Author: La Vie Partagée

Lounge Review: No. 1 Lounge in Gatwick South Terminal

On our way back to NY from Copenhagen, we had a stopover at Gatwick South Terminal for 5 hours. The South Terminal is small and dated and also serves as a hub for British Airways at Gatwick Airport. The terminal has two levels with the usual shops and fast food restaurants…nothing particularly outstanding. There is a small Harrods’s gift shop at the terminal for last minute British gifts. The terminal itself is overcrowded. When I was there in March, it was hard to find a seat anywhere. Luckily for me, I had access to the No. 1 Lounge at the terminal. Besides the No. 1 Lounge, there is only a British Airways Lounge, thus making both venues busy like the terminal. The No 1 Lounge’s entrance is on the second floor and located between Dixons and JD Sports. I walked through a nondescript entrance that resembled a service entrance to another set of double doors where I was greeted with a representative who was tougher than a NYC bouncer. Apparently the lounge was full around …

Weekend Unexplored: 2 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen was the last stop on our week long Nordic trip. My group purposely scheduled Copenhagen at the end of our Iceland adventure as we wanted a balance from our rustic Icelandic adventures. We did not have anything planned out for Copenhagen besides our dining options, so the weekend was more spontaneous. Copenhagen also has a burgeoning food scene that rivals NYC in quality and innovation with two restaurants currently listed in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. I was in charge of booking the restaurants and I took on the challenge with glee. Day 1 We had an early flight from Reykavik to Copenhagen on Iceland Airlines. After an uneventful flight, we easily found a taxi and headed to Hotel Nyhaven located at the end of the picturesque Nyhaven Harbor. When we arrived around 1:00 pm, our rooms were not yet available so we left our luggage with the front desk staff. At this point, we were starving as we had been up since 6 am for our flight. My original plan was to eat …

Easy Fish Noodle Bowl

Noodle bowls are an obsession for the millennial generation. They are healthy, easy and relatively quick to make. Vietnam has many versions of this dish topped with grilled meats, egg rolls, etc. This is our take on the noodle bowl with simple pan fried fish filet that has been quickly marinated with a few herbs and spices. The secret to this dish is the slightly salty, sweet, tangy fish sauce. Make this for your next meal and you will not be disappointed. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 2 / Time: 30 – 45 minutes Ingredients: 3 filet of firm white fish like tilapia or catfish 1/2 teaspoon + 3 tablespoons of fish sauce 3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 teaspoon of minced ginger 1 tablespoon of diced onion 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic 1 whole clove of garlic 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of sugar 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lime juice 1 cup of Coco Rico coconut soda 1 diced …

5 Days in Iceland in March

Iceland was not high on my destination priority list as I had always imagined the country to be very cold and bleak. Ruffing it does not appeal to me, especially for a New Yorker. I was glad to be proven wrong for once! An opportunity came up when my snowboarding group decided to go to Iceland this year and I quickly signed on board. Luckily, my friend had been to Iceland before and planned our itinerary based on what she had experienced. This post will detail our 5 day itinerary and tips we picked up along the way. First, the pace for our 5 day road trip on Golden Circle was leisurely. This is a deviation from my normal jam-packed itinerary, however, it did forced me to prioritize the top two things I wanted to do each day and to slowly take in the scenery. A significantly amount of the time was spent in the car as the sites are one to two hours’ drive from each other. We also decided to visit Iceland in …

Vietnamese Banana Cake / Bánh Chuối Nướng

Vietnamese Banana Cake or Bánh Chuối Nướng is a cross between a bread pudding and a spongy cake. One can see the French influences on Vietnamese cuisine with this cake. Add a few spoonful of creamy coconut sauce and you have a delicious desert anytime of the day. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 8 / Time: 2 hours to prepare and 1 hour to cool Ingredients: 10 whole steamed sapa banana (approx. 2 frozen packages found in any Asian supermarket). 8 slices of white bread 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of melted butter to coat the pan 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch 4 tablespoons of sugar 1 egg 2 cans (14 oz) of coconut milk 2 tablespoons of condensed milk 1 cup of milk 1 tablespoon of white wine or rum 9 inch spring form pan Directions: Cut 4 bananas length wise and cut the remaining 6 bananas into thin round slices. Add the bananas into a large mixing bowl and add …

What to pack for Iceland for Winter and Spring

I recently went to Iceland in the middle of March and, like most people, I was furiously googling on what to pack leading up to the trip. The weather is so unpredictable that Iceland can get three seasons a day, if not within a few hours. Even though my group went in the middle of March, the weather was winter in some areas and early spring in others making it difficult to pack efficiently. Furthermore, I do not own any real gear for trekking through uneven terrain and the unpredictable weather of southern Iceland. At the same time, I did not want to spend more money on a new wardrobe that I only wear once. This packing list is what I ended up bringing and is what works for the Icelandic weather. Ski or snowboarding gear If you have snowboarding or ski gear, you are half way done. It rains in Iceland…a lot and at random times. It can be sunny one minute and pouring the next. I ended up bringing a waterproof and windproof Marmont …

Pantry Essentials: The Next Level

Once you have stock your kitchen with the essentials to make Vietnamese food, you should consider taking the pantry to the next level. These are items you may not need every time you make Vietnamese food, but they will come up often enough to consider having them in the pantry. Most of these items should be available at your local Asian markets or on Amazon. 1. Shrimp Paste / Mắm Ruốc Mắm Tôm – This is a pungent fermented shrimp paste made of small shrimps that are dried and fermented with salt and sugar. This is a base for many of the dishes from central Vietnam, especially from Hue. 2. Starches (Potato Starch | Corn Starch | Tapioca Starch) – The different type of starches can be used as thickening agents as well as combined with rice flour for flour based dishes. 3. Tamarind block – The sweet and sour pulp are pressed together into blocks and sold in many supermarkets including Jet.com. They are the basis of sweet and sour dishes, especially canh chua in Vietnam. …