Celebratory Meal at Cheneston’s Restaurant

“I am going to treat you, Sister Elna. Where would you like to go?” asked my friend Adiben over the phone three weeks ago. She recently got a job promotion and wanted to invite me to dinner, and asked me to pick any restaurant in Kensington. I wasn’t sure it mattered too much, I told her. She knows I am not picky with food and I’d rather have her decide where she wanna eat. Continue reading

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Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake (aka Swiss Black Forest Gateau) is my number one favourite cake. And it’s on top of the most delicious cakes I have made from scratch, better than any bakery or patisserie made. I found a recipe from The Cake Bible by Rose Beranbaum, award-winning American baker and cookbook author, and her version of this classic German cake was inspired by Confiserie Tschirren in Berne, Switzerland. They brought the recipe from Germany after World War II, and it has since become the national cake of Switzerland. In Rose Beranbaum’s words, “the Swiss version is far lighter and more delicate than the original German one, which also includes buttercream.” Continue reading

Ann Ong: Filipino Fashion Accessory Designer

I’ve lived in London for over sixteen years now, and in the last five years I have seen how some Filipinos are making waves in the UK, particularly in the creative and design industries. Since 2001 the British Council and the British Fashion Council (BFC) have chosen a number of  emerging fashion designers from 25 countries including the Philippines to the International Fashion Showcase – London Fashion Week (IFS-LFW). The purpose of this programme is to showcase the work of new designers and to celebrate the universal relevance of fashion in contemporary culture. Most, if not all, of the Filipinos who were invited to the LFW over the years have been featured by Vogue and other international fashion magazines, and have made a name for themselves at home and/or abroad. Mitch Dulce, Ken Samudio, John Herrera, and others are some of the talents that were discovered by some fashion editors at the IFS-LFW, and their products are now being sold in the UK and other parts of Europe. Continue reading

Recent Visit to the UK Supreme Court

I recently toured the Supreme Court building for the first time, and couldn’t have been more impressed. I have been wanting to visit this building for years, not so much for its history but I must confess that the courts hold such a fascination for me. Becoming a lawyer was my childhood dream that’s why I took up Political Science in college (I actually did convince myself as a young girl that someday I’d be a ‘trial court judge’ — too ambitious, i know haha!). So I planned to go to law school, worked towards fulfilling that goal, and even passed the UP College of Law entrance exam but ended up studying business and international relations in Japan. Continue reading

The Only Surviving Extravagant Private Palace of Victorian London

I am delighted to have had the opportunity to visit Lancaster House, an historic building in London, a couple of weeks ago. The tour guide, an employee of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), took us around and after exploring the stately home I said to him, “Wow! This is a vibrant piece of living history. What a shame that the Crown Estate do not open this magnificent mansion to the public.” He explained that this is the only government building that’s used for conferences and other official functions, and as such it would not be easy to keep its door open to the public. I told him that if Buckingham Palace can manage to open some of the state rooms to the public during the summer months then surely the government can do the same thing when the FCO is resting from its gruelling diplomatic functions. Continue reading

Celebrations and Cakes, Once Again

Consider this a mere placeholder.  Suffice it to say that I did bake these cakes last month for kids at our church. Three of our young people, Angeli, Heather and Tobi, graduated from high school and started junior college, and three small kids, Aaron, Kelly Mae and Zaye, celebrated their birthdays. I’ll come back and fill in this post with some details, and hopefully a recipe and more photos. PrincessCake.JPGAirplaneCake.JPGPoliceCarCake.JPGgraduationcakeAngeliTobiHeather.jpg

University of the Arts London (Chelsea-UAL) Textile Design Show

Next door to Tate Gallery Britain is Chelsea College of Arts, a constituent college of University of the Arts London (UAL), one of UK’s most prestigious art and design school. The UAL Summer Show showcases the results of a year’s hard work from students who are completing the post-graduate studies.  Continue reading