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Grounded 2020

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Welcome to my stay home adventures.

Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, I wasn't able to travel like before.

Besides teaching and practicing, I spent most of my time organizing old photos, watching cooking videos and updating the older blogs.

Here are a few things we did right before the confinement period.

We went to a really nice hotel to celebrate Julie's birthday.

Located at an altitude of 650 metres and overlooking the Indian Ocean and the entire eastern coast of the island of La Réunion. The location’s silence and beauty make the hotel the ideal destination to get away from it all and enjoy a reflective, refreshing break.

We also managed to organize a piano concert at the Notre Dame de la delivrance with Brazilian pianist Alvaro Siviero.

Then came the news of the lock-down - on the 17th of March at 3pm.

Only 2 days before the concert.


So it begins, our cooking road to glory diary ;)

Soup dishes - Tom yum, Bún Bò Huế and pho

Spring rolls, Vietnamese version - Nem

Korean Pancakes, Chinese buns, Thai beef salad and Banh Cuon

And some western dishes..

Salmon wellington (Spring home pastry), Grilled Burgers, Fish and Chips with Organic Onion Rings. And the ultimate Squid Ink Pasta

Pizza Night!

Tried several recipes, including a Peking duck pizza - inspired from our California Pizza meal last year :)

Cheese inspired dishes..

Baked Rice, Pumpkin Gratin, Raclette!

March and April were our cooking months.

By the time we got to June we were both master-chef-home-cooks :)

This was a simple dinner we put together in June while receiving a guest at home.

During the lock-down I did a couple of online concerts as well.

I guess what the lock downs did to most people must have something to do with hair transplants..

My first ever concert since October 2019.

In a wonderful garden hosted by my sponsors, Mr and Mrs Wuillai.

They had recently been nominated to become the president of the Rotary Club in Reunion Island.

This was their conferment ceremony.

They were the only people we visited since the reopening of the new normal. Couple of weeks before the garden ceremony they invited us over for dinner. That night I discovered this extraordinary recording by Alicia de Larrocha. They were huge fans of Spanish music and were hoping that I could play some Granados. So I learnt the 12 Spanish dances and performed Oriental that weekend.

Although the lock downs were over, there was simply no way to travel anywhere, so I spent most of my time teaching and visiting our island. Finally, the grass isn't always greener on the other end, it's greener where you choose to water.

I was finally able to things I never had time for. Visited places I never thought of before.

Places I thought were lousy were now less lousy 🤣

Take this place for instance.

Looks completely haunted from the outside. We never ever thought of going to this place before that. Turns out they served really authentic Italian food, Sardinian, and really close to what I had in Rome 2 years ago. So they say, never judge a book by its cover :)

We went to Ness by D-ocean for a weekend

Pretty nice hotel, 4 stars, had everything we were looking for and needed.

Due to the covid-19 restrictions, things were very different - in some ways for the better. Most areas in and around the hotel were less crowded.

I would recommend this hotel but not during the winter season - June to August - which was exactly what we did. Foolish of us.. The pool was freezing and there was too much wind along the seaside.

For dinner we went to Hotel le Grande bleu

46 boulevard Roland Garros, 97434 Saint-Gilles-les-Bains, Reunion

The highlight of this meal has to be the desserts. Oh The cake in that sauce...

Absolutely delicious!

For our wedding anniversary we went to Atelier de Ben

By far the best restaurant on the island.

There she goes again..

We also went to Cilaos during the holidays.

A town and commune on the French island Réunion in the Indian Ocean located centrally in a caldera of altitude 1,214 m. 4000 ft!

Really nice taking a break off work and hanging out with family!

For outdoor activities, we went to Adventure parc

Giants Ziplines, skateboards, monkey bridge etc. FUN!

Everyone told us to go try Atelier des Saveurs

They were right! This has to be the best restaurant in Cilaos!

So that was it. Highlights of our 2020 lock down and July/Aug #holidays.

Even though I wasn't able to #travel, or perform like previous years - I think I found inner peace, shedload of spare time for self reflection.

Ultimately, where you go is not who you’ll be.

In life it's not where you go, it's who you travel with.

- Charles-M-Schulz

Hope this situation will get better and things will go back to normal soon :)

Take care and see you on the next Blog!

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