Welcome to CLAK! I am Charlene and I own an online skincare boutique, www.efreshsingapore.com. I will love to share about my sweet family, skincare tips and reviews, my travelogue and everything that excites me.
Welcome to CLAK! I am Charlene and I own an online skincare boutique, www.efreshsingapore.com. I will love to share about my sweet family, skincare tips and reviews, my travelogue and everything that excites me.
London has always been Kel’s favourite. Probably due to the fact that he studied there and had a lot of memories in London. I love London too, the liveliness, the musicals, good foods and safety.
My sweet mister treated me to a business class ticket on this holiday. We took a midnight flight and I think the timing of this flight was superb. Our flight departed at 1am and arrived 6am in London. We slept after supper was served. We did not feel tired when we landed and can cheong immediately.
Unfortunately I packed Summer for London but London as usual is always chilly. So my plan for my first stop was a nice brunch and then shopped for some outerwear.
We took the underground from Airport to Gloucester (Picadilly Line) as our hotel, Crowne Plaza London Kensington was located right next to Gloucester station. We headed to South Kensington’s Muriel Kitchen for Brunch. I have to say I love their Latte.
After a heavy meal, we walked around Kensington to find my outerwear. Honestly I felt really silly as we only planned 3 nights in London and I know Italy is going to be hot. Of course I was also calculating the difference between pounds and euros. We ended up in Sloane Square as our dinner at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is there. I grabbed a cardigan and prayed it will be sufficient to take me through this holiday.
The dinner was fantastic and you can read about the experience here.
Hahahaha, Kel and I are perfect holiday mates. Our interests and style of travelling. We loveeeeee shopping and we both agreed that we are each other best shopping companion. Our Day 2 was to Bicester Village! We bought a lot of stuffs 2 years ago and we will like to see what good deals they can offer this time round. We booked a coach to Bicester through Evan Evans Tour. It cost 28 for a return trip. They provide a courtesy pick up service at a no of hotels in Central London, there was one at Radisson Vanderbilt (2 min walk from our hotel) to Victoria Coach Station. From Victoria you will change to the Bicester’s coach. It takes around 1 hr 30min to reach Bicester from Victoria station. You will be handed a return slip for you to board the coach at 5pm.
We got a 10% coupon for all shops except Prada. I keep reminding Kel that we will be going to Italy after this so please buy sensibly. End of the day, I only got myself a McQueen Scarf while Kel bought a lot. 🙁 Bicester got a tax refund office so you can take back your tax refund immediately. This is only possible if you will leave EU within 21 days with the goods you are claiming. You will need to leave them a credit card details in case you do not send back the stamped tax form. They will charge your card then if they do not receive your forms within 90 days.
For more information on list of brands and information about Bicester Village, please go to their website for more information.
I planned a dinner at Hawksmor but we were very tired so we cancelled the dinner plan and ate at the lobby instead. The hotel’s dinner was disappointing. 1st bad meal in this holiday.
We cancelled the breakfast arrangement at NOPI because both of us wanted to have Asian food. We headed for Four Seasons but after reading a lot of reviews that their standard has dropped over the years, we tried their neighbour Gold Mine. As the restaurant only opens at 11am, we at coffee at a nearby joint.
At Gold Mine, we were very satisfied with our choice. I had Wanton Mee and Kel had the roast meat rice. We ordered a roast duck to share. Of course we could not finish, the portion served was really huge.
With such heavy lunch, we definitely need to walk and digest. We took the tube to Picadilly Circle and walked around. we had coffee and brownies at Fernadez & Wells.
Kel suggested Covent Garden and we walked there after our coffee. Convent garden was lively as usual with all the street performers.
We had an early dinner at Burger and Lobster. No fussy menu, only 3 items. Lobster, Lobster burger or Lobster Roll. With all the reviews, We had high expectation for this place. End of the day, we thought the lobster was only mediocre, I mean we are from Singapore where seafood are all fairly good. Maybe we were too picky or still full from the roast duck.
Miss Saigon!!! I love musical so I booked the tickets while we were in Singapore. We got very good seats, 6th row from stage. A bit disappointed as the female lead was not the usual lead. Her voice was a bit too sweet, I prefer powerful vocal. Overall we enjoyed the musical.
Our last night in London so we took a slow walked after the musical to the train station and enjoyed beautiful night view of London. We promised to be back.
The name doesn’t need much introduction. Chef Gordon Ramsay’s first restaurant. A 3 stars michellin flagship restaurant located at Royal Hospital Road led by Chef Claire Smyth and her team to provide elegant and unsurpassed modern French cuisine.
I made the reservation 4 months in advance and been looking forward to this day. It is definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We planned our day 1 around this dinner so that we have time to dress up for this dinner.
London is chilly even in Summer and the pathetic part about me is I brought nothing to cover up. I read up on TripAdvisor and everyone is complaining about the hot weather. Thus I never expect the temperature to be so low. We went shopping at Sloane Square for an outerwear for me to keep warm and we took a nice and slow walk to the restaurant.
We were the 2nd group of diners at RGR. The service staffs are very welcoming and warmth. It is a very small and private restaurant with only 14 tables. (Now I understand why the need to make reservation so early in advance). 14 tables but there are definitely more than 10 service staffs. It is almost like 1 service staff per table. The staff checked who made the reservation and handed me the menu with price indicated and Kel had the menu without. This is a nice gesture as your guest will not feel stressful when they are ordering. The Sommelier recommended a very nice German red wine and both of us chose the 7 course Menu Prestige. The restaurant surprised us with 3 very delicious appetizers.
Click here to view the RGR-Prestige-Menu
Our 1st dish is foie gra. I am not a fan of any sort of liver but for an experience I tasted and gave a thumb up for it. Kel on the hand preferred the foie gra at Maze.
Next up was the signature lobster ravioli. Maître D, Jean Claude Breton told us this has been on the menu since day 1. It is heavenly and Kel loves it. Kel is very picky about Ravioli and he gave a very high rating for this dish.
Jean Claude then served the monkfish. It came with a specially prepared broth that goes very well with the dish. The broth came in a small jug where Jean swirled and handed us the jug for us to appreciate the aroma of the broth before pouring it over the fish.
I especially adored my main course which is the lamb. I don’t know how they could made a lamb so tender that it melted in my mouth.
Next, I had a Mango, Jasmine and Passion fruit soup while Kel chose the cheese selections.
Pre dessert was served. It is a cucumber sorbet with crushed mint leaves. It was meant to neutralise our taste buds and prepare us for the dessert coming up next. The dessert was a lemon parfait with honeycomb. Kel thought it was too sweet but I love it. The sour and sweetness was carefully considered while preparing this dish. Jean Claude surprised us again with 3 more desserts when I called for the bill. Nice frozen chocolate, salted caramel chocolate and something that looks and taste like our osmanthus flower jelly.
The best surprise Jean Claude gave was the invitation to visit the kitchen! OMG, we could not believe in our luck. We saw Chef Claire Smyth in action. Chef Claire Smyth is the Chef Patron at RGR and she is the first female British chef to hold and retain a 3 star michellin rating. Not only that, Chef Claire also won Chef of the Year 2013 and scored a perfect 10/10 in the 2015 edition of Good Food Guide.
It was a perfect experience and a wonderful way to kick start our holiday. I do hope to come back again on our next trip to London.
Remember to make reservation in advance if you are planning to head down.
Nearest tube station: Sloane Square. Walk around 15min from Sloane Square station to restaurant.
0207 352 444168 Royal Hospital Road
Every mother will understand the pain of post natal hair loss. At around 4 months post partum, many mothers will be surprise to find themselves shedding more hair than usual. I always get the advise from fellow mummies and doctors that this nuisance will stop by 1 year post partum. (Helloooo… if I really shed for 1 year, I will become botak). My 1st pregnancy, I dropped excessively for around 2 months and my hair started growing back thereafter. Thus with my 2nd pregnancy, I thought things will be like my 1st.
To my horror, at 3 months post partum, my hair dropped till I literally have no more fringe!! I do not have a lot of hair to begin with. So can you imagine my thinning hair with no fringe.
I was depressed. Hair is very important, it can build or break your self confidence. We all understand that on a good hair day, we will feel like we are in some Music Video strutting with wind in our hair. Can you imagine yourself going out and everyone asking you about what is wrong with your hair and are you seeking treatment? I was desperate. I started googling on everything about hair loss. Google says eating food high in protein will help, it also states Vitamin B is an essential part of having healthy hair. Sourcing for all different shampoos for hair loss. I tried everything. Including spending $1500 on a laser helmet which claimed to tackle hair loss within 1st use. All to no avail. ( Lucky I sold the helmet to cut loss) Kelvin kept telling me it is ok, I can get a wig for the time being….. sob sob
Then I chanced upon a PHS sample shampoo in Kelvin’s gift pack from a Golf Tournament. I tried and that day my hair felt really clean. So again I googled and realised this has to be purchased from their salon. I headed down to the PHS outlet in Takashimaya level 5. The 400ml shampoo cost $79.90. The lady at the counter offered to do a scalp analysis for me to ensure that I am getting the right shampoo for my condition.
It was really depressing because when they scanned my scalp, the screen showed a lot of my scalp, very little hair. The consultant suggested I try the DSR treatment. Detox, Stabilize, Regrow in short. We all know treatments like this are really costly and I had already spent a lot on shampoos, gadgets and health foods but all to no avail. I am not very sure if I want to part with a few thousand dollars to try something new. They offered me to try 1 session at $88 to have a feel of the session. $88 for a SPA session at PHS is really worthwhile as their usual price without package is $348 per session.
I went down the next day and tried the Detox session at their Wheelock branch.
Honestly, the whole procedure felt very relaxing. The SPA area is tucked away from their usual salon area. There are only 6 seats in the SPA area. You get your own massage lounge chair with an iPad loaded with movies and dramas. The therapist will usually offer you a change of attire as the SPA session will consists of a 20min shoulder and neck massage. The change of attire is to prevent the massage oil from staining your clothes.
After offering you your choice of drink, the therapist will begin the 8 steps procedure. Be prepared to spend 2 and a half hours there if you are going for SPA session. The salon session will be shorter as it skips the massage portion.
I have been doing my treatments there weekly for coming to 4 months now. I am also using their range of Hair care. I am using their PRO shampoos and conditioner. I alternate between the Hair loss and Detox shampoo. I am also using their Tonics which my consultant said it is very important.
I recently also bought their hydrating hair ends care. I bought the Detangling Spray, Argan Oil and Hydrating Cream. Out of the trio, I am not too impress with the Detangling Spray. I don’t find it really useful and it has a very strong silicone smell. I do use the Argan Oil the most. You are supposed to use it on damp hair and the Hydrating Cream after you dried your hair. I tend to forget about the cream.
I will like to say, I do see my baby hair sprouting out now. Although still a long way to go before I can regain my previous glory but I am happy with the progress.
I will probably stay on with the treatment, maybe once a month in the future. Just as a maintenance. I pray and hope I will never have to go into that frantic state ever.
They are currently having a promotion, if you have friends or relatives who are their customers, you can quote their name when you go for the trial. They will get a free purifying treatment. If you do not, you can always quote my name. 😛 Charlene Sim.
PHS Hair Science is located at the following places:
Monday to Friday: 11am – 8.30pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 10.30am – 7pm
enquiry & booking hotline+65 6692 0662
Website : PHS Hair Science
This is probably one of the most stressful period every parent will experience. It is Lauren’s turn this year and we will be going in at phase 2B. We are hoping to get into Rosyth School and we know how competitive it will be, base on past years history. I have attached a history of Rosyth’s applicants based on years and phases.
|Year||Vacancy||Phase 1||Phase 2A||Phase 2A2||Phase 2B||Phase 2C||No of pupils living withing 1kn took part in Phase 2c Balloting||Remarks|
|2002||480||226||4||58||65||127||262||Balloting at Phase 2C|
|2003||440||224||9||54||66||88||221||BAlloting at Phase 2C|
|2004||420||190||9||44||48||129||191||Balloting at Phase 2C|
|2005||390||164||7||70||54||95||194||Balloting at Phase 2C|
|2006||390||234||11||62||42||41||181||Balloting at Phase 2B and 2C|
|2007||360||188||12||59||50||51||169||Balloting at Phase 2B and 2C|
|2008||360||156||14||74||56||58||153||Balloting at Phase 2C|
|2009||330||131||5||60||53||81||173||Balloting at Phase 2C|
|2011||300||168||13||70||25||24||108||Balloting at Phase 2B and 2C|
|2012||300||145||23||46||43||43||113||Balloting at Phase 2C and total applicants for Phase 2B=47|
|2013||300||144||27||67||31||31||120||Balloting at Phase 2B and 2C|
|2014||300||156||25||62||28||29||95||Balloting at Phase 2B and 2C|
Monitoring the seats left daily since 2nd July (Phase 1), counting my chance. There were 37 seats left for phase 2B in Rosyth. I had many sleepless nights. Kelvin told me to relax as we had done all we could. Easier said than done, I called MOE up to check on what other options I have if my Plan A fails. I decided that if we cannot get a seat at phase 2B for Rosyth, we will not try phase 2C as it is crazy. Not lucky at 2B, I guess will be even harder to be lucky at 2C. We will try Paya Lebar Methodist Girls for 2C if we fail to secure a seat at Rosyth.
If you are not aware who is eligible for each phase, I have attached a table below for your reference.
|Eligibility||Primary One Registration Phase||Remarks|
|For children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents||Phase 1||For a child who has a sibling studying in the primary school of choice|
|For children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents||Phase 2A(1)||(a) For a child whose parent is a former student of the primary school and who has joined the alumni association as a member not later than 30 June 2014. (b) For a child whose parent is a member of the School Advisory / Management Committee|
|For children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents||Phase 2A(2)||(a) For a child whose parent or sibling has studied in the primary school of choice. (b) For a child whose parent is a staff member of the primary school of choice|
|For children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents||Phase 2B||(a) For a child whose parent has joined the primary school as a parent volunteer not later than 1 July 2014 and has given at least 40 hours of voluntary service to the school by 30 June 2015. (b) For a child whose parent is a member endorsed by the church/clan directly connected with the primary school. (c) For a child whose parent is endorsed as an active community leader|
|For children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents||Phase 2C||For all children who are eligible for Primary One in the following year and are not yet registered in a primary school|
|For children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents||Phase 2C Supplementary||For a child who is not yet registered in a primary school after Phase 2C|
|For children who are not Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents||Phase 3||For a child who is neither a Singapore Citizen nor a Singapore Permanent Resident|
On the fateful day, 20th July, We sent Lauren to school as usual and set off to Roysth School. We reached at 9am and the security guards guided us to the Band Room. The walk to the Band Room gave us a little time to have a look at the school compound. Once we reached the Band Room, to our horror already 27 registered! We still have till 21st July 4.30pm. Oh dear.. Looks like we will have to ballot for a seat. 🙁 It was really embarrassing as at that moment, every parent who walked into the room, we gave each other that “oh… you are my competitor” look. We can all understand this because we all know with each additional applicant, the success percentage of our child securing a seat becomes lower. I do not want to be so selfish, all of us in this phase put in a lot of time and effort. I do hope everyone gets in. I prayed hard that there will only be 37 applicants. Kelvin was even joking that maybe we should place a “Fully Taken Up” sign at the gate of Rosyth. LOL.
The next 2 days was really torturing, I refreshed the MOE website so often that my phone signalled a “Data Limit reached” reminder. 1st day of registration, 33 applicants. I know it is hard to expect only 4 applicants only for the 2nd day, I told Kelvin to be prepared that we may need to ballot for this phase. To my surprise, the 2nd day result came back with only 6 applicants! A total of 39 applicants for 2 days. Lauren has a good chance!
I called Rosyth the next morning and was informed that Lauren secured a seat without the need to ballot!!! I screamed with joy and the teacher who informed me laughed it off. I immediately sat down and cried. It was tears of relief and joy.. My concerned colleague thought I did not manage to secure a seat. LOL. So drama..
I called Kelvin to share the good news. We are both very thankful as we know how lucky we were. That evening, we shared the news with Lauren. She was ecstatic. We told her Papa and Mummy tried our best to help her into Rosyth, it will be up to her now to help herself. Fighting Lauren!!! We believe in you.
It was my 1st visit to Kidzania, I have heard so much about it and finally I decided to combine a family trip, Guys can golf, Ladies can Shop and Kids go Kidzania!!!
A little background about Kidzania, They currently have 16 locations worldwide and there will be one coming to Singapore end of 2015! Every KidZania is themed as a child-sized replica of a real city, including buildings, shops and theaters, as well as vehicles and pedestrians moving along its streets. In this city, children aged 4 through 12, work in branded activities from bottling Coca Cola, working in a dentist office, working at a Mcdonalds restaurant, washing hands with P&G’s soap, and using airline tickets from AirAsia.
I have to say whoever that came out with this idea is a genius. Even myself is in awe of the whole concept. It’s like we always asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. The answer to this question is answered at a single venue.
Kidzania Bangkok is huge, there is 2 levels, (3 infact, as there is a small underground for 1 of the occupations). We arrived at Siam Paragon at 11am and there was already a long queue at the ticketing counter. We bought our tickets online before the trip thinking that we can skip the queue. Sad to say, we still have to queue to collect the tickets. My advise is to just buy the tickets there to avoid all the hassle. We were all given a wrist tag, that is for security purpose where it is equipped with ID chip and frequency antenna.
The 1st thing we did is to go to the bank. 🙂 We were given a cheque of 50 Kidzos( Kidzania currency) where we have to cash it before we can start the journey. Lauren chose to be a policewoman at the 1st stop and earned herself 8 kidzos. Her role was to patrol the town and looked for suspicious character.
Next she signed up to be a doctor and she went around the city in an ambulance to treat someone who called for help.
All and all we spent 5 hours there and sad to say we did not manage to complete the city. We will definitely return to complete as I could see that it brought so much fun and joy to the kids.