Discovering Croatia

After almost 5 years of not having to do business travel, this year will be quite different.  In addition to the routine work trip to Bucharest, I’m glad that I’ve finally visited a new country AND learning new part of the business.

Recently I went to Croatia twice in the period of 4 weeks.  The first trip was to Zagreb and stayed for 3 days to close an Audit.  That means I didn’t get to see the city much except trying out some local food in the city centre.  So it’s quite uneventful.

For my second trip, I had to travel 2 hours by car to a small town named Virovitica.  The town is quite near to the Hungarian border, in the middle of no where.  The “hotel” is an old castle, 10 mins drive from office and only serve breakfast.  Luckily we had a rented car which means we were able to spend weekend in other parts of the country.

We managed to spend the weekend in Plitviče Lakes National Park, known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon.  The park was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979.  It was an amazing site and due to ‘winter’ timing, we only managed to visit part of the lakes.

Breathtaking beauty.  Highly recommended.  #waterfall #croatia #unescoheritagesite
Great view of the terraced lakes

Big waterfall #croatia #unescoheritage #waterfall Big waterfall

There’s lots of walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes.  There’s also bus service that brings you to different parts of the lakes if you’re not keen to hike.

Besides the National Parks, Croatia is also famous for it’s Adriatic coasts and not forgetting Dubrovnik (GoT – Kings Landing).  A few locals recommended a road trip along the coast to enjoy the beach and lagoons.

I will definitely go back with David to discover the country.

 

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Feb Favourite 2017

anna

I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered Anna Faris podcast – Anna Faris is Unqualified.  It is freaking hilarious!!

I’ve always been a fan of Chris Pratt and thus have been following him on Instagram.  I got curious when I saw on his timeline his wife presenting a podcast.

Anna invites her celebrity friends to join her in the podcast and it gets hilarious when her guests (quite a few comedians) answers her ridiculous questions and participates in an improv.  Then they take calls from stranger and try to give their ‘unqualified’ advice (hence the name of the podcast).

The podcast came in handy especially when I’m on business trip.  It really keeps me entertained while waiting to board the plane and getting to my destination.

My favourite guests so far are:

  • Russell Peters – Always been a fan of Russell.  In this episode he really open up about his sex ‘adventures’ and relationship experiences.
  • Jeremy Renner – Although he may came across as harsh when giving advice, you know deep down those are honest advice and sometimes the truth hurts a little.
  • Ken Jeong – This episode just made me laugh non-stop from the beginning.  Even the hosts were laughing non-stop.
  • Courtney Love – She sounds like she’s perpetually high.  But you can tell she’s genuine.

Yes, Madam Secretary

I’ve always wanted to Madam Secretary when I saw the trailer last year BUT we didn’t have any cable TV so it was quite difficult to get hold of it.  Not until now…..

Last week, miraculously I saw Season 1 box set available in Sky!  Instantly I downloaded it and started watching.  Then last weekend, I literally binge watch the whole season 1. lol

The things that got me hooked are:

  • Strong female character – The lead character (US Secretary of State) is independent and strong when required.  At the same time she’s vulnerable and honest just like any human being.  The writer didn’t make her a ‘superwomen’ which is refreshing to watch.  The biggest plus point for me is her character is not annoying like Olivia Pope in Scandal (cant decide) or Carrie in Homeland (cant stop crying).
  • Insight into US politics and inner workings in White House – Now this is not the first TV series to portray the inner workings of White House.  I used to love West Wings and recently there’s also been House of Cards.  Somehow the story line is modern and linked to the latest political situations of the world.
  • Tim Daly is a hot daddy!

Season 2 is starting this week in Sky Living.

No Impact Man: The Documentary

Can you live with sustainable zero impact on the environment for one year?  Well a New York based family of three did.

Watching this one the first day of 2013 does provide some perspective on our lifestyle.  While I cannot imagine living without going on holiday or buying things which will make me happy, I do think it is necessary to review our lifestyle to ensure we are not wasteful.

I highly recommend everyone to watch this documentary and reflect.

We’re in love with American BBQ

We had BBQ three times within 1.5 months!

Dav first discovered Pitt Cue Co last year summer time while reading about a review in Time Out.  The eatery started with a caravan in Southbank (We visited once), has now setup a restaurant in Soho.  We managed to visit the restaurant for the first time with a short waiting time and once again savour it’s famous pulled pork.

They dont take booking and the restaurant can only sit a maximum of 30 people.  So waiting is to be expected.  The menu consists of a handful of food (all meat of course) but they do it very well.  Besides the meat, one has to try their famous Pickleback (a shot of whiskey follow by a shot of pickle brine).  The draught, named “Whatever” is also very good.

Because we love it so much, we actually went back yesterday night for dinner with a friend after movie.  We had to wait for about an hour before we got a table.  Luckily the hour was spent by the bar drinking.

As usual we ordered too much food and had to takeaway the leftovers which was translated into today’s lunch. 🙂

We would highly recommend everyone to visit this place.

p.s: They serve beef as well Ms. AA.

My favourite, pulled pork with bone marrow mash. Its THE perfect combination.

Special of the day, pork loin with chipotle slaw.

Starter, pork ribs.

Pork scratchings, goes well with Pickleback and beer.

Lavender Cupcake

I’ve always love the lavender smell. Even our home’s odour spray is lavender. Then when I saw there’s a recipe for lavender cupcake in the Hummingbird Bakery book, I was keen to try baking it. To make this cupcake I need dry lavender to be infused with milk. It was quite tough to locate lavender in London. I gave up after a few months of looking and then totally forgot about it.

Then last bank holiday, I actually found lavender suitable for cooking and baking in Cotswold. Of all places! I didnt waste anytime trying to decide whether to buy it or not.

Finally last weekend I baked it. It was quite refreshing. I quite like it. The lavender smell was not too strong that overtook the taste of the cupcake. So that’s good. Dav and I brought some to work for our colleagues to try. Here’s some feedback I received:

  • Dav’s colleague: Tell Steph thank you for me. So delicious!
  • My colleague: Wah.. so sedap… very special (distinguished), taste and icing excellent but texture still anateur… good attempt! 

Entering the world of Harry Potter

Few weeks back, Dav & I visited the Warner Bros Studio London – The Making of Harry Potter in Watford. The studio opened at the end March and have received quite a lot of attention. When I saw that my company’s social club is offering half price entrance ticket + transport from London Victoria, there’s no need to think about applying. I was so happy when I got 2 tickets.

We set off from Victoria Coach Station at 8am on Sunday… way too early for us. But when I saw the bus we’re taking to the studio it was all worth it. We travelled across London in a specially decorated double decker bus. Although it looks amazing outside, when you’re inside, you cant see a single thing outside. Hence this makes the 1 hour journey slightly boring.

The studio is quite huge and it took us 3 hours to cover everything, including getting a cup of butterbeer. I wont divulge what we saw as it may give away the surprises. I’ll let you discover the studios when you visit.

More pictures can be viewed here.

I would highly recommend this place as one of the top attractions in London. Plus I wouldnt mind going back again especially with J when she comes back to London for a visit.