Friday, June 05, 2015

Australia my home sweet home!

Good morning matey!

Finally I am saying these words HOME sweet HOME in a place that I always want to be -- Australia! I moved here since December of 2014 and since then a lot of things happened. Some kinda roller coaster ride if I say so. To begin with, I had my Internship at Jamie's Italian in Canberra, witnessed the Sydney Easter show with Woolworths cooking demo and met Jamie Oliver for the second time!

There are good news but also had bad news - My Mum passed away last April. What a sad birthday month it was and I couldn't find words to write anything here in my blog about my good news. In spite of that I know Mum is in a happy place and she will be more proud of me now.

So now back to all the back log I need to do and one of them is to write this post to say I am happy to make tons of meat pies this winter and probably looking forward cooking more Pavlova, Lamingtons Meat Pies and other Aussie delights. On top of that, Greek cuisine will be a new learning as I want to be a good loving partner to my Greek man as I never get tired cooking for him everyday of our life together :)

This is it for now and I am looking forward to write another Jamie Oliver story and more adventures here down under!

big hug,
joanie  xox

Monday, July 28, 2014

With Locals (Vietnam)

I have recently tried something interesting that led me to write and share  here in my blog. I know all of you guys are aware of the idea about home-cooked meals and sharing it to people as a paid meal is becoming a popular thing these days. Though it is not a new idea, it created a bandwagon globally! I myself have done this thing seven years ago when I opened my tiny 24 square meter avant-garde apartment in Manila and welcomed a hundred of couples and cooked them some lovely honest to goodness meals!  It is indeed called “The Artist Chef” intimate dinner for two.

Given this digital age, the idea has evolved into the next level – there are two websites that I know who are doing this thing in Southeast Asia. One is plateculture website. This site invited me to be part of their community of cooks and I currently offer a unique global cuisine dining experience on their website.  But one day, I wanted to experience this idea through a deeper Vietnamese style of cooking and I wanted other people to cook for me. I didn’t try plateculture as I have heard more buzz about this website called “WITHLOCALS” and I have been seeing blogs and links about this dining experience through local food.

I decided to bring my Italian friend and her boyfriend to try this local food in a different kind of experience since they just moved to Vietnam. I carefully looked at the roster of passionate cooks they have on their website who offer different things. Some you can find a street-food style and some are very unique in terms of experience but they are not situated in Saigon. Then I finally stumbled on this cook named “Tuan Tu.” His cooking seems to be my style of eating  & dining and that’s one of the reasons why I chose him. He is a bit pricey but I still went for him because I think his style is something that will up the ante of Vietnamese cuisine. I was looking for something that you cannot find in a restaurant but still has the charm of an honest to goodness home-cooked meals! I want something different and a serendipity dining experience.

The dinner meal cost is 30 USD per person and it’s a whopping 90 USD in total that I had to pay. The website asked for my deposit and the rest will be paid in cash to Tuan. I will recommend and guarantee that it is 100% safe to do transactions on this website. So I prepared my balance, which is 1.6 million VND before I headed to this hidden apartment in an alley right in the heart of the city center. I came in first so Tuan offered me if I like wine, without a doubt I said yes for an Australian Shiraz versus the Chile wine he had on his other hand. My two friends arrived and we appreciated the atmosphere of Tuan’s high ceiling apartment. I was expecting he would put us on rooftop with all the set up but he said rainy season is unpredictable and the rooftop is being renovated.
Moving forward to the meal Tuan served, we were welcomed by the traditional Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls. We had 3 pieces each and it tasted good and yummy but honestly the dish has no difference with the one I tasted at Ngon, Hoa Tuc and the rest of other low and high-end restaurants in the city. Tuan also poured some wine to the glasses of my friends and served each of us with a small bowl of clam soup. It was very aromatic and comes with 3-5 pieces shells, some coriander and tomato. But still I didn’t find the kick that I was looking for.

Finally the main dish came out, the crab with tamarind sauce.  It was good and true to the taste of the dish! It is exactly how it supposed to be with a bit of the white wine flavor. But it lacked bread so we looked for it and wondered why we didn’t have. We asked Tuan and he said wait for a few minutes. I think they still have to buy outside. Lastly we were served with the last plate, which is the chicken rice.  The chicken lacks taste and the plain rice did not go well with the chicken so I just tasted a few bite and didn’t finish the dish.  

To wrap the meal, 3 glasses with cube mixed fruits were served and accompanied by a pot of Japanese Tea. It was a pleasant meal and we even had these photos that we took after the dinner. But wait until you get the bill. I was expecting to pay my 1.6 million vnd balance and what surprised me was the bottle of wine that cost 580k vnd and that’s 27 USD! I didn’t realize drinks weren’t included so you guys should read carefully the details of your bookings. It would be nice if I he told me about the price of wine that was served so at least I wouldn’t get surprised because it’s not a pleasant surprise. But it was nice to have a free pot of Japanese tea.

Over all the cost is a bit pricey for the quality of meals that were served and with the size of serving. It is a whopping total of 120 USD for 3 people or 40 USD each! It’s ok to pay that big amount but with something that is really unique and will surprise you. Taste wise it was good; it’s just so happened that it didn’t meet my expectations.

End of the story, it’s worth trying the website “WITHLOCALS” to validate the experience. It’s not a bad try with Tuan as well; he is nice and spent a lot of time talking with us. Maybe I will try something cheaper another time. Who knows it might surprise me again next time. There are a lot of passionate cooks and activities on that website and I encourage travelers or expats to try the unique experience the website is offering. It’s not just about the food; they also have some fun activities that you can check out. I would attest that their idea of giving travelers a website portal that enable them to experience an authentic local moment whether on food or local activities is such a brilliant thing on the planet!

Hope you share this story to more travelers as a heads up :)

Visit the website to explore more on your own...

big hug,
joanie  xxx

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Simone Massoni's 2012 Typeface Calendar

There are four different seasons in a year--Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each season arrives in our lives and bring us something. It comes, and it goes. Same with the people whom you consider friends. Some are seasonal and some will stay all year round. No matter what season, I am happy that I am blessed with friends who are coming in every season of my life. And last fall, in Firenze--I have gained friends who became valuable people in my life. I am grateful to have met Simone who gave me this calendar that I fancied about and reminded me of my great love for typography.

He came up with a desk calendar with twelve classic typefaces that went well with the twelve sexy and posh chicks that he illustrated. I know January is about to end but it's just the start of the year and it's not yet too late for you guys to own this calendar that Simone designed. It's also available online so it would be great if you will purchase this cutie item thru this website.

Place your order now!
I am also thankful to Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini for inviting me to his YELLOW party at KM zero design agency from where I met good people and some became my friends including Simone and his fiancee Ilaria. They are nice couple who are both artist. His fiancee Ilaria is an illustrator and also a good cook. I look forward to the day that we can cook together.

Below I enumerate twelve of my favorite typeface at the moment. It would be fun it you also have your own favorite typeface and you can play around on the design and post it in your blog.

Being an artist myself makes me feel happy being around with the people of the same species. Dealing, interacting and having friendship with the people of the same interests as yours would always remind you of the things that you are passionate about and things that you are good at. Seeing Simone's artwork leaves an inspiration to me-- that I shouldn't forget to do my doodles and continue to explore the world of art and design. I have learned that world of design has no limits so I have to continue to discover a lot of things and sharpen my creativity. And of course my cooking would always be there as well :-)

This is it for now my mates and amici!

big hug,
joanie xxx

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012 Begins at Italia: A diverted path!

(Taken during winter snow at Aosta Valle, Italia)

Christmas came by so quickly and I did nothing but eat and sleep the past days! The winter weather makes it hard for me to dabble some words and express here in my blog the unique way I spent the yuletide season. Procrastination days aren't over yet but I have to do this post now on the first of January, otherwise I am afraid that I might abandoned this blog for the whole year if I won't do it on the first day of the year. Hehe!

My culinary studies just finished last December then I have to move to Milano for a freelance work. It has been a very very beautiful student life I had in Firenze. To study cooking in Italy is the most wise decision I have made in my life so far. It costed me a million in Philippine peso for everything from school, food, lodging & airfare but the experience I gained is ten times worth than a million pesos! I could've bought an SUV car but riding it wouldn't make me tell priceless stories like what I have gained now. And this blog will be my venue to articulate all those life changing experiences I had.

(Traditional Italian Christmas cake I did in my Firenze Cooking School)

Experience is something money can't buy and something that no one can steal away from you. I can claim that I am a millionaire when it comes to that as compared to my money in my bank account. Experience go hand-in-hand with people. I gained not just experiences but valuable people whom I can forever keep in every corner of my heart. Each of them occupies a space. And to name a few I just have to mention my culinary teacher--Marcella then others like Daniela, Cosimo, Rita, Jurgens and Massimilliano!

(Traditional Italian Christmas Eve Dinner with Massi's Family)

Speaking of Massimilliano, I will now segue my Christmas story with him here in Italy. Being away from my family and to celebrate Christmas the second time without them still brings me some certain sadness. But since I am so used to being by myself, it's not as heavy to me unlike other emotional people. But no matter how you avoid the thought---Christmas is about spending time with your family. I don't have it here in Italy until Massi invited me to spend it in Firenze than being alone in Milano. Voila on the eve of Christmas I went to the city center and witnessed the Milan Christmas rush as I buy gifts for Massi's family. Then at eight in the evening I arrived at Stazione Santa Maria Novella in Firenze once more and Massi picked me up! And I arrived at their house just in time for the Christmas eve dinner. First plate, second plate, third... and dolce were served! Traditional Italian or specifically Calabrian food were done by his Aunt. Then at the midnight part of the evening we gave the gifts to each other and opened it! I like their gifts to me and they liked my gifts as well! Next day was about poker, eating, sleeping, cooking, and walking around Firenze are the things I did with him and his family. Now I could say that I have my Italian family in them whom I can count on, I thank Massi for adopting me :)

(Massi and his mom Cecilia during the gift giving)

(Taken during fall at Boboli Garden in Firenze, Italia)

So now it's 2012 and I am still here in Italy. Supposedly I should be in London for the whole month of December for the holiday and will fly back to Vietnam on the 2nd of January. But fate plays its trick on me and give me something unexpected. Pleasant surprise and it still surprises me as days go by. Last year my goal is about Italy and I successfully did it! This year I don't have a fixed goal, I feel like I am just a free soul going with the flow of life. And it excites me where it will bring me to. I don't know where but I'd be happy to be there. I don't want to make a wish, I just let God make his wishes for me and I know it's better that way. Leave it up to him... Oh but well Oh Lord, I just realised---I still want to buy my dream house! Uhmmm... not a fixed goal, could be next year or when it's possible :p

Parking my fingers now and should end this blog post now...

Buon Anno a tutti!!!

big hug,
joanie xxx

Monday, December 12, 2011

Natale in Italia by Surprise!

Ciao Amici! Come Va? Me, molto bene...

How time flies and before I knew it, it's Christmas already. My blog have slept for two months and I couldn't believe it. I have never been missing in action this long! I miss blogging. Come to think of it, there are so many stories to write and so many food photos to post. I have been away and busy for millions of reasons and it's 99.9% positive. I should've been in London at this point and getting ready for the English holiday but sometimes fate has something else in store for each and everyone of us. I am deeply surprised that I am still here in Italy and would spend my first Christmas with snow.

I have been enjoying my culinary studies and Florentine life for the past 3 months that made me think that I'd love to spend my Christmas here. It came to the point that I will do everything just to extend my stay. So many options involved and one of those is studying their language. Well in my heart I'd really love to study it. I would like to see myself to be well-verse in having an Italian conversation. I went on different mazes but it didn't work out. So I just concluded that maybe fate has really planned my life to be in London for Christmas according to my itinerary. Then again it's amazing how fate played it's game on me. What a pleasant surprise that I will have a freelance work in Milano. Up to when? I don't know yet. The good thing is--there is a reason now for me to stay longer in Italy. Opportunity just paved its way!

I just wanted to say hi to my blog today. I am quite very sick and staying at home dealing with my cough and slight fever. It's the weather that I am not accustomed to. Winter is approaching and I really hope that my body can adapt to it. I promise to post more as I back track what happened since October and November. The biggest highlight was--my second solo painting exhibition in Florence. I will surely post the photos here.

The picture above of Ribes & Wine cake is now my favorite cake to do. My recent fixation after discovering the small red berry fruit called Ribes.

Ciao , ciao alla prossima! :-)

big hug,
joanie xxx

Friday, September 30, 2011

Genovese Pesto - Saigon & Florence

My old way of doing pesto in Saigon, Vietnam

Buonasera ragazzi e ragazze!

How time flies that every time I will find time to blog, weeks passed by already and September is ending tomorrow. I have been learning a lot from my cooking school with my dearest teacher Chef Marcella and figo Chef Damiano. One of the remarkable learning I had so far is doing the authentic Genovese pesto. This Italian pasta dish hails from Liguria region and from the province of Genova. I learned that you never cook a pesto which I usually do in my own style and sometimes put bacon on top or chicken. I remember how my Italian boss said it's bastardizing pesto when you add meat. Pesto is pesto in its simplest form and he was right because he is from Genova. So from that learning and new techniques I learned from my Italian teachers, pesto is now one of my favorite staple pasta dishes.

My new way of doing pesto in Florence, Italy

If you notice the picture of my pasta on top which I did when I was still in Saigon, it's quite a bit oily and dark. This one with the linguine pasta is refreshingly green and not oily. How lovely this pasta especially putting my new favorite Pecorino Romano from sheep milk. And the word Pecorino derives from the word Pecora which means sheep. What also excites me doing this pesto sauce is because I have now few Basil pots at my veranda where I usually sits for breakfast and doing skype with my friends.

My pesto ingredients are ready to be blended

My veranda with my Basil pots

I have been out of town lately and I really promise to post separately the pictures of the town I visited. I visited the not so touristy places like Bologna, Lucca, Siena and Fiesole---they are nearby town in Florence. Quaint, beautiful and quiet. But of course I never fail to gaze nor explore the beautiful city of Firenze and one of my favorite spot is the Piazzale Michaelangelo. You will have there the overlooking of Florence with all its landmarks including the river and the cinematic Ponte Vecchio.

Overlooking view of Firenze with Ponte Vecchio

So far I have been around with so many places in Florence like restaurants and pubs with my classmate and new friend Maija. She is from Finland and a very nice girl. I would love to share you guys more of my adventures next time. I have been learning a lot of Italian now and improving just by hearing from my new found Italian friends. And I have some good news next time and I hope I will have some more. Meanwhile, I am excited because I am going out of the country and going back to Spain this time Madrid. I was wishing I can also go back to Barcelona because I really love it but 4 days off school may not be enough. This is it for now...

Ciao Bello and Bella! :-)

big hug,
joanie xxx

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dolce Italia: Gelato & Panacotta

Fig Gelato (Done at school)

Buongiorno Sabato!

It's a lazy Saturday... after I woke up around 10:30 am. Just finished having my pesto spaghetti for lunch and strawberry milk shake. Well it's been two weeks since I came to Italy and a lot of things are happening aside from school activities which are more important things than anything else. I have met a few Italians so far from a coach surfing meet-up party and then I visited a design agency in Firenze which considerably the biggest in town. I must say I met good Italian people so far and I am looking forward to meet more.

The past weeks I also familiarized myself on walking around the city from my house to different point areas like the city center where all the historical places are situated like the Duomo, Stazione Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce and Punta Vecchio. I attempted to go to Boboli garden but I failed. Before reaching the area I got tired because there are pandemonium of tourist everywhere and it's friggin' hot. But there was this day that I succeeded to reach the Piazzale Michaleangelo which is on the hill overlooking the entire Florence. And I plan to go back again there today with my friend.

Last week I also met up my friend from Milano to have a whole day of fun in Bologna. I had two gelatos that day plus one giant pizza that we shared. We toured the center of the city where all the universities are situated and then we climbed Torre Asinelli and had a view of Bologna as a red city because of its terracotta color. As much as I wanted to avoid shopping, when there is a sale it's hard to resist---and so I did! Bologna was a fun day indeed :)

Panacotta topped with Peaches (Done at home)

Everything is incredible in Italy. The people, the language, the places and of course the food! I just love going to supermarket and market with my trolley bag to buy some good meat, fruits and vegetables. Everything is fresh and of good quality even the dairies. I just love every single moment I spent purchasing food that I often can't find in Asia. My now favorite market is Mercato Ambrogio which is not far from where I live and it's highly recommended by my chef teacher.

I've been learning a lot from my school. Food encyclopedia of Italy and the whole world is massive information that one person cannot learn in one day or in an instant. That's why I am here for few months to learn as much as I could. And I am proud to say that I have made my first fresh gelato with figs which I made at our school with the help of our chef teacher. Then as I try to exercise my expertise mastering the panacotta, I made one at home. The cream and milk were so good! I topped it with my preserved peaches (which I made in our school last week) to compliment or balance the good taste. I am looking forward to post more stories, arts & design, food photos, exciting information & trivia about Italy and of course recipes!

Ciao for now Bello & Bella!

big hug,
joanie xxx

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Goodbye Vietnam, Hello Italy!

I arrived Milano at Malpensa airport last Sept 3 at 7:30 in the morning. My former Creative Director/friend from Philippines is currently based in Milan and he picked me up in the airport and I stayed at his place for two days. His cousins are very warm and accommodating in the house where I stayed. They even brought me when they went to outskirt of Milan to attend a Sunday mass with a massive Filipino attendees. The name of the church is Caravaggio, named after famous painter Michaelangelo Mersi da Caravaggio who was born in Lombardy, Milan. I surprisingly had fun attending the mass because the homily was very nice and it was hosted by an Italian priest who spoke three languages at that time. He delivered the entire mass 90% Filipino and 5% of English and Italian. That totally amazed me!

After two days I left Milano on Sept 5 to move to Firenze, Italia--where my culinary study will take place. I will tell you next time the beginning of my Florentine life story in the next posts I will be having. In the meantime, I would like to share all of you the first ever successful cake I baked. This successful baked cake is a milestone for me since I am not into baking but I guess the world of culinary is not just about cooking but baking as well.



• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
• 4 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons warm water
• 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla
• 2 cups cake flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 tbsp Matcha powder (diluted in hot water)
• 1 pack Jello caramel
• Milk
• 1 cup cream
• Butter (of course)


Put the sugar and matcha liquid in a blender or food processor. Add this mixture to the softened butter. Beat with a mixer on medium until fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the eggs to the sugar and butter one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Add the water and vanilla. In a different bowl, use a whisk to mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the rest of the ingredients. Mix on low. Then add the rest of the flour mixture.
Now beat at medium speed until the cake batter becomes shiny. The mixture should also turn a white color. Do not skip this step or reduce the mixing time. The longer you mix the batter, the more air bubbles you create. This is what makes sponge cake recipes light and fluffy. This step of the sponge cake recipe should take about 15 minutes.
Pour sponge cake batter into two round cake pans that have been greased with shortening well and liberally floured. If they haven't been greased and floured thoroughly, your sponge cake recipe will stick to the cake pans.
Bake Matcha sponge cake in a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. The sponge cake should pull gently from the sides. It will be golden in color and spongy to the touch. It should spring back when touched. To be sure the sponge cake is done, test the center with a toothpick and see if it comes out clean. Do not open the oven while the sponge cake is baking. Remove the Matcha sponge cake from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes before removing the cake from the cake pans. Let the sponge cake cool completely before putting the caramel pudding mixture. Just follow the instruction of jello pack when adding milk in the mixture then add some cream and butter and put it in a piping bag then top the sponge cake.
I dedicate this post to the birthday of our beloved Mother Mary...
Buon Contempleanno Vergine Maria! :-)

big hug,
joanie xxx

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Olives & Cherry Tomatoes Fusilli

Good morning Sunday! What a sunny day to share a lunch, isn't it matey?

How is it going with me lately? I am in a bit of afloat and pending mind. Tomorrow or Tuesday perhaps, I'll be finally receiving the result of my visa for Italy. Oh dear GOD, I still hold on to your promise-- positive result, thy will be done! Non-refundable air ticket- check! Tuition fee full payment- check! Housing reservation payment- check! Outbound air ticket from Milan to London on December-check! But the feeling of twirling and kinda twisted at the moment is how I juggle my mind--just like my dear pasta called Fusilli.

This Fusilli pasta dish is also one of the dishes in my Geisha menu. Again not much people order for it maybe because of the unfamiliarity with the word Fusilli and mixed with my Aubergine Caviar Pate will definitely sound foreign to the local consumers. But then again few Westerners have sat down for this already and they dearly like it. I hope one will stumble on this dish and will get to order it at Geisha Cafe.



• Aubergine Caviar (see my previous post for the recipe)
• Cherry tomatoes (sliced into halves)
• Green Olives ( sliced)
• Fusilli Pasta (boiled)
• Fresh Basil (chopped)
• Garlic
• Salt & Pepper
• Olive Oil
• Butter (of course)


Heat pan with butter and add a little olive oil. Saute garlic and avoid it turning into brown. Add Cherry Tomatoes then next will be olives. Saute for 3-5 minutes then add the Aubergine Caviar. Mix well along with the boiled Fusilli then have a dash of salt and pepper. If mixture gets dry add a good lug of olive oil then top it with the chopped basil and serve into a plate.

Buon Appetito Amici! :D

big hug,
joanie xxx

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fish in Ginger Teriyaki Sauce & Baked Carrots

Good day Mates, Happy Tuesday!!!

This fish recipe I have here today is among the sumptuous dishes I have in the menu at Geisha Cafe. This is very much underrated nor unnoticeable by most customers and they don't realize how good the combination of pan seared herbie Dory fish and creamy baked carrots. I always tell the waiters to push for the rarely sold dishes because customers may not know just by reading the title I did in the menu book. This is a bit complicated and delicate to do and has to be done properly to get all the flavors come all in together. Each glorious bite of this dish is composed of a meticulously done cooking procedure.

I just want to romanticize more of this dish by explaining how I did it and how I put all things together in one gorgeous plate like this. I wouldn't be able to give the recipe as I normally do it, but I will narrate it in a manner understandable to all foodies and will be appreciated by people who love to eat.

First of all I have to get a nice Dory fish and marinate it with lemon, herbs, salt & pepper. Put it in a fridge and start doing the carrots. Grate a few pieces of carrots, then put it in a bowl. Add chopped parsley, onions, eggs and cream. Season it with salt and pepper then get a rectangular or square baking dish and cover it with foil then bake it for 40 minutes to one hour. While baking it prepare a pan and drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and pan sear the marinated Dory fish. As you cook the fish ready your sauce by getting a small pan and stir fry ginger and leeks together then add the home made Teriyaki sauce. When everything is cook, plate it all together the way you see it in the visual. I guarantee that this food is so good.

I dedicate this lip-smacking dish to a French chef from Paris, Pierre!

big hug,
joanie xxx

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ablaze the beauty of LONDON!

This was my first London trip last October. Yes it's almost a year already since then and it's just now that I am alerted to post it. This week, I just received another UK visa and I am off to go to London again and some parts of UK to spend Christmas Holiday this coming December. Amidst all the riots and ablaze buildings, I was reminded that I haven't post the beauty of one of my favorite cities in the world that I finally conquered. The first two photos are the typical London tourist photos that I am pretty much sure that you've seen it a thousand or million times! I do have a lot of photos with Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Picadilly and the London eye. But I feel I'd like to share on my blog some photos I didn't put in my Facebook album. Some photos that is also about London that people should know...

Nice Tour Guide at Sandeman Tour at The Wellington Arch

Saatchi Gallery London

House where I stayed at Morpet Place, Victoria - London

Notting Hill at Portabello Market

Bricklane Gallery at Bricklane Road

Around Windsor Castle

The famous Stonehenge

Middle of nowhere between Stonehenge and Oxford

Double Decker Bus

Inside Old Spitalfields Market

Stumbled on students somewhere in Old Street, North London

Old Tom - Named after Tom Tower and the name of the bell

Inside Oxford University

The inspiration of Harry Potter's scar on the forehead

And the first thing I saw at China Town - London

Some of the photos are one or two hour drive outside London. The Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Oxford University are worth to visit just give yourself more time. Don't squeeze them in one day like what I did. You will miss a lot opportunities. It's like you are shuffling from one place to another just to get a photo. Savor the moment because there's so much beauty that your eyes shoyld see. Anyways, all the loverly people of London and the rest of the world-- I'm so sleepy now and I must hit the sack.

Goodnight LOVE!!! :-)

big hug,
joanie xxx