How to get really white teeth

I just completed my third session of teeth whitening at Shining Smile Singapore and boy, am I impressed with the results!

Shining Smile Singapore teeth whitening results
See this image?

Before my first teeth whitening session at Shining Smile Singapore on 18 January, I was a shade 26.

After my first session (18 January), my teeth lightened to shade 18.

After my second session (14 March), my teeth lightened to a shade 12.

After my third session (today, 17 April), my teeth are now in between shades 6/8.

That’s an improvement of over 18 shades!!! Wowwwwww. Even I was surprised to see such a significant improvement!

I’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries about the teeth whitening sessions at Shining Smile Singapore, so I’ll try to answer all your questions here!

What is the teeth whitening process at Shining Smile Singapore like?

First, you brush your teeth with a special whitening toothpaste provided by Shining Smile Singapore.

Next, you put on the mouth piece (you are given one on your first visit, subsequently, you have to bring it for the next session), and a whitening solution is applied onto your teeth via a spray bottle.

Lastly, LED light is used to activate the whitening ingredients with a special LED machine brought in from Japan!

The entire procedure is repeated twice for each teeth whitening session.

How long does each session at Shining Smile Singapore take?

Shining Smile Singapore is now offering two different courses, one is the Quick Course (for shades starting from S20) and Advance Course (for shades starting from S40 to S22). Of course, Advance Course is meant for those who need more intensive whitening on their teeth and recommended if your teeth are in between Shades 40 to 22.

Quick Course takes 30 minutes and Advance Course takes 1 hour.

Is teeth whitening at Shining Smile Singapore safe?

This is definitely a huge concern that’s on the mind of many, because of the recent saga with non-HSA approved home whitening kits like the Beautiful Teeth Whitening Kit.

According to Shining Smile Singapore, the compounds used in the teeth whitening solvent are safe for foods and cosmetics. The LED light also uses a safe wavelength – Afterall, it’s Japanese technology and anything that’s Japanese to me is good! Hahaha.

Does the teeth whitening at Shining Smile Singapore hurt or make your teeth sensitive?

The procedure itself didn’t hurt a single bit for me, I barely felt anything except for a slight warm sensation from the LED light. I did experience mild teeth sensitivity right after the procedure – there was a bit of tingling sensation in some parts of my teeth which went away in a day or so.

This is my personal experience though, and might vary from person to person.

How many sessions do I need to do to see results? Will the results last?

I saw visibly whiter teeth from the first session alone, but the results were SUPER significant after three sessions done over the course of four months, as I’ve shared above!

However, due to the nature of tooth yellowing, no whitening method is ever going to be permanent. Different peoples’ teeth will yellow at different rates, but this will be sped up by lifestyle factors and genetic disposition.

For example, if you take a lot of coffee/tea or if you smoke, the whitening effect will definitely not last as long as without. I don’t smoke, but I do drink tea and coffee on occasion. My teeth are definitely still much whiter than they used to be previously!

How much does it cost?

For first-timers at Shining Smile Singapore, you can quote my name YINA for a special trial price of $120!

The next appointment within one month of your first session will cost either $100 (for Quick Course) or $140 (for Advance Course).

Subsequently, every maintenance session (after one month) will cost $180 each. Maintenance sessions are recommended every 1-2 months for optimal results.

This is how white my teeth are after just three sessions at Shining Smile Singapore! I didn’t photoshop or filter the color of my teeth, I swear.

Also, my Japanese therapist Aimee is so pretty AND she has got the whitest teeth and prettiest smile I’ve ever seen. I think I’ve got a bit of a girl crush on her! 😍

In conclusion

I am super super super pleased with the results of my teeth whitening sessions at Shining Smile Singapore!

Quick, fuss-free and most important of all, my teeth are so much whiter now! I think the results speak for themselves. 10/10 highly recommend!

Shining Smile Singapore is located at
#03-23 Oxley Tower, 138 Robinson Road
Singapore 068906

To inquire or make a booking: ☎️+65 96578463 (WhatsApp or SMS)

If you’ve got any questions still, feel free to leave a comment – I’ll do my best to answer!

*I was sponsored teeth whitening sessions by Shining Smile Singapore but was not paid to advertise for them!


My first H bag

Dear Diary, I can’t believe I actually bought my first Hermes bag! 😍 And it is so gorgeous, I really fell straight in love with it.

Meet my Hermes Lindy 26 y’all! To be honest, I fell in love with it the moment I set eyes on it, and fell harder once I tried it on my arm.

I’m not huge on branded bags – I love a pretty bag, but I’m not crazy crazy over bags because bags are an expensive hobby, and I don’t feel like I earn enough to be able to make shelling out thousands of dollars for a bag a regular habit.

My favourite brand is actually Chanel, but I don’t even own a brand new Chanel because I just can’t bear to! I have two vintage Chanels that I love and bought at very good prices – I think my vintage Chanel flap was under 3k if I remember right. I’d take a vintage Chanel over a new model any day because I find the vintage styles so much prettier and classier on me!

Back to Hermes: I’ve always known that my first Hermes would be a Lindy. Amongst all the classic Hermes designs, the Lindy is my favourite, and although it might not be as well-sought-after or have as high a resale value as a Birkin or Kelly, I find the Lindy the most practical and versatile. It is roomy, easy to carry and can be put to daily use if you choose to do so!

I also feel that the Lindy suits me best, and while I would hope to own a good-looking Kelly or Birkin one day, I haven’t found one that I’ve fallen in lust with, yet.

There are many ladies who own plenty of Hermes bags and probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a Lindy, but it is the most expensive bag purchase of my life so far and I feel like every dollar that I paid for this precious baby is hard-earned! It is both a reward to myself as well as a reminder to keep working harder.

I don’t foresee myself investing in the next H bag after the Lindy for at least a few good years, but I may very well be wrong, who knows? Hahaha.

My Lindy is a 26 in this gorgeous shade of electric blue and has a matte nilo (niloticus crocodile skin) strap with clemence leather on its body. It came brand new in box from Luxlexicon, which carries both brand new and pre-loved Hermes bags in Singapore.

I ended up paying quite a premium due to the croc leather strap, but my heart was sold. It is exactly the color and size I was after, and the croc leather strap makes it a little more unique than a regular Lindy. It is just beautiful.

I also tried on this very classic red Lindy 30, but it didn’t speak to my heart the way the 26 did. Somehow felt a little too big and slouchy for me, yes?

First orange box of my life! 😍

Check out that pretty matte nilo leather on the strap. I generally wouldn’t go for full matte nilo leather because I think it would be that much harder to carry off, but just a little accent like this works perfectly for me.

Now, should I also invest in twillies to wrap up my bag straps in…?

Purchasing from LuxLexicon

For the ladies thinking of purchasing an H bag locally, Luxlexicon’s selection is incredible! So much eye candy in one shop.

This sunshine yellow Birkin that I tried on could change my mind about owning a Birkin – It’s so cute.

I’m also absolutely sure that you don’t need to worry a single bit about authenticity at Luxlexicon, all of their bags are 100% authentic. Flo (the owner of Luxlexicon) has such a passion for Hermes and it’s apparent from her knowledge and expertise in every single bag they carry.

Disclaimer: I paid full price for this baby and had a very good experience, this is not me advertising for Luxlexicon!

I find their prices generally very reasonable, especially the pre-loved bags – You also get a better price if you pay by cash/bank transfer as opposed to card. (I chose to pay by card because, MILES. Haha)

Thank you Flo and Jay for the wonderful service, and for reserving this beauty for me – I didn’t bring my card out and had to come back the next day for it. 😍

My brand new Lindy comes with its box, original receipt, dust bag, shopping bag and even the “raincoat” (yes, apparently some bags come with protective plastic covers for when it rains).

I also purchased a felt organizer insert from LuxLexicon for $70 – To help protect the base of my new baby from scratches and to keep it in shape too! Hopefully, I can take good care of my Lindy, because I have to admit, I put my bags through some hard use and don’t care for them well at all.

I think I might send my new Lindy to DrBags first to do a protective HP coating, it’s supposed to guard against moisture, fungus, discolorization and oxidization for up to 8 months.

Now, I can’t wait for the first opportunity for me to bring my Lindy out. Yay! May it serve me well for many good years to come!

What do you think of my new Lindy? 🤗


Europe/UK Sep’17: 2 Days In Prague – An Introduction to Prague (Day 1)

Where do I begin about Prague?

I’d heard so much about Prague, about it being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and about its incredible history and streets full of old churches and cathedrals with magnificent towering spires. It’s a city I’ve been itching to tick off my bucket-list for the longest time and it finally happened!

We spent three nights and two full days in Prague, which I think is the minimum amount of time it takes to touch-and-go through Prague’s most famous sights and attractions, and to say that you’ve “been there, done that”. Ideally though, I would love to have spent four or even five days in Prague, heading out for day trips and exploring the lesser known areas of Prague and the Czech Republic, but we were pressed for time, and had to make do with only two full days in Prague.

Renting a car in Europe

So, I’ve always wanted to road-trip in Europe! I’m really glad we made it happen this time, with a short road-trip from Berlin to Prague, and back again for our connecting flight to London.

This was my first time renting a car in Europe, and I was steered to AutoEurope’s website via my best friend, Google, hahaha.

AutoEurope allows you to compare cars and prices across the most popular car rental companies in Europe, so you can get the best bang for your buck!

Of course, since you’re in Europe, just go for a continental car. Hahaha. We decided on a small BMW, which set us back a reasonable SGD360 for three days of car rental.

The logistics of the car rental was straight-forward: We picked up our car from Berlin Main Railway Station in the morning, set the GPS to go from Berlin to Prague and off we went! It was a 350km drive (roughly four hours) and we did a short stop at Dresden, on the border of Germany (more on that soon), before continuing the drive to Prague.

Driving in Europe was not as challenging as I expected, and I was particularly impressed by the courtesy shown on the highway by other drivers! Singapore really has the worst drivers in the world. Despite it being a left-hand drive (as opposed to right-hand driving in Singapore), the journey was smooth and uneventful.


En route to Prague, also known as Praha in the Czech language.

Tips on Getting Czech Currency

The Czech republic has yet to adopt the euro currency, and one of my greatest concerns was how I would be getting my czech korunas (also known as the Czech crown), as it is not a widely-circulated currency internationally.

After scouring through various websites and experiencing it personally myself, my best advice is to simply bring along a debit card that can be used to withdraw Czech korunas from the local ATM – It’s possibly the best way to get your czech currencies and the most convenient way as well. There are plenty of local money changers in Prague, but the rates are not to be trusted IMO, and I would rather get my korunas from the ATM.

Just make sure that your debit card has either the Cirrus or Maestro logo, which is accepted in most parts of Europe, and you should be fine! (Just in case, you might want to bring a back-up card, and remember to call the bank to check that your card is activated for international withdrawals.)

I recall there being a transaction fee for every withdrawal, but I would rather pay a little more for multiple withdrawals than be stuck with too many korunas that I won’t be able to use anywhere else. There was an ATM right across the road from my hotel, and I didn’t have any trouble withdrawing korunas at all.

Most hotels and restaurants do accept credit cards, and I remember my hotel accepting Euros too, so you don’t need to be too worried about not having enough czech korunas for your stay in Prague, especially with the convenience of ATM withdrawals.

Checking into Art Deco Imperial Hotel


We arrived in Prague at our hotel, Art Deco Imperial Hotel, just as the sun was about to set. What a beautiful cityscape right from our doorstep!

I picked Art Deco Imperial Hotel for a number of reasons: It is one of the top-rated hotels in Prague, offers parking for our rental car (at an additional fee), has a convenient location near the heart of Prague, and the building itself has a history dating back to the 14th century, with old-world baroque styling that makes for a truly unique and one-of-a-kind experience.

We paid about $330 per night, but rates vary depending on season, and it might be as affordable as $200 a night, which is a very decent price for its location and luxurious baroque-styled rooms.

Tip: Look at price aggregator/search websites such as HotelsCombined, Agoda or for the best prices on your chosen dates!

Our car was driven to the car park (apparently not in the same building) by the valet, and we were welcomed and checked in by very warm and gracious staff who also spoke good English, we had no issues communicating at all.



Our room was a modest but nice size – It was spotless and well-kept, which was fantastic. I liked the classic interior with its ornate furnishings and cosy ambience.


Even the bathroom was gorgeous with its classy marble tiles and art-deco styled faucets and hardware! I always appreciate a bath tub and I loved it that my room came with a good-sized bath tub 😀

All-in-all, Art Deco Imperial Hotel scored well on my hotel score-card, with extra brownie points for their very famous Cafe Imperial, where we had a delicious dinner on our first night in Prague!

Prague at night – First impressions


Prague lives up to all the hype that I’ve heard about it – It is one of THE most beautiful European cities I’ve had the good fortune to set foot in.

With that though, comes the bad news: The best parts of Prague like Old Town Square and its neighbouring areas have turned into one giant tourist attraction and is flooded with hundreds of people from day to night, as well as touristy shops and vendors selling overpriced food and merchandise.

To put it bluntly, if you hate crowds, you’re most probably gonna hate Prague.

Prague is still remarkably beautiful – But a lot of its authenticity has been lost to the huge amount of attention it has received as a popular tourist destination over the past years. To uncover Prague’s original charm, one must tune out the noise of the surrounding crowds and delve a little deeper.


For instance, I learnt that the highly popular trdelnik aka chimney cake that you’ll see being sold in ten different shops, with each one touting the trdelnik as a “traditional Bohemian” pastry, isn’t even historically a traditional Czech food, but grew crazily widespread in Prague over the past few years because of its popularity with the tourists.


(Yes, I did cave in and bought one of these chimney bread on my first night in Prague.)
Taste-wise, it was sweet, sugary and cinnamon-y, not too bad at all as a street-side snack, actually.


This ham though, was a huge disappointment for me – We were enticed to buy the ham because of how the entire leg of ham was roasting so merrily on a spit, but when it was served in one huge hunk, the ham was barely warm on the outside, and still cold on the inside. Also, it was terribly expensive and I felt completely ripped off.

Moral of the story is, avoid these expensive tourist traps unless you’re super eager to try something that you’ve never tried before.

Night view of the Vltava and Prague Castle


We meandered our way through hordes of over-eager Korean tourists until we reached the river-side, from which you can see the lit-up Prague Castle across the River Vltava!

Spotted hundreds of love locks on a fence right by Charles Bridge.

Dinner at Cafe Imperial

If anyone were to ask me for food recommendations in Prague, Cafe Imperial, together with its sister restaurant Next Door by Imperial, would be my top recommedations!

If you’re looking for a traditional Czech restaurant with honest good food at affordable prices, Cafe Imperial is that rare gem: I first heard of this restaurant, very coincidentally, while having a wonderful seafood dinner in Sydney, Australia. The restaurant manager was from the Czech Republic, and when I told her that I would be heading to Prague, she told me that I had to try Cafe Imperial, and Next Door by Imperial (both helmed by the same chef) for really good Czech food.

I remember taking a snapshot of the restaurant names she scribbled down for me, and it was only until just mere days before my tripe to Europe that I realised Cafe Imperial was quite literally located just in the very same hotel I booked (Art Deco Imperial Hotel)! How’s that for serendipity?


Endive salad
with orange segments, walnuts, homemade dressing


Roasted quail stuffed with Foie Gras
with red wine sauce


Grilled tuna
with fennel crust and Nicoise salad

The food was legitly delicious – That roasted quail with foie gras had all the right flavours, while the grilled tuna was fresh and appetizing with the aroma of herbs and spices.

Remember to book a table in advance, Cafe Imperial is super popular and walk-ins might not be successful so I would suggest getting your hotel concierge to do a booking for you! We had a very good dinner, and went to bed (how convenient that Cafe Imperial is located on the ground floor of Art Deco Imperial Hotel!) happy and satisfied.

Breakfast at Imperial Cafe

One of the highlights of Imperial Cafe though, is its stunning Art Nouveau décor and mosaic tiles that should be admired in the day time for all its intricacy and beauty!


I have to admit, pictures of these gorgeous interiors were part of what drew me to book my stay at Art Deco Imperial Hotel 😉 Soooo gorgeous!


Breakfast affair with the usual suspects: Bakes, eggs, bacon, sausages and the likes. The breakfast was pretty good, though not mind-blowing.


LOVE those stunningly impressive pillars and the tile art on the ceiling!

Exploring Prague


Thankful for really nice weather on our first full day in Prague!

If you’re wondering how transport works around Prague, they do have a metro line and buses around the city, but most of the attractions in Prague are all accessible via walking, which was our main mode of transport during our two days in Prague! We left our rental car parked at the hotel, which I would think is the safest option as well.


We took a stroll from Art Deco Imperial Hotel to Prague Old Town Square, where I’d booked us on the free SANDERMANs Walking Tour of Prague – A really great way to learn more about Prague and its history with a local guide, and it’s completely free too! Since it’s free, why not, right? You can choose to tip your guide whatever amount you deem appropriate after your tour, or not at all, if it wasn’t up to your expectations.


SANDEMANs does free walking tours in 19 different cities across Europe, which I think is really cool! They even have an app that you can download and make bookings via.


The 3-hour walking tour brought us through some of Prague’s most famous sights like Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, Old Jewish Quarter, Wenceslas Square and more, and our guide brought to life the history behind each landmark or spot, sharing interesting nuggets of information I would not have gotten otherwise.


One of the most famous attractions in Prague has got to be the Astronomical Clock! It is the oldest still-working intact example of its kind surviving to date, and is a magnet that draws in the crowds every hour with its regular “show” on the hour. As you can see, part of the clock tower was under works while I was there, but the clock itself was still the center of attention.

Our guide explained to us how the clock works but it was too complicated for me to understand it properly, so I gave up and resigned myself to just admiring the beautiful and ancient time-piece.


There was a short break during our three hour walking tour with SANDEMANs, and we took the opportunity to grab a bit of food – Also stumbled upon this ice cream shop with great gelato that we enjoyed very much!

The sorbet there wasn’t memorable, but I really liked the creamy and intense gelato flavours! Worth checking out for a little mid-day snack.

Puro Gelato
Na Hrobci 410/1, 128 00 Nové Město, Czechia 
Phone: +420 721 438 209


The walking tour also brought us to Josefov, the old Jewish Quarter in Prague.

Spot that strange black clock in the upper right corner with undecipherable characters on it? That’s a Jewish Hebrew clock that runs counter-clockwise. I don’t know very much about the Jews, but it was nonetheless fascinating to hear about their history.


This is the Old-New Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Europe that is still in use as a house of prayer. Here’s an interesting fact: Franz Kafka, the famous writer, attended the Old-New Synagogue when he lived in Prague.


Generally, I really enjoyed the 3-hour long walking tour with SANDEMANs, so much so that I decided to book another tour via SANDEMANs for Prague Castle the following day.

We wandered about after the tour ended, and found ourselves on the other side of the river, where a bustling street festival was taking place, with people milling about the grassy plains of a park around an outdoor stage.


It was so pleasant in the cool weather to stroll around and soak in the cheery vibes!


Probably yet another non-authentic Czech street food, but who can resist the allure of freshly-fried potato chips cooked on the spot? Not me.

Crowded streets of Malá Strana, just across the River.

We headed back to Old Town Square in the evening, because we had a performance to catch!

Love this scene. The sun setting in Old Town Square while kids were chasing after bubbles drifting gently through the air. It was a magical moment.

See those Gothic structures rising above the Baroque-style houses? That’s Church of Our Lady before Týn – where we bought tickets for a classical performance!


It was a completely spur-of-the-moment decision we’d made while walking past the day earlier, and I was truly very excited for the performance! There are actually lots of little performances with popular classical repertoires happening all around Prague every day, and this one at Church of Our Lady before Týn is just one of many.

If you’re a classical music enthusiast and carely deeply for good acoustics/sound, I highly recommend watching a performance at Rudolfinum, the most famous concert building in Prague and the seat of the Czech Philharmonic.


The church itself (dating back to 1365!) is just gorgeous, and these majestic settings made the experience extra special for me.

The “Royal Czech Orchestra” though, wasn’t a full orchestra like I was expecting, but comprised of just a string ensemble and some soloists. Nonetheless, I had a good time and thought my money was well-spent on this experience! 🙂

Dinner at Next Door By Imperial

So I tried Cafe Imperial on our first night, and of course I had to book a table for Next Door by Imperial as well! Just across the road (yes, next door, lierally) and helmed by the same chef, Next Door By Imperial has got a superb ambience and just as appetizing menu as Cafe Imperial, and we were not disappointed!


I love it when restaurants serve fresh bread. We were given this spread to go along with the bread and it was OMFG so so so so so yummy??! Turned out to be some sort of ham pate and it was so damn good we must have polished off two baskets of bread along with it!

Crayfish soup 
with Armagnac and ravioli 

Grilled Flat Iron Steak
with roasted tomatoes with garlic and herbs


Can’t find this on the menu anymore – But I believe it was pork cheek, and very delicious too!

A wonderful dinner like this only set us back less than SGD100 – Super worth it or what? I would imagine the same meal costing twice the price in Singapore! These two restaurants (Cafe Imperial and Next Door by Imperial) are super popular with both locals and tourists alike so remember to make your reservations beforehand!

I’ll be finishing up with part 2 of Prague in the next post, be back soon!

Europe/UK Sep’17



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Europe/UK Sep’17: Capri by Fraser Berlin – Exploring Berlin

Berlin is no unfamiliar name to anyone who’s even studied a little History in school: It is the capital of Germany and most people know about the Berlin Wall that divided the city after World War II, and what a significant day it was when Germany was reunified in 1990 (okay, I was three years old!) with the falling and demolition of the Wall.

With so illustrious a history, you would expect nothing less from modern Berlin, that has now risen to become a cosmopolitan hub for both the arts and sciences going strong in the start-up scene, tech, research, IT and other creative industries, and is an amazing place to visit for its vibrant culture, cutting-edge architecture, fantastic food and richly textured history!

I was privileged to have an opportunity to experience Berlin for a few days when Frasers Hospitality brought me to Berlin for the launch of the latest addition to their properties: Capri By Fraser Berlin.

If you read my last post on Fraser Suites Queensgate (in Londond) where I talk about staying in serviced apartments, you’d understand better about how a serviced apartment to me is like marrying the comforts of home with the facilities of a hotel.

While the Fraser Suites properties such as Fraser Suites Queensgate would be suitable for long-stay business travellers, small families or a group of friends travelling together, I would say that Capri By Fraser is the perfect travel accommodation for the casual business traveller or young couple on holiday – It is a little less luxurious, a little more practical and yet still 100% comfortable and convenient!

Capri By Fraser Berlin

In the heart of Berlin, Capri by Fraser brings its unique design-led style to this cultural and diverse city. Located on Museum Island, this brand new hotel residence is only a short walk to the famous museums in Berlin’s historic centre. Guests can choose from 143 stylish serviced apartments, ranging from Studios to One-bedroom units.

Designed around the ‘always on’ needs of today’s travellers, Capri By Fraser Berlin is ideal for leisure and business travellers looking for short stay apartments, as well as for extended-stay guests and group bookings. Everything you need is at Capri By Fraser Berlin, from a 24/7 gym to a drinks bar, a laundry room and even meeting facilities and a business center.

The concept of Capri By Fraser Berlin is fun, playful and quirky, and I love it! It’s not one of those stuffy and traditional old-fashioned hotels for sure, and you’ll feel right at home with the energetic vibes of Capri By Fraser Berlin.

Something cool that you’ll notice in the lobby is this: During construction of Capri By Fraser Berlin  a site of archeological significance was discovered and is now covered with glass and carefully preserved!

Get a drink to unwind after a long day at the Drinx bar, right within the lobby! It’s open all the way til 1am, so why not?

I was put up in one of Capri By Fraser Berlin‘s Serviced Studio Apartment and I loved the stay!

The beds were luxurious and comfortable, no complaints there for sure.

The cosy apartment’s kitchenette has a washing machine, a sink, a microwave and even a convection stove. Although I personally wouldn’t cook any fancy meals from scratch here, heating ready-to-eat meals or putting together simple meals would be a breeze.

The bathroom was spacious and comforable as well, with a huge mirror and ample space!

There was also a good-sized work desk within the space as well as a small dining table with chairs, which made the apartment at Capri By Fraser Berlin pretty much perfect for me!

Breakfast at Kaffee Karamell

In the mornings, you can get breakfast at the casual and lively Kaffee Karamell downstairs – The breakfast here is a lovely spread and served all day with light choices from simple freshly squeezed juices, natural yoghurts, fresh pastries to a full cooked breakfast!

Capri By Fraser Berlin Official Grand Opening Party

Spot these two bears at the entrance?

These two bears were the winning entries in the #BuddyBear Design competition organised by the Singapore Embassy in Berlin in 2014 and are meant to symbolise standing hand in hand together for a peaceful world.

Frasers Hospitalities has its roots in Singapore, so I love how the bears are a proud tribute to Singapore!

The good folks over at Capri By Fraser sure know how to throw a mean party! The official opening party for Capri By Fraser Berlin was a huge blast and I loved it!! First, official speeches started the party off..

Followed by canapes that were cooler than usual. That’s soup in test tubes!

There was even an organic ice cream truck to serve up the most delicious ice cream cones at the party!

I never say no to ice cream and this was so good!

Electrifying, death-defying acrobatic performances!

The night ended with a whole lot of partying, grooving and dancing – I can attest to the fact that the Berliners do partying best!

Exploring Berlin

My stay in Berlin was just a short two nights, but I managed to roam about the city to explore some of its most historical sites and of course, food!

Looking for a city guide? Check out Oooh, Berlin.

For those looking for a great non-touristy guide to the city, I highly recommend checking out Oooh, Berlin, a city guide meant for Berliners and expats, but I feel would be just as enjoyable for any visitor in Berlin!

Oooh, Berlin offers free city maps/guides for various areas in Berlin, such as Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukolln and more! These maps highlight really cool places like great cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and other interesting places all over Berlin in a well-designed map that can be downloaded into your phone. I found out about the best Texas smoked brisket of my life (more on that below) through Oooh, Berlin!

There were so many other spots I wanted to check out, but didn’t have enough time to. Please check them out for me! 🙂

Bus & Boat City Tour

One of the best ways to start exploring Berlin is to take the combined bus and boat tour around the city!

The city bus tour allows you to hop on and off at various landmarks and points of significance around Berlin, such as Checkpoint Charlie, Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin Cathedral and many more, while an informative audio guide accompanies the ride.

Berlin Wall

At part of the Berlin Wall, one of the most well-documented landmarks of German/European history!

When in Germany, have some bratwurst! Completely legit in a crisp baguette with ketchup and mustard.

Hackesche Höfe

We wandered our way to Hackesche Höfe, the famous traditional Berlin courtyards at Hackescher Markt. Hackesche Höfe dating back to the 18th century are the largest single courtyard complex in Germany and are now vibrant urban quarters home to art galleries, offices, restaurants and nightlife venues.

Taking an ice cream break at Hackesche Höfe!

It’s not uncommon to see the justaposition of new and old in Berlin, and one very striking example is the Berliner Fernsehturm TV Tower right next to St Mary’s Church (Marienkirche), one of the oldest churches in Berlin.

The exact age of the original church site and structure is not precisely known, but it was first mentioned in German chronicles in 1292.

Right next to St Mary’s is the Neptune Fountain, that was built in 1891 and was designed by Reinhold Begas.

There are many notable landmarks all within walking distance, and we eventually made our way past Rotes Rathaus (or Red City Hall), the town hall of Berlin. This building started construction in 1861 and is home to the governing mayor and the government of Berlin!

Berliner Dom and Museum Island

You definitely won’t miss Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom), one of the most imposing and majestic landmarks of Berlin and the largest church in the city!

I didn’t have time to explore within the cathedral, but it was plenty beautiful from the outside already.

Plus, we had really beautiful weather that day, so it was so lovely just to get a bit of exercise, stroll around and admire the city!

Do take at least a day to visit Museum Island, an island with five museums in the heart of Berlin! It’s just walking distance away from Capri By Fraser Berlin, super convenient! It is a UNESCO World Heritage and the five museums are world-renowned!

Really love the chill vibes of the local Berliners, I came upon a merry little party going on just along the streets with colorful bunting strung up between two trees and even balloons! The little kids and their mothers looked like they were having a ball of a time.

When it comes to food, Berlin is also a haven for all sorts of gastronomical delights! Don’t think of just bratwurst, pork knuckle or schnitzel, thanks to the influx of cultures and influencers from all over the world, Berlin is set to become one of the most exciting food destinations in Europe!

Markthalle Neun

(Eisenbahnstraße 42/43, 10997 Berlin)

A must-visit for the foodies is Markthalle Neun (Market Hall Nine), a food market that’s open every day and with special food showcases on various days/evenings! (I included a link to their website above so you can check it out)

I absolutely love looking at fresh produce in Europe! They just look so much more vibrant and fresher than the imports we get in Singapore.

We saw the vegetable and fruit shop outside selling some chanterelle mushrooms (fancy schmancy seasonal mushrooms) for cheap, and took the liberty to purchase some and request for a special order pasta at the Italian pasta stall in Markthalle Neun 🙂

It was without a doubt one of the most authentic and delicious pastas I’ve ever tasted outside of Italy!

We also had some of their ravioli, which although plain-looking, was flavorful and scrumptious!

A flank steak sandwhich put together with bread from the bakery that we brought to the butchery – It was so hearty and wholesome and just really, really satisfying in the tummy.

If you spot one of these Photoautomats around, pop in and pay two euros to get your likeness captured in a four-strip printed photo, developed the traditional, analog way. It’s an awesome souvenir, and also fun to experience the very first vintage photo booths in history!

The Pit BBQ

(Reichenberger Str. 120 10999)

Who would have thought you’d find such great Texas smoked beef brisket in Berlin, of all places? This restaurant came highly-recommended by Oooh, Berlin, the city guide I shared above – We weren’t disappointed a single bit with our dinner here!

The incredible 18-hour smoked brisket was so tender and melt-the-mouth that we wolfed down at least 700g of meat between two people! Completely worth all the trouble we took to hunt down the tiny BBQ smoke house and a definite winner in our culinary books.

Price point was reasonable although I wouldn’t say it was cheap  – But for beef brisket that’s been hand-smoked using only natural oakwood, I think it was worth every euro!

I am indeed missing Berlin very much after spending the past few hours revisiting those memories while writing this post, and I do hope that the next time I’m in Berlin, I get to spend more than just a couple of days there!

Would I return to Berlin again, and put myself up at Capri By Fraser Berlin again? The anser is a very definitive, YES!

About Capri By Fraser Berlin

Scharrenstraße 22,
10178 Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 30 2007701888

Capri by Fraser Berlin’s website here

Capri By Fraser Berlin is just one of many gorgeous properties managed by Frasers Hospitality. Thank you, Frasers Hospitality for putting me up! I’ll be sharing on more properties across UK/Europe, so stay tuned 🙂


Europe/UK Sep’17



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Europe/UK Sep’17: Malmaison Oxford – A Luxurious Prison Stay


Serving your jail time would be a breeze if every prison were like Malmaison Oxford – This boutique hotel in the heart of Oxford used to be a Victorian jail and was in use as a prison all the way until 1996 when it closed down and the building got sold off to the Malmaison hotel chain.


If you’re planning a short getway from London to visit the famous town of Oxford (Oxford University!), I highly highly recommend staying in the trendy cell rooms of Malmaison Oxford, it was an experience like no other!


Getting to Oxford

Malmaison_Oxford-1The train journey from London Paddington and Oxford took just 1 hour 10 minutes, and in no time at all, we found ourselves at Oxford train station, ready to begin our short Oxford exploration!


From London to Oxford – Price per ticket: 25 pounds


Malmaison Oxford is just a short distance away from the station – We had a driver booked to bring us to the hotel, but it is most definitely within walking distance, especially in cool weather, as it was in September.


Our first look at Malmaison Oxford – Love the stone structures and crumbling old facade, a stark contrast to the hip and luxurious interiors the former prison has been refurbished with.


Inside Malmaison Oxford  Old architectural elements like the original prison cells and ceilings have been preseved to date.


As a converted prison-into-boutique-hotel, I absolutely love how the cell structures, windows and doors of Malmaison Oxford have been kept intact but given the lux make-over into the coolest prison-themed hotel you might ever stay in!

We went on a tour of the building grounds, and I was intrigued to view the one and only prison cell inside Malmaison Oxford that has been preserved in its original form.


Three prisoners to one tiny prison cell, must have been rather miserable back in those days. I wonder what those inmates would think of Malmaison Oxford‘s new and improved rooms?


Gorgeous communal areas with the original prison stairs and landings that have been kept.


The standard rooms have been converted from three adjoining cells, each bedroom is made up of two cells while the bathroom takes up one cell – Good thing plumbing has been upgraded from its prison days to a very luxurious and posh bathroom with standing tub!

Love the attention to details, like the prison-themed carpet motifs!


The light and airy converted cell-to-bathroom definitely didn’t look the least bit like it belonged in a prison.


Original prison cell doors that have been preserved.


It’s easier to imagine Malmaison Oxford as a prison when wandering down its dimly lit corridors and stairwells that have been left in a semi-dilapidated looking state that I personally found very charming and full of character.



We were fortunate enough to stay in one of Malmaison Oxford’s Duplex Suites, this split-level room was super posh and luxurious, with a small balcony overlooking castle grounds and a superbly comfortable bed as well as huge bathroom with rain shower!


A pretty fabulous selection for the mini-bar, too!


I absolutely loved the huge standing tub that came with generous-sized amenities with tongue-in-cheek names, check them out below!

Better Shower Gel Than You Have At Home” and “The Best Shampoo You Will Ever Steal“, love the quirky sense of humour!

Oh, and no better welcome than a pair of edible chocolate handcuffs.. Completely in theme and actually rather delicious too!


We took a walk and explored around the grounds before heading down to Chez Mal Brasserie for dinner!

We had a hearty dinner at Chez Mal Brasserie, their menu offers an impressive range of dishes that were delicious and decadent with the freshest seasonal ingredients. You can also hang around before/after dinner for drinks at Malbar, and just soak in the great ambience!


Breakfast is also available at the brasserie in the morning, and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast! Apart from ordering ala carte off the breakfast menu, you can also choose from a huge selection of pastries, yoghurts, fruits, freshly-squeezed juices, tea and coffee, and so much more that we completely stuffed ourselves to the brim!




Breakfast is most definitely one of my favourite meals of the day. Look how much food we overloaded our table with.


Eggs benedict, simple and yet so delicious!


Craving for something quintessentially British? Go for the smoked kipper that was surprisingly tasty and flavoursome. We enjoyed it so much we even ordered ourselves a second serving!


Don’t forget to explore the grounds as well as the neighbouring Oxford Castle where you can climb the Norman Castle Mound and check out the panoramic views from St George’s Tower!

(PS. Sign up for one of Oxford Castle’s Ghost Hunt tours for a spooktacular evening during your stay too, if you’re not afraid to be spooked out!)

There is plenty to explore in Oxford, from the historically famous Bodleian Library, University of Oxford to checking out the Harry Potter filming locations, so you gotta stay at least one night at Oxford!



Staying at Malmaison Oxford was truly a one-of-a-kind experience, and if you love a hotel stay that’s memorable, different and unique, you’ve got to book yourself into Malmaison Oxford! After all, how many people get to do jail time without actually being jailed? Heh.

About Malmaison Oxford

Oxford Castle, 3 New Rd, Oxford OX1 1AY, UK
Phone: +44 1865 689944

Malmaison Oxford’s website here

Malmaison Oxford is just one of many gorgeous properties managed by Frasers Hospitality. Thank you, Frasers Hospitality for putting me up! I’ll be sharing on more properties across UK/Europe, so stay tuned 🙂


Europe/UK Sep’17



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