Author: marina

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Birthday season is in full swing and last weekend was the most important one – mine 😉 The festivities, or the food fest to be more precise, went on all weekend and I have so many pictures:

Pastry Class

My first present I got a day early: For Saturday, Thorben had organized a secret activity and I only found out what it was when it started. He tried (and succeeded) to make me think it was a big group exercise based thing, so clearly I was a bit skeptical 😀

Thankfully, we didn’t do a crazy boot camp but a pastry class. Someone we know is a pastry chef and she taught Tim and I how to make St. Honore cake (which included pastry cream and caramel), cream puffs, Choux aux Craquelin, and eclairs. It was a lot of fun and we made industrial quantities! While it wasn’t strictly exercise, my arms still got a workout 🙂

Birthday Dinner & Cake

After all that hard work, we got cleaned up and then headed out to dinner with Tim and Boramy. It was so good and I took too many pictures. Back at home, we joined by two more friends to help us celebrate and make a dent into the cake and pastries. If I may say so myself, everything we made was amazing, so I turned 29 super stuffed and happy 🙂

Birthday Brunch

The eating continued the next day, with brunch and then more cake and pastries at our place. Even after feeding 20+ people, there are still eclairs and cream puffs in our freezer … Not that that’s a problem 🙂

Birthday Party … and more cake

The rest of my birthday was spent at the W Hotel. They had a “Viva Ibiza” Party on their beautiful terrace – you really can’t celebrate with a better view. Also, there was another cake. I love birthdays.

It was such a fun weekend and I’m so lucky to have so may wonderful people in my life. Thank you to everyone who took the time to celebrate with me, and thank you also to my family and friends across the globe who called and send birthday wishes!

A Shanghai Tourist Weekend

A Shanghai Tourist Weekend

Over the long weekend, my sister and her husband came to Shanghai. Now my whole family has been to Shanghai 🙂

The weather was perfect, bright blue skies, 26 degrees and no humidity! That meant we spend a whole day exploring Shanghai on foot, with 27,852 steps to be exact. In the morning, we did a walking tour of the French Concession, including stops at Xintiandi, Fuxing Park and Tianzifang. Despite Thorben’s worries, I didn’t get everyone lost, we arrived at all the planned stops 😉 And because the weather was so lovely, we also went to the Bund and Jing’An Temple in the afternoon.

The rest of their visit was more relaxed with brunches, a trip to the park, dinner and some shopping. Thanks for coming to visit and come back soon! 🙂

Last night, we made dumplings

Last night, we made dumplings

We don’t only go to restaurants or order takeout … sometimes we also work hard for our food. Yesterday, we went to a friend’s house to make dumplings. April had already gotten the dough from the fresh market and prepared the filling before we arrived. I think the filling was made out of chicken, cabbage, spring onions, ginger and some spices.

So to be exact, we didn’t really make dumplings, just stuffed the filling into the wrappers 🙂

My technique still needs some work, but we had fun and they tasted really good – both boiled and pan fried. Great Chinese-Malay-Luxembourgish-Canadian-German cooperation for sure!

Wuzhen Water Town

Wuzhen Water Town

In the beginning of last week, I went on a 2-day business trip to Wuzhen. Wuzhen is a beautiful, ancient water town about 2 hours away from Shanghai. It was built over 1,300 years ago but I think most of it has been restored and renovated rather recently.

While we had meetings during the day, I got a few pictures at twilight on the way to dinner. Afterwards, I wandered around for another hour. Everything was lit up and it looked really beautiful.

In order to see more of the town, I got up early the next morning so I could go for a walk before the next round of meetings. It was so worth it because at 7am everything was so peaceful and quiet. There were hardly any people around so I could take lots of pretty pictures. I really couldn’t get enough, so here is way too many of them:

Most of the town is really touristy with lots of restaurants, cafes and shops selling junk. When we left, there were loads of tour buses and cars parked outside, so I can only imagine how crazy it must be on weekends.

In the late evening and early in the morning it was easy to forget that this is a tourist hot spot. I was really lucky I got enjoy the beauty of the place without many people around and had nice weather as well 🙂

Long Weekend Birthday fun

Long Weekend Birthday fun

Last Friday, it was Qingming Festival, which meant a 3 day weekend for us! This was the first time we stayed in Shanghai for a holiday, but we had just as much, or even more, fun. Sunday was Thorben’s birthday (32 – getting old 😉 ) and we pretty much celebrated all weekend.

The weekend was off to a good start with “Social Retox after Dark” on Thursday night at the W. It’s a monthly night brunch they’re doing with free flow drinks. The food was delicious and it was a fun night.

Friday, we tried out a new spot for lunch and had yummy southeast Asian food and then checked out the largest Starbucks in the world, which opened in Shanghai a while ago. It’s huge and filled with tourists/people but it was still pretty cool to go see it once 🙂

For the exercise part of the weekend, we helped 2 of our friends move that day and then had a poker night at our place. Saturday night, we went to “The Big Fat Sober Party” – a cool event with food, mocktails and stand up comedy.

For Thorben’s actual birthday on Sunday, we had a big brunch with almost 30 people and then enjoyed the great weather at a park – it was sunny and 28 degrees 🙂

Overall, a fantastic, sunny, friend, food, and fun filled weekend!

Cherry Blossoms at Gucun Park

Cherry Blossoms at Gucun Park

It’s officially spring! Trees and flowers are blooming everywhere and it’s finally getting warm again. On Sunday, it was sunny and the sky was blue, so while Thorben played archery, I headed to Gucun Park with friends to see some cherry blossoms.

Gucun park is a big park, pretty far away from the city center. It took me about an hour each way but it was so worth it because they have the most cherry blossoms of any park in Shanghai. I read somewhere they have more than 12,000 cherry trees! I don’t know how much of it we covered because the park is huge, but in any case, it was just a sea of blossoms, truly stunning. Last weekend, the trees were in full bloom, so it was really busy there, but with some strategic photo taking, you can barely tell 😉