Vignettes of Japan #10: Reverie and tea in Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa

Travel tip: If you’re going to Kanazawa, visit Shigure-tei Tea House in Kenroku-en Garden where you can sample some tea and enjoy mesmerising garden views.

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Drinking dirt

I love aged pu-erh tea 普洱茶. Its woody, musty aroma evokes images of misty rainy mornings in the wilderness. The first sip of freshly brewed pu-erh tea always makes me sigh contentedly, close my eyes and take a deep breath as I slip into a state of bliss and calm. Which is like the effect…

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Tea notes in China: Lijiang and Hangzhou

Centuries ago, weary tea and horse traders travelling along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road 茶马古道 passed through Lijiang en-route to or from Shangri-la. Bricks of pu-erh tea 普洱茶 were bartered for Tibetan horses amongst the merchants. It was in Lijiang, which is in China’s Yunnan province, where my budding love affair with Chinese tea started. The year was 2008 and you can read…

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Catching Up

After last week’s radio silence, I’ve been busy catching up on (more) work as well as relaxing and doing some fun stuff around Brussels. There was some beer, fries (with mayonnaise) and jazz. All very Belgian, except the latter which was part of the 19th annual Brussels Jazz Marathon. Sipping tea at The Tea Garage…

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Going Places

“I got this photograph in an email and it is one of those pictures that you wonder where in god’s name is that…” This is the opening line in a video made by Robin Esrock. He was hiking in Mount Hua 华山 in a quest to reach a lofty teahouse located on one of the southern peaks. Previously, the…

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The Proust Questionnaire

Have you ever completed The Proust Questionnaire? Made famous by Marcel Proust, this was a common parlor game during the Belle Epoque and supposedly unveils the aspirations and thoughts of those answering it. There are two known sets of answers by Proust – the first was from the mid-1880s when he was around 13 and the…

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Polo time!

Am in London and looking out onto the corner of Hyde Park from my room. The sky’s overcast right now… Hope that tomorrow will be sunny as I’ll be at Cowdray Park in West Sussex for an afternoon of polo! This time last year – at The 5th St. Regis International Polo Cup – the sun was…

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