Summer Skin – Ready, Set, Glow!

Capella Singapore_Auriga spa suite Mid Res

One of the most beautiful ‘souvenirs’ of a beach vacation is a rich golden tan. However, having read extensively about the ageing effects of prolonged sun exposure, I have my reservations about soaking in the sun.

Fortunately, Shanti Krisna, Director of Auriga Spa here at Capella Singapore, introduced me to a safe and effortless way to get my glow on and achieve the perfect summer skin. Using top-quality organic products, Auriga Spa’s Healthy Glow Self Tan treatment replicates the resplendent glow of sun-kissed skin, minus the skin damage from ultraviolet rays!

Capella Singapore_Auriga spa suite Mid Res

This fuss-free 60-minute treatment began with an uplifting citrusy body scrub. Formulated with aloe, sage and naturals oils, it gently sloughed off dead skin cell for satin smooth skin. It also subtly tightened my skin, revved up microcirculation and reduced the appearance of cellulite!

After my skin had been polished to perfection, my therapist slathered on an even layer of premium plant-based self-tan cream. Featuring a unique DHA derived from organic sugar beet, this light cream gave my skin an instant tan that lasted for a week. Its nourishing cocktail of aloe, coconut oil, sesame oil, jojoba and shea butter also left my skin feeling soft, supple and dewy – just as if I’d just stepped off a round-the-world luxury yacht!

To get me perfectly summer-prepped, Shanti also generously shared five tips for tress-to-toe skincare and rescue! Here they are:

Auriga Spa (Products)-36

#1 Get Under Cover

The sun is the No. 1 culprit of premature ageing. So never leave home without a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. You should look for a sunscreen with at least SPF30 PA+++, and apply it at least 20 minutes before sun exposure to allow the product to penetrate and protect your skin optimally.

#2 Scalp Help

Ultraviolet rays can also harm your scalp and hair. This causes sunburned scalp, dehydrated tresses, as well as hair loss. So invest in a sunscreen formulated for your hair and scalp, or wear a sunhat.

#3 Sunburn SOS

If you are suffering from sunburn, an aloe vera gel can help to calm and rehydrate your skin for accelerated recovery. In the meantime, keep your skincare and makeup regime simple. Avoid exfoliating products that will injure sunburned skin, as well as products with synthetic fragrances that may cause irritation.

#4 Hair Tip

Seawater and chlorinated swimming pool water strips hair of its moisture. So before diving in, wet your hair and apply a leave-in conditioner or olive oil to protect it from damage.

#5 Balancing Act

We all love summer. However, hot and humid weather can increase sebum protection while dehydrating your skin. Switch from a heavy moisturising cream to a lightweight gel-based moisturiser to prevent T-zone shine, clogged pores and acne. A facial blotter and hydrating mist can also help to keep skin matte and dewy during the day!

For more summer-perfect spa indulgences, refer to the Capella Singapore Auriga Spa’s treatment menu here.

Lavender Ice Cream With Peaches And Pine Nuts at Brasserie “1806”

rsz_peach

I love the warm season and its special qualities.  The best thing to do after a busy day is to enjoy the warm evening in the garden by eating ice cream.  This week I couldn’t even wait for closing time and went to Breidenbacher Hof’s Executive Chef Philipp Ferber to ask him for a fruity refreshment.  I was lucky because he had just created a new dessert, that was waiting to be tasted.  The dessert he served a few minutes later was very exotic and delightful:  Lavender Ice Cream paired perfectly with a White Peach and Pine Nut topping.  This was the perfect way to cap off a long day and to enjoy a warm summer evening.  I knew that I couldn’t deny you this enjoyment.

Here is the recipe to sweeten your closing time:

rsz_peach

Lavender Ice Cream with Roasted White Peach And Honey Pine Nut Vinaigrette

For 6 people

Lavender ice cream:

Ingredients
200ml cream
200ml milk
1 vanilla bean
2Tbsp lavender blossom
5 egg yolks
60g sugar

Preparation:
Mix the cream together with the milk, the core of the vanilla bean and the bean itself in a pan. Heating it for five minutes.  Next add the lavender blossom.  At the same time, stir in the sugar and the egg yolk until the mass turns white.  When done, add sugar and eggs to the cream mixture and put everything into an ice cream machine.  Complete it as described in the directions for use of the ice cream maker.

Roasted Peach with honey-pine nut-vinaigrette:

Ingredients:
4 white peaches (ripe, but not too soft)
30g powder sugar
40g butter
40ml peach liqueur
½ vanilla bean
50g pine honey
50g pine nuts

Preparation:
Halve the unpeeled peaches and remove the core carefully.  Dice to halves of the peaches and put them aside.
Dust the cut faces of the remaining peaches with the powder sugar and roast them in a laminated pan over medium heat.  When the sugar turns into caramel, turn the peaches, add the butter and go on sautéing.
Afterwards, decant the butter and deglaze the peaches with the liqueur.  Now, add the vanilla bean into the pan and cover it.  Leave it for 3 or 4 minutes and remove the lid.  At this point, the skin of the peach can be peeled very easily.
Take the peaches out of the pan and reduce the liquid.  It is time to add the pine honey and pine nuts and finally the peaches again, to glaze everything with the brew.

Garnish:
Fresh raspberries
12 lavender blossoms

Plating:
Put one tablespoon of the diced peach in the middle of a plate.  Then, set the peach on it and combine everything with the brew.  If you like you can decorate the dish with raspberries and lavender blossoms.  Finally, set a scoop of the wonderful lavender ice cream on top and serve your delicious dessert.

Enjoy!

Screen On The Green At The National Mall

Screen On The Green

Summer has finally arrived and there’s no better place to be than the Nation’s Capital!  Every year I count down the days until summer along with all of the activities it brings.  One of the most popular summer happenings among the locals and visitors alike is Screen on the Green, a chance to watch classic films hosted by HBO and Comcast on a gigantic movie screen on the National Mall overlooking the United State Capitol Building.

Screen On The Green

This complimentary outdoor event goes a little something like this: Gather a few of your friends on Monday night and head to the Mall around 5 or 6 pm to get a good seat.  Bring a blanket (no chairs) and a picnic basket for dinner and some dessert. Next, watch the sunset over the Capitol Building as you anxiously wait for the movie to begin.  My favorite moments are gazing up at the stars while the movie is rolling and seeing all the happy faces surrounding me.  This event makes for a fantastic summer evening and perfect way to enjoy this beautiful landmark, attracting over 15,000 people to each showing since 1999.

The schedule is out for this summer; take a look at the lineup:

July 21 – The Karate Kid (1984)

July 28 – Lover Come Back (1961)

August 4 – Key Largo (1948)

August 11 – A Soldier’s Story (1984)

Screen On The Green 2

The best way to get to the National Mall is by Metro.  The closest stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza.  Public parking is very limited in this part of the city.  On-street parking in Washington, DC is restricted during the evening rush hour.

Of course, if you are a guest at Capella Washington, D.C. you Personal Assistant can arrange both the picnic supplies and the ride.  For more information contact your Personal Assistant at 202-617-2400 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

I will be sure to share my visits to Screen On The Green on Twitter, but you can also follow the hashtag #SOTG2014 for updates.

 

Summer Cocktails: Thyme Silver Fizz

summer cocktails

Summer is the best season if you ask me. There are so many things to experience in Dusseldorf when the sun is shining and I really love being outside and enjoying action.  Do you know what the best part is?  The evening!  It is still warm and you can sit outside with some friends barbecuing, playing games and, of course, enjoying summer cocktails.

As you may already know, our bar team at the Breidenbacher Hof is famous for its extraordinary and delicious cocktail creations.  Of course, they also create special drinks for every season.  Yesterday, I tried their latest creation for summer: the Thyme Silver Fizz.  Believe me, it is the perfect start into a wonderful barbecue night with friends.  It is refreshing, a bit fruity and because of the thyme, it has a Mediterranean flair and reminds me of being on vacation!  You will know what I mean, when you try it for yourself.  So I asked our Assistant Bar Manager Philipp for the recipe to share the good taste and vacation dreams with you:

summer  cocktailsThyme Silver Fizz

5 cl Botanist Gin

2 cl lemon juice

2 cl sugar syrup

Soda to fill up

Ice cubes

1 sprig of thyme

 

Preparation

Take a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice cubes. Then, one after another measure the Gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup and mix everything in the shaker. When you are done, fill the drink into a nice glass through a sieve and fill it up with the soda. Use the sprig of thyme for garnish – and voilà!

At our Capella Bar, the drink is served with thyme salt, which gives the cocktail a special touch. It depends on what you prefer, but whether with or without the salt it is definitely my new favorite cocktail and I am sure it will be yours too.

 

Enjoy shaking and the great refreshment afterwards!

Erfrischender Sommergenuss in der Capella Bar

summer cocktails

Sommer ist die beste Jahreszeit wenn ihr mich fragt. Es gibt so viele Dinge zu Erleben in Düsseldorf wenn die Sonne scheint und ich liebe es draußen zu sein und verschiedenste Aktivitäten zu genießen. Wisst ihr was das Beste am Sommer ist? Die Abende! Es ist noch bis spät warm draußen und man kann lange mit Freunden im Garten sitzen grillen, spiele spielen und natürlich Sommercocktails genießen.

Wie ihr vermutlich schon wisst, ist unser Bar Team im Breidenbacher Hof berühmt für seine ausgefallenen und leckeren Cocktailkreationen. Natürlich kreieren sie auch für jede Jahreszeit spezielle Drinks. Gestern habe ich ihre neuste Kreation für den kommenden Sommer probiert: Den Thymian Silver Fizz. Glaubt mir, es ist der perfekte Start in einen wundervollen Grill-Abend mit Freunden. Er ist erfrischend, ein wenig fruchtig und wegen des Thymians bekommt er einem mediterranen Flair und erinnert mich an Urlaub! Ihr versteht am besten wovon ich rede, wenn ihr den Cocktail einmal selber ausprobiert. Ich habe also unseren Assistant Bar Manager Philipp nach dem Rezept gefragt, um mit Euch den leckeren Geschmack und die Träume von Urlaub zu teilen:

summer cocktails

Thymian Silver Fizz

5 cl Botanist Gin

2 cl Zitronensaft

2 cl Läuterzucker

Soda zum auffüllen

Eiswürfel

1 Thymianzweig

 

Zubereitung

Nehmt einen Cocktail Shaker und füllt diesen mit den Eiswürfeln. Dann, nacheinander den Gin, Zitronensaft und Läuterzucker zufügen und im Shaker kräftig mixen. Wenn ihr fertig seid, könnt ihr den Drink durch ein Sieb in ein schönes Glas füllen und mit Soda auffüllen. Zuletzt mit dem Thymianzweig garnieren – und voilà!

In unserer Capella Bar wird der Drink mit etwas Thymiansalz serviert, was dem Cocktail eine besondere Note verleiht. Es kommt darauf an, was ihr lieber mögt, aber egal ob mit oder ohne Salz, es ist definitiv schon jetzt mein neuer Lieblings-Cocktail und ich bin sicher es wird auch Eurer sein.

Genießt das Shaken und die wunderbare Erfrischung die darauf folgt!

 

Take A Swing At Golf In Ixtapa

Golf In Ixtapa

Ixtapa is famous for our beautiful beaches, tropical nature, exquisite food, wildlife adventures and sports.  But besides this list, you may be surprised to discover golf in Ixtapa as well!  If you like golf, or would like to give it a try, I invite you to do so in Ixtapa.  With the ocean and tropical nature as a backdrop, I can promise you an unforgettable experience on each of two 18-hole golf courses in Ixtapa.

Golf In Ixtapa

The Palma Real Golf Course

The Palma Real Golf Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1977 on the grounds of a former coconut plantation along the Pacific shoreline and Ixtapa Bay.  With the Sierra Madre mountains as a picturesque backdrop, the par 72, 6,898-yard course doubles as a wildlife preserve, filled with native birds like macaws and parrots and sprinkled with fruit-bearing trees and tropical flowers.  Palma Real Golf Course is a challenging semi-undulating course.  I love visiting it not just for golf, but to admire nature as well!

The Marina Ixtapa Golf Club

The Marina Ixtapa Golf Club is a waterfront course that houses a putting green and driving range.  It was designed by renowned golf course architect Robert von Hagge, and opened in 1994 as part of the modern Marina Ixtapa development.  It is ranked by Golf Digest as one of Mexico’s best courses.

This par 72, 6793-yard course is full of water inlets, bridges and dunes, where water comes into play on 13 of the 18 holes!  The par 5 18th hole is known as El Hoyo del Diablo (the Devil’s Hole) for its narrow, bunker-filled green right along the waterfront.  After the game of golf we love to stay at the Golf Club for a nice meal.

If you are tempted to give golf in Ixtapa a try, don’t miss Capella Ixtapa’s Play & Stay package, where we offer two complimentary rounds of golf for two, while enjoying three nights in a luxurious oceanfront suite.  More information and bookings: http://www.capellahotels.com/ixtapa/specials-en.html