EUROPE, FRANCE, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

The Peninsula Paris

18th July 2015

Imagine you’re staying at a 5 star luxury hotel in Paris and you’ve been treated like a one of a kind smoked salmon canapé topped with premium caviar and 24 carat edible gold leaf, paired with Russian Bellini.  Sounds ravishing, a bit snooty but rarely experienced in London.  I’m not the type of person who require special treatment, I prefer the ‘treat me like a friend’ vibe.  After all I’m after the first class experience.

Back in early spring this year, us, friendly press-ladies* arrived in style at The Peninsula Paris via Eurostar from London, shame that I was dressed in the certain style (unprepared for the hotel arrival outfit) that did not bode well with the exquisite entrance, ripped boyfriends jeans, chunky boots, loose shirt and thick leather jacket.  Totes Brit’n’grunge style, yo! The grand entrance in the lobby speaks for itself, understated, the epic centre of activity, designed for arrival in style.  The stunning belle epoque restaurant The Lobby located next to the hotel reception reminds me closer to home.  The Peninsula Hong Kong.  It’s the oldest luxury hotel in Hong Kong (and the founding hotel group which operates ten hotels across Asia, Europe and the United States), it’s well worth a visit.

A spot of afternoon lunch at the aviation-theme restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc on top floor of the hotel, (see image slide above) with spectacular views looking across Paris from the roof top terrace and restaurant.  How are you doing, Paris?

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

In today’s day and age, what technology advance will cater to world luxury travellers?  According to dazeinfo.com”In 2012 around 58.2% of the global population was using mobile phone, this percentage grew to 61.1% in 2013 and is further expected to grow up 63.5% of the global population.  By 2017 around 69.4% of the world’s population is expected to use mobile phones.”

The Peninsula Paris combines past & present, heritage and state-of-the-art technology, all rooms and suites are equipped with interactive digital tablets presets in any one of 11 languages.  Concerning the older guests who aren’t digital savvy enough to work out how to use the advance technology, like my mum who is in her mid 50s has just learned how to use an iPhone a year ago and still struggle with it.  Everything is controlled and accessed at the touch of a button; curtains, room lighting, temperature, air ventilation, room service et al.  My room the Deluxe Room (not pictured) was super spacious easily to perform a double cartwheel, elegant furniture, embellished with curated artworks, and a walk-in wardrobe.  Last but not least, my favourite kind of evening activity after a full body massage spa experience, indulge in a hot bubble bath with Oscar de la Renta’s scented bath gel, the marble tub was deep enough to submerge myself in it.  Could do with a good night’s sleep in a comfy queen-sized bed after that bubble bath, appreciating the touch and feel of quality Egyptian cotton sheets, fluffy down duvet and pillows, slowly stroking them in a perverse sort of way.  Cheers to 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

One of the highlights during my stay were the amazing lunch menu and afternoon tea at The Lobby, you cannot fault the food and service.  As spring** finally sprung in Paris, and the start of cherry blossom festival in Japan.  Pink cherry blossoms adorned its restaurants and public spaces during the entire week of the festival,  we were introduced to sweet and savoury delicacies for an exclusive Japanese Afternoon Tea served at The Lobby created by Executive Pastry Chef Shigeru Nojima from The Peninsula Tokyo.  Blended in with live acoustic band playing a selection of music scores from the Studio Ghibli’s iconic anime films; Graves of the Fire Flies, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle.  It was a magical afternoon.  The Lobby is like a rare musical box made of Mother of Pearl, gilded with gold leaf, opulent in all angle, what’s inside the box leaves you in awe…substance, style and the ultimate dinning experience.

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

Lili, a mysterious Chinese restaurant located in the rear of the hotel, deserves a standing ovation for its incredible restaurant design, refined interior inspired by Chinese and French opera, hand-crafted woodwork, luxurious table setting, not forgetting the famous sumptuous authentic Peking duck and Cantonese delicacies prepared by award-winning Hong Kong’s Chef Tang left me a good memory.

Peninsula-Paris

Peninsula-Paris

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Instagram-@styleslicker-kitleexparis

>> Instagram @styleslicker hashtags: #kitleexparis #peninsulamoments <<


Kit Lee was a guest of The Peninsula Paris.
* Travel companions – Reem, Emily, Laetitia and Kelly.
** Please note that the trip was taken place in March 2015.


FOOD & EATERY

Melba at The Savoy

9th July 2015

Melba at The Savoy

Melba-at-The-Savoy-11

Melba at The Savoy

Melba at The Savoy

Melba at The Savoy

Melba at The Savoy

Melba at The Savoy

Melba at The Savoy

Melba at The Savoy

I’ve been involved in making and eating eclairs in the past year, from baking everything from scratch (the dough, filling and topping) with Le Meridien in Monaco last winter, I pretty much ate every single flavours of eclairs at Angelina cafe in Hong Kong, to customising eclairs toppings with Le Meridien in London Piccadilly last week.  I have sweet tooth. I’m allowed.

One late morning I was invited to sample a new Savoy‘s signature; eclairs, at the newly opened Melba at The Savoy in Strand.  Formerly a currency exchange premise now it was transformed into a gourmet take-away counter, incorporating quintessentially British design with hand-carved espresso-black woodwork interiors, rich black and white marble flooring, grey Italian marble counter tops and chrome accessories, with accents of the Art Deco era and Edwardian period.  Melba offer a selection of pastries, British classic sandwiches and hot and cold beverages to take away, all menu is created by executive pastry chef, Ludwig Hely.

I was eyeing on the beautiful, mouthwatering bejewelled eclairs with a dozen sweet combinations, aligned perfectly behind the glassed counter for all sweet tooth customers to see and drool over.  I was feeling slightly light-headed with an empty tum and in need of some sugar fix, perfect timing to indulge some sweet therapy!  The eclairs include flavours such as: passion fruit and milk chocolate, lychee with rose and raspberry, lemon meringue, salted caramel, cherry and pistachio.  They’re priced at £2.95 each.  I took home the best-selling lychee with rose and raspberry, and the salted caramel flavours presented in a lovely designed gift box, I was advised to consume them by end of the day as they were made fresh from the morning and to keep the flavour intact.  I’m not quite fond of rose flavoured/scented snacks but this particular lychee with rose and raspberry tasted divine – light and fluffy, fruity flavours in-fused in one.  The salted caramel was well balanced and not too sweet, otherwise enjoyable.

Do pay a visit if you’re in Strand or Covent Garden area, it’s worth a visit!


Melba at The Savoy, Strand, London, WC2R 0EU.


AFRICA, MOROCCO, TRAVEL

Dakhla Visual Diary: The Desert, part 2

4th July 2015

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What a treat it was to travel in a convoy by 4×4 along with 200 European journalists, bloggers, travel agencies, guides and Moroccan security officials across the dry lifeless planet Mars.  It was like watching a live action 3D movie from one of the iconic scenes in Lawrence of Arabia or Black Hawk Down, I mean what a treat, but we did not drive to the dunes just bumps.  Who would have thought growing tomatoes in such dry conditions on a fertile land (sand) were even possible?  Evidently, it was possible and they tasted sweet and juicy.  An afternoon spent in the middle of somewhere, with our metal chariots parked from the distance, we walked across the moist sand by the sea (presumably it was low tide) which seemed like endless but very therapeutic, quite a biblical sight in fact watching the peeps walk towards a huge mound.  Some decided to use alternative mode of transport camels for quicker pace.  We approached an Oyster farm beyond the mound, what was down below lies a crater-like salty lake with surface covered in seaweed, a tiny boat with farmers busy harvesting oysters, it was a rarest awesome thing to see on Earth. We had the opportunity to sample freshly caught oysters in the nearby oyster restaurant, media peeps gathered around like hungry packs of wolves, sipping and swallowing freshly caught treasures one by one, I too, I must have ate 15 of them, with the mountain of shells and over-squashed sliced lemons discarded on the tables waiting to be cleared. We left the site with our tums full of goodness, thumbs up. We were satisfied. I could have kept some of the discarded shells as a personal souvenir.


Kit Lee was a guest of The Morocco Tourist Board.


AFRICA, MOROCCO, TRAVEL

Dakhla Visual Diary: pastels and grit, part 1

10th June 2015

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My previous trips to Morocco has brought me new-found experiences and insights of Berbers and Moroccan cultures.  It’s not all about the hustle and bustle, and maze-like souks in Marrakech, the quiet seaside resort town in Essaouira, nor the beautiful decorative riads.  It’s about the cultural experience, explore the unexplored you’d be amazed to find something unique and take the memorable experience with you back home. Having visited Marrakech, Essaouira, Rabat and Casablanca with Morocco Tourist Board in the previous year and before, I was thirsty for more and hungry for more. And there you ago again my third trip to Morocco!  This time in Dakhla.

Explore the unexplored.  Dakhla, in deep south of the Western Sahara.

The word Dakhla sounded like a rare fruit twinning with Durian fruit.  You don’t know what to expect whether you like the taste and flavor or not, it’s a good idea to try out something new and judge it later.  With 180 plus European journalists, travel writers, bloggers, media folks aboard a special plane from Paris to deep south of vast desert-administered region, 5.5 hours of endless flying across the vast land of dry paradise until we reached Dakhla’s very own mini airport.  We were going to spend 48 hours in the rarely-explored part of town in hope it would attract tourists in the future coming years ahead.

Where is Dakhla by the way?  If you look at Google map, the peninsula is shaped like a proud cordyceps ready to rule the Atlantic Coast.  Dakhla is known for its fishing industry and centre for aquatic sports – kitesurfing, windsurfing and surf casting.  None of those extreme water sports seem to watch my infant level, I’m terrified of water sports let alone diving.

It has taken me half a day to fall under the spell of Dakhla’s charm. The hues of pastel pinks, sandy-beige and hint of accent cyan blue on cube-shaped buildings and numerous shops, retro vehicles blast from the past, cloudless blue skies and calmness from the sea, women covered in colourful gowns and men in clean white robes (some in modern western attires), gentle breeze from the sea, call to prayer at nearby mosque, spotted a barely used Spanish cathedral with its own beautiful garden near the empty square, friendly passersby, a little nosy browse at a well known artisan workshops possibly ancient, and outdoor souks with peculiar merchandise and interesting abundance.  This town has so much character in its own right it’s inspiring.

Stay tuned for part 2!


Kit Lee was a guest of Morocco Tourist Board.


COLLABORATION, INSTAGRAM, JEWELLERY, MY STYLE

Sweet Valentine – Style Slicker x Pärla

1st June 2015

Style Slicker x Parla

A quickie note.

I just wanted to share with you this little Instagram project I did with Pärla for their #LOVEparla campaign on Valentine’s Day this year, it sort of got lost in the IG feed and I wanted to revive it on the blog.  If you haven’t heard of Pärla, it’s about time you do.  Pärla is an independent jewellery boutique founded and curated by Erin O’Connor (not the 6 foot tall super model of course), it stocks contemporary designer jewellery, British and Scandinavian design from Bjorg, Smith/Grey, Clarice Price Thomas, Jessie Harris, COOEE, and my favourite designer V Jewellery.  I’ve been a fan of V Jewellery for a year, thanks to the email introduction from my sister Isabella (Rockin’ That Gem) who has just moved to Perth with her future hubby last year.  For the #LOVEparla project, obviously I was going to pick a piece by V Jewellery that reflects my personality and my love for Art Deco and modern design, I chose a Simplicity Cut Ring.  I’m sorry to say the ring is out of stock, but please don’t fret, the ring is available on V Jewellery’s very own e-shop!

Happy June the 1st!

ASIA, LIFESTYLE, SINGAPORE, TRAVEL

60 Hours in Singapore

29th May 2015

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

Singapore by Kit Lee

>> INSTAGRAM @styleslicker <<
#kitleexsingapore #kleetravels

Singapore Instagram roundup

My oh my.  Singapore has changed so much since I last visited the city exactly 10 years ago!  I don’t remember the experience as a first time visitor, I joined a tour group with a bunch of old and young folks of all ages from Hong Kong for a 4 day trip to Singapore and Malaysia, like all other tour agencies from Asia, the tour was frantic, tiresome and half of the itinerary were just pointless visits.  And it was the city that gave me my first freckles. Tah Singapore!

Like Hong Kong, Singapore is known for its modern infrastructure, this tiny city is packed with dramatic architecture, gardens and parks, skyscrapers, shopping malls, clean I mean too clean!  Chewing gum is banned there.  Everything is efficient, and it’s very easy to get around using a taxi and metro.  Singapore is a foodie’s paradise which offers huge choices of multi-international cuisines from English, Malaysian, Singaporeans, Thai, Chinese, Indian et al.  If you’re a savvy foodie, Singapore is perfect for binge eating.

Before Christmas last year, I embarked on a short visit to Singapore to attend my close friend’s wedding.  My sister May also joined me on the trip at the very last minute, we wanted to do our own things separately as I’ve had things planned which involved meetings, catching up with friends, networking, the wedding and post-wedding craziness…meaning to get drunk.  First we checked-in at The Westin Singapore for an overnight stay before we moved to another district for a couple more nights.  The sleek high-rise building is located in the financial district in Marina View, I chose this hotel because the wedding venue was a stone throw away.  Our lovely Premiere Sea View Room featured their award-winning King-size Heavenly® Beds, layered with soft white linens, a plush duvet, a down blanket, and plump pillows – trust us, we slept very, very well in our jet-lag state of minds. The marble bathroom was our favourite part of the room, a floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea harbour, if you’re an early bird I highly recommend a long relaxing bath in a freestanding bath tub, drink tea and watch the golden sun break from the clouds.  We had a scrumptious breakfast at Cook & Brew on the 33rd floor, probably one of the tallest buildings to have breakfast I’ve ever experienced with the magnificent views of the Marina Bay, I went for the Chinese style breakfast with a bowl of congee, some dumplings and other healthy options, May went for the full English.  Last but not least, the infinity pool!  Nestled on the top floor (level 35) of the hotel, the infinity offers mind-blowing panoramic views of the Marina and the city itself, we were unable to use their pool because we had to pack and check-out of the hotel.  Wish we stayed one more night!

Please take me back to Singapore!

>><<

Top 3 must see places in Singapore:

1. Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay – A futuristic, Avator-like garden with impressive high ariel walkways suspended above ground.

2. Marina Bay Sands – A three 55 storey high towers with a ship-like (or a Stonehenge) infinity pool located on top of the hotel offering panoramic views of the city.  Marina Bay Sands also houses a casino, spa, hotel, gardens, restaurants, jogging path, and shopping mall in the lower ground.

3. Louis Vuitton Island Maison – Louis Vuitton’s first island concept store on the water at the Marina Bay Sands.

>><<

Top tip:

Singapore is surprisingly hot and humid all year round, it’s a shock to the system to some people like myself, never mind your frizzy hair!  If you’re a photo-savvy traveller, protect your camera gear with Silica Gel packets (found in sealed snacks, bags and shoe boxes) and store them in your camera bag at all times, these will help to absorb moisture and water vapour on electronic gear.  I made a big mistake when I left my Canon zoom lense in Hong Kong for a few weeks when I returned to London, came back, I opened the lens cap and there you go, the len filter became a petri-dish filled with fungus.  Thankfully the lens was saved by a trusty camera repairman in HK, there’s a lesson to be learned for all photographers, always carry silica gel packets at all in your bags and storage at all times!


Kit and sister May were guests of The Westin Singapore, thank you for accommodating us!


FASHION & STYLE, MY STYLE

Spring play

24th May 2015

Kit Lee

Currently in a zombie state of mind, fighting hard to stay awake while typing this short note, and keeping an eye on my chicken & mushroom pie being heated in an oven, oh jet lag you are so kind to me!  I know it is a year late, this image was taken in late spring last year, unpublished for whatever reason there is a set of image now published on ELLE HK blog, go and have a look!


My wardrobe: Top and jeans from ASOS, NY cap from Urban Oufitters.


ASIA, HONG KONG, TRAVEL

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, and heading back home

19th May 2015

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

Hong Kong by Kit Lee

The past 2 weeks has been insanely busy meeting friends and clients at different times of the day and different places across Hong Kong Island, and at the same time hot and humid despite the sun block was completely utter useless, they melt after 30 minutes of application with white-cast all over your face along with the sweat. Catching up with friends with more rounds of food and drinks at Sevva, Maxim’s Palace, Fu Lu Shou, Classified, BEP, Nha Trang and my weekly iced lemonade fix from Nosh to cool off the absurd heat.

With the new MTR station opened on Island Line late last year I finally ventured out to Kennedy Town for the first time, having  been driven past it a dozen times via taxi to get to the south of Hong Kong Island, the industrial town reminds me of a shabby seaside town in Margate.  With a character of course.  Kennedy Town (and Sai Ying Pun) is soon to be my favourite go-to place for abundance of photography walk, heritage trail such as the Lo Pan Temple, a grade l listed building located on Ching Lin Terrace (a 8 minute steep climb on top of Li Po Lung Path), cool eateries at Fish & Chick, Chino, Shoreditch, Bistro du Vin, Bresola, K-Town and many more.  I have to come back and try everything there when I’m back in town, despite the distance, I have been hanging out in Sheung Wan for too, too long.

During the final week of my stay in Hong Kong, I found a spare afternoon for a full body massage at Happy Foot Luxe on Lyndhurst Terrace in Central, I usually go for their medical massage (similar to sports massage and Thai massage) when I’m back in town. I highly recommend this place for their thrusty, acupressure massage therapy to relieve muscle tension, headache, helps to reduce water retention, improve blood circulation and many more.

I was invited to take over the official The9thMuse Instagram account, they’re celebrating their 3rd birthday on Friday 22nd May this week.  And then a manicure at The Nail Library (my favourite nail salon) to end the week.

Thank you Hong Kong, you have been awesome.  See you in the autumn!


ASIA, HONG KONG, TRAVEL

Meanwhile in Hong Kong…

9th May 2015

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Don’t worry I haven’t left London for good!  I’m currently in Hong Kong doing the usual stuff and working on a couple of photography projects while still catching up with friends, making new friends (seriously, you can easily make new friends here in HK), networking with brands and PRs, discovering new hidden gems in Sai Ying Pun, cycling with my beloved Tokyobike from Tai Mei Tuk to Ma On Shan, trying my best to not get bitten by mozzies, and eat as much as I can and enjoy exploring HK.

I recently celebrated my 33rd birthday in HK for the first time with 4 rounds of birthday lunch and dinner with different group of friends – an afternoon tea at The Peninsula Hong Kong, sushi for lunch at Sushi To by Harlan Goldstein, healthy lunch at A Boy Named Sue HQ, the impeccable French and Shanghainese dishes at my friend’s private kitchen at Fa Zhu Jie, and intimate drinks with close friends at Fu Lu Shou.  Seriously, their cocktails are out of this world!

Stay tuned for more visual diary series from Hong Kong!