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fukuoka, kyushu, japan

Futons in Fukuoka

Annual family holidays were never quite a tradition in mine. Not until two years ago, when we started to make it a point to travel together, to take our parents to countries they’ve never visited and to live under the same roof again, even if it was just for a week.

In May 2014, we went to Fukuoka, Japan, where we slept on ridiculously comfortable futons in onsen resorts, feasted like royalty for breakfast and dinner, thereafter soaking in 40 degrees celsius hot springs that made our hair astonishingly soft and silky.


When exploring a village where our lunch venue was, we walked into a shop selling pottery, art and all kinds of knick-knacks. There must have been over 50 shelves crammed within that small space, yet everything had its place.

A man sat in the back and greeted us as we entered, with a cigarette in one hand and a paint brush in another. What followed after a short exchange of words, I never saw coming. He started to paint each of us a drawing on the spot – as a gift for us to take home. And we hadn’t even purchased anything from him yet.






After getting our soba fill, we made two stops before checking into the onsen resort. Iichiko Hita Distillery, where we picked up some bottles of shochu for the rest of the trip, and Kokonoe “Yume” Grand Suspension Bridge – Japan’s longest and highest suspension bridge.


The onsen resort we stayed in for one night was small and intimate. Free beer, tea, and coffee were available in the lobby and we wore yukatas and socks to dinner. With two hours to spare before that indulgent 12-course affair, we had to take a mandatory dip in the hot springs, which was perfect for the chilly weather.


fukuoka, private onsen


Thank you brother, for planning this trip two years ago and being the driver, translator and guide for one week.

More on Fukuoka, Kyushu to come.

hong kong street

Street Watch: Hong Kong

A series of photographs taken in March 2014, whilst weaving through the streets of Hong Kong on foot. (Not counting the tram ride up The Peak!)

hong kong street

hong kong temple street

temple street night

hong kong street

hong kong the peak

hong kong street stall

hong kong street stall

hong kong city

hong kong streets

hong kong street stall

man two dogs hong kong



Crabtree & Evelyn Christmas Specials 2014


Red coffee cups have graced the Starbucks stores for weeks now; Orchard Road’s decked in full festive decor and Christmas shopping beckons with options aplenty — especially with the return of the Crabtree & Evelyn 2014 Christmas collection.

Packaged beautifully as always, this year’s Seasonal Spectacular sees an indulgent array of Christmas gifts marked at several price tiers to fit your budget. It ranges from festive fragrances and gift collections in various scents, to hand care gifts and festive food picks.


Limited Edition Home Fragrances

Besides the perennial favourite Noël, a new fragrance, Hollyberry, joins the shelves with its fruity yet spicy scent. Think notes of red currant, coriander, fig, nutmeg and frankinsence (a sweet, warm balsamic aroma).

While they come in various forms such as oils, sprays and candles, what stood out most for me was probably the Home Fragrance Diffuser ($98 for 180ml). And here’s why: It comes with a charming ceramic dove perched on top.


Hand Care Gifts

These award-winning hand therapy lotions are without a doubt the perfect gift for mothers, or ladies in general. Pictured above are the Deluxe Hand Therapy Samplers in Pink and Navy ($78/ 25g x 12), each with a different set of fragrances.

They also come in large musical tins for $83 and $58, featuring their top 12 hand lotions and scentsational six respectively. Just take my money. Take it. 

If that’s too steep for you, I’d recommend the Top Hand Therapy Trio, Limited Edition Hand Therapy Trio or Botanical Hand Therapy Trio (top image; I bought this!) — each metal tin comprising three different 25g hand lotions for $33.



Festive Food Collection

If food doesn’t already excite me, their gorgeous packaging sure did.

The tempting line up includes biscuits in flavours like triple chocolate chunk, honey and oat, lemon and white chocolate, paired with classic teas like english breakfast, earl grey and afternoon. And of course their berry preserves. Tea party, anyone?

Festive food hampers in rattan baskets are priced from $80 to $200, while their Collectable Design Tin consisting of 2 biscuit tins, 1 berry preserve and 50 grams of tea retails at $68. They’ve also got a Biscuit Assortment in a Musical Tin ($75) with christmas pudding biscuits, spiced ginger biscuits and all butter citron biscuits to name a few.

crabtree-evelyn-christmasA macaroon Christmas tree baked specially for the media preview. 


The Crabtree & Evelyn 2014 Christmas Collection is now available at all 12 stores.

View their full Christmas catalogue here.
Click here for information on How to Order.

Happy shopping, everybody!

Thank you Word of Mouth Communications and Crabtree & Evelyn for the media invitation.