Thursday, 4 June 2009

Binge – Step Forth to Chi Chi

Sometimes, we girls just have to kick back, relax and indulge in a bit of chi chi. Life can’t just be an endless circle of kids, hubs and work. Thankfully there are people out there who know this need and have answered the call to action! Where to tip toe through the tulips?

Tea at The Salon
First stop, somewhere near home….up the private stairs to the TWG Salon at Republic Plaza. Ensconced within wood paneled walls and elegantly bathed in natural light, this salon (don’t you just love the word!) is so very Betty’s of York and Pride & Prejudice proper, you just must stick up your pinky and stir something at once!

There are lists and lists of premium teas which TWG sources from tea gardens all over the world, and which they blend themselves right here in Singapore. (Indeed, it is a home grown brand, but you won’t guess by the supremely European branding.) Such magical names too – Love Me Tea, Sakura Sakura, First Kiss, Grand Emir, Place Vendome, Secret Needles, Gentlemen’s Blend (comes in a powder pink container - seems only the pink dollar and straight guys above 40 years old buy it), a minty refreshing Sexy Tea, a gorgeously light chocolate tea, the list goes on. Apart from blends, they also serve single estate teas and seasonal teas. Recently it announced the year’s first flush Darjeeling teas from the Himalayan Plateau, harvested by tea estates in the region from late-February to mid-April.

Sit and sip in elegance and share some dainty tea cuisine by Executive Chef Philippe Langlois – dainty pastries, ice-creams, tea breads, macaroons and some savories, all flavored and prepared with TWG teas. All very reasonably priced, too. Signature items include citrusy madeleines infused with Earl Grey Fortune tea ($8 for 3), buttery almond financiers infused with matcha and Singapore Surprise ($8.50), a wild strawberry and pastry cream tart infused with Vanilla Bourbon tea. The tea jellies are also must haves, served with every order of tea pastries. The salon also serves breakfast and light lunches such as foie gras terrine ($26), crab croustade ($18), smoked duck salad ($22) and other elegant morsels. A little retail section is a great place to pick up gifts or treats including teas by weight, beautifully packaged teas, tea pots and teacups.

BTW we hear they’ll be opening an outlet in the new Ion @ Orchard later this year.

9 Raffles Place
#01-22 Republic Plaza
Tel: +65 6538 1837

Over to London
A hop skip and jump away from Knightsbridge in jolly olde London, The Berkeley’s Pret a Portea rolls out its Spring/Summer 2009 Collection, a fashionista’s tea spread done in couture style. With inspiration from the London fashion week, the patisserie for the summer collection will echo the season’s trends of block colours, metallic, vibrant orange and exquisite summer chic. This time, it serves up a Josh Goot combination of strawberry panna cotta, mango crème and kiwi marshmallows, representing the current trend of block colours, an Alexander McQueen ‘Elvie’ chocolate truffle tote wrapped in mint flavoured marzipan, boasting vibrant summer green and the must-have of the moment, a Christopher Kane clementine bavaroise dress complete with signature over-sized circles, ticking this summer’s ‘orange’ trend box. The crown of the collection is inspired by a stunning new creation from Michael Kors featuring this season’s red and blue striped Regatta dress cake made out of rich Valrohna chocolate. For a souvenir, Prêt-à-Portea gift cards and notelets are also available, designed and illustrated by fashionable artist Anzu and come complete with pink tissue lined envelopes.

Prêt-à-Portea is served in The Caramel Room at The Berkeley from 1-6pm every day priced at £35.00 per person. (£43 including a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne, or alternatively for the fashion conscious, £49.00 per person including a glass of couture champagne)

Wilton Place
London SW1X 7RL
For reservations, call +44 20 7235 6000

Totally Girlie
All hail Barbie, The Ultimate Cougar! Still buxomy and fabulicious past 50. Soak in her style and be unapologetically girlie at Barbie Shanghai, six-level flagship store that’s a veritable shrine to this icon of chi chi femininity, which opened on Huaihai Road in March 2009. Mince your way over to the Barbie Café for all day dining, afternoon tea at the aptly named Pink Room, and for chin chins at the late-night hotspot B Bar.

The Barbie Café is an all-day restaurant where European glamour meets classic American diner, set up by Shanghai-based celebrity chef-restaurateur David Laris as consultant. Serious and fun food include Signature dishes like Fashionista Salad, of shrimp, fennel, mandarin, walnuts and mixed greens; Seared Tuna on Crispy Wontons served with red cabbage slaw; Mediterranean Lamb with Ratatouille; and Barbie, Ken and Kelly Burgers. After dins, gravitate to the sexy black B Bar at one end of the Barbie Café. Under a hanging mobile of Barbie icon cut-outs, sip on cocktails like Barbie Tinis and Malibu Barbies. On the fifth floor, Pink Room is a ladylike tearoom for classic high teas featuring contemporary sweets and handmade chocolates. A highlight here is the Fashion Runway, where little girls can get dressed up in a Barbie wardrobe while you can enjoy treats like New York Cheesecake, Strawberry Éclairs and High Tea Finger Sandwiches served on three-tiered silver stands, along with fine teas and coffees.

As frivolous as it seems, the three outlets were created by a dream team of consultants including David Laris, New York-based Slade Architectxcure and fashion designer Vera Wang. The outlets complement the Barbie retail experience, Spa and Design Centre which make a Barbie-infused dream-come-true for girls from three to ninety-three!

550 Huaihai Middle Road
For reservations, call +86 21 6171 6036
- By Ee Waun


Michelle said...

An enthralling shrine to Barbie who turns 50 this year! She still looks so glam and wrinkle-free. Must ask her for her aesthetic surgeon’s number or alternatively, make an appointment at the Barbie Spa!

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