By Train and Food

We re-visited Nice, Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Milan, Venice, Wengen this time. Cities in France, Italy and Switzerland.  This time with our family from Singapore.

Because we were train hopping from one city to another. We figured out that it was not very wise to be lugging along our ‘portable’ kitchen. The only electrical appliance we brought from our kitchen was an electric kettle.

To minimise cost, we booked hotels that offered the basic. My only criteria was, it HAS to be clean. And the hotels were all within walking distance from the train stations.

The hotels we booked were mostly rated 1 to 2 stars, they weren’t equipped with your usual electrical appliances such as fridge, microwave and coffee maker. Having an electric kettle of our own have made our mornings alot more pleasant.

Each morning, we would gather at my mum’s room for coffee, bread and cup cereal. It is good to travel with a mum, in this case, my mum, cos she was the one who would make sure that we had something to fill our stomaches each morning. She took care of the nitty gritty details such as making sure that all water bottles were filled before we set off for the day. All snacks and food are packed. We were spoilt.

Because we had packed NOTHING for cooking, we ate out everyday. For your info, this is the FIRST time that we travelled without our portable kitchen. Our portable kitchen has unknowingly became a security blanket for me whenever we travel. I am the paranoid one, always worrying that we will have problem finding a siuitable place to eat whenever we visit a new place. I blamed it on Mal, who is a fussy eater, but the truth is, I am just as fussy.

I am glad that this trip has taught me to worry less and it has proven that we can survive without our portable kitchen. And I learned that the best way to find the best eating place in a new city is to check with the locals.

We had our BEST meals at Florence, Italy. We discovered 2 restaurants serving authentic italian food, not just to the tourists but to the locals as well. For 12 Euro each night, we had wine, choice of pasta and choice of meat dish. It was a nice cozy restaurant tucked in the alleys and we couldn’t have found them if not for the recommendation by our hotel owner. We feast at these restaurants for 4 nights, consecutively. Just thinking of their pasta and minestrone soup makes me hungry now.

Our WORST meal was in Venice. We were literally ‘robbed’ by a waiter in broad daylight. An old man who looked deceivingly kind and sincere. We were naive enough to think that he would have some good recommendations. We basically didn’t know what we ordered as he was so quick to decide for us. And we thought we had the best grilled seafood until we saw the bill.

Would you pay SGD 100 for this platter of mix seafood grill ?  and to think that he went ahead and ordered 2 platters of this to fill us up !


  1. Tin says:

    My jaw dropped when u said $100 for the plate of fishes!!! Really daylight robbery! This must have taken up a large part of your traveling expenses … sigh!

    Rachel : Hey Tin, our 6 jaws dropped too when we saw the bill. We were guessing the bill and none of us got it right, not even close! After this meal, we ate in for the rest of our trip!

  2. Ann says:

    He must be so inexperienced…don’t know Asian stomach very tiny!! 😉

    Anyway…which hotel did you stay in? Coz I know accommodation is x and some of them are cheaper but not clean…so a list of recommendations does help.

    I will book mark it and let my frens who are going to that area know…and myself too! 🙂

    Rachel : hey Ann, actually my stomach is quite big! haha but I would have shrunk it if I knew the price of that platter earlier!
    as for the hotel in italy, we book it through I think I ought to dedicate a post on travel in europe. hope to do it soon

  3. Angeline says:

    Is ‘Nice’ really nice? *laugh* trying to be cheeky again….

    ok, seriously, having mum around, you know you’ll never go hungry eh? *wink*

    SGD100????!!! no way! I’m a stingy person….

    Rachel : hey Angeline, yes NICE, pronounced as NEECE is really NICE 🙂

  4. Nic says:

    Hi Rachael,

    I was interviewed by MYPaper on Mothers’ Day feature on the topic of mommy bloggers. The journalist has asked me to name a few good ones so she can mention in her article. I mentioned yours. You won’t mind, right?

    Rachel : Hey Nic, that sounds really exciting! Remember to post the article when it is out! look forward to reading it. I actually felt flattered that you mentioned my site. It’s an encouragement for me. Thanks! 🙂

  5. pc says:

    miss my mum olediii…

    yeah, im stingy too… i too usually cook along the travel journey, without portable kitchen.

    but then again i never travel with big group:p

    Rachel : Actually another reason for not cooking this time round was because the logistic for cooking for a group of 7 people in a cramped hotel room will probably kill all the joy..

  6. Sandra says:

    Yes it’s nice to travel with mummy – we did in Feb when we went to Kl with my mum & dad – it was great 😉
    So sorry to hear how terrible that u got that miserable plate for that much … lesson learnt i guess

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