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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

[Poem] Giving Up On You

Giving up on you, 
Means angry stabs of the pen, 
Dark skies with no view, 
Lipstick-stained cigarette butts strewn, 
Around the room reeking of you, 
And I, and mysteries left open. 

Giving up on you, 
Means blank thoughts, cold smiles, 
Conversations with no yield; 
Photographs shred into pieces, 
Like my heart torn by you, 
And my price for those fantasies. 

Giving up on you, 
Means the demise of "us", 
The sun that sets on cue, 
The pain, an enveloping sarcophagus; 
Holding memories of me and you, 
Reflections by moon on black lakes.

Copyright  © 2017 Winepoetess

The Honeymoon Series [ix] - Swiss Alps and Bern, Switzerland

After leaving France, (review here), we headed for the beautiful Switzerland, starting with Mount Titlis at the Swiss Alps. It was snowing, so the natural surroundings were very beautiful.

Mount Titlis is a mountain of the Swiss Uri Alps, standing tall at 3,238 metres above sea level. We spent the first 2 days up on the snow mountains and then visited Bern, the capital city of Switzerland. Bern Old Town, by the way, is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Titlis, 6390 Gadmen, Switzerland
Website: http://www.titlis.ch/en

Scale the mountain for its scenic beauty, or bask in a Christmassy ambience with white "Christmas trees" standing tall on the slopes. From the Titlis Rotair Gondola revolving 360 degrees to offer magnificent panoramic views, to the heart-pounding 250-steps Cliff Walk, to the gorgeous turquoise-blue glacier caves and winter sports - Mount Titlis Engelberg has it all. Come down for some summer or winter fun. Prepare some chocolates and sweets in the event you get altitude sickness at such heights.

Website: http://www.bern.com/en/
The city of Bern is the de facto capital city of Switzerland. Offering well-preserved medieval townscape exuding an unique Old Town atmosphere, Bern offers an amazing wealth of culture, leisure and entertainment. From Bear Park to Rose Garden to House of Parliament to Einstein House to the Cathedral of Bern, etc, there's plenty to see and do in Bern itself.

Bim Ztyglogge 3, 3011, Bern, Switzerland
Website: http://www.zeitglockenturm.ch

The Zytglogge is a landmark tower in Bern, Switzerland, built as early as the 13th century. It was the first Western gate of the city and served as the master clock with astrological calender. The exterior appearance of the tower is dominated  by late-Baroque elements; the large dial is framed by a fresco produced by Viktor Surbek in 1930.

Throughout the Europe tours, I could safely say that we enjoyed food in Switzerland the best. Their sausages, chocolates and cheese, especially, were quality and tasty.

Address: Mt. Titlis 
Website: http://www.titlis.ch/en/restaurants/titlis/panorama-self-service

We enjoyed the food at this self-service bistro immensely. While I found the sausage to be very tender and palatable, the Swiss barley soup interesting, and the hot spiced wine very lovely, my tour-mates were raving about the Indian food, especially Nasi Briyani.

Address: Mt. Titlis
Website: http://www.hoteltruebsee.ch/en/restaurants/lago-torbido

Oddly, we dined Italian when in Switzerland - this was the restaurant offering our hotel's 4-course meal. The starter bread was so good, we asked for seconds. We also had Red Wine, Clear Vegetables Soup, Baked Chicken Pasta and Lemon Panna Cotta. It was a rather delicious meal.

We were fortunate enough to stay at an alpine lodge in the snow mountains itself. The facilities were minimal and decor was simple, but we were surrounded by the most beautiful wintry views right outside the balconies.

Gerschnistrasse 12, 6390, Engelberg, Switzerland
Website: http://www.hoteltruebsee.ch/en/hotel

Beautiful, simply-furnished lodge apartments with a huge lounge on level 2 where guests could relax or chill out at. There are 37 rooms in all, with 89 beds and basic facilities. The landscape views outside the windows were breath-taking, it was like something out of a movie literally. Each room starts at 205 CHF onwards, consisting of a night's stay, buffet breakfast, 4-course dinner, ski pass and half-board.

We loved the cleanliness and friendliness we experienced in Switzerland. Moving on, keep a lookout for The Honeymoon Series 10 - where we visited Jungfrau and Interlaken regions. Have a beautiful week ahead, dears.

For backtracks:
(i) Honeymoon Series part 1 - selecting the destinations (click here)
(ii) Honeymoon Series part 2 - researching and booking (click here)
(iii) Honeymoon Series part 3 - preparing for the trip (click here)
(iv) Honeymoon Series part 4 - Rome, Italy (click here)
(v) Honeymoon Series part 5 - Siena, Florence & Pisa, Italy (click here)
(vi) Honeymoon Series part 6 - Venice and Milan, Italy (click here)
(vii) Honeymoon Series part 7 - Lorraine and Fontainebleau, France (click here)
(viii) Honeymoon Series part 8 - Paris, France (click here)

Outfit of the Day - pink and gray maxi dress

Sometimes we just need to connect more with Nature and listen, and observe, and learn. Love this flowy, feminine dress in its unique gray hue, offsetting the lovely notes of Spring.

Do you believe in Karma, darling? Yes I do. I have watched it happen too many times, especially against those who tried to hurt me. I never had to lift a finger to hurt back, because I know Karma exists, like a guardian angel. My sincerest empathies.

Dress: Unknown
Watch: Rado
Bangle: Hermes

[Poem] The Waves of Nostalgia

Nostalgia hits in waves 
Against the mind banks; 
Robbing my present away, 
The past comes out to play. 

It was a rainy day, gloomy 
Not unlike today; 
The soul weighed light as air, 
Carefree days where 

There was youth, there was money 
Not merely penny 
For the thoughts; there was success 
The start of greater things. 

There was a complete family, 
And words spoken too freely. 
Oh, it rained just like today, 
But the raindrops were less teary.

Copyright  © 2017 Winepoetess

Monday, 30 January 2017

Dinner at Absinthe Restaurant Francais @ Boat Quay

72 Boat Quay, Singapore 049860
Tel: 6222 9068

Being a lover of French food and having passed by this beautiful French restaurant with riverside dining option many times, I cannot believe it has taken years before I finally came down here for a meal.

Well so, here I was, with *Anoushka, sitting outdoors by the river enjoying the scenic view, kissed by the gentle evening breezes, listening to French music and chilling out. Absinthe Restaurant Francais is named after the famous "green fairy" whiskey, and the unassuming, ethereal restaurant serves up delicious French dishes. There's also an extensive wine list of reasonably-priced wines sourced from all over France itself.

Service was very hospitable and professional; the guys were happy to make good recommendations knowing it was our first time dining here.  We started with some Rose Wine (SGD$10.00 / glass) and I had a glass of Grenache Red (SGD$14.00) after that; it was simply divine in this lovely and comfortable ambience.

Bread starter was served, with good saltish butter; and the rolls while not soft or fluffy, had a lovely flavor that took to the butter's complement easily.

Wild Mushroom Risotto (SGD$22.00) was served with truffle oil and rocket salad; the grains were smooth, delightful to chew on, and the dark, earthly mushroom aroma filled every bite substantially.

The Wagyu Beef Cheeks (SGD$29.00) featured melty, utterly succulent slab of beef cheeks braised in red wine sauce; it was served with powdery mashed potatoes and vegetables, adding good touches of balance.

Both excellent dishes were recommendations by the service crew who took our order, and we were grateful for that.   Prices were suitably reasonable, and portions were large enough that we didn't have space for the tempting list of desserts.

All in all, this was a fabulous discovery and I look forward to be back at this romantic restaurant.

Outfit of the Day - black pinstriped jumpsuit

 "Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them." —Marc Jacobs

Been hunting high and low for the ppuuurrfect Jumper or "Pinafore"-styled piece. Finally found it, in the form of this pinstriped black Jumper Dress that comes with a black singlet within. I love the feminine yet elegant look this outfit commands - suitable for formal meetings, work and functions.

Dress: OAMC (SGD$69.90)
Bag: Louis Vuitton
Necklace: Tiffany and Co
Bangle: Hermes
Watch: CYMA

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Lunch at Folks Collective @ China Square Central

20 Cross Street #01-25 China Square Central, Singapore 048422
Tel: 6536 6739

When I heard some friends mentioning visiting and revisiting Folks Collective for good Thai food, I was excited to drop by and experience dining here. So 5 of us headed down.

I was charmed by the beautiful and artistic decor of the place, with funny, funky touches all reflecting the traditional Thai icons, such as the Tuktuk in front.

The interior was dimly-lit with authentic Thai decor, evident from the display of products and industrial lamps overhead.

We attacked the menu and selected some dishes to share, then keyed our orders into the tablets attached to the table.  The food was served pretty fast upon order.

A round of drinks were served first - Thai Iced Milk Tea (SGD$4.90) and Iced Lemongrass drink (SGD$3.90).

Chargrilled Pork Collar (SGD$8.90) was tender and quite crispy, served with chilli jaew dip giving it a spicy kick. It was without grease, a little dry in my humble opinion.

Pork Strips (SGD$8.90) was sun-dried strips of pork fried with garlic and fish sauce. It had a nice crunch to it especially around the edges, each strip bursting with flavor.

The Papaya Salad with Salted Egg (SGD$9.90) consists of green papaya strips with cherry tomatoes and nuts tossed in palm sugar, garlic and fish sauce. This flavorsome appetiser was robust in taste. We were surprised that "salted egg" was literally wedges of salted egg instead of the now-trending salted egg yolk sauce; but welcomed the mix of salty flavour into the tangy salad.

The Green Curry Chicken  (SGD$10.90) with green curry paste, aubergine and pineapple with coconut base. Ingredients were aplenty and comprised of tender chicken pieces, pumpkin cubes, basil and cherry tomato. Loved the creamy spicy soup, especially when drizzled over rice / noodle dishes.

Tom Yum Potaek (SGD$8.90) with seafood was made up of clear broth fragranced with basil leaf, kaffir lime, lemongrass and chili. We chose seafood, and enjoyed the squid, prawn and fish infused with the deliciousness of the spicy soup.

Mains were served next, starting with Pad Thai with seafood (SGD$10.90) with tamarind dressing, and stir-fried flat rice noodles, eggs, tofu cubes, beansprouts and peanuts. We liked the palatable taste of this dish, filled generously with ingredients.

Then Pineapple Fried Rice (SGD$10.90) with seafood was filled with peas, raisins, carrots and chicken floss. Quite tasty, but a little sweet for my preference.

Olive Fried Rice (SGD$10.90) - Chinese infused fried rice with olives, shallots and cashew nuts. I liked this, because the grainy rice and gentle flavor of this rice dish.

Time for desserts now. We started with Red Ruby (SGD$5.90) - tapioca jelly coated water chestnut balls, served in coconut milk and topped with jackfruit strips. I loved the crunchiness of the sweet spheres, and the addition of aromatic jackfruit upped the taste.

Then there was Honey Mango (SGD$7.90) made up of ripe mangoes, warm sticky coconut glutinous rice, and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. The mango slices were nectarous but too thin for my liking; the warm coconut glutinous rice was aromatic and soft.

Finally, Ice-cream Kati (SGD$5.90) was coconut ice-cream with toasted peanuts, coconut glutinous rice, palm seeds and jackfruit strips.

Overall, dining experience here was very good, in terms of quality of food at reasonable prices and the lovely ambience; don't expect too much out of the service though.