Wine left to right:, Monte de Peceguina ‘Tinto’, De Bortoli ‘Family Selection’ Cabernet-Merlot, Finca Las Moras,’Pacha Mama’ Organic Malbec, Monte de Peceguina ‘Rose’, Arthur Metz Pinot Gris, Monte de Peceguina ‘Branco’
My blogging adventures brought me to Bangsar Shopping Center’s The Pressroom recently for Winetalk’s Online Wine Shopping and Delivery service. You can check them out at winetalk.com.my and order wine from their extensive selection. The wine will be delivered to your doorstep by Room Service Deliveries.
Celeste started the afternoon by introducing the sommelier, David Stephan. He will be introducing 6 wines for us to sample with some food pairing. Anyway, you can order wine in bottles or get them in crates of 6 or 12 bottles. They are all selected and paired by David to guarantee your satisfaction. You can have the crate are automatically delivered to you monthly or every 2 months.
Also, if you are more adventurous you can try their Wine Journey. Wine Journey is an exclusive service that introduces wine explorer to new cases of wine hand picked by David. The case of wine will be delivered to your doorstep, you won’t know what wine you will be getting though. That’s the beauty of it.
We first had the Monte de Peceguina ‘Branco’ from Portugal. This white wine is from the Soares’ family’s wineyard. A fairly new business, they built a Top-of-the-art winery in 2003. The wine is abit too acidic for me. It is like a strong awakening into a superhero kinda feeling. Aggressive, sticky, sweet and rich. It’s a Port wine and the painting on the label is drawn by the Saores’ daughter.
I figure that this wine would be good in cold weather, when you want a rush of warmth before you have a meal. We had the roast prawn paired with this white wine.
The Arthur Metz Pinor Gris is the crowd pleaser for that day. The white wine won the girls over with its fruity sweet scent. It is a very light wine, gentle and with a lingering taste of sweetness. One thing I learned that day, grapes plucked earlier are more acidic and sour. The grapes for this wine picked 1 or 2 weeks later thus resulting in a sweeter taste.
I was really looking forward to the Rose’ wine. However, drinking the Monte de Peceguina ‘Rose’ from the Saores family alone result is a slightly bitter aftertaste. The acidity level is high as well. But when it is paired with any BBQ dish, the wine transform miraculously to becoming the best match ever. We had it with the Cold Cuts with bread.
Clockwise from top left : Roasted prawn, Duck and beef with pumpkin puree, Cold cuts with bread, Pepperoni pizza
The next wine Finca Las Moras, ‘Pacha Mama’ Organic Malbec from Argentina is a man’s wine. Heavy and comes in a dark, bloody red color. It’s the darkest wine of the day and the flavor is a precarious balance between bitterness and sourness.
De Bortoli ‘Family Selection’ Cabernet Merlot from Australia is a very complicated wine. I love this wine actualy, it has a very complex neutral tone to it, as if the process was done very carefully. It has a deliberate lingering taste of sweetness. Very slight though, and it smells like chocolate. An aggressive but enticing wine.
Our last wine of the day is the Monte de Peceguina ‘Tinto’ by the Saores’ family. The wine was aired and poured into a decanter for half an hour. It’s to let it breathe and to separate the aged particles from the lot. Therefore, the wine glass is also bigger to give more room for breathing. By letting it breath, the carbon dioxide bubbles form and the wine turn more flavorful in return. Basically only older wine needs to be given room to breathe like this.
The wine smells like sweet berries,it is light and lively.
Michelle and I at the event
Ok check out winetalk.com.my and order a crate today. Let me know if you have any questions!
Last week, I was invited to Marie France Bodyline’s blogger event- Woman behind Women. It was an exclusive event for bloggers to have a Q&A session with Amy Quek, Chief Operating Officer of Marie France Bodyline. I went there in hopes of clearing some myths that are circling around slimming centers.
For those who are not familiar with Marie France Bodyline, they are the market leader when it comes to body slimming and treatments in beauty enhancement. The branding has always been strong, with famous celebrity ambassadors and a worldwide franchise. Miss Amy is very gracious and charismatic, she represented the brand well by giving well thought answers to all the questions asked.
Emcee : What are your thoughts on aging?
Amy : As we age, our metabolism rate will reduce. Marie France gets to the base of this problem, which happens from having a sedentary lifestyle, bad diet and not exercising. Our technology help to increase your metabolic rate, wake up your body and promote detoxing in your body with our machines which are perfectly safe.
Emcee : Where did Marie France source their solutions for slimming technology from?
Amy : Back in the 80s, society were getting more affluent and we realized that the people need the right advice when it comes to their lifestyle. Right advice in terms of nutrition planning, exercise and keeping a youthful look. Since then we have over 20 centers in Malaysia. Over 25 years, we have invested alot of resources in the latest technology and counseling as well. We have a philosophy of 3 ideals – Innovative - we are constantly seeking new technologies. Cheerleaders - we have consultants and therapists to cheer our customers and guide them, encourage them to come for their treatment. Client’s compliance - the clients have to know why they are here for, we share their expectations and we encourage them to be realistic with their goals.
Emcee : What are the changes that are occurring when it comes to slimming trends?
Amy : Customers are more demanding, they want faster results. Hence our search for new technology. However, the fundamental core is still the same, all women want to look beautiful and feel more confident.
Emcee : Recently, Marie France has been involved with a movement to help single mothers, could you tell us a little bit about that?
Amy : We believe in sharing our prosperity and contributing back to society. We chanced upon the Single Mothers’ Association in Malaysia and we want to give hope to the single mothers and their life. We embarked on a journey with to to help them back on their feet, to get their appointments back in career. They lack the confidence and confidence is a huge part to life. We want to help restore that.
Emcee : There are many people who are afraid of the high price when it comes to slimming packages. Also, the pricing for the same package may be different across different branches. Can you help shed the light on this issue?
Amy : Back in September last year, we started a Price Transparency program. For people who are concerned about being short changed they can just come in to any branch and find out about the price. The price is the same across every branch. As a market leader, we are proud to say that we are the first to do it. We have been very satisfied with the results so far, customers know that what they pay is what they are getting. The pressure on price is off and now customers only have to worry about coming for the treatments and looking forward to looking good very soon.
Emcee : Thank you for clarifying that. There are also women that are worried about the package that they signed up for are going to get more add ons, hence slimming their wallet even more over time.
Amy : We do an analysis for customers who walked in. We go though your goals and expectations. All packages are transparent, systematic and catered towards the weight lost that you are aiming for. Consultations and analysis are free, you can try the services before you commit to anything. There are no fear at all, no worries.
Amy on Marie France Bodyline’s Philosophy
The first philosophy – Being Innovative
We are constantly searching for the latest technology. Our latest technology, Acoustic Radial Therapy ART uses high-energy rhythmic pulses to penetrate into the skin to target the connective tissues and fat layers. Then a vacuum therapy will exert a suction force that stretches and squeezes the targeted tissues to break the grid structure of fat cell chambers beneath the skin. It’s a complete fat reduction, inch loss and combined with the vacuum therapy, it can help you build collagen back again. It’s 30 minutes per session and you can see inch loss after just 3 sessions.
All our machines and equipment are FDA approved and endorsed by WHO. Other hospitals are using the same machines to treat obesity. All the machine is doing is stimulating the body to work like it used to when we were young. In the end, our body is the one doing the work- burning the fat producing collagen again.
The second philosophy – Cheerleaders
We ensure that our clients enjoy their journey with us. We spend alot of resources in training our consultants on how to answer calls, serve our clients, doing treatments and apart form sending them to training sessions, we do mystery shopping on our own branches to ensure that the team is in shape.
The third philosophy – Client’s Compliance
You can definitely feel a difference after one treatment, but it is not magic. It takes months and days to expel the fat away. Therefore the consultants plays a very important role in managing the client’s expectations. We have a nutritionist that gives advice to our clients and we even teach our customers what to look for in nutrition labels when they are shopping for food.
I asked some questions that have been plaguing me for a long time about slimming centers. I love to go prepared during an interview.
Haze : It is often believed that diet and exercise are the key to a slim and youthful figure. And there has been speculations that slimming centers charge a hefty price for their treatments, but still place an important priority on diet and exercise. In fact, most of our perceptions is that the success of the treatments often depend on the individuals’ diet and exercise. How effective are the treatments if they require diet and exercise in order to be successful?
Amy : Diet and exercise plays an important role in achieving your goals. I would say that it is a combination of all three that guarantees the success of the client’s objective. They need to improve their diet, exercise and show up for treatments if they want to achieve their goals. And this is why Client’s Compliance is very important.
Haze : The idea of a beautiful woman is a subjective one. For some, being fit with lean muscles is the idea of a beautiful woman. As we all know, muscle weights more than fat and if the quantitative measure of slimming success is weight, would your customers be advised from doing weight training?
Amy : I personally don’t believe that being pencil thin is beautiful. We want to promote a healthier lifestyle and we want women to be healthy. Our goals are a healthier you.
Haze : In the future, would you encourage your children to come for a slimming package in Marie France?
Amy : Usually, women who come to Marie France have confidence issues. If my children have confidence issues in the future, why not? It is not a weight loss program but they will be going for a spots reduction program. There is nothing harmful about that and I would definitely encourage them to go for it in the future if they have confidence issue.
Reiko also asked good questions that day.
Reiko : There are some slimming centers that keep prolonging the spots reduction program. They add on and on and it became never ending. The customer have to continue going for treatment and paying for it. Is Marie France packages like that as well?
Amy : When you come in for a consultation, we give you the expectations of your goal and how realistic it is. Consumers have to know what they want and discuss with the consultants. The consultants will then advice you, but in the end you are the one making the decision so you have to know what you want.
Reiko : There are also rumors going on that after someone finishes a slimming program, they will gain back double the weight after that.
Amy : That doesn’t happen in Marie France, the nutritionist help you to maintain your weight in the future. The results are there, but with the nutritionist’s advice you need to have the compliance to follow through. We don’t enforce a yo-yo diet or crash diet as the results never last for long.
Then I got curious and asked another question.
Haze : In Marie France, do customer return after they complete a treatment? What are the statistics like in terms of the number of women who manage to upkeep their body after completing a treatment? Let’s say out of 10 women who have completed the treatment, how many of them are still having the same body after 3 years?
Amy : Customers do return after they complete a treatment, but never for the same kind of package. They may have completed a spot reduction for their tummy, the second time they are back they are looking for spot reduction in other body parts instead. It’s a new goal. I do not have the statistics at hand but majority of our customers are able to have the same body after completing the treatment.
I am still waiting for the statistics.. Haha..
Amy’s advice to women :
For weddings :
Don’t do things last minute. Work backwards one year, if you have the intention to lose weight before your wedding make sure you have one year dedicated to do that.
For everyone :
Don’t start when problems appear. Prevention is always better. Other than slimming programs, we also have a nutritionist on hand to guide you and we have Maintenance Programs to assist you.
For young ladies :
Apart from promoting metabolic rate, we have a Body Shaping Program as well. We can target specific areas they they want to get rid off. Our machines can analyse your BMI and body fat percentage. A perfectly slim lady may not be slim as a result of their sedentary lifestyle. We have a cellulite check analysis for that purpose and can target those areas. We have different kind of treatments for various audiences.
Photos are from the Marie France Bodyline center in KLCC. What are your thoughts on slimming? Did Amy address to your doubts on slimming treatments and centers?
I often go to food reviews as a plus one, and they can be so long and boring. Most of them starts at 7.30 and ends at 10.30. Thats a long time to eat, sample and listen to ravings of the food. Then there are dinners that are just magical and enchanting. This night was one of them. We were invite to enjoy french cuisine at Nathalie’s in KL. Best french restaurant ever, by the way.. imho. That night, we get to experience french cuisine with beer pairing and beer in the recipe as well.
The highlight however, wasn’t only the food but the people attending the dinner. We were just chilling outside the restaurant when a pink leopard spotted pickup drove up. Leng Yein walked out of the car. This is my first time meeting her in person after hearing so much about her. She’s very friendly and nice, with an accent when she speaks english. The good kind of accent.
Before we were served dinner, Soren actually took the liberty to introduce each and every one of us to the room. I wasn’t invited per-say, but I came as KY’s plus one. However, I had worked with Carlsberg before when I was performing and painting murals with Paintlust. I am very happy that he introduced me as an artist and remembered Paintlust’s contributions. Very grateful for that.
We were joined by Terence, who is currently rebranding their wholesome liquids and Paul Manio, Kronenbourg’s Most Stylish Man, accompanied by Ying Nee. The night was full of fun and laughter thanks to these wonderful people.
Kimberley Leggett, Miss Malaysia Universe 2012 and Angel Wong Chui Ling, Food extraodinaire. She is amazing, we worked with her when Paintlust we performing for Sancora in Taiping. She can speak English, Cantonese and Mandarin fluently and is a marvelous emcee.
The food was every bit as fascinating as the night. French style king fish maki was the appetizer. Nom Nom Noms, there it goes and its gone in me. But seriously, Nathalie’s is very impressive and serves authentic French cuisine.
Before each dish is served, a video of the chef explaining how she created the masterpiece is shown to everyone.
I love the Hokkaido Scallops with the hidden Foie Gras underneath. Cooked with Kronenbourg 1662, the tantalizing arrangement was served on cabbage bubbly broth foam. Is love!!
Floating Somersby Apple Cider Sorbet was served to cleanse our palate between meals. The beer paired with this dish was the Somersby Apple Cider. Double the pleasure. The apple slice was paper thin and coated with heavenly sweetness, we requested for more crispy slices after that!
Main dish is Roasted Venison Tenderloin, coated with chocolate goodness- hazelnut tuile and thyme polenta. I’ve gotta admit, I am not fond of the Grimbergen Ambree but paired with this dish, it is perfect and brings out the heavy mead flavours that washes down the meat wonderfully.
Soren said that if we force foreigners to eat our durians, he gotta force us to eat their blue cheese. I couldn’t and hence, there is no photo of it. I tried, really. But the dessert, Homemade Brioche “Pain Perdu” is traaaa-rraaalovve! It’s mega comfort sweet goodness. The ice cream is made from Kronenbourg 1664, served o pear tarte tatin, apple and drenched in vanilla custard sauce.
The orchestra was flown? nah.. droved all the way from Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra and the dude with the guitar just can’t stop laughing. The vibe of the room rings of laughter. Is love! And lastly, we were served macaroons in shades of the Kronenbourg brand – french blue, vanilla white and love red.
I implore you to try this restaurant! Please! It’s at Menara Taipan.
Erin and I went for the Blogger’s event for the private first view of Senka, Ma Cherie and ZA in Shiseido’s main office. We were greeting by darling cupcakes and tea desserts while the lady was presenting the mega line up to us.
Japan’s Ma Cherie is a collection of hair care products that claims to give volume to flat hair, do some extensive repair and tame dry and unruly hair. It’s a common promise that all hair care brands declare but I find that the Hair Oil really does wonders to my hair.
The product is a lightweight hairstyling produced called Perfect Shower 60ml RM39.90, it comes in 3 types - Smooth for straight hair, Moist for adding moisture and Wave for curls. I tried it and it smells wonderful. It’s a new kind of hairstyling product that conditions your hair to look healthier, not the kind that sets it in place.
The packaging are still in Japanese, but now all these in the local stores they will all be in our local languages.
The Hair Oil RM39.90 is a lightweight leave in conditioner that repair and protects hair from styling tools’ heat. I used it and it tamed my curls immediately! The photo on the right is taken right after I used the product. Do you know that it is good to apply a conditioner similar to this just before curling your hair to reduce the damage of heat? Some products can even make your curls last longer and add a shine to the curls as well.
ZA is commonly found in pharmacies and their young lineup of models in their ads have targeted the young teenagers in Malaysia well. I always browse the makeup in pharmacies and owned a few ZA products myself. I think all of us have one or two when we were young.
The new ZA Killer Volume Mascara is a waterproof, clump free and smudge free formula that is also resistant to tears. The swatch is in the photo above, it dries fast and stay glossy black. I am currently using this everytime I makeup. The trouble with mascara is when you apply the second coat, the new coat clumps on to the previous dry coat. So for overlaying many coats, the formula needs to be relatively slow drying. But not that slow until it destroys your eye makeup when you blink. This mascara does just the trick. It dries right after I am done with 3 coats. Wee.
As for the Perfect Fit 2 Way Foundation in the lower right photo above, it claims to last up to 8 hours and gives a pore-less, smooth finish to your face. The sponge provided contain plant fibers that is gentle to skin.
The 3 eyeshadow palettes are all friendly swatches that is easy to mix and match for any occasion. I believe the pink palette will be the tricky one to use due to its darkest shade in plum red.
That’s the swatches for the eyeshadow palettes.
The Perfect Fit Concealer offers natural coverage for dark circles, spots, freckles and blemishes. As you can see above, the formula is non-cakey, non-drying which means it is slightly sticky. Something like Perfect Concealer or the Benefit’s Erase Paste. For formulae like this, make sure you have loose powder ready to set in the concealer. It will appear to be slightly glossy if you forget to do this.
Senka is a truly Japanese skincare brand that promotes safe and trustworthy products developed with advanced technology. The famous top selling cleanser in Japan, Perfect Whip Rm19.90 whips up a good bubbly foam that leaves your skin fresh and smooth after cleansing.
Their lightest makeup remover formula is the Perfect Gel RM 19.90, which promises a gentle cleansing solution for light makeup.
Perfect Watery Oil RM 49.90 is a makeup remover that works even with wet hands. It works wonderfully on mascara.
If you are looking for a makeup remover and cleanser all in one, try the Perfect Liquid RM 39.90.
A second facial wash after using this is not necessary. However, for a faster solution when it comes to blackheads, waterproof mascara and eyeliners, go for the Perfect Oil RM 39.90.
Erin was raving about their UV Protection Gel, the 27 pa is really lightweight and not sticky at all. It smooths evenly without any unsightly white patches.
These lotions are made from whitening essence. They contain vitamin c to brighten your skin tone and boast of a 96% satisfaction in Japanese consumers. They are both priced at RM 39.90 each. Don’t worry about the japanese words in the products, local pharmacies now hold these brands in local languages.
Ok beauty blogger signing off, artist signing back on. phew.
If you are staying in Ye Olde Smokehouse, make sure you have a telephoto lens. It’s perfect for the entire trip. There are birds that you can photograph unobstructively during breakfast. However, to enjoy their beautiful garden, a macro lens is essential.
Finding insects is a challenge, unless you consider flies to be a good subject. The wind sways the plants, making it difficult to hunt the insects with your lens as they keep moving about.
I think I need to seek another perspective to photograph flowers, I keep using the same angles and it’s so common. I love those misty, faded ones that we can find in tumblr shares.
I am also abit particular about my bokeh shapes now. They are abit fringy and not creamy enough. When it comes to composition, I find that following rules too strictly restricts creativity.
Am so bothered with the direction and lines in the composition, all the rules and I forget about what I am trying to shoot in the first place :p I love those photos with beautiful color schemes but everywhere I look, I just can’t see things the way they see it. Could be the inability to summarize getting in the way. tsk.
Anyway, I am thinking of converting my Sony Nex 5 to either an infrared only camera or an underwater camera. It can only go one way or the other. The underwater housing for the Nex 5 is really cheap, less than 400 ringgit. Converting it to infrared will means I can only use it rarely. But I so so love infrared photography.
I adore vines.. always wanted them to go with berries, flowers and leaves on a cottage. This is a direct result of reading too much Enid Blyton as a child.
I have gotten good response with this photo. Not sure why.. I don’t really have a special attachment to it. It could be it’s wallpaper quality?
This was a staple flower that grows everywhere. Back in university, we love to take shots of this.
Ye Olde Smoke House is located in Tanah Rata, a short drive up hill from the local town, Brinchang. The lovely bungalow cottage built in English Tudor style will charm you in its colonial ambience. Upon reaching the place, you will be greeted by a beautiful view of the smokehouse. Vast English gardens surrounds the provencal house and beautiful plants frames the architecture.
Upon entering, the service is warm and welcoming. The staff are well versed in English and will make you feel at home immediately. You are directed to your room which has no room number, but a name instead. So make sure you remember your room name. The rooms are scattered between floors, each floor just 3-4 steps away from each other.
This was our room during the stay. There’s a real fireplace! A sofa in the living room with a tv. And bathtub in the toilet. The usual are available – fridge, safe box and lo & behold – WIFI is available!
The smokehouse is famous for their scones, so make sure you try them after 11am.
Apart from the rooms, you will see sofas. Sofas everywhere. Fireplaces. Mantelpieces. Wall decorations. If your family is sleeping, no problem.. walk out and sit on the sofa right outside your room. It really feels like home. The exuberant use of fabrics in the interior design makes the stay so cosy and welcoming.
Below, you will discover a dining area. Food is available all day long, I had my dinner here. It was a memorable experience. I was just sipping red wine on a sofa, reading my book in my iPhone and was ushered to the table when my dinner was ready. The staff is very easily found and you won’t feel unattended. Oh, there is a vintage, rickety piano at the end of the hotel. It was my favourite hangout.
I could imagine a gathering of dear friends around that piano. Ok, thats abit getting into my personal dream. Well.
The garden is spacious and well taken care of. Benches and tables are available at every 300 meters. If you take a walk outside, you will stumble into their bbq restaurant just next door. At night, the chef cooks up a storm and you are welcomed to join them for a night of good food.
I would definitely recommend this place for your vacation. The rooms are around RM 400 for non peak season. Pretty reasonable, it includes breakfast. If you are looking for a good relaxing vacation, this is the perfect hotel for you. The only difficulty lies in leaving the hotel to explore the town as the hotel has a motherly way of keeping you at home.
Read about the food here
No. 64, Jalan 59 Off Jalan Pekeliling Tun Abdul Razak,
39000, Tanah Rata, Pahang