cait +tiff


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C / London cheese crawl

cheese-hunt

One of my favorite things to do is travel insane distances for a specific dish. It has taken me to tiny food carts outside of Chaing Mai to find Andy Ricter’s favorite Khao Soi, to the belly of Bangkok for the best duck noodle soup, and even to Queens one time. It was crazy.

So this week, I am on a mission for cheese in London. This country is basically a giant farm, dotted with cities, so that people can have beers and watch movies. The cows here are easily twice the size of cows in Cambodia, because they are healthy, well taken care of, and not eating trash by the side of the road. The Perennial Plate did a short video about Neal’s Yard Dairy, a London cheese shop that makes beautiful delicious cheese. It is now on the list, and since I am actually in London this weekend, there will be a field trip. Maybe two. I will report back.


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C / london checklist

Big-Ben

I LOVE LONDON and no one is surprised. It’s an amazing city full of art and life and music, and everybody knows it. It’s hotter than usual here, which means people are talking about the weather even more than usual (is that even possible?) and I get to giggle when people complain that its 85 F/29 C, and they are “bloody melting.” I have refrained from telling grown ups they are babies, and should try Phnom Penh in April. Anyway, look at me, droning on about the weather, I am basically British already.

So before I left for London, friends from all over the world gave me lists of restaurants, introductions to friends, and names of exhibitions that I absolutely must see. I will do all of those things, but I haven’t yet. Below is a list of things that I have done, in short form, because lists are fun and I have to leave for school soon.


Fell down in public.

Got called a “f*%$king c@#$”because I didn’t know where the exit for the Northern line was. Seems deserved.

Went to Buckingham Palace.

Pretended to see the Queen and pointed at a window excitedly.

Ate fish and chips.

Had a visitor! (Hi Travis!)

Got totally lost and had the day of no working public transportation. And forgot my keys.

Watched Wimbledon (from a bar.)

Saw Big Ben. (So BIG.)

Converted how much my dinner cost to USD. Tears.

Did fake British accent in front of actual British people. I think they really liked it.

Went to block party and judged a kid’s singing competition. I was not an official judge, I was just doing it on my own, Sarah was the obvious winner with “Walking on Sunshine.”

Saw two wonderful ladies from Phnom Penh. Missed it a little, then got over it with brunch.

Wore the wrong shoes.

Started school, felt like a dinosaur.

Gave someone directions. BAM.

Drank the best coffee, probably ever.

Listened to London Calling, while in London. Thanks Lenore.

Saw three wonderful friends from different walks of life in London. Smiled all day.

Got my NYC fast walk back.

Went to the Tate Modern, looked pensively at art for 2 hours, then began re-naming all the pieces. Enjoyed myself.

Found delicious Indian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian in my neighborhood. Food, not people.

Spent too long on list and now must scramble to get ready for school.

Miss everyone.

caitsig


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Photo Credit: Alice Maplesden

Photo Credit: Alice Maplesden

Cait leaves today, Tiff holds down the fort. All feelings are had. In the past 9 weeks, we’ve only been in the same city for one third of that time.  There is a distinct mix of  happy and hectic energy in this place right now, and after hugging most of the people I love in Phnom Penh last night, I am ready to get on a plane and start my life for the next few months. Shit. I’m probably ready. I am happy knowing that I will have easy communication with Tiff, thank you internet, and connecting doesn’t require as much logistical effort than it used to. We are neither in the 1920s nor some sort of connection desert. One thing is need to make sure to do while gone is put in effort to not only catching up, but having new, interesting conversations with people far away. Updates are exhausting. The friend talent in this city is at a peak right now, and having such an amazing bunch of weirdos around fills my heart up. I am grateful. This time next week, you will have have a two-country blog to read, from two of the most different places in the world. It’s bound to be interesting. Ok, love all of  you, I’m out.

Leaving the land of cheap beauty treatments, I am going to need this guide.

And for eats, Cait absolutely needs to get her shakshuka on here.

Kind of clinging to comfort objects right now. Favorite jeans, pizza, and this soundtrack are filling my life.

Meanwhile in Phnom Penh, pizza gets made in tuk tuks.

I’m pretty sure London is cold all the time, I should probably buy 5 of these. 

So happy that others have noted this trend too.  On the other hand, all hail the rise of the American actress.

Interesting piece on staying connected. 

Have you checked out Cambodian-American songstress Laura Mam’s faves in Phnom Penh yet?

This water bottle is coming with me, because it’s so awesome. I have to learn how to say it without the “t’s.” (Wa-er bo-le.)

There is so much good music this week!  For enlightenment, check out the new Beirut and for a party, some new Robyn!


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T / london marathon

headerI’m only onto the second city in my great dash around Europe at the moment, but I’m only getting the first moment to sit and digest it all right now; this morning in my pal’s bright and sunny flat in Copenhagen.

London was a whirlwind. There were full on sprints to catch everyone and everything all in.  Out of the three cities I’ve called home, my shortest time was spent in London (only a year!).  So I was surprised to find how quickly I slid back into the thick of things, the rhythm, the cadence of the city, and most importantly, all of my friends who live in the this crazy beautiful (albeit slightly precipitous) metropolis that never sleeps.  Just to let you know, this sprint began pretty much upon landing at 540am.

So I thought I’d share a few snappy snaps (the city needs no words), and some of my favourite digs in London today.  Some of them are new haunts that my hip friends lovingly shared.  Others are old faves.  In any case, the city and its people were a bit gigantic hug.  I’m eternally thankful for having such great friends here who welcomed me back with open arms.

walk

What can I say? Regent’s Canal was the best way to slide back into the thick of it.  At 13.8km, stretching from London’s grittier but hipper east, through the posh central and off to the romantic west of Little Venice (my old hood), my pal and birthday twin Emily couldn’t think of a better way to spend a sunny afternoon in the city.  With little pubs like The Barge House dotted along the canal, you can stop and have a cocktail…or several, to keep the weary traveler going.  A Bloody Mary topped off with a pitcher of Aperol spritz? Don’t mind if I do. london-walk2

london-eat

London gets a bad rap among eaters.  But gosh darn it, London is also a multicultural hotbed for so much delicious creativity.  From pop-ups that revolve around the sommelier to my favourite Eritrean resto, which started out as a tiny little family run place in Maida Vale and is now packed all the way to its closing hour.  With a little research, you pretty much can’t go wrong.  My London pals are fans of the Indian delights at Dishoom at Cait’s new digs at Central Saint Martins just next to Kings Cross St. Pancras.  And what a pretty industrial space, which I neglected to take photos of because I couldn’t keep my hands off the food.

London-Drink

The single most satisfying beverage I’ve had on this trip so far can be found at the Peg + Patriot in London’s Bethnal Green neighbourhood.   At first I was a little apprehensive about Pho Money Pho Problems. I am coming from southeast Asia after all.  That apprehension lasted a millisecond.  This savoury cocktail killed me with how it hit every note.  I was in London and Hoi An at the same time.  I’m going to have to hand our local boozehound the challenge of recreating this cocktail when I’m back in town.

London-Drink2

So that was my London.  If you’re coming soon, check out this little whack-a-mole of guide from the peeps at 12hrs!


All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.  And don’t blame us about wanting to move to London and facing high real estate prices.

 


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Photo Credit: Kristen Martincic via Miss Moss

Photo Credit: Kristen Martincic via Miss Moss

Guten morgen and stuff! That’s basically all the German I know, along with what I learned from the musical number in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Austria is SO pretty. The Sound of Music did NOT lie. I have been busy stuffing my face full of schnitzel and bratwurst and other things I like pronouncing with a Schwarzenegger accent, while trying to balance my meat intake with walking everywhere. Walking on sidewalks is so much fun. Tiff is gearing up for her trip and leaves in a couple of very short days. Soon, this blog will be all European, which I think means we have to pay taxes, but we get great healthcare. Anyway, we are both buzzing in the fun energy of change right now and excited about a lot. In the next few weeks, you will see a bunch of travel posts, maybe a preview of another Tiff-made website or two, and a helluva lot of food photos. Also anticipate a “holy balls I am moving to London” post. Anyway, here are the things we think are great this week.

Cait’s in Salzburg and naturally, I sent her a baker’s guide to the city.

Have you seen Pumping Iron? I am in Austria and all I can think about is this. Watch it, it’s pretty fantastic.

I called London home…four years ago.  Time for me to get my haunts in the city updated. Thank you Cereal City Guide.

This just happened in Vienna, and I wish I had planned to come earlier!

Gosh I love it when I discover a gorgeous blog from the great north.

I went here last week with my mom, and ordered the same dish I had 5 years ago under totally different circumstances. Get the pigeon.

I’m so digging the rise of the lady warrior this month.

Speaking of lady warriors, this old Vogue photo stays with me.

After three weeks of the sicky thump, I am back to the grind and this is my jam.

Come to Austria, eat Mozart Balls. 


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C / London Calling

hey-london
 I have been extremely lucky the past few months, and many of my brave friends have trusted me to make custom clothing for them. It’s been amazing and tons of fun, but at times, extremely frustrating. I have no formal training in fashion, and learned how to draw from an internet video. I can work with that, but the deeper I go into this fashion rabbit hole, the more crazy things I want to pull together and the more skills I need. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am moving to London in the summer. I will be there for three months and have enrolled in a fashion design program at Central St. Martins. I am calling it “fashion camp” because the program is 5 days/week, all day, and I am assuming there will be some serious capture the flag competition. Stella McCartney went to this school, so I figure it will just take a few months to be equally successful.

The last time I spent any time in London, I was 24 and with my best friend, Lenore. We bought our tickets to Europe at 5am in a Bolivian hostel, because we wanted to visit our awesome new British friends, most of whose names I do not remember. I think there was one named Kizzy. It was a bad choice, and we paid for it. We spent a lot of the time deciding whether to eat or drink our dinner, and I remember counting coins obsessively. The things that stuck with me about London are the bitter cold, that you can sneak on a bus without paying by using the back door, the guy yelling “HOT NUTS” near the Tower Bridge, and how good the hot chocolate was at the Tate Modern. This is a very long winded way of saying that I need advice. I need places to eat, shop, run around and sleep.

CSM, as the kids call it, is situated in a nice little spot near Kings Cross. From what I hear, this is a nice area. I am looking for a studio/one bedroom any where within a few train stops. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I am not opposed to roommates, as long as they don’t make me feel old and don’t mind a ton of art stuff all up in their business.

london

Holy crap, I just realized this city has no semblance of a grid. Jesus, it’s like a kid dropped spaghetti on the floor and her parents were like “Yeah, that looks good enough.”

I’m not gonna make it.

caitsig