6D5N in Margaret River, Australia!

If you haven’t heard from me in a while, it’s because I was having a wonderful time in the land down under, specifically in the Margaret River region! When I first told people I was going to stay 5 nights in Margaret River, they were incredulous. Most Singaporeans only spend 2 or 3 days in Margaret River, and so did I back in 2010 when I first visited.

However this trip has surpassed all expectations and when I look back, I can’t imagine how the holiday could have been any shorter! There’s so much to do, so much to see, so much to eat and drink, and not forgetting finding time to actually relax by the beach or resort.

Margaret River Restaurants

Feasting breakfast, lunch and dinner!

One of the biggest highlights of our trip has to be the 2 beautiful beach resorts that we stayed in. We stayed 2 nights at Smiths Beach Resort and 3 nights at Injidup Spa Retreat. They are very different in character, Smiths Beach Resort having a more modern look and near to the surfing beach while Injidup Spa Retreat, as the name suggests, exudes a cosy and secluded feel, as if it’s just you and you alone facing the huge ocean.

Smiths Beach Resort

Smith Beach Resort Ocean View Villa – Check out the extensive balcony space, and the big bath tub!

Injidup Spa Retreat

Injidup Spa Retreat – Your own plunge pool where you can watch the sun set directly in front of you! I would just love it if my house looked like this!

It was just amazing to be so near to the beach, and to be able to see the blue waters from our balcony. I would highly recommend paying a little bit more for this privilege because nothing beats waking up to the sounds and sight of the ocean while in your pyjamas and eating breakfast. In fact, I kinda regret packing my itinerary so tightly with activities. I should have spent at least 1 day doing nothing and lazing in the resort. I did at least manage to squeeze in a massage session at Injidup’s onsite spa, which was so heavenly I very nearly cancelled my whale-watching plans to have another go at it.

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PAUL Singapore – New Savoury Dishes

They say there is bread, and there is French bread. In my opinion, few things are nicer than eating a well made baguette with a huge dollop of butter. It is good to know that every PAUL bakery not only makes their baguettes and pain de campagne on the premises, their bakers also creates their speciality breads fresh every single day. Even the bread flour used is special, over 300 French farmers grow wheat exclusively for PAUL!

Paul Singapore -  Baguettes and Breads

PAUL, which was established more than 100 years ago in 1889 in Lille France, has grown into a worldwide presence with 568 boulangeries in 33 countries. Although PAUL seems to strike the Singaporean as a little pricey and upmarket, thanks to their 1st outlet at Ngee Ann City, they are as ubiquitous in France as Breadtalk is to Singapore. The first thing I ever bought when I arrived in Paris was a bread roll from PAUL at the train station!

Paul Singapore -  (9)

The only grouse I have with PAUL is that they only provide Beurre doux, which is unsalted butter. I prefer Demi-sel, which is salted butter and have never liked unsalted butter, no matter the brand.

Paul Singapore -  (4)

Check out my friend who was positively swooning at the huge bread basket placed in front of us.

Anyway, PAUL Singapore recently introduce 28 new menu items to tantalise their loyal customers and entice new ones. We had a chance to sample several new items on the menu as well as a few refreshed ones. With all these savoury dishes, PAUL is beginning to feel more like a full-fledge restaurant rather than a cafe!

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Masterclass with Rachel Allen!

BBC Celebrity Chef, Rachel Allen, returns to our TV screens on BBC Lifestyle (Starhub Channel 432) with a new series  ̶  Rachel Allen: All Things Sweet  ̶  as she indulges in her passion for delectable desserts. From impressive afternoon tea goodies to irresistible treats for the little ones, Rachel Allen: All Things Sweet will entice you to rediscover the joy of baking.

I’ve been watching Rachel Allen on the BBC lifestyle channel for a number of years now as I love the style of her cooking programmes and of course her spacious kitchen. So it was quite surreal to be able to meet her up close and personal, and even share a baking class with her, as we did a couple of weeks ago at Palate Sensation.

Rachel Allen looks every bit like she does on TV and I love her accent! She is one of the friendliest chefs I have met, not at all scary and unapproachable like how you would imagine famous chefs to be. It’s even more interesting to watch her programmes now and I can point out “HEY I know that lady!”

Baking class with Rachel Allen (9)

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1872 Clipper Tea infused mooncakes

Two weeks ago, I was invited to partake in a tea infused moon cake making class. I was in two minds whether to attend because although I love baking, it has never occurred to me to try making moon cakes. I was kind of intrigued by the fact that the moon cakes would be infused with tea as well. Tea and cake, just the very idea puts me in a relaxed mood. And hey, I could have a fine time sipping tea from one of my favourite brands while the Partner does the baking instead.

Clipper Tea Earl Grey infused snow skin mooncakes (2)

Here’s a picture of the final product, the 1872 Clipper Tea Company infused snow-skin mooncakes with a cup of the award winning Timeless Earl Grey.

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Si Chuan Dou Hua 2015

We have our usual favourite spots for dim sum, however we decided to pamper ourselves by splurging a little more by venturing to a more “atas” (literally) spot for dim sum. Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant is at the top of UOB plaza and boasts great views from the main dining area.

What surprised us was their pricing of the menu. It is pretty comparable to the family chain restaurants such as Crystal Jade and Imperial treasure! Food quality was pretty good too.

Sichuan Douhua - Dim sum time! (1)

We were there to try out signature Si Chuan dishes but we got carried away ordering our favourite Hong Kong dim sum dishes. The cartilege soup in the picture is from the Si Chuan Menu.

Sichuan Douhua -  Homemade Fine Bean Curd with Wolfberry $4

Homemade Fine Bean Curd with Wolfberry $4

And I suppose you really cannot leave without trying their signature bean curd which I assure you is one of the softest and most silky smooth traditional bean curd around. In fact, if you’re in the vicinity and feeling a little peckish, you might just want to pop up to a restaurant for this refreshing bowl of bean curd. At $4 it seems a steal.

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