April 29, 2013

Classified - Central

Last weekend was awesome. We did plenty of things and had a lot of two-people-world moments! I feel like we did so many interesting stuff and yet I got enough time to have a good rest, isn't that the best weekend plan?! :)

On Saturday J and I joined the Sparkling Wedding Fair at the Mandarin Oriental. I'll be sharing everything with you on this week's Wedding Wednesday. All I can say at the moment is we loved it! Before going to the fair we had brunch at Classified, in New World Tower, Central. Neither of us had eaten here before but we really enjoyed it. The place is relatively big and mostly empty, so bye bye Central crowd ^^ I guess not a lot of people venture on the first floor of New World Tower on weekends unless they know Classified is there, since it's an office building! They serve salads, sandwiches, pasta of the day, home-made cakes and pastries and cheeses. Everything was very good! Definitely a place to remember if you feel like having a small bite around Central. 

Classified has 8 branches in Hong Kong, all of them in Hong Kong island except for the one in Sai Kung. Have you ever been to any?

New World Tower
16-18 Queen's Road Central

April 28, 2013

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light

Vichy Aqualia Thermal is one of my favorite products of late. This light moisturizer works wonders on combination skin, and it is suitable for both daytime and nighttime. This moisturizer comes in Light {for combination and oily skins} and in Rich {for dry skins}. My skin is combination so I'm using Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light and it really suits me! I like Vichy a lot for all its products contain no parabens and are therefore really gentle, and this is no exception! Price wise, it's specially worth it for Europeans, since it is way cheaper in the EU than in other places. Do give it a try if you still haven't found your perfect moisturizer and let me know what you think about it!

Overall Quality: 4.5*
Price: EUR 17 or USD 31 here
Value for Money: 4*
Would I recommend it? Yes, this is a great moisturizer! 

April 25, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: The Flowers

Flowers are driving me crazy. I thought I had it all fixed and now I'm changing my mind on everything! Floristry "La Flor" from Manresa will be our flowers provider for our big day. My mom and I visited the place and spend more than two hours discussing the whole decoration with the floristry owner, charming Cristina. There's A LOT to decide about the flowers: the ceremony venue, the banquet venue, the bridesmaids bouquets and, of course, the bride's bouquet, among other details. But before talking about this, let me show you how nice that floristry is!

So cute, huh? Now back to my wedding! I was very sure of the flowers I wanted for decoration and specially for my bouquet, my all time favorite: white and pink PEONIES. I like compact, abundant bouquets, and peonies have exactly that effect. We sat down with Cristina to talk about the whole thing, and I exposed my idea right away. The reply from Cristina left me totally speechless: Peonies are spring flowers, and they are not available in October. OH-MY-GOD! I had no idea! Away went my dream bouquet!!! She even called her peonies provider to make sure, but he said I better forget about it, because all I could get in October are peonies from the middle-east, and the quality is not assured {besides being super pricey to fly in flowers from there, of course!} 

My mom holding a white peonies bouquet

So I had to reconsider my wedding from scratch, and we spent some time looking at several alternatives, until we came up with Gypsophila Paniculata, a tiny white flower, which both my mom and Cristina seemed to love. We settled on using this flower for the whole thing (ceremony + reception), but somehow my "white and pink wedding", which is what J and I had pictured all along, turned into a white wedding only. A wedding with Paniculata is super elegant and pretty, but my favorite color is pink, and it's totally gone!

When back to Hong Kong, I explained everything to J and we started considering other options. Then I thought about carnations. They are available all year-round, have the perfect shade of white and baby pink, and they are practically the same size as peonies. Everything seems perfect! How come Cristina never mentioned about it when considering alternatives for the peonies? She might have thought carnations are not elegant enough, because they are relatively cheap, and a very popular flower in Spain, for Southern Spain is the biggest producer of carnations in Europe. One thing I'm totally in love about carnations is they have this compact and abundant style I said I like so much!

Our idea is for the whole decoration to be set up in perfect round, thick arrangements. And... carnations seem way more fit for this purpose than Paniculata! Another idea we had was placing three white candles in the middle of the round flower centerpiece for the reception as below:

Then J told me using three white candles is a very bad omen in the Chinese culture, because 3 candles are used to pray to God, and white is the color of death, so go figure... We have to change the whole design. But never mind, we'll figure it out. 

The most important now is to decide between Paniculata and Carnations... What do you dear readers think about it? I could use some advice! :)

April 23, 2013

Happy Sant Jordi!

Today is my favorite day of the year. {At least it is when I'm back home in Barcelona!} Today, April 23, is Saint George, saint patron of Catalonia, and it's one of the most important days of the year for us Catalans. It's something like Valentine's day for us, since it's a tradition to give a present to the loved one; red roses for women and books for men. Nowadays though, men give women both a book and a red rose :)

Barcelona is at its best today, as are many other Catalan cities. If you happen to be visiting Catalonia on April 23, you will be amazed, because the whole city is transformed and filled up with little stands on the street selling books and roses. The streets are crowded, too, specially around the city center. It is a lovely Catalan tradition, and the Catalan flag is everywhere to be seen. On this day, authors spend the whole day signing their books to their readers, how cool is that! I love getting to meet my favorite authors and having a minute to tell them how much I enjoyed their books. 

I can't tell you how much I miss Catalonia on this day. It's my fourth year spending the day in Hong Kong, and I get really home sick :( I've been watching Catalan TV online today for the whole day, because there's a special on Sant Jordi for the whole day, showing the city around and letting everyone know what's going on! J got me a book and a red rose, and I got him a book to learn Catalan. I love to keep this tradition even if I'm so far away from home! You can see the pics of our presents on my instagram!

April 19, 2013

Baking in Hong Kong

I really like baking, it's the best thing one can do in a kitchen! Cooking for dinner is nice too, but it can never be as fun as baking cakes! Here in Hong Kong I only have a tiny toaster-oven that burned every single cake I tried to bake in it. Not having a big and properly furnished kitchen with a good oven is probably the thing I like the least about my appartment. I miss baking!!! That's why I was so desperate to bake anything at all when I went back home to Barcelona at the beginning of the month. My mom and I cooked this easy chocolate cake and brown sugar heart-shapped muffins. They were fun to make and yummy to eat! Seriously, I need to buy an oven!

Have a marvelous weekend! Follow me on instagram to see what I'm up to!

April 17, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Menu Tasting

After this crazy week getting everything settled for the wedding, I found it hard to decide what to talk about first on my Wedding Wednesday series! I finally decided the food seemed a good enough topic to start off.

On Saturday the 6th {exactly half a year before our wedding!} , my parents, my uncles, my brother and I went for the wedding menu tasting at restaurant To(+). To(+) is owned by chef David and I think he is likely to get a Michelin star soon, his food is that good! It reminded me deeply of the food at Robuchon au Dome in Macau, which has 3 Michelin Stars! The restaurant is located near Suria, next to my wedding venue, although for the wedding they will be catering the food to our venue, of course. The picture above is the view from the restaurant, so nice! The wedding menu tasting is originally intended for the bride, the groom, and their parents, which unfortunately couldn't be the case for us.

Before going to the tasting, David sent me the never ending list of all the choices available at the restaurant, so that I could choose some to try. To begin with, we tried 20 starters, out of which we had to choose 14 that will actually be served during our reception. They will be served in a cocktail style outdoors for about an hour. Then we tried 5 ice creams, and decided on 4, which will be served after the appetizers and before the proper meal. This is a non-fat ice cream, more like a sorbet to make some room for the big meal after all the snacks!
We then tried 4 first dishes and 3 second dishes

Needless to say we were all full before the second dishes came. But after that we still had to try 2 pre-desserts, and afterwards, 3 desserts and 5 mini-desserts. I wonder how I'm still alive. All of this was served with a free-flow of different white wines, red wines and cava, because, well, we had to choose that too!!! My father needed a longtime before he could drive the car back home, and even then I was a bit concerned for our safety.

We were really full and kinda drunk, but the whole experience was memorable! Of course I missed J very much and wished he could have make it but oh well. After lunch we also chose the tableware, cuttlery, and stuff. The whole thing lasted from 1pm to 6.30pm... You can imagine!

The food we'll be serving in our wedding will remain a surprise, but at least with all these pictures you can get the idea...

April 15, 2013

Back to Hong Kong

I'm safely back to my lovely appartment in Hong Kong. I'm waiting for J to come home after work while I'm typing this. I'm so anxious to see him! 

Tomorrow I'm going back to work and it seems like forever since I last went! With these days in Barcelona and our pre-wedding trip to Thailand it's certainly been a long holiday! 

These 10 days I spent in Barcelona organising the wedding have been so productive. We basically have everything settled except for the video, for which I still want to look at some more options. The rest is confirmed and we only need to polish some details. I'll be telling you all about my wedding providers one by one in the upcoming Wedding Wednesdays! I also want to thank my amazing mom once again, who has been organising everything with me for the whole week {and since I got engaged, really!}. The pic above is us visiting my wedding venue, isn't it stunning? :)

Besides getting everything settled for the wedding, something else totally awesome took place: my bridal shower! You may have seen some pics on my instagram, and I'm so looking forward to share the whole thing with you! It was a very touching experience to see everything my girls put together for me! I won't be able to tell you all in detail until two to three weeks from now, because we had an official photographer for the day and she needs some time to process all the 2,000 pictures she took! OMG!!! 

Happy week to you all!

April 10, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Our Pre-Wedding Trip to Thailand

Finally! Finally! Here is the post on our awesome pre-wedding trip to Thailand! I wanted to thank my love once again for organizing such an amazing trip because, unlike him, I had never been to Thailand, so he took care of most of the organization. The result was the most perfect and romantic pre-wedding trip one could ever wish for. A short one for sure, le sigh, but unbeatable nonetheless. We left Hong Kong on Wednesday the 27th of April at 8.15AM and arrived to Bangkok Airport at 10AM local time. We then took a cab to Bangkok, which took about an hour because of the crazy traffic jams in the city, had some lunch, and then took the bus to Hua Hin at 12.30PM. We reached Asara Villa & Suite in Hua Hin at 3PM, where we were greeted with a refreshing blue mocktail that I managed to spill on my white shirt -__-

Never mind, nothing could ruin my good mood at the sight of our breathtaking resort. The resort had suites or pool villas, and obviously we went for the latter, a house with our own pool!!! We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying our pool villa and relaxing at the hotel's private beach, until 8.30PM when we took the shuttle bus provided by the hotel to go to the city center for dinner. We had seafood Thai style, which was a bit disappointing for me {Thai food in Hong Kong is better lol}. We did find some very good western food on the following days though! My favorite was All In Hua Hin, a European restaurant with superb food! I enjoyed that meal sooo much :) 

The following day we joined the yoga class at 6.30AM and where the only ones to do so. Come on, free yoga class with this unbeatable atmosphere?! I totally had to join!!! Both J and I loved it, and we joined the Thai Chi class the next day at the same time, which was even better! That means we had breakfast around 7.30AM, so the whole buffet was basically for us only! 

On the day of our check-out, Saturday, we didn't join the morning class and woke up around 9.30AM for breakfast. Oups, bad idea!!! It was CROWDED! I hadn't even noticed so many people were staying at the hotel before I got to that breakfast! {That breakfast buffet was the best I've ever had btw! I loooved everything!} The resort always looked empty to me, and J and I always mentioned how there were obviously more workers there than guests. Well, maybe not after all! Anyway I think a lot of them checked in on Friday, since it was the official start of the Easter holidays. Another thing my fiance planned extremely well!!! We had the resort just for ourselves during our stay :)

After checking out we took the bus back to Bangkok where we arrived for lunch time, and enjoyed 24 hours in the city before going back home. I have to say I genuinely fell in love with Bangkok. It has my favorite place on earth. Whenever I die, please God remember I want that to be my heaven, so kindly send me there :D The place I'm talking about is Siam Paragon, a shopping mall filled up with nice cafes, what is there not to love??! Cupcakes, doughnuts, pancakes, cakes, pastries, everything is available x 1000 at the Food Hall of Siam Paragon! 

I was very glad to discover that cute cafes are so popular in Bangkok, not only at Siam Paragon but everywhere in the city. I also visited Radi Cafe as I already explained in this post.

All in all, I loved this first time Thailand experience and I hope I can go back real soon! Thank you fiancé for this unforgettable pre-wedding trip!

April 8, 2013

A quick tour of our summer house

I've been to our summer house today, which is about an hour away from Barcelona. No matter how busy my schedule is these days, I HAD to come here. I love this seaside house very much, for it is rare to own such an amazing property. It's a two stories house separated from the beach only by its own garden. It's the perfect place for kids to enjoy an unforgettable summer, and for adults to relax away from the city buzz. The weather was perfect today, yet a bit cold. 

I wish I could take you on a more detailed tour but the house was not entirely ready for it today, so it will have to wait until next time. {Like my grandma had been sleeping in my room during the easter holidays and my nice bedsheets were not back in my room after being washed, and I don't want to be showing you my bed without bedsheets because what's the point!}

So I finally only took pictures of our garden and a corner of our living room. But it should be enough for you to realize how awesome this house is and why I'm so crazy about it!!!

April 7, 2013

Half a year to go for my wedding!

Half a year from today I will be at my own wedding party as Mrs. Lau. It's kind of amazing that my wedding is only 6 months away already. I've been doing the food tasting today and OMG {!!!}, I'm sure everyone's gonna love it! I'll tell you all about it on a Wedding Wednesday post soon. 

This may be too much information but the truth is I got my period today. Oh God, I don't want to have my period during my wedding!!! I have a baby to conceive! Just kidding {or not}, but in any case I don't want my period on that day, I think that's not too much to ask for?!

April 6, 2013

Boca Grande - Barcelona

So here I am back to my hometown enjoying my lovely holidays with family and friends :) I arrived on Thursday afternoon and spend the rest of the day shopping, with a break to indulge myself in Spanish hot chocolate, my favorite! This morning I went to the gym with my mom and we went for an awesome lunch afterwards. My mom told me I was going to love this restaurant, and she was oh-so-right! I was totally taken aback by the splendorous design of Boca Grande, including their awesome washroom, one of the coolest I've ever seen!

Boca Grande is designed by Spanish interior designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan, a genius in his field as I see it. He has designed several restaurants, hotels and stores in Spain. The full list is available on his website, and I'm dying to get to visit all of them.

The cool washroom

Boca Grande is not only about design and ambience, the food is amazing too. A bit expensive, but well worth it on a special occasion like coming back home after 9 months! :D
I had the foie gras (16€) and some Spanish seafood rice (26€). Both were superb! My mom had the 4 tomatoes salad (9€) and oven-cooked hake (25€), both of which I tried and were delicious as well.

Visited on: April 5, 2013
Overall Quality: 5*
Price: There's no set lunch, so you'll have to order √† la carte. Expect to pay around 40€ per head.
Value for Money: 5*
Would I recommend it? Definitely!

Boca Grande
Passatge Concepcio, 12