Monday, December 23, 2013

Breakfast at The Delaunay @ London

We visited a friend in UK over the weekend and I was given the responsibility to look for a nice place where we can have a satisfying English breakfast. Most of the time, I would have breakfast at the hotel where I am staying during my working trips to London and this time I had to do a little research on the net to find a breakfast place.

My first choice was Wolseley at Piccadilly but it was fully booked as usual and my second choice would be at The Delaunay as it was at Aldwych in Covent Garden which is quite convenient for us since we took a tube from Marylebone station.

The Delaunay was certainly impressive right from the doorstep. At the main door, there is a smartly dressed man in thick dark blue jacket with golden buttons and a hat that opens the door for you. As we enter, there is a lady at the reception that shows us to our seats. The restaurant is very stylish and with an old charm. I like the black and white tiled floor and classic furnishing.

We were seated near the bar counter and waiters dressed in white shirts with a black vest asked for our orders. Of course English tea is a must! Luc had a Wiener Kaffee (£4.50) which is a large espresso with whipped cream. It was really delicious but "fattening" too!

Too bad the breakfast menu is only until 11am and we had to take the brunch menu. It's quite similar to the breakfast menu minus the big English breakfast. Our friends ordered a smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (£14.95) which looked really delicious. I was a little greedy and ordered a Kassler Ham with Fried Egg (small £5.75) and a chicken and noodles soup (£7.50). The breakfast was really simple but it was delicious and well presented. A bowl of soup on a cold morning is soooo comforting! That's probably an "Asian" thing to do.

Luc ordered an Egg Arlington (£18.00) which consists of 2 poached eggs with salmon and a bread base. The egg was runny and yummy!

For some reason, our friends find it difficult to leave this place without a sweet ending. They ordered a plate of Pancakes with Maple syrup (£7.50) to share. I find it hard to resist the temptation before me and I had a taste of it. It was a really good pancake, fluffy and soft. One bite after another... this is how good it is!

We had a really good breakfast and after that we walked to Covent Garden and it's already decorated with Xmas decorations. There is a big Apple store nearby which is really nice to visit and after that we went to Bond Street for some serious shopping.

The Delaunay

55 Aldwych
London WC2B 4BB
United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7499 8558

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Opening senses at Pastorale @ Reet, Belgium

One couldn't help but notice the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Belgium. I was told that today, there is a total of 121 of these restaurants scattered over the country! Isn't that a delightful news to the foodies who are visiting Belgium or those staying here?!!

One of them remains as Luc's favourite. The Pastorale in Reet, founded by Bart de Pooter, whom is also the chef and Executive Director is a 2 Michelin Star restaurant with a humble front. If you pass by the restaurant building on the outside, it looks like a regular classic building but it has a very eye-catching gold statue of a laughing man on the right side of the entrance. As you passed by the entrance, the laughing man starts to make laughing noises and it's quite funny. 

The Pastorale gave me an artsy-fartsy feeling about this place. Upon entering the main door, there is an automatic sliding glass door that leads to the dining area. In the dining room, one is mesmerised by the unequal wooden slats that are nailed horizontally to the wall from one corner to the other. This is the creation of Arne Quinze whom started out as a Belgian graffiti artist. On the walls, one could not but notice the video installation of Arne Quinze's works which is called EYE.C.U and EYE.LIP.U running across 16 screens in the restaurant. The video features an arty extraction of eyes and lips and its movements, opening up one's senses and emotions.

The Menu. Luc is browsing through the 1-inch thick Wine List!

Pastorale succeeds in creating an interesting dining experience to its patrons. From the moment I stepped into the restaurant, I felt that there is something different about this place. I like the space created in the dining hall, the table that overlooked the finely-trimmed garden and an intriguing golden statue of a music conductor in an astronaut suit. The menu itself is a piece of art that needs a little decoding. If you ask for a wine list, be prepared to browse through for at least 20-30 minutes due to the vast selection. That is not all for Pastorale has an impressive spirits list including Gin I have never seen before and also a fine whisky list. One can even have a taste of Brora for less than 20 Euros.

With Bart de Pooter whom was so nice to come over and have a nice chat with us. This is the second time I met him and the first time was at his 2nd restaurant WY at The Mercedes House in Brussels which he had obtained a 1-Michelin Star since opening it one year ago. Well done Bart!

Amuse Bouche was a plate decorated with Scheermesje (Atlantic Jackknife/Bambo Clam) with Citroen sauce and mussels with a celery sauce. Amongst the decoration were fried whitebait and also seaweed. I love the presentation as it gives me a feeling that I'm by the sea. The pot of breadstick with sesame seeds, peas and hummus was really delicious. Even the butter, salt and pepper resembled pots in the garden. A pair of scissors is provided for us to cut the green leaves from the little pot when we savour the bread.

This restaurant serves probably the best bread I've ever eaten in a fine-dining place as the bread was made with fresh ingredients and natural yeast from the air and not the commercial yeast for bread. It is served with a special Olive Oil selected by the chef and bottled specially for the restaurant. The bread was so good that I told the staff that I would like to have it for breakfast and they were so kind to seal two breads in a bag for me before we step out of the restaurant!

These 2 dishes are still the amuse bouche. The top dish is a salad of duck confit, bulgur (a cereal food made from the groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat), with a smoked mozzarella from Italy. I like the cereal textures of the dish and the mozarella binds them together. The 2nd dish is a marinated scallops served with a cream of carrots and curry decorated with pickled vegetables. The curry flavour is very subtle but it's a nice combination with the fresh scallop.

Finally after an hour and a half, we are served the first dish of the 4-course Bizz lunch (EUR60). This is a smoked pigeon, cream of celery, pickled onion and carrot with ice-cream of mustard. I must say the taste is as good as it looks. It looks like a funny combination but I love the contrasting textures the chef creates with this dish as the vegetable flakes are crispy, the ice-cream of mustard is creamy and the taste was very subtle. A good combination for the smoky pigeon cubes.

For my main, I chose a fish dish while Luc chose a pork dish. The Pike-Perch was served with a celeriac sauce, girolles mushrooms and hazelnut. The nutty flavours of this dish matches the fish really well as the fish was really fresh and the flakes of meat was juicy and sweet.

This is Luc's main which has slices of pork loins slightly smoked, speck and lard and parsnip puree. It was equally delicious. The dishes here are not only well presented on the plate for the pleasures of sight but the taste is equally satisfying. Bart focuses on seasonal ingredients and freshness which brings out the wonderful tastes of the dishes without overwhelming the main focus of the ingredient in every dish.

The dessert gives me a feeling of autumn which the brown-coloured ingredients and crispy crepes of muscat resembles the falling leaves from the branches. Served with an ice-cream muscat, caramel, walnuts and white chocolate. Lovely sweetness balanced out with the nutty flavours.

We were served with a surprise dessert. As I was lamenting how unfortunate that I had to miss Luc's My Tribute Glenfarclas 1968 dinner here at Pastorale last year and how much I heard about the Glenfarclas 1968 ice-cream but never tried it, the dessert chef made the exact one they had last year for us at lunch! It was really sweet of them and I finally had a chance to try one of the most expensive ice-cream made with the precious Glenfarclas 1968. It was really good, creamy and had a slight taste of whisky with sweet and bitter notes which paired very well with the dark chocolate. Well done!!!

The sommelier, Jon Stalmans is a very friendly guy with a passion for wines and whisky. During the whole time, he chatted with us and at the same time introducing some nice whisky from his selection since he knew Luc was into whisky. We had a dram of the Bowmore 1968 Tasttoe of which there is only 24 bottles out there at EUR36/dram. Damn.. it is a great whisky and a good finish. Ouch... the pocket hurts...

If you think that's the end of the meal, they came with a white-matted-porcelain box with a few pieces of chocolates on it. Those chocolates were really delicious. Just as when I opened my big mouth and asked "Is that all?", lo and behold, the staff opened the top layer of the box and it revealed more chocolates! Some of the chocolates are made with Pierre Marcolini chocolate and they really taste so good!!

We love the place so much that we went there for lunch twice in a week! After the Lindores Whiskyfest 2013, we brought our guests from Singapore and Malaysia (Emmanuel, Arun, Ben, Michael and Li Ling) there for lunch and again the staff surprised us all with an ice-cream made with the Glenfarclas 1968. After a 4-hour lunch, we all went home stuffed and lazy.

Pastorale indeed supersedes my expectations. The service was good, the staff were friendly and the ambiance is really nice too. Most importantly, I knew what I was tasting.

Pastorale Restaurant
Laarstraat 22, 2840 Reet
tel: +32 03 844 65 26

Friday, November 01, 2013

Rejuvenate at Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat @ Tambun, Ipoh

For someone like me who have been born and raised in Ipoh for 17 years, I have not truly discover Ipoh unlike some tourists who had only spent a few days there. Well, I know Ipoh is famous for its delicious hawker offerings at very affordable prices but little do I know that Tambun, which is just 15 mins from the city is situated on a 16.59 acre valley full of picturesque limestone hills and beautiful sights. No wonder, the place now has been developed into hotels, tourists attraction and residential by the Sunway Group.

A hidden gem in Ipoh

It was my first time discovering the area of Tambun and it was also Luc's first trip to Ipoh. He had heard so much about my hometown and I wanted to make Ipoh a surprise trip for him. I was looking through the internet for hotels and I finally bit my tongue and decide to book 2 nights at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat even though its prices per night is ten times the rate of the budget hotel I stayed in Ipoh.

We were asked to hit the gong to announce our arrival to the resort..

Check in time is at 3pm. Upon checking in, we were shown around the resort in a buggy by one of the hotel staff while our luggages are being sent to the villa. There are altogether 25 villas and even though the resort is running at full occupancy, I hardly see any guests wandering in the resort compound. I wonder why...

Just in half an hour from our first step into the resort, Luc already wanted to extend another night and we did!

 Lush greenery, large Thermal spring lake and waterfalls within the resort

We were then ushered to our Water Villa after a tour around the resort. The water villa is nestled on a water lily pond and it has a open roof concept for the living area and pool but a closed bedroom and bathroom area with air-conditioning. The private pool is more for dipping than swimming due to its size and there is also a thermal bathtub with jacuzzi. How cool is that?!!

 The villa is well-furnished and big...

Your very own geothermal tap for a dip in the private bath!

To make the trip more memorable, I arranged something special for him. I asked for rose petals on the bed, champagne, chocolates and roses. And the staff did it really well. Luc was really surprised and I'm glad he really like it. Well, that's the romantic side of me...

What I like most about this resort is that you don't have to worry about losing the room keys as the keys come in a form of a waterproof bracelet with chip. We even wore the bracelet for hotspring pool dipping and it's all fine! The Ipoh famous pomelo is complimentary and we are advised not to leave any food in the open living area for monkeys will be eating them. Luc fell in love with the Labu Sayung that holds our daily drinking water from the natural springs which the hotel will gladly offer it to the guests at RM100 a piece. It is said that the pot has cooling effects on the water and it also cure cough and fever. Well, we did try it out and the water in the Labu Sayung has a refreshing cooling effect and it does help with Luc's cough. A drive along Jalan Kuala Kangsar, you will find the Labu Sayung on sale at the pottery shops for RM18 each. We bought 2 and there's still a lot of money left for delicious hawker food!

So what can one actually do in a resort like this?

Well, I think I can just stay here all day and do nothing! We both take this trip as a rejuvenating trip with lots of indulging especially in Ipoh hawker food. In the resort itself, there's a steam cave which works exactly like a sauna but this one here has natural steam from the hotsprings in an enclosed cave. After a nice steaming session, you walked out from the cave and straight into an ice pool filled with ice-cold water. I nearly die from a freeze-attack. For those who enjoys yoga and meditation, there's a crystal cave (filled with crystals and positive energy) and also a meditation cave for that purpose. Along the thermal sprig lake, there are 4 dipping pot filled with water from the hotspring and also a tap for you to adjust the temperature of the water. We first started with 41°C but after a while we got used to the hot temperature and we tried the hottest pot and it was fine! After dipping, we turn on the shower head above the pot for a cold shower and it feels so good...

Of course you cannot just dip yourself in a hotspring pot the whole day. There's also a gym and Spa centre in the resort which provides the usual massages, spa packages, facial and manicure and pedicure services but this one here also provide a few unusual treatments like aqua treatment (using hydrotheraphy), antioxidant restoration therapy, colonic therapy (which cleanses your colons), Qi healing and also acupuncture. Luc went for the colonic therapy which costs RM300 for a-45-minute treatment that involves cleansing of the colons with a machine and at the same time there will be a staff to monitor the progress and to massage the points on the feet that affects the digestive system. I, on the other hand went for a nice head and shoulder massage! hehehe... The service provided is very good and professional and I like the fact that my masseuse has good massage techniques that releases the tension from the muscles of my shoulders.

In the morning, especially after a rain, it's very nice to walk along the thermal spring lake as you can see the hot water vapour rising from the surface. At night it can look a little eerie... Every morning there will be yoga lessons held at this platform and also a jungle walk activity.

The most-talked about Jeff's Cellar in this resort is indeed a sight to behold. It is only opened from 9pm to 11pm daily and one night, we decide to check it out after dinner. The cave is indeed beautiful especially with the special lighting that accentuates the cave. It is a big cave with many sitting corners for privacy and also interesting cellar that showcases bottles of wine stuck in the holes on the walls of the cave. One can enjoy a bottle of wine or even cocktails here. It is also told to us that Jef has a collection of a thousand over bottles of wine here and the cave was actually a gift from the Sultan to him. What an impressive cave but I still think Luc has a better collection than him. lol..

Our breakfast of Egg-benedict and half-boiled eggs at Pomelo restaurant...

Actually I was quite disappointed with the restaurant in the resort. The Pomelo serves a very healthy menu but it is just not my cup of tea. There was one night that we both wanted to have dinner in-room but there was nothing in their limited in-room-dining menu that we both felt like eating and thus every night, we drove out to town for some delicious and cheap hawker food! Of the 3 mornings, we only dine once in Pomelo for breakfast and there were only less than 10 guests but our breakfast took more than 45 minutes to be served. Service was slow and we were not impressed at all at the food. That is the set-back of the resort.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay here very much. Upon checking out, Luc already made a booking for our next trip here during Chinese New Year! Although it may seem a little far by Ipoh standards, a mere 15 minutes drive to the city is really a breeze! This is not a sponsored post as we paid for the bills and it is worth every cent for the wonderful scenery and peace that lies within a small city called Ipoh.

The Banjaran Hotspring Retreat
1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, 
Perak, Malaysia
Phone:+605 210 7777

Friday, October 04, 2013

Puerto Banus @ Marbella, Spain

We were recently in Marbella, Spain for Luc's brother's wedding. I have only been to Valencia, Bilbao and Madrid and thus going to Marbella is a new experience for me. It's really a popular destination for many Belgians as the flight only takes 2 and a half hours from Brussels airport and many Belgians own a holiday home in Marbella due to warm weather. From 11 degrees Celsius in Belgium, we arrived in Marbella with 26 degrees Celsius. That's a escapade from cold weather.

We hired a Fiat 500, a very cute car for just EUR8 a day from Firefly where they have a car rental office at the parking area of the Malaga airport. Yes, the rental fees is cheap but that does not include the full coverage insurance (EUR35) and also the payment for a full tank of petrol (EUR60). You can practically send the car back with an empty tank. In the end, it's not really that cheap. It's quite easy to drive in Marbella, partly because we have a GPS and also Luc has been there a few times before.

 Puerto Banus is one of the must visit places in Marbella. This is a marina located in the area of Nueva Andalucia and many of the big and beautiful and luxurious yachts are docked here. Around the marina, there are many bars, restaurants and expensive boutiques which is a popular place among celebrities and the rich and famous. A common sight here is the cars. There is never a lack of cars like Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley and many other sports cars. Afterall, only the rich has yachts.

The bars and restaurants here are quite happening. Many people enjoy a drink here watching people and also the wonderful yachts. After a long walk, a mojito is necessary! The Sinatra Bar is quite popular here and it was already opened since 1977!!! That's a long time ago...

What I love about Puerto Banus is that it is a very beautiful port with amazing view of the terrains and crowded buildings in white by the sea. The weather was cool and it's perfect for a day out!

And of course I don't mind owning a yacht this size.

Looking for a dinner venue is not difficult as this place is filled with restaurants. One of the places that Luc recommends that we visit was Lamoraga. It's a contemporary restaurant serving Spanish cuisine and it used to be packed and reservation is not easy.

However, that night Luc and Peter felt that the food offerings were not so good anymore. To top it up, we could get a reservation easily and the quality of the food has gone down. To me, this restaurant does not have a wow factor for me but it's okay. We had a great night nevertheless dining and chatting and sipping our wine. The night went by in a breeze.

Marbella is really a nice coastal town. Hopefully we can return soon!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Tomintoul 1968 (Thosop) is MORE than just Whisky

It all starts with an appreciation for whisky that turned into a love story.

Sometime last year, I met Luc for the very first time in Singapore at The Auld Alliance (to be exact) for a whisky tasting on Thosop Handwritten Labels and I fell in love with the man his bottlings. When I reflect on this, I find it funny that how come we have never met even when we have been friends on FB due to a passion for whisky more than a year ago prior to the tasting in Singapore. And in Jan, we met again in London and that's where cupid planted a love arrow in both of our drams.

Emmanuel from Auld Alliance, Me and Luc Timmermans

I remembered the first few whisky that I tasted in Auld Alliance with Luc were these bottles...

Tomintoul 1967 43yo 49.3% Bourbon Cask #5426 Thosop
Port Ellen 1982 - bottled 2010 56% Thosop
Glenfarclas 1968 bottled 2011 cask #697 47.5%
Glenfarclas 1968 bottled 2010 cask #702 & #5240 49.7%

And therefore, it is no surprise that this Tomintoul 1968 is the choice of Luc Timmermans for his new and upcoming Thosop Handwritten Label. Everyone in the industry knows his affinity towards good quality whisky and the year 1968. It was his birth year and also the vintage of six Glenfarclas casks that he has bought and bottled. 

An introduction of Luc himself is a little extraordinary. He is not from a whisky-making family nor is he an owner of any distillery but he carved his name in the whisky world through humble beginnings and great passion for the "water of life". 

Luc's Thosop bottling carry an iconic handwritten label which notes his experience with each of the whisky. Sadly, the Tomintoul 1968 handwritten label is the oldest cask he has ever bottled and it is also his last cask. And for he has also fell in love with Malaysia and its diversity, my very home country, we decided to dedicate this bottling exclusively for the Malaysian whisky lovers. Together, we had chosen this Tomintoul 1968 which yielded only 198 bottles to be the final bottle to complete the range of 18 handwritten labels.

The Tomintoul distillery is located in Ballinloch in the Speyside region of Scotland. Founded in 1964, the distillery is located in an astoundingly picturesque Glenlivet estate surrounded by a diversity of flora and fauna. The distillery also stresses that they uses pure spring water drawn from The Ballantruan Spring. It is said that the clean air at an altitude of 345m where the distillery is located, and also the purity of the water contributes to the smoothness and easy drinking of the single malt whisky. In 1974, the first official bottling for Tomintoul was launched with a 12 year-old vintage and today, we are so lucky to have found this gem which was distilled in 1968 and only bottled 45 years later.

Luc has also personally written his tasting notes on this whisky and this is what he thinks about this Tomintoul 1968.

Tomintoul 1968/2013 (45 years old)

47.9%, Thosop Handwritten Label for Malaysia, 198 Bottles Only

Nose: Very smooth and fruity.  At first I get some melon, banana, and tangerine with a fine touch of pear. After this you get some green tea notes, grass and wet hay with a touch of leather.  All are perfectly integrated.

Palate: First mouth attack is nicely sour and a bit oaky but the fruitiness comes thru showing banana and oranges mixed with some liquorice and green tea.

Finish: Juicy, long and a bit dry with hints of green tea.

A fine 45 year old Tomintoul expression that makes you want to take a sip after sip.

We hope that many single malt whisky lovers will love this bottle. It's our everyday dram because it's so easy drinking and it reminds us of how whisky brought us together even though we are from different parts of the world! There's more to this bottle than just a single malt whisky. While this may be the last cask of Thosop Handwritten Label but it's the beginning of a love journey. 

Slainte mhath, Luc and Eiling.

*Please write to if you are interested in getting a bottle.

Related Posts:
A Night with Luc Timmermans
The "My Tribute" Glenfarclas 1968 by Luc Timmermans

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Romantic Day in Paris

The last trip to Paris has been a really romantic journey. From arrival to departure, Luc really made me feel like a princess. I arrived on Air France to CDG at 6am and had to wait for my luggages for 40minutes (even with SkyPriority) and that is the longest wait I ever had for a holiday trip. That is one part of traveling that I dislike. As I walked out of the arrival hall, there was already a guy waiting for me with my name and he carried my luggage, and then drove me to the hotel in a nice Mercedes. I was relieved that I don't need to queue for a taxi after a long flight! It was really thoughtful of Luc to arrange that.

We stayed at Hotel Du Louvre which is just next to the Louvre because I told him that I would like to visit it. It was a small, nostalgic but cosy hotel with windows that opened to the streets. That morning I arrived, he arranged for a typical Parisien breakfast to be served in the room. The croissants were really crispy and delicious. And in the evening, after we returned from dinner, a surprise awaits me in the room. There were rose petals on the floor and also on the bed, forming a nice heart shape. On the table, there was a bottle of chilled Krug champagne and it was all arranged by my sweetheart. He knows I like Krug and that was so lovely!

Since Luc knows Paris pretty well, he took me to some places that I had not been. First we wanted an afternoon drink and light food and he took me to Harry's New York Bar which is celebrating its hundredth year anniversary. I know that the name doesn't really ring a bell especially it's located in Paris but this bar is no ordinary bar. This place is filled with old and rare whisky goodies. It's also one of the favourite bar for the whisky boys. The selection that they have is amazing with Macallan dating back to the 50's. They do not serve food before 6pm and they also do not have a menu for the whisky. If you want to know what they have, you will just have to walk to the display cabinets and also the bar. Everything from the deco to the bartender is vintaged.... *smiles

In the evening, Luc made a reservation at Le Baudelaire at Le Burgundy Hotel at Rue Duphot which is just 10 minutes walk from the hotel where we are staying. The restaurant serves a gastronomic cuisine with Parisian influences and it received its one Michelin Star since its opening. We took the Tasting Menu which costs  210 comes with wine pairing and I must say that the wines are pretty good and I am very satisfied with the wines they served. 

The 1st course of Joel's summer vegetable salad with celery salt, aigo boulido and young salad leaves was well executed and I like the creativity of the chef in the ingredients used as well as the food presentation. He plays with a lot of different salt and soury flavours which unfortunately does not make a tick in my palate. I always like more natural tasting food that uses less salt and that night, I found some of the dishes like the turbot and wagyu beef were a little too salty and some too sour. His style is indeed for the adventurous. But I'm glad the amuse bouche, starters and wines were really good.

When in Paris, do what the Parisiens do. I had to shop. Not to satisfy my shopping cravings but more because I really need to buy some autumn/winter clothing. The weather has not been very kind and it does not help when I arrive there with a suitcase full of summer clothes. We went shopping at Galeries Lafayatte and I came out with a nice fashionable black Moncler jacket and an electric blue Karen Millen coat. Then I wanted to stop by Longchamp and we bought a foldable travel bag which is in their new collection and it came in really handy during our trip to Marbella.

 A customary visit to the Louvre.
People say if you really want to visit the whole Louvre, it will take at least a week!

It was indeed my best trip in Paris. Despite our leisure schedule, we also managed to meet some of Luc's friends and seriously, a few days in Paris seemed too short and we didn't even went on a cruise trip on the Seine river. Well, Paris would still be there and we have already planned to return in Dec!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Patek Phillipe Baselworld 2013 @ La Nonciature, Brussel

Patek Philippe revealed its new collections at Baselworld 2013 and the watches have been displayed at La Nonciature in Brussels yesterday, which was the first day and it was followed by a welcoming dinner for guests and customers of Patek Philippe, hosted by Arnaud and Jacques Wittmann of De Greef. This year, Patek Philippe focuses on Haute Horlogerie as a manifestaton of sublime artisanship with its broad selection of debuts.

It was a great pleasure to be invited for this dinner with my partner as this is my first Patek Philippe experience and I could only say one thing that it really didn't disappoint. Luc told me that when De Greef hosts a dinner or event, they always do it really well and luxuriously. And true to the word, when we parked our car at Poelaertplein, there were already a few Porsche Cayenne and Panamera waiting to pick us up to send us to the restaurant which is somewhere around the block. Wow... this is what I called an excellent service!


Patek Philippe remains as an independent watchmaker passed down from generations to generations (now entering the 4th generation) and that is why their watches are so sought after. There are altogether 10 values that represents the essence of Patek Philippe and it remains until today in achieving the consistency and perfection in their prestige watchmaking. It was their rich history of watchmaking and also the reputation of their brand that makes them so successful today. 

At the display hall, we were greeted warmly by the staff and then we walked around and admire the beautiful collections by Patek Philippe while sipping a glass of Billecart-Salmon. The canapes were also delicious but nothing is more delicious and delighting than the sight of these watches.

The Gondolo collection has a new addition for the men and ladies which is their 5200-G white gold and it's a manual wound movement which I think the shiny navy blue is nice and classy when matched with a blue shirt or tie. For the ladies, the 7099-G with a case set of 480 diamonds (±3.31ct) and a hand-guilloched goal dial set with 367 diamonds (±0.56ct) and gold cabochon hour makers also came in electric blue satin strap which indeed matches the men's collection. Oh well, I didn't ask how much were these pieces but I am sure that they are ultra-expensive.

After admiring all these beautiful timepieces and followed by a short speech by Arnaud, Jacques and the brand ambassador of Patek Philippe, we adjourned to dinner upstairs. There, we were seated at a table where the partners will seat away from each other so that we can make conversations with other guests. We were at a cool table filled with guests from United Nations. Haha... we made friends from Turkey, Colombia, Spain and etc... For me, I feel really comfortable when everyone speaks English at the table.

The pressure you face at any watch dinners is that people look at the watches you wear. That's the purpose of a watch dinner right? People exchange watches and they study them like a book! I know I was wearing the wrong watch for the dinner but I don't really care. At least no one there discriminates you based on the watch you wear.

After dessert, the staff of De Greef walked to each table and presented the new collections in a very nice presentation box which holds a ladies' and a men's watch. There are two timepieces which I really like a lot during that night and it's from the Grand Complications collection. I simply think that the 5139-G with white gold is stunning which has a perpetual calendar and I do like men's watches. The 7130R from the ladies' Complications Collection with rose gold was also beautiful. I like the 24 hour day/night indication with its 24 time zones is really attractive and its bezel set with 62 diamonds (±0.82ct). All the watches looked really good on my wrist but too bad my purse doesn't weigh that much.

The new collections are indeed beautiful but of course my favourite timepiece remains a competitor. It was a nice dinner and a well-organised event. We were delighted to be part of the event and it opened my eyes to the education of fine timepieces. The Patek Philippe new collection for 2013 can be found here on their website.

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