Sunday, November 20, 2016

The ultimate Travelife Israel food & culture trip: April & November 2017




This is about the ultimate Travelife  food & culture trip to Israel. 


April & November 2017
Private trips can also be arranged


Everyone goes to Israel for a pilgrimage, and this means the usual tourist route of Biblical locations. However, so few get to see anything else because there simply isn't any time.



And some of Israel's best attractions are found in its food, art and cutting-edge culture. And no one knows this side of Israel better than Travelife Magazine, the leading travel & lifestyle publication.





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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Travelife to Russia for a magical winter of palaces in the snow

Travelife to Russia for a magical winter of palaces in the snow
St. Petersburg in the winter

This is about a Travelife to Russia for a magical winter of palaces in the snow.


FOR A MAGICAL WINTER 
OF PALACES IN THE SNOW
February 23 to March 2, 2017


Russia is freezing in the winter, of course, but there's no better time to experience Russia as a winter wonderland than in February, when the ornate palaces and churches are covered in snow, the rivers and lakes are covered in ice, and everywhere is a fairytale of images.

There are many destinations covered in snow in the winter, but so few consist of lovely palaces and buildings.

Moscow in the winter


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WHERE TO BUY WARM RUSSIAN CLOTHINGIN MOSCOW


And if you're scared about the cold, don't worry. Our first stop upon arrival in Moscow will be a Russian department store full of reasonably priced warm Russian clothing so that you will be comfortable during your trip.

Everyone visits Russia in the winter, which is why Russian museums and palaces are full of lines and crowds in the summer. But take a chance with us and visit Russia this winter for an entirely different experience, the Travelife way.

Travelife to Russia for a magical winter of palaces in the snow.





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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Diving in Saipan and where to go in 2017

Diving in Saipan and where to go in 2017
Michelle Barrera in Saipan for Travelife Magazine

The Travelife Magazine Saipan location team 
was headed by:

Christine Cunanan
Editor in Chief

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Cover was shot on location in Saipan with

Michelle Cojuangco Barrera
Model

Tracey Heppner
Photographer

Ceia Ylagan
Styling/ Supervision/ Direction

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HARD WORK & TEAM SPIRIT 
AROUND THE WORLD 


 Kudos must be given regarding this wonderful new issue of TRAVELIFE Magazine to TRAVELIFE columnist MICHELLE BARRERA who appears like a mermaid coming out of the water on our cover, and also in so many wonderful photos inside.

The cover was shot in one of the most remote locations in the beautiful island of Saipan, known for nature and diving. I'd like to see any other luxury travel magazine try and get a similar shot, considering the efforts (and that vertical drop down a mountain) that our Travelife team took to get this shot.

MICHELLE BARERA
ON OUR COVER AND IN OUR ARTICLES

Michelle Barrera in Saipan for Travelife Magazine


An equestrienne and all-around athlete as well as an excellent baker when she isn’t living a Travelife, Michelle Barrera also wrote the hefty cover story on Saipan in addition to her regular Wanderlist column plus a feature on a cruise from Taiwan to Okinawa.

So I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that Michelle practically produced this issue singlehandedly – with lots of enthusiasm, energy and hard work.

Michelle Barrera in Saipan for Travelife Magazine

WITH A LITTLE HELP
FROM MY FRIENDS


And with a little help, of course.

Ace photographer and indefatigable traveler TRACEY HEPPNER was responsible for most of these dreamy and dramatic shots in Saipan, and the week-long shoot.

As I've already written, this turned out to be a seriously athletic pursuit that involved climbing down vertical mountains and trekking for miles, when they weren’t paragliding in the air, that is. And, of course, diving in Saipan.

The Saipan cover shoot, by the way, was supervised on location by TRAVELIFE Managing Editor CEIA YLAGAN.

The Travelife team in Saipan


EVERYONE AT TRAVELIFE MAGAZINE 
IS REALLY LIVING A TRAVELIFE


In fact, practically everyone in TRAVELIFE Magazine was out living a #Travelife last month so most of our stories were produced in-house.

We had an empty office for a few weeks and then everyone returned almost simultaneously with wondrous tales to tell.

Travelife editorial assistant Patricia Cendana
in Bangkok for Travelife

PATRICIA CENDANA of the Travelife editorial team flew to Bangkok to discover more about the exquisite crafts of Thailand that are under the special patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.

Meanwhile, our Travelife Finance Officer MARICEL DIOSANA spent a week exploring the many interesting theme parks of South Korea, a country that is currently leading the world in entertainment innovation. She found herself bundled up in a snowcoat riding a dogsled down a mountain of artificial snow in September. Talk about a surreal kind of fun.

PORTUGAL: 
THE NEW FOODIE DESTINATION



Then there’s our foodie columnist JEROME MARTIN who recently spent a few days on holiday in Portugal and who continues to wax rhapsodic as I write this piece, about the romantic atmosphere of Lisbon, complete with the aroma of grilled sardines in the air.

He landed in Lisbon just in time for one of the city’s biggest festivals and describes with gusto both the dancing in the streets and the delicious egg tarts in Lisbon he encountered. No pun intended, you just have to read his story.

VISITING THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa in his art-filled home

In the same general area, Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa shares in this issue the many reasons why you need to put the Czech Republic in your bucket list for 2017.

Personally, I don't need any convincing as I've already lost count of just how many times I've been to Prague, which I consider one of the most romantic cities in the world.

The Charles Bridge of Prague

I've also driven across most of the Czech Republic, to its most far-flung corners, to hunt out UNESCO World Heritage sites, beautiful spa towns, abandoned villas and castles, and very good food.

Once Prague and the Czech Republic get into your head, trust me. You will never be the same again.

DIE SCHWARZWALDSTUBEN:
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN GERMANY

Die Schwarzawaldstuben in the Black Forest


Finally, I write about my happy discovery of a centuries-old family-owned hotel in Germany’s Black Forest, blessed with calming nature all around and home to Die Schwarzwaldstuben, the acknowledged best restaurant in Germany, holder of three Michelin stars continuously for over 20 years.

There are many famous restaurants in Germany, but this is certainly the granddaddy of them all. And that night that we dined there at Die Schwarzawaldstuben, we had the best table in the house.

Die Schwarzawaldstuben in the Black Forest


We had such a wonderful time here -- not to mention an unforgettable Michelin three-star dinner -- that I hope to return next year. But that’s getting ahead of myself.

One of the yachts of LuxuryIstanbul.com


By the time you get this issue, I’ll have just returned from a holiday in Istanbul, one of my favorite countries since I first set eyes on it 26 years ago, relaxing in the Four Seasons Sultanahmetone of the loveliest and most intimate hotels in the world.

We only ventured out of this intricate cocoon of design and good taste only for a gourmet meal every so often and a day out on an amazing private yacht exploring the Bosphorus all the way to the Black Sea, as always living a #Travelife.

So now you know where to go in 2017. Get a copy of our new issue and start checking your calendars.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Wine tastings at Israel's best spa resort

Wine tastings at Israel's best spa resort
A luxury hotel in Israel


This post is about wine tastings at Israel's best spa resort.

WINE TASTINGS AT ISRAEL'S BEST SPA RESORT 
IN THE DESERT. 
AND BREAKFAST AT NOON.


Sooner than later, I'll be at one of Israel's best spa resorts for a bit of R&R in Israel, living a #Travelife. 

We're off to Israel for a "working" trip, you see -- if you can call living a Travelife "work," that is - for the first part. And then I thought I'd stay over in Israel and enjoy a mild Israeli winter. It's warm enough to bask in the sunshine and walk among the grape vines, and then wear a wrap over a pretty dress for dinner at a hip restaurant in Jerusalem at night.

Or even just for room service on the terrace. ;) We like room service a lot -- especially me, as I'll have crisscrossed the length of Israel and eaten in about a dozen good restaurants in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by then. All I want to do on my private holiday is chill and see where our mood takes us.

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ISRAEL'S BEST RESORT

I chose this hotel because it's supposed to be among the country's best. And it actually serves breakfast until noon.

"We can have breakfast at 1230 pm at this hotel," I messaged my companion, as I was on the other side of the world. Unless a hotel serves its eggs Benedict at 1030 am or so, you see, I'm always missing breakfast for one reason or another.

And when we were last in St. Petersburg together just a few weeks ago, we missed breakfast two days in a row.


Walking around St. Petersburg last month


LUNCH AFTER BREAKFAST.  AND ABOUT WINE TASTINGS IN ISRAEL


So breakfast at noon is my kind of hotel.

 Without missing a beat, the companion sent me back a WhatsApp: "Perfect. Sounds logical. Then we can have lunch."


A luxury spa in Israel

 Technically we could, as lots of people apparently check into this destination hotel in Israel and find they don't want to leave it at all because there's so much to do between wine tastings, exploring the countryside and hanging out at the spa.

Plus, it's an adults-only resort so the vibe is pretty sophisticated.

EXPLORING JERUSALEM


But I thought we could spend at least an afternoon or two exploring the side streets and food markets of Jerusalem, before heading back here to sample some Israeli tapas and wine at our destination resort, as always living a #Travelife. ;)

 Will we actually leave to walk around Jerusalem or stay in this paradise in the desert? Find out soon on this blog.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to charter a yacht in Istanbul and about vintage cars

In Istanbul, onboard the most perfect yacht for 2 (or 20 or 30!)
chartered from LuxuryIstanbul.com
This post is about how to charter a yacht in Istanbul and about vintage cars.

In Istanbul for my pre-birthday week just last month, living a most wonderful #Travelife, Mr. X had the most wonderful idea to charter a private yacht in Istanbul to sail around the Bosphorus for a day or two while we were staying right in the middle of the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet, considered perhaps the most special hotel in Istanbul.

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THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN ISTANBUL INCLUDE
ASITANE 
AND MEZE BY LEMON TREE


It's lovely to stay at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet because you absolutely don't need a car except perhaps to take you to Meze by Lemon Treea restaurant across Galata Bridge, or to the famous Asitane Restaurant near the Chora Museum for dinner sometimes. Or to visit the Istanbul Modern. 

Otherwise, almost everything ancient and important is in the Sultanahmet area and you can completely avoid the traffic of Istanbul.

WHERE TO CHARTER A YACHT IN ISTANBUL




I left the yacht search to him and this is how he found LuxuryIstanbul.com, a luxury travel company that offers travel services in Istanbul including where to charter a yacht in Istanbul. There were several yachts to choose from, and Mr. X chose a yacht that was good for a party of 30, even if we were only 2. 

The boat was anchored just off the Sultanahmet pier, so we simply walked down from the Four Seasons Sultanahmet for about five minutes to the sea, and there our boat and crew were waiting for us. It was love at first sight for me, with this yacht that was neither too small nor too big. 

I don't need size but I do like perfect fittings, and this was a very comfortable boat with a great crew.

SAILING AROUND THE GOLDEN HORN




"Where would you like to go?" The yacht captain asked. 

Yes, with a private yacht in Istanbul, you can go around wherever you wish, stop wherever you want and basically do anything your heart desires. I wanted to sail to the Black Sea but at the last minute we decided to sail through the Golden Horn first as so few tourists really get to go this way.

This was how we found this garage full of vintage cars owned by one of the richest men in Turkey, just somewhere along the Golden Horn. It looked so interesting just from the water, because there were vintage boats docked by the pier and further inside we could already see gleaming vintage cars.

DISCOVERING A COLLECTION OF
VINTAGE CARS AND VINTAGE BOATS
IN ISTANBUL




"Let's stop there, please," I said. I didn't even know if strangers could walk into this place we'd spotted from the water, but it had a dock to park the yacht so at least we could try.

What a gem of a place this turned out to be, with a dock full of vintage boats and an air-conditioned garage of the most amazing vintage cars I'd ever seen. They were all impeccably maintained, too.


"Who owns this place?" I whispered to someone.

The answer came back: "One of the richest men in Turkey."

















Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dream Cruises launches Penfolds Wine Vault at Sea

Dream Cruises launches Penfolds Wine Vault at Sea

Dream Cruises launches Penfolds Wine Vault at Sea
onboard the Genting Dream


This post is about how Dream Cruises launches Penfolds Wine Vault at Sea.

Dream Cruises, the first-ever Asian luxury cruise line, has formed a partnership with iconic Australian winemaker Penfolds to bring the world’s first Penfolds Flagship Wine Vault at Sea on board Genting Dream.

It will be named the Penfolds Wine Vault.

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THE BEST WINES IN THE WORLD
AS DREAM CRUISES LAUNCHES 
PENFOLDS WINE VAULT AT SEA


Wine connoisseurs on board Genting Dream will be able to indulge in an array of rare wines and fine vintages from one of the world’s leading wineries, including Penfolds Bin 170 which celebrates the winemaker’s 170th anniversary and Penfolds Grange 2010, which has no less than three perfect scores of 100 points from highly respected international wine critics.

Genting Dream will also feature the Penfolds Yattarna, an exceptional Chardonnay that is the result of one of the most comprehensive, focused and highly publicised wine development projects ever conducted in Australia.

FOOD AND WINE PAIRING
ONBOARD GENTING DREAM
OF DREAM CRUISES


Dream Cruises launches Penfolds Wine Vault at Sea
onboard the Genting Dream

The food pairing opportunities are boundless as Genting Dream expert chefs and sommeliers work to ensure that only the finest wines are served to match the culinary delights served from one of the ship’s many state-of-the-art kitchens.

The Penfolds Wine Vault will store a wide range of Penfolds finest labels of both red and white wines, and will be manned by a sommelier during certain hours of the day to enhance guests’ Penfolds experience.

THE AEVUM IMPERIAL SERVICE RITUAL
ONBOARD GENTING DREAM 
OF DREAM CRUISES


As part of the collaboration, Genting Dream will also become home to the ultra rare Penfolds Aevum Imperial Service Ritual, a distinctive vessel specially handcrafted by legendary European glass and crystal house Saint-Louis and one of only five in the world.

Designed to hold the 2012 Penfolds Grange Imperial in honour of the winemaker’s flagship brand and one of the most highly regarded Grange vintages, the Aevum Imperial Service Ritual aboard Genting Dream will be the only one showcased at sea.

THE MEANING OF AEVUM


The Penfolds Aevum Imperial Service Ritual characterises craftsmanship, expertise and tradition for the perfect pour. Rare and refined, this crystal masterpiece objet d'art is hand-blown for elegant balance, captivating movement and precision, all traits that are shared with Dream Cruises. Aevum takes its name from the Latin term for ‘everlasting time’.

Thatcher Brown, Dream Cruises President, said, “We are delighted that Genting Dream will not only provide our guests with the finest vintages that this legendary wine maker has to offer, but that we will also be able to showcase one of only five of the exquisite Penfolds Aevum Imperial Service Rituals. This perfectly matches our commitment to bring dreams to life through a luxury vacation experience with only the finest products, service and standards – values that are shared by Dream Cruises and our newest partner, Penfolds.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Candlenut Peranakan restaurant at Como Dempsey in Singapore

The tasting menu at
Candlenut Peranakan restaurant
at Como Dempsey in Singapore

Candlenut Peranakan restaurant at Como Dempsey in Singapore This post is about the Candlenut Peranakan restaurant at Como Dempsey in Singapore.

Award-winning and Michelin-starred  Peranakan restaurant Candlenut has just opened at COMO Dempsey. Set amidst the lush greenery of Dempsey Hills, it is the first of four restaurants to open at COMO Dempsey.

PAOLA NAVONE DESIGNED 
THE CANDLENUT PERANAKAN RESTAURANT 
AT COMO DEMPSEY IN SINGAPORE


It's housed in a 4,262-sq ft restaurant designed by world-renowned architect and designer,Paola Navone, and the restaurant decor features a modern interior design concept while retaining intricate touches of the rich Peranakan heritage.

In its new and larger premises, Candlenut at Como Dempsey in Singapore will continue to serve up contemporary Peranakan cuisine that preserves the essence and complexities of traditional food, with astute twists that lift the often rich dishes to a different level.

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THE BEST PERANAKAN DISHES
AT CANDLENUT PERANAKAN RESTAURANT
AT COMO DEMPSEY IN SINGAPORE


Said Chef Malcolm Lee of Candlenut on the new location and dining concept: “Candlenut remains true to its commitment to continually create inspired and refined Peranakan dishes using the freshest seasonal produce available, without compromising on taste or quality."

The grilled prawn curry
at Candlenut Peranakan restaurant
at Como Dempsey in Singapore


Chef Malcolm Lee added: "We strive to recreate a dining experience reminiscent of Peranakan banquets of yesteryears – where myriad communal dishes are presented in small servings so that every guest at the table gets to taste a bit of the different rich flavours, contrasting textures and complex tastes – which adds up to the full-flavoured Peranakan dining experience. Every meal at Candlenut is a celebration of elevated Peranakan classics that everyone can enjoy. ”

The grilled fish
at Candlenut Peranakan restaurant
at Como Dempsey in Singapore


WHAT TO ORDER AT
CANDLENUT PERANAKAN RESTAURANT
AT COMO DEMPSEY IN SINGAPORE


In case you go, the favourites from Candlenut’s signature Peranakan Ah-ma-kase dinner tasting menu include the Red Lion Snapper Fillet with Black Green Mango Sambal and Ginger Flower, and the King Tiger Prawn with Fresh Chilli Sambal and Charred Garlic Chives  are now available on the a la carte menu.