All posts filed under: Travels

Akitu NZ Pinot Noir

London Wine Scene: Amazing NZ Pinot Noir Tastings, Denbies Wine Estate

It’s too hot to cook! These days I’m living on watermelon, cheese and ice cream, and occasional BBQ picnic. So, to fill the gap, I thought I’d write up a post about my experience while I’m still savouring in my mouth the flavours of delicious Indian, Thai, Italian, Spanish, French, Hawaiian food I scoffed down, while drinking copious amount of wine around the busy London city. First, I’ll start with my exam, because I know so many people are curious about it. The first classroom day was exciting to finally confirm that the fellow students, whose names appear at random online, were human not computer-generated avatars. After the exam and a short break, tasting workshops started and we evaluated a series of wines according to SAT (systemic approach to tasting). I really need to give credit to Chris, my level 3 instructor, for the very helpful SAT sheet he created. The students at my table rushed to take a photo of! A lot more emphasis was put on assessing the quality of each wine compared …

duck confit

Making Duck Confit at Home in Gascon Style: Ultimate Slow Food, A Tradition to Preserve

Yes, I repeat. Duck Confit is the easiest yet the most misunderstood food in the world. Let me explain why in this post and show to how to tackle the most sublime epicurean delight, which some might consider ‘too classic’. But as a devoted listener of A Taste of the Past, I have deep appreciation for traditional foods. This post inevitably made me dig into the album of the best moments in my life. It was supposed to be written before the duck season in February, or even earlier. Despite its delay, I thought I’d post it after tucking away my second batch of duck confit this week at the winery, in the deepest corner of the fridge, not to be tempted and open it up any time soon. It will sit there for at least one month to further develop the true confit flavours. If I can make duck confit with a small convection oven, so can you! Neither slow cooker nor sous- vide is required. Imagine numerous dishes I can make with this …

Kavala

Foodie Guide to Kavala via Alexandroupoli, Greece – Cross-Border Trips

I’m really smitten with the hospitality of the people in northern Greece. Since spring is not far away, Istanbulites might be planning a short escape for gastronomy and for the pantry. So I’m writing a compact foodie guide to northern Greece for locals and tourists alike, perhaps, Anzac tourists to Canakkale? It will be a shame not to make a trip while in Turkey, considering how easy and pleasant it is. It is so close, only 3 hours, from Canakkale, and the pleasure and the value for money is far greater than Turkey. This time I went with a Turkish friend(DE) and her father, and since it was their first time in Greece, I suggested visiting Kavala after Alexandroupoli so that they can experience something different. So what can foodies do in Alexandroupoli and Kavala? Let’s begin. Alexandroupoli – Idyllic Little Cosmopolitan Alexandroupoli is small and easy to navigate, making it perfect for a quick breather with peace and quiet, and food. It’s insanely close from Canakkale so I’ve already made three trips in the …

odettes

London Guide for Food and Wine: London Wine Week

I’m going through a phase these day, hence the silence on the blog. This May has been a particularly crazy month for me, involving frequent trips up and down. I’m glad it’s almost over and I’m looking forward to relaxing with good wines and food in June. This time of the year is the best time for wine enthusiasts to be in London. The London Wine Fair ended 3 days ago and the London Wine Week will kick off on Jun 5. When I was in London in March, I was surprised by the rising wine and culinary scene. There were so many new wine bars opened in the last 3-4 years and I felt sad to leave for the first time. So I thought I’d share some places I’d discovered for both visitors and locals. You could probably soak up the festive atmosphere in your own style by visiting these places if you can’t be bothered to follow up the event calendar. Or if you want something different. #1. Bottle Apostle As my primary focus was trying as many wines as possible, this …

Foodie Trip to Belgrade, Serbia: Discovering the Wines of Balkans

The last two weeks were a little hectic so I couldn’t blog, sorry! First, I’ll fill you in on my foodie trip to Belgrade. The surprise trip helped to refresh my head and relieve my cravings for food and wine. Let’s be honest, no one would consider Serbia as a foodie destination so my expectation was low, but we had a great time, eating and drinking for 5 days. The city was relaxing yet exciting, and the people welcoming. Everyone we stopped to ask for directions spoke English. Serbian food was all about meat, yes, but good meat, the juicy smokey meatballs! It itself served the purpose of going there since we’re quite deprived of meat in Turkey, especially pork. It was so ubiquitous that our pork-shy friend was left choiceless sometimes. We spoiled ourselves with all kinds of meat including venison, believing that not eating vegetables and salads for 5 days wouldn’t do any harm to humans, and it was a holiday after all. In case anything happened, there was Rakija to fix all health related issues so we had nothing to worry. Rakija actually surprised me big time. …

edirne

Weekend Break in Edirne: Food, Horses and Arda Winery

Hubby and I visited Edirne over the Easter weekend and came home with enough wine and cheese. It was a breeze to drive there from Canakkale and I’ve found some foodie secrets. But before food, let’s get over and done with the much-talked-about sight, Selimiye Mosque. There are three mosques surrounding the main square including Üç Şerefeli(three balconies) Mosque with three minarets in a unique Seljuk style. Selimiye Mosque… commissioned by Selim the Drunkard, is the magnificent masterpiece of Mimar Sinan. Yes, it was grand and different in style, the most distinctive feature being the 8 pillars, instead of the usual 4, supporting the gigantic dome, which surpassed that of Hagia Sophia in the diameter. Sadly, my food lens failed to take it all in. One of many myths about the mosque is the reversed tulip carved on one of the marble stands, and if you’re curious, look for it while admiring the intricate paintings and motifs. Another myth is that when you first arrive in the city from the Istanbul direction, you can only see two minarets(towers) and all four become visible as you …