Miss May's Etsy Mother's Day Gift Guide

 

Welcome to Miss May's Mother's Day edition. I have selected all my favourite things from Etsy makers.

Let's start with the prettiest floral cards out there on Etsy. I stumble upon The Paper Bird Cage online store. Pastel wreathes, for me, this is the perfect Mother's Day card I'm going to get for my mom! Can't wait to send her one.

 Greeting cards and photo by The Paper Bird Cage.

Greeting cards and photo by The Paper Bird Cage.

I'm currently head over heels in love with the embroidery wall hoop from Thimble & Bobbin. Lauren, the maker, stitches really fun (and inspiring) quotes of her hoops on Etsy. "You got this mama" is too cute to resist!

 By Thimble and Bobbin

By Thimble and Bobbin

Now, I've been obsessing with handmade looms on Etsy. These modern woven wall hangings are made of various fibre of different colours and textures. When I saw Clare of Jade and Frankie's beautiful handmade tapestry, I had to get one for my mother. 

 Beautiful Jade and Frankie loom. Photo by May Leong.

Beautiful Jade and Frankie loom. Photo by May Leong.

 

For something more a little bit more on the dreamy side, I found this gorgeous set of prints by Little Cat Draw. These luna phases, printed on beautiful archival paper, would be perfect for anyone's room. Literally.

 Luna prints and photo by Little Cat Draw. 

Luna prints and photo by Little Cat Draw. 

And for those looking for beautiful handmade ceramic pieces, I've found the loveliest pieces from SIND Ceramics. I'm loving the blush pink ones with gold rims. The ceramic wares are perfect for any occasions, from on the go-go breakfast to dinner party. Love it!

 Beautiful homeware and image by SIND Ceramics

Beautiful homeware and image by SIND Ceramics

You can find more pretty gifts through the Etsy Editors' Pick's page. Have loads of fun shopping on Etsy for Mother's Day, all!

xm

 

Hotel The Exchange Food Guide : Comfy with Typical Dutch

 
 Beautiful, yet unusual rooms at Hotel The Exchange.

Beautiful, yet unusual rooms at Hotel The Exchange.

As you’ll have known, I’ve spent a week in Amsterdam at Hotel The Exchange. Leon (of @hungrysydneysiders) and I managed to find out typical Dutch treats and snacks to share with, in this blog.

Here, I’ve teamed up again with Hotel The Exchange to create this season’s food guide. I’ll be talking about the amazing Dutch eats that are minutes away from Hotel The Exchange. There is such a wide variety to choose from.

Breakfast

It’s a great idea to start off the day at Hotel The Exchange’s Café STOCK. Grab a nice cup of tea or coffee and enjoy some sun in the outdoor seating area. 

I love Café STOCK, as it’s located on the world renown street in Amsterdam - Damrak street, which is bustling all day long.

For something delicious and Dutch, we ordered Café STOCK’s pancakes with ham and cheese. The combination, is just perfect. I had to try the sweet version with a squeeze of fresh lemon and syrup. It tasted just as yum as the savoury ones!

 Dutch pancakes for breakfast at Cafeé STOCK, Hotel The Exchange. 

Dutch pancakes for breakfast at Cafeé STOCK, Hotel The Exchange. 

For those who are planning to visit Amsterdam, it's good to know that Hotel The Exchange is currently offering guests who book their breakfast in advance, their STOCK menu for €13.50 (the usual price is €15.00. ).

This includes coffee or tea, freshly squeezed orange juice, a boiled egg, a croissant and a sandwich.

NOTE:
The STOCK menu does not include the pancakes, so for those who are interested in the other breakfast options please head to this link http://bit.ly/2zfsGyd :)
Café STOCK Damrak 50
 Left or right? When in Amsterdam, you have got to try the raw Herring.

Left or right? When in Amsterdam, you have got to try the raw Herring.

Quick Lunch

Now, care to join me on a typical Dutch foodie adventure? 

First stop, we’re going to try some Dutch raw fish (and it has nothing to do with sushi!).

Stubbe Haring is only 7 minutes walk away from Hotel The Exchange. It’s hard to miss the fish stall as you will see many locals surrounding the food vendor, on the Singel Canal.

This is a typical Dutch street food. I found out it’s an old Dutch tradition dating back 600 years! My favourite has got to be the raw herring served in a bun, complete with onions and pickles. It’s called a broodje haring.

 Leon of @hungrysydneysiders took the challenge of eating like a Dutchman.

Leon of @hungrysydneysiders took the challenge of eating like a Dutchman.

For the brave and adventurous, I would highly recommend eating like a Dutchman where you’ll eat the raw herring ‘straight up’ by holding it by its tail and slowly eat it.

Stubbe Haring's raw fish was strangely delicious! Soft in texture and it smells fresh and salty. This place is a local (and also a tourist) hotspot, so make sure you don’t arrive too late in the evening, as the fish stalls selling raw Herrings normally close early.

Stubbe Haring, Spui 7

 

Dessert

For those who have never heard of Stroopwafels before, it is to-die-for! It is basically a yummy Dutch waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough. The middle is spread with creamy and buttery caramel syrup. Stroopwafel, when translated into English simply means “Molasses Waffles”.

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These Dutch cookies are best when fresh and I’m taking you to the yummiest in town - Van Wonderen Stroopwafels.

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It is a mouthful to pronounce, isn’t it? Van Wonderen Stroopwafels is just 11 minutes away from Hotel The Exchange. This Dutch dessert place is heaven! The large cookies are made fresh to order with all sorts of colourful toppings - mini marshmallows and M&Ms are my favourites. What I loved about these fresh Stroopwafels is that, it is not too sweet. I can have two of them, anytime!

 

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels, Kalverstraat 190
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A Snack From The Wall

If you need a quick snack then your in luck, Just one street away from Hotel The Exchange, is FEBO. What’s a FEBO, you might ask? It truly food on the run, the best way to grab a bight when your in a rush. 

Basically its a hot food vending machine that is refilled every couple of minutes offering fresh and  delicious hot treats. All you need to do is make a choice from the window slots, the range includes Dutch classics -delicious kroket, frikandellen, hamburgers and kaassoufflés. 

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Then, all you need to do is to put the right amount into corresponding window slot and voila, the door opens with your mouth-watering snack ready to eat. My personal favourite has got to be the satay flavoured kroket.

FEBO, Damrak 6

 

THAT'S IT FOR NOW :)

Thank you for reading this post for a foodie adventure in Amsterdam. More to come on what to eat when staying at Hotel The Exchange!

Have a wonderful autumn season all! And for those living in the Southern Hemisphere, happy Spring! 

xom

 

Hotel The Exchange Food Guide : Quick and Comfy

 

Back in Holland for the third time, this time, I’ll be spending a week in Amsterdam, exploring the Dutch cafes and bars that are unique to travellers and foodies. 

Leon (of @leonventures) and I were all checked in at Hotel The Exchange. This Dutch fashion hotel is located in the heart of Amsterdam. Just a few minutes walk from the central train station, it’s close to many awesome cafes and bar. 

 The quirky Rembrandt room in Hotel The Exchange, Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

The quirky Rembrandt room in Hotel The Exchange, Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

Here, I’ve teamed up with Hotel The Exchange to create a yummy food guide. Read up to find out all the best places to grab a bite around this fashion hotel. This food guide collaboration will be Quick and Comfy, followed by Comfy with Typical Dutch and Foodie's Delight in the next two months.

Breakfast

Café STOCK is just next to the Hotel The Exchange, smacked in the middle of the busy Damrak street. Pop over from Central Station. It’s a great spot for people watching. I love Café STOCK’s quirky interior of hand illustrated wallpaper and simple furnishing. 

 Yummy apple pie and chocolate cake at Cafe STOCK. Photo by May Leong.

Yummy apple pie and chocolate cake at Cafe STOCK. Photo by May Leong.

We started off our day with a delicious spread of apple pie, chocolate cake and muffins. The chocolate cake is rich and oozing with dark chocolate. It goes perfectly well with a hot cup of tea. 

Hotel The Exchange is currently having a free breakfast special when guests book on their website. Use the promocode "MORNING!" to receive free Cafe STOCK breakfast on one day of your stay until 1st of November (max for 2 persons).

Café STOCK Damrak 50
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Snack

Melly’s Cookie Bar is a great place to grab a quick espresso coffee, and a light snack (cookies, of course). It has a cute mint green colour interior with loads of natural lighting too. Melly’s has a good selection of cookies,  my personal favourite is the Double Chocolate.

 A nice spot to have a cookie and a cup of latter with my #instagramhusband :) . Only 5 minutes walk from Hotel The Exchange. Photos by May Leong.

A nice spot to have a cookie and a cup of latter with my #instagramhusband :) . Only 5 minutes walk from Hotel The Exchange. Photos by May Leong.

It is just a 5 minute walk from Hotel The Exchange, through narrow and quirky lanes to Melly’s, away from the hustle and bustle of the Damrak. It’s a perfect stopover if you need a quick snack to recharge.

Melly’s Cookie Bar, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 137

 

Lunch
De Laatste Kruimel (in Dutch, it means ’The Last Crumble’) is only 10 minutes walk away from Hotel The Exchange. The apple pie, goats cheese quiche and courgette cake with lemon curd are all to-die-for! It’s true to its word, we ate every last crumble of the delicious treats.

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My favourite has got to be the courgette cake (courgette is also known as zucchini to some). Mouth-watering from the moment I had my first bite. This place is a local (and also a tourist) favourite, so be prepared to stand in line or wait for a table. Small and narrow, I’m surprised how many people De Laatste Kruimel could squeeze in sometimes. 

 

De Laatste Kruimel, Langebrugsteeg 4

 

Dinner

Just two streets away from Hotel The Exchange, it takes only 4 minutes to pop over the Cut Throat Barber Brunch & Bar. This bar also doubles up as a barber shop, great for men who are looking for hipster haircut and a shave.

 Oh those mouth-watering Chicken 'n Red Velvet Waffles with Surf 'n Turf Burger. Photo by May Leong.

Oh those mouth-watering Chicken 'n Red Velvet Waffles with Surf 'n Turf Burger. Photo by May Leong.

We’re here at Cut Throat Barber Bar to try their famous Chicken ‘n Red Velvet Waffles. It does not disappoint. On top of that, we also ordered Surf ‘n Turfburger and Spiked Shakes. The Spiked Shakes comes in three yummy milkshake flavours, and we went for Chocolate and Strawberry milkshakes, with a dash of Vodka in it. Cheers to our first night in Amsterdam!

Cut Throat Barber Brunch & Bar, Beursplein 5
 Cheers to our first night in Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

Cheers to our first night in Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

 

Thank you for reading this blog post. More to come in October and November on what to eat when staying at Hotel The Exchange!

Have a great weekend all!

xom

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNCKBR WEST, Amsterdam

 
 Milkshakes and delicious dinner at SNCKBR WEST, Amsterdam with May Leong and Leon Korobacz.

Milkshakes and delicious dinner at SNCKBR WEST, Amsterdam with May Leong and Leon Korobacz.

When you say, 'Snackbar' in Holland, it simply means having a snack at well known fast food chains. Well, SNCKBR WEST in Amsterdam begs to differ. It is simply one of the healthiest and yummiest food I ever had in Holland. I was here last year and now I'm back again hehe.

Well, we did a little cheeky SNCKBR treat, even the vegan freakshakes are free of additives. Using soymilk as base, we are loving the Tha Sugadaddy and The Macho Mango. Who doesn't love whipped coconut cream, raw cacao and fruity mango in their milkshakes?

For dinner, we kicked off with the Chef's Platter, which consists of the Hummus Superbowl (super yum), Aubergine Canneloni and Falafel. The pita bread that came with were so soft and fluffy, they go so well with the hummus and falafel. Loving it!

We had the Meat Platter and Fish of the Day, served with salad on the side. Everything was just fresh and beautifully cooked, I was so happy I returned to SNCKBR and am looking forward to have another feast the next time I'm in Amsterdam again.

x

m

SNCKBR WEST Kinkerstraat 10 1053EC Amsterdam
 

Dinner At Buvette Bistro & WINE Bar

 
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During our stay at Little National Hotel in Canberra, we popped over Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar. It's official, Buvette my favourite, probably the best French restaurant in ACT!

We started off with a very fruity afternoon cocktails and nibbles. It was a 'Friday Soiree' and head over for a dinner for two.

For starters, we had the tasty Tuna Niçoise. Spiced yellow fin tuna served with potatoes, soft quail egg and marinated anchovies. It was a colourful dish, a feast for the eyes, garnished with olives, tomatoes and green beans.

We are loving the Bouillabaisse, a classic French seafood dish from Marseilles. Today, it is no longer considered a poor fisherman's soup. Buvette's Bouillabaisse is cooked to perfection. Generous serve of king prawn, squid and mussels. Soak up all the delicious sauce with the toasted sourdough that come with.

The Grilled Scotch Fillet is to-die-for. Generous portion of the well cooked steak, served with pommes frites and fresh salad. The consistency of green pepper sauce and red wine jus are well balanced and full of flavour.

For side dishes, we had to try the Kale & Herb Salad drizzled in blood orange dressing. You gotta love anything kale! The healthy salad dish was refreshing, filled with all kinds of goodness - toasted almonds, green beans and pumpkin seeds.

We couldn't say no to Buvette's dessert, although at this point, we were very full. The waiter recommended Baked Apple Crumble and Cardamom Floating Island. Both the desserts are deconstructed. It was a work of art. The Cardamom Floating Island looked amazing with a spherical meringue floating on poached pineapple. The Baked Apple Crumble was served with rhubarb and muscat ice cream. So yummy, needless to say, we polished off the plates.

Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar serves beautiful French cuisine and we are loving it! The staff are lovely and very helpful. We had a wonderful fine dining experience. All in all, great food and ambience. Looking forward to be back!

xm

 

 

Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar
18 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

 

 

Tapas Time at Glass Brasserie

 
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Coming back to Sydney after a 2 weeks vacation was great. We were invited to Glass Brasserie where Leon Korobacz (@hungrysydneysiders) and I had a delicious tapas (and cocktail) time at chef Luke Mangan's restaurant. 

We started off with the prettiest cocktails in town. It was everything a girl could dream of when in Sydney CBD, sipping cocktails overlooking the sandstone facade of QVB.

We had a variety of tapas to choose from. We couldn't say no to Crisp Zucchini Flower, Canapé Kingfish Sashimi and Waygu Burger Slider. The juicy mini burger was one of my favourite tapas, it was compact and filled with delicious goodness (of a normal size burger).

Glass Brasserie's signature dish, Kingfish sashimi was served in a traditional Chinese spoon. One mouthful is enough to savour the beautiful flavours of the fish seasoned with ginger, eschallot and Persian feta.

And you can't say no to Peking Duck Pancakes. Served with cucumber, shallot, coriander & hoisin. I had to say it was finger licking good!

Now, we've been saving room for Luke Mangan's out-of-this-world Chocolate Dome dessert. We all love watching the waiter pour the hot cranberry sauce into the dome, to reveal sweet honeycomb and vanilla gelato. Mix the elements all up with a spoon, the taste is simply divine!

Glass Brasserie is located inside Hilton Sydney Hotel. It's hard to miss the modern sandstone and glass building on George Street. I simply love the gorgeous interior space with natural lighting and high ceilings. A great place to bring a date, I reckon, hehe.

Have a fab day, all!

xom

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Brunch Haven at Middletown

 
 Photo Credit : Leon Korobacz

Photo Credit : Leon Korobacz

Middletown was brunch haven. We met up with my Melbourne friend, Vickie Liu (check out her fabulous Instagram @vickiee_yo) one weekend at Pahran's New Kid On The Block.

We started off with beautifully brewed matcha latte and Coffee Waffles. It was the prettiest plated waffle in Melbourne. Topped with strawberries and  truffle ice cream, sprinkled with edible flowers and micro herbs, the Coffee Waffle was just yum.

Next stop, gotta try the Trio Mushrooms as I'm a HUGE fan of anything mushrooms. Served on home made celeriac puree with crispy pancetta, poached eggs, pecorino cheese and brioche soldiers

Lamb Neck was something you have to try when in Melbourne. This dish looked simple but it exceeded our expectations. Tender meat served with pickled beetroots, heirloom baby carrots and sweet potato, topped with smoked yoghurt.

Wagyu Brisket On House Brioche was a delight. I particularly am in love with the crispy chard (it's like a yummy veggie crisp). The wagyu was served on toasted brioche, with a generous serve of mustard aioli, fruit relish and salad. Just divine.

Now, this one I'm super excited with. Quinoa Salad is a very pretty (and mouth-watering) salad dish. It's got all the nutrition you need - stone fruit gel, halloumi cheese, fennel tops, radish, pickled and roasted cauliflowers. 

We will be coming back to Middletown for sure. Loving their all-day breakfast and lunch, with beautiful mod interior, it is a perfect place to hang out with family and friends. 

Middletown
229 High Street Prahran
Victoria 3181

Open 7:00 — 16:00 weekdays, 8:00 — 16:00 weekends.