more]

DIPLO LUST LIST: West Mediterranean Holiday Cruises

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Winter has finally come. Berlin is in sub-zero temperatures and the sun is MIA. So here I am warming myself up with daydreams of sunny exotic cruise holidays. Why cruise? If you asked me 5 years ago, I would not have considered going on a cruise. In the past cruises were reserved for retirees,who could afford them, but these days, I know so many people who have already gone on cruises  in their 20s and 30s. After some googling, I now see why cruises are attracting a fun, younger [read more]

Quick Paella Recipe

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This recipe was adapted from Yummy Magazine (Philippines) Meals and Minutes Cookbook and if we don't want to slave for hours upon hours on my MIL's secret paella recipe, this is a quick fix for paella cravings. It is super quick and tasty. I am posting this, as requested by friends, who tasted it during a potluck party. 2 tablespoons olive oil (regular, not extra virgin) 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1/2 cup diced onions 1/2 piece red bell pepper, sliced thinly 1/2 piece green bell pepper, [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Berlin Zoo

berlin-zoo-tdw

The Berlin Zoo in Tiergarten is not only a beautifully designed Zoo and a great way to spend a beautiful Berlin day, but it also has a really interesting history and has quite a few distinctions. As far as I know, it is the oldest zoo in Germany opening in 1844 and the ninth to open in Europe (of the 9 I don't know if all of them are still open today). With around 1,500 species and almost 20,500 animals, it has the comprehensive collection of species in the world. Our club, Willkommen in Berlin, [read more]

Jakarta Shopping Tips

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This is a post in response to this post by Travel Lush, a fellow traveller and someone who currently is residing in Jakarta. I could relate to her entire post. When I was living in Jakarta I was quite frustrated that it was hard to find good quality basic items. Cheap and chic or "bueno bonito barato" did not seem to exist. A lot of the well made products and international brands are made in Indonesia (i.e. Nike, Massimo Dutti, Crate and Barrel, beautiful kaftans, teak furniture, etc.), but [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Fassbender & Rausch

fassbender rausch

Though a bit touristy, the biggest chocolaterie in the world is still an amazing place to go for chocolate lovers. Fassbender and Rausch (pronounced raush, with the au having the same sound as ou in 'house') is located around the picturesque Gendarmenmarkt, another must see in Berlin. In the ground floor they have their chocolate shop where you can find all manner of chocolates. You can get good quality baking chocolates too, aside from their pralines and other treats. I am [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Free Alternative Berlin Tour

berlin tour

There are many walking tours of Berlin, from your usual tours to pub crawls and the underground clubbing scene. One tour that I can recommend for people who are interested in street art and alternative lifestyle is the Alternative Berlin Tour. You will learn to decode the graffiti you see all over the place (I gained a new appreciation for their artistry and the story that the graffiti artists tell in their own unique styles), learn about people who choose to live in squat houses and if you are [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Asia Hitlist

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One of the things I loved about living in Asia is how easy and affordable it is to travel to many Asia-Pacific destinations and how diverse the cultures and attractions are. With a few minutes of googling and planning, plane fares can be had for as little as a few dollars and nice, clean hotels can be found. Seriously! When we were based in Jakarta we wanted to travel a lot on a limited budget so we would book flights a year ahead so we could take advantage of promos, like 10,000 Rupiah flights, [read more]

25 Years after the Fall of the Wall

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This weekend was very exciting for us because it was the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the WAll (hashtag: #FOTW25) and Berlin, with the rest of the world, was celebrating in a big way with so many meaningful activities. We feel very lucky to be in Berlin and be able to celebrate such a important part of world history in the very city where it happened. Lichtgrenze or Border of Light Situated right in the heart of the city this unique and arresting light installation will trace a circa 15 [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Königliche Gartenakademie

royal garden academy

The Koenigliche Gartenakademie or Royal Garden Academy in Berlin is the product of a dream and a lot of handwork against many odds of its award-winning founders, Gabriella Pape and plant doctor Isabelle Van Groeningen. I learned about the Royal Garden Academy when we visited for a talk and tea with the my Antiques, Gardens and Palaces group in the Willkommen in Berlin Club. I was about to give up on my little balcony garden that was dying because of aphids. Because of the talk of Isabelle Van [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Neni Berlin Restaurant

NENI berlin restaurant

The NENI Berlin is a culinary mosaic of Persian, Russian, Arabic, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish, German and Austrian influences. The concept of Haya Molcho is that everyone is able to try a little of everything, and pots and pans are taken from the kitchen and placed directly on the table without any airs or graces. In the 10th Floor you can enjoy the varied cuisine and panoramic views of Berlin and the Tiergarten. I am currently obsessed with NENI Berlin. It's a super hip restaurant on top of the [read more]

JAKARTA EATS: Social House

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This is our favorite restaurant in Jakarta and is the one we frequent the most. It's our favourite place for brunch (the eggs benedict are arguably the best in the city) and it is also a fail-proof place to take visitors from out of town, because there is something for every taste, the staff speaks English, service is relatively good, the ambiance, fresh interior design and music cannot be beat. Oh and they serve pork. Big plus. The smoking area looks out to the Bundaran HI.  Social [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Lunch at Schloss Moritzburg

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If you are Dresden or in the area of Saxony, I highly recommend a visit to the Moritzburg Castle which was once the hunting lodge of August der Stark or August the Strong, who was the Elector of Saxony and the King of Poland among his many other titles. This hunting lodge is really more like a hunting castle than anything. It is so huge with very masculine touches. Theres is an impressive man-made lake around it that is teaming with duck and fish. We decided to have lunch here during our stay in [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Dong Xuan Center

Dong Xuan

As an Asian in Berlin, Dong Xuan Center is a good place to know about for Asian shopping and food fix.  It s composed of several halls that are crammed full of Asia-made products. I can't say they are high quality, but there are several reasons I think this Vietnamese Market is worth going to all the way in Mitte for. image via 1. Authentic Vietnamese food. Seriously yummy and cheap. The Bun Cha was amaaaaazing. Wrap some pork BBQ, noodles and herbs in lettuce and dunk into that [read more]

DIPLO LUST LIST: Luxe Man Cave Makeover

mancave-makeover

I was recently asked to join the fun "Man Cave Makeover" campaign of Man Crates, a new company that ships awesome gifts for men in custom wooden crates that he has to open with a crowbar. Very cool. Though I am not compensated for this post, I thought the idea of decorating a man cave in our own, mine and TD's, personal style would be fun. I asked my husband for his wish list and came up with this post. My husband. TD, agreed that if he were to have a man cave, in the distant future he [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Spanish Speaking Dentist Sonri Conmigo

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For Spanish speakers in Berlin who are looking for a dentist, this post is for you! Deutsch speakers are welcome too! I wanted to feature this clinic because of how lovely and light the office felt with tons of personality and quirky touches. I also loved that they had a cappuccino-maker and soda water maker. I dread visits to the dentists, so details like this entertain and distract me from the upcoming pain.  Like most of my doctors in Berlin, the clinic is in an AltBau, usually around [read more]

How to Incorporate a TV into your Photo Wall

black white wall

You guys know I love a good photo wall. Photo walls are an affordable yet beautiful way to personalise our space. My last project was the wall behind our bedroom TV and my objective was to incorporate the TV into the photo wall. Photo Walls or Gallery walls are a lovely way to display  cherished possessions and memories and to personalise your space. Because I wanted to make the entire media wall into a photo wall, it was  important to me to make it into a functional space for our gadgets [read more]