Reviews

Brunetti’s, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Brunetti’s is an Italian dessert paradise. There’s a store located in Lygon Street and in Bourke Street. If you find it, this shop could tide you over through breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.

If anything, go see the desserts in the display windows; they are decadent. They are to die for. Small and shareable treats, there’s something for everyone’s palette. Fruity, savoury and butty rich and chocolatey, light custard; whatever you want, they have it. And they make it with full-bodied Italian flair. Do yourself a favour and spend the afternoon here over a coffee. What a scrumptious delight!

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

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Speights Alehouse, Queenstown, NEW ZEALAND

Speights Alehouse is modern gourmet pub food for the discerning customer. We were drawn in by the lunch specials and the tantalising menu. They offer information about providence, where the lamb came from, how the fish was caught, sustainable farming, gate to plate produce.

And the food tasted good. Really good. Tender, succulent, rich, simple. We ate here several times through our week in Queenstown and discovered that you should come early in the evening as it becomes quite popular later on. It’s a family venue celebrating history all over its walls. (And free wifi-!)

Bangers and mash, catch of the day, roast lamb and potatoes. Treat yourself to a hearty, locally sourced meal.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China 

Tiananmen Square is such an interesting place. Harsh, brutalist buildings enclose a vast empty space right before Chairman Mao. It’s true grandeur.

We made a couple of rookie mistakes purely because we had no idea what we were doing and we couldn’t speak a word of Mandarin. We alighted the subway at Tiananmen Square and planned to see it and the Forbidden City in one venture. When we reached street level, we saw enormous queues and security check points cutting off any direction remotely leading toward where we wanted to go. We couldn’t check if we were in the right place or where to go, or why there was security because we couldn’t speak the language, so we walked around. We walked a full length of the Forbidden City, through a local community until we reached the side entrance and entered there. It took us some time to figure this out.

When we came back to Tiananmen Square, it was sundown and the queues were less, so we went through the security check point. Lo and behold, both the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are right there before you.

Moral: follow the crowd.

In a serendipitous coincidence, dusk was the perfect time to be here. The major road was blocked off for a slow of military might as the army marched in to lower the flag. Be there for that if you can.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Muslim Quarter, Xi’an, China

The Muslim Quarter is a labyrinth of food stalls and trinkets. In all my travels, I found this area to be one of the most interesting food scenes for sizzling squid, chilli tofu, dried spices and vats of mystery broth. It was cold, so we walked through mists of steam and smells of roasting delicacies. There seemed too many options to choose from, all of them pungent, all of them packing flavour. We found respite from the cold in a cute little bakery and ordered hot chocolate; which was a whole squeeze of Hersey’s chocolate sauce into warm milk.

This whole area is absolutely worth exploring, at no cost to you. It’s a full sensory experience of lights and sounds. Plus you can do all your souvenir shopping here too!

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Baltazar Roiz Castenheiro Successor, Lisbon, PORTUGAL

The hot chocolate is devilishly thick, and the pastel de natas are light and crispy. The aesthetic is 1950s luxury department store and the history of it having existed since 1829 just adds to the grandeur of the patisserie. What a delight we stumbled upon.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Holiday Inn, Shanghai Downtown, China

The Holiday Inn was everything we needed. Close to the subway so we could sightsee through the day. It’s located in the Downtown area so it’s not central to the major tourist sights, however the subway is easy to navigate. We found it difficult to find somewhere close by to eat out, but I guess we didn’t know where to look. The hotel has fast wifi, a good restaurant and reliable facilities. A solid recommendation.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China

The Oriental Pearl Tower is iconic Shanghai. It can be seen from The Bund and marks the skyline. Going up the Tower is a must-do and I would urge you all to be a child for a day and to have fun.

We went up to the viewing platforms, even though the visibility wasn’t great. The queues were long but crowd control made it a painless wait for us. You could spend hours up there just learning about the cityscape and landmarks.

Once you’re done seeing the city from a great height, there’s a 4D roller coaster, glass floors, virtual reality visions of futuristic Shanghai and more. Some of these experiences costed extra and were knaff and gimmicky (but fun).

Our whole experience at The Pearl Tower was slightly pricey, but an essential tourist experience.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.