Shabby Elizabethan Ruff Tutorial

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I would like to share my very basic and unprofessional ruff making tutorial! I should have taken pics as I went but I forgot. You can also use this same method for making wrist ruffs.

I will warn you before you start that wearing this ruff is not very comfy so do not venture further if you’re fussy about crap in your neck zone.

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You will need:
– 5 yards or meters of wired ribbon (see below for details)
– Some simple wide ribbon, cotton or satin is ok, a little longer than your neck circumference (I’ll refer to this as the base ribbon)
– thin ribbon or coord for the ends of the ruff to tie it together
– A needle and thread, color similar to wired ribbon
– optional: cardboard and tape measure

I used wired ribbon for this ruff. It makes construction very easy but maintenance and proper storage are required because if the ruff gets mushed, you have to reshape the wired ribbon loops. This is in contrast to a properly made ruff with regular fabric or ribbon that requires a lot of sewing but keeps its shape well. Examples here.

The most important step is choosing your main wired ribbon. This will show to the outside of course so make it nice looking. I would not recommend satin because it’s gross, and try to avoid anything too present-wrappy.

I chose an off white organza-like fabric ribbon with gold edges which worked well with my wardrobe. I made a pure white version later but the off white was nicer and older looking.

Also the width of the wired ribbon will be the distance it sticks out horizontally from your neck, so don’t go too short or long. My ribbon was about 6cm/2.5 inches wide and worked out well.

As explained above, you will need a strip of wide ribbon as the base for the ruff. This will sit against your neck so it doesn’t need to look fancy. Measure your neck circumference and cut the ribbon to that length, plus a cm or two on either side.

Next I would recommend to attach your neck ties at this stage, although you could do it later. The neck ties will sit on the back of your neck and let you take the ruff on and off by making a bow. Do make sure that the finished length of the base ribbon is really flush against your neck because floppy ruffs with space showing don’t look good with this ruff method. I rolled the ends over twice with the neck ties inside (see below) and just simply hand sewed them down.

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The next and very time consuming step is “accordioning”. You will need to take all of the 5 yards of wired ribbon and accordion it uniformly. I made my accordions about 7cm wide.

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To do this easier, I made a piece of cardboard with the dimensions I wanted and used that to fold over and over. And over. Maybe do this while you watch TV.

After you have accordioned all of the ribbon, you have to attach it to your neck ribbon base. To do this, just sew through the midpoint of the wire on each ruffle.

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I’m really anal though so to make sure I got even ruffle distribution, I counted the ruffles and kept bisecting the base ribbon and pinning down the midpoints. For example, lets say my base ribbon was 12 inches long and I had a total of 100 ruffles, I pinned down the 50th ruffle on the ribbon midpoint of 6 inches, then bisected the base ribbon again so I pinned the 25th ruffle on the 3 inch line, and the 75th ruffle on the 9 inch line, etc. Does that make sense? haha

So when I was happy with the placement of everything, I hand sewed across all the wired ribbon onto the base ribbon.

The next and final step is turning all the zig zag and pointy accordion wired ribbon into nice loopy shapes like below.

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Side view
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This too takes a million years but then finally you have a ruff! It’s not perfect but it photographs well and is cheap!

Go forth and ruff!

Q-pot Cafe Halloween Version!

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Last Sunday I went to check out the Halloween special items at the Q-pot cafe!

Everything is best at Halloween! Q-pot is a themed cafe, and as a general rule I avoid themed cafes because they are only good for atmosphere the first time but the food is usually terrible. Q-pot food is ok, but it’s pretty expensive for what you get. However, I saw some cute pics online and I was sucked in again!

Q-pot is pretty busy during October, especially weekends, so if you go, go early because they can run out of themed cute stuff as the day goes by.

Here’s the cafe from the outside.

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The menu! GET HYPE

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I decided to order the two main Halloween items – Poison Spider Soda and Halloween set plate with “Coffin Cake”.

The poison soda had a floating chocolate spider! He was the best part.

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The flavor of the soda itself was green apple and mint. While it made a nice bright green color, those two flavors combined were kind of medicinal and gross imo. Maybe that’s the point?

Onto the dessert plate! My favorite thing was the berry sherbet in the cup with the bat cookie. The macaron was pumpkin flavored and pretty good. The coffin cake had some “cheesecake” flavored mousse inside. That’s in quotes because it’s Japanese cheesecake which means yogurt flavored. It was meh for me.

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It was still very fun! Would eat again!

After that we went over to where a GLB snap was being held! I was not dressed lolita at all so I’m pretty sure I won’t get in, but it was quite pleasant because it was held at Jardin de Luseine, a nice restaurant with air conditioning.

It was hot that day so I wore something summery. Goodbye summer, you won’t be missed! I forgot to get a pic that day so here is a really bad photo of everything😡 I call it country otome!

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I have many more exciting Halloween events coming this month! I hope I can keep up with blogging! Thank you for reading!❤

Tokyo DisneySea Halloween!

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I went to Tokyo DisneySea last weekend to see the Halloween stuff they had going on this year. I’m not really a “Disney person” but I do love Halloween and cute merch and food so I was excited to go check it out.

Even though wearing lolita does add an element of exhaustion to the day, it’s really fun since people are generally in a good mood and treat you pretty well while you’re there. In Tokyo there are always lots of other lolitas at he park so you can kind of make eye contact and give a slight chin wag. More than lolita, I saw a lot of people wearing otome, especially the cheaper brands like Axes Femme and Amavel which makes sense since they are easier to wash if needed. We did see someone wearing Moitie – no shits given! The park is very clean but there are human and food accident possibilities or snags on rides so I usually wear something I don’t care about much.

In Tokyo Disney Resort there are two parks – Tokyo DisneyLand which is supposed to be a similar but smaller version of DisneyWorld in Orlando, and Tokyo DisneySea which is a Japan-only park (loosely) based on watery themes. Also you can drink alcohol in DisneySea so it’s definitely aimed at an older crowd.

Probably because of the alcohol thing I’ve been to DisneySea 4 times now but never Disneyland! Whenever my friends decide to go it seems to always be DisneySea. This time there was more Halloween stuff going on at DisneySea so I went again! I feel like an expert!

So here we go, onto the pics!

Are you ready for the spoop? This year’s Halloween theme is Disney Villians.

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On weekends there is a Starlight Passport which lets you into the park for a cheaper price from 3PM on. My friends decided to do that but I arrived early since I wanted to get a few rides in before my friends got there.

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The first thing I did was go to Journey to the Center of the Earth to get a Fast Pass. Despite all the times I’d been to DisneySea I’d never got to ride it (it’s closed a lot) so it was the first thing I did! After that I went on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which was pretty dopey, meh.

Then I had lunch! I liked the atmosphere of the Casbah Cafe so I went there again this time. They had a special Halloween themed set, but it seemed spicy and I am a baby so I didn’t get it.

Special set: “black” curry, red naan, spicy chicken wings and can’t unsee dessert vagina

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Instead I got beef curry, no spice, with a mango lassi! Baby curry❤ It wasn't very good but I didn't have high expectations.

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After that I went on some rides in the Arabian Zone or whatever it’s called, and then to Indiana Jones. That was quite silly and fun. I made use of the single rider line aka going into the Fast Pass line ahead of everyone!

I also made sure to have a dumb pose ready for photo time!

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It was almost 3 at this point so I went for a break at Magellan’s Lounge and had a coke float while I waited for my friends to arrive. It’s really relaxing in there!

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The inside decor is really cool too, look at this kooky painting.

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Found friend! Party time!

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Japanese people are really serious about the shows, so they grab spots way in advance and lay out plastic mats and park themselves down. We didn’t do that so we stood watching the Villians show. It was uhh… interesting. There are like 6 boats, each belonging to a Disney villian and have one other main character like Mickey and Minnie on board and everyone does this Halloweeny dance routine.

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After watching the performance it was time to chow down! We made our way toward Arabia zone (whatever) and found foods! Here is “Chandu’s Tail” (steamed bun with chicken cream filling) and maple balls with ice cream (kind of like a doughnut thing).

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Next stop on the food train: pumpkin churros! Stock photo~

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My photo~ It was really good! Would eat again!

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Everybody’s gettin churro crazy!

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We went on Indiana Jones again using the single rider line! Woo hoo! Again time for dumb poses, idk wtf is happening

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More snack! Spooky black breadstick with cheesecake and blueberry filling. Just stock pic of this one. Flavor: just ok, texture was kind of drywall-y. Would not eat again.

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We did a bit of shopping. The Mickey and Minnie vampire series was pretty cool.

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I didn’t want to impulse buy a lot of crap so I just got a postcard with this year’s Halloween design on it.

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AND this rad Maleficent receipt holder

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We wanted to waste time before the special Halloween fireworks show at 8:30, so we got some food at the New York deli restaurant. They too had a Halloween set. This shit makes no sense but ok – there is a chicken and potato salad sandwich, some cheese fries (with a paltry drizzle of cheese), a drink and randomly, a shot glass of octopus and ratatouille type salad. It’s supposed to be Captain Hook themed so thus the octopus? Confusing. I didn’t buy the optional lunch tote pictured.

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My photo.

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My friend bought this apple mousse thingy for Halloween that came with a take-home mug. This was soooo weird. It was like blue raspberry flavored goop – kind of looked like the colored goop they ate in Hook, and tasted like it would too. It was 100% artificial and chemically tasting. Maybe kids like it? Eech😛

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So ok, we finished eating and MOTHERFUCKERS CANCELLED THE FIREWORKS! Because of bad weather but it was perfectly clear! wtf! So mad!

We were planning to try to hit Tower of Terror but since the fireworks were cancelled everyone rushed the ride. Instead we rode Journey to the Center of the Earth (again for me). I really loved it! The first half is like a typical slow Disney thematic ride showing you interesting scenes and then turns into a roller coaster. I just wish it lasted a little longer.

On our way out I was finally tempted into buying a vampire Mr. Potato head popcorn holder because how could I not, right? You eat popcorn out of his head! We all succumbed to the allure of popcorn head and bought one.

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Leaving the park! Fun times!

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And finally here are some of the unfortunate things we missed~

Mickey candy coffin

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Cruella de Ville gyoza dog – I skipped this on purpose since the line was longgg

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I did want to try this, it was a Halloween special drink at the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge but there was a long line to get in. It’s a green apple cocktail inspired by the poison apple from Snow White. Too bad!

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That’s about it! If you want to catch Disney’s Halloween festivities they continue until November 1st!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

One Yukata Two Ways

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Hello! This summer was super gross and brutal, I hardly wore lolita at all! But I did dress up in wafuku a couple of times!

There is a vendor that goes to the corner of Harajuku where LaForet is and sells cheap kimono and wafuku on weekends. His stock is pretty bad quality, stains and moth holes and stuff, but it’s very cheap so if you don’t mind that. I got most of my main pieces from there, and also some smaller items at Chicago, a used clothing store with a couple of locations in Harajuku.

The yukata I bought is an all over print of very tiny tsubaki (camelia). I liked the darker colors and the retro feel and it was only 1000 yen❤ More modern yukata are typically black, pink, purple, and blue-type cooler and pastel shades so I went for something a bit different!

The first outing was a Taisho-era themed day with friends! We went to the Yayoi and Takehisa Yumeji Museums and then for cafe snacks afterwards! You can read more about the museum and what we saw here at my friend’s blog!

I really think mixing Western style clothing and accessories with vintage wafuku is a super cute look! I’ve always wanted to wear hakama – this was my first time and I loved it! They make walking around so much more comfortable and less restrictive than a yukata tube.

The final look I settled on reminds me a lot of if Anne of Green Gables came to Japan for a visit.

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We had a lot of fun making goofy poses together!

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The next time I tried wearing the yukata traditionally, but with a lots of different textures and a cat theme!

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Wearing wafuku was very fun but I still sweated a ton! I think I’ll try it again when it gets a bit cooler.

Thank you for reading!

Summer sales and closet child haul

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Finally I am getting down to business and posting haul pics! I went a little nuts this summer, mostly because I wanted to play the Jane Marple Atelier Sale RPG. The way you play is just buy a shitton of JM until you get invited to their atelier sale and then spend more! What a great game!

I didn’t think I’d end up buying much because spring/summer isn’t my favorite season – I’m a fall/winter person, but I got all wrapped up in the fun and ended up buying a lot.

I apologize for the photo quality – I wanted to take pics with a real camera to make the stuff look nice but I just took some phone pics quickly, so some of the colors are off.

The first level of this haul started at LaForet’s semiannual “Grand Bazar” sale. It usually happens around the last weekend in July for summer sales, and every day there are new deals and/or LPs. I went after work on Thursday, the first day of the sales.

I bought these navy blue wintery tights at Jane Marple with a gold glittery design.

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I also got some Metamorphose sailor socks and wacky pantaloons made with Secret Library fabric. Sadly, when I tried them on at home, the pants barely fit my waist and are way too tight in the calves so I’ll have to alter them somehow.

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Then that Saturday, I went back to LaForet for JM’s sample sale! Sample sales are fun because you never know what will pop up! Could be stuff from other seasons or things that have long sold out. You have to get there early because everyone starts lining up and you don’t want to be at the end of the line because all the rare stuff will be gone.

I had a goal in mind for that day – I wanted one of their white summer OPs. I had been looking for one in 2nd hand lolita/otome shops and in auctions but they don’t pop up much. I think those kinds of dresses are so cute and fresh, and also remind me of the movie Pollyanna.

So when I rushed into the sale, I zeroed in on the white dresses I saw and found two different styles! The sale is so crazy that you just grab whatever catches your eye and stuff it in your shopping bag and then look through it carefully later and dump what you don’t want. I was worried that the dresses wouldn’t fit (you can’t try anything on), so I bought both of them… plus some other stuff x_x

I decided I will keep this one:

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And sell this one:

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I also got this teacup print chiffon blouse from the Minton series! So happy with this!

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And I also picked up some stripy socks to go with the white OP – when I took them out of the package I found a cute detail surprise on the back!

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Then I thought I was done, but no, I was tempted to get these marine themed hair clips at the Innocent World sale. They were really cheap.

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Because I bought so much at the sample sale, I got an invite to the atelier sale. This is serious business. You have to go line up at their atelier, which is a random office building and sit on the steps outside the door, FOREVER. Everyone gets there early so if you aren’t hardcore, you just gettin scraps. The deals are awesome and waiting was worth it, even if I’m pretty sure some girls got heatstroke. They sell all kinds of fun stuff like display props, leftover fabric, sample shoes and bags, hatboxes, and of course tons of clothing.

Again, when the sale starts everyone rushes in and makes a mad grab for whatever they can find, but it wasn’t in a super aggressive way, and most people were smiling. I didn’t really see anything in the clothing zone that I wanted really badly so I went to the fabric and accessory area and looked around. Then I spent the next couple of hours creeping and stalking and trying to grab interesting stuff as other girls dumped it. It was really fun!

I ended up getting a package of fabric – they come in pre-packed sets. I can’t sew and I don’t have a sewing machine in Japan so I have no idea why I did that but now I can make a kawaii JM toga! The one on the right is cutsew fabric from the Royal Order series, and the rest is crappppp.

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The other big item I got was a dress from JM’s Dans Le Salon line, which is aimed at older girls/women and is a little bigger in size. It’s not that cute on the floor but it looks nice on, like a nice retro summery dress.

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The rest of my purchases were jewelry – everything was so cheap!

I already owned this necklace so I had to get the matching bracelet.
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Queen Elizabeth ring and fancy medallion with violin bridge dongle.

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Chess themed necklace and ring.

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That’s it from the JM sale! Here’s the last bit of stuff I picked up here and there.

Pale yellow cardi you can’t really see from a muggle store.

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Navy taobao looking shirt.

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I had a fully used up point card for Closet Child so I got a nice discount on these – they are Alice and the Pirates. They look useful for fall!

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And lastly, Emily Temple Cute jam jar stuff from Closet Child! First I found the necklace and then noticed the halter top, both for very cheap, so I thought I should keep them together even if my opportunities to wear a halter top are very few.

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And that concludes my decadent summer fun! I don’t think I will be buying anything major for a while. Thanks for reading!

Hotel Okura

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Time for something normal! I’m posting out of order because I wanted to share photos of this great 1960s hotel, Hotel Okura, before it is shut down and demolished at the end of August. If you like retro stuff and feeling that uncanny time-slippy feeling and have a chance to go explore there before it closes, I highly recommend it!

Hotel Okura Tokyo is located between Kamiyacho and Roppongi-itchome stations near the US Embassy and Ark Hills/Izumi Garden business complexes. It’s a super famous hotel that everyone in Japan knows about, and has hosted every American president since Nixon. It was built in 1962 in preparation for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, as were a great deal of sites in the Tokyo area. The 1964 Olympics were a chance for Japan to shine on the international stage and show off their recent economic development, so they went all out making Hotel Okura. The designers sought to make an elegant combo of East-meets-West – combine that with mid-century architecture and decor of the time, and you have a really unique flavor of hotel. I’m really sad to see it go. Of course to some it looks dated and worn, but all I can see is its retro appeal. If you would like to read more about the hotel, click here.

There have been some movements to save the hotel, like this petition, but the main issue is that the old building isn’t up to code for earthquakes, and retrofitting it with earthquake protection just isn’t that feasible. They’re going to replace the old hotel with a huge tower by 2019, just in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I guess we’ll have to see if they can keep the same feeling of charm.

My coworker told me about some of the aesthetic choices at the hotel. Everything was supposed to be low to the ground, like the lobby chairs and tables, to give everything that Japanese feeling. The female staff wore kimono and knelt down next to the tables, almost as if you were in a Japanese traditional ryokan. All of the art and Japanese objects were created by authentic artisans from around Japan. The inside of the hotel is all extremely gold and yellow tones – it’s a really interesting feeling!

We spent a while exploring most of the public areas of the hotel and taking pictures. Click on the pics to see large versions. Enjoy!

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Gold, gold and more gold!
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Umbrella jail.
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The famous lobby.
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World clock.
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So snazzy! I could chill here for a long time.
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The Orchid Room is their popular Western food restaurant. I ate lunch here earlier last month and it wasn’t very good to be honest, but just the whole atmosphere was very cool.
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Everything was so abandoned😦
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Awesome wall panels!
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There is a small shopping arcade in the bottom floor aimed at rich old ladies. Old lady shoes galore!
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There was also a restaurant and bakery down there. I really want a sandwich wheel now!
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Canned soups are a thing at Okura. And curry. I wanted to try one but I was pretty sure it would be disappointing, probably because of my Campbell’s Soup conditioning.
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I look wrecked but yay
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Photo of the lobby from the 2nd floor. The table arrangement is supposed to look like flower petals.
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I really enjoyed taking photos and getting to see it but afterwards I was so sad! I felt so sad for the hotel and all its awesome decor and artwork – what will happen to it? The hotel has so much flavor that it’s easy to anthropomorphize it and really feel bad. Just waiting out its last hot month in the summer sun until it finally faces the sad indignity of being smashed by bulldozers. Poor hotel-chan! T_T

Thank you for reading! The next post should be about all the stuff I bought in summer sales this year.

Nina’s Marie Antoinette Tea Set

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I would like to tell you about an interesting afternoon tea set I had last weekend. Some friends arranged a little tea party and I tagged along!

It was sponsored(?) by Nina’s Marie Antoinette Tea, a French brand of rose-scented tea, and held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at Roppongi Hills. The tea is meant to be served on the terrace at the French Kitchen Bar but it was rainy that day so we ate inside. The website says this tea set will be available until November but I wouldn’t trust that. Reservations recommended though they might not be so busy on a rainy day.

The price listed is 2800 yen, 3200 yen if you add rosé wine. Not a bad price for this kind of thing! The total price of the normal tea came to about 3500 yen with tax and tip.

When you enter you get a look at the cute menu. They wouldn’t let us take it home ;_;

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The restaurant is quirky! It had big bronze statues of mushrooms, a frog and this snail!

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The worst part is waiting patiently.

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I don’t have a whole lot of photos from the day. Here are some shots of everything together.

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A shot of my friend’s allergy-friendly plate.

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Now time for review! The savory items (there were 4) were DELICIOUS. That much delicious. I loved them all. The scones were awful. They were hard and tasted like margarine and way too overcooked so they were closer to cookies in texture than scones. Someone fucked up there.

The desserts were of varying quality so I’ll talk about them separately. I liked the special Marie Antoinette cake that they brought around on a separate cake dish. It was very old worldy tasting, almost like a fruit cake or Christmas pudding, with lots of dried fruit inside and spices. I could see how some people might not like it but I enjoyed it.

There was a strawberry macaron (not macaroon, please Grand Hyatt, your menu is paining me) which was really good. The marshmallows were strawberry flavored, I think, but they tasted like chemicals and lipstick, pretty bad. The strawberry short cake was good, though generic. At this point I was kind of done with strawberries to be honest. The cake of the day was mango mousse and was not good either. My friend said it tasted like shrimp. It was like they took the funky rotting tropical fruit flavor only from the mangoes and mixed it with cake. Mmm tropical funk shrimp cake~

For drinks, you could only have the Nina’s tea, which makes sense I guess, and they would only give you hot water refills, not fresh tea. I found this a little stingy, especially because even getting the guy to bring more hot water was a chore.

Service was ok, the guy was slow with some things, but they were very accommodating to my friend with allergies. All staff seem to speak English. So my overall impression of the service is about neutral.

Again I was sad there was almost no chocolate, save for the chips nestled in the scone-cookie-rock, but that’s my personal issue. I think it was a good value in general, but I wouldn’t go again just because of the scone travesty.

And finally, my outfit of the day! I bought a new otome dress recently from Leur Getter so I wanted to wear it! I really love vintage illustrations so this dress was perfect to me. The flowers look like hydrangea from far away but I believe they are violets.

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THIS JUST IN: Vintage clip art located! They totally just lifted this shit and spruced it up in Photoshop, wow.

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Thank you for reading! I hope you are having a kawaii rainy season!😛