Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baking Class at The Quincy

SPOILER ALERT: You know it's sometimes fun and exciting when you don't know what to expect? Well, this post will tell it all.

We were having lunch at the lobby restaurant when a staff approached us and ask if we would like to join the baking class. Jane's carrying Lia at that time so Ashrie and I decided to join.

There were two other couples in the class. Each of us has been given a colorful apron and one person from each couple receives a nametag. We were also handed two recipes, one for chocolate cupcakes and the other for vanilla buttercream frosting.

Everything was prepared in advanced. The oven was preheated, the measured ingredients were in bowls and the butter's already softened at room temperature.

Our trainer was quick, very knowledgeable and lively. We hand-mixed the cupcake mixture, Ashrie wrote her name on the cups and in minutes we were scooping the chocolate mixture onto the cups for baking.

After a little cleanup, we then got to frost some mini cupcakes (these are different from the ones we're baking). Ms. Trainer frosted one cupcake as a sample and we are to design seven cupcakes per couple using the available buttercream icing in different colors and a variety of candy sprinkles. 

For fun, a judge chose one cupcake as the best one and the couple received two small bottles of rock candies. The generous winner gave one bottle to Ashrie being the only kid in the class.

Before the hour is done, our chocolate cupcakes are out of the oven! They were returned to us together with a big white box to bring home and enjoy along with the mini cupcakes we frosted. T'was fun indeed!

Thanks to The Quincy Hotel for their Qool Weekend Promotion. If you'll stay on Mondays to Saturdays, you will get to enjoy their Painting Session instead.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Family Staycation at The Quincy Hotel

It was our 8th Wedding anniversary last Monday and since we had no time to have a romantic dinner for two (because no one's going to look after the two kiddos) we decided to have a break last weekend. It will be our first time to have a staycation with our newest member and we're curious on how it will turn out. We are also trying a boutique hotel for a change. 

Here's a happy Ashrie at the hotel lobby and entrance.

Below is the view from the pool deck on the 12th floor.

With the recent boom on the boutique hotel trend which provides a competitive and creative alternative to mainstream hotels, it’s definitely worth a try and find out how they fare in terms of design, service and hospitality especially for families like us. 

THE LOCATION. Although in the city, it is located a distance away from the busy Orchard Road which is ideal if you really want some R&R. We stayed in one of the hotels along Orchard last time and it was indeed fun to go shopping because of the proximity. But here, because it's about a 10 minute walk (with young kids this will be doubled) to Paragon Shopping Center which is the nearest shopping mall, we stayed in the hotel the whole time. We are locals anyway and don't need sightseeing. Also, vehicular traffic is not busy which is a good respite from the noisy city street. 

THE ROOM. As expected there were mirrors all around. There's a mirror wall in the foyer, and two more in the bathroom. There's a long mirror panel above the bed all across the entire wall and another on the TV panel. Plus the see-through tinted glass of the bathroom wall. This works for our advantage as we can see our daughter from the bedroom while she plays in the tub. 

The flooring is made of black granite tiles. It is used all throughout the room up to the shower. I'm not sure if it was cleaning season or if they removed the rug for good, but there was no rug in our room during our stay. 

Tiled floors are cold so I would suggest bringing bedroom slippers for your kids. 
I love the wall to wall windows. You can choose to have unobstructed view of the outdoors (and them of you as well), use the sheer curtains, and at night for privacy, you can close the roller blinds automatically with a push of a button. Ashrie loved operating it. It's really cool! 

THE BED. Our bed is huge. We initially requested for two single beds but they have set-up our bed as a king size, which is actually twin beds placed side by side. Seeing that the size could fit the four of us we decided to leave it as it is. I think a cot can be requested but we opt out knowing it will eat up more space. With a bed this big, I wonder if they forgot to bring in another nightstand and lampshade on one side or it's another cost-cutting measure like the missing rug. The stainless steel frame is a unique touch by the way.

THE TOILET. Fitted with sleek toilet fixtures and with Molton Brown toiletries, the toilet and bath is well equipped with more than enough towels for a family. I'm not a fan of the sink because it is too shallow for me, (which made my washing of baby bottles troublesome). The weighing scale seems to remind you that you need to hit the gym or the pool which is open 24 hours, by the way.

THE FOOD. We had lunch after we dropped our things in the room and that was the only food that I paid for. Neither that we had no food later nor we did not pay for dinner but the complimentary snacks, cocktails, dinners, breakfasts and lunches were more than enough for your satisfaction. The buffet spread was limited but was always replenished. Just be sure to come down on time on dining schedules.

There's a free flow of soft-serve ice cream (kinda reminds me of Wendy's) and the coffee bar is right at your disposal.


The mini-bar is stacked with different can drinks and bottled water and is free. We also got a complimentary bottle of red wine.

THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE. Jane and I had fun. Ashrie had fun. Baby Lia, well she's definitely "at home" and slept most of the time. Boutique hotels can be family-friendly after all. So, if you are not looking for grand lobbies, imposing chandeliers, intricate ceiling cornices and cushioned hardwood furnitures, well, this might also be for you. The ambience is great, the staff were friendly, and the room is clean. We give it 7 out of 10 stars!

And have I told you we joined the baking class? During our staycation? And right there in the hotel? More of that on my next post. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home and Decor Singapore Instagram Contest

Looky! This is my winning photo for Home and Decor Singapore Weekly Instagram Contest.

Although I haven't received the official mail or collected my prize yet, it's just fun to be recognized.

The photo was taken on our wooden coffee table from Mode Studio. I just placed THE magazine in lieu of the usual coffee table books and took the shot together with some of our coffee table staples: my revived, almost one-year-old Boston fern, two antique gas lamps from the Philippines, Seletti's large Bugia & Lanterna Candleholder from Fred Lives Here, a pinecone I purchased from Galanga Living last Christmas (it did not go together with the other Christmas decorations to the storage and was displayed perpetually the whole year) and lastly a small glass cloche I ordered from the US.

By the way, the contest is still ongoing (click the link above) and there are two more prizes to be won. So if you are from Singapore, you are free to join as well.

Good luck!

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