What Is Courage? - My InstaReflection

#COURAGE (noun) -- which one of these definitions do you agree with the most?

(1) The ability to do something that frightens one.

(2) Strength in the face of pain or grief.

(3) The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.

I pick 2, because if you can overcome the pain of fears or the grief of regrets, you will have gained the key to a whole new world. 

Eileen Hsieh Buckingham Palace sunset pastel sky followthatbug London England UK

Courage is:

📍 to let go of your ego, and act on this thought. 

📍 to own up to your shortcomings, recognise strengths in others, and learn to grow in a different and better direction.

📍 to ignore outside voices, and say and do things that you truly believe are right.

📍 to let go of your past, and start every new day learning to be the "you" that you would like to become.

Today I saw a flash of courage in someone, so I just want to throw this message out to the universe -- you can do it.

You may feel lonely, you may stumble, but there will always be people cheering you on, because we all wish we had a little bit more courage within ourselves.

Genteel England: Middlethorpe Hall & Spa in York | 溫雅英格蘭:約克的「米多托爾普」歷史酒店

For my very first visit to York, England, I was adamant to stay at a historic hotel to fully absorb the quaintness of this ancient city. I went through the National Trust property list and was immediately drawn to one place - Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, just outside the city center.

首次拜訪英格蘭的約克之前,我只有一個篤定的要求: 住的旅館必須要古色古香,而且最好是古蹟。英國保護名勝古蹟的國家信託提供了許多建議,其中一家最吸引著我,就是位於老城郊區的米多托爾普酒店

Middlethorpe Hall's magnificient back garden with the delightfully named "ha-ha". © EIleen Hsieh/Follow That Bug

Front facade of Middlethorpe Hall as seen from the street. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Can you ever go wrong with w National Trust property? © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Constructed in 1699, Middlethorpe Hall is a classic William and Mary country house built for a prosperous master cutler named Thomas Barlow, who bought the Middlethorpe estate as a bid to establish himself as a country gentleman.

The style of the building was indirectly influenced by Christopher Wren's Hampton Court Palace, as reflected in its pattern of red brick, white sash windows and stone corners. In the 1980s Middlethorpe Hall was restored to its former glory and reopened as a luxury hotel. Now it's under the protection of the National Trust.

Middlethorpe Hall建於1699年,屋主是位富有的刀匠,想藉由這棟威廉與瑪莉型式的豪宅來打入上流社會,晉身為鄉紳。

這棟鄉村豪宅的風格靈感來自漢普頓皇宮與名建築師溫恩,處處可見紅磚,白邊大窗戶和開闊的花園。Middlethorpe Hall 在1980年代轉型改成為豪華酒店,今日由國家信託管理。

The airy grand reception room with happy, yellow walls. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Pretty trimmings around the chandelier. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Plenty of Instagram-worthy features around the house, including this sweet kitty. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

The main house is decorated in the manner of the 18th century and furnished with antiques and fine paintings. It also features a grand staircase with intricate carvings. There are 10 bedrooms in the main house, including a royal suite. 


Royal bedroom Middlethorpe Hall Spa eileen hsieh followthatbug York England UK


Named after the stay of HRH Prince Andrew, this is Middlethorpe Hall's flagship suite.

Historically grand mansions across Britain would always have a room designated for potential visits from the royal family, befitted with the best of the best that the households could afford, even though most of them probably never got used for the intended purpose.

Another pretty bedroom in the main house, with an uninterrupted view of the back garden.  © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

One proud feature of Middlethorpe Hall is its 20 acres of gardens, and the park land that surrounds the house. 

We visited the property in the winter when the grounds were at their dullest, but we were impressed by the numerous quaint little gardens that produce vegetables, fruits as well as a variety of fragrant flowers.

We also saw a ha-ha for the very first time. It's literally just a ditch in the house's back garden, with benches facing out to the countryside for an uninterrupted view of the surrounding greenery. What a perfect setting for watching the sun rise and set!

Middlethorpe Hall特別驕傲的一點就是它佔地20英畝的花園與周邊綠地。我們拜訪的季節是冬天,所以花園的顏色黯淡,不過這裡有許多可愛的小花園,果園和菜園,種滿了蔬菜,水果以及各種芬芳的花朵,讓我們印象深刻。

我們也是第一次看到“哈哈”­。什麼東西有如此好玩的名稱呢? 其實它是指後花園的一個溝,防止農場動物誤入莊園,溝內還設有面向鄉村草原的長凳,是欣賞日出日落的最佳地點。

Garden Ha-ha Middlethorpe Hall Spa eileen hsieh followthatbug York England UK

What is a 


It's a ditch, in the garden.

The name reflects the reaction of unsuspecting visitors when they see the wide trench for the first time. (Haha!)

The ha-ha is designed to keep grazing animals out of the more formal parts of a garden, replacing the need for a fence. 

It also allows an unrestricted view from the house and the garden to the vast countryside beyond. 

A stroll around the back garden awarded us with this view. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

A walk through the kitchen garden. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Another view of the kitchen garden. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

A sunset view of the surrounding countryside from the back garden. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Morning mist Middlethorpe Hall Spa eileen hsieh followthatbug York England UK

The Cottage

Our home away from home.

Travelling as a party of three, the 2-bedroom cottage suite was the ideal choice. Just a short walk away from the main house, our apartment occupied the top floor of the cottage with a master bedroom, a single bedroom, and so much charm!

我們一行三人,爸媽與我,所以兩房的cottage suite是理想的選擇。小屋離主樓只有幾分鐘的步行路程,整個二樓都屬於我們的套房,有一間主臥室與一間單人房,寬敞又安靜。

Our little cottage just meters away from the main house. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

A sun-drenched, cozy living room. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Living room of our cottage. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Another view of the living room. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Beautiful gas fireplace, a much welcomed feature on cold winter nights. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

I loved our cottage suite. It was an easy climb up the stairs to the first floor (second floor for the rest of the world), and the interior is what I would call English-prettiness -- lots of floral patterns, antique furniture, sketches and paintings depicting bygone times, all in an inviting and comfortable manner. 

The weather was bitingly cold when we visited, and I spent a lot of time by the gas fireplace. Not only because it was cozy and beautiful, but that despite cranking the heat to the maximum, the cottage still felt a bit chilly and never warmed up like a modern-day flat. I guess that was part of the cottage-living experience. :) 



Main bedroom in the cottage. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Haven't seen this type of radio in a long time. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Beautiful colors in the main bedroom. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Single bedroom in the cottage. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Monogrammed towels, of course. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Another view of the single bedroom. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Kitchenette with a Nespresso machine. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

The cottage has a small, enclosed kitchenette where you'll find a tin of biscuits, English teas and Nespresso coffee. And if you reserve with the front desk the night before, in the morning the butler will bring you fresh coffee on a silver plate, at the break of dawn, so you can properly wake up before going to breakfast. 


Morning Coffee Middlethorpe Hall Spa Eileen Hsieh follow that bug York England UK

Morning Coffee/Tea

Delivered to your cottage at the break of dawn by the butler.

So in love with the green tiles in the bathroom. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Main House mist Middlethorpe Hall Spa eileen hsieh followthatbug York England UK

Country House Dining

From sunrise to sundown.

For me, the major incentive of getting up in the morning is food, and nothing beats a freshly cooked Yorkshire breakfast! 

Breakfast and dinner are served in the 2 AA Rosettes restaurant in the main house, with two dining rooms overlooking the serene back garden. The dishes are nice and comforting, and the wait staff delightful. The all look like they've just come out of hospitality school, very professional and eager to ensure that the guests are well-looked after. 


早晚餐是由主樓內的2 AA Rosettes級餐廳提供,菜餚美味,環境舒適,俯瞰著寧靜的後花園。這裡的服務生超級可愛,每個都像剛從餐飲學校剛畢業似的,每個動作都非常專業,認真的照顧客人。

Breakfast menu. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Freshly cooked breakfast with a view. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Beautiful hors d'oeuvre that came with our drinks. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That bug

Dinner is ready! © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

What better way to walk off the hearty meal than to trek down the country lanes or explore the famous York Racecourse, located just right across from Middlethorpe Hall. 

I'd also recommend the spa on site to anyone in need of relaxation. It's small and perfectly formed, with a swimming pool, whirlpool and really nice treatments.


需要放鬆的話,我推薦去一趟酒店小而美的水療中心,這兒有游泳池,whirlpool和很棒的spa treatments。

The street in front of Middlethorpe Hall, with far-reaching view of the racecourse and surrounded countryside. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That bug

York Racecourse

York Racecourse

York has a steep history in horse racing that can be traced back some 2,000 years to the Roman and Viking times. Today it's one of the most famous racecourses in Europe and the reigning "Northern Racecourse of the Year", attracting 360,000 visitors every year. 


York, England, U.K.

Art in Shopping Heaven: London's West End Galleries

"Monkey Queen"- Banksy. © Eileen Hsieh

London's West End is arguably the busiest area in the British capital. It's home to many theatres (Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera), famous tourist attractions (the British Museum, the National Gallery), retailers catering to all styles and budgets (Liberty, Marks & Spencer, Primark), and countless restaurants serving cuisines from all around the world (Chinatown is here too).

The east-west arterial road Oxford Street boasts more than 300 shops and claims to be the busiest shopping street in the whole of Europe. People may complain about the suffocating congestion in this part of town, but many still return regularly for the largest selection of anything you may possibly want or need - in shopping, entertainment, or gastronomy.

Art, however, is a much lesser known gem of the West End. For example on Bond Street, sandwiched between luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Tiffany, are a number of art galleries and auction houses with carefully curated exhibitions showcasing works by contemporary as well as traditional artists.

"Each In Their Own World"

- Lorenzo Quinn. © Eileen Hsieh


- Santiago Montoya. © Eileen Hsieh

"Garden of Earthly Delights" 

- Raqib Shaw. © Eileen Hsieh

Just like most museums in London, these galleries are free and open to the public -- the only difference is that if you happen to fall in love with anything you see, you have the option to take it home (and tighten your belt for a few weeks... or months...or years!)  

So, if you get tired of shopping in the West End or simply want to soak up some culture, why not pay a visit to some of the wonderful galleries listed below? In my experience they are almost never crowded (unless Banksy is the headliner), and I always discover amazing artists whose works are previous unknown to me. You can see some of my new favorites on my Instagram

The West End art gallery scene is really like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're gonna get. :)

Hause & Wirth Gallery © Eileen Hsieh

Opera Gallery © Eileen Hsieh

"Churchill" - Banksy. © Eileen Hsieh

Halcyon Gallery - 144-146 New Bond St, London W1S 1SN

Opera Gallery - 134 New Bond St, London W1S 2TF

Richard Green - 147 New Bond Street, London W1S 2TS

Hauser & Wirth Gallery - 23 Savile Row, London W1S 2ET

Annely Juda Fine Art - 23 Dering Street, London W1S 1AW

Beaux Arts - 48 Maddox Street, London W1S 1AY

Blain|Southern - 21 Dering Street, London W1S 1AL

The Fleming Collection - 13 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DU

Sotheby's - 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA

Bonhams - 101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR


* Here's a useful interactive map of art gallery hotspots in London, courtesy of the Guardian. 

Legacy of a Lonely Baron: Waddesdon Manor | 寂寞男爵的黃金屋:沃德斯敦莊園

Once upon a time, a wealthy and widowed Baron built himself a fairytale castle on a bare hill in rural England.

In it, he filled with the most precious things one could find under the sun: porcelain artefacts with intricate designs, paintings by
masters of the time, exotic birds and flowers from faraway land that people had only heard about but never dreamt of seeing with their own eyes.

He led a life full of opulence and abundance like Aladdin's cave, but no matter how much treasure he acquired, the hollowness he felt inside was never to go away.

This is the story of Ferdinand de Rothschild, and this is his castle. 





Waddesdon Manor was built in the style of Loire Valley chateaus, as designed by French architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur.  © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

When was the last time you found treasure in your own backyard? 

The moment I stepped onto the grounds of Waddesdon Manor, I knew I'd struck gold. 

Standing in front of this magnificent French Renaissance chateau, one can hardly believe that we are still in England. Buckinghamshire, to be exact, just one hour of train ride from London Marylebone station




The Parterre at Waddesdon Manor has 50,000 plants, and the bedding is usually changed twice a year, in spring and summer. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Waddesdon Manor was built in the late 19th century by Ferdinand de Rothschild - a member of the prominent banking dynasty - as a country house, a weekend playground to entertain friends and family who wanted to escape London during the summer months.

A passionate collector of arts and artefacts, Waddesdon Manor also served as the perfect backdrop to display his vast collection of treasures from around the world, from old master paintings, exquisite miniatures, to furniture, porcelain and tapestries from the French Court.

Rothschild only purchased the best of the best. In 1882 he famously spent £6,300 on a Riesener writing desk made for France's Marie Antoinette, which would be worth around £530,000 today. And this was certainly not his most expensive acquisition.





The dining room, with table laid as it would've been for a house party in the 1890s. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

The china service display includes pieces originally own by the French court. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Baron Rothschild had great love for portraits of beautiful women, as well as chandeliers. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

In addition to planting a grand chateau in the English countryside, the baron was also credited for creating the lush landscape surrounding Waddesdon Manor today.

The legend might have exaggerated when it boasted that Rothschild had planted one million trees on his estate of 2,700 acres, but the result of his vision is undeniably impressive. 



Sunset at Waddesdon Estate. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Mature trees are plenty on the estate. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Wildflowers on the meadow. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Today the Waddesdon Estate has expanded to 6,000 acres and offers some of the most stunning trails in all of England.

On my 5-mile walk from the village of Stone to Waddesdon Manor, my senses are mesmerized by a wave of pleasantry... giant trees soaring into the sky, fragrant meadows carpeted with wildflowers, and farm animals on the gentle hills exercising their limbs and enjoying their lunch.


從我住的小村莊 Stone,有一條5英里的步道直通到沃德斯敦莊園的入口。路程中偶爾會看到行車和出來遛狗的居民,但大部分時間都只有大自然陪伴著我。


A view of the rose garden. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

A very English rose, in red and white. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Running a manor of such a grand scale was never to be an easy or inexpensive task, so to keep the property from the possible fate of declining, the Rothschild family bequeathed Waddesdon Manor to the National Trust in 1957, along with some 160-acre of land surrounding it, to ensure proper care of the property for all to enjoy for generations to come.

Scroll down for access information and a photo tour of this wonderful time capsule. Enjoy!

Eileen x




Eileen x

Picture Gallery

Waddesdon Manor | 沃德斯敦莊園



Free for National Trust members

House & Grounds Access - £20 Adult / £10 Child / £45 Family 

Grounds Only - £10 adult / £5 Child / £25 Family 

House visits are by timed entry, including for National Trust members. Book House Tickets Here

If you’re travelling by train, you can download a 2for1 grounds admission voucher to use on arrival: 2for1 grounds admission voucher


Regular trains run from London Marylebone to Aylesbury and Aylesbury Vale Parkway.

There's one daily free shuttle bus service between Aylesbury Vale Parkway station and Waddesdon Manor. Click here for details.



The Chocolate Box Life - My InstaReflection

A quaint 17th century thatched cottage near Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

I came, to find a quiet place to clear my mind.

I arrived, to find that I still quite like a mind brimming with thoughts, senses and fascination, except now the deafening sirens are replaced by chirping birds, the air is perfumed with wildflowers and horses instead of car fumes, and the skyline is embellished with not highrises but cottages and cattle.

Right now, I'm looking out from the bedroom window of this 17th century chocolate box cottage, watching the morning sunlight dance across the garden and turn a row of rose bushes into sparkly yellow diamonds under the gray sky. 

I'm in the home county of Buckinghamshire, and I feel home.

Lambeth Palace Garden: The Archbishop's Backyard | 蘭柏宮花園:大主教的後院

Visitors soaking up the sunshine in the garden of Lambeth Palace. 訪客在蘭柏宮花園漫步,享受陽光的洗禮。© Eileen Hsieh

Many of London's most iconic views can be found along the south bank of the River Thames. Sandwiched between Tower Bridge and the Palace of Westminster is a narrow strip of riverside land dotted with museums, galleries, restaurants and seasonal events -- and let's not forget the London Eye -- to keep visitors and locals entertained throughout the year. However once the obligatory pictures with Big Ben are taken, most of us don't often venture westward past the Westminster Bridge, where lies the historic Lambeth Palace.

許多倫敦最具標誌性的景點都座落於泰晤士河的南岸。從倫敦塔橋威斯敏斯特宮之間的一段路上,有赫赫有名的博物館 (如泰特現代藝術館),畫廊,餐廳和季節性活動 -- 還有別忘了倫敦眼 -- 是遊客與居民最愛的休閒娛樂天堂之一。不過,大部分人走到大笨鐘,在威斯敏斯特橋附近自拍完後,並不會繼續往西走,而錯過了一個歷史悠久的好景點:蘭柏宮

A rotunda on the Mound, surrounded by narcissus in the springtime and a black walnut tree planted by Queen Mary in the 16th century. 涼亭坐落在種滿水仙花的小丘陵上,依偎着瑪麗皇后十六世紀種植的黑核桃樹 © Eileen Hsieh

Sitting opposite the House of Parliament next to a busy round-about, this Grade I listed building has been the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for almost 800 years, and houses one of the oldest and largest cultivated gardens in the capital. 

The garden occupies over 10 of the 13 acres of the Palace ground. It's generally not open to the public except for pre-booked tours or special events, but at the request of the current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Lambeth Palace Garden is opening its doors for all to visit from 12-3pm on the first Wednesday of the month between March to October. 



Morton's Tower gatehouse, the main entrance of Lambeth Palace. 蘭博工的正門,莫頓塔。© Eileen Hsieh

The main palace building and courtyard. 蘭柏宮的正殿與庭園。© Eileen Hsieh

The path to the garden is a stunning prelude to the beauty in store. Entering through the red brick Morton's Tower gatehouse, we stroll to the main courtyard where a famous fig tree stands -- planted in 1556 by the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Pole. (Then came Henry VIII and the reformation and separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church... etc.) 

Around the corner of the main palace building is where you'll find a small gate leading to the garden. 



The rose arbor on the terrace. 露台上的玫瑰架。© Eileen Hsieh

The "Girl and Swallows" statue surrounded by roses. 玫瑰園裡的「女孩與燕子」銅像。 © Eileen Hsieh

The palace garden is loosely divided into three sections: the terrace, the main lawn, and the orchard. Benches and roses line the terrace, allowing visitors to admire the honey-color stone building it's facing. The main lawn is a parkland style space filled with mature trees and colorful plants (including a black walnut planted by Queen Mary), with a solitary rotunda sitting on a mount covered in spring bulbs of narcissus.

The orchard contains apples, plum, cobnut and quince, and behind it is the plant nursery area and a greenhouse that supplies the vegetables consumed by palace staff. 

The entire area is maintained by three full-time gardeners along with part-time volunteers, using organic principles wherever possible. 





Lambeth Palace has a special place in United Kingdom's history, as it brings to life the relationship between Church and State in Britain. Its garden holds fascinating stories of its own, waiting for us to explore. 

*For more photos of the garden, please check out my Lambeth Palace Garden Gallery.


*想看更多 Lambeth Palace Garden的照片嗎?請前往我的 Lambeth Palace Garden 相簿


Lambeth Palace Rd, London SE1 7JU map



門票:£4.00 成人 / 小孩免費入場

Garden Opening Time: 12-3pm, first Friday of the month between March and October

Cost:£4.00 adult / children free 


Photography & I: Bringing Dreamscape into Reality | 攝影與我:把夢想帶入現實世界

Happy Instagram birthday to me!

@FollowThatBug is five years old this month, having been actively sharing photos since April 2012.

That is by far my longest happy relationship with any social media platform, and my infatuation with this app and its community is growing stronger day by day.

Not long ago, I received some comments from fellow Instagramers that nearly shot me to the moon with elation. In different ways, they described my editing style as a "professional makeup artist", making whatever that's in front of the camera appear as paradise on earth, and bringing out the quiet beauty of my subjects that others may fail to notice. 

Subscribe to My Newsletter

BEFORE: What my lens sees -- a classic London icon.

AFTER: What I see -- Big Ben and his candyfloss.

My Rose-Tinted Lens

Filters were what initially attracted me to Instagram. It was like trying on new clothes, I got a lot of satisfaction accessorizing my pictures with different layers of effects, then taking them off and starting all over again, and again, and again, because I could never decide which style I liked the most.

I became BFFs with the filters. Not only did they add colors to my images, they also camouflaged any imperfection that I didn't know how to remove.  

BEFORE: What my lens sees -- a lonely bird overshadowed by the shiny yellow blooms.

AFTER: What I see -- a sweet little creature enjoying the view from her flower castle.

Finding "Me"

Slowly, as I gained more confidence in my photographic expression, I began to see filters in a different light.

I still loved them, deeply, but I also realized that as Iong as I continued to rely on them to gain attention, I would never be able to develop any style that was truly, uniquely "me".  

Filters were someone else's creation, someone else's vision. They showed me the amazing possibilities of effects and manipulation, and now I wanted to be that "someone else" and leave my own stamp.

BEFORE: What my lens sees -- intricate craftsmanship from a bygone era. 

AFTER: What I see -- ray of hope and possibility shining through from all directions.

Painting the Stories of Our Lives

I'm a storyteller, and I appreciate the power of human touch.

When appropriate (this is key!), I like to run my hand over things that catch my attention, so I can feel their heaviness, their bumps and cracks, try to peel of their layers and see what hides beneath.

More often than not, I discover a diamond in the rough, ready to shine.

So what is my 5-year Instagram birthday wish? Make the world sparkle! And I'm taking concrete steps to help make this vision a reality, so watch this space. :)

And if you like, I can keep you updated on my progress -- just sign up here.

Eileen x

Related reading

5 Tips For Taking Amazing iPhone Photos

Eileen Hsieh, iPhone Photography School

What does it take to create amazing iPhone photos? Apps can help with editing and special effects, but you can produce beautiful images using just the iPhone’s native camera and a few simple composition techniques. In this tutorial, you’ll discover five highly effective tips that’ll help you take stunning iPhone photos that you’ll be proud to share. With just a few small tweaks to your technique, you’ll have the tools you need to become a really great iPhone photographer.

Welcome To The Fantastical World Of Sketch.London | 進入倫敦Sketch的夢幻彩世界

Interesting sketches by British artist David Shrigley adorning the walls of The Gallery restaurant. 餐廳的墻上掛滿了英國藝術家 David Shrigley 的素描。© Eileen Hsieh

On a quiet street in London's busy West End stands an interesting establishment called Sketch. Housed in a traditional white-washed 18-century building two doors from to the sumptuous The East India Company tea specialist on Conduit Street, passersby may notice the gravity-defying Great Dane sculpture on its exterior wall but easily miss the discreet, darkened entrance.

Behind the heavy drapery is where the magic begins. Once your eyes adjust to the dimly lit space, you'll notice that everywhere there's light, there's something wondrous to be discovered. I fee like I've gone down the rabbit hole and been transported to a world far, far away. I have come to a place like no other.

Opened more than a decade ago, the concept of Sketch still feels avant-garde in today's cutting edge London. The multiple personality venue is a "triple dream" - a place for art, food, and music. Just to kick things up a notch, it also has a futuristic bathroom once crowned the No. 1 must-visit toilet by TimeOut London. 

The Great Dane sculpture outside of Sketch. 門外挑戰地心引力的丹麥獵犬雕塑。© Eileen Hsieh

Hopscotch your way into the world of Sketch. 跳格子進入Sketch的夢幻世界。© Eileen Hsieh

Bespoke tableware by David Shrigley are used in the restaurants and available for sale. 你也可以把英國藝術家 David Shrigley 為 Sketch 設計的餐具帶回家。© Eileen Hsieh

Colorful pencils take the center stage at the East Bar. 彩色鉛筆也成了酒吧裡的藝術品。© Eileen Hsieh

This delightful wonderland is the brainchild of an international restaurateur and a French culinary master, and their influences are evident in every detail. Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz (the man behind the stylish Moroccan restaurant MOMO) collaborated with three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire to create a dream world for lovers of all things beautiful - from the artworks on the wall, the eccentric yet comfortable furniture, to the food you taste and the plates it's served on. 

Sketch offers five options for food and drinks: (1) the Lecture Room -- the Michelin-starred dining room serving lunch and dinner; (2) the Gallery -- a gastro-brasserie open for afternoon tea and dinner; (3) the Glade -- a whimsical woodland bar serving breakfast (weekends only), afternoon tea and comfort food; (4) the Parlour -- a dark and sophisticated lounge with all-day dining; and (5) the East Bar -- an intimate, circular space curiously located below the famous bathroom.

The Glade is an enchanting space to enjoy a lazy afternoon over tea. 夢幻森林是個享受下午茶的完美地點。© Eileen Hsieh

Tempting pastries at the Glade. 夢幻森林裡誘人的點心。© Eileen Hsieh

We had dinner at the Gallery, a room dipped in bright pink paint with 200+ original drawings by British artist David Shrigley adorning its walls, part of an "artist-conceived restaurants" programme that sees this space completely transformed by a new artist every two years. While I found the bubble gum palette playful and uplifting, my friend couldn't get pass its resemblance to Pepto-Bismo.

Luckily for our tummies, the food here was anything but upsetting. Everything on the menu had an element of surprise and the unorthodox combination of ingredients turned out to go amazingly well together. (Pig's trotter and kimchi or scallops with curried popcorn, anyone?)

The adorable tableware (also designed by Shrigley) that told me I'd cleaned all my plates was the finishing touch in this fun and fantastic dining experience.


Futuristic design dominates Sketch London's East Bar and bathroom. 未來風格的廁所就在 East Bar 酒吧的正上方。 © Eileen Hsieh 2015


「Sketch」在倫敦已有十多年的歷史,不過它前衛的理念在這個時髦的城市仍廣受好評。這是個「多重人格」的夢幻場地,向來以獨特,離奇的藝術品,美食與音樂為標榜。不過它的成名之作是間未來風格的洗手間,曾被 TimeOut 休閒指南封為倫敦必參觀的廁所第一名

The No. 1 must-visit toilet in London. 「Sketch」必參觀的洗手間。 © Eileen Hsieh

Meeting master chef and creator of Sketch, Pierre Gagnaire. 碰上了來倫敦查勤的 Sketch 米其林名廚 Pierre Gagnaire。 © Eileen Hsieh

這個夢幻世界是由阿爾及利亞出生的餐飲界大亨 Mourad Mazouz 與法國三米其林星級大廚 Pierre Gagnaire 聯手打造的心血結晶,處處可見他兩人獨特的風格。如果你喜愛欣賞,體味美麗事物,屋簷下的每個細節 -- 從牆上古怪的畫,華麗但舒適的傢俱,擺盤精美的食物和下午茶,到貼心的服務 -- 都會讓你會心一笑。

「Sketch」裡分成五區:(1) the Lecture Room 是米其林級餐廳,提供午餐和晚餐; (2) the Gallery 是個餐廳-畫廊混合體,提供下午茶和晚餐; (3) the Glade - 是個童話般的森林主題空間,供應早餐(僅週末),下午茶和輕食; (4) the Parlour - 昏暗的休息室,提供全天候飲食; (5) the East Bar - 舒適的圓形空間,位於洗手間正下方。

Dipped in pink, Sketch's Gallery restaurant is a doll house for adults. The Gallery 餐廳的粉紅世界。© Eileen Hsieh

The bronze bar at The Gallery. 粉紅色的牆襯托著銅色的酒吧。© Eileen Hsieh

我們在 The Gallery 用晚餐。餐廳裡的每一面牆都漆上了亮眼的粉紅色,掛著200多幅英國藝術家 David Shrigley 的素描原作。原來這獨特的裝潢是「藝術家構思餐廳」計劃的一部份,每兩年「Sketch」就會邀請一位新的藝術家來替 The Gallery 改頭換面。我個人是挺喜歡餐廳的泡泡糖顏色,感覺像在芭比娃娃的家裡用餐,不過我的朋友指出這調色很像 Pepto-Bismo舒胃藥,好像也有點道理。


餐廳裡使用的全部餐具也是 Shrigley 設計的,融合了可愛的手寫字體,是這次用餐體驗的點睛之筆。

Paper forks are on the menu too. 菜單一打開就跳出來可愛的紙刀叉。 © Eileen Hsieh

Scallops and curried popcorn. 干貝加咖喱爆米花,盤子上還有附近街道的名稱。 © Eileen Hsieh

Pig’s trotter, kimchi, turnips and carrots.  豬腳切薄片配泡菜。© Eileen Hsieh

An empty dish. 吃光光囉。 © Eileen Hsieh

Sketch London

9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG


Phone: +44 020 7659 4500

Click for Opening Hours



* Click Here for an irresistible new year's offer from Sketch.London *

廁所,是「sketch」的成名作,不過它的食物和下午茶也很值得一試。好消息是現在直到三月底還有 £50 的午晚餐折扣呢!把握時機,找個朋友一起來享受美食,迎接新年吧。

Sketch, home of London's No. 1 must-see bathroom, is offering everyone a £50 gift voucher to dine at their beautiful restaurants until the end of March.

Adopting Britain: 70 Years of Migration | 接受不列顛:移民記事七十年

Tell Us Your Story -- A wall covered with tales of migration at the Adopting Britain exhibition. 「接受不列顛」展覽的牆上掛滿了參觀者留下的移民故事。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

It’s hard to imagine London as a place without diversity. The rainbow shades of skin color, the melodic sounds of foreign languages, the abundance of cuisines and cultures from all corners of the world,... these are all components that make up this city’s DNA and help establish it as -- on the surface at least -- one of the most tolerant and vibrant metropolises we know today. 

However, diversity in Britain is a relatively modern concept which did not take root until after the Second World War. Those born and raised in London before the 80s will paint a very different picture of the capital from their childhood and share stories about their first encounters with a non-English person or culture. 

Thanks to immigration, the fabric of Britain has undergone a drastic transformation over the last 70 years. Now, an exhibition at the Southbank Centre is laying out the stories of those who migrated to this country and their roles in making Britain "great". 

很難想像倫敦若沒有多元文化,會是個怎樣的城市?許多我們所認知的倫敦素質: 由深到淺的膚色,悅耳的各國語言,與來自世界各個角落的美食和文化, 都是這個城市基因的一部分,也是促使它成為世界上最寬容和充滿活力的大都市之一的原動力。



Tell Us Your Story -- Where do you come from? 與我們分享你的故事 -- 你從哪裡來?© Eileen Hsieh 2015

Adopting Britain: 70 Years of Migration is an interactive exhibition about immigration that interrogates seven decades of British history, focusing on society, culture and politics.  To better grasp the changing landscape of Britain and how it became the nation it is today, we first need to understand the timing and motivations behind each stage of migration. 


The many faces of modern Britain. 現代英國人多元化的面孔。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

1946 - 1948

At the end of WWII there were labour shortages across Britain and work shortages in Europe, so the British government started to look for immigrants to fill the void.

The first groups to be allowed to settle in the UK were the Europeans, mainly from Poland, Ukraine and Italy. A large number of Indians also came to the UK after India gained independence in 1947, but there were still not enough labourers to meet the need. So the government turned to the residents of the West Indies partly due to their colonial links and contribution to the the British Empire during the war years.

In the summer of 1948, when a ship full of Caribbean men docked in London, Britain officially entered a new era of mass immigration and started venturing on the path towards multiculturalism. 

1946 - 1948年




Some words favored by the British media when discussing the issues of migration and immigration. 英國媒體探討移民問題時最喜愛的用詞常常與「水」有關(如洪水,潮流,波浪等)。 © Eileen Hsieh 2015

In 1945, Britain’s non-white residents numbered in the low thousands. By 1970 they numbered approximately 1.4 million - a third of these children born in the United Kingdom.
— 英國廣播公司

<<  Some words favored by the British media when discussing the issues of migration and immigration. 

<<  英國媒體探討移民問題時最喜愛的用詞常常與「水」有關(如洪水,潮流,波浪等)。

When moving to a different country, what would you take, or what did you bring? © Eileen Hsieh 2015

Which five items do you need to live in Britain? © Eileen Hsieh 2015


In the days of the British Empire, people from the Indian subcontinent were encouraged to settle in the then-colonized Uganda and work for the Imperial service or in the financial or sartorial sector. Many became high earners in the country and called it home even after Uganda gained independence from Britain in 1962.

However, the prosperity of the Indians became a source of resentment in Uganda, and in 1972 dictator Idi Amin expelled 80,000 African Asians from the country, giving them just 90 days to make the move.

As many Ugandan Indians were British passport holders, thousands fled to Britain for a fresh start, making it the most significant immigration event of the decade.





Indian migrants working in a factory in Britain. 在英國工廠工作的印度移民。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

Things that migrants brought to Britain to remind them of home. 移民從家鄉帶來英國的文化藝品。 © Eileen Hsieh 2015

Wedding pictures of immigrants in Britain. 英國移民多彩多姿的結婚照。© Eileen Hsieh 2015


After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the eventual demise of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, a new wave of migration began. Originating from Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Africa, seekers of political asylum as well as a better life started to arrive in western Europe, many of whom landed in Britain. 



Loneliness is a sentiment shared by many new migrants. 「孤單」許多移民的必經之路。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

2004 - NOW

The most recent mass migration into the UK kicked off when the European Union expanded in 2004, and Britain opened its border and began to accept immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe. 

The census chart below highlights the consistent increase in the number of foreign-born residents in England and Wales since 1951, reflecting the continuous growth of immigrant population in the UK.

2004年 - 現在



                                             Non-UK Born Census Populations 1951-2011. (Source: Office for National Statistics)

"So my mind can go away from a dream, I just think of a black board with nothing on it." © Eileen Hsieh 2015

While most of us appreciate Britain's diversity, a multicultural society is not without its problems. However subtle, many immigrants still face everyday racism and employment discrimination.

During the eurozone financial crisis, migrants from new European Union member nations became the scapegoat for unemployment among Britons. Now with crises unfolding in the Middle East and Islamophobia on the rise in the West, even the second or third generation immigrants can still fall prey to such prejudice. 

Such is the premise Adopting Britain:70 Years of Migration is trying to explore: the ways in which people of all ethnicities and backgrounds are stitched into the fabric of Britain, as seen through the eyes of migrants who've made this country home.




十七世紀錦繡莊園:探訪哈姆宅邸 | 17th Century Grandeur: Ham House & Garden

Ham House's symmetrical rear facade. © Eileen Hsieh



國家名勝古蹟信託National Trust)是世界上最大的保育組織與慈善團體之一,創立於1895年,有數百萬的會員。協會的主要收入來自會費,捐款,遺贈產和透過商業活動所得之利潤。

我熱愛ㄧ切美的事物,在 National Trust 中,有博大精深的歷史文化,有豪華大氣的宅邸莊園,有花團錦簇美不勝收的庭園,還有山海荒野無盡的自然風光,讓我迫不及待地成為會員之ㄧ。

初秋的天空湛藍亮麗,英國難得有那麼好的天氣,我們搭火車去拜訪倫敦西南市郊的 Richmond upon Thames 自治市,哈姆宅邸庭園Ham House and Gardens)就座落於此。


約莫走一哩半,哈姆宅邸在濃鬱的林間若隱若現,穿過廣闊的林野,一棟精緻的豪宅,就出現在眼前。入口前庭的圓形草坪上,聳立一座古老巨大的石雕,四角圓弧形的主建築牆洞上,嵌有許多人頭雕像,我的第一印象就只有一個驚嘆!我們簡直走在古典宮廷的電影中。確實有很多電影在此拍攝,例如早期英國女作家珍·奧斯汀的 「理性與感性」(Sense  and Sensibility),近期俄國文豪托爾斯泰的 「安娜·卡列尼娜」(Anna Karenina) 都在此取景。

Pleasing, symmetrical design is also found in the Cherry Garden.  © Eileen Hsieh

The Duchess's bathroom.  © Eileen Hsieh


我們依指示路線參觀,先到地下室看廚房酒窖,和公爵夫人的專屬浴室,1675 年建造,有浴盆和蒸氣房,是英國的第一間 bathroom。然後上樓到大廳,四幅巨大油畫,彰顯主人夫婦的富貴氣勢。拐角處是私人教堂 (The Chapel),可以在此做禮拜。另一個不容錯過的大樓梯 (The Great Staircase),寬闊的扶手欄杆有著精美的藝術雕刻。北邊書房擺有當年從巴黎運來新穎時尚的傢俱,精細巨幅的印度地毯,及無數名家的畫作。長廊掛滿了許多家族的畫像,還有國王皇后的畫像,都是出自當代名家之手。長廊盡頭轉角有一個迷你精巧的綠色收藏室,擺掛私人物品,如珠寶徽章等。另一側則是書房,蒐藏許多珍貴的古書籍。

其實我認為最美的是花園,除了優美典雅的前庭外,後院尤其值得探訪,兩列數百年的老樹亭亭如蓋,宛如森林,綠意盎然,讓人心脾沁涼。高大的栗子樹結實纍纍,過不久就可以撿拾烘烤了。有一座公爵夫人的私有庭院,種了薰衣草迷迭香等香料植物,與修剪整齊的三角錐灌木叢樹,構成一份對稱的幾何圖形,煞是好看。最後我們在 kitchen garden 附設的咖啡廳喝下午茶,據說它是英國最古老的家庭菜園之一,販賣自種自製的產品。



Opening Times:

Saturday - Thursday (Closed Friday)

Check Calendar


Click for Price List; free for National Trust members


Ham Street, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, London TW10 7RS 地圖

What's For Breakfast? Burger... And Lobster! | 早餐吃什麼?漢堡... 與龍蝦!

Scrambled eggs with lobster meat on English muffin, one of the three items on Burger & Lobster's new breakfast menu. 「漢堡 & 龍蝦」的新早餐:龍蝦炒蛋配英式鬆餅。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

Back in 2011, when Britain was slowly recovering from the effects of the Eurozone financial crisis, a little restaurant called Burger & Lobster opened in the swanky Mayfair, giving thrifty Londoners a taste of affordable luxury with a simple menu of three items:  whole lobster, lobster roll or burger -- served with a nicely dressed salad and french fries, all for the delicious price of £20.

A self-styled North American "diner" with a set-price surf & turf menu.

It was arguably the best lobster deal in town, and despite some initial skepticism over the quality of the Nova Scotia shellfish, new and return customers (myself included) continued to endure the long queue outside the trendy, no-reservation restaurant. 

2011年,當英國正緩慢地從歐元區金融危機中恢復元氣,一家名為漢堡 & 龍蝦」小餐館在倫敦時髦的 Mayfair 開業,帶給正在學習如何精打細算的倫敦人物超所值的餐飲經驗。顧名思義,餐廳的菜單上只有三項選擇:整只龍蝦,龍蝦卷和漢堡 -- 附上一盤沙拉和炸薯條,一餐定價只要 20 英鎊。


在倫敦,龍蝦算是高價位的食材,因此最初有人對 Buger & Lobster 的品質與商業模式持著懷疑的態度。不過食客依然天天大排長龍,耐心地在這家不接受預約的餐廳外等待,期待享受加拿大新斯科舍的美味海鮮。

Before long, Londoners were trapped in the tasty (lobster!!) and safety (£20!!) net cast by this tiny heartthrob, and its branches sprang up like mushrooms across the (rainy) city.

It’s interesting to note that over the years, no one has shown more love for Burger & Lobster than London’s tourists, especially those visiting from Asia, where a kilogram of Mexican lobster can set you back $30 or more. For my family visiting from Taiwan, this place is automatically built into their itinerary, sometimes more than once.


有趣的是,倫敦的觀光客也超愛「漢堡 & 龍蝦」,尤其是來自亞洲的旅客,因為那裡龍蝦價位偏高,比較少機會享受。所以每次我的家人朋友來倫敦,都一定會拜訪它一兩次。

This grilled lobster set was the first of my many meals at Burger & Lobster. 這套烤龍蝦定食是我在「漢堡 & 龍蝦」的第一餐。 © Eileen Hsieh

Stunning interior at Burger & Lobster's newest location on Threadneedle Street in the City of London. 最新的「漢堡 & 龍蝦」位於倫敦金融區的Threadneedle Street,裝璜讓人眼睛一亮。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

Now the popular diner has opened its ninth location -- in the City of London just steps away from the Bank of England, still with the inflation-proof price of £20 per set lunch or dinner.

A first for the franchise, the new Threadneedle Street branch is serving breakfast, again with just three items on the menu:

。 6oz breakfast burger with poached egg, hash browns and beans

。 American-style pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon

。 Scrambled eggs with lobster meat on English muffin

Each meal comes with a hot drink (tea or coffee) and a juice (orange or pineapple are the only choices during my visit) for £15.

當年的小餐館至今已經開了九家分店,最新的地點位於倫敦金融區,離英格蘭銀行總部只有幾步之遙,提供同樣的 20 英鎊套餐。

與以往不同的是,新開的 Threadneedle Street 分店開始提供早餐,菜單上還是只有三項選擇:



。 龍蝦炒蛋配英式鬆餅

每套餐配有熱飲(茶或咖啡)和果汁(我訪問時只有桔子與鳳梨汁可選),定價 15 英鎊。

American-style  &nbsp;pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon.&nbsp;  美  式煎餅,配  楓糖漿和香脆培根。  © Burger &amp; Lobster on Instagram

American-style pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon. 式煎餅,配楓糖漿和香脆培根。© Burger & Lobster on Instagram

6oz breakfast burger with poached egg, hash browns and  &nbsp;beans.&nbsp;  6盎司早餐漢堡加  水煮嫩  蛋,馬鈴薯餅與  茄汁豆。  © Burger &amp; Lobster on Instagram

6oz breakfast burger with poached egg, hash browns and beans. 6盎司早餐漢堡加水煮嫩蛋,馬鈴薯餅與茄汁豆。© Burger & Lobster on Instagram

As usual, I go for the set with lobster. As expected, it is delicious. The eggs are soft without being runny, the English muffin is tasty without being soggy, but admittedly I am a little disappointed by the tiny pieces of lobster meat which is overwhelmed by the eggs. I’d envisioned it to be the breakfast equivalent of the lobster roll, where every bite is filled with large pieces of succulent lobster meat. 

Still, it is a very pleasant meal. The service is upbeat and friendly. The restaurant’s premise is airy and beautifully decorated with super high ceiling and large windows, making the most of London’s unpredictable sunshine. Maybe the introduction of breakfast at the newest Burger & Lobster is a sign of things to come. I would not mind, at all, the option of having lobster for breakfast at a branch closer to home. 

我選擇了龍蝦炒蛋配英式鬆餅,炒蛋柔軟順口,英式鬆餅香甜不膩,但我對點綴性的小片龍蝦肉有點失望,因為本以為它會像平常的龍蝦卷 (lobster roll) 一樣,每一口都可以吃到大塊多汁的龍蝦肉。

大體來說,這是一個愉快的用餐經驗,服務好之外,餐廳超高挑的天花板與大窗戶,引進倫敦的陽光,讓人眼睛一亮。若漢堡 & 龍蝦」開始在其他離家較近的分店提供早餐的話,我將很願意再次光臨!

Coffee or tea and juice complete Burger & Lobster's breakfast set-menu. 「漢堡 & 龍蝦」的早餐套餐配有熱飲(茶或咖啡)和果汁。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

Beautiful venue on Threadneedle Street, steps from the Bank of England. 新分店位於倫敦金融區,離英格蘭銀行總部只有幾步之遙。© Eileen Hsieh 2015

Burger & Lobster 漢堡 & 龍蝦

Grilled lobster set at Burger & Lobster. B&L 的烤龍蝦套餐。


FARRINGDON - 40 St Johns Street, London EC1M 4AY

BREAD STREET - 1 Bread Street, London EC4M 9BE

THREADNEEDLE STREET - 52 Threadneedle Street London EC2R 8AY

Natural History Museum Makeover: Goodbye Dippy, Hello Blue Whale! | 自然歷史博物館:拜拜恐龍,哈囉藍鯨

How the Natural History Museum's Hintze Hall will look like in 2017 with the Blue Whale display. ©2015 Casson Mann

Lately, Londoners are talking about something other than the weather.

"Save Dippy!" Screams the headline of a local newspaper. "Sign Metro's petition to keep this dinosaur in his rightful place."

After the Natural History Museum announces plans to replace the iconic Diplodocus cast in its entrance hall with a giant, real skeleton of a blue whale, Dippy fans have been lamenting the loss of a childhood companion and struggling with the pending retirement of the replica, which was unveiled in 1905 and has been occupying the prime spot since 1979.

To me, the revamp of Hintze Hall (formally known as Central Hall) and the display of the largest mammal known to man are causes for celebration and renewed excitement. After all, Andrew Carnegie did clone many copies of the dinosaur which were sent to museums around the world (Paris, Berlin, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Mexico City, etc.), so the only place where you can see Dippy's true form is at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, where the superstar has a dedicated online scrapbook

However Dippy lovers need not worry about its future welfare. This statement from the museum seems to indicate it's got many more years of adventures ahead.



原來,自然歷史博物館宣布計劃,準備於2017年將坐鎮入口大廳已久的恐龍骨架換為藍鯨模型,讓參觀者耳目一新,不料此舉卻挑起許多「迪皮」(Dippy) 粉絲憤怒。



粉絲也不必擔心 Dippy 的退休計劃,看來它反而會更忙,很有可能會到英國各地巡回展覽呢。

The installation of the blue whale skeleton will be part of a complete re-display of Hintze Hall being undertaken to lay bare the relationship between humans and the natural world.

While planning the whale’s move from its current home in the mammals gallery, the Museum is exploring how the Diplodocus cast can be enjoyed by an even wider audience longer term.
— Natural History Museum, London

NHM's "Dippy", a Diplodocus cast that's been occupying Central Hall since 1979. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum banner.png

The splendid cathedral-like Central Hall of Natural History Museum as seen in 1882. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Central Hall of the Natural History Museum in 1895. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

A Sperm whale skeleton occupied Central Hall in 1901. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum in 1924. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

View of Central Hall, looking north, from July 1902. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

A very cool-looking African elephant in Central Hall, February 1910. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Diplodocus "Dippy" and Triceratops in 1979. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

A side view of the Blue Whale to grace Hintze Hall in 2017. ©2015 Casson Mann

The stunning view that'll be greeting Natural History Museum visitors starting from 2017. ©2015 Casson Mann

Lights. Camera. Action. It's Christmas time in London! | 倫敦鬧區慶聖誕,推出新耀眼彩燈

Covent Garden 今年聖誕走的是自然風,呈現青綠色的新彩燈,和它的蘋果市場相呼應。

Covent Garden 今年聖誕走的是自然風,呈現青綠色的新彩燈,和它的蘋果市場相呼應。

英國因為不慶祝感恩節,十一月就開始為聖誕節裝燈結彩。週四晚倫敦的兩大購物鬧區 Covent Garden 與 Carnaby Street 同時準備點燈儀式 + 街頭派對,吸引了成千上萬的民眾共襄盛舉。

Eileen 做了個短片,和大家分享歡樂的佳節氣氛。🎊🌲🎅🏼🌟🎉

Since Thanksgiving isn't celebrated by the British, Christmas is now on full display at the shops and in the streets. Two of London's busiest shopping areas both put on Christmas celebrations Thursday evening, and I've made a little video to share with you the festive joy. 😊✨

Carnaby Street 盛大的街頭派對吸引了不少民眾與遊客來共襄盛舉。

Carnaby Street 盛大的街頭派對吸引了不少民眾與遊客來共襄盛舉。

Real Bread Recipe: The Fabulous Wheaten Bread | 真實麵包食譜:小麥麵包

poilane london bakery bread followthatbug follow that bug.jpg

I will always remember the exact moment when bread became an integral part of my life. It was on a cold, rainy evening in Georgia, shortly after Christmas, when I made my first-ever loaf of bread in my brand new breadmaker.

It was the simplest recipe - a classic white loaf that I found on the back pages of the instructional booklet for the bread machine. Five ingredients (flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt and oil), five minutes of preparation, and after three hours of waiting, a perfectly formed loaf of bread was born, and my apartment was filled with the most intoxicating aroma of happiness.

That was the moment I fell in love with bread.

I'd liken the bread-making process to making coffee in a Nespresso coffee maker -- minimum effort required, satisfaction guaranteed. When you make bread at home, you can enjoy it with the comforting knowledge that only the purest ingredients are used, so there's no risk of consuming any unwanted artificial additives. It is based on this philosophy that the Real Bread Campaign was born, to get more people to appreciate the beauty of bread in its most natural form. 

Every year during the Real Bread Week, we celebrate not only the bread but its makers, and this time I've chosen to highlight my favorite baking duo on British television -- the Fabulous Baker Brothers -- and their fabulously delicious wheaten bread recipe.


我選擇嘗試最簡單的食譜 -- 經典白麵包,只需六種材料(麵粉,酵母,水,糖,鹽和油),花個五分鐘混合攪勻,倒入麵包機即可。三個小時後,一條有模有樣的麵包便誕生了,隨之而來暖暖的天然麵包香,環繞著整個公寓。


麵包製作的過程,就像用Nespresso咖啡機煮咖啡 -- 只需花一指神功之力,成品保證滿意。在自家烤麵包的好處多多,簡單可口多花樣以外,最重要的是吃的安心,不怕吃進人工添加劑。正是基於這一理念,英國的「真實麵包運動」誕生了,來推廣麵包的自然美。

一年一度的「真實麵包週」期間,我們要慶祝的不僅是麵包而已,還有賦予它們生命的師傅們。今天我就來和大家分享由我最喜歡的英國烘焙雙雄 -- The Fabulous Baker Brothers 貝克兄弟 -- 所提供的小麥麵包食譜,向愛麵包的大小師傅們致敬!

The Fabulous Baker Brother's Wheaten Bread

Click here for full recipe from Waitrose TV

Freshly baked wheaten bread is made perfect with a bit of butter or jam. 剛出爐的小麥麵包,無論是配奶油還是果醬都好吃。© Waitrose TV


1茶匙 海鹽
2小匙 砂糖
1茶匙 蘇打
50克 燕麥,外加少許燕麥灑烤盤用
20克 奶油,外加少許奶油塗烤盤表面用
100毫升 黑糖蜜
200毫升 全脂牛奶
200毫升 酸酪乳


1. 預熱烤箱170℃。若有烘焙石頭(baking stone),把它放進烤箱預熱10分鐘。

2. 將麵粉,鹽,糖,蘇打與燕麥在大碗裡混合均勻。

3. 把奶油與糖漿加入平底鍋,用小火加熱直到融化。

4. 將液體混合物加入乾燥成分裡,攪拌均勻成為濕麵團。

5. 烤盤內塗上奶油,灑上薄薄一層燕麥後,將濕麵團放進烤盤。

6. 把剩下的燕麥灑在濕麵團上,蓋上鋁箔,放進烤箱烤35分鐘。

7. 移開鋁箔紙,再烤10分鐘就完成了!

Spring Symphony: The National Open Gardens Day|春天交響曲:英國國家開放花園日

London's many parks and gardens are the perfect places to soak up the spring sunshine. 倫敦眾多的公園與花園是享受春天陽光的最佳地點。© Eileen Hsieh

Spring in Britain is a force to be reckoned with. Upon its arrival, blue skies storm through the fortified cloud ceiling, making room for the sun to spread paintballs all over mother nature. The clock system shifts forward by an hour, stretching the daylight long into the evening. The balmy weather scrapes away the frowning mask on Londoner's face, revealing a big smile and sparkling eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses.

The truth is, we are all in love with Spring, and we will follow it wherever it goes.

To celebrate this sweet love affair, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) runs an annual campaign called the National Gardening Week (April 13-19) to help people celebrate, learn about and conserve their gardens, green spaces and local environment.

This year sees a new and exciting addition to the campaign -- the first-ever National Open Gardens Day -- which, for one day only on Friday, April 17, will give the public the chance to explore gardens that normally charge for entry or are only available for private visits.

If you've been to the popular Open House London architectural festival, this is basically its horticultural cousin. 

The inaugural event will see 27 gardens across Britain opening their gates to the public for free, including the following locations in and around London.



A sea of red tulips at Buckingham Palace. 白金漢宮的鬱金香花海。© Eileen Hsieh

為了慶祝這段甜蜜的戀情,英國皇家園藝學會(RHS)每年都會舉辦盛大的全國園藝週(今年為 4月13日~19日),鼓勵大家一同來慶祝,了解和保護英國各地的花園與綠地。


如果你參加過超熱門的倫敦建築開放日就知道,國家開放花園日其實就是 Open House London 的園藝版。全英國於4月17日共會有27個花園免費對外開放,包括以下幾個位於倫敦附近的地點。

The Roof Gardens

Kensington High Street


W8 5SA 

Opening Times:

April 17 9:00 AM - 17:00 PM

Millgate House Garden


DL10 4JN

Opening Times:

April 17 10:00 AM - 16:00 PM

7 St George's Road

St George's Road



Opening Times:

April 17 14:00 AM - 17:00 PM

Fullers Mill Garden

Bury St Edmunds


IP28 6HD 

Opening Times:

April 17 12:00 PM - 17:00 PM

RHS Garden Hyde Hall




Opening Times:

April 17 10:00 AM - 18:00 AM

Stubbings Estate

Henley Road



Opening Times:

April 17 10:00 AM - 16:00 PM

#Recipe: Olive & Sundried Tomato Scones | 食譜推薦:橄欖+日曬番茄乾英式鹹鬆餅


對愛料理的人來說,倫敦的超市與農夫市場提供了無窮的創作機會。只要願意嘗新,保證可以發掘種種令人驚喜的烹飪技巧和食譜。媽在聖誕假期時來了一趟英國,最愛逛附近的 Waitrose 超市,有事沒事就買些在台灣看不到的材料自創新菜,樂在其中。

Waitrose 是個百年老店,食物新鮮,多元化,品質可靠,價錢說真的也不比平價的 Tesco 貴多少。若是以一分錢一分貨來比較,我認為它是物超所值的。

Waitrose 自己的網站也提供了許多線上食譜與烹調視頻,簡潔的說明,簡單的食材與令人垂涎的影像,讓媽迫不及待地想回台灣大顯身手。

以下就是媽回台後照著 Waitrose TV 食譜所做的橄欖+日曬番茄乾英式鹹鬆餅。結果出乎意料地好,美觀又美味,已成為她最新的下午茶秘密武器。所有的材料都可以在台灣買到,所以你也可以試試做哦!


One of the joys of living in London is the constant encounter with international cuisines. In this multicultural city, "food" is a reliable conversation starter. And as the local media would lead you to believe, London has such a vast selection of eateries that you could dine at a different place every single day for a year or two without risking a repeat visit.

The city's culinary allure is extended to its numerous grocery stores and farmers' markets, where you'll find ingredients from around the world and endless inspiration for creating your own unique, new dishes.

Over the Christmas break I introduced my mother to Waitrose's online recipe site, and instantly she was hooked. Here you'll find cooking videos with clear presentation, concise instructions, simple ingredients, and gorgeous, mouthwatering images.

Mom was eager to try out the recipes when she returned to Taiwan, and here is her version of the savoury Olive & Sundried Tomato Scones. They're apparently so spectacular that they've already earned a place in her afternoon tea repertoire! All the ingredients can be found in Taiwan too, so why not give it a try yourself?

橄欖+日曬番茄乾英式鹹鬆餅|Waitrose Olive & Sundried Tomato Scone

{ 需時 25~27分鐘 | 份量:8~10份 }



350克   自發麵粉 (self-raising flour),準備多一點點揉麵時用 

1茶匙     發酵粉 (baking powder)

75克     橄欖抹醬 (olive spread)

6片       日曬蕃茄乾 (sundried tomatoes),切碎

20克     黑橄欖 (black olives),去子,切碎

2茶匙    切碎的新鮮迷迭香 (rosemary),或1茶匙 乾燥迷迭香

150克    0%脂肪優格 (fat-free yogurt)

6湯匙    半脫脂牛奶 (semi-skimmed milk)

2茶匙    磨碎的意大利帕馬森起司 (Parmigiano Reggiano)



1. 烤箱預熱 220℃。將麵粉+發酵粉+橄欖加入攪拌機,混合均勻。

2. 將日曬蕃茄乾+橄欖+迷迭香加入攪拌機,混合均勻。

3. 把攪拌機裡的材料移至大碗,加入優格+4 湯匙牛奶,用餐刀將材料混合成柔軟的麵團。

4. 把麵糰移置灑有麵粉的工作台上,形成球狀,然後輕按出厚度 2~3公分左右。

5. 用約 6公分直徑的圓形曲奇模切出 8~10份鬆餅,把全部麵糰用完。

6. 把鬆餅平均鋪在防粘黏烤盤上。

7. 把剩下的牛奶+起司混合均勻,把混合物刷上鬆餅。

8. 鬆餅入爐,烤約 10~12分鐘,成為金黃色。

9. 取出後放涼約 10分鐘至微暖。

10. 請享用!


* For the original recipe in English, please visit Waitrose TV.