Thursday, 11 April 2013

Pop-up cake hotel in London

Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week.

 Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week. (© ©Tate & Lyle Sugars)

It was the Hansel and Gretel equivalent of a luxury hotel. For one night, guests in London were invited to eat their way through a carpet made of hand-stitched meringues, macaron-studded walls and marshmallow garlands.
Set inside a temporary pop-up hotel in Soho earlier this month, guests noshed their way through eight tasting rooms themed after regions of the world like the Caribbean, Guyana, the South Pacific, and of course, Britannia. Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week.
The event was put on by Tate & Lyle Sugars to promote the launch of their new Fairtrade golden and brown cane sugars. Meanwhile, here’s a quick look at the Cake Hotel by the numbers:
- 600 kilograms of sugar
- 2,000 macarons
- 1,081 meringues
- 20 kilograms of marshmallow garlands
- 10 meters of edible pearlescent bunting
- 14 pastry chefs
- 2,000 hours of baking
- 900 hours of decorating


Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week. (© ©Tate & Lyle Sugars) 

Pirates of the Caribbean

A giant treasure chest full of edible pearls, ginger spiced doubloons and cutlasses, rum and raisin chocolate brownies and tea cakes greeted guests in the Pirates of the Caribbean room.

 

 

 

 

 

Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week. (© ©Tate & Lyle Sugars) 

The Caribbean Room

In this 'Pirates of the Caribbean'-themed room, guests tucked into a giant treasure chest full of edible pearls, ginger spiced doubloons and cutlasses, rum and raisin chocolate brownies and tea cakes.





Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week. (© ©Tate & Lyle Sugars) 

Cake cushions

They look deceptively plush but these cushions were made for eating, not cuddling.











 
Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week. (© ©Tate & Lyle Sugars)

Donut Tower

The British room included a giant tower of donuts.















Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week. (© ©Tate & Lyle Sugars)

Mayan room

Guests to the Mayan room, meanwhile noshed on a fudge temple, floating meringue clouds, sacrificial salted caramel and chocolate hearts, and Mayan-inspired carved gold cookies.








Dubbed “The Cake Hotel,” a team of 14 pastry chefs and cake makers logged more than 2,000 hours baking and 600 hours decorating the edible edifice which opened to the British public for one night last week. (© ©Tate & Lyle Sugars) 


The South Pacific

Inspired by the South Pacific, this room featured a 2-meter tall Easter Island statue, made entirely from chocolate mud cake.

Most beautiful restaurants and bars around the world

It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world.

 After browsing 620 submissions from more than 60 countries, a panel of design experts announced the winners of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012 in London, giving top nods to Spanish restaurant A Cantina which was named the Best Restaurant overall for its minimalist design, soaring ceilings, matchstick architecture and airy brightness.

It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards) Bulgarian bar Graffiti, was also anointed Best Bar for its striking fan-like wood work panelling and ceilings, reminiscent of the underside of Portobello mushrooms, and clean, white furnishings. Click through for a virtual tour of the most beautiful restaurants and bars around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)

 

 

 

 

Best Restaurant or Bar in a hotel, UK

Cut, 45 Park Lane, London Lead designer: Thierry Despont






It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards) 

Best Bar, Australia & Pacific

Baker D. Chirico, Australia Lead designer March Studio

 

 

 

 

It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)

 

Best Multiple or Club Bar, UK

Dirty Martini, Hanover Square, London Lead designer: Grapes Design








 


It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)  

 

Best Pop-up Restaurant, International

Les Grandes Tables de L'ile Seguin, France Lead designer: 1024 architecture







It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards) 

Best Restaurant or Bar, North America

Pump Room, United States Lead designer: Yabu Pushelberg








It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards) 

Best Restaurant or Bar, Middle East

Cocteau, Lebanon Lead designer Gatserelia Design








It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)

It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)Best Restaurant or Bar, Asia

Café Kureon, Japan Lead designer Kengo Kuma & Associates










Best Standalone Bar or Club, UK

The Drift , London Lead designer: Fusion Design and Architecture







It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)

Best Lighting, International

W Lounge & Bar, W Hotel, London Lead designer: MBLD














It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards) 

Best Restaurant or Bar, South and Central America

Fasano Las Piedras, Uruguay Lead designer: Isay Weinfeld










It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards) 
It’s a list that features what are being called the most striking, innovative and dramatically designed restaurants and bars of the year. Or, in short, the most beautiful dining destinations and watering holes in the world. (© ©Tous droits réservés par Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)

Best Overall Bar

Graffiti, Bulgaria Lead designer: Mode











Best Overall Restaurant Design

A Cantina, Spain Lead designer: Estudio Nomada

Discover why there's nothing like Australia

Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)There’s nothing like a holiday in Australia for some of the world’s best and truly unique experiences. The combination of breathtaking landscapes, friendly locals and amazing food promises to deliver a fantastic holiday experience. Click next to find out the amazing and fun travel destinations Australia has to offer!











Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)
While you may be lucky enough to see Australian wildlife in the wild, there are some places where you are guaranteed to get up close with some of Australia’s famous ‘locals’. At one of the many theme parks on the Gold Coast you can cuddle a koala or swim with sharks and dolphins in a safe environment.












Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA) 
 On the Sunshine Coast feed the crocodiles at the world-famous Australia Zoo, home of ‘The Crocodile Hunter’. Visit Kangaroo Island in South Australia and you will have the opportunity to see many of Australia’s famous wildlife in their natural playground.









Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)Every year in March, just after the full moon, the waters of Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia come alive as more than 200 species of coral spawn, creating an amazing underwater spectacle as the ocean glows.








Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA) 


Venture out to some of the most interesting suburbs in Australia’s world class cities for a taste of local lifestyle.  People from some 200 different countries have made Australia their home bringing with them their cuisine and traditions. For funky fashions and cheap-eat restaurants serving up everything from North African to Vietnamese in Sydney head to Newtown.




Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)

 If you’re in the mood to shop, make your way to Oxford Street where fashion boutiques are set against a chic inner city atmosphere with an alternative side. This also leads up to the fashionable suburb of Paddington, well known for its weekend market.








Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)In Melbourne, catch a tram from the city centre and check out the bayside suburb of St Kilda attracts a distinctly bohemian crowd. The St Kilda Esplanade, which nudges up to a beach and a historic pier, is popular by day, while the restaurant and bar strips really come alive once dusk falls.













Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)

Travelling in Australia is not about getting from here to there, but discovering the diversity, the wonder, isolation and vibrant towns, the people and their unique way of life, on the journey in between. In Tasmania, you can head north from Hobart to Freycinet National Park and take the walk to Wineglass Bay – regularly voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Hire a sea kayak and explore the coastline, where pink granite mountains contrast with pearly-white beaches and clear turquoise waters.
Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)



Continue anti-clockwise towards the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park which has some of the best hiking in Australia. You can clamber to the top of Cradle Mountain and back in a day – and from the top you can see over most of northwest Tasmania. From there, continue to Strahan and the west coast, loop back to Hobart and you’ve taken a sizeable bite of the Apple Isle.



Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)
Food, wine and lifestyle are the articulation of Australian culture with a multitude of contrasts that make the food and wine culture most fascinating. Go behind the scenes of the wine industry when you tour a wine region and discover for yourself the people, landscape, traditions and lifestyle behind one of the world’s greatest wine nations.
Join them in a glass or two in their cellar or over a meal in one of the many world-class restaurants, wine bars or cafes. Take a food trail and talk to the local providores who will be only too pleased to share with you their boutique beers, cheeses, chocolate, smoked fish or organic fruit and vegetables, and to tell you their secrets behind what makes their produce so special.


Discover why there's nothing like Australia (© SIA)
Join one of the many food and wine festivals that take place across Australia to delve into the myriad of flavours that make Australian cuisine so unique. From international food and wine festivals and art exhibitions to action-packed cycling and running marathons, Australia hosts many world class events.

Opera on the Harbour – Sydney, NSW
22 March – 12 April 2013

Adelaide Food & Wine Festival – Adelaide, SA
6-14 April 2013

Noosa International Food & Wine Festival – Noosa, QLD
16-19 May 2013

Vivid Sydney – Sydney, NSW
24 May – 10 June 2013

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces – Melbourne, VIC
June – October 2013

Gold Coast Airport Marathon – Gold Coast, QLD
6-7 July 2013

Ceduna Oysterfest – Eyre Peninsula, SA
September 2013

Margaret River Gourmet Escape – Margaret River, WA
22-25 November 2013

The Taste Festival – Hobart, TAS
28 December 2013 – 3 January 2014

Eight of the world's most beautiful golf courses

From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer.

From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club)From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club)

 

 

Kauai Lagoons Golf Club, Hawaii, USA

Hawaii boasts a plethora of breathtaking golf courses, but the Kauai Lagoons Golf Club claims to have the longest stretch of continuous ocean holes on the islands.






From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club)Cape Kidnappers, Napier, New Zealand

Built on a 5,000-acre former sheep ranch set atop the vertical cliffs that descend into the Pacific Ocean, Cape Kidnappers has some of the most astounding views of any course on earth.





 

Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA

Established in 1894, Pinehurst oozes not only golf history but Carolina charm, with a sample platter of courses designed by golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.





From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club) 

The Fairmont Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada

Tucked inside one of Canada's most beautiful national parks, the Fairmont Banff Springs Course in Western Alberta offers stunning panoramic views as the course winds its way along the valleys of the Bow River.







From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club)

Emirates Golf Club, Majlis, Dubai, UAE

One of the best links in the Middle East, this classic course was the first grass course in the area and features seven fresh and saltwater lakes, along with sweeping cityscapes.







 From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club)

From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club) 

Fuji Classic, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

This gorgeous course designed by Desmond Muirhead is right at the foot of Mount Fuji.







 

Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland

This gorgeous locale which opened in 1744 is home to the world’s oldest golfing society. More than 200 years later, Jack Nicklaus won his first British Open here on the greens near Edinburgh.


From dramatic ocean views to sweeping cityscapes, here is a sample of what some of the world's most gorgeous golf courses have to offer. (© © Kauai Lagoons Golf Club) 




St. Andrews Golf Club, Scotland

St. Andrews is probably the most famous golf course in the world - with golf being played on this land since the 15th century - and is considered to be the 'home of golf.'
 

ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur

ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur (© ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur)

If you're looking for a clean, affordable, no-frills stay in Kuala Lumpur, then ibis Styles KL should be near the top of your list.
Open for business since October 25th, ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur is a self-described 'premium economy' hotel set in Fraser Business Park - a moderate distance away from the city centre. It's also a 5-10 minute walk away from the Chan Sow Lin LRT station - so finding public transportation shouldn't be too much of a hassle.



ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur (© ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur)

 Perhaps what's most impressive about ibis is this - about a month after opening for business, it's already at full occupancy. The hotel was fully booked during my stay (near the end of November). Granted only 250 rooms were available then; still it's an amazing feat for a hotel which doesn't command the sort of brand recognition of Hiltons or Hyatts. (By its official launch date early next year, the hotel should have all 500 of its rooms available for stay.)



ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur (© ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur)

 
So this is 'premium economy'. The room is clean, comfortable, and has all the basic amenities (yes, including all-important WiFi coverage which is free for every guest). The room is small, but not cramped and certainly not suffocating so. It's perfect for a brief stay and especially if you're going to be spending more time in the city than in your hotel room.
 Here's a full 180-degree view of a typical ibis room. All the rooms are similar, though the views may be different (there's where a slight price differentiation kicks in). But ultimately, ibis is betting that their guests just want a comfortable place to rest in. The hotel is the hub, not the attraction. That of course explains the lack of room service. (Ask yourself this -- when staying at hotels, how often do you call for room service anyway?)
         ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur (© ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur)
 

Honestly, there's a lot to like here -- the rooms are models of practicality and efficiency. Imagine rooms structured like McValue meals. They're not lavish but they've got your basics covered. Just don't mind the gaudy kindergarten-like decor and saccharine colors in the room and throughout the hotel. Other negatives include the sound of trains rushing by every 10 minutes or so (at least that was the experience from my room). It's not a huge issue, but slightly annoying nonetheless.

ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur (© ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur)
 Pictured above is the hotel café / restaurant located on the 4th floor. The breakfast buffet is held here and of course you can order ala carte for dinner. The food was surprisingly good - even better than many 4/5-star hotel restaurants I've dined in. I had the burger bakar daging and my friend had the char kway teow. Both dishes were exceptional (my burger was succulent and full of flavor) and so I fully commend the kitchen staff.





ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur (© ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur)Is ibis Styles worth it?
If you're looking for a simple, comfortable, affordable stay... absolutely! The rooms are clean and well-kept. The staff throughout the hotel are polite, courteous and always looking to help.
The hotel and its rooms are equipped with the essential modern amenities. The negatives are minor and shouldn't cause too much angst. And you can't argue with the price -- room prices vary according to season, of course, but should be around RM220 per night.




ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur
Kompleks Metro Pudu,
1 Jalan Metro Pudu 2,
Fraser Business Park,
55200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+60)3/92210231
Fax: (+60)3/92328699