Archive for the ‘places’ Category

getty villa: an album

July 18, 2012

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happy friday

March 23, 2012

my man and i are headed to Palm Springs this weekend for some much needed r&r and a little vintage tiki action courtesy of the recently renovated Caliente Tropics Hotel.

may your own weekend be equally as pimp.

this is how we do

October 24, 2011

husband’s friend: “how was Paris?”

husband: “it was awesome.”

husband’s friend: “did you eat the sh*t out of that place?”

yes. yes we did. here, in no particular order, are some of our more memorable eats (and drinks):

1. Select Cafe

maybe it’s because it was our first night in town. maybe it’s because of the pleasant conversation we had with the man dining alone beside us. maybe it’s because the steak frites was exactly what i needed for my first dinner in Paris. either way, this unassuming and yummy little Montmartre brasserie on the Rue des Martyrs was the perfect way to kick off our gluttonous rampage through the city.

2. Le Miroir

an understated Montmartre bistro with delicious wines and a three course pre-fixe that makes it easy to see why this place is a local favorite. their boutique wine shop across the street is another must, crammed full of organic and small-batch varietals, and a knowledgeable proprietor who delights in delving into the particular pedigree of each bottle.

3. La Part des Anges

sometimes you just know. we passed by this small Montmartre eatery every night of our first week. and every night its ten cozy tables were packed with a crowd of easy going locals casually conversing over well-sated bellies. online reviews confirmed my suspicions: this was the place for our final Montmartre dinner. the heart-y duck and veal stews and wines by the glass (the chateau st. martin bronzinelle was a delicious discovery) hit the spot, as did the accompanying convivial vibe.

4. La Boulangerie

if it weren’t for a gregarious and stylish shopkeeper by the name of Isabelle we would have never known about this wonderful french bistro in the heart of the 20th arrondissement. sure, it’s a trek if you’re staying anywhere remotely central. but the tango of delicate and robust flavors and deliciously long whiskey menu that await will have you wrapped up in a blanket of warm fuzzy so quickly, you’ll forget all about those three metro transfers.

5. La Grande Epicerie de Paris

well, i’ll put it this way: if we had never discovered this upscale and ridiculously stocked urban fare market in the ground floor of Le Bon Marche, our wallets would have been the better for it. but what fun would that have been? plus, there’s no better place to gather the ingredients for a perfect lunch in the park.

6. The Hemingway Bar

sure the cocktails are over priced and the crowd a tad stuffy. but this tiny leather and wood clad lounge tucked in the back of the Ritz makes quite possibly the best Manhattan on the face of the planet. and, in case you missed it, it’s a tiny leather and wood clad lounge tucked in the back of the Ritz.

7. Lao Tseu

who would have guessed that France would be the place to finally get good chinese? the food at this Saint Germain bistro was fresh, flavorable, and refreshingly free of the north american syndrome known as more sauce = more taste. that said, if i’d had the option to supersize our order of szechuan pork, i wouldn’t have said no. their dessert menu also had possibly the best ice cream i’ve ever tasted in my life.

8. Le Marché Biologique (de Blvd Raspail)

we happened upon the all organic version of this farmer’s market on a Sunday, but it also runs as a traditional market throughout the week. to say the offerings here are bountiful would be the understatement of the century. from the fresh roasted rotisserie chickens and mountains of stinky cheese and cured meats to the trays of homemade pasta, basket upon basket of baked goods and fresh produce spilling out of every possible corner, this place is a food and cooking connoisseur’s (pardon the expression) wet dream. it’s also a one way ticket to brokedom if you’re not careful (we managed to spend $35 on a roast chicken). but, oh, what a glorious way to go out.

9. Boulangerie Gosselin

two words: chocolate eclair.

 

and, finally, places we didn’t get to try, but will next time, so help us god:

1. Quai-Quai – tasty looking french menu, great interior design.

2. La Divina Commedia – delicious Italian fare for those non-duck moods.

3. Le Grand Colbert – as classic as classic French brasseries get.

4. La Maison Angelina – for all of your chocolatey needs.

5. Rose Bakery – a popular bakery and sandwich shop easily identified by the line out the door.

6. Le Pantruche – a cherished (and well priced) locals spot. make a reservation (we, obviously, did not).

pret-a-take-away

October 19, 2011

some tasty tidbits from the winter 2011 Hermes catalog i picked up (and wasn’t entirely sure whether or not i was stealing) from their new store on rue de sevres:



back to reality

October 16, 2011

“Though I often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.” – Paula McLain, The Paris Wife

let me first admit that it is nice to be home. i wouldn’t exactly say i was homesick. but i did miss certain aspects of life on this side of the pond (which, when i really think about it, pretty much boiled down to our puppy and our porch).

but whether or not it felt good to lay my head on my own pillow last night, the truth is there’s no familiar tonic potent enough to wash away the taste of Paris (blame it on the foie gras).

so, even as i feel myself sinking back in to the smells, sights and rhythms of home, my head still swims amongst the cobblestone streets, cafe tables, refined fashion statements, endless cups of coffee, bottomless bottles of wine, and triumphantly caloric meals that filled the past two weeks.

if you care to linger with me, here’s a few visuals to help paint the scene.

at last, nous sommes arrivés

October 3, 2011

two days, one missed flight, and countless flights of climbed stairs later, we are finally settled into our hilltop (and i do mean top of the hill) Montmartre apartment. the first of two rented Parisian abodes, our new digs are quaint, comfortable and conveniently located stumbling distance from the front steps of the Sacre Coeur (where we enjoyed our first bottle of French wine just last night).

the weather is unseasonably and deliciously warm right now, and we plan to make the most of it with as many more outdoor feasts and tête-à-têtes as we can before the promised autumnal rains set in.

not that we’re worried. if ex-Vancouverites know how to do anything, it’s how not to let a few raindrops keep you from enjoying a city to its fullest. Paris, nous voici!

{image 01 courtesy of}

paris prep 101: shopping

August 19, 2011

in a full embrace of the cosmopolitan spirit of our destination city, i have decided to transform myself into a sophisticated packer. for anyone who’s ever watched me scramble the night before a flight, you’ll know that packing light is not in my nature (especially when it comes to shoes). however, i’ve decided to channel my inner fashion editor and focus on a few classic pieces that can be dressed up, down and all around town. of course, this required some shopping, as my current closet is conveniently low on such items.

first stop: H&M (thanks for the gift card, mom!). having discovered this store in France on my first (and only other) trip to Europe, it seems fitting that i would turn to H&M for some Parisian essentials. their new fall line had just the romance i was looking for.

i’m so enamored with my new duds, it’s hard to say which one i’m most excited to stroll around in first. but i suppose if i had to pick, i’d confess to having a special crush on my perfectly flouncy, navy blue pleated skirt (high waisted!) and my wonderfully floppy wool hat. tres chic!

happy sunday (courtesy of Mr. Hefner)

June 12, 2011

spotted

June 9, 2011

so, i know i’m on a bit of a roll here with this camera app. but, the heck with it – i’m on a roll here with this camera app. here’s a nice little vignette spotted on a walk through the hills of silverlake yesterday. i particularly love the red railing, and the way it plays off the surrounding white, grey and green scheme.

lunch with a view

June 7, 2011

my co-worker/friend/new hero suggested we take our lunches down to the beach yesterday. this was the view:

needless to say, we pressed repeat today.