8 novembre 2015 § 3 Commentaires
Left in abandon for decades, the City of Paris has decided in 2006 to renovate the space and transform it into a photography gallery. It is hard to believe that there is such place in this area: a children playground is facing the modern building and the surroundings are mostly kebab joints and clothing shops.
But most importantly, you will have to stop at the Bal’s Café as the food is really really.. awesome ! Two chefs, Alice Quillet and Anna Trattles are cooking british inspired dishes with lots of creativity. The week end brunch is quite popular here: pancakes, scones, bacon & eggs.. For cakes, they are the same sold at the coffee shop Ten Belles: pumpkin muffin topped with yogurt, crunchy cookie and the chocolate-raspberry tart.
Where? 6 Impasse de la Défense – 75018 Paris
1 novembre 2015 § 1 commentaire
Just near Christian Louboutin – the red sole shoe master, you can find Claus breakfast shop. I regularly go there to buy my Mini Magoo’s granola, the only place in Paris to sell them. They have coffee beans from Coutume, Christine Feber jams and a big choice of various product from tea to eggs, dedicated to the most important meal of the day.
Also on the take away menu: coffees, pastries, cakes & flowers.
Where? 15, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Paris 75001
27 septembre 2015 § Poster un commentaire
During this week end is the celebration of the Eid for muslims and also Chuseok 추석 or Hangawi 한가위 for Koreans, which is a three day celebration for a good harvest. The date is chosen according to the lunar calendar and changes every year. Koreans living in the cities return to their grandparents’ house and take time to visit the tombs of their ancestors.
The symbolic food eaten during Chuseok is the « Songpyeun » 송편, a rice cake filled with red bean paste, sesame seeds, sweetened with honey. Chocolate did not existed yet, the red bean paste was an excellent substitute before chocolate was introduced by the Americans. Songpyeun has the shape of a full moon and is perfumed with pin needles while they are steamed. They can be lightly colored with natural tints such as blueberry or carrot.
Next year Chuseok will be September 15th! I hope to be in South Korea to celebrate it with my family, I have not seen my cousins reunited all together for a while.
If you are interested in Korean culture, there is the exposition « KOREA NOW! Craft, design and fashion » held at les Arts Décoratifs until January 3rd, 2016. I have never seen so many beautiful korean pieces of pottery gathered in one place.
For those interested in fashion, you will see how South Koreans have changed the Hanbok for more contemporary and minimalist outfits inspired by designers like Juun J.
23 septembre 2015 § 5 Commentaires
Finding an authentic restaurant is the biggest challenge when you are visiting Venice and its surroundings. By « authentic » I mean a place without overpriced dishes and aimed only for hungry tourists.
On the menu, typical italian dishes such as Spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), seafood plate and if available an excellent risotto. Despite the absence of any particular decor, I appreciated eating comfort food in a family run osteria after over indulging myself with gelati.
Where? Campo San Bernado 1, Murano
18 septembre 2015 § 1 commentaire
When you order a coffee in Italy, you will be served an espresso, in those small cup. Italians take coffee very seriously, and there is a way to enjoy it appropriately. A good espresso should not be bitter and prepared with fresh beans. Also, « espresso » means fast, they usually drink it at the bar. One essential rule to know before you order: capuccino or other variations of coffee with milk should never be ordered after 11am. They are considered as a “meal” in themselves and only for breakfast with a pastry. A journalist from the Guardian asked Italians how they felt about Italian food in New York, and New Yorkers but also French are doing it all wrong, particularly for the capuccino which is often ordered during lunch or dinner. In Venice, locals were having for breakfast an espresso with a pastry standing at the bar. A caffé you have to go for mingling with locals and hear Italians chatting – definitely the most beautiful language – is Caffé del Doge. They have beans from everywhere around the world and propose a large selection of drinks and pastries. If you are with friends who do not drink coffee, they can choose between hot chocolate prepared with real cocoa, or tea.
I went for an espresso and a « mandorle torte », which is almond tart. Italy is the country of Hazelnuts and Almonds, so eat them all while you are here! There were also my favorite pain au chocolat but it did not look as good as my delicious slice of mandorle pie. For a good start every morning, I would definitely adopt the Italian breakfast!
Where? Really close to the Rialto bridge, Calle Cinque, San Paolo
15 septembre 2015 § 1 commentaire
Venice has always appeared in my imagination as a city where couples gather for a romantic ride on the beautiful gondola. For sure tourists presence is pervasive, although I did not find it very different from Paris, which is as you know the most visited destination in the world. If you get away from the Rialto and the historic Piazza San Marco, an intimate view of the City on Water will appear. Narrow, short streets leading to dead ends, Venice will become more and more mysterious as you will keep on trying to shed lights on its secrets. Before your journey, I recommend you to read Death in Venice, a classic novella written by the German author Thomas Mann to help you familiarize with its history and architecture.
It was a challenge to find decent places. Literally all the restaurants have menus written in 5 different languages, and owners changing like musical chairs do not help maintain Venice as a destination for quality food. Addresses indicated in city guides are often out-of-date at the time you will visit them. Fortunately some places have still kept their authenticity and will remind you how italian food can be delicious. You can book in advance and head to Michelin star restaurants for a unique culinary experience or choose like I did to nibble on cicchetti with « Spritz e Ombre de vin ».
I visited Palazzo Grassi and Peggy Guggenheim’s collection located inside Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, both presenting contemporary artists work. An article on Museeum.net can be found soon about the Palazzo Grassi café.
- Other islands: Murano and Burano
These two little gems should not be forgotten if you have time to visit these islands. They can be easily reached by Vaporetto and will require a full day visit. Murano, only 1,5km distant from Venice is reknown for glass making. If you want to bring back quality hand crafted gifts, Murano is full of shops selling various items made of glass.
Burano, further in the north to Venice is the most colorful and liveliest island in Italy. The colors of the houses are not randomly chosen as the owners must ask for permission to the government who checks if the colors are matching with the neighbours’ houses.
And some other pictures.. :