Iceland is home to many splendid and magical things like the Aurora Borealis, the filming set of ‘Interstellar’, and vodka.
Yes, vodka IS magical. And definitely splendid.
Especially when it’s distilled into a rare form of purity using some of the oldest rocks on the planet.
When i first instagrammed about attending a dinner Reyka Vodka invited me to, a few friends excitedly asked whether it’s in Malaysia! Looks like its reputation precedes itself. (Reyka has won several awards from the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2011 and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013.)
It is made using lava rocks collected from 4,000-year-old volcanic fields to create a natural filtration system, and some of the purest water in the world (from the Grabrok Spring nearby the same volcanic field). The distillery located in Borgarness, an area that enjoys some of the world’s cleanest air, is one of the only distilleries in the world to be powered by geo-thermal energy that produces zero pollution thus protecting the environment.
The vodka is distilled through a unique copper Carter-Head still – one of only six stills in existence with its ability to remove more impurities than others. It’s so rare that it can achieve an incomparable purity of spirit after merely one distillation.
The result is a vodka with a silky finish, an exceptionally smooth and rounded flavour with a soft natural sweetness, and a subtle fruity vanilla aftertaste.
I was seated with Azhar from NewMan, and Ian from Esquire. We were the fun table XD
Present at the dinner to enlighten us on the wonders of Reyka vodka was its Brand Ambassador, Joe Petch.
Joe began working in the bar industry during his years of music production and DJ-ing and creating a mobile DJ contraption on the back of a van that took him to UK festivals. He fell in love with the atmosphere of being behind the bar and meeting people which quickly grew into a love for analysing cocktails and inventing new flavours. By 2007, he was the General Manager in charge of the bartender-training program and designing the Sahara Bar in Reading’s extensive menu of over 80 handcrafted drinks. He was also asked to contribute articles on drink trends by BarlifeUK and managed events for Sony music, Mini Cooper and Porsche.
After his early success, Joe was employed by William Grant & Sons in London as their UK Brand Trainer. He developed bartender, category & product training sessions for their UK spirits; managed service and trained bartenders at glitzy events such as the BAFTA after parties, the Elle Style Awards. Joe is also a newly-listed blogger for global bar review website BARCHICK.
Joe: “From the resourceful use of lava rock and glacier spring water, to being the only vodka in the world that uses a Carter-Head Still in distillation, Reyka Vodka is able to bring you the essence of Iceland by producing a smooth tasting vodka unlike any other. Fueled by living on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Icelanders come from a tradition of self-sufficiency and making many things by hand, infusing nature and their own unique perspective in virtually everything they do.”
We were treated to a cocktail-pairing dinner that started off with Chilean Mussels on Shells, Truffle Mushroom Wontons and Ricotta Flat Bread. Our delicious starters were paired with Alexanders Martinis (Reyka Vodka, Lillet, Alexander Seeds, Reyka Bitters).
Then i had a scrumptious main of Roast Lamb Rack (with rosemary, crust, cherry tomato on vine, potato au gratin with lamb jus) with Portside (Reyka Vodka, Port, Ginger Syrup, Lemon Juice, Rosemary).
Some opted for the Salmon Fillet (marinated salmon on Japanese dressing with asparagus, deep fried dry dill, basil vinaigrette & crushed basil new potato) paired with Hverfisgata (Reyka Vodka, Muddled Cucumber, Dill, Lemon Juice).
We finished off with dessert of Tarragon Ice Cream served with chocolate meringue and a topping of crushed nuts, served with Midsummer’s Day (Reyka Vodka, Red Grapefruit Juice, Terragon, Lime).
Damn, the number looks so much higher when typed down!
I find it hard to believe i’m 32 (tho i have no qualms about getting older) cos i still feel like i’m 28 or something.
So i turned 32 on Tuesday!
I had a bit of the birthday blues the Sunday before (i always get them), thinking about my life and where it’s going and whatnot. I found myself mentally taking a step back and thinking, “What is my bigger picture here? WHY am i building this company? WHY am i working like this? WHAT am i trying to do… REALLY?! What am i gonna do in the future? Do i want kids??”
You know. Existential crisis and shizz.
It ended up with me starting an account on OKCupid and then abandoning it when i got overwhelmed with messages.
And then as my birthday crept up… that horrible feeling like i haven’t aimed anything in life and feel so lost, slowly faded away into excitement. Sigh, i don’t know why i had to feel so negative, maybe it’s just something i had to go through to feel the polarity of it so i could feel so GREAT on my birthday!
My schedule this week (and next) is packed to the brim. I have lunch, afternoon, and dinner meetings and appointments set two weeks in advance now. Baby notes down my schedule so she can tell people when they can see me. It’s quite mad trying to fit work i actually have to DO in the middle of it all, AND have personal time at nights and weekends (WHERE DOES ALL THE TIME GO!!!?). I didn’t want to do anything crazy on my birthday especially since we just threw that big party for the 11th anniversary. I just wanted to chill, and see everyone for lunches and dinners across a month so i can actually spend proper time with them and talk.
Soooo i told myself i’m gonna GIVE myself a night all to myself on my birthday eve cos i want it, and i should darn well do what i want for my birthday!
In the end i had a one-hour Skype meeting with Rengee cos we haven’t spoken properly on a work thing for weeks and… it was the only time we could squeeze in asap. But it’s cool cos Rengee’s cute little face is always a pleasure to see on my screen
On the morning of my birthday, i went for a workout at Bodytone and just felt so HAPPY to be alive. I just kept on thinking, “It’s my birthday! Hooray! I’m so glad i’m alive! I managed to keep alive for 32 years! I have all my limbs… and i’m healthy and i can move and i’m FINE!”
I mean, when i think about it, i’ve done some pretty crazy shit that could have resulted in me possibly killing myself (i.e. jumping off that cliff in Boracay) BUT I DIDN’T.
And just that pure knowledge and appreciation to be ALIVE and WELL feels… GREAT.
Workout was painful and i pushed myself doing some crazy core exercises that i physically couldn’t do after a point despite me hyping my own self up in my head: “I have arms yay! I can do thissss Oh my god i can i can! I am so strong!” I think i’ve learnt how to be a better cheerleader thanks to Baby, she’s like my little cheerleader in the office: “You can do it Joyce!” / “Oh my god! Why are you so cute?!” / “You’re the best!”
After workout i went to meet my team for lunch, and i spotted a rainbow balloon in the carpark… with Riya holding it. She saw me and i had to brake to laugh in my car cos they obviously wanted to surprise me but it didn’t work out.
We went to Mei by Fat Spoon for lunch (i think it’s officially the #KinkyBlueFairyTeam ‘s favourite eating spot cos we had our yee sang dinner there, the rest of them go there once a week, and now, my birthday lunch XD)
Riya is no longer with us and Lui Xia just joined us as an intern.
I had a stick of chicken gizzard, a chirashi bowl and a hot chocolate. When the bill came, Chelle said lunch was on her for my birthday. We were all like, “AWWWW” so loudly (i’m starting to realise we’ve become a rather noisy team) till Chelle put on a straight face and announced if we continued doing that, she’d pull back the offer. The awwws died down swiftly.
They took a picture of me outside holding my birthday balloon!
I’m so happy about the balloon!! Do you know, i’ve never brought home a balloon from my own shop even tho i’ve always wanted one? Every time we have balloons from a shoot or the party, i end up letting everyone take one home… except myself. And nowww i finally have!
Wednesdays are an extra special day to book trips… because of Visa Wednesdays!
Back from now till 10th June, Visa credit and debit cardholders get additional savings (on top of existing promotional rates) on Agoda.com every Wednesday!
If you’re looking to go to Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, Middle East, Japan or China; you’ll get an extra 12% off bookings made on agoda.com/visawedmy. Anywhere else will be an extra 10% off, which is still something! Every little bit counts when it comes to travel… you can use the extra money for shopping or an extra awesome meal
Every Visa Wednesday, a featured hotel and destination will take the spotlight.
Like today, there’s an extra 30% off the Narada Boutique Hotel on the Shanghai Bund, so you can stay on the Bund for less than RM300..!
Look out for the upcoming promotions on www.agoda.com/visawedmy, there’s lots to see and booking in advance is imperative if you want to plan a great trip. Prices are updated frequently according to availability, with flash sales happening on a regular basis.
My parents and i stayed at one of 12 roof top villas – that each come with two bedrooms, a private pool, living and study area, and kitchen.
Mummy sitting in the lower right hand corner! Daddy was so cute, counting steps around the whole villa to check how big it is.
There’s nothing like a private pool. Once you have it, you can’t return to Bali and not enjoy one.
Well, *i* can’t! My prerequisite when booking a place is ALWAYS a private pool!
I loved the interior design of the bedrooms, it was really cool and colourful without being overbearing.
Staring at that carpet design now is making me wonder if i should get something similar for my new bedroom… I get so inspired by interior every time i travel. The problem now is my taste for interior (and its cost) has shot through the roof. :p
Oh god i miss this bathroom. It was lavish and huge and i loved how the floor felt beneath my feet.
It was so pleasant to use in the day time too thanks to the lovely skylight they had installed above the rain shower.
Alia Bastamam recently introduced her new Atelier & Bridal 2015 Collections in a whimsical medley of cascading drapes and cuts aesthetically true to Alia’s design DNA. Aptly named ‘From Dusk to Dawn’, Alia’s collection this season focuses on the fluidity of movement inspired by the capricious movement of the silent dancing fairies in an adapted film of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Which is your favourite? I daresay i have more than a handful! Eyeing up some of the pieces shown that night made me want to run for a workout ASAP so i’d look ace in it. ACE.
Even the bridal dresses got my attention, despite my being in zero position of needing one right now. Still, i found myself mustering up vague reasons for me to wear a white dress JUST BECAUSE they were so pretty! I think i’ll wear white for my birthday next year!!
Manyyyy more runway shots of the enticing collection after the jump
I keep on thinking about this skirt i keep on meaning to pop into Uniqlo to get. It’s been on my mind twice a week for ages, and i feel so OBSESSED with it cos i just feel it’d be a staple addition to my wardrobe! And that’s just me being ‘good’, cos i know i might lose the plot if i spent too long in there.
Been wanting to post up pictures of this collection by Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo cos it’s too good not to share. Ines was born and raised into a life of luxury and beauty by her French stockbroker father and Argentine model mother. Known for her aesthetic looks and luxurious chic style, the model / fashion designer / aristocrat / perfumer was on the list of International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1998. It’s no wonder Ines was a muse amongst top international designers such as Karl Lagerfeld who handpicked her to become the face of Chanel in the 80s. I interviewed Ines in Paris, so i undoubtedly have a soft spot for her and the collection she worked on!
Uniqlo’s third collection season with Ines de La Fressange sees the inclusion of her signature indigo with caramels and delicate grays. There are lots of linen and cotton items, making the collection extremely versatile and timeless. I can see myself wearing them in our tropical weather here, as well as casually throwing them in my suitcase to pack with me for a European summer vacation.
The Spring collection emphasizes caramel – representing the beautiful environment of Southern France. You’ll also find vintage styled sports jackets, chic sweat shirts, the updated dyed neon jacket, mischievous playfulness in neckline openings, and soft feminine silhouettes.
For Summer, the collection includes pieces that resemble a vacation in Marrakech, Morocco or in a Mediterranean seaside town; portrayed using nuanced vanilla and limestone tones. Look out for the richly embroidered apron shirt and dress, and windowpane check patterns.