November 24, 2013

England (Day 4 & 5, 22 - 23 Nov 2013)

I'm back! And the boy has left! He and the girls came to the airport to pick me up and it was a case of 'hi' and 'bye' as he checked in for a flight to India. I lugged a fair bit of booby milk back, they survived the long flight thanks to Kevin's beer cooler box and some long lasting gel packs I invested in. 

On Friday, the meeting ended after lunch and it was early evening by the time we checked back into the Lancaster London and dumped the bags. AL and I headed out to Oxford Street to shop and had a sucky Japanese dinner within Selfridges. The Christmas decor was up, bought a couple of tops from Primark and House of Fraser. 
After we parted ways, I made my way to Ayoush, a Moroccan restaurant and bar managed by Tarek. It was pretty quiet for a Friday night, maybe because not many know about the bar in the basement but the interior was quite lovely especially the cut out shadows from the Moroccan lamps. Didn't try much from the menu, Tarek was quality checking a couple of the appetisers so I just shared them and had an orange juice. 
Yesterday I met Anjali at Notting Hill to have breakfast and walk around Portobello Market for a bit. The newlywed was glowing and I passed her a belated wedding gift from Shanghai Tang from me and Swana. 
We ate at an American-style diner called Electric Diner and then braved the cold to jalan a bit. Silly me didn't bring a proper jacket, just my thick sweater and I was freezing. Forgot my leather gloves too and the fleece ones I had were not enough. 
Posed for pictures at what we thought was the house Hugh Grant lived in the movie 'Notting Hill' but I think it was just herd mentality after we saw other people do it, and it was not the right house! I wished I had more time to walk around but had to rush back to pump and check out before catching our evening flight. I did managed to squeeze another hour at Oxford St though, die die still managed to buy clothes for me!

November 22, 2013

England (Day 3, 21 Nov 2013)

I'm an award-winning chef! Well not quite chef, but we had a team building/cooking session after today's meeting and my team won! It was all a bit kalang-kabut with the clock counting down and a case of too many cooks spoil the broth but for some reason we got the most points and impressed the judges! 
We had to prepare 3 canapes, a main course and a dessert from the ingredients available as well as do table setting and serve one of the other teams. I volunteered for the dessert team and we had a sticky date pudding recipe to follow, so we didn't need to be too creative. 
 
 
 
 
There was a mad rush for ingredients, weighing scales and equipment and some conflicts to manage as people disagreed on how to do things, but that was one of the points of the exercise...to see how we work as a team. 

There were a lot of opinionated people and so I decided to let them lead but there was a part where I stood my ground on the cutlery setting, correcting someone's arrangement and I told them to trust me, I went to hospitality school! Had to Google an article to prove my point!
 
 
 
I didn't really get a chance to taste much of the food though, was busy checking and plating our dessert and my food kept getting cleared. 

During breaks in the meeting, I popped out to snap some shots of the property...typical English countryside! 
 
 
 
 

November 21, 2013

England (Day 1 & 2, 19-20 Nov 2013)

Arrived in London yesterday with my boss AL and we checked into the Lancaster Hotel, near Paddington. 

As we had an afternoon meeting in the office, we had limited time to stretch our legs after the long flight but managed to get a couple of hours at Westfield London in Shepherd's Bush, just a few stops on the tube and we happened to have an underground station right at the hotel's basement! 
My boss isn't much of a shopper and stuck closely with me after we had a quick bite, and I mean closely, following me into every store and I felt bad though she said she didn't mind. 

Bought a couple of items from Zara including a brown mock leather tote and a quilt cover from Zara Home, which was my main shopping target. There were so many pretty things but I felt hurried for time and couldn't shop in peace. But we did stock up at the supermarket though, on goodies to bring back and I bought baby food to lug back too!
We were a tad late for our afternoon meeting, and AL was very quiet, being new and had a persistent cough. Because she wasn't well, we decided to skip a team member's farewell and tapaued dinner from M&S back to the hotel for an early night. 
We are now here in the Cotswolds in England, in a little place called Wyck Hill House in Stow-on-the-Wold. The marketing team is having an offsite meeting to plan and bond, there are so many new faces and having just returned to work for a few weeks, I am still trying to get my bearings. 

We left London this morning and took a couple of hours to get here...am loving the autumn colours! 
 
 
 
Spent the afternoon with a facilitator learning about our SDI personalities before cocktails and dinner, and tomorrow is a full session of presentations and a team building event. 
I am having to pump every few hours...so leceh! The room is cozy and big but am freezing my butt off because I'm not feeling the heater!