SIA delivers 1st shipment of china virus vaccines to Singapore


21 December 2020 –World’s best airline, Singapore Airlines (SIA), delivered the first shipment of PfizerBioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore earlier this evening on board one of its Boeing 747-400 freighters. This was also the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipmentto be delivered to a country in Asia.

The precious vaccines were carried on board SQ7979, a scheduled freighter service from
Brussels, Belgium, to Singapore. The flight departed on 20 December 2020 and
arrived in Singapore on 21 December 2020 at approximately 1955 hours.
The shipment was prioritised for loading into the aircraft in Brussels and was given
similar precedence during unloading in Singapore. It was then transported to SATS’s
cold-chain facility, Coolport, for subsequent storage and ground transportation.
Prior to today’s delivery flight, SIA conducted a successful shipment trial on 19
December 2020 on the same freighter flight route. Besides ensuring the smooth
and safe delivery of the thermal shippers, also known as the cool boxes, used for
the trial, the internal temperature of each box was actively tracked on an end-to end basis. The sublimation rate of the dry ice in the cool boxes was also measured.
Mr Chin Yau Seng, Senior Vice President Cargo, SIA, said: “The delivery of this first
batch of Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore is an important milestone in the fight
against Covid-19, and we are honoured to be able to play a part in this. It also
served to demonstrate SIA’s and the Singapore air hub’s readiness for the very
important job of transporting and distributing Covid-19 vaccines internationally.”

Due to the horrid china virus wilfully spread by vile china, SIA lost some 3.5 billion Singapore dollars in 2020. I am confident SIA will bounce back! Keep calm and carry on flying!

The Airline interview | Ziyi Kuek / Skat3rgalz

Back when no masks were needed…

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120 year old CHOCOLATE!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet is flabbergasted by the…

MEMORABLE discovery of very OLD chocolate by the National Library of Australia. It is old, very old…120 years old to be exact!

Conservators at the NLA found the sweet treats from the personal collection of the famous Australian poet Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson. Banjo Paterson wrote ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘The Man from Snowy River’. The precious tin of chocolates was found among the poet’s collection of diaries, newspaper clippings and poetry.

The chocolate bar was found in a souvenir chocolate tin (pictured) that was provided to soldiers by Queen Victoria during the Boer War

The chocolate was found in a souvenir chocolate tin that was given to soldiers by Queen Victoria during the Boer War. Six bars of Cadbury’s chocolate in their original wrapping were found still in very good condition.

According to conservator Jennifer Todd, ”There was quite an interesting smell when they were unwrapped, an old tin of chocolates, belonging to Banjo, with the chocolates still wrapped in the box.” AMAZING! The chocolate bar still had the old packaging made of straw and the silver foil wrapping still around the chocolate.

The 120 year old chocolate (pictured) was discovered in the Banjo Paterson's personal collection of papers by the National Library of Australia

HM Queen Victoria personally commissioned the tins of chocolate to boost the morale of the Boer War troops during their battles, with ‘South Africa, 1900’ and ‘I wish you a happy New Year, Victoria RI’ inscribed on the tin with the Royal Emblem. The Second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and two independent Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire’s influence in South Africa.

Banjo Paterson (pictured) was believed to have bought the chocolate off soldiers during his stint as a war correspondent in South Africa

Banjo Paterson (pictured) was believed to have bought the chocolate off soldiers during his  daring stint as a war correspondent in South Africa. Cadbury UK created the historical chocolates for British troops when Buckingham Palace placed an order for 70,000 to 80,000 pound tins of cocoa that was to be paid out directly from the Queen’s own purse.

According to the Cadbury Brothers, ‘the cocoa must be made into a paste and sweetened ready for use under the rough and ready conditions of camp life’ and ‘the tins to be specially made and decorated.’

The collector’s tins became a popular item to trade, with some tins going for five to ten pounds on the front.

Apparently Banjo Paterson bought the chocolate tin from British troops in 1899 when he was a war correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in South Africa. Banjo later sent it back to Australia..

The new home of the 12o year old Chocolate is now the National Library of Australia as part of wider collection of Banjo Patterson’s personal items. Can I try some of the chocolate please???

I love Old Jamaica!

ICadbury is bringing back a classic chocolate bar after a decade off our  shelves - Mirror Online

From the poem ‘The man from Snowy River” by Banjo Paterson

“He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko’s side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse’s hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.

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NO more self service buffets!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The intrepid and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM explains the…

MONUMENTAL change to the Eat As Much As You Want Self Service Buffet. Do you remember when we could just help ourselves to 6 Oysters au naturel and 6 Lobsters on the half shell??? I do. Well, for the time being those days are gone with the wind. All because of the vile and horrid china virus which china cursed on the world. Cover-ups, lies and wilful spreading of the china virus worldwide by china has led to this.

Best buffets in Singapore: Where to go for a top-notch all-you-can-eat  spread of international bites, seafood delights, and more

Au revoir to self serve buffets because of the vile china virus!

Now diners can enjoy unlimited servings in the à la carte style or they can select from from special curated set menus. However, ordering by ticking off items on a paper menu sheet loses a lot in the visual sense where before you could see the food and dishes before you in chillers or in hot chafing dishes! The style and savoir faire is missing n’est pas… A lot of the fun is missing. I miss too the live cooking stations.

More staff needed but less capacity!

Another vital concern for restauranteurs is that the newly redesigned buffet format means that restaurants need more staff. Switching to an à la carte format has resulted in a 40 percent increase in staffing. Each and every food item has to be served to the diners’ tables, including drinks and condiments. This has led to an increase in operating costs, while sales have dropped by 30 to 40 percent due to spacing constraints due to safe distancing.” A double whammy body blow! C’est tres terrible! IN addition, the staff have to have to work with entirely separated shifts and teams that do not mix or overlap. This of course causes serious rostering issues. Most diners do not realise these issues facing the restaurants.

At a recent Staycation in the 5 Star Grand Hyatt Singapore, I experienced the new a la carte buffet in the Grand Club for breakfast and Cocktails and Canapes. I had to tick off my orders like yummie Smoked Salmon, Prawn Cocktail, Cheese Selection, etc. as well as Wines and Cocktails. It was nice to be served but I still miss the former self serve concept.

Let us hope the new vaccines against the china virus and other measures will put an end to the virus pandemic! The Travelling Gourmet TM says: Keep calm and carry on eating!



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Horrid china virus CRASHES Aviation Industry!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The audacious and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM tells the plain truth about the…

MOST terrible crisis for the aviation industry ever!!

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a worsening forecast for the airline industry losses in 2020. WHY? POURQUOI? WIESO? It is because of the vile china virus deliberately spread by china around the world.

On November 24, 2020, IATA issued an economic performance report of the airline industry, indicating that losses are set to worsen. The industry body predicted that airlines are set to finish 2020 with $118 billion of losses. In July 2020, IATA indicated that the industry was forecast to lose $84.3 billion in 2020. However, all is not doom-and-gloom, as the association predicted that losses could be cut to $38 billion in 2021.

Passenger traffic dropping significantly, revenues are estimated to fall by 66% in 2020. The LARGEST decline…since the Second World War. Throughout the year an estimated $347 billion will be spent by tourists traveling by air, which is 59% less than in 2019. In 2021, the tourist spending should increase to $559 billion and come back to the levels last seen since  2012.

Aircraft manufacturers are predicted to complete the delivery of 800 new aircraft before the end of the year. That is approximately half of all planned deliveries at the beginning of 2020. IATA predicts that in 2021, airlines will take delivery of 1302 new aircraft, which is close to the numbers of 2019. Nevertheless, more delivery delays and order cancellations are to be expected as the demand will continue to recover slowly.

IATA estimates that the total employment by airlines will decline to 1.9 million in 2020.

Air cargo is expected to continue showcasing resilience, in part due to the role that it will have in vaccine distribution. Cargo volumes are expected to grow from 54.2 million tons in 2020 to 61.2 million tons in 2021, almost matching the 61.3 million tons carried in 2019.

Strict cost-cutting measures and an increase in demand could lead to the industry being cash-positive as early as Q4 of 2021. A possible vaccine is expected to be a turning point but as its distribution poses challenges, the recovery will take time, according to the association.

Effect on different regions

While the current crisis affected airlines all across the globe, some countries and regions will be affected to a different extent. North America, which boasts a large domestic market, is expected to recover quicker in 2021. The net profit margin will improve to -6.8% from an expected margin of -41.4% in 2020.

Europe, struggling with new lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the second wave of the pandemic, could see a slower recovery. Net losses in the region are estimated to go from $26.9 billion in 2020 to $11.9 billion in 2021.

Asia-Pacific region, despite the fact it was hit by COVID-19 first, should see a quick recovery. Big domestic markets in China and India have already recovered to pre-pandemic levels, according to IATA. Net losses in 2021 are forecast to decline to $7.5 billion, almost one-fourth of the losses in 2020.

Middle Eastern airlines rely on international flights, thereby the recovery in the region could be slower. The industry could see losses rise to $7.1 billion in 2020 and $3.3 billion in 2021.

Latin America’s recovery is also expected to be slow as some airlines were already facing financial difficulties prior to the pandemic. The region is forecast to post a $3.3 billion net loss in 2021, compared to $5 billion in 2020.

Future challenges

To restitute the mobility and freedom of movement, the next big challenge for the aviation industry is the safe re-opening of borders using the rapid antigen testing technology. IATA also emphasized the importance of preparedness for vaccine distribution.

“Borders must be open for distribution, cold-chain logistics facilities need to be available with trained staff, and security measures must be air-tight. On top of that, passenger operations with belly capacity must be scaled-up. This will be the largest and mostcomplex logistical exercise ever,” said the outgoing IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

De Juniac outlined the critical need for financial support for the aviation industry.

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Lab Grown Meat in Singapore!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM highlights…

MEAT grown in a lab in Singapore! OMG! Would you eat it? ON December 2, 2020, anothet FIRST for sunny Singapore! The company Eat Just revealed that its cultured chicken has been given “first-in-the-world regulatory approval” by Singapore authorities. It will be used as an ingredient in its “chicken bites” or nuggets which the company plans to launch at a later date.

Safety tests found that the cultured chicken had “extremely low and significantly cleaner microbiological content” than traditional chicken.

Cultured or cell-based meat is meat developed in laboratories using animal cells. San Francisco-based Eat Just is known for its plant-based egg substitutes, said no antibiotics were used in its product. Tests showed that the cultured chicken has a high protein content, diversified amino acid composition, is in healthy monounsaturated fats and also has a rich source of minerals.  Other ingredients used in the chicken nuggets include breadcrumbs and mung bean protein, which is also used in their plant-based eggs.  These ingredients are also used in meatless vegan burgers and sausages.

Singapore grants world's first approval to lab-grown meat | Financial Times

The cultured chicken was manufactured at the Food Innovation and Resource Centre, a food research facility co-run by Singapore Polytechnic and Enterprise Singapore.  Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just explained, “Singapore has  long been a leader in innovation of all kinds, from information technology to biologics to now leading the world in building a healthier, safer food system,”

There is also lab grown lobster meat now in the pipeline by Shiok Meats expected to launch in 2022.

For me, I prefer chicken from poultry and lobster from real lobsters!

The Traveling Gourmet TM says: Keep calm and carry on eating! 🙂

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Vinitaly 2020

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about…



Wine2wine: Despite the horrid china virus Italian wine sales in the USA increased by 2.3%
Boom for e-commerce and fine wines. Italy in pole position, France falling back…
Verona, 8 October 2020- Covid-19 has changed the approach to wine consumption in the United
States but did not cause a fall in demand. Off-premises consumption is booming and online sales
even more so, thereby largely offsetting the downturn seen for on-premises consumption (bars and
restaurants). In this context, Italy has benefited from the additional duties applied to its main
competitors to take an even longer lead over France, now faced by growing difficulties.
Veronafiere highlighted this from the latest customs data processed by the Vinitaly Observatory –
Nomisma Wine Monitor for wine2wine and during the web-focus yesterday evening discussing the
effects of Covid on Italian wine moderated by Gino Colangelo with internet connections with other
leading figures on the American market.
In the US Market Italy increasingly a top player, France loses one-quarter of the market!
Italy is increasingly in the forefront of wine sales in the United States; While France is increasingly affected by additional customs duties. The latest customs data analysed by the Vinitaly
Observatory-Nomisma Wine Monitor for wine2wine indicate that in the first 8 months of this year
Italy regained over 370 million euros over its historical competitor from across the Alps and closed
the summer with a further leap to 1.16 billion euros in sales (2.3% over the same period 2019),
while France posted its poorest performance and a downward trend of 25.7% (998 million euros).
The scenario – the precise opposite compared to the same period last year – is affected more by
additional customs duties than Covid-19. It need only be mentioned that in addition to -25.7% by
value for France – with still wines at -32.5% -, Spain (-11.8%) and Germany (-34.4%) also posted
significant drops, which made a decisive contribution to the overall contraction of US wine imports
in the period (-10.5%).

“Italy,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, “today holds a share of the US wine import market close to 35%, a record achieved thanks to the current economic situation and a more competitive quality-price ratio than ever before. We must now consolidate this lead and realign the market segments affected by Covid-19 by accelerating promotion of ‘Made in Italy’. This,” Mantovani
went on, “is what the Wine2Wine Exhibition & Forum aims to achieve. It is an attended as well as a
digital event which, thanks to the partnership with ICE-Italian Trade Commission, will involve
hundreds of buyers in person and as many more online in master classes, networking, b2b and
remote seminars.”

Vinitaly Webinar: e-commerce and fine wine: the winning combination
e-commerce through large online sales centres is booming, as highlighted during the Vinitalywine2wine seminar (in collaboration with Colangelo & Partners) by Heini Zachariassen, founder of
the world’s leading wine app Vivino: “In recent months, we have seen the largest ever increases in
purchases by our 46 million users, with three-figure growth during the 5 months of the health
emergency. In the same period,” he added, “we registered a turning point for fine Italian wines,
especially Tuscan reds, Amarone and Brunello di Montalcino.”
The founder of the portal, Michael Osborn, shared this opinion: “The share of our users
making purchases grew from 24% in the pre-Covid period to 86%. This is an incredible performance
which one of our surveys suggests will also be maintained in the post-Covid phase. During the year,”
he concluded, “purchases of Italian wines grew by 53% thanks to high-end purchases by millennials
and generation X.”
The scenario as regards the horeca segment is quite different: Aaron Sherman, co-founder and CEO
of SevenFifty, suggests that it “fell by 33%.” “The wine business in the United States is very resilient,
even during the lockdown,” said the founder of Colangelo & Partners, Gino Colangelo, “and in this
context Italian wine enjoys advantages. Today, high-end wines are fastest growing category (over
50 dollars), which matches the profile of the major Italian brands.”
The seminar was also attended by Alison Napjus, senior editor at Wine Spectator, and Kristina
Kelley, Wine and Spirits Communication Director for E.J. Gallo Winery.
The webinars involving the USA are organised by Vinitaly together with the Italian-American
Chamber of Commerce in Chicago and in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
International Cooperation, Assocamerestero, Terlato Wines International, Banca Popolare di
Sondrio and Promos Italia.
USA: TOTAL WINE IMPORTS (cumulative January-August)
TOTAL WINE Values (euro)
2019 2020 Var. %
Total Imports


3,331,559,898 -10.5%
of which


1,160,864,910 2.3%


997,617,989 -25.7%
New Zealand


290,936,394 7.1%


190,195,009 -11.8%


181,719,822 -6.3%
Data processing: Vinitaly Observatory / Nomisma Wine Monitor based on customs data
Veronafiere Press Service
Tel.: + 39.045.8298.223 – 210 – 350
Twitter: @pressVRfiere
Simone Velasco (327.9131676;
Benny Lonardi (393.4555590;

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Vinitaly goes digital

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM on Vinitaly going digital because of the…

MONSTROUS china virus wilfully spread by china worldwide. It is just not the same not to be in Verona tasting the wines and learning from wine producers and enologists. You cannot taste wine digitally.


A unique platform for business, tastings and networking
Preview on Saturday 21 November with the International Summit and OperaWine with Wine Spectator.
B2b meetings are scheduled over the online platform from Sunday 22 to Tuesday 24.
Monday 23 sees the launch of the two-day business forum with over fifty appointments.

Verona, 12 November 2020. Digital switch for wine2wine with appointments from 21 to 24 November.
wine2Wine exhibition, the Veronafiere start-up dedicated to the wine sector, goes “digital”: and with more than 50 seminars during the wine2wine business forum as well as Operawine, the event transfers entirely to the already fully operative and dedicated “VeronaFiere Plus” platform. This change of direction became necessary following the Decree issued by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on the 24th October that brought a halt to all physically attended exhibition activities until 24 November. These three-events-in-one – originally created to bring business, content, meetings, training and ideas together – have consequently been transferred online and will continue to support the relaunch of the wine market and the Italian system.

Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, said “We had already developed maximum possible interaction for an event that we were then obliged to transfer online. This is joined by a schedule of content and business involvement of the highest quality. This is an event designed to support the wine sector and we would like to thank the numerous partners for their solidarity with us to help restart Italian wine. Wine2wine will also be able to bridge the gap between operators from all over the world thanks to b2b meetings, webinars, workshops and the expansion of the remote wine tasting schedule taking in Europe, China, United States, Japan and Brazil.”

The programme of events, including the previews of Saturday 21 November, has been confirmed. Sessions will open with the International summit discussing The future of wine: different visions, one perspective. Current scenarios and possible challenges for the next decade. Sponsored by Unicredit, the event will involve international and national figures in the sector, with institutional representatives including the director of Ismea, Raffaele Borriello, the president of ICE, Carlo Ferro, and the Minister Agricultural policies, Teresa Bellanova.
The meeting will present a research project implemented by Nomisma Wine Monitor for the Vinitaly Observatory which will provide market data for the most complex year ever; a survey involving Italian companies to trace the profile of the wine business in the post Covid era will also be outlined.

The afternoon welcomes OperaWine, with the presentation by Wine Spectator of the top 100 producers in 2021 followed by a question and answer session. The many appointments on the calendar also include the Assoenologi 2020 Congress Day on Sunday 22 and the Round Table on Monday 23 November Wine and major retailers responding to change dedicated to the Italian large-scale retail sector.
Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 will ensure significant emphasis on internationality with 12 wine tastings for international buyers linking up from the USA, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom and Netherlands.

The wine2wine business forum will also offer more than fifty digital sessions with an audience of seventy international speakers discussing market topics such as globalization, the post-COVID era, new consumption and purchasing modes, wine tourism, marketing and digitalization. Two special focus events will highlight female leadership and inclusiveness in the wine industry.

Appointments also include the conference dealing with “Wine in the changing global scenario: challenges for the supply chain” (23 November) involving top management from Federdoc, Unione Italiana Vini, Federvini, Alleanza per le Cooperative, Fivi, CEO of ICE, Roberto Luongo and the CEO of Veronafiere, Giovanni Mantovani.
Lastly, the virtual show area of wine2wine exhibition digital edition offers wine-makers the chance to promote their brands and products, all of which are indexed with tags for quick searches by registered visitors through automatic filters and hints.

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Cosy Stays at Mandarin Oriental Washington DC

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about cosy stays at the…

MANDARIN Oriental in Washington DC. One of my favourite hotels in the capital of the USA is the Palace by the Potomac. This luxurious 5 star retreat is prominently placed along the Capital’s revitalised Southwest Waterfront. I love the swimming pool here. The hotel is also strategically located near attractions, monuments and restaurants like the Washington Monument. It is a nice stroll from the Mandarin Oriental to the impressive Washington Monument.


Due to the horrid China virus wilfully spread by China and with health and safety in mind, the holiday celebrations have relocated to the guest rooms and suites for a more cosy and hygienic experience.

The In-Room Holiday Feast is an intimate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner that can be enjoyed in a guest room or suite. Thanksgiving is on 26 November this year. It is also my Birthday so I always celebrate both! For slightly larger parties, the Feast in the Comfort of Your Suite is available in The Oriental Suite or Presidential Suite providing guests with additional space to social distance and a three tier menu option.

50 foot Indoor Pool

Guests can savour the tradition of enjoying Empress Lounge’s famed scrumptious Afternoon High Tea with a staycation and tea service in the safety and privacy of their own guest room. Executive Pastry Chef Claus Olsen has reimagined the tower of delights and sweets, which pair pleasantly with the selection of premium teas.

For safe and comfortable travel options guests can choose from a variety of exciting  offers including:

  • Staycation by M.O.: Receive a hotel credit, breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and more.
  • Suite Upgrade: Reserve a room and receive a complimentary upgrade to a suite.
  • Families by M.O.: The ultimate family stay with the second room at half price, children’s amenities, and a host of special family friendly touches.
  • Weekday Spa-cation: Arrive on a Tuesday or Wednesday and receive an upgrade to a suite with the indulgence of a spa treatment and more.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

Cozy at M.O. invites guests to stay in, cuddle up, keep warm and indulge during the winter season. Available through February 28, 2021 with rates starting from USD 285 a night. This wonderful package includes:

  • Complimentary warm fleece blanket to enjoy and take home.
  • Special gourmet hot chocolate welcome amenity.
  • Daily in-room breakfast for two.
  • One complimentary in-room movie of your choice daily.
  • Complimentary upgraded streaming speed Wi-Fi.
  • Additional benefits available when you log into or join Fans of M.O.

The Travelling Gourmet TM always says, “Keep calm and carry on eating!”

Mandarin Oriental Washington DC

1330 Maryland Avenue,

SW Washington D.C. 20024, USA
Telephone :  +1 (202) 787 6064

For room reservations, please call +1 (202) 787 6140. To make a spa reservation, please call  +1 (202) 787 6100.  For more information, please visit



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Hive at Selfridges

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The irrepressible and intrepid Travelling Gourmet TM reveals a…

MOST unique restaurant based on honey to open on 4, December, 2020 in Selfridges department store. Selfridges on Oxford Street is one of my favourite department stores in London. The other is Fortnum and Mason’s where HM The Queen buys her food and wine.

Vegan demand bolsters Selfridges' strong Christmas sales - Retail Gazette


Aptly named HIVE, the restaurant will have onsite bee hives and keepers and an eclectic menu  of dishes all having the highest-quality natural honey. The decor is to have botanical
statement walls, decadent golden bee structures, plus planters with flowers
pollinated by the restaurant’s own bee population – which can be viewed
outside the window.
An all-day menu will feature healthy and comfort food and quality organic
ingredients. Hive will also offer a range of honey and cheese pairings to be savoured including Comte Cheese and Chestnut Honey, and Fourme d’Ambert with Buckwheat honey. For a truly unique honey-based dining experience,
Hive will also be offering a cheese and honey Afternoon tea  gives diners the choice of a range of cheeses to compliment the exquisite range of natural honeys. Lovely teas and pastries will also be part of the Afternoon Tea experience. Wine, Honey Cocktails and Veuve Clicquot Champagne are also served.



Safe Distancing

The health, safety and wellbeing of customers and teams remains Selfridges’ priority.
Carefully considered safety measures have been put place to help minimise the risk of the horrid China virus which China wilfully spread worldwide. Following guidance from PHE and relevant authorities all  Selfridges’ bars and restaurants in London include:
Reconfigured seating areas in all restaurants and bars to maintain
social distancing at 2m. Disposable single use recyclable menus  are used.

I love Honey!

Honey has a well deserved reputation as a pure and primordial natural ingredient for
over 5,000 years! Honey is known to offer unique remedial qualities, including reducing
anxiety, calming insomnia, and combating fatigue. Honey also helps wound healing. The ancient Roman doctors used honey to treat the sword, spear and arrow wounds of the Legionnaires. Honey is also very yummie to eat!

Winnie the Pooh will love this place 🙂 The Travelling Gourmet TM says, “Keep calm and Carry on eating!”

3rd Floor Selfridges 400 Oxford Street
Reservations: OpenTable

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The name’s Bond…James BOND


Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The intrepid and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM tells the tale of the…

MEMORABLE Sean Connery who is undoubtedly the quintessential James Bond. Surrounded by his family he passed away peacefully in his sleep on 31 October 2020 in his home in the Bahamas.

Scotland Forever

A true-blue Scotsman, Sean Connery who supported Scottish Independence from the United Kingdom was born in Edinburgh on August 25, 1930. His humble origin featured a mother who was a cleaning lady, while his father worked in a factory. Who would have thought he could end up being ueber-famous as the gentleman spy 007 with a licence to kill? Connery dropped out of school and joined the Royal Navy. He acquired two tattoos emblazoned on his right forearm in the Royal Navy, which read “Mum and Dad” and “Scotland Forever”. Three years later he was medically discharged because of stomach ulcers. Sean then worked as a milkman, coffin polisher, bricklayer and lifeguard in Edinburgh. It was his hobby as a 6 foot 2 inches body builder that led to his big break in show business. Connery entered the Mr. Universe contest where he came third. A fellow contestant urged him to audition for acting parts. He got a part in the chorus in “South Pacific”. Other small roles followed in the movie melodrama “Another Time, Another Place” (1958), and in the Alfred Hitchcock movie  thriller “Marnie” (1964). IN “Marnie” Sean’s potential as a romantic leading man was noticed.

He caught the eye of Cubby Broccoli’s while screening Darby O’Gill in Los Angeles. Broccoli had previously met Connery while the young actor was filming Another Time, Another Place (1958). This was a movie where Connery physically disarmed a real-life gangster who started waving a gun around on set. Broccoli liked Connery, so did Terrence Young, who would direct the first-ever theatrical James Bond picture, Dr. No.

So one day Broccoli sat in a private screening room in LA to watch Connery’s Walt Disney debut. In that movie, Connery played Michael McBride, a young lad with eyes for his “darling Irish girl,”(Janet Munro played love interest Kati O’Gill. It was a supporting role in the Disney Gaelic folktale movie about pots of gold, banshees, leprechauns and ghostly carriages headed for the afterlife. Cubby Broccoli “thought he saw something worthwhile.” Cubby reached out to his wife Dana Broccoli. He asked if this Connery fellow had much sex appeal. “Yes.” was the answer. Dana encouraged her hubby Cubby to cast Connery as 007. The deal was sealed at another meeting with Harry Saltzman. After the meeting, Saltzman and Broccoli watched Connery cross the street from their window, Saltzman observed, “[He moves] like a big jungle cat.” He also had “dark, cruel good looks” which was the way Ian Fleming described James Bond in his books. The rest is cinema history and legend.

Sanhedrin 72a-b: Judaism does not subscribe to the idea that one should “turn the other cheek” when attacked. In fact, according to the Talmud “ha-ba le-horgekha, hashkem le-horgo” – if someone comes planning to kill you, you should hurry to kill him first.

Nur das Original is gut genug…like the Sacher Torte from Hotel Sacher in Vienna

Sir Sean Connery was the first and original James Bond. He starred as Commander James Bond 007 in seven James Bond films. The first was Dr No (1962) followed by From Russia With Love (1963) and then blockbuster Goldfinger (1964). Next came Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).

Diamonds are Forever is one of my favourite Bond movies with the tile song sung by inimitable Dame Shirley Bassey.

Always with a caesura (a pause in the middle of a line) for emphasis. The classic line, “The name’s Bond…James Bond.”

Needless to say, 007 brought Sean Connery fame and great fortune.  He was paid a mere £6,000 for Dr No and then four times that amount for From Russia With Love. For his first Bond “comeback” in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, Sean got  a then-record US$1.25 million! Wow! Nicht schlect (not bad) for a former milkman with no University education. Sean Connery donated his pay cheque for ‘Diamonds are Forever’ to set up the Scottish Education Trust. The Trust is to help young actors. In the Bond movies his charismatic and commanding screen presence was unforgettable. Connery’s riveting portrayal of the MI6 Intelligence officer as a passive-aggressive charming man of the world, with a taste for beautiful women, gourmet cuisine and fine wines wowed the audience worldwide. Who can forget the really ravishing Bond girls from Honor Backman to Shirley Eaton to Ursula Andress and more. Swoon…All red- blooded men have a weakness for beautiful women n’est pas.

Connery also captured perfectly the ruthless violent edge and dark side of 007 when he had to dealt with the bad guys. As the George Orwell (1984) saying goes, “

“We sleep soundly in our beds, because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on those who would harm us”


Thunderball: I think he got the point.


For Queen and Caviar

Terence Young the director of three of Connery’s six Broccoli and Harry Saltzman-produced Bond adventures, actually lived some of the adventures that were the hallmark of the Bond movies. Young was wounded twice fighting as a Tank Commander in the Second World War, After the war, Young acquired a taste for adventure and the high life. Young took the young Scottish actor under his wing. It was Young who introduced Connery to the legendary Turnbull & Asser to select custom designed shirts with turnback cuffs (better for quicker undressing OMG!) Young who got his personal tailor, Anthony Sinclair, to cut all of Connery’s Dr. No suits. Terence Young also brought Sean Connery to all the finest restaurants in London’s Mayfair area like Scott’s, (also one of my favourites)  and taught Sean how to order wine, judge fine champagne, appreciate “haute cuisine” and move with panache and savoir faire in society crowds.

Denise Perrier who played Marie was a former Miss World. The Japanese man Bond beat up is actually the late Sensei Enoeda, Shotokan Karate Grand Master 9th Dan.


Another amazing scene from Goldfinger. The angelic “butter won’t melt in my mouth” look on 007’s face as his explosive charges blow up just warms the cockles of your heart with a chuckle. So too is the sardonic line, “Shocking…positively shocking.” A classic double entendre.


Macho Connery received numerous honours, including being chosen as Commander (the same rank as Bond) of France’s Order of Arts and Literature and a Kennedy Center honoree in 1999. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed him a British Knight of the Realm in Holyrood Castle, Scotland, for services to film drama. In 2005 he was chosen for a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute.

Kill or be killed in From Russia with Love

Connery also found success in films like the 1974 ensemble mystery Murder on the Orient Express, the sweeping epic adventure movie The Wind and the Lion and John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King, both released in 1975. The elegant love story Robin and Marian, in which he portrayed Robin Hood to Audrey Hepburn’s Maid Marian was another winner.

Many thanks to Star in the Sky for kindly suggesting that I write this feature {:-)

James Bond’s original Walther PPK 7.65mm pistol is up for auction in Los Angeles on December 3, 2020.  Originally owned by actor Bernard Lee who played “M” the boss of James Bond in 11 movies from 1962 to 1979. Alas it is deactivated with no firing pin. It is expected to fetch 80,000 Pounds or more.

Walther PPK

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