Happy Friday, everyone! Just a short post today before I am heading into my week-long break from work. 👌👌 (Some plans for this week ahead so will keep you all posted! 😉) Not only did I manage to organise a mini celebration for a colleague’s (belated) birthday at work today 🥳🎉 , but also went out for a top dinner with friends in the central area. 😋 Life is doing good right now! 😆
Isn’t it always nice to be able to catch up friends after a long day? Yesterday, I was very excited to visit Sumosan Twiga in Knightsbridge by the Chelsea area with two of my close friends and enjoyed some fusion Italian and Japanese fine dining. (And pretending we are people from the Made in Chelsea cast talking about ‘ dramatic person lives. 😂😂)
For starters, we enjoyed some delicious sushi and calamari. The calamari was crispy, and I was having fun biting them with the green chilli they came with. (Yeah, I like a bit of kick haha.) The Billionaire sushi rolls I ordered was composed of raw Wagyu beef, asparagus, mushroom, and topped with fresh truffles. That’s one very luxurious plate for anyone to savour! 😋
As for the mains, I had decided to enjoy their lobster Paccheri. I got to say the portion was much bigger than I imagined, and I really liked the idea that they served the pasta in a hot pan before plating it in front of you by the table. The pasta was well cooked to al dente, and the lobster was sweet and perfectly cooked– absolutely delicious!
There is a smart dress code in this restaurant, so you can make sure you are dressed up and all ready to hit the night! 😉
It was a really warm day in Paris today with the temperature reached 38C in the afternoon! 🔥 🔥 Undeterred, I started my day early and visited the area around the Hôtel de Ville, and also dropped by for a look around and some food in the Bazar de L’Hôtel de Ville (a department store).
Following a suggestion made by one of my work colleagues, I next headed to Sainte-Chapelle, a chapel famous for its beautiful stained glass. They were absolutely breathtaking! 😮❤️❤️❤️ Being under 26 and from Europe, I was even able to skip the long queue! (Though I did ask a member of staff if UK still counts as part of Europe now despite the current political climate… 😂😂😂)
I also dropped by the Notre Dame which was nearby. Obviously the fire meant that it is now out of bound, but I still had the image of Quasimodo singing ‘Out There’ here from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The feel~ 🎶🎶
Now, moving on to my main event today, which was to visit the Catacombs. This was the location all of my work colleagues who I spoke to recommended to go. To head there, I took the RER (the regional train) from Notre Dame. And the station entrance was an elevator hidden in a back alley!
Setting the feel for the Catacombs, I was excited as soon as we arrived at the station gate. But as I dug my hand into my pockets, I noticed that my 3-day train ticket had gone missing! 😭 I searched all the pockets and my bag, and I could only conclude I must have dropped it somewhere earlier today. 😓 Could this be a bad omen…?
Nonetheless, I decided to head to the Catacombs first and worried about the journey back later. But my excitement was quite diminished when I saw the massively long queue outside the Catacombs entrance. 😱
I guess my stubbornness took over and I decided to queue regardless. The weather was burningly hot and I was directly under the sun. The queue was also moving at an extremely slow pace due to the Catacombs only being able to hold a maximum capacity of 200 people on top of visitors with fast passes being prioritised. Many people either gave up and those who remained like me gradually got exhausted and frustrated after standing in the heat for so long. 😣
In front of me stood a pair of brothers who came from America, and behind me there were an American girl (who I later found out is now studying in China) and her Chinese friend. After two hours of just glancing at each other and making only very small talks, we gradually shared the same dislike of the heat, and started to have many deep conversations. 😊 We chatted about where we were from, our general lives and shared how we were all here in Paris for holiday. (The older brother of the two boys told me the Catacombs was the attraction he wanted to visit the most which was why he was so adamant about queueing!) The brothers were planning to visit the Louvre with their parents tomorrow and the two friends will be going to see the Eiffel Tower – both had got tips from me after what I learnt yesterday! 😂 We even talked about American and European politics and so much more. 😁😆
Finally, after a ridiculous 4 and a half hours in the heat, we were finally let in to buy the tickets. 😩 But because of the capacity issue, we were let in gradually: the brothers went ahead, followed by me in a few minutes, and the two friends weren’t long after me. The five of us though were able to meet back down underground and we explored the Catacombs together! 😁 We were literally laughing and joking around like old friends that have known for many years not mere hours. I felt so blessed by the company! ❤️
Honestly, I couldn’t imagine how one could possibly walk alone here with all these skeletons around! 💀💀💀 It was a damn creepy place! (And hopefully I won’t be getting nightmares tonight…) But, with my new friends, this was one fun adventure underground that I would really missed! 😆😆 I was so sad when I had to say goodbyes to these people who I just happened to cross paths today. 😔 (The brothers both shook my hand when I left.) I wondered had we all met in different circumstances, would things be any different? (I did ended up bumping into the brothers again though when they struggled to find their way back to the entrance of the Catacombs where their parents were to met them – the exit was a whole street away from it, so I helped them to find their way back! 😂)
To finish my day, I visited a patisserie shop called Thevenin nearby, and I literally just made it in time before it closed.
I bought the raspberry & chocolate entremet and also the passion fruit, mango and coconut entremet. The latter was absolutely scrumptious! 😋 I also got some unexpected delicious Chinese takeaways from a restaurant just a few shops down, and I could tell you I devoured everything when I got back into the hotel room! 😂
Humans eat to survive. Is this why you eat though? For me, food is way more than a survival need. My most favourite things about food are the many memories and moments that come with each meal, and the love the cooks can bring to people’s hearts. The reason why I love baking is to be able to similarly share and bring this joy to other people.
Yesterday, my friends and I arranged a surprise dinner for a friend who would be soon moving to a different country. My two friends put together a beautiful album of our memories for her, whilst, being me (the token baker in our group lol), I decided to make a strawberry and cream cake for the occasion.
After a hefty steak dinner, my friends and I ended up munching this cake away whilst sitting by some corner seats inside the shopping mall. (LOL to the restaurant who tried to charge us for bringing our own cake in.) We laughed and talked as we tucked in. Such times like that are ones that are the most beautiful, simple moments in life. And more importantly, whenever I see and taste these foods again, I will always remember the joy and happiness that it was associated with on this very day.
What happy memories are you going to create with food today? 😊
After waking up with a temperature and a runny nose this morning, I must say I didn’t have the best start to the day being bed-bound at home. 😷 Paracetamols and sleep quickly became my best friends. Have you ever felt though the more you sleep, the more groggy you get? (Not to mention the fact that I also need to constantly get up to clear my blocked nose! 🤧)
I finally woke up from my long nap as the rain started to fall outside. However, instead of staying in, I swiftly went for a shower to clear my head since I already made some dinner plans with friends for tonight before this week. I stepped outside, jacket on and umbrella ready in my hand.
The place we visited was Flour & Grape, not so far from the London Bridge station. (Though it was a bit of a walk, especially in the rain…) The restaurant specialises in fresh, homemade pasta and has a small menu for that reason, though it is definitely one place not to miss out by pasta lovers like me. (On a side note, this restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so come early if you can to avoid waiting in long queues.) My friends and I decided to share several pasta dishes from the menu. (Definitely a reason to have a big party when you visit this place haha!) It was literally like a fun pasta potluck! My favourites were definitely the pork shoulder tortellini and tiger prawn trottole thanks to the rich butter sauce and prawn bisque that were served with the pasta. Certainly was glad that my appetite wasn’t affected by the cold!
As my friends and I enjoyed the good food and chatting about all the things in our lives (work, family and men LOL…), I realised I didn’t feel so ill after all. I guess good food and friends are the best cure to any sickness you have! 😊 (We also went for coffees and have some of my homemade marshmallows after. More on that later!)