Friday, September 30, 2011

cityscapes: carcosa seri negara

I scored a deal on Group On and was terribly excited to spend a night in Carcosa Seri Negara: the boutique hotel which has existed since the colonial times AND housed Queen Elizabeth on two separate occasions!

Yes-lor I'm terribly atas and have the greatest penchant for luxe living (for a modest price preferably)  :D  How chic is it to wake up to the sounds of birds in a lush forest in the middle of the freakin' city?? I'm just so attracted to this building. I love that it has so much character and has stood the test of time. It has watched our city change yet remained true to its roots. I come here for tea sometimes and almost got married in the compounds (long story why that didn't happen..) which explains the progression to wanting to spend a night in the royal quarters.

Choice of name explained by Sir Frank Swettenham:
To the Editor of “British Malaya” [British Malaya, May 1936]

In the April magazine your correspondent in Malaya asks me, in courteous terms, to tell him why I gave the name “Carcosa” to the house that was designed and built for me at Kuala Lumpur by the late Mr. C.E. Spooner, assisted by Mr. A.B. Hubback – as he was in those days – and I have no objection to answer the question even though the simple truth may spoil a number of excellent stories. When this house was finished and occupied I read a book which interested me. It was called “The King in Yellow” and at the beginning of this book there were some verses with a note explaining that they came from Cassilda’s song in “The King in Yellow”, Act 1, Scene 2. Here are two verses: -
“Strange is the night where black stars rise, And twin moons circle in the skies, But the stranger still is Lost Carcosa.”
“Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.”

I did not call the Resident General’s dwelling “Government House,” or “King’s House,” because neither seemed an appropriate name in Protected States. I did not give it a Malay name, because it was to be the residence of a British Officer; so I took a book name as has often been done before. 

As to the word Carcosa, I imagine it was the Castle of the King in Yellow, but the book explains nothing about either the place or its occupant. That apparently can be found in the play, to which there are only occasional allusions. Probably it is a word created by the author’s fancy, though it looks like a combination of the Italian words cara and casa and would mean “desirable dwelling,” as indeed I found it.
The only curious fact is that this name was prophetic for, as I understand, the house has lost its name and is thus, “Lost Carcosa.” The occupant, I am told, is now styled “F.S,” instead of “R.G.”

Yours obediently, FRANK SWETTENHAM

19 April 1936.

I took Sophiekins instead of Guy 'cos he didn't really care for the royal residence and knew Sophiekins would appreciate the stay much more than him. I figured since it was probably gonna be a gazillion years before I return to this place I might as well make it a working holiday. I brought some *bisou* bonbon along with some props to do a mini-photo shoot. Yup I'm turning into a workaholic..! Who would've known??

Don't you love my Rosanna inc petite mini pedestals??


We got peckish in the evening and headed down (abit of a wait since we didn't have a reservation but not that it mattered 'cos we were chillin in the room anyhows) to The Drawing Room for their legendary Afternoon Tea  :)  I love sipping out of bone china!

Too bad their china wasn't Royal Doulton or some other fancy-schmancy porcelain tea-set. Still it was such a thrill to have tea with tea-leaves and strainers. Though I have to say there are lesser stuff on the trays than I remembered. The kuihs aren't as yummy too. Hmm.. they oughta be more consistent with the standards, non? 

Despite all that I love of Carcosa, we did have a ghastly moment.

We had just checked in. Dropping our stuff onto the floor, Sophiekins rushed to the loo itching to take a pee. Just a second upon entering she dashed out and exclaimed that there's sh*t in the toilet. I stared at her in disbelief. Poo in the loo?? Carcosa... seriously?? And lo and behold there was non-fresh (don't even dare ask me how I know but I do) stool in the freaking lavatory bowl. Someone had bombed the place and housekeeping didn't even bother to check beneath the closed lid! Ayia how can? Sophiekins could barely carry the conversation with the butler... How do you tell someone politely that there's freakin' shit in the toilet?? They sent someone to quickly clean the loo up but I have to say it ruined the ambience and it was just the start of the day! They did, however, come over in the evening to present us with a platter of chocolates. It was a (feeble) attempt to rectify the situation. Well Carcosa's fortunate that we didn't throw a hissy fit. I'm just disappointed that Carcosa's quality of service and upkeep has deteriorated to a point of abysmal. Am I being treated sub-standardly just 'cos I'm on Group On?? Am I half a guest 'cos I paid half the price?

On a positive note, though, the bed and sheets are darn comfy!

Aargh life without a DSLR is excruciating. Shots turned out pathetic on my compact camera. Thank goodness we had Instagram to save the day!

We thoroughly enjoyed having  our breakfast outside. The Brits back in the days must have utterly loved dining in the open while having chats of war and strategy. I have to admit it is exquisite architecture and it makes morning meals such a privilege  :)

Breakfast was awful. My poached eggs were well done OMG. Thank goodness the veranda made up for the crappy meal.
Doing a John Teo: inspecting their dining utensils. Turns out the silverware used in Carcosa used to belong to a French hotel. Wahaha!


If not for the toilet incident, it would have been the commencement of a torrent love affair. The poor maintenance and less-than-thoughtful service dimmed the positive experience. Still I will always think very fondly of Carcosa and the historical significance it played in our nation's history.

Carcosa Seri Negara
Persiaran Mahameru
Taman Tasik Perdana
50480 Kuala Lumpur 
Tel: +603 2295 0888

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored review. The views expressed in this blog are based on the blogger's personal opinions, thoughts and impressions. The material on this blog may not be used, reprinted, or published without the blogger's consent. Merci!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

cute shop: fabric fanatics

For those who knew me since my Indon days they'd know that I'm a big-time cloth hoarder! From the fancy kebaya cloths in Pasar Baru and silky Jap cotton in Kamdar, I just cannot resist fabric shops. They drive me into a buying frenzy!

Most of the cloths turn into super awesome cutting-edge kebayas designed by yours truly (I can't wear them anymore 'cos I've gotten FAT.. boo!). Others turn into work kurungs and a handsful become dresses or dinner napkins.

So you can imagine my thrill when one of my favourite online fabric shops, Fabric Fanatics, finally opened their physical store in USJ19 :) Kelly (the lovely ladyboss) is a crafting friend I've gotten to know recently and she's an avid supporter of the handmade universe. She wrote a very inspirational article on handmade pricing which I do refer to until now. I am still a craft business nouveau in comparison to alot of people who have been selling handmade goods for a long time and I never tire from learning something new about the biz. Anyhooters... back to the shop!

I got lost coming here! Tip: Drive past USJ Summit and just keep going straight (ignoring ridiculous road signs) and after a couple of traffic lights you'll find USJ19 on your left. It's a small lil' mall with a Carrefour supermarket. Fabric Fanatics is at the top most floor I think in the deep corner of the floor.

Isn't the shop a cheer?? And having a good dose of whimsical fabric in the morning really makes the medicine go down. I especially love the fact that she also houses some handmade crafts in a corner of her shop. She really does practice what she preaches :)

Did I get anything?? Apalagi... of course I did! 389332, 327 and some 274!! I so cannot be cured  :)  

There was a particular fabric I was hunting for. I had a glimpse of it during a previous Crafty's Art Market and couldn't sleep properly since. Turns out this Alice in Wonderland fabric was sold out ages ago! I was thoroughly disappointed  :(  Kelly then proceeded to unpin it off her cork board and gave it to me as a gift! Yeayy!! Kelly's such a sweetheart, non? 

Now go visit her sweetheart shop...

Fabric Fanatics

Lot RL2-096, Level 2 
USJ 19 Mall
Jalan Persiaran Kewajipan
USJ19, 47620

Tel: 012-6222074

Mon - Sun 1130 - 1900

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

foxy foxy boom boom: gallo by thian a/w 2011

It's been awhile hasn't it?

Been so terribly busy running around balancing work on one hand, business on the other, family on my head and friends on my left foot leaving me with my poor right one to hobble to the store! Can you imagine that I'm so darn busy I haven't physically (online and crafts not counted!) shopped for 3 months?? It's not just insane.. it's ABSURDLY insane! In fact this is my first post on Blogger's new interface. How outdated am I?? And I have to say I'm quite liking it! Pretty friendly for html-bozos like moi. Have you seen my sorta new hair? Decided to chop 4 inches off to rid myself of crispy ends and to give the balding forehead hairline abit of a rest from all the traction. It looks decent when it's all nicely styled but looks like a clumpy old mop on usual days. Oh well.

Anyhooters, hair-horrors aside..

I was invited to Gallo's Autumn / Winter 2011 collection 

Turns out when I RSVP-ed that week, I was not actually supposed to be invited (something along the lines of me not being a member although I have purchased a couple of Gallo stuff before and the fact that *sigh* as much as I hate to admit it.. I am JUST a C-list blogger *bleh*) but they had to let me through due to their technical error. Yeayyy to technical errors!! And yeayyy to fashion shows!!

Jumpsuit: Dorothy Perkins
Earrings: Lanvin ♥ H&M

I wanted to wear my Gallo dress as an homage to Theresa Thian but I've gotten FAT these few months and just couldn't zip it up for the life of me! So I wore my jumpsuit instead... jumpsuits are absolute lifesavers if you can find proper ones. They can dress you up in a *snap* The only f*cked up part about them is that visiting the loo can be the most laborious task.

I bought Miss KosKos along 'cos we're fashion fanatics. Upon registration we were given LED badges that lit up and blinked like the milky way (as with the theme). It made me feel like such a STAR! That was a really nice touch Gallo  :)

Doorgift bags piled out in the front. Makes me feel like hurling myself onto them and taking them all home!

Joyce was the MC and how rightly. I personally feel that she seriously put Gallo on the map. The theme was something along the lines of fox.. wintertime.. and the galaxy. As opposed to A/W 2010 of which the colour palatte was plum, moss and greys, this year it's all about coral, forest green and sparkles! Hair and make-up was splendid. There were white faux foxes on stage... not sure if they were stuffed or just mannequins but those were pretty cool. Unfortunately my compact camera failed me in taking awesome hands down shots. Everything was a blur with pixelated edges and I couldn't zoom in well either. Sigh. Time for a camera change?? Perhaps perhaps perhaps... Any suggestions?

Super in love with the foxy tail some of the models had on! I'm always on the look out for a giant faux fox tail clip on... ever since Vuitton S/S 2010! 

My favourite model is that elegant beauty second from the left. She had such a fierce strut and her expression was damn chun-lah. Me likes!!

I sound like such a geek huh? Can't help it  'cos I'm just so darn THRILLED to be there! Hehe..  :D
The girl behind those luscious chiffon blouses and whimsical flirty dresses: Theresa Thian! She's just as demure as her creations.  Read about Theresa here.

Didn't win the lucky draw despite my smashing entry  :(

And the best thing about fashion shows (apart from getting a heads up on what's gonna hit the shop *cue shopping list!*, free goodies, people watching, yummy Kilkenny beer, getting your shots taken on the almost-red carpet, being in company of fashionistas and feeling like a STAR) is making new friends! Holla Miss LanieLanie of HOT magazine :)  Flipping through the magazine pages in Miss ChongChong's toilet will never be the same again..

Gallo by Thian is available at:

The Gardens
F202, 1st Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: + (603) 2283 1927

Bangsar Shopping Centre
S125, 2nd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre,
No. 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya,
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: + (603) 2096 1927

Parkson, Pavilion
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, September 25, 2011

kldw 2011

Do you know what time it is?

Time to exercise your right brain :)

Take a stroll at Publika, Solaris Dutamas and wander through the many KL Design Week 2011 Festival pop-up art corners showcasing local  artsy-fartsies  :)  I got a wee bit lost trying to find Makan Buah-Buahan Tempatan's booth the first time (the place can be such a maze sometimes!) but we located it after a couple of wild goose chases (all the guards' fault-lah!) *phew*  

Individium's Human Periodic Tables trips me out every single time! If only Chem was this rock out fun back in the days...

 Us pointing to our respective positions on the HPT  :) Yo oxidization and distillation, magnesium selenium and my bro potassium! Uh huh! Uh huh! (I cannot rap to save my life!) 

1. I see someone for familiar... 2. Miss FoonFoon isdatchooos?? Yup that's the pretty lil' lass of Things Eye Made 3. Mr Pear (Yeoh) 4. Stephen Lau (this piece made me LOL!!)

This is my favourite!! The sunny one in pink... how enchanting  :)  Tres excellent work Driv+Ling+TianXing!!

Super proud of you Miss FoonFoon!

Studio MMCMM

I heart Bo!

It's truly happiness to a ridiculous degree. Brought Bo home in case of times of trouble and I need a smile...

Guy: You're buying another toy??
moi: Not toy. Ceramic goldfish.
Guy: You've got tons of stuff like this.
moi: I don't have a goldfish!
Guy: *rolls eyes*

Floor 2G, Unit 24
Publika, Solaris Dutamas
16 - 25 September 2011

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