Saturday, 22 October 2016

Huis ten Bosch Part 2

Hello! Back with Part 2.

While we were at the wine festival, they had a bingo game! So two of us bought cards, since we were sitting there (and there were prizes to be won)

Not the winning card
Since there are five prizes, they gave them out randomly. The prizes were labelled A-E, and everyone chose one bottle. The letter at the bottom of the bottle is the prize you win.

 So... guess what we got for dinner?

Prize - everything but the garlic bread
 We also took a break from all the wine to look at the flowers!

My ticket doesn't give me entry to the Palace Huis ten Bosch, so I spent most of my time in the little market leading up to it!

I've already seen the gardens inside, so it wasn't much of a loss. Plus, there were gardens outside! This one is by someone who has a very similar Chinese name as me!

And for a minute, I thought I found the seven-league boots, but it turns out they were just huge pots.

The last thing I want to share would be the illuminations! I probably share these every year, but I really do love the photos.

Especially the difference between day and night! Umbrella street is pretty all the time, if you ask me

Do you dare test your drumming skills in front of the world?

Ok, this is really just a picture spam, but at least it's a pretty pictures spam. And for some reason, my brain is absolutely kaput after one driving practical lesson, one theory lesson and a few hours of accounting. So I shall leave you to the photos(:

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Huis ten Bosch Halloween and Wine Festival

Hi everyone! I went to the Wine Festival at Huis ten Bosch with my friends! We actually went there a few years back, but not everyone was of legal drinking age then, so we planned to come again when we're all over twenty. So here we are!

I've got quite a lot of photos (and not that much time), so this post will be a two-parter. Today will be about the Halloween and wine festival!

Huis ten Bosch is totally doing a Halloween theme right now (and a cheese festival too, oddly enough), so for lunch, we decided to go somewhere with a special menu.

and extremely cute decorations
One of my friends chose the cheese galette (part of the cheese festival thing)

And I chose this adorable black risotto! It's squid ink with cheese, and the flavour of the cheese was stronger than I expected (which is nice because CHEESE). The portion was just right too - I managed to finish everything and was pleasantly full afterwards.

After that, we walked towards the wine festival. And there were lots of interesting Halloween decor!

There's actually a beer festival going on (not to mention the fact that the wine festival is going on in two different places), but we were only interested in the wine.

There are basically three plans: The first two are the "all you can drink" plans. One is for the whole day, and the other is for three hours. Since we're all not very good drinkers, I got the whole day plan because I'm definitely not going to drink everything in one go (we decided to space it out).

My band. Got to show that every time I order
 The third, which is what my friends got, is a card that lets you sample 5 different types of wine. This is pretty good if you don't intend to drink very much (I definitely drank more than five glasses, and over a span of 6 hours so I made my band worthwhile)

And here we are! At the tasting session!

The wines were definitely tasty, although we stuck mostly to the sweet wines. (And mostly white too, for some reason, we didn't really get the red wines).

The last thing I want to share in this post (because I have to get some stuff ready for school but wanted to start writing because if I didn't this will never go up) is that I managed to try one of the Halloween sweets!

This is a pudding and while it's not as good as the salt pudding from Itoshima, it's pretty good. Plus the cup is adorable (though I didn't get to bring it back - I think you have to pay more for that).

Monday, 17 October 2016

Lupicia Grand Marche

Lupicia is a tea shop and they had their first Grand Marche in Fukuoka this weekend! Obviously, I signed up ahead of time and went in.

There were quite a few people there, but luckily it wasn't very crowded. There was enough space to move around and not get jostled.

This is the first time that it's being held in Fukuoka, and I hope the sales are good enough that it becomes a yearly thing.

Since I signed up ahead of time (like a few months ago, because this is tea OF COURSE), so I got a door gift! They are cookies (which look good) and tea clips, which is going to be useful when I open up packets!

Reservation is free, by the way, so you've got nothing to lose by signing up.

The Fair
The first thing I saw was this cute retro car:

And the second thing was this corner of exclusive teas!

Basically, Lupicia shops have regional exclusive teas, which are all available here, in a special size! They have teas from overseas (I saw America and Australian teas) and from around Japan.

I probably should have gone yesterday, because quite a few are sold out already, but sooooo many teas to sniff here. And I love the labels.

But I stayed strong and didn't buy anything from here because I have so much tea at home.

Next to the limited edition corner was a Turkish tea booth! It sold accessories and tea, plus you can try the tea. I was very tempted to buy something, and maybe I will if they ever hold the Grand Marche again. Right now though, I've got to watch my wallet a little (especially in view of what's going to happen this week)

When I saw this I realised that I can organise my life around tea. This tea is meant to be drunk after 5pm and is supposed to make you more beautiful and increase 女子力 (feminity).

The taste was only so-so to me, and since it's over 1000 yen (even after the discount) I gave it a pass.

They also had scones that are not available in Kyushu!! This, I could not resist. I ended up buying two - milk tea and rich cream. I've already had the milk tea, and it's pretty good, though a little dry (but I ate it without heating it up since I don't have a toaster)

They have also had Te Mari, the tea that unfurls in hot water:

My bro asked to talk to me (when I called my mom) and when I asked what tea he wanted, he said "anything that changes colour there?" Since it was no, the unfurling tea is his second choice.

Of course, in my brother's case, he likes to watch the tea, and then I'm the one that drinks it :p

They have a matcha section, and I liked the strawberry and Acai one so much that I bought it! It's really pretty too. The Apple was pretty good as well, though I didn't try the chocolate flavour. They also had a recipe leaflet which I took just in case.

Oh, and Lupicia had a tie-up with Meiji AND THE MILK TEA IS AMAZING.

It's sold in conbinis so if you see it you should totally get it. I haven't seen it in the conbinis that I've been to, though, so I hope it's not already sold out.

They also had the Halloween teas! But I don't know about my feelings towards pumpkin flavoured teas so I skipped it.

The weirdest tea section had to be the one about tea made from vegetables:

I saw mulberry (which is nice) and some weirder ones like corn and um... Onion peel. Yes, onion peel. I tried that one, and it tasted like a tea version of onion rings. Not terrible but definitely not for me.


Apart from the tea buying, they had some demonstrations!!

One was on how to roast tea leaves (top is before, bottom is after)

Apparently, Lupicia sells this tea-pot-like thing that lets you roast tea at home. And the handle is hollow, so you can get the tea out without making a mess.

And there was a Chai demonstration!! The guy was quite funny, he was turning left and right to pose while doing this. I quite like this because he also talked about how to make milk tea (while telling us how to make chai). Obviously, Lupicia sells a set where you can make the tea from scratch and a ready made version. There's a non-caffeine one that has ginger which is good for pregnant ladies, but my cousin says she doesn't drink tea nowadays so...

Got some hot chai to drink. Soooo yummy

Eat-In Corner

Ok, this is not a corner but more like a food court!

Lupicia has a snack and food corner. Most proper meals were already sold out, but the patisserie section seemed really popular.

There are a few sets and they seemed quite nice, but I was... A bit out of money when I saw it 😅

And they had a 'Tea Bar' to sell TEA COCKTAILS.

There's an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version.

My cocktail - Rose Royal base (one of my favourite teas!) with sparkling champagne. And some other stuff. They did also provide the recipes for the cocktails, so I guess I can try to make it at home too!

I wasn't going to buy it because I had just enough money for the things in my basket, but then my mom replied my message and I ended up having to withdraw money (ran like crazy to avoid the higher charge but still had to pay the higher fees) from the nearby conbini so I decided to get it.

The cocktail was SERIOUSLY GOOD

Lupicia Haul

I hesitate to say tea haul because a lot of it isn't actually tea. And I forgot to take the macarons out of the fridge (yes, there are tea macarons and they are amazing. I tried one with the champagne - there was a sale when I bought it and it's limited edition).

Anyway, only the matcha and food are mine. The rest of my buys is for others. I can't believe that even with me holding back, I spent enough to get a free membership to Lupicia