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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Peninsula Paris opening today, and about two days of lunches at Spices at the Peninsula Manila



Today I had lunch with a very good friend at Spices, the Asian restaurant of the Peninsula Manila.

It was the second day in a row that I'd had a meal there, in my never-endingly eventful Travelife, and the third time in the last seven days.



I like eating at Spices, especially in the atrium-like back room, because it's spacious, airy and always full of flowers.

So you feel like you've left the city, even just for an hour or two.

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TWO DAYS OF LUNCHES

And today, just like yesterday, was a very nice catch-up lunch.

Yesterday, the conversation was about Travel, as I'm busy planning a luxury trip to Europe for this friend and her family. I got really excited planning the trip as I'm booking for her the hotels and restaurants I personally like.

TALKING ABOUT TRAVEL AND LIFE
IN A TRAVELIFE

Today, the conversation was about Life. It's not often in this town that you can sit down with someone and actually talk about life, so I really enjoyed it.

I made sure to eat different things today, though. And that's the nice thing about Spices. It's a general Asian restaurant so you have dishes from various countries in the region.



Yesterday, this friend and I had the crispy catfish salad, which I like very much.

We also had the fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, lamb chops from India, and a Thai green prawn curry.



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DEJA VU AT THE PENINSULA

Today, another friend and I had the same crispy catfish salad, and then I had the fried Vietnamese spring rolls instead of the fresh ones.

We also had pumpkin soup from The Farm at San Benito, some morning glory in an oyster sauce from Thailand, and a yellow prawn curry from Sri Lanka.



And on the way out, I chanced upon a very pretty afternoon tea set-up in the Peninsula lobby, made to look like some very French stalls.

It looked like a sidewalk in Paris, full of lovely treats.




THE GRAND OPENING OF THE PENINSULA PARIS

Of course.

The Peninsula Paris is opening today, I suddenly remembered.

The afternoon tea of the Peninsula Manila was a commemoration of sorts for the opening of the Peninsula Paris, Paris' newest luxury hotel.

This is sure to be a great favourite of mine in Paris, by the way, whenever I am there, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.





Thursday, July 31, 2014

A wonderful Travelife Magazine team dinner at the Marriott, along with a pizza making and ice cream sundae making contest



In Manila today, living a Travelife, the Travelife Magazine team headed out of work earlier than usual to have dinner at the Marriott Hotel.

We were all really supposed to have a team dinner tonight and we took a vote among everyone as to where to go. 

THE WINNER OF THE POPULARITY CONTEST

                                


The Marriott won the popularity vote among our team for their great steaks and seafood, as well as for their wonderful ice cream bar.

I like the ice cream bar a lot, too, and my personal favorite here is the Palawan nut ice cream, which I think is made from honey and nuts from Palawan.

JUST CAN'T RESIST GOOD FOOD

                                  


The food was of course the highlight of the night. 

When I joined the dinner midway, having come from a cocktail party, everyone was already on their third servings of rib eye steak and Cajun shrimp. 

I'd had a really big lunch at Spices at the Peninsula today. 

                                    


But at the Marriott, I was unable to resist a plate of guacamole with veggies and shrimp in a crispy tortilla, a rib-eye with all the trimmings and the ice cream.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN


Then it was time for the contests to begin, with a grand prize of two round trip tickets anywhere in the world, for a never-ending Travelife.


We had a pizza making contest, followed by an ice cream sundae making contest. 

Everyone joined in and we had a very merry and rather competitive evening, at the Marriott Hotel, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My lucky week, a nice present, a deliciously long lunch at LiLi and a most enjoyable dinner hosted by an ambassador

Someone sent over this lovely gift this morning

Today was another wonderful day in my never-endingly eventful Travelife.

I was at the office very early as there was lots of work to do.

But first thing in the morning, someone I'd recently traveled with sent over a very nice gift as a thank you for planning the trip.

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THE JOYS OF TEAMWORK

I didn't really plan the entire trip, and I just put pieces together. It was more of a team effort.

But anyway, the beautifully packaged present from a perfumer in London I love was so unexpected and very welcome.

And perhaps it's not just my lucky day, but my lucky week.

IT'S MY LUCKY WEEK


A couple of nights ago, I was at a formal sit-down dinner and my seat mates were two gentlemen I'd never met before, in spite of this being such a small town.

We'd had a most lovely evening and the conversation had been about everything under the sun.

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SOME LOVELY FLOWERS

The next morning, one of them sent a big bouquet of flowers to my office, which truly brightened my day, as well as everyone else's day in my office.

It was such a nice gesture.

Then a few days later, the other gentleman had a lovely gift delivered, which he knew I would like very much, based on our conversations at dinner.

A SAMSUNG TABLET
FROM THE TRAVEL COMPANION



On Friday, too, the Travel Companion gave me a Samsung Galaxy tablet which I've been using a lot now.

While we were both in Europe two weekends ago, you see, I'd told him how I wanted a Samsung tablet and he said he'd think about giving me one.

I never mentioned it again, but last week, he gave me what I wanted.

A FEW NICE SURPRISES


Then today, I got this lovely present, bought from the London perfumer Jo Malone.

And then there was a message from someone in another country that said: "Let me know which restaurants you want to go to, and I'll take you."




He meant for me to send him a list of Michelin three-star restaurants I want to eat in, sometime later this month, somewhere in the world, living a Travelife. And he would book the restaurants and take me for dinner at each one.

It's not my birthday but it certainly feels like it. And, of course, it's definitely a wonderful Travelife.

LUNCH AT THE HYATT REGENCY



Meanwhile, for lunch today, I went over to the Hyatt Regency in Manila to catch up with GM Richard Simmons and his team.

We had a wonderful meal at LiLi, which is really the best fine dining Chinese restaurant in Manila, in my opinion.



And today the chef certainly pulled out all the stops to create a fine meal.

It was so nice to catch up with Richard and his team, and we spent hours practically talking nonstop.

This is their new best-selling black angus dish

We were served so many courses that I lost count.

And then it ended with LiLi's signature mango pudding dessert and a very impressive tea-making demonstration, both done table-side.



What fun.

When I got back to Makati, I just had enough time to check some layouts and then I had to head home and dress up for another evening out.

TRIPLE-BOOKED TONIGHT
FOR A TRAVELIFE



I was triple-booked tonight for drinks, a cocktail party and a sit-down dinner -- thankfully, all in the same general neighbourhood.

In a perfect world, it would all have worked out and I could have done all three things.



But then the rains began and traffic was terrible even in the two square kilometres I had to navigate, so I ended up missing the first two things and barely making it to the first course of the sit-down dinner.



AN ENJOYABLE DINNER
HOSTED BY AN AMBASSADOR

The dinner was such an eclectic group, hosted by an ambassador and his wife at their lovely residence.

The guests were of such disparate ages but we all had so much fun that the meal ended close to midnight, which was when I called it a day, in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.