Cute Bunny In The Snow

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crowne Plaza Ancient Town | Lijiang, CHINA

The Crowne Plaza was the only choice for the other travel bunnie and I when we considered our hotel options for our two night stay in Lijiang.  Given its location (with one of the hotel grounds entrances literally opening onto the street of the ancient town) and beautifully manicured onsite features (think running streams, ponds with cute wooden bridges, gorgeous cobbled stone paths and traditional style pavilions) this has to be one of the best hotels in the city.

From the moment we checked in and snuck a peek at the most stunning view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from the hotel's reception, to the effortless check out our entire stay was faultless.  We chose to stay in a ground floor/courtyard room so that we could better experience the local way of life.  The room was spacious, well soundproofed (which is a pet hate of mine when staying on the ground floor) and well appointed with comfortable sofa, large king sized bed, soaking tub and courtyard access (which I should note you share with the adjoining courtyard room occupants).  While we elected to hop out and try the local cuisine in the ancient town at almost every opportunity, we did indulge in a high tea on our second day which was beautifully saved on the main pavilion’s outdoor area with an outlook to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and found the morning breakfast buffet extensive, fresh and well stocked each day.  I should also mention as special thank you to the hotel's food and beverage manager who was nice enough to invite us for a private drink on the first night.

All in all, the hotel is exactly what I was looking for in our stay at Lijiang and I would gladly recommend it to anyone staying in the area.

Bunnies' travel notes:

Bunnies’ Suite Number: 501 – Deluxe Courtyard Room
Number of Rooms: 270
Swimming pool: Yes
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12pm
Price: $290+ AUD
Hotel Class: 5 Star

Monday, July 21, 2014

Marchetti Cafe | 202-210 Edward Street, BRISBANE CBD QLD 4000

Marchetti is Brisbane CBD's newest café. Nestled between Canturi and the Tattersall's Club in the Tattersall's Arcade, Marchetti reminds me of the coffee scene in Melbourne. The shop is small yet polished with a touch of Italian charm.

The other travel bunnie and I went there for a quick bite of lunch the other day. The lunch selection is very limited at the moment, however there is a more extensive menu due to be released later on this year. A toasted croissant with prosciutto and cheese and a porchetta panini with a mocha for the other travel bunnie and a hot chocolate for myself was our order for day. Although I personally think that for $9, the croissant was slightly disappointing, Marchetti does make a good spot for catch ups with friends over a coffee or two.

With its art-deco inspired interior, Marchetti is a good addition to the CBD. I'd be interested to try the lunch menu when more options become available.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $29.70

Marchetti Cafe on Urbanspoon

Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar | 2/179 Grey Street, SOUTH BRISBANE QLD 4101

After the Night Noodle Markets, like two kids who sneaked out on a school night, the other travel bunnie and I were in mutual agreement that it was too early to go home, and headed to Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar for some sweet treats.

It's hard not to like this place, which is decorated with over hanging lights in the shapes of milk bottles and cows' udders. I had one look at the menu and my heart was pounding with excitement but I was also faced with the dilemma of picking out a dessert from the many potential options. Options such as their signature gourmet dessert pizzas ($17) or naked pops ($9.80) that can be dipped in your choice of chocolate and then topped with your choice of three toppings. That menu seriously brings out the greed in people.

In the end, I decided to have a tiramisu with cookies & cream ice cream ($11.50) with a classic dark hot chocolate ($6). And as for the other travel bunnie, he opted for the waffle bowl ($13.80) served with condensed milk ice cream and turkish delight ice creams then topped with chocolate flakes and Oreo. The tiramisu had a distinctive taste of liqueur to it which I found to be quite strong but the other travel bunnie was happy to switch desserts with me. I was so happy that he did because I loved his dessert to bits! Both ice creams, especially the condensed milk ice cream was extremely creamy and delicious. As for the hot chocolate, it wasn't as thick as I was expecting but it was definitely filled with chocolate goodness. And as a bonus point, it was served in such a cute cup!

Before we even left Cowch, we were already planning our next visit!

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $31.30

Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 18, 2014

Night Noodle Markets

Last night the bunnie family hopped to South Bank for the launch of Brisbane's much anticipated Night Noodle Markets. Decorated with colourful paper lanterns, the markets have hawker-styled food stalls lined one next to another offering a wide range of popular Asian dishes. To prove the markets' popularity, there were people everywhere queueing for food (8,000 I am told), and I don't blame them with an aromatic smell constantly lingering in the crisp winter air, it's sure hard to resist.

To thoroughly enjoy the markets, I think you need a plan of attack, or what I call, the mighty plenty plan:
  • plenty of cash;
  • plenty of time (see below);
  • plenty of patience (I waited 40 minutes for my cheese okonomiyaki ($12)); and
  • plenty of comfort (although wearing your best pair of Loubies with black leather miniskirt may look hot, standing in a long queue waiting for food may make you regret that decision).

So you've had some food and you are after some drinks to wash it all down so you should definitely check out the enchanting Tanqueray Gin Garden. It's hard to miss with its mysteriously beautiful design. And while you're there to relax in the fantastic ambience (I loved the live music!), why not sip on a refreshing Tanqueray and Tonic? You can score your free Tanqueray and Tonic at the markets by following @tanquerayginau on Instagram and tag your photos! Further information can be found at the garden.

The Night Noodles Markets is one of the highlights of the Good Food Month and the markets operate from July 17 to July 27 with free entry.

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