Saturday, 31 December 2011

Yellow mee

Home made Fresh Hokkien Mee

This is another thing that I have been wanting to make and since I was sort of craving to have laksa and too lazy to go to the supermarket to get some yellow noodles, I thought that this was as good a time as any to try any make my noodles and see if I can get to have my laksa!

Ingredients (makes about 600 gm)
250 gm plain (all-purpose) flour
250 gm bread flour
1½ tbsp alkai water
1½ tsp salt
500 ml/2 cups water - add slowly as water is dependent on absorption of flour


Using a noodle extruder, such as for making string hoppers

Add plain flour,bread flour and salt together in a bowl.

Using a wooden spoon, quickly add in the boiling water and stir the flour mixture to form a thick paste. At this stage add alkali water.

Form paste into a lump. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle but still warm, knead into a smooth dough. Cover and rest dough for 30 minutes.

To make noodles, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Fill extruder with dough and extrude noodles into boiling water in long continuous strands until extruder is empty. When water returns to the boil and noodles float, scoop noodles out and drop into another pot filled with cold water (or put into a colander and run cold water over noodles). Stir some oil into noodles to keep them separated. Repeat until dough is used up.

Note: I used only 100 gm of plain and 100 gm of bread flour and 200 ml of water and got about 2 1/2 bowls of noodles.

If you do not have an extruder, then roll out the dough thinly and cut finely into noodles or use a pasta machine if you have one.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

kuih pie tee/popiah

Kuih Pie Tee/Popiah
Since I am on holiday till the New Year, there are a number of things that I have been wanted to make, so what better time than now?

On one of my mum's visit a couple of years ago, I asked her to bring me a kuih pie tee mold and it has been sitting in my kitchen drawer since then. So I resolved to dust off the cobwebs off it and make some pie tee shells.

After a couple of dud shells, ie, with holes in the bottom or very open tops, I managed to get the hang of it and got decent looking shells!

Recipe I got from my mum is as follows:

Batter for pie tee shells
100g plain flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
180ml water
Enough oil for deep frying

MethodFor the shells :

1. Sift plain flour and rice flour together. Place sifted and salt into a mixing bowl. Add egg and mix with water to make a runny batter.

2 Heat oil in a deep wok or pan. Place pie tee mould in the hot oil for one minute. Remove the hot mould and dip 3/4 way into the batter.

3.Put mould in hot oil until shell is golden in colour. Jiggle the mould a bit and it should dislodge the shell, but if it does not, use a knife to slide it out. Remove the shell with chopsticks or a pair of tongs and place on absorbent paper to cool. Store in an airtight container or tin until needed.

Filling: (same as for popiah)

2 medium sized bangkwang/yam bean/jicama - julienned
2 carrots -julienned
1 thsp taucheo (salted soy beans)- mashed
2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
soy sauce to taste

1. Heat oil in kuali and when hot, fry the taucheo for a few seconds, then add in the chopped garlic. Fry for another few seconds, then add in the julienned bangwang and carrots. Add soy sauce to taste and half cup of water.
2. Bring to boil then turn fire down to low and let it simmer for about 15 mins.
3. It is now ready to be used as filling for pie tee or bangkwang.


I do not add anything else in my popiah fillings but my mum adds in slice belly pork and tau kwa.

Garnish for pie tee:
Chopped boil egg
Cooked prawns
pounded chilli with a little vinegar

1. Fill pie tee shell 3/4 way with above filling.
2. Then add chopped egg, prawns, coriander and top with chilli sauce.

Egg Skin

100 gm plain flour
50 gm tapioca flour
2 eggs
200 ml water - more or less
1 tbsp oil
pinch of salt


1. Mix flours and egg together, then add in water, slowly till you get a runny batter.
2. Add in the oil and mix well.
3. Heat a pan and brush with a little oil. Then pour in 3/4 ladle of the mixture and swirl round the pan.
4. Once the edges curl, and the skin moves easily, remove from pan.

Garnish for popiah:

Cucumber - julienned
Bean sprouts - blanced in boiling water for 20 seconds
Hard boiled eggs - chopped
Boiled prawns
Round lettuce
Coriander leaves
sweet flour sauce
pounded chillie

Ground peanuts

Method for folding popiah:

1. Take one egg skin. Place a piece of lettuce leaf on it. Place some sweet flour sauce and chilli paste and spread round.
2. Add bangkwang filling on the lettuce leaf. Top with cucumber, bean sprouts, egg, boiled prawn and coriander leaf.
3. Fold egg skin into a packet and enjoy!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

A Blessed Christmas everyone
Sorry I have been missing for so long. Went back to Singapore for 2 weeks in November, then a week at work and then I am off for 2 weeks again before starting work in the New Year.

It has been a rather hectic week after returning from Singapore. Working till late almost everyday trying to clear my work and then once home, too lazy to do anything except to cook dinner.

Monday wss my last day of work and come Tuesday I thought yay.. I could just relax... but we got a call from Katrina to ask if we could babysit James as his nanny was not feeling well... so ... yes babysat James for the whole day. He is such a good boy though, no trouble at all.

Anyways, made a cake for our cleaner and here's the cake.

1 lb (450 g) currants *
6 oz (175 g) sultanas *
6 oz (175 g) raisins *
2 oz (50 g) glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
2 oz (50 g) mixed candied peel, finely chopped
3 tablespoons brandy, plus extra for 'feeding'
8 oz (225 g) plain flour
½ level teaspoon salt
¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ level teaspoon ground mixed spice
8 oz (225 g) unsalted butter
8 oz (225 g) soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 oz (50 g) almonds, chopped (the skins can be left on)
1 level dessertspoon black treacle
grated zest 1 lemon
grated zest 1 orange
4 oz (110 g) whole blanched almonds (only if you don't intend to ice the cake


You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin or a 7 inch (18 cm) square tin, greased and lined with silicone paper (baking parchment). Tie a band of brown paper round the outside of the tin for extra protection.

You need to begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. All you do is weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the brandy as evenly and thoroughly as possible. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave the fruit aside to absorb the brandy for 12 hours.
Next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). Then measure out all the rest of the ingredients, ticking them off to make quite sure they're all there. The treacle will be easier to measure if you remove the lid and place the tin in a small pan of barely simmering water. Now begin the cake by sifting the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it's light, pale and fluffy. Now beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the creamed mixture a tablespoonful at a time; keep the whisk running until all the egg is incorporated. If you add the eggs slowly by degrees like this the mixture won't curdle. If it does, don't worry, any cake full of such beautiful things can't fail to taste good!
When all the egg has been added, fold in the flour and spices, using gentle, folding movements and not beating at all (this is to keep all that precious air in). Now fold in the fruit, peel, chopped nuts and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon and, if you don't intend to ice the cake, lightly drop the whole blanched almonds in circles or squares all over the surface. Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of silicone paper with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking).
Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-4¾ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don't look till at least 4 hours have passed. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it's cold 'feed' it – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy, wrap it in double silicone paper secured with an elastic band and either wrap again in foil or store in an airtight container. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice or eat it.

Note: * I did not buy separate currants, sultanas and raisins. I bought the mixed fruit and just used 800 gms of it!

Cake before covering with marzipan and fondant

Covered cake

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Banana Blueberry Buttermilk Bread

Banana Blueberry Buttermilk Muffin/Banana Cranberry

I haven't been baking lately as I have been trying to be good and lose some weight before going to Singapore. Saw this recipe online but cannot for the life of me remember where now, but as it looked low fat, thought I'd give it a go and I do not regret making them.

These are so gorgeous and moist and healthy too! First round made them with blueberries and tried them a second time but this time using dried cranberries and they taste just as good.

Took them to work and my colleagues loved them.

3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat buttermilk*
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
11/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I omitted)
11/4 cups blueberries or cranberries, fresh or frozen or dried

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Whisk buttermilk, brown sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in mashed bananas.
3. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
5. Bake until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Let cool for about 2 hours before slicing. **

* I used yoghurt.
** I baked them in muffin cups for about 20 mins.

Banana Cranberry

Banana Blueberry

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs

I love Japanese cream puffs. They are soooo good. Cream puffs has been on my list of things to make but with me trying to go on a diet, have not been baking much. But my friend D baked some and did not like the texture she ended up with. So I told her that I would try to bake some and if my puffs were soft, I would share the recipe with her.

Made them some time ago, and today had a craving for them, so decided to make them again but this time made them bigger to look like those that you get in Japan.

Custard cream filling

6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and put into the milk
1/2 cup of flour and cornstarch combined (or one or the other alone), blended and sifted
2 Tbsp custard powder
2 Tbs unsalted butter

1. Heat the milk with the vanilla bean slowly. (You can also use vanilla extract instead, in which case you'd add about 1 tsp. at the very end.)

2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and salt with a whisk until the mixture is a pale lemony yellow. This indicates that the sugar has melted into the yolks. Add the flour-cornstarch mixture.

3. Fish out the vanilla bean from the hot milk, and add the milk in dribbles to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Heat over a low to medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 2-3 minutes until you can't detect any floury taste. Add the butter, and the vanilla extract . Let cool with a piece of cling film on top of the custard to prevent a film from forming on top.

Make the custard filling several hours or before making the choux pastry in advance.

In the meantime, make the choux buns.
For the choux pastry
200ml/7fl oz cold water
4 tsp caster sugar
85g/3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz plain flour
pinch salt
3 medium free-range eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the oven to heat.
  2. For the choux pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
  3. Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
  4. Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency - you may not need it all.
  6. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet. Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger - this helps to make a crisper top.
  7. Place the baking sheet into the oven. Before closing the oven door, pour half a cup of water into the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven, then quickly shut the door. This helps to create more steam in the oven and make the pastry rise better. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown - if the profiteroles are too pale they will become soggy when cool.
  8. Remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Prick the base of each profiterole with a skewer. Place back onto the baking sheet with the hole in the base facing upwards and return to the oven for five minutes. The warm air from the oven helps to dry out the middle of the profiteroles.
  9. For the filling, lightly whip the cream with the orange zest until soft peaks form. When the profiteroles are cold, use a piping bag to pipe the cream into the profiteroles.

Verdict: Hubby and I both think they do taste like the ones you get in Japan. Yumms.......

Friday, 21 October 2011

Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise Birthday Party

My friend Sham had planned a surprise birthday party for his wife about a month ago. He didnt even tell his mum or sister in Msia about it as he wasnt sure they could keep mum. Apart from us his invited guests, the other person he told was his eldest daughter!

On the day of the birthday, he went to work as usual and then went home to pick his wife and 2 other girls up and said they were going out to dinner. All along the way, he keep teasing his wife saying that he did not manage to get a present for her and she had to make do with dinner.

We were all told to be there (Hotel Villa in Leinster Gardens) by 630 pm and they would then get there for about 7pm. While we all gathered in the room to await her arrival, her eldest daughter went out to wait for them and she would text us to let us know that they were on the way to the room. We turned the lights out and when she walked in through the door, we all shouted Suprise and sung her a Happy Birthday song. She was so shocked and very, very pleasantly pleased!

This was what we were served.

Made her a birthday cake and a cupcake bouquet as well.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cupcake Bouquet

Cupcake Bouquet

In tomorrow's post, I will tell you about a party for a friend. This is a cupcake bouquet that I baked in addtion to the birthday cake.

125gm Castor sugar
125 butter
125 self raising flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2-3 tbsp milk (optional, just in case mixture is too stiff)

Preheat oven to 200 deg C
Cream butter and sugar till creamy, then add eggs and finally flour and vanilla essence.
If mixture is too stiff, add a tbsp of milk or 2.
Spoon into cup cake cases and place in oven for around 12 minutes depending on size of cup cake, turning the cake trays halfway through and bake for another 8 - 12 mins.

Vanilla butter cream
125 gm butter
250 gm icing sugar
5 ml vanilla essence
1 tbsp of water as required

Cream the butter and then slowly add in the icing sugar and vanilla essence and mix till it is light and fluffy.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is the cake that I made for a friend's birthday party to be held on Friday.

This recipe is from Lindy Smith. I made previous cakes also using her recipe but it was the mud cake recipe. So this time as I was making a cake for a colleague and she wanted a chocolate, I thought I would try this and yes, this is good too and moist and it is heavy enough to be covered with fondant.

225g (8oz) unsalted butter
225g (8oz) good quality chocolate
1 (15ml) tablespoon instant coffee
450g (1lb) caster sugar or soft brown sugar
150ml (5 fl oz) water

4 large eggs
35ml (1.1fl oz) vegetable oil
100ml (3.4 fl oz) sour cream or you can use natural yoghurt or Crème fraiche

125g (4 .5 oz) self raising flour
125g (4 .5 oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda

1.Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C (315 degrees F, gas mark 2-3)
2.Line the 20cm (8in) deep cake tin with baking parchment
3.Slowly melt the butter, chocolate, coffee, sugar and water in a pan, once melted allow to cool.
4.Add the eggs, oil and sour cream to the chocolate mix and stir well
5.Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre
6.Pour the chocolate mixture into well and mix until thoroughly combined.
7.Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 1 hour 45mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean
8.Leave the cake to cool in the tin

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Chee Pao Gai

Chee Pao Gai (Paper wrapped chicken) - Healthy Version (Halal)

Saw this recipe on the makansutra website. But instead of deep frying, I baked it in the oven. Does not have the burnt bits as the deep fried version but I like the taste of this.

For my method, just follow the recipe till 1, then place in a preheated oven of 200 degs for about 20 mins.

Chee Pao Kai recipe (for four diners)
16 pcs of chicken:
Preferably small chunks like breast meat, chicken wings minus the tips, half a drumstick, or half-sized thighs.
Marinade: (one tbsp is about 15 to 18 ml)
3 tbsp Hua tiao wine
3 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Old ginger juice
3 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp White pepper powder
3 tbsp Light soy sauce
16 two inch long spring onions(scallions)
16 two inch long thin ginger shreds
16 pcs grease paper (7 inch square each)
One beaten raw egg yolk to seal the packs
(note: this recipe yields a heavier marinate flavour, you can reduce the marinate portions by 25% – or one tbsp less, if you wish)
Put all the ingredients together in a huge bowl and marinate the chicken and rest it in the fridge for 3 hours at least.

1. Marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours, best to do it overnight in the fridge
Next, place the paper, in a diamond shape format (with a tip pointing towards you) and set a piece of chicken at the bottom third of the paper and place a strip of ginger and scallion over it. Then wrap – fold bottom up just over the chicken, fold the left and right tip over it and finally fold the top tip and tuck it into the fold created.

2. Ensure you wrap the chee pao kai parcels snuggly so if does not come apart when frying
Be sure to dab the top tip with egg yolk so it sticks while frying.
Heat up the wok of vegetable oil to about 180-200 degrees. Then gently lower the chicken parcels in with the thicker paper side facing down first. Fry for 4-5 mins and turn the parcels every minute. When done, drain oil, cool and serve.

3. The packs do not score much on the visual scale, but it explodes with flavour when you open it

4. It should be all juicy and fragrantly sweet

Monday, 26 September 2011

1st Birthday cake

1st Birthday Cake

Another colleague requested me to make a 1 year old birthday cake as she wanted to share it with the other toddlers at her daughter's nursery.

As I had always wanted to make a pull apart cake and never had the chance to do it, I thought, hey, here's my chance to make one now! So here it is, tada!

Pull apart cakes are just cupcakes held together by frosting.

A very simple but yummy vanilla cupcake cake!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Singaporean lunch for friends

Lunch request

When I invited my SG friends over to lunch and asked them what they would like to have. Their answer was:

Soon Kueh
Chwee Kueh
Kuih Kosui and I added
Glutinous Rice

But in as much as Pat loves his Oriental food, he does not really like our snacks and desserts, so I had to cater for him as well, so I added a Curry Chicken to the lot!

Normally when I invite friends over, it is easier to do casserole dishes as I can prepare them ahead of time, and then just warm them up when it is time to dish them out. But for today's lunch, it was not possible!

My gf made this dessert - melon with sago and coconut milk

Lastly, teh halia tarik!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Oyako Don

Oyako Don (Halal)

This is another easy one pot Japanese rice dish. Oyako means mother and child, so it is chicken and egg and a donburi dish is where the food is piled onto rice.

Note: For the halal version, please omit the mirin which is sweet rice wine.
Ingredients: (for 2 persons)
2 Chicken thigh - cut into cubes
1/2 small leek - cut on the diagonal
1 onion - sliced
2 dried shitake mushrooms - soaked and sliced
1 tsp dashi
2 tbsp soya sauce )
2 tbsp mirin ) A
1/2 tsp sugar )
2 eggs - beaten

1. Heat oil, fry onions and leek for a couple of mins till translucent.

2. Add chicken, dried mushrooms and dashi and stir till mixed.

3. Add water from soaked mushroom and A. Simmer for about 10 mins till chicken is cooked.
4. Pour beaten eggs on top of chicken mixture. Cover pan till egg is set.

5. Top chicken mixture over rice.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Spagetti Napolitan aka Japanese mee goreng

Spagetti Napolitan

Liana is now trying to learn to cook, so whenever she wants to cook her favourite foods and although the receipes are here, she will still message me to get more detailed instructions.

So far, she has made her 3 favourite Japanese dishes and her bf is saying that they taste good!

So Liana, here is another of your favourite recipes.

According to Wikipedia, Naporitan or Napolitan (ナポリタン) is the name of a pasta dish, which is popular in Japan. The dish consists of spaghetti, tomato ketchup or a tomato-based sauce, onion, button mushrooms, green peppers, sausage, bacon and Tabasco sauce. Naporitan is claimed to be from Yokohama.

It was created by Shigetada Irie (入江茂忠),[1], the general chef of the New Grand Hotel in Yokohama, when he was inspired by one of the military rationing of GHQ, which was spaghetti mixed with tomato ketchup.

The chef named the dish after Naples, Italy (hence "napoli"). However, no dish similar to the Japanese Naporitan is known to originate from Naples. Phonetically, the Japanese language does not contain the western "L" sound. Spellings in the Roman alphabet can vary. The spelling Naporitan is derived from the usual romanization of Japanese, while the spelling Napolitan takes the origin of the name into account

I learnt to make this dish from a friend who used to own a coffee shop in Hakodate and this was one of the dishes on her menu!

Spaghetti - boiled till al dente
Onions (cut into wedges)
Mushrooms (sliced)
Sausages (cut on the slant)
Tomato ketchup
worchester sauce
Some white wine or sake or water
Bell peppers (I left out because I didn't have any)


1. Heat a little oil in the pan and when hot, add onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the sausages, mushrooms and what ever else you intend to add.
2. Add in your cooked spaghetti and tomato ketchup, wine or water and worchester sauce and stir till well mixed.
3. Add in the prawns and season.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Ondeh ondeh

Ondeh Ondeh

Made this ondeh ondeh some time back and have not posted it and when S asked me for the recipe, thought it was time that I did so now.

Approx. 200 gm sweet potato
100 gm glutinous rice flour
50 - 60 ml hot water
green colouring (if using)

75 gm gula melaka (chopped)
1 tbsp castor sugar

1. Steam sweet potatoes till soft, then peel skin and mash.
2. Mix in the glutinous rice flour and colouring and add water gradually until you get a fairly stiff dough.
3. Flour hands well and knead dough until smooth.
4. Divide dough into equal small portions.
5. Press with fingers to flatten the balls and fill with gula melaka mixture. Shape it back into a ball.
6. Drop a few at a time into boiling water and when the balls float to the surface, take them out and leave to cool.
7. Lastly, roll in grated coconut.

I left them uncoloured!

Bought this from ebay and it grates coconut nicely, so no need to use dessicated coconut and putting it in the food processor does not work too well either!

Monday, 29 August 2011


Scotland - Short break with Pat and children and grandson

This holiday was a Christmas present from Katrina. When the children were younger, we had 2 time shares in lodges in Scotland. One at Balmoral and one at Craigendarroch - pronounced Cragendarrick. So anyway Katrina got was the one at Cragendarroch which is now run by the Hilton. Had a good time/break there.

See the pole with the red marker on it. When snow falls, this acts as a marker for the sides of the road.

Picture taken from the lodge

Our lodge

This is the church that the Queen and family go to when they are in Scotland

Sunday, 28 August 2011


Paris with Liana and Mum

This is such a belated post but I thought I had better do it for posterity sake and for my friends.

Mum and Liana came over during the Easter break when Prince William and Kate had their wedding as well, so because of that by just taking 3 days holiday, my holidays turned out to be 11 days!

As Liana was working and did not have too many days to spare, they only had slightly more than a week here, so we took the opportunity to go to Paris as that was what Mum always wanted to go.

We took the Eurostar over to Paris and after weeks of choosing, booked a family room at the Crowne Plaza Republique which was only 3 stops away from Gare du Nord. I was a bit apprehensive as I had never been to Paris (yeah, 10 years in London, and never been there!)but the subway was so easy to take and only cost €1.60 each trip!

Our big room at Crowne Plaza Republique

Booked a bus tour so we could see Paris easier as I did not think Mum could walk so much.

View of the Eiffel Tower from the bus.

Notre Dame

Night view of Eiffel Tower

River cruise on The Seine

Next day - Versailles

Although we bought tickets, we still had to queque about 1 1/2 hours before we got to the entrance.