Monthly Archives: May 2012

Beautiful Cakes at Beauty Cakes in Paris

Beauty cakes est une des très rares bonnes adresses de cupcakes à Paris. Il existe une multitude de parfums originaux, pas que des parfums classiques. J’ai du mal à choisir mon parfum à chaque fois que j’y vais.

Le salon est très fille et en plus il se trouve au beau milieu d’un des plus cools quartiers de Paris (là ou j’habite, j’ai de la chance!). Dans la même rue il y a beaucoup de petits magasins charmants donc Madame Chose.  N’hésitez donc pas à faire un petit détour pour regarder un peu autour.

Accompagné d’un café nespresso ou un thé de Ksumi, c’est encore meilleur. C’est aussi très child-friendly, j’ai déjà invité la petite sœur de J qui a 10 ans ici pour faire un gouter.

Meg est super fan aussi.

J’aime leur vaisselle toute en originalité et en liberty de la marque Green Gate.
NB: Il est possible d’acheter de la vaisselle chez Beauty Cakes.

La deco kitsch à souhait!

Behind the scenes.

Ils font des cookies supers maintenant à €2. J’ai vraiment adoré celui au caramel au beurre salé. Oh nom nom

Who could resist?
Ce qui est très important pour moi c’est des cupcakes pas secs! La texture est moelleuse comme il faut. Le tout donne un très bon cupcake, et en plus ils sont jolis comme tout, super bien décorés.

L’atout majeur de cette adresse, c’est que les cupcakes ne sont pas recouverts d’une tonne de crème au beurre très lourde, souvent trop sucrée, trop grasse et au finale très écœurante. On n’a pas du tout l’impression d’avoir trop mangé en sortant de chez Beauty Cakes.

Des brownies aux noix.

Des cupcakes salés.

Gingerbread men

Quelle bonne idée tout en restant dans le thème de la “cuisine”.

Je suis comme une gosse à Noël dans cet endroit.

N’oubliez pas, on peut faire des cours chez Beauty Cakes!
En plus, Ruthy est devenue une copine pour moi, elle est vraiment super! Merci Ruthy.

xxx

An artist has no home except in Paris

I was so lucky to have been given the chance to visit this gorgeous apartment in Paris. It really feels like an apartment that is home to well-traveled people. There are objects and artifacts from all over the world, of all different religions which makes the overall style very eclectic.

This bookcase was custom made for the apartment.

Their balcony proves that you don’t need an actual garden to have a garden! This has given me lots of ideas for my mini balcony in Paris… I need flowers in my home to feel grounded. They even have an olive tree peering down on the Parisian streets.

Pansies and forget-me-nots.

This is such an original item to have in an apartment. The industrial look next to the orchids is perfect. The artwork is done by an artist called Noart, he uses old materials to make new pieces of art.

The fig tree adds a shady feel without blocking out the light

I love this picture of Marilyn Monroe by Peter Beard. What I would do for one of those!

More orchids. The delicate, exotic and graceful orchid represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. In ancient Greece, orchids were associated with virility. In fact, Greek women believed that if the father of their unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers, the baby would be a boy. If the mother ate small orchid tubers, she would give birth to a girl.

During the Victorian era, orchid symbolism shifted to luxury, and today this sense of magnificence and artful splendor continues, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty. The 14th wedding anniversary flower, pink orchids convey pure affection, and the popular cattelya orchid represents mature charm.

J’s dad recently gave me two new orchids for our renovated apartment, one of them a rare minature variety. I will post photos of these soon.

I just love this Buddha. He is so peaceful.

For the chilly nights in winter, this fireplace would work wonders.

I think it’s great when there is lots of artwork in a small space because it gives it a more “homey” feel rather than a gallery vibe. Artwork by Druillet.

Mixes of modern and old.

Chinese vase, very pretty colours

I love that all these very different pieces of art are thrown in together. A beautiful disarray, what a home that is lived in should be.

Earrings from Kenya.

And, my favourite, good old Ganesha. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles. Ganesha is a highly symbolic deity for Hindus. The head of Ganesha represents the Atman (the soul or ultimate reality), while his body signifies the world and earthly realm of human beings. The elephant trunk had the symbol of OM on it, which is the primal sound and symbol of the Universal reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha’s left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse. What a man!

Can you tell that I really like Ganesha? I have a huge Ganesha that J got for me in India that we hauled back to France and he’s got so much charm!

I am so glad to have been able to visit this lovely home. What inspiration. Thoughts on the deco?

xxx bon jeudi!!

Heat wave and reunions

Finally, it is smoking hot in Paris. I have pulled out my clogs, sunnies, cotton tops. It’s not a lie, the Parisians get nicer when the sun is out too.

To make things even better, these next coming weeks will be filled with happy reunions with Australian friends. I was so grateful to see a highschool friend Nat (starring below) to catch up on life and to get a piece of home for a few days.

Tonight, lovely Em arrives for two weeks and next week a good friend Mandy and then the following weeks some fellas from Melbourne will be here to cut up a rug (I am yet to break it to them that I don’t have as much stamina to party as I did when I was 18).

The sun makes everything so great.

Coronas with lime in the sun certainly make me smile.

I have been eyeing off this rooftop garden/apartment that is within walking distance from out place. Do they realise how lucky they are? I wish I had access to take some photos.

More photos on this great café to come. I am discovering the wonders in my area.

Natty liked it too!

Vintage deco gives it so much charm.

White wine and tapas.

In the gardens of where I work (I know, lucky me!). When in Paris be sure to visit Hôtel Dieu just next to Notre Dame.

I adore my Karen Walker sunglasses that I got here.

Sun and friends make me happy!

What are your plans for Summer? I am going to Budapest and Istanbul.

xxx

Brunch un dimanche

Un brunch est un type de repas qui se prend entre la fin de la matinée et le début de l’après-midi (entre 11 h et 15 h environ) et qui combine des plats et boissons typiques des premier et second repas de la journée.  Le terme brunch est un mot-valise anglais.

Franchement, il n’y a rien de mieux. On mange trop bien.

En plus, on a pas besoin de se lever tôt. On se donne rdv à 11h30, on peut encore faire la grasse matinée. Si l’on sait qu’un bon repas nous attend, on peut facilement traverser tout Paris! (Moi oui, en tout cas). Enfin l’été est arrivé, sortez donc vos jupettes et lunettes de soleil car c’est la saison du brunch!

Savourez !

où sommes-nous allées? Au Manfred.
1 rue Réaumur
75003 Paris
Quartier: Rambuteau- Arts & Métiers

De l’extérieur, il ne paye pas de mine mais l’intérieur est super sympa, design sans être agaçant, et vraiment plaisant. La serveuse était super agréable et nous a tout expliqué!

Et voici Lucie!

Marjo

miammm … coffee time! I was in heaven.

Les filles!

Je suis super fan des bagels, je me suis régalée. Le pain n’était pas de super qualité mais le reste était frais. Le jus d’orange a été fraîchement pressé.

Les confitures fait maison.

Cet endroit est juste à côté d’Arts et Métiers. J’adore cette station elle est tellement originale.

Happy brunching! x

A day in London Town

The charm of London.

 Like an English gentleman who tips his hats and opens doors, the city is just as charming despite the cold weather. HOWEVER, this time it was not at all cold, it was sunny, joyful and not as I remember it from the last times I have visited the “Motherland” (being an Australian and all with my convict heritage… joke)
London may be home to the Royal family and the rituals, processions, and other trappings of the monarchy, but many charms await the traveler. It is quaint and interesting. Despite having the reputation of being pompus and old-fashioned, I find that London has a more liberal feeling than Paris. People dress as they like, you hear a lot more exotic and foreign accents than you do in Paris and there is a bigger array of restaurants serving cuisines from far flung places.

I had to include a picture of a very English looking pub!

We stumbled across this interesting-looking restaurant below and decided to stop here for food.It was great!

Albannach Restaurant and Whisky
66 Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DS

The hunter-meets-interior-designer deco made it aesthetically interesting.

J looking mighty fine.

J had a burger (what a surprise). The only downfall of Albannach is that you can’t have your meat rare or medium-rare for safety purposes. For meat-lovers who like their meet very pink, like J, this is a bit of a let-down but apart from that the burger was great. The pickels were wonderful!

I couldn’t deny my Anglosaxon-ness and indulged in the Fish & Chips. It’d been a long time since I had dreamed of this. The batter was a tad oily but after a night of champagne at the wedding this did me some good! The mashed peas were delish and the fish very fresh. The tartare sauce was not the same as tartare sauce in France, there was a bigger ratio of dill to cream. We all know the French are more subtle in their seasonings. That said, it was great because the fish was mild, so there were no taste overloads.

Quirky London. We didn’t take the book but admired that people still do this despite the technologically dominated world we live in. Keep reading books, folks!

I bought the little green watering can to put flowers in at home.

For Afternoon Tea we came here:
Bill’s
13 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, WC2E 9AB

Really warm service. It is run by the Australian chef Bill Granger, so I felt right at home with the menu.

In Convent Garden there is a lack of all-purpose cafés that do all things well: an early breakfast, a quick lunch, an afternoon coffee or a more substantial dinner (Bill’s serves booze too). The list of cakes was overwhelming, they had everything I miss in Paris (pavlova, carrot cake, scones, doughnuts).

More indulgence. Some English scones and clotted cream… mmm

You can even buy Bill’s products. I would have loved to have purchased a few of these for my kitchen supplies!

Bye bye London, until next time…

xxxx

a DIY wedding in the pretty English countryside

Now join hands, and with your hands your hearts.
-
William Shakespeare

She is a singer, he a songwriter. (isn’t that perfect?)
She, English, he, Australian, met in the French Alps in the ski season. Their love blossomed from there and now the rest is history.

They are now married.

The day was absolutely lovely. They were both glowing all day long and exchanged adorable smitten looks with each other while they said their vows.

I was blown away at the cuteness of this wedding and the fact that it was pretty much all DIY. Genius!

The wedding took place in Oakham Castle. It was constructed between 1180 and 1190, in the reign of Henry II. The Castle is well known for its collection of massive horseshoes and is also recognised as one of the best examples of domestic Norman architecture in England.

The weather was simply divine, we couldn’t have been more lucky!

Everything about the venue was quaint, pretty and oh-so-English.

Two hundred and thirty horseshoes currently decorate the walls of Oakham Castle. It is thought that this tradition is linked to the ‘de Ferrers’ family name. Ferrier was the Norman French word for farrier and the horseshoe has been a symbol of the de Ferrers family since Henry de Ferrers arrived in England in 1066.
Said simply, each time Royalty stopped by in this village, a horseshoe was mounted in their honor.

The oldest surviving horseshoe in the collection is one that was presented by Edward IV in 1470 after his victory at the Battle of Losecoat Field. The newest addition to the collection is the horseshoe presented by Princess Alexandra in 2005.

Isn’t that incredible?

Here she comes…

The bridesmaides were dressed in yellow, it suited the Spring weather so well

My dear friend Brooke flew all the way from Australia for the wedding

They are glowing!

The family.

J and I all dolled up.

And off to the reception….

There was such attention to detail. Mary and David had found an antique key for each guest. They were on a little table at the entrance of the reception so that we had the “key” to our table. We were on the Bon Jovi table (must be because of Dave and his love for rock music).

Even the cake was DIY

The first dance.

We stayed in a gorgeous house just down the road from where the reception took place. It was so refreshing to wake up and see this outside of our window.

And back to Paris we go…

Each guest was even given a cupcake to take away for their journey home.

Congratulations, friends, I wish you a long and happy life together… xxxx

You’re the frosting to my cupcake

La propriétaire de ce salon de thé style années 50, Ruthy, est charmante et chaleureuse. Mon J a acheté un appartement dans le 17 près des Batignolles, ce qui est super pratique pour moi vers 16h quand je me rends compte que j’ai envie d’un cupcake tout mignon!

Qu’est-ce un cupcake? Nom donné en Grande Bretagne et aux USA aux petits gâteaux cuits dans un moule en forme de tasse ou dans une caissette en papier. Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson (p. 234)

A force de les voir défiler dans les séries anglo-saxonnes, d’entendre parler,on a envie d’avoir les mêmes dans notre four, on a envie d’avoir les accessoires dans nos tiroirs qu’il nous faut pour faire un glaçage parfait.

Ces petits gâteaux que les mamans décorent avec amour pour les fêtes de leurs bambins dans les pays anglophones est maintenant à la mode en France. They may be small, but boy are they tasty!

Les préparer ? Aucune idée? Ce n’est pas grave, Ruthy peut vous montrer!
Paillettes comestibles? décorations? tablier? Arrêtez de trouver des excuses, Ruthy est équipée, il reste qu’à vous inscrire.

En avril, j’ai fait ce fameux cour de cupcake avec mes copines, dont l’une Meg. (photo ci-dessous).


Le cupcake Pistache au cœur de framboise, le cupcake préféré de Meg!


Sa cuisine toute équipée pour le cour!

Mes 6 cupcakes! J’en étais très fière!

Informations pratiques:
€40 par personne all included et vous partez avec vos 6 apprentice beauty cakes! They sure are beauties! Les participants apprennent à faire une recette de À à Z, c’est ça qui est super!

83 rue Nollet, 75017 Paris
M° Brochant

Contactez Ruthy: contact@beautycakes.fr
09 81 65 45 61

Régalez-vous! xx

The Old World Charm of Pondicherry

புதுச்சேரி- Pondicherry


(he parked anyway!)

India- Land of the Ved

Pondicherry was one of my favourite destinations in India. Maybe it was the fact that we met my brother there and it felt like a wild adventure, but something about this place really got me.

Pondicherry is situated along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is known for its palm fringed beaches, mosques, French influence and the Aurobindo Ashram movement. It was a former French colony, which accounts for the incredible Old World Charm, as though you were taking part in one of the Tintin adventures. Colonialism is just oozing out of the walls. It made me really understand it. It’s like seeing India through a French lense, glammed up, boho, where you can still buy great finds that “work” in the West.

When we arrived in Pondicherry from Chennai (one of the most hectic and stressful experiences in my lifetime) we felt an extreme sense of relief. For an Indian city, Pondi is small. Around one million people live there, and the streets are organised in a way that make the city feel more orderly than, say, Chennai.

The 3-4 story bungalo-style concrete houses are painted in every colour you can imagine, the kind you can see in many parts of India, where the “common folk” like. However, just next to the Bay of Bangal there is a drastic change in the urban landscape. Tiled rooftops, wooden shutters, balconies (as you would find them in Paris), colonnades, comfortably wide streets and pretty pastel Catholic churches. This, my friends, is the old French influence, la Ville Blanche, where the colonists once lived.

To celebrate being reunited with my brother, we ate here at Hôtel de l’Orient (former 18th Century Education Department that was reopened as the 16-room mansion). The service was French-spoken, the menu was in French, the maître d’hôtel was a French matron who kept a quiet eye on the French-speaking Indian men waiting the tables. The service was certainly not Indian, it was even too polished to be French. I have no idea what it was, but I suppose we could say that it was colonial. There was Sapphire gin on the menu, and surprisingly Indian wine (incredible, given the French’s lack of recognition for any wine apart from that which is produced from the terroir de France). The antiques that decorated the Hôtel were dazzling, and as we sipped on our Indian red, a live jazz band in the courtyard serenaded us into the warm Indian night.

Apart from playing the flâneur and perusing the streets, in Pondi, you must spend money. Yes, don’t get me wrong, I felt a spiritual awakening (despite not being able to bring myself to walk around clad in the traditional saris), I also felt an extreme urge to spend money. Pondicherry is like the Anthropologie  of India. It is shabby-chic and there are a plethora of hidden antiques shops that sell furniture and Indian God statues from the times of Colonialism.

To be cynical, and if I were really mad about post-colonial theory, I would go so far as to say that the current (sometimes superficial, but oh-so-attractive) Frenchifying of Pondi, cultivating this wonderfully boho and romantic city, is a subtle revenge on the old colonizers. What could be better than passively getting revenge and setting straight the misconduct of the past by pulling at the heartstrings of nostalgic Gauls dressed (sorry, I have to say this, ridiculouly) in colourful saris spending exhubérant amounts of money? Hanuman, the cheeky monkey God (one of the Gods in the Ramayana) sure would be proud.

That said, it is just too great to be a façade, too beautiful to be artificial. It was my first love in India and I cannot wait to be back there again in December to reunite with my beloved family.

To sum up my love for India, a quote by Will Durant:
“India was the mother of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. She was the mother of our philosophy, mother through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics, mother through Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity, mother through village communities of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.”

Pondicherry, not a lot to see, but a lot to feel. Sound cheesy? Yes, but true.

Se marrer dans le Marais

Le Marais est l’un des quartiers de Paris qui a su conserver au fil du temps son charme pittoresque. Quand je suis dans le Marais, j’ai vraiment l’impression d’être dans un documentaire. Il y a tellement d’histoire, et nous pouvons sentir que les choses incroyables se sont passées dans ces rues pavées.

Malgré le côté historique, on peut faire du shopping et se régaler avec la cuisine juive et en mangent des gâteaux à tomber par terre!

J’ai vu quelques chers amis, et même ceux qui sont de Paris (et non pas de l’étranger comme moi!) sont enchantés de cet arrondissement!

Le Marais est vraiment un petit miracle dans Paris. C’est l’endroit pour sortir, se cultiver ou flâner à Paris.

Bonnes adresses dans le Marais:

Feel like a bagel? Or generous slice of cheesecake?
You can pick all the fillings you wish to put inside that incredibly fresh bagel
at the corner of Rue des Rosiers and Rue des Ecouffes
(Might I add, friendly service too!)
Thanks to my Aussie buddies Julz and Sarah for making it even nicer!

Got a sweet tooth? (you’ll need a huge one!) Don’t mind waiting 10 minutes in line for a table? Le Loir dans la Théière is the perfect Alice in Wonderland destination for you 4 o’clock sugar craving!
3, Rue des Rosiers – 75004 Paris

What a great Saturday!

xx

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck

Il n’y a rien de plus beau que de voir un fleuriste au printemps. Paris est connu pour les fleuristes merveilleux, mais ce fleuriste a vraiment attiré mon attention ce dimanche matin en allant au brunch avec mes copines.

Il y avait tellement de différentes nuances de rose ,de pastels, et toutes les fleurs avaient des textures différentes- ce qui a donné la boutique tant de dynamisme.

Pendant cinq minutes, en prenant ces photos, j’ai même pu oublier que j’étais dans une grande ville comme Paris.

En plus, ce qui est toujours agréable à Paris, il y avait un bon feeling au niveau du customer service!

Envie de gâter votre maman chérie et de lui dire combien vous l’aimez pour la Fête des Mères ? De donner du piquant et de la couleur à votre intérieur ? Ne cherchez pas plus longtemps et laissez-vous enivrer par le doux parfum des Sylvine fleurs, 98 rue Beaubourg, 75003, Paris
01 42 71 31 35
sylviefleurs@orange.fr

Bonne soirée à tous et à toutes!