Sunday Night Rituals

posted on: July 26, 2015

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Sunday nights are a time of rest. A time of rejuvenation, and let’s face it, slobbing about. As I’m sure you do, I have my little rituals for every Sunday night, in preparation for the daunting week ahead. A little pampering here, a little snack-eating there, it’s all important.

One part of the ritual which I am religious about is using a super-detox mask. Using a mask once a week that cleans out your pores, tightens the skin and gets it ready for all the makeup I’m going to put on tomorrow morning is always a good idea. These masks could be a gentle peel, but I find that clay-based ones really dig deep and get your skin in order. For the last few months, I’ve been using Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask, which is all tingly and minty when you put it on, kaolin-based, and leaves the skin super fresh, rather like I’ve been running about in the cleanest of air with no makeup on for the past few weeks. Think of Maria’s skin in the Sound of Music, once she’s come down off that mountain.

Combine this 20-minute mask with a classic movie, and Sunday night is all set.

I love Leanne Shapton’s books, and her “Sunday Night Movies” illustrated tome is just incredible – so creative and clever in the design, and featuring some of my favourite films.

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This Week

posted on: July 26, 2015

This week’s panoply of pleasures. How was your week?

Clarins Eclat Minute

I’ve been addicted to this beautiful gloss – Clarins Eclat Minute Instant Light in Rose Shimmer

cha tzu tang

Very cool products from Taiwan brought by my brother and sister-in-law. Regardless of the super packaging, the smell is amazing.

 

dim sum

When old pals visit Hong Kong, it’s only polite to take them for serious dim sum, multiple times, no?

 

Japanese marble drinks

Japanese glass marble soda – you push the marble down into the liquid which makes it start fizzing. Don’t ask me how it works, but is damn cool.

 

caramelised lemon cakes

I’m rather proud of my caramelised lemon cakes, if I do say so myself.

Papa Dobles – Drinking at Home

posted on: July 23, 2015

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I seem to be on rather a Hemingway kick lately, trying to read everything as quickly as I can. It might be something to do with the cleanliness of his prose, and how everything seems simpler when reading it, and yet not less intelligent.*

It seemed fitting to accompany this phase with a round of Papa Dobles, his favourite drink. Invented by the bartender at El Floridita in Cuba, and named after Hemingway, who could easily put away six of them, or twelve if he was on rather a bender, this drink is uncompromisingly citrusy, strong, and tart. It is perfect as Hong Kong is reaching its summer heights of heat and humidity.

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Papa Doble (a.k.a the Hemingway Daiquiri)

An ice-cold glass

2oz white rum

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice

1/2 oz maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)

1 lime wheel for garnish if you want to be fancy, or a squeezed-out lime-half if you’re dealing with tiny little Thai limes like I am.

Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar, if it is too sour.

Combine, and stir.

(below is my clever new trick – freeze ice into a glass by tipping it onto its side in the freezer. Definitely delays the dilution.)

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*It might also have to do with his descriptions of comestibles, which I find to be some of the best writing of all time;

“There were few people in the brasserie and when I sat down on the bench against the wall with the mirror in back and a table in front and the waiter asked if I wanted beer, I asked for a distingué, the big glass mug that held a liter, and for potato salad.

The beer was very cold and wonderful to drink. The pommes a l’huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil delicious. I ground black pepper over the potatoes and moistened the bread in the olive oil. After the first heavy draft of beer I drank and ate very slowly. (…)

I mopped up all the oil and all of the sauce with bread and drank the beer slowly until it began to lose its coldness and then I finished it and ordered a demi and watched it drawn. It seemed colder than the distingué and I drank half of it.”

A Moveable Feast, 1964

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posted on: July 16, 2015

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