Lisbon – First Impressions

(Painting by Manuela Gouveia, in Lisbon’s Sofitel Hotel, Room 7-11, just like the convenience stores.) Until November, Lisbon was uncharted territory for Monsieur and me, yet we’d decided to go and check out both Lisbon and Madeira for various reasons, being: (a) we’d never been to Portugal, (b) the flights and accommodation were insanely cheap…

Nyonya in Notting Hill

When Monsieur and I returned to London after our holiday in Malaysia, it didn’t take long before we were craving Malaysian food, so off we went in search of good Malaysian eateries in London. Before too long, we found ourselves eating at Nyonya, a restaurant in Notting Hill. Nyonya is a word used to describe Peranakan women, that…

Malaysia, Part 13: Formula 1 Malay style

To read Malaysia part 14, click here. To read Malaysia part 12, click here. Leaving Melaka was far from straightforward. There were no buses, as we’d hoped, to take us to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) outside KL, at least, not if we wanted to make a zillion stops en route. There wasn’t a…

Malaysia Part 12: In search of bound feet shoes

Back in London, I had been planning our Malaysian itinerary when something in the guidebook caught my eye: “Wah Aik, 103 Jalan Kubu. Renowned for making silk shoes for bound feet. With foot binding no longer practised, the shoes are now lined up in the window as souvenirs, at a mere RM75 per pair.” I…

Malaysia Part 11 – In the Night Market

Melaka was livelier in the dark than she had been in the daylight. Once we’d bade farewell to Cedric, we walked across to Jonker Street, past the miniature windmill surrounded by a perfect bed of flowers that would look more appropriate in Disneyland. It was a very different place to the one we’d left that…

Malaysia part 10 – Cedric makes Melaka

Owning a rickshaw is serious business in Malaysia. It’s not just about cycling your heart out as you transport passengers from A to B in exchange for Ringgits. You need and an eye for clashing colours, a friend in the plastic flower business and Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen flair; anything to make your ‘shaw stand out from…

Malaysia Part 9 – Melaka Moments

As Monsieur had selected most of the hotels for our Malaysian holiday, I decided to find something a bit different for our time in Melaka. Trawling tripadvisor, I found repeated reference to the Hotel Puri, its fabulous antiques and themed rooms and the über-efficient Madame Jo who ran front desk. If the five-star hotels we’d…

Malaysia, Part 8: Hey Mambo, Melaka!

We were soon to leave the island state of Singapore to return to Malaysia, but first we enjoyed a last breakfast on the terrace outside The Line. There was no more rain. Isn’t that typical? It had rained off and on the whole time we’d been in Singapore but on our day of departure the sun…