Posts from December 2007

The Clarence, Bono and The Edge hotel Dublin

I sometimes wonder how some people juggle all their apples.
I found out recently that one of Bono and The Edge other gigs includes Dublin hotel, The Clarence.

Right in the city center, on Wellington Quay overlooking the River Liffey, it is a great place to stay if you want to be pampered as this Hot Tub in the Penthouse with great views of the city (our illustration) shows.


On Fridays and Saturdays, treat yourself to a variety of massages in the Spa Therapy space. The massage menu includes Aromatherapy and Mums to be prenatal options.

While the ladies are getting pampered, the gents might want to have a pint of beer at the Octagon Bar.

Want to have a get together or throw a party, the Penthouse accommodates up to 30 people.

For special offers, events, maps and guides check Visit  Dublin, the city's official tourism site.

Related stories: Beyond cliches...Good Food Ireland shows the country rich palette and In 'One Bank', two Bank of America 'Managers Video' poaches U2

Your own private Episode of Wine Library TV, Dinner with Eric Asimov...Wine and Menu for Hope

Shame on me! I realized on this very last day of Menu for Hope 4 that I had not mentioned any wine prizes. In case you missed my previous posts, Menu for Hope is a yearly fundraiser involving bloggers the world over and benefiting the UN World Food Programme.

At this time 10:17 AM (December 21st) we already raised $66,805.00.

If you are something of a wine groupie, Alder of Vinography has only amazing prizes starting with Your own, Private, LIVE Episode of Wine Library TV (good for Continental US only, Prize Code: WB 01).

Have dinner and wine obviously with Eric Asimov of the New York Times (in New York City, Prize Code: WB 02).

Dedicated to greener pastures and products, 6 bottles of 2004 Quixote Petite Sirah from the Stags' Leap Ranch organic vineyard and Quixote Winery sounds great (Prize Code: WB 08).

Want to get your hands dirty, spend a day in the vineyards of La Gramiere, in Castillon du Gard (southern France)with owners Amy and Matt. They grow grenache, syrah and mourvedre...Be ready for bruised fingers and an achy back but the experience is invaluable...(Prize Code: WB 15).


There are many more but I will stop here before I put you to sleep.

If you want to hedge your bets, read the Menu for Hope Tip Shit by Pim and/or head over to the Donation Page and place your bid.

Related stories: La 'Petite Syrah' turns into 'Pets' Petite Sirah by Vinum Cellars for Wine Blogging Wednesday #40 and Vincent, Simone and Wine...Mas de la Dame 'La Gourmande' 2004 

What's happening...No Bids for Edible Chocolate Box Yet...Swing into action! Menu for Hope 4

What's Happening?

Adam of Serious Eats listed the Best Bets to Win amongst the East Coast prizes for Menu for Hope 4.

I was amazed to see that neither the wonderful Valentine's Day Edible Chocolate Box ($65 value, Prize Code UE 32), nor the 2 Berkshire Bark Chocolate Bars Pack ($28 Value, Prize Code UE 34 and UE 35) or the wine guide book Red White and Drunk all Over ($25 value, signed copy, Prize Code UE 44), had received a bid as of yesterday.

The good thing is that if you jump into action right now, your odds of winning one or all of them are great.
Tis' the season for giving!
So make your choice, open your heart and your wallet and go straight to the Donation Page to place your bid.

Menu for Hope 4 is a Fundraising effort benefiting the UN World Food Programme. This yearly event brings together bloggers the world over.

Related piece: Perfect Storm is Forming for World's Hungry...Help with 'Menu for Hope'

A Taste of Sweden, from Stockholm with Love for Menu for Hope 4

I often mention events, food, wine and travel tips in the UK, France, Italy and Spain but rarely venture further north.

With Menu for Hope 4, I have a great opportunity to correct that thanks to the A Taste of Sweden Prize nicely offered by Anne's Food in Stockholm.
It includes a cookbook, Very Swedish (our illustration), Swedish candy and a handmade heart-shaped potholder amongst other things. Check Anne's story for the full details.


Hooked, the Prize Number is EU34. Ready to open your heart and your wallet, go straight to the Donation Page.

My Prizes: From 'Red White and Drunk' to 'Woodstock Buddha'...All my Menu for Hope Prizes

Related: Handmade Bikes, made in Copenhagen

Fashion goes to the Dogs in Tokyo according to 'Putting on the Dog'

My wife attempted once to have my bouvier des flandres wear a rain jacket. I said no. I found it ridiculous.

Well, if I am to believe Putting on the dog in Tokyo by Kaori Shoji (IHT), the new dedicated followers of fashion in Tokyo are dogs.
According to the article, their owners compete for attention through their pets. Princess Masako is the one who started the dog craze.
One of the dogs in the article, Marco, has its own closet.
Salons tending to our four legged friends are booming.

Creations by Lucien Pellat Finet (cashmere for the it crowd) are now donned by some dogs.
As a downside some of the animals have also adopted the neuroses and eating disorders of their companions.


On Liz Connection, a visit to the Tokyo Midtown shopping center mentions (I quote) "the dog store. It includes the "dog deli" serving such things as ostrich and fish, a dog beauty salon, and an assortment of organic dog food for sale. Yes, not just one brand of organic dog food, but several. Of course, the store wouldn't be complete without the wall doggie outfits (our illustration, from Liz Flickr Collection).

I found through Kateigaho (a Japanese Arts & Culture magazine) that the Hotel Claska in Meguro is home to Dogman, a grooming salon.

Dogs ruled on Tokyo Thursdays #19

Last week: Animal House...Touchy Feely Logos

Related: Is your Dog a Doga practitioner

Memory Loss and Car Troubles...Things can be replaced, People cannot

In the past few days, my aging Volvo wagon had engine trouble (to fix or nor to fix) and my not so new desktop refused to come back to life after being checked for a memory upgrade.

Of the two, the car is the main headache, right in the middle of the holiday season. I relied so far on the car rental option while I decide if I should buy a new, smaller, fuel efficient vehicle.

As I tried not to get bogged down by these annoyances and keep my sense of perspective, I remembered what a business executive who had accidentally torn his good suit prior to a presentation told me: Things can be replaced, people cannot.

Related: Ian Urbina writes about Life's Little Annoyances

Cooking Class in Umbria anyone? Menu for Hope 4...In Europe

You like to cook and travel and your schedule is flexible, time to check some of the Incroyables Prizes from Europe brought to the Menu for Hope table.

Judith Greenwood of Think on It (the philosopher on the Umbrian farm) offers a`Cooking Class at her school in Umbria or at the winner's place if they happen to be in an accessible part of central Italy


If you choose the class in her digs, she will take you to the market, help you know how to pick the best produce and ingredients and then convert that into a memorable Italian dish.

Prize Code is EU19, Get in on the Prize for as little as $10 by visiting the Donation Page for Menu for Hope 4.

Related: From 'Red White and Drunk' to 'Woodstock Buddha'...All my Menu for Hope Prizes

Soothing Moments, Hot Chocolate by Chuao at Omni Hotels

A nice cup of hot chocolate can be very soothing and warm your soul during the holiday marathon and beyond especially for me on cold days.

The good people at Omni Hotels felt the same way and decided to partner with Chuao Chocolatier, offering some of the best cocoa products to come from Venezuela, to offer that special moment.

After extensive blind tastings, they settled on 2 flavors, Abuela (traditional) or Spicy Maya flavors, served with a choice of toppings (fresh whipped cream, chocolate shavings, graham cracker crumbs or flavored homemade gourmet marshmallows).


Chuao describes Abuela as silky, rich, hot chocolate drink is made from Grandma’s secret recipe blending the aromatic and deep flavors of Venezuelan bittersweet chocolate.

As for Spicy Maya it is based on the rediscovery of an ancient recipe once regarded by the Mayan culture as a food of the gods. We delicately balance pasilla chile, cayenne pepper and a hint of cinnamon with our blend of premium Venezuelan chocolate.

For the ladies, Omni Hotels also offer “Mommy and Me” hot chocolate parties complete with doll-sized cups.

Also in season at the Omni: Hotel Argentina...4 months of Tango, Food and Wine Therapy at select Omni Hotels

More on Chuao: Bewitched by Venezuelan Chocolate from Chuao!

Do the 'Reindeer Romp' at San Francisco Zoo....Holidays to Do's

California might not be the first place I would think of for Ice Skating fun.
The San Francisco Zoo proves me wrong with their Reindeer Romp.

Sounds like a great holiday outing with or without kids. Here's their teaser notes:

"Celebrate the magic of the holidays at the 3rd Annual Reindeer Romp! Come to the San Francisco Zoo this holiday season to see Santa's reindeer and slide, glide and twirl on the ice skating rink. Holly, Velvet, Belle and Peppermint have landed once again to bring the
spirit of the season to children of all ages."


Event Dates: Saturday, 12/22 and Sunday, 12/23 and Thursday to Sunday, 12/27 to 12/30
Time: 5 to 9 p.m.  Price: $5 adults, $3 kids

Related: Party at The Junkyard...Your ACE card in San Francisco

Perk up your Compost with Coffee 'Grounds for your Garden'

Rather than dump the used ground coffee after you brew a cup or more, perk up your composting with it.
This is actually nothing new. My grandfather used it for his garden.

With their Grounds for your garden, Starbucks gives away on a first come, first serve basis all its used ground coffee.
They suggest gardeners mix coffee with leaves ans straw to balance coffee acidity.
It is part of Starbucks Waste Reduction and Reuse program.

No waste for this Green Day #10

Related: Wanna Compost? 'The Daily Dump' can help (from India, great tips)

Green Day Last week The Oxygen Tank is Out, Indoor Garden is In...Green Day