The Bucket List: Taittinger Visit X Champagne Journey in Reims

Taking the advantage of being in France and in Paris especially, I suddenly thought of making a trip to Champagne in the Grand Est region. Being an avid fan of this prized wine, I definitely could not miss up the opportunity to head to the Champagne region which is just one hour by train away from Paris and try some bubbles right from the birthplace. The main two cities in the Champagne region are Reims as well as Epernay. I will be visiting both cities and one champagne house from each of them! Before I get to my champagne visit itself I will also share a little on Reims. I visited Taittinger in Reims, Taittinger. Founded in 1734, Taittinger is a family brand, even up to today. I love how rustic the place is and even in the cellar caves, which I will share with you later. It is much smaller and less touristy champagne house in comparison to brands like Moet! I would also like to give a shoutout here to Taittinger as well as Sandrine for inviting me to visit Taittinger Champagne house in Reims. Much appreciation for the VIP Private Visit! My trip was an invitation from Taittinger! After having bottles of champagne, I am so happy to be finally visiting one, a dream come true for me!

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The Bucket List: Astrance Three Star Michelin Restaurant

When in France, or particularly Paris, you can never miss up the chance to have authentic French Cuisine! Especially in France, the country with the most 3 Star Michelin Restaurant in the world after Japan! I always take the opportunity to find and dine at Michelin Restaurant when I am overseas, since I always find it to be much more worth it than having it in Singapore. It is much cheaper. A rule of thumb, go for the lunch and it will allow you to experience at a fraction of the price. This time around I choose to have my fairytale like French Food at Astrance. The chef is Pascal Barbot. Astrance  is also constantly ranked by S Pellegrino as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. Reservations are compulsory, after all there are only 25 seats here. There would be a credit card hold as well and I made a reservation 2 months in advance.

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The Bucket List: Le Meridien Etoile

For my very last city under this trip, I was staying at the Le Meridien Etoile in Paris. It is located in the 17th arrondissement. Near Neuilly Porte Maillot, the location is actually super good in my opinion it is nearby all the main sites that you will want to head to yet outside of the touristy hub such as Champs Elysees or Eiffel Tower. Yet they are a short metro ride away or just a stroll away. Metro Station is just right next door and you even have a RER stop for those who would like to go to the airport or Palace of Versailles. From the airport I took an uber which takes around 45 mins due to the traffic. It is easy enough and cost us 45 Euro for the ride probably the most cost efficient way since there is 3 of us! The Le Meridien Etoile is a large hotel with around 1000 room, it is more of like a conference style so do not expect attentive service at more boutique style places. There is a very classy exterior when we pulled up to the hotel and definitely a parisian feel and vibes

 

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The Bucket List: Aer Lingus EI524 A320 DUB – CDG Economy Class

Continuing on my journey I am headed to Paris. It is so nice to be back to Paris after close to 7 years back. I guess I need to be back before the “7 Year Itch” happens. I was at the airport bright early in the airport. Check in was smooth and there was a little queue but there was plenty of counters open and it was done in no time. I was flying Aer Lingus this time around, the home airline of Ireland. It is such a delight to be flying Aer Lingus. Everything is so amazing after the disastrous Ryan Air! Checked baggage, getting your boarding pass from the gorgeous staff who so nicely circled out my gate number. Staff is polite and not stingy with allowance. I never know how these small little things matters. I know I am so spoiled. Security was smooth as well. Leaving the lounge near Gate 400. It was a short walk to the gate from the lounge. However this is just a gate for the bus which will take us to a satellite mini terminal and from there we could board our Aer Lingus flight. It is kind of annoying that when you are flying out of the airline hub, you have to use a stand.

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The Bucket List: T2 Lounge Dublin International

I was flying out of Dublin to head to Paris, the last city of this very trip. Dublin Airport is fairly modern and new, especially in Terminal 2. It was a short taxi ride from the hotel and Aer Lingus is amazing, in fact, anything after Ryan Air first class. I will share more about the flight in detail in the next post. Dublin Airport have two contract lounge, both accessible via Priority Pass. There is one in each terminal and practically enough they are just simply named T1 Lounge and T2 Lounge. At least there are still good coverage for all of us. They are the only contract lounges in Dublin Airport.

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The Bucket List: Dublin

Dublin or in Irish, Dubh Linn is the capital of Ireland. Do not mix this up with Northern Ireland which is part of the UK. Ireland is a separate country and part of the European Union. However it is not part of the Schengen Area, which means that you will need your passport to enter the country. Singapore can enter visa free and it is not counted towards the 90 day period as well. Notwithstanding it being known as the birthplace of Guinness, it is also a place full of historic buildings. Dublin is a warm and welcoming. You will definitely enjoy the laid back lifestyle as well as the slower pace of life. The people are also very hospitable. Furthermore it is a super easy place to travel to given that the main language is English as well as all the signs. Follow me on my short stay in Dublin!

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The Bucket List: Klaw by Niall Sabongi

Finally it comes the time for me to share with you my favourite seafood place or shack in Dublin Ireland. Here comes the renowned Klaw by Niall Sabongi. I would call it more of a seafood shack rather than a restaurant. Happening, hyped and cosy, these are the terms that I would use on Klaw! Located right in the Temple Bar area, this little cosy restaurant or shack serve up the freshest lobster rolls, oysters, chowders & crab of all kinds. They are a group of funny passionate people that strives to serve up the best sustainable seafood in town. Even the name is a playful twist from the crab claw! This place have constantly been named as the best place in Dublin.

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The Bucket List: Sixt Dublin X Driving in Ireland

Previously, I have shared about my day trip to the Cliffs of Moher well as to Galway. No doubt, the go to car rental company that I would always rent from would be Sixt! This German car rental company consistently provide me with the cheapest rates among all. I also do have status with them as well. Although Sixt membership is rather weird, it does not provided any points or accrual towards free rental but only give cheaper rates as well as some perks such as mileage, upgrades……etc! I would love to share my experience with Sixt Dublin after having such great experience in the past. The pricing seems to be rather weird. Since I was only doing a day rental I wanted to rent for the longest hours possible. It is kind of weird that the cheapest combination comes up to renting from one branch and returning at another one since only the later had after hours return. The whole rental come up to 45.30 Euro!

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Penang Mattress Run: Plaza Premium Lounge Penang International Airport

Plaza Premium Lounge are known for their standards in the contract lounge world. They are constantly better than their counterparts and a symbol for quality. They can be said as the industry leader in the lounge aspect and there are a couple of famed ones such as their lounge in Heathrow as well as Vancouver which I have heard lots of praise about. They also have the super premium lounges where they can rival airlines operated first class lounge known as the Plaza Premium First. I was flying back from Penang International Airport. There is only 1 contract lounge in the airport and it is the Plaza Premium Lounge. There is one in both the international terminal as well as the domestic terminal. I was in the International one. The lounge is open from 5am to 11pm daily, so that timing should be rather fitting for most people that is passing through. I was there in the evening around 8pm ahead of my flight to Singapore.

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Penang Mattress Run: Penang

It’s been long, way too long to finally say that I am in Penang. I fell in love with this city and had it on my bucket list for ages, ever since I saw the TVB Drama that was filmed here in Penang. A chinese dominated city in malaysia that is known as the Food Capital as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Georgetown. Once an important Straits of Malacca trading hub, the city is known for its British colonial buildings and Chinese shophouses. It is also the very first British Settlements in 1786 under the British East India Company. Finally I took some time out of my schedule to visit Penang back in October. A little of sightseeing but definitely lots and loads of good food in this little Island! It is really too amazing. Follow me on! The 93rd City on my list!

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Penang Mattress Run: Doubletree Resort by Hilton Penang – King One Bedroom Balcony Suite

For my stay in Penang, I booked the Doubletree Resort by Hilton Penang. Besides Penang being a city that I have always wanted to visit, another reason for the trip is also due to this. I need to clock some nights before the end of the year for my Hilton Status. This property is definitely one of the more affordable ones to do it. A mattress run it is! Furthermore at the point in time, Hilton have been running a 100% points promotion. The Doubletree Resort by Penang is a 10,000 points property at the lowest and I managed to find availability for 5 nights in October. For members, you get one night free when you book 5 nights as well. As such the total cost of the 5 night stay comes to 40,000 points, 8,000 points a night. I bought points to redeem during the sales, that comes to around 40USD or around 56SGD. Awesome deal when I get to enjoy my benefits, clock nights and even score an awesome Suite upgrade.

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Penang Mattress Run: Dnata Lounge Changi Airport Terminal 1

While I have been to tons or most of the Priority Pass lounges in Singapore Changi Airport this past few years. Singapore is a galore of Priority Pass lounge, across the 4 terminal and Jewel, we have 11 lounge and 1 restaurant! You could definitely do a 12 round lounge hopping if you have the mood for it. I realised that the Dnata Lounge in Terminal 1 is missing from my list. My go to lounge in Terminal 1 is usually the Plaza Premium since the food is pretty good, this time around, I decide to give the Dnata a try and I could review it as well. I came from the TGM restaurant in Terminal 2 but since my flight was departing from Terminal 1 I decide to come here and wait for my flight. Dnata lounge is located one level up from the main terminal. It is located just beside the new Qantas First Class lounge which is definitely on my radar!

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Penang Mattress Run: TGM Priority Pass Restaurant Changi Airport Terminal 2

Welcome to another brand new trip series of mine! Penang Mattress Run! I finally decide to check off another bucketlist of mine, especially in South East Asia. Penang, a city that I have wanted to head to for ages, especially after watching the drama that was filmed in Penang. Travelling never stops for Seeing The World In Steps! Fresh off Europe and even a trip to KL with my besties, I am constantly complexed by my need to travel. Seeing that I had time on my hand as well as needing to clock some nights to renew my status for Hilton. There comes about this trip. Furthermore tickets were rather affordable and there is a huge promo for Hilton. I will share more on it when I get to the hotel review next! First up. TGM! A restaurant under Priority Pass! Now, is this a lounge or a restaurant? I am sure that everyone is very familiar with Priority Pass but this restaurant thing is rather “new”. Priority Pass takes in some restaurant where members get a credit to spend on food items in places when lounge options are hard to come by. They are usually stateside, although surprising there is one in my home airport, Singapore Changi Airport. I went about to try it during this trip of mine. TGM is said as an Japanese Korean cuisine restaurant

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