Travel & Lifestyle: First Abercrombie & Fitch Store in Hong Kong

 

E and I were in Central, Hong Kong in the December/January period and we could smell the wonderful scent of the Abercrombie & Fitch store before we were even inside. We approached unaware to an old Victorian building in Central (as some of you may know that Hong Kong was a British colony up until 1997) where hoards of people were rushing in out of the building through its old Victorian style wooden doors but the fun only began when we found ourselves inside. “It smells just like the store in New York!!” said E excitedly, he’s a HUGE fan of Abercrombie, fragrance, shirts, sweaters, pants, coats, you name them, he has it all. I, on the other hand have only collected a few pieces that my cousin had sent me from the States. As excited as I was to shop around, I knew that most of the items weren’t my style but never the less, I was happy to take some pictures. The fuss was definitely justified, with dark wooden finishes and a hallway lit by rows of beautiful crystal chandeliers was magical. I was thoroughly impressed with this dark, mysterious and Victorian set-up. The only thing that bothered me was how many people there were in the store, but then again, it’s Hong Kong, the most dense city in the world. One thing I had to give them credit for was the wonderful scent of the store that is standard all over the world and with it’s impressive 3 floors’ of fashion to choose from. Come to think of it, Aca Joe’s style in fashion wear and also their stores seem rather similar to Abercrombie, almost a knock off except on a budget as all the stores also has a distinct scent and dark wooden finishes. Enough of the rambling, enjoy the photos! 🙂

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Hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading!

With love…xxx

Travel and Lifestyle: High Tea at Ladurée and What is a Perfect Macaron?

 

If you haven’t personally been to Ladurée, I have no doubt that you know what it is and what it is that they specialise in, courtesy of the good old Gossip Girl days… and for those who still have no clue then here’s a little background for you:

Ladurée is a luxury French bakery and pastries house, they are world famous for their macarons and have 52 stores in the world, 6 being in Paris alone and of course we don’t have one in SA. 😉 Little fun fact for you: Ladurée made macarons for the film Marie Antoinette! Amazing! 🙂

So where did I have the Ladurée experience, you might ask, I had high tea in Times Square in Hong Kong. Personally, I’m a huge fan of macarons and I don’t particularly have a sweet tooth. The perfect macarons for me is where the macaron shells have feet, not hollow and the outside is slightly hard but not crispy and baked to perfection but the inside of the macaron shell should be so airy that it melts in your mouth. Of course, a macaron is not a macaron without filling, although I’m a huge fan of chocolate ganache but a little bit of blueberry or lemon curd filling never hurt. The filling must be smooth and in fact where all the flavour is because the macaron shells don’t actual have any flavouring, just colouring. Although still attempting to bake the perfect macarons myself, I definitely know how to enjoy a good macaron! Unfortunately we don’t have a Ladurée store in SA but you can get pretty good macarons from Tashas Le Parc in Hyde Park Corner, they have a variety of different flavours and certainly worth a try if you’re seeking good macarons.

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We also ordered lemon cake and also some sort of chocolate brownie, if I remembered correctly.

I cannot for the life of me remember the flavours I ordered but the pink one is definitely “Rose” because I always order that flavour and it was delicious! 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading! 🙂

With love…xxx

Sent from my iPad

Travel: LoveMaryLu for the W Hotel Taipei

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re all having a great week so far. I am super excited to write this post because knowing that I’m a little fussy when it comes to hotels, I was super impressed with the W Hotel in Taipei when I stayed there on my recent trip to Taiwan in December 2013. Not only was it walking distance to the 101 building but it is conveniently located next to the MRT station as well as the bus terminals. Initially before we made reservations, I was sitting on the fence between the W Hotel or the Shangri-La, both world-renowned for their luxury, great service and 5 star facilities. It’s the first time I’ve stayed at a W Hotel boasting spectacular views and ultra chic furnishing, how could I possibly refuse? The only reason I’m a little fussy about hotels is because it bothers me so much that I can’t even sleep at night knowing my sheets are possibly dirty and I absolutely cannot use a dirty bathroom!

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That said, not only was our room very clean and modern but it’s the little things that count. Like our slippers were changed on a daily basis, we received a new set of toiletries everyday despite we never finished the previous day’s ones and our towels were also changed everyday. Also, it makes me super happy when the hotel provides bath robes since it’s such an inconvenience to carry my own bathrobe everywhere. They were so thoughful in providing toiletries, you literally can leave your toiletry bag at home and you’ll survive perfectly, they provide toothbrush and toothpaste, face wash, razer, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, body butter, bath salt, nail file, shower cap, cuticle sticks and some other random things. What impressed me was that all their toiletries were Bliss products, and those who don’t know Bliss, it’s a very reputable skin care brand. Check out their website by clicking here. The facilities in the room were super high tech, everything is pretty much electronic including the curtains, lights and even the toilet! The toilet senses when you enter into the bathroom and you’ll never ever have to touch the toilet seat or flush the toilet on your own. The design of the room was also simple, chic and an absolute pleaure to stay in. Our room wasn’t even the suite, it was a pretty standard room but the facilities are still very impressive, which says a lot about the hotel.

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The staff were all nothing short of fantastic, you were always addressed by sir, madam or Mr and Mrs …., and will always be greeted with a smile, regardless the time of day. Welcome amenities were delivered to our room on Christmas Eve, which was our first night and since we weren’t in our room when the staff came by, they left a letter in an envelope to call them when we wanted our welcome amenities delivered and everything was personalised, we were addressed by our names. I’m sure you’ll agree that good service count big and small things. Another thing I liked about the hotel was that the lobby was on the 10th floor and the concierge and arrival area was on the ground floor. Since the rooms only started from the 11th floor upwards, every room would have a decent view. Once you get to the 10th floor, the hotel guests would need to walk to another set of lifts where you use your room card for the lift to take you to the floor you stay on, this way, you will never find non hotel guests hanging around and using the same elevator as the hotel guests.

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The best part of our room was that we had a massive floor window which is basically one side of the wall. It’s always amazing to stay in a room with a view. One thing I loved about the blinds/curtains was that it completely blacked out the room when it was down, for obvious reasons of course! That said, of course staying at a hotel like this comes at a price but it’s worth every penny considering the kind of service and facilities you get at your fingertips! I always take issue with staying in such amazing hotels when traveling to big cities because you’re out most of the day left with very little time to actually enjoy the facilities at the hotel. I admit that I never took advantage of the pool, gym or the spa but it was definitely still a great exerience none the less and I’ll be happy to stay at the W Hotel Taipei again. 🙂

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For more information, check out their website: www.wtaipei.com

Thank you for reading!

With love..xxx