Saturday, 17 November 2012

My Newfoundlove: wooden heels

Wood works in wonders.
I have an immense fondness for wooden heels, especially the simple and adorable Swedish clogs ♥ There is  something beautifully unique about wood that makes it stand out. Its solid and sturdy structure blends in so well with leather that it brings about such an elegant appeal!
I would never have thought nor imagined of liking clogs at all. To me, they looked heavy and too traditional. This credulous thought was formed by a picture of these colourful and heavy duty clogs worn by Dutch maids in the medieval times.

The first make of clogs dates back in the 1500s in Holland. Handmaid by artisans, these were usually worn by the working class such as farmers and factory workers to protect their feet. Today, they come in various designs and have become a fashion trend showcased by some of the upscale brands such as Viktor & Rolf, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.

How about the original Swedish Hasbeens? Oh how I love the natural  High Peep Toe sandal and Jodhpur boots in chocolate!

In a cute little shop in the city, I found myself surrounded by wooden strappy sandals and boots. Like a kid in a lolly shop, my excitement couldn't be any greater that I tried so many pairs! Genuine leather straps came in red, blue, tan, orange, cream, and black. And guess what, I came home with these!

My eight month-old Swedish clogs by Funkis♥

I love how I can wear these with stockings in winter, socks in autumn and bare in spring and summer! 
They are surprisingly light and comfortable too. 
Funkis is an Australian brand that manufactures authentic Swedish clogs made of alder wood and lined with rubber grip soles.
These are my top picks:

Match this high plait sandal with skinny jeans

Natural leather and suede goes with any coloured clothing

Low sandal for an ultimately comfy casual day☺

A pair of wooden shoes is definitely a must-have!
Catch you later! 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Have a cup of tea and let your heart waltz with Crosby

If in London, I would go to the country side and relish the lush green fields, stay in a fine brick cottage, and delve into some tea and scones in a quaint little tea house. If in Rome again, I would search for cafés in narrow alleyways and find my cure in a cup of cioccolata calda. For it is in the humblest feature that I rest in the warmth my heart needs, and it is in the most hidden quiet places that I find the greatest luxury and serenity I desire.

The cold clammy season is gradually easing in, and in no surprise cafés get twice the buzz with people flocking in for some  good warmth in a cup. It however seems considerably rare to find a tea room or café that imposes the feel of being in a different yet familiar place your essential nature least, for a curious shell like me. Sydney is my home, and in many ways despite the incredible buzz it can make, it never ceases to inspire and surprise me. In saying so, there is a solitary place where you can indulge in heavenly sweets, endless rounds of tea and a pampering ambiance. Such is the remarkable Tea Parlour, a rare hidden gem in the heart of Sydney.

As a food and tea enthusiast, I search for places one can have an exceptional experience that is worth every penny. From a fortunate degree, stumbling upon Tea Parlour is one that I consider historical. I feel, think and talk about it after a fruitful validation of its excellence. Perhaps you might too ☺

Walking into Tea Parlour is like stepping into the glorious Victorian era, mature and delicately feminine in its prime. The small room is blooming in sophistication, from antique mahogany upholstered chairs to fine bone china. It was utterly beautiful and astonishing, just like the owner Amelia Ruby Hepburn who has painstakingly collected every detail in the room.

Amelia. Photo by Ken Hughes-Parry

floral drop arm sofas 
ivory drapes on the ceiling
a crystal chandelier...

and menus in hardbound classic novels 
*very clever!

High tea is of course the parlour's specialty. For $20pp you get a lovely big scone, a selection of delicious cakes and pastries, cucumber sandwiches, and bottomless tea. Bottomless tea??? Oh life is sweet! This is by far the only place I know that is very generous with food and hot water. I could not help but knit brows when I get served a pot that only gives me a cup and a half of tea for more than $4!  But in Tea Parlour, not only can that amount serve about six cups of tea, but there is also over eighteen exotic blends to choose from! I might add another wonder about this place. Aside from running the business on her own, Amelia also cooks and prepares everything by herself ☺

High Tea for two: A humble triumph on a plate

These carefully molded scones were almost as big as my palm! With some homemade strawberry jam and fluffy cream, these soft and delicate scones simply melt in your mouth. A delightful experience in every bite! Monk pear tea goes incredibly well with scones too.  Influenced by my Scottish friend, I have made Earl Grey a staple at home and out. But now I must say, I am loving monk pear all the same! A subtle fruity blend of light bergamot, jasmine blossoms and crisp pear flavours. Hmmmmm!

Homemade and heavenly

The beautiful Amelia always wears a smile on her face, especially when she laid this two-tier cake stand filled with her delectable creations on our table. It stands with pride, and so it should.

Indulge! Whatever is left, you can take home ☺

Lemon tart. Love at first bite ♥

Nestled within the border of a vintage-y stylish suburb Surry Hills, Tea Parlour extends the entire experience of vintage with cruising harmony and melodious vocals. Aaaah! My heart flutters as I sip my tea and hear the charming Bing Crosby! I knew only too well the bliss in that moment. It truly transports you to the olden days where women are ever so modest in their elegant frocks, and fine men so earnest in their love for a woman and their country. It transports me to the colourful and happy days of my grandparents  very meaningful.

There is a rare sense of satisfaction in the depth of my perception. Amelia has inspired me to continue my teacup collection and hopefully own a café in the future. Her passion resonates in every corner of the parlour. Her collection, independence, cooking, and generous serving make Tea Parlour a genuine treat for the humble soul.

Tea Parlour
569 Elizabeth Street, Redfern NSW 2016
0414 335 224
Open Friday-Sunday *weekends by appointment only

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Speak to On SDC's 2 One Another

Listen. Take my hand. We'll go together. Confused. Why? Isolation. Trust. Attachment. Passion. Pain. Love. Courage. Conviction. Freedom.
I found myself on the edge of my seat in complete astonishment as these magnificent bodies unfold on stage. 

Friday, March 23, 2012 marks my very first time to set foot on a Sydney Dance Company performance. Long have I waited for this moment. Honestly, the thrill and excitement I had that night was sky high! It felt like I was about to participate in a dazzling royal experience! 

The 896-seat theatre was packed, almost a full house. You would imagine the whole clamour in the room but when the light slowly dimmed, silence took its triumph. The curtains gradually unveiled the dancers. It was such a stunning picture! They began in darkness, with simple and minimal yet precise movements in unison. There wasn't any musical accompaniment as yet which I believe held the attention of the audience to a captivating feel in the subtlety of each movement. 

There were sixteen dancers, sixteen of the best ones in Australia. The physique they hold is evident of years of constant training and faithful health maintenance. I could tell you from my view how incredibly sculpted their bodies were. Their fully toned limbs exude unparalleled power and grace all at once. 

From the center of the stage, the dancers gradually evolved in pure refinement on all points of the set. Leaping, crawling, bodies interweaving, I found it very challenging to keep up. The intricacy of the dance has taken place. There was always something happening on every corner of the scene. The adrenalin was constantly present, rising and dropping in various levels. The music was gripping, lights were exhilarating. I would literally say, I was left on the edge of my seat. I truly felt the powerful intensity rushing through my veins.  But choreographer, Rafael Bonachela's brilliance comes to be even more surprising when all these scenes come together and once again form a synchronized flow. 

In this performance, each dancer has a story. They channelled me into their world, where every story is a microcosm in the lens of human interactions.  Bonachela says he began this work with a simple idea of “how we entered into this world with nothing, from that point on we are shaped by our experiences and relationships with the people we meet". The emotions when interacting with other people could be subtle and intense, even our relationship with ourselves. It's amazing how this simple fact could be made as a concept of a fresh and new creation, transformed into a beautiful work of art, a masterpiece. 

I couldn't help but reminisce on my dance performance at the Opera House back in 2007. We had some similar concepts such as a collage of minimal movements and intricate sequencing of scenes. It wasn't easy to do at all, but I miss it. It was a beautiful experience. Aaah, contemporary dance is bound to ignite our hearts!

Dance speaks in volumes. What does it tell you?

Listen. Take my hand. We'll go together. Confused. Why? Isolation. Trust. Attachment. Passion. Pain. Love. Courage. Conviction. Freedom.

Let dance take you on a journey.