Saturday, 23 February 2013

SUMMARY: MY WEEK IN PICTURES

...And quite a lot of words!

So it's another week that's flown by. Unfortunately still hacking away at work...must be all the germs and viruses I've been exposed to. 
I've been good this week and managed to get myself into gym 3 times this week - having to endure the manic rush on the underground during peak hour just to get to gym! 
Dedication, no?

Attempted another Balates class at gym this week, with the hope that it would be better than the last one I attended. Ended up having to put up with relentless jumping about and doing ridiculous moves which had no relation whatsoever to ballet...
The teacher must have seen me and my cousin sniggering in the back and called us to the front to dance! Despite the strange choreography, I'm pretty sure I still managed to make it look good. Ignoring the disaster that was unfolding behind me.
I can be shy at many things...but dance is definitely my forte and something that I'm not afraid to show-off! Ha x

I had another Friday evening off and grabbed the chance to meet up with my boy Wai Kit before he flies off again!
 Trying to find a place for dinner on a Saturday evening without a reservation is never a good idea. We ended up in Ducksoup on Dean Street where we managed to get a tiny cramped-up table by the door.
Having another coughing attack and desperate for a glass of water, I didn't really pay much attention to the hand-scrawled menus and just went with whatever was near the top of the menu. 
This is basically what their typical menu looks like...

Saturday lunch

We ordered a couple of small plates to share - a duck egg, which was served still in its shell with some mayonnaise and salt on the side, and a dish of buffalo ricotta with anchovy.
For our mains we both ordered the Pan-fried duck breast - basically slices of duck meat served on a plate seasoned with blood orange and anise, still pretty rare judging from the pinkness. It didn't come with any sides so we ordered a small plate of veg (monksbeard?).

Not quite satisfied with the meal and still quite hungry, we headed out in search for some sushi. 
After going round in circles we ended up in the not-so-authentic-but-most-convenient sushi place...Yo Sushi. Just because we were too cold and tired.
 
Stuffed silly, we headed on to our last and final stop - Carluccio's for a drink and some dessert. 

 



This is like our third time at this place due to the convenient location, it's kind of become our regular hang-out spot for a quick snack.  

On Saturday, I met up with Stacey and the gang at The Breakfast Club in Hoxton for brunch. 
One of the places that I've always wanted to try out but couldn't be bothered to stand in the queue for!
Stacey turned up nice and early and managed to grabbed us a table before the ridiculous queue formed outside.






Flat white


Pancakes with berries! mmm...

 Delicious comfort food always makes me smile :)

We then headed back to Stacey's to chill out and play some games - played some pool, card games and the awesome Wits and Wagers board game. 

Having a quiet Saturday night in, Ive decided to start packing my luggage! One more week eeek...! I am one excited bunny.

Time to get cracking on some CPD! 

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend despite the freezing cold outside.



 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

SUMMARY: CNY + JAC'S WEDDING + V-DAY

Okay...it's been too long again since I've updated this page. It's been a hectic week but I'm glad it's now one more day til the weekend! AND I'm not working a late Friday shift this week! Not that I have anything exciting planned...but there you go.

So lets start with last weekend...

1. Chinese New Year - Year of the Snake

Obviously not a very big thing in the UK compared to Asia. Nonetheless, Stacey and I braved the horrible weather on Sunday to watch the festivities taking place in town. We managed to catch the lion and dragon dance performance at Trafalgar Square and hung about town so we could catch the fireworks display in the evening. 


Happy Chinese New Year!...4 days late ha.


2. Jacquelyn & Anran's Wedding

After a long shift at work on Monday, I rushed home to pack my bag and jumped on the train to Nottingham! A bit of short notice but I still managed to book my reasonably-priced Advance First Class tickets so I could travel in comfort.
 It's been so long since I've traveled by rail...no economy 'cattle trailers' this time.

Nerd-mode

Tried to get a snooze on the train, but there was a SUPER hyperactive kid sitting close-by who kept screaming...
A bit frustrating but he was actually quite cute, and I kind of had pity for the poor mum who looked pretty exhausted.
2 hours later, I was finally in Nottingham and grabbed a taxi to The Hilton.
Glad to be reunited with sweet Jacquelyn after so long and we had a little chit chat with champagne before bed.

Unfortunately I didn't really get much sleep as the floors were really creaky and we could hear the neighbours upstairs!
 
We got up bright and early the next day...by default - the hotel alarm went off at 7am (!) for some reason...and MORE creaky floorboards from up above.
Unable to get back to sleep, we went to have breakfast downstairs, and after that we chilled and slowly started getting dressed and ready.
Jacquelyn who is an absolute PRO with hair was really sweet and helped me to curl my hair.


Beautiful Jacquelyn x

After fun and games with the groom's entourage who came to fetch the bride, we all headed on to Nottingham Council Hall.


Congratulations to the cute couple!

2nd time being a bridesmaid! x

Second time having the honour of being a bridesmaid...FIRST TIME catching the bouquet!
Does this mean I'm next...?!


Photo: I caught the bouquet! :p

Looks like mum and dad are going to have to do some ringing around for some eligible bachelors!


...


There was obviously not a single bit of seriousness in that phrase mind you. 

Halfway through dinner, and I was back on the train back to London, getting home just before midnight.
5 hours sleep at back into work for 7am...and down with a cold again.

Despite the tiredness, I still managed to pop by Stacey's CNY dinner party on Wednesday evening for a couple of hours. The food she made was awesome and I'm sure I would have stayed on to enjoy if I didn't have to work at 7am again the next day...

Oh well, at least I had a brief attempt at Chinese calligraphy.

May all your dreams come true x

3. Valentines Day

Say what...?

Unfortunately this day has no particular meaning to me...yet.

After a busy week it is quite a relief to have a free evening to just relax and unwind...and try to recover in time for the weekend!


Macbook, food, wine...sorted x


Right, so that's pretty much what's been happening so far. 

I'm sure mum won't have read this blog until I remind her on Skype during the weekend...and I end up re-sending her the link to my blog for an update! 
Teehee
Technology...gotta love it x


Okay, think it's time to get the ice cream tub out of the freezer and have a Bridget Jones moment...



One more day til the weekend!

The Cheekster, signing off x


Sunday, 3 February 2013

AN ASIAN AFFAIR: SUSHI SAMBA + ASSA

Saturday has come and gone again.
We had our little pre-CNY reunion - Wendy booked us a table at the Sushi Samba at Heron Tower, currently the tallest building in the city.
One of the places on my to-do list!
 
One of the excitements was taking the dedicated lift that ascended at a pretty high speed all the way up to the 38th floor, getting an awesome panoramic view of the city sprawled sexily beneath us - obviously not suitable for those afraid of heights.

We were politely greeted at reception and promptly shown to our table in the vast-windowed space, taking in the colourful interesting (fishing net?) decorations across the ceiling.

 

 

 A friendly waiter attended to our table and gave us a brief introduction about the restaurant and 'demystified' the menu’s ethnic mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian influences.
Not quite familiar with the elements of each dish, we relied on the waiter to recommend some dishes for us. We also ordered a glass of sake each - I went for the Yuzu Shu, which had a sweet citrus flavour to it.


London roll, Sao Paulo, Wagyu te amo

Sashimi

Serviche trio

 

And obviously being at such an amazing height, we took the opportunity to take in the view from the bar area and snap some photos.
From there we were able to look down on to Tower Bridge, the snake of the Thames, St Paul’s, but most prominent of all on the Gherkin, which seems almost close enough to leap to. Anyone been practising their Parkour?

Snap-happy smiles with sweet Wendy x
  
I've read a few mixed reviews in the past about this place, but you can never really trust what the critics say until you try it yourself.
Personally, I find that there is some truth behind the reviews, such as the Metro's restaurant review...

"The real star of SushiSamba isn’t the design, or the service, or the food. It’s London. Only London."

It is a feast for the eyes...which then leaves quite a hole in your pocket (or in my case a scratch on my credit card) and half a belly full (unless you are daring enough to further stretch the bill).
Then again, it's the weekend, always a reason to celebrate isn't it?

The food is no doubt gorgeously presented, and I'm sure there are intricate elements to each dish that I probably didn't notice or appreciate as much.
Nonetheless, despite the high prices, I would still recommend it as a restaurant that all Londoners should experience at least once - particularly during summer on the outdoor terrace. 

Moving on, we headed back to Soho to indulge in our favourite Chatime
And then  on to Covent Garden to do some shopping - managed to find the Zara top and trousers in the sale that I had been hunting for in my size.

As Wendy and Martin had to leave early, Lili and I continued on wandering - ending up at Assa for an early Korean dinner. One of the places I would frequent quite often for the good food at affordable prices.
We ordered the pork and kimchi hotpot and some pork dumplings to share - hot and spicy comfort food on a chilly day mmm...







After a satisfying meal, we popped by Primark to stock up on some cheap essentials e.g. tights, socks etc. And I also went a bit crazy grabbing ballet slippers that had been reduced down to £2/£3 (!!!) 
Yes, I do love my bargains. Especially since I tend to changeover my shoes quite often.

Okay, time to sign off and get some Spanish homework done!

Have a lovely Sunday x

 
 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

HELLO FEBRUARY

January's over...one more month to go!
I'm predicting or rather KNOW that this month is going to be quite hectic, my schedule is already pretty tight for the next couple of weeks. And next week is going to be a NIGHTMARE with expected lack of sleep and rest...further details to follow ;)

Had (another) frustrating day yesterday as the locum got the times mixed up (again!), resulting in me having to cancel my plans after work. Sometimes I just want to swear out loud...or maybe just hit someone in the head. With a sausage. That way I can gain satisfaction from inflicting pain and being entertained at the same time.

Finally finished another late night and my weekend is here...time to chill with some wine.

Watch this space for my upcoming weekend posts. 

Keep smiling x


(Just maybe not in your sleep - because that would be creepy)