I've had heaps of positive feedback on my Riga blog posts, thank you! It seems that many of you have enjoyed my suggestions on sights to see and things to do in Riga and I'm happy to say that I've saved the best for last - mushing and sledding with huskies in the snow. Today's blog post, however, is one for the foodies and is a follow up to Thursday's restaurant review of award-winning Renommé in Gallery Park Hotel Riga.
In my first blog post about the award-winning 5* luxury boutique hotel Gallery Park Hotel Riga I've shown you why GPH Riga is the right choice for the discerning and sophisticated traveller who wants a luxurious, hospitable, and convenience stay that reflects the elegance of Riga, the European Capital of Culture 2014. Today's post follows up with Renommé, Gallery Park Hotel Riga's restaurant whose accolades for its Latvian culinary classics sees that this gourmet dining destination holds its own without needing to rest on the laurels of its prestigious hotel.
My posts on Riga so far have been postcard-pretty photos of candy-coloured Art Nouveau buildings, luxuries like Gallery Park Hotel Riga, and the wintry beauty of snowy landscapes - so far, so lovely. Today's blog post is about an attraction that is more rugged and rough around the edges but by no means only for men and is just as exhilarating as the ballet (but with more bang for your buck) - Riga Shooting Range.
January 28, 2015
My posts on Riga so far have been postcard-pretty photos of candy-coloured Art Nouveau buildings , luxuries like Gallery Park Hotel Ri...
Intrigued to explore the charming capital of Riga, Latvia - awarded the honour of European Capital of Culture 2014 - to report on this beautiful, historical city, Henry and I chose a hotel that reflects the elegance and sophistication of Riga: Gallery Park Hotel.
Labdien (hello) from Latvia! Perchance you may have seen on my Instagram (@jasiminne) that I'm in Riga, Latvia. Dear friends, I write to you now from the comfort of luxury boutique hotel Gallery Park Hotel ensconced in the warm enriching glow of an eight hour nap followed by a spellbinding evening of ballet - Swan Lake at the Latvian National Opera - and a satisfyingly heavy meal which Henry and I (tried but failed to) walk off with a stroll through the park. Everything is covered in a blanket of snow and the city looks just like a postcard of the ultimate fantasy of what a European city should look like (but without the crowds, the chaos, and the urban grime of say, Paris).
'The sky is the limit' and this is certainly the case when it comes to dining (that is until Richard Branson opens a restaurant on the Virgin Galactic). The Shard (here and here), Duck & Waffle...what is it about dining at high elevation that is so appealing? London's latest landmark, Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, is the new destination for those who like their eggs with a side of sweeping views of the city...or those who like the 'high life'.
On Sunday me and several bloggers were treated to a Chinese afternoon tea by Joe Blogs at Le Chinois in the exclusive setting of Sloane Street. A flurry of bloggers (or 'hashtag' which I insist must be the collective noun for bloggers) descended upon the gilded designer-label clad streets of Knightsbridge to sample the delights of Le Chinois's Afternoon Tea menu - a clever take on British high tea with an authentic and innovative Cantonese twist. In lieu of the usual scones and cucumber sandwiches; we nibbled on dim sum, scallop rolls, and duck pancakes while sipping on champagne in the dark red and warm tones of Le Chinois' elegant restaurant, in our own private room behind light curtains where we were free to mingle, tweet, and be as snap-happy as we pleased. While some dishes were comfortingly familiar - dim sum is a huge part of my upbringing, I was brought up with a traditional but liberal Chinese family and dim sum Sundays were a family ritual - like char siu bao, siu mai, and crispy duck pancake; others were delightfully expected such as the wasabi prawns, the mochi, and the pièce de résistance - the cake stand laden with dim sum. It was a symbol for the combination of the British ritual of high tea with the Chinese tradition of 飲茶 (yum cha). It amused me to observe that this meeting of Oriental-Occidental tea rituals paralleled the assimilation of my Malaysian-Chinese heritage with the London culture that has ingrained itself into my mannerisms and accent. Anyway, enough of my words - allow my food photography to do the talking.
January 20, 2015
On Sunday me and several bloggers were treated to a Chinese afternoon tea by Joe Blogs at Le Chinois in the exclusive setting of Slo...
'Cos you know I'm all about the face, 'bout the face... The saying goes 'Keep It Simple, Stupid' and Simple, the sensitive skin care experts, have this down to an art. Simple's products contain just the purest possible ingredients that are kind to skin (even sensitive complexions) with no artificial perfumes, dyes, or other nasties. Simple know all about how much the skin suffers - hormones, stress, city lifestyle to say nothing about the ravages of winter and party season.
For the obsessive-compulsive documenter of all things photogenic and delicious - the two must go hand in hand! - there is nothing more welcoming than dining with your own tribe - that is, bloggers - where you can all tweet and eat throughout your meal without any judgement. Well, there is one other thing - to do all of the above at an establishment that actively encourages such interaction. DF/ Mexico is such a place. Ever since their arrival to Brick Lane, East London last summer I have been actively engaging DF/ Mexico in some serious Twitter banter. Bloomzy too fell for their flirtatious charms - all 140 characters of it - and so it was at our favourite Mexican diner that she organised a catch-up dinner for us blogging types. Question: What is a collective noun for bloggers? Answer: Hashtag. A hashtag of bloggers. Certified and authenticated by yours truly.
Today's post addresses a common conundrum that has plagued many a snap happy blogger - how to shoot crisp, clear photos in low light without using a flash. You know the story: you're at a Instagram popular-page pretty event, restaurant, or date, the setting of which is so painfully photogenic that it simply begs to be have its photo taken. Problem: the duskily-lit venue in all its incandescent glow, so ambient in real life, shows up in photos as a dark blob with blurry pinpricks of light, faceless blurs for people, and sometimes colourful streaks of God knows what (very interesting if you're at a rave, but not quite when you're trying to capture a classier scene). Do you: a) pop the camera flash, taking photos that look 'flat' and give the people in them rabid-animal red eyes while possibly irking all else present in the room or b) struggle to hold your camera still (possibly dislocating a rib while holding your breath to keep your hands steady) and despite six hundred attempts still end up with blurry, out of focus shots? It was the latter that I used to struggle with (I have the sore ribs to prove it) until I finally figured out the easy way to take clear photos in dark settings without having to use that obnoxious pop-up flash on my camera. This way, I get clear shots of my subjects (my cocktail, my friends, my Celine purse *ahem*) without sacrificing clarity nor the atmospheric ambience of my softly-lit surroundings. How? Read on...
Here are five words in five languages that sum up how I feel right now -
Wanderlust (English): the irresistible, uncurable desire to travel or wander
Fernweh (German): "farsickness", being homesick for a place you've never been
Resfeber (Swedish): the restless race of the traveller’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together
Vagary (Latin): an unpredictable instance, a wandering journey; a whimsical, wild or unusualidea, desire, or action
Saudade (Portugese): “the love that remains”, a nostalgic longing to be near again to something that is distant
One of my 15 things for 2015 is to travel - to continents I've yet to see, countries I've dreamt of for as long as I can remember, to destinations off the beaten path and to places that my heart yearns for. What is it about the new year that makes us fantasise about holidays, pin our dream destinations, and make a travel bucket list? Maybe it's the optimistism of the start of a new year or it's the bitter cold of winter (for Londoners). Indeed, both Luxy and Angie (two of my favourite, fabulous bloggers) feel the same way - Luxy's even made a Facebook page for UK travel bloggers - and they've just blogged about their travel wishes and wanderlust lists for 2015. I thought I'd jump on the blogging bandwagon and share with you my 2015 travel plans, dream destinations, and also travel blogs that I've just discovered that you might like to follow.
January 02, 2015
Here are five words in five languages that sum up how I feel right now - Wanderlust (English): the irresistible, uncurable desire t...