Castle in the air…

That day when we were in Ipoh, after the heavy and hearty lunch, courtesy of the very amiable and generous Ipoh-blogger, Claire, we could not possibly eat anything else even though she insisted on taking us for some local desserts. In the end, we decided to do a bit of sightseeing and after the food had settled, we could go and hunt for some other nice things to eat.

That was how we ended up going to Kellie’s Castle with Ivan as our guide as Claire and Elin had to go back to the office. I went in Ivan’s car and led the way while Mandy with the rest of my entourage in her pick-up truck tailed us from behind. Probably Ivan and I were so engrossed in our chitchatting that we missed the left turn and ended up getting “lost” and had to turn back after a while. Eventually, we managed to get there…

Kellie's Castle 1

“It was intended to be the hub of social life for the area’s wealthy colonial planters and administrators – this grand mansion with a six-storey tower…

Kellie's Castle 2

…a wine cellar, stately columns, Moorish arches…

Kellie's Castle 3

…and walls embellished with Greco-Roman designs. But the building was never to be completed. Work halted in 1926 with the sudden demise of its owner, William Kellie-Smith.”

According the the brochure, Kellie was actually his mother’s name. Smith died of pneumonia at the age of 56 and his wife sold the estate and with the passing of time and the end of colonial rule, the castle soon faded to become a mere memory.

We had to pay RM4.00 to cross the bridge to the compound of the castle where there was this interesting tree – the Pokok Beruang (Bear tree)…

Bear Tree

The younger ones went to explore the castle and went all the way to the top…but not me! I just sat in the shade of the gazebo, enjoying the cool air, the  serenity and also the breathtaking scenery all around.

And of course, everyone was clicking away…capturing shots from all angles for remembrance. This one of me sleepwalking was taken with Ivan

Ivan and me

According to some, the spirit of Old Man Kellie still wanders around at the castle…but I am pretty sure it was not because of his ghost that it started to rain VERY heavily. In the end, we had to abort all plans of any further tours and head back to Sungai Petani.

Thus, on our brief visit, we did not get to eat any of the delicacies that Ipoh has to offer at all. Ain’t that simply tragic? LOL!!!

Made in India…

There is an Indian restaurant round the corner from Bali Bali in the Lagenda Heights vicinity in Sungai Petani. The name is the Chennai Curry House…

Chennai 1

I know that’s the name of a place in India but I had to google to find out that actually, it was originally called Madras. I was teaching Geography in the 70’s and 80’s when Mumbai was known as Bombay…and though my mum and aunties were crazy over Raj, Shammi and Shashi Kapoor…and others like Dev Anand or Joy Mukerjee or a very young Amitabh Bachchan, the name “Bollywood” was still non-existent then.

Anyway, to get back to this restaurant, the following evening after that day when we had our dinner at Bali Bali, we went to this place for the Indian cuisine there. I told my missus to try the banana leaf as she had never had that before in her entire life…

Chennai banana leaf

My daughter had the mutton bryani…

Chennai mutton bryani

…and her friend, Soleha, a very nice and sweet girl from Trengganu, had the naan chicken masala set…

Chennai naan chicken masala set

I opted for the lamb bryani in a claypot special (RM18 something)…

Chennai lamb bryani in claypot special

…which was served in a claypot with the lid sealed airtight using some kind of bread or dough…

Chennai dough or bread seal

All in all, it was a delightful meal and everyone enjoyed what they had ordered. My bryani was very fragrant and tasty…and the meat was very tender. It certainly was a more satisfying dinner than the one we had at Bali Bali and the bill, inclusive of drinks, came up to slightly over RM50.00 only.

After the dinner, we headed to the Secret Recipe outlet at the Village Mall nearby for cakes. Melissa and Soleha…

Melissa and Soleha

…shared a slice of their very popular Chocolate Indulgence while I had their Durian cake.

Then we went to the karaoke joint on the 2nd or 3rd floor of the mall for some karaoke singing…

Melissa & Soleha karaoke singing

They sang songs ranging from Miley Cyrus’ The Climb or Lady Gaga’s Just dance to Richie Blackmore’s Temple of the King or the Eagles’ One of these nights…and closed the evening with Jon Bon Jovi’s It’s my life.

It certainly was a night well spent and the next day, all of them had to go their separate ways – everyone to their respective state and home…until February next year when they would be meeting again to leave for Wellington, New Zealand for their 2nd year in their pursuit of a TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) degree.