Springtime in Provence

Hello, we just came back from a week in Provence to spend a little break before I start work next week..woohoo finally back to work!

We decided to explore the south of France this time as our mini holiday. We had an amazing time, and honestly 6 days were too short as they are plenty of villages and things to see. Well for this post I will just share the highlights of the trip and let the picture do all the talking 🙂

We arrived by train from Paris to Lyon and pick up our rental car to start our journey.

Lyon is famous for its bouchon, which is the local bistro Lyonnaise style. They are very affordable with lunch menu starting from around 15 euros for a 4 course menu. We stop at Chez Mournier in rue des Marronniers for a typical Lyonnaise food.

After a good lunch we then started our little adventure in Provence and here are the highlights!

View from Grignan

View from Grignan, too bad it’s not the season of the lavender yet. It would be nice seeing rows and rows of purple fields

 

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Beautiful amazing ancient roses

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Grignan was a really nice village, filled with beautiful roses everywhere and they are well-known for their ancient roses variety dating back before 1814. They have nice little pathway and a château on top of the hill.

 

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Pont d’Avignon

Palais des Papes, where the papacy was held before moving back to Rome, 7 popes resided here.

Palais des Papes, where the papacy was held before moving back to Rome, 7 popes resided here.

We had a quick stop at Avignon to see the Palais des Papes and the famous bridge. Unfortunately we were too late to get into the palais so we had a walk in the city and enjoy the scenery instead.

Vaison la-Romaine

Vaison la-Romaine, where you can find both a roman archeological site and a medieval village

Visited some wineries in Beume de Venice region, famous for its sweet dessert wine

Visited some wineries in Beaume de Venice region, famous for it’s sweet dessert wine

Saturday means farmer's market day in Provence and the village of  Uzes turned into the biggest farmer's market. Plenty of things to see and buy. We end up having a picnic by the river after all the shopping.

Saturday means farmer’s market day in provence and the village of Uzes turned into the biggest farmer’s market. Plenty of things to see and buy. We end up having a picnic by the river after all the shopping.

It was the perfect weather for a picnic and we found such a beautiful picnic spot.

It was the perfect weather for a picnic and we found such a beautiful picnic spot.

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Pont Du Gard, this is the marvel of Roman’s engineering, it’s almost 2000 years old and still standing tall

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I think you shouldn’t miss Pont du Gard if you ever visit south of France, it is breathtaking! Something to get you thinking as well how amazing is it that people in the olden days are so advance in so many ways.

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Lac de Sainte Croix

 

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So after visiting a village called Moustier which is famous for its pottery we went and visited the lake before heading out to see the Gorges du Verdon which is a 700 m canyon.

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Picturesque Gordes in Luberon region

 

Last but not least this is pretty much most of the cities in south of France looks like, villages on top of a hill with its medieval chateau or a beautiful church on top. However Gordes is so breathtaking as you get to see it full panoramic view before you get into the village. These are only some of our highlights, it was one amazing holiday, can’t wait to explore the rest of France as each and every place we visited were all unique in their own way.

I feel very blessed to be able to have this experience and I hope we will be able to preserve it for our future generations.

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Beautiful Town Called Chartres

Lately my husband and I always tried to do some weekend activities with my in-laws visiting interesting cities or places around Paris. Last weekend we went to Chartres, a city just around 1 hour away from Paris. It’s a cute town with little lane ways, a river and a beautiful cathedral. There’s plenty of antique stores around town as well, plus they have an antique market on the weekend. Definitely worth the visit if you ever come to Paris the second time and looking for somewhere to visit outside of Paris, it takes around 1 hour from Gare Montparnasse to Chartres.

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Have a good week ahead everyone and be thankful with what’ve you got!

Bookworm Heaven in Paris

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Hello fellow bookworm! I know I have been MIA for a while and I just love the fact that my good blogger friend Pang reminded me that I need to get this blog going again! Thank you Pang for the friendly reminder and I  miss you too btw!

So anyway back to topic, I love to read and even though I have my kindle, I still love to buy books especially second-hand books. There are a few second-hand english book store here in Paris, so here’s one which is quite interesting. I love that they have a variety of genre and it’s just around the corner from Luxembourg garden, a perfect place to read. You can also sell your books here too if you want! I find the old gentleman in the shop quite interesting even though he didn’t talk much, he looks like he has amazing life stories and experiences, I think he might be one of the owner. I wish I could have tea and have a chat with him and exchange stories about living in Paris, that would be awesome right… But anyway I would go back browse for the next book to read.

If you need more information here the link to their website! Support your local bookshop if you can because they are disappearing day by day!

Happy Reading everyone!!

Autumn In Paris

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Ok I am so sorry the title is so clichè but I just love this time of the year when all the tree turns yellow, orange and red. I love the mellow feeling that it evokes especially when the weather is perfect like today, sunny and not too cold.

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We had a wonderful afternoon visiting a vintage market that was held near our apartment, wish I could just buy all the cute things there but I am on a strict simple living regime so no unnecessary shopping for me, yet I am happy just browsing, looking and admiring all the little trinkets.

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Then off we went to Parc de Bercy, it’s hubby favourite park as it’s calm and lush unlike other french gardens or parks. The weather was perfect as well, which was a bonus as it has been rainy at the beginning of the week.

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At the end of Parc de Bercy it’s Bercy Village, which is filled with restaurants, bars and cute little shops. There are also old fashion games for the children to play with, so a perfect place for a family day out! We went to Alice Delice a kitchen specialty shop where I got my self a ginger breadman cookie cutter, as christmas is just around the corner. Last but not least in a craft shop where I spend a long time looking at everything while husband patiently wait for me, to be honest I think he is as excited as me looking at all the amazing things they have.
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I’m so grateful and happy, couldn’t ask for more! Oh and I am going to be babysitting tonight so it’s going to be so much fun!! A great start for the weekend, can’t wait for another awesome day tomorrow!

Feeling Lucky: Paris Fashion Week

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Loving the colour palette

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Pascal Millet Spring Summer 2014 Collections

I would never ever dream to be able to attend Paris Fashion Week, especially sitting front row!!! It was a dream come true, and what an amazing experience! I love every minute of it.

I got invited by my friend and colleague from FemaleDaily, the girl I was showing Paris around last Sunday. She is here because of Galeries La Fayette invited her over as Galeries La Fayette open up a new store in Jakarta, Indonesia. She got some extra invitation so she text me early Tuesday morning and said if I would like to come with her to Pascal Millet first ever Paris fashion show. Of course I said YES!!!!

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The Venue

It was held in a little church near Musée Du Lourve, it was such a beautiful simple setting. We even got out own usher to take us to our seat and make sure we are comfortable, we got seated at the front row just before the models come out. It was such a surreal experience for me as I would never think I would get a chance to attend any fashion week show let alone Paris Fashion Week.

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Affi and I front row before the show starts

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Unveiling the white carpet!

A little background on Pascal Millet, he started his career with Balenciaga before moving on to Maison Carven as the Head Designer for Haute Couture. This would be his debut show in Paris for his ready to wear Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Pascal Millet collection would be available in the Galeries La Fayette Paris if anyone is interested!

I love the collections, it’s simple yet scream elegance at the same time. I love the wedges that all the models were wearing. The colour palate are a bit subdue a mix of grey with burst of colours here and there, which I love.

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Drool!!

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Simple yet elegant

Here’s the video link that I have taken during the show! I am truly feeling blessed to have the opportunity to experience this! Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Sunday Highlights: Sipping the perfect latte and finding Paris hidden gem!

Thank you Paris for a lovely sunny day! I had a wonderful day today and felt truly blessed!

Here are the highlights of my day!

First and foremost is finally I get to convince my husband to go for a run with me (crazy dance moment!!), that’s a wonderful news because he rarely exercise. Now he wants to do it every weekend (double yeah!)

So I have been craving for nice cafe latte like the one in Melbourne for the last few days, so after extensive research I found a place called The Coutume in 47, Rue De Babylone 75007. Not to exaggerate but it is hard to find a creamy latte with the right temperature here in Paris (I think being Melbournian you become picky when it comes to coffee) so when I had my first sip of this creamy latte with the perfect temperature I was in heaven!!! No wonder the coffee is awesome because the owners are an Australian and a Frenchman trained in Melbourne (woohoo hometown!) Unfortunately I had to have it takeaway as there was a long queue and all I wanted was the coffee. I think we will have to come back another day to have brunch or snack with friends.

I am totally in love with this latte of mine!

Perfection!

Then after we went to an indie cinema around the corner in the same street called Cinema La Pagode! This our first movie date in Paris and loving the place we chose as this place is a gem. I think it’s one of Paris hidden secret. It has only 2 screening room, and they show indie movies in their original version with subtitle. It has a little chinese bamboo garden, a little lush sanctuary in the middle of residential area. You can enjoy the tranquility in this little garden with a cup of coffee or tea. I love the little story that comes with this place; the owner of the famous  Le Bon Marchè built this pagoda, imported piece by piece from Japan to surprise his beloved wife. As at the time the oriental arts and decoration was the very trendy. Good for him because we now get to enjoy this exquisite little place. Unfortunately the movie we watched wasn’t showing in the Japonaise Salle, which is a magnificent room, used to be the main ballroom where Monsieur and Madame Morin held numerous soiree.

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Cinema La Pagode

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The lush garden.

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Gorgeous tiles!

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Look at the exquisite stained glass door!

After the movie we walk around St Germain Des Pres and along the river, enjoying the last of the sunshine. I am very grateful and happy to have such a wonderful day.  Aujourd’hui est une très bonne journĂ©e, je suis très content. Bonne nuit Ă  tous!

Reminiscing Old London Town

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So it’s been 5 months since I moved from London, and today as I was looking at old pictures in London: I realised how much I miss it. When I first moved I was homesick most of the time, and didn’t feel like home. However after 3 years, you found your rhythm and found your comfort zone in the midst of crazy work demands (which I am hoping this will be the case here in Paris). My time in London was mostly filled with work, however having said that I did get a chance to explore London and the English country side. So I though I share with you my favourite places in London. I will do a separate post on the beautiful English country side!

Museum

My favourite museum would be the Natural History Museum, I like the majestic feeling as you walk inside and greeted by the gigantic dinosaurs. I love the brick work of this beautiful building. Especially  when can you just walk in to any room and learn something new . It’s has become my sanctuary when I need to unwind and focus on something else, rather than let my own thoughts running wild. It’s weird but I found museums and galleries to be so relaxing even among the crowds. Best of all its free (Yeah!)

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Hello Dino, I miss you!

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Natural History Museum London

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Spring time outside the Natural History Museum

Markets

The Borough Market would be my place to go for a whole day of food tasting. I love spending the weekend there grazing through all the different food and drinks stalls. The abundance of colourful fresh produces entice you to buy them and start coming up with crazy recipes. It’s heaven for foodies!! If you ever planning to go to London please visit this market you will drink, eat and be merry for sure!

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Photosource http://www.eventseed.com Unfortunately I didn’t manage to capture any myself.

Bookshop

I miss my bookshop Hatchard, where you can find signed copies books through out the year. I can spend hours browsing this 5 floors bookshop. Built in 1797 it is the oldest bookshop in London AND hold three royal warrants, supplying books to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.  Isn’t that amazing, you have the same bookshop as the Queen. If you want to read the full review of this book shop check out my post here in Travelersdaily.

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Inside Hatchard

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Signed Copy everywhere, sorry for the blurry picture!

Vintage shopping and Street Art

Brick Lane is the best place to go vintage shopping and stop by for some cheap bagels as well while you are at it. It reminds me of Gravel Street in Melbourne. Lately you will find pop up designer outlet shop as well, you might just find a few bargains here and there. I love to walk around here and look at the graffiti arts as well, they are amazing.

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Vintage shopping time in Brick Lane

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My friend Eda admiring a street art somewhere near Brick Lane

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Stop for some Bagels after some major shopping! 

Well these are a few of my favourite places, there are plenty more but these are the things that I missed the most apart from my friends!

Happy Weekend!!

Château de Fontainebleau: The Home of Many Kings

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Magnificent view from the back of the castle

To mark the end of summer, my husband and I decided to go for a picnic with his parents. We thought Fontainebleau will be the perfect place, they have beautiful park and we get to visit the castle. Fontainebleau is famous for its forest, where you can do activities like horse riding, rock climbing and hiking. You can have a picnic in the castle’s outside park but not the gardens inside the castle. So we decide to have a picnic just by the canal!

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Perfect picnic place by the canal, especially if its sunny!

Fontainebleau isn’t too far from Paris, you can get there via train from Gare De Lyon for Montereau-Fault-Yonne or Laroche Migennes or Montargis get off at Fontainebleau Avon stop. Then take bus no 1 directions Les Lilas Château and get off at Poste-Château stop. So if you are looking for a day trip I think it’s the perfect place, because it is not as crowded as Versailles. And this is one of the castle that wasn’t attacked during the revolution, and was still used up until Napoleon III era.

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The famous horseshoe staircase constructed in 1632-1624 by Androuet du Cerceau

Fontainebleau is famous for its opulence, as many french kings have made it their home, each one of them redecorate and expand the château according to their needs. The château itself was first built in the early 1137. It was then rebuilt by François I, he was then inspired by Italian Architecture, you can see many Italian Renaissance influence in the design and decoration of the building.

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Galerie Françoise I

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The Trinity Chapel

It is quite interesting to see the many different style and arts that influence this château. Every king has made a mark, whether it’s an extension of a wing, a chapel or even the way their apartments were decorated. It’s like you can see the different era distinctively as you walk from one sections of the château to another. The detailed and opulent decorations are evident everywhere even its door knobs, windows handles and the curtains tassels. Not too mentions the furnitures, beds and the powder room.

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This bedroom was redecorated by Marie Antoinette, unfortunately she didn’t get to enjoy it because of the revolution. EugĂ©nie de Montijo wife of Napoleon III is the one who get to enjoy this beautiful room.

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The opulence is evident everywhere even on its door handle

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This room used to be the gambling room of Marie Antoinette, she also did some renovation to the palace during Louis XVI reign.

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How exquisite is this ceiling?

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I love how everything here is so beautifully done

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Like other castle you’ll find many hidden doors leading to stairways or other rooms

Napoleon Bonaparte took up residence here and refurnished the château back to it’s glory after the revolutions. Here you can also find the Napoleon Museum, where they exhibit his regalia and the story of his life. The even create a mock up tent to show how he was living when he was in battle. Sad for him, he was also abdicated here.

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Camping Napoleon Style

Napoleon's Throne

Napoleon’s Throne Room

You also need to spend some time exploring the garden, especially if it’s a sunny day.  You can also hire a paddle boat and enjoy the château’ beautiful pond. It has the largest French Style formal garden in Europe design by Le NĂ´tre, Louis XIV’s gardener and there is also the English garden with its beautiful landscapes and trees.

The English Garden

The English Garden

French Style Garden

French Style Garden

 

While you are there, look out for all the different symbols and initials around the château and see how many you can find! 

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Find the Letters! Since there were so many French kings made this place their home, you will find so many different letters representing the different kings and queens who stayed there

Never Grow Up!

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Never Grow up!

Whenever I am surrounded by my siblings, I felt like time stood still, as if we are still back in our younger years goofing around and making fun of each other. Especially now since we all live in different countries, we rarely spend time together, although we Skype and chat over the phone but when we do spend time together it’s like the good ol’ days!

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The good old days!

I have 3 brother and 1 sister whom I love very much, I think they are my best friends who I can always count on no matter what. Even as the oldest one in the family, I’ve always feel my younger brothers and sister are always there to protect me and not to forget, boss me around too! Luckily things hasn’t change even though some of us are married and have our own separate life!

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Sibling love! we are just missing the little rascal!

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Our little brother who hated his picture taken!

I wrote this post coz I’m missing them and can’t wait to see them all in November. We always plan a family get together where all of us are in one place so no one is missing out (been there done that and I don’t like it). The last time we had a family get together is back in March for my sister’s wedding and we went to spend some family time in Lorne, Australia. We rented this beautiful beach house, where cockatoos and kookaburras come every morning and sit at our porch asking for bread. There were a grill in the beach house so we did some bbq, enjoy the Australian traditions! I think we had so many bbq in the spend of 2 weeks, it was crazy!

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The in-laws are getting into our craziness

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Dad is always making friends with animals, he does it all the time!

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Goofing around in the restaurant! My brother in law is catching on!

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This is what we wake up to every morning in Lorne, Australia

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Mom and Dad idea of chilling out!

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Kookaburra, Australian Native Bird, they are normally very shy!

If you are thinking about going to Melbourne, and taking a trip to The Great Ocean Road, consider spending a few days in places such as Lorne, Anglesea, Torquay or other smaller town along The Great Ocean Road. ( check out www.stayz.com.au for beach houses/ accommodations) As it is quite a drive to go up to see the Twelve Apostles, around 4-5 hours from Melbourne so it would be a nice break to enjoy the area as well. If you are lucky you will get to see the koalas and kangaroos in the wild. We had my in-laws this time around too and they were so excited to stop everywhere in the bush and look for koalas. However the best thing about this trip was to be able to hang out with my brothers and sister, of course with the whole big family (there were 14 of us together) and chilling out on the beach! IMG_0747

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Chilling out in Lorne! IMG_0696

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Twelve Apostle

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Big family brunch!

I am grateful to be blessed with such wonderful siblings, family and in-laws who can tolerate our craziness. Life is so much fun surrounded by family, I wish I live closer to mine. But never mind we have our yearly family trip which is full of fun!

Wishing everyone a great weekend, have fun, be goofy and never grow up!

Wishful Thinking on a Friday Night

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Creamy Soy Latte from Mart 130, South Melbourne

 

Ok so I know it’s late (00.13 local time) to be dreaming about a cup of creamy latte, but since it’s friday night I’m thinking how wonderful it is to be able to get a nice cup of my favourite soya latte for my saturday breakfast.  Wishing I could just get up tomorrow morning and plonk myself at one of my favourite cafes in Melbourne like Seven Seeds, Market Lanes Coffee or Mart 130 and ordered myself the creamiest soy latte! I think I am little bit homesick, I miss Melbourne a lot and can’t wait till January comes where I get to go home for a few weeks!

A girl can always dream right!

Good night world, and be nice to our precious earth!