Dominique Ansel Bakery opens in Tokyo

“Is the Cookie Shot really as good as it looks?” Dinna asked as I stepped into the office yesterday.
“Yes, Dinna, it is really perfect and heavenly.”

cookie shots

When I first found out Dominique Ansel was opening in Tokyo, I made a mental wish/plan to be there when it opens without knowing how.
After all, the Japanese are notoriously patient when it comes to lining up. Which I’m not. Even if I flew there, was there a chance I could get in?

And then I found out the opening date: June 20, 2015.
I still had no booking and no one to go with. Jeroen has too many trips this year, so I had to find another companion. Luckily my brother Dennis is always in Japan for business. He was booked for June 21-24, so I asked if I could come along.
And then I had to email Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York to get invited to the press day, but got no answer.
Now I know why. My friend passed away recently. There was no way I would have left Manila not certain when she would leave us. She was buried on June 19. God’s timing is perfect. I was able to rest one day before leaving for my happy place, Tokyo.

On June 20th, Dominique Ansel Bakery in Omotesando opened its doors at 8 AM, Saturday. But by 7:50 AM there were more than 250 in line.

Lining up

Dominique Ansel takes a selfie at the queue

Lining up

I arrived on June 21 and heard the line was up to the Burberry store in Omotesando (see map), and all the good stuff were sold out.
June 22nd I had lunch at Barbacoa with the Yupangco girls, Ariane and Martha, who are both studying in Tokyo.

Barbacoa

At first I asked the Andaz concierge to book a table at Barbacoa Marunouchi. But since they were full, I asked them to book Barbacoa Aoyama (1) instead, which is near Dominique Ansel (3).

Dominique Ansel Japan

After lunch the girls and I went shopping at Flying Tiger before deciding to take a chance at the bakery.
Ariane and I went to Louis Vuitton (2) while Martha ran to line up ahead of us.
Next thing, Martha was frantically calling Ariane’s phone—at first I thought she was going to say they were sold out again. But she called to say, there was no line and they had cookie shots!!
So we ran! True enough there was no snaky line, just a few people.

Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo

This was around 3 PM on a Tuesday

Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo

Plus, there was an express line for cookie shots!! (Hint: cookie shots are typically available at 3 PM)

Cookie Shot line

A look inside the store: there are very limited seats

Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo

Making S’mores

Making S'mores

There is a nice Filipino staff named Maria Cristina (Nina) at the store

Nina Yambao

I asked her if it was allowed to bring home cookie shots to Manila. She asked permission and informed me, no, because they are only good for two hours. How I wish I could take all of these home.

Cookie shots

We ordered anyway, three cookie shots. Martha (L) inquired if Dominique Ansel was in the store. Unfortunately he was out and leaving this Saturday.

Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo

In no time at all, Ariane, Martha, and I were sipping vanilla milk from our cookie shots while standing in the corner.

Cookie shots

I quickly ran out of milk, so we walked all the way to the nearest Starbucks to buy cold milk.
I smelled the cookie shot all the way. It was perfect, heavenly, but very filling! The cost? Less than 500 yen.
Can’t wait to take my boys in December. Verdict: Worth flying for!
Thank you Martha and Ariane! You are my lucky charms!
To know more about Dominique Ansel Bakery in Japan, click HERE.

West Elm and PB Teen open at Estancia Mall

The first-ever West Elm and PBteen stores in the Philippines opened last June 11 at Estancia Mall in Capitol Commons.
Following the success of Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids in Central Square last year, SSI Group Inc President Anthony Huang proudly announced, “We’re the only country in Southeast Asia that carries these two brands.”

West Elm at Estancia Mall

President of the SSI Group, Inc. Anton Huang (right) with Senior VP of Real Estate for William Sonoma, Arthur Tropp, Division Merchandise Manager for West Elm, Kerri Ackermann

Senior VP of Real Estate for William Sonoma, Arthur Tropp, Division Merchandise Manager for West Elm, Kerri Ackermann and  President of the SSI Group, Inc. Anton Huang

Global Visual Merchandising for PB Brands, Robert Hart

Global Visual Merchandising for PB Brands, Robert Hart

“We are pleased to partner with SSI Group in introducing the Philippines to our portfolio of brands at a time when there is consumer interest and demand in Southeast Asia,” said Arthur Tropp, Senior Vice-President for Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s Real Estate.
“We have longstanding relationships with many local Filipino artisans, so this was a natural extension for West Elm,” said Kerri Ackermann, Global Merchandise Director, West Elm. “We are proud to continue our support of their work and bring their unique handcrafted products to West Elm Philippines.”

West Elm Store in Estancia, Capitol Commons

West Elm invited local style influencers (me) Cecile Van Straten, Martine Cajucom, and DJ Tony Toni to celebrate the store’s debut and select their top picks from the new assortment.

Martine Cajucom
Martine Cajucom

Tonichi and Anju Bautista
Tonichi and Anju Bautista

PBteen also invited four inspiring stylish teens, Nichole Baranda, Natalia Ortega, Arkin Magalona, and Kiana Valenciano, to choose three of their top picks from the brand.

Natalia Ortega
Natalia Ortega

Kiana Valenciano
Kiana Valenciano

Arkin Magalona
Arkin Magalona

Saab Magalona and Cheats performed at the event

Cheats

PBteen is a premiere destination for teen home furnishings, offering a pieces that add value and style to every teen’s bedroom. The new PBteen store featured the Kelly Slater collection, which uses recycled materials like pure organic cotton in honor of the surf champ’s commitment to global preservation.

PB Teen at Estancia Mall
PBteen Store in Estancia, Capitol Commons

In the Philippines, West Elm, PBteen, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids are exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc., a member of SSI Group, Inc., with stores at Estancia, Capitol Commons.
Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids are located at Central Square, Bonifacio High Street.
To know more about West Elm at Estancia Mall, click HERE.

Exodus: From Imperial Hotel to Andaz Tokyo within two hours

I blame it on my cousin, Dr. Gerard Henson.
Last May, he kept sending Viber pics of his Tokyo trip that I was filled with envy.
I asked my brother Dennis (a frequent Tokyo traveler) if he had any trips planned. He said, 3rd week of June.
So I booked my ticket and his office booked Imperial Hotel.
We took Japan Airlines. It was bumpy all the way, but I am learning how to deal with fear. It is a miracle I tell you.
Their business class isn’t so great… That guy in the back is knocked out

Japan Airlines

But we got there in one piece and that is all that matters

flight tracker

I had not seen Imperial Hotel since 2009 and have forgotten how it looks (pretty much the same).
This is really a businessman’s hotel more than anything

Imperial Hotel

Lobby looks retro and well-preserved

Imperial Hotel

Once upon a time Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe checked in here

Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe

It’s a good thing I didn’t share a room with my brother, because I would’ve abandoned him.
This was my room: charming in a retro way (if you’re into that)

Imperial Hotel

The bed

Imperial Hotel

The desk

Imperial Hotel

The easy chair

Imperial Hotel

I could handle all of that until I saw the bathroom. Let’s start with the lavatory with stool

Imperial Hotel

Very cute and lola-approved

Imperial Hotel

I love the amenities

Imperial Hotel

So dami…

Imperial Hotel

However, the shower kind of shocked me to say the least

Imperial Hotel

The most terrifying of all—there was a Monobloc stool in the shower!!!!!!!
*screams* Look at the floor!!

Imperial Hotel

I Skyped with Jeroen who convinced me to just pack up and move to Andaz.
Luckily everyone at Imperial was so nice, even as I checked out their other bathrooms. They allowed me to check out and only charged me 80 yen for phonecalls to Andaz.
I am in now at Andaz Toranomon Hills. Sayoko says location isn’t good, but hey, I’ll take a nice bathroom before a great location with scary bathroom.
My bedroom has a long couch with two tables—just the way I like it: one for working, and one for eating

Andaz Tokyo

The dining table

Andaz Tokyo

The work table

Andaz Tokyo

Nespresso and consumable mini bar

Andaz Tokyo

The bed looks kind of plain, but it works for me. This is where I’m blogging now. I love that there are power outlets everywhere.

Andaz Tokyo

The bathroom and walk-in closet are luxuriously huge and chuva-approved
It’s summer so I didn’t bring much clothes…

Andaz Tokyo

Adorable slippers

hotel slippers

Tissues, towels and the best makeup mirror, which I will look for at BIC Camera

IMG_1499

Unique wooden sink

wooden sink

Beautiful

Andaz Tokyo

Shower and bath

Andaz Tokyo
Andaz Tokyo

This one really floored me

Andaz Tokyo

It contains the chicest amenity kit ever! I don’t even want to use it. Can I buy it?

Andaz Tokyo

It’s all about the details

Andaz Tokyo
Andaz Tokyo
Andaz Tokyo
Andaz Tokyo

To know more about Andaz Tokyo, click HERE.

MAC launches Philip Treacy collab

Millinery meets makeup in MAC’s Philip Treacy collection.
For the collaboration, the London-based milliner created three hats that emphasize different parts of the face—an eye, the lips, and cheekbones.
A colorful feathered headdress inspired the lipsticks: No Faux Pas (hot pink), Cardinal (burgundy) and Hollywood Cerise (magenta berry).

Philip Treacy x MAC

A black-lace mask, which covers the entire head, reveals only one eye and inspired the Pro Longwear Paint Pots (Genuine Treasure and Chrome Angel) and Fluidline liners (Blacktrack, Blue Peep and Royal Wink) in shimmering metallics and tropical blues. There’s also the False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara.

Philip Treacy x MAC

The sparkling metallic hat from Treacy’s archives inspired the High-Light Powders (Blush Pink and Nude Pink) designed with Art Deco arches in pale pink and silver.

Philip Treacy x MAC

The collection is now available at MAC boutiques and counters.

Philip Treacy x MAC

To know more about the collaboration, click HERE.

Nackymade back in Manila

Nackymade—maker of Japanese hand crafted eyeglasses—comes back to Tala Manila this June 26-28, 2015.
This time, Tomoko and “Nacky” Nakagawa will bring special whole cherry wood frames in very limited quantities.

Nackymade

As always, Nacky will be happy to adjust your Nackymades.
And for those who expecting their pre-ordered custom-made/bespoke frames, your Nackymades shall be ready for pickup.
​For appointments, call Shiela Lobo at +63 (937) 372-5441 or email talamanilaonline@gmail.com.

Nackymade

http://www.nackymade.com/

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