Monday, August 30, 2010

My inspiration of this past week end

I'm still too shy to stop people in the streets in Granada and take a picture of them
Last saturday, an elderly man passed by me and I wanted so badly to make a portrait of him

He wore classical trousers, a white shirt and a hat. And the detail which I so loved
was a miniature bouquet of fresh aromatics herbs in his breast pocket

Such a great idea ! so refreshing in every sense

But then anyway, I didn't have my camera with me,
so instead I asked Monchéri to dress like this elderly man

Monchéri told me it used to be the fashion for men in the country side
to wear herbs in their breast pocket

And I say, let's revive this fashion !

edit to post
: talking about style, may I recommend you the very luminous blog Advanced Style

pics : me

Friday, August 27, 2010

In the mood for sweet whites

I've just finished reading Françoise Pitt-Rivers' exciting biography of
Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun, the official portraitist of Marie-Antoinette and her court.

Encouraged by her father, Elizabeth started to paint at a very young age
and was incredibly gifted in her art of portrait.
She soon won the favour of the Queen without of course creating some jealousy....

Her destiny was like her - unique - she fled from France during the Revolution,
was welcome with the same enthusiasm in all the foreign courts,
Italy, Russia, Austria, England
where she never ceased to be active as a portraitist.

I realize I should at least post one of her famous self-portraits here
but the vivid description of her cherished dinner parties, tableaux vivants and poetry gatherings
inspired me rather to post sweet delicate desserts

and as you can see, I lived so much in my book that I wanted to be pre-romantic too !

Have the sweetest week end !

pics :

#1 Jean-Claude Amiel for Côté Maison
#2 Valérie Lhomme for Côté Maison
#3 Valérie Lhomme for Côté Maison
#4 Marie Clérin for Côté Maison
#5 Monchéri

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dinner in Madrid at Bazaar

Since I discovered Spanish interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, in AD magazine (issue of march 2009),
I want to see all the places prettily dressed up by him and his team Contemporain Studio

Bazaar in Madrid is in the trendy gay district of Chueca.

I like its immaculate ambiance, the soft lighting and the neat bazaar look with its orderly shelves and rows of packages.

The photo above is the only one I could take because
I got immediately told by a waiter that sorry, but no photo allowed
what a shame....

in fact, I was so tempted to take a picture of some of the packagings

I have a weakness for packaging and a really good aesthetic tag !

Now about our meal, food was good but our dinner there would have been
more pleasant if the staff could smile from time to time

I wish somebody would explain to me
why in some trendy places waiters feel obliged to look sullen and be unpleasant ?

But I've decided not to let myself undeterred by that

I even managed to make our waitress smile
while ordering dessert, with my stupid questions

We were placed downstairs where I could have a closer look at the items on the shelves.

so clean...

do they dust them every day ?

Here is the upstairs

less interesting for me

While browsing on Lázaro Rosa-Violán's website, I saw this other restaurant
designed by him, La Polpa in Barcelona
where he declined the same immaculate bazaar theme

This is the designer's home where he also works with his team

Oh la la....I could work in his living room every day !

And a portrait of the designer

first pic : me
other pics : from Lázaro Rosa-Violán website

Bazaar restaurant
calle Libertad 21

Monday, August 23, 2010


On our way back From Portugal, we stopped in Madrid for one day,
the time for a quick visit to Museum Reina Sofia.

Madrid in summer is insufferably stifling.....
so it was very refreshing to pass by the green wall French botanist Patrick Blanc
designed for the CaixaForum building

Patrick Blanc is the amazing designer of vertical gardens which cover walls of buildings, hotels and shopping centers, all over the world

And he obviously likes green all over !

Bravo Patrick !

pics :
first 2 pics, me
last pic on Google

Friday, August 20, 2010

The nice bar on the road

It is still a bit hot to walk from the village up to Nigüelas,
but it's worth it as you will find a very nice place on the road
where to stop and have a refreshment
There's a hammock if you feel like having a little siesta

We walked up there that day, but horse carriage is nice too....

Have a wonderful week end !

pics : me

Bar Osa Mayor (down the stairs)
Restaurant Atalayi (upstairs)
on the old road going up to Nigüelas

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Childhood memory

My sister's email inspired my post today.
She said she made a quick visit to Aix-en-Provence,
went to our former school and of course bought some calissons,
these lozenge-shaped exquisite sweets made with almonds and sugared melons. Lucky girl !
Me, I have a box at home but it is sadly empty.
I keep it for the souvenir and nostalgia of sweet childhood days.
I also discovered that French pastry makers Philippe Conticini and Angelo Muso
created a cake based on the calisson for their Pâtisserie des Rêves in Paris.
It has the same shape as a calisson and tastes like one but it is an individual cake.
Now I have to go to Paris to taste it....

Tell you know the calissons d'Aix ?

pics :
#1 me
#2 Bernard Touillon pour Côté Sud

La Pâtisserie des Rêves
96, rue du Bac
75007 Paris

Monday, August 16, 2010

The little joys of the roof terrace and a sardines party

Sometimes I just need a stimuli to make me work faster on home projects like...
the roof terrace for instance....
ah yes...the roof terrace and the vision I had of pale pink and green cushions you remember ?
well, last week I had the idea that inviting my friends over for a casual sardines party on the roof terrace last saturday night would spur me to at last materialize my vision
oh it did help me...except that it skipped my mind that Monchéri and I had to transport
2 Morrocan beds (called sidali - a very thick mattress - perfect for that use)
through the very tiny metal spiral staircase leading to the roof terrace
plus little tables, plus a cupboard to place all things necessary to dine
in fact, plus zillions of things
On thursday night, I was still sewing some cushion covers - the pink ones above -
On friday I prepared the lemon custard for the mini lemon meringue pies I had planned for 10 persons. I missed one step and it went wrong and had to do it again.
That's the reason why you didn't see me on the blog....
I also finished painting the pots in blue while Monchéri, full of zen and solicitude
was making an orange and almond cake
On saturday morning, I picked up 4 kilos of sardines at the fishmonger
bought more beach mats to place on the floor and some glass marbles
to make them stay flat....
Then mounted the lemon meringue pies, made an olive cake, a big pan of ratatouille,
and a Salade Niçoise
alas....there is no pic of before or during the party
because I was much too busy !
I took this pic last night
There were some sardines and a loaf of bread (still in its casual dinner jacket) left
so we had an intimate barbecue
bread, sardines and rosé wine
under the Andalusian sky.... is good sometimes...

I forgot to say....among the leftovers were also 2 lemon meringue tartlets...
ok...I confess it was premeditated, I had made 12 and we were 10
and in the end...well they just stayed in the fridge...hum...
This morning I rushed up to the roof terrace to see if everything was all there...
You never know...a gust of wind..hungry cats
But yes, the pots were still there
the cushions were still inviting
I had my breakfast inventing my summer life on the roof terrace
with more barbecue parties, couscous parties, mojito parties, mint tea parties in the afternoon.....until one day the summer comes to its end

pics : me

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lunch in Sintra

When we spotted its tiny tiny terrace, and inviting tables covered with white cloth
we knew it was our place

Restaurant Tacho Real in Sintra
is one of my best foodie souvenir inPortugal

You will be proposed the typical aperitivo
called the "couvert"
(which will then be discreetly charged on your bill but you can also refuse the aperitivo)
Inside is quiet and cool
With promising moments
Very promising moments....
And me, tonight at exactly 10.41pm,
well, I'm simply dreaming of this very tender octopus

pics : me

Monday, August 9, 2010

Romantic Sintra

40 mn away by train from Lisboa is the magical Sintra.
We were quite vanquished by the heat when we were there
and couldn't visit all its palaces except the so romantic Palacio da Pena

All is beautiful in Sintra even the post office.....

edit to post on tuesday :

What a joy this morning to find out I have been featured on the very sunny blog of Lau de Casalil for Marie-Claire Maison. Lau celebrates the sun, the south, her cherished Provence and colorful brocantes. Merci de tout coeur Lau for this lovely wink !

pics : me

Friday, August 6, 2010

The other blue dress

I'm an incorrigible girlie girl.
When comes summer, suddenly I crave for a new piece of froufrou
and after having shown you my blue African dress
here is the other blue dress I wore on our little trip to Portugal
(3€ at our village market...oui oui)

Monchéri took this pic of me in Sintra
which reminds me I still have to show you pictures of this amazing place

but for now, I'm concentrated on the little pasteis Belem.
This is my goal this week end : to make those delicious custard tarts
or at least try !

Have a delightful and happy blue week end !!

pic : Monchéri

at Palacio da Pena in Sintra

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lisbon is cool

oh sorry....wednesday saw me busy, sweaty and in the end too lazy to blog !

...but let's go back to Lisbon and some of its coolest places...

one morning, we discovered the Museum do design e da moda
where a very cool exhibition of scooters and fashion was presented on the first floor.

As usual one is not allowed to take pictures but the scenery was much too tempting!
The museum opened its doors in may 2009 in the former building of a bank.

There is another design museum in Lisbon near the Belem tower, but the queue was much too long...we'll leave it to the next visit....hopefully...
Vintage toujours in A outra face da lua
which combines a vintage clothing shop and a nice little café

If you love sardins and packaging like me
then you can't miss this old charming shop
Conserveira de Lisboa
which opened its doors in 1930
Too cute!

When the evening comes, Lisbon is a very happy madame
with plenty of interesting propositions
My favorite is definitely Chapitô near Castelo de sao Jorge

Chapitô is a cultural cooperative, with a circus school
and also organizes concerts on its premises.
Now the great part is, added to that,
there is a big terrace where you can order food and drinks called the Esplanade

and then upstairs is the restaurant called Restô
where I could have easily spent every night
We went there twice
The food is gorgeous, the waitresses too
(and smiling)
The views on Lisboa are superb....
Well, yes I was completely charmed by that place
After dinner, another funny place to go is
the Pavilhao Chines which
I discovered on my first visit to Lisboa many years ago

It's the fantasy world of a Lisboet man
who transformed an old haberdashery into a night bar

Its rooms are filled to the brim of collections of toys, hats, curiosities
The cocktail menu is never ending and you can also order sushi if you want
So wouldn't you say Lisbon is cool ?

pics : me

Adresses :

Museu do design e da moda
Rua Augusta 24

vintage shop and café : A outra face da Lua
rua da Assunçao 22
barrio Baixa

Conserveira de Lisboa
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros
(there is no number but it's right at the entrance of the street)
for restaurant, it's better to reserve, especially in summer : 218 867 334

Rua da Costa do Castelo
(better take a cab as it's a bit complicated)

Pavilhao Chines
Rua dom Pedro V, 89
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