Category — art
I thought I would cry while watching Frozen but I didn’t. Over the holidays, I spent four days in Bruges, Belgium which kind of reminded me of spending time in a medieval animated movie. I had done a fair bit of recon on what cities had the best Christmas markets and Bruges consistently came up on the best tourist list. It was once of the only places where Christmas market doesn’t shut down, well after Christmas. My kind of town! But guess what, it’s even better…
There was so much to do in this cobblestone town, filled with craft beer, chocolate shops, vintage laces and charm. Set amid a network of canals, the best way to explore this pretty postcard was to wander aimlessly among its star patterned streets. All streets lead to the central square where you will find The Burg, cathedrals and gothic mansions.
Being an avid art lover, I found a series of intimate galleries featuring the works of the Dutch and Flemish masters, among them Van Dyck and Hans Memling. My favourite places to take it all in were Groeningemuseum and Memlingmuseum.
Belgium is known for its chocolate, beer, waffles and moules frites. It was kind of embarrassing when I ordered Moules Frites and a giant pot came to my table. I made a valiant effort but the waiter tsk’ed tsk’ed my inability to finish the entire serving. The afternoon snack of choice was of the crepe variety – I often found a homey spot and let the smell of waffles permeate my hair for the afternoon. Watch as they make homemade crepes in this tiny café – Creperie de Bretoen. I would love to go back to Bruges, perhaps in the summertime to enjoy some drinks al fresco and take a canal tour.
April 4, 2015 No Comments
I recently returned from a gloriously long vacation in Europe. It was the kind of trip that continued so long, I lost track of time and dates. Back in my university days, Paris failed to live up to the hype of its image. But I rediscovered Paris, charmed by the grandeur of Haussman’s boulevards, twinkling lights shining brightly on the Champs Elysee and the surprising kindness and nouveau joie de vie that greeted me upon my return. I knew I was demurely blending in as I was often stopped for directions (by the French, no less)!
Should you find yourself in need of an impromptu mini-break, Paris is always a good idea.
La Louvre is worth it – I spent 4 hours in The Louvre and I didn’t even see all of it. Go early to avoid the massive lineups. While many of the galleries will be rammed with tourists (particularly the Italian and Renaissance), you can still take in the art in relative quiet in the lesser frequented rooms on the 2nd floor. You can also have a dejeuner at Angelina; there is a great view of the central courtyard to people watch.
Wear black head-to-toe – Understated cool and lots of leather. A black wardrobe is a true French staple. That and those Petit Bateau striped knit tops. Parisian style is iconic – chic, cool, effortless. You can also get a taste of that ‘je ne sais quoi’ at Sandro, Maje, Comptoir des Cotonniers or at their grands magasins (department stores) Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
Red Lips Don’t Care – Bright red or crimson lips are also a MUST – check out my classic-LC beauty post for a tutorial on The Perfect Red Pout. Obviously, the Parisian classic is of the Chanel variety – Try Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante. And for the Brigitte Bardot in you, black eyeliner and mascara is welcome too.
Éclair is the New Macaron – Parisians are over the macaron. I’m not over it but just to let you know, it’s so last season. Novelty eclairs are the ‘it’ patisserie du jour. I would have brought some home but undoubtedly they would have been squished in my suitcase seeing how I had to sit on said luggage to close it. Even if you want an après-midi, sugar fix Laduree and Fauchon are not the only macaron games in town. You can hit up any corner boulangerie (bakery) and there will be macarons aplenty. Just visit a busy one with lots of Frenchies and you know it’s good. Trust.
January 11, 2015 No Comments
One of my favourite things is shopping for gifts. I am reallyx3 gifted. baha. This season, I am high-tailing it out of here for the holidays but I am going to lean into the Winter Wonderland goodness that is Christmas. As a general rule of thumb, I love to give how I live. I believe in reciprocity and as much kindness as you bestow, it always comes back to you. Trust. This season, I have been nesting, enjoying the faux glow of my eclectic lit Christmas tree. If you’re into quirky and crafty gifts, these picks are for you. And if you’re not, maybe you just don’t get my brand of humour.
December 13, 2014 No Comments
OMD. Oh mon Dieu! That’s OMG en français. This week, I had the good fortune to spend some quality down time in Montreal. I have often travelled to our neighbour to the East for work but as they say, all work and no play makes V a dull girl. And when I say dull, I really mean crazy but not of the Jack Nicholson-The Shining variety.
I have a love affair with Montreal – its winding outdoor staircases, the romantic cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montreal, the café culture (so mignon) and its culinary delights. Some of my fondest memories are of visiting my dearest A while she was in university in McGill; we would often go to her favourite haunts and play dress up in vintage stores.
I found it difficult to find a compilation of some of the best trendy boutiques and vintage shops, so I’ve walked a few thousand steps in my gladiators to bring you my best bets:
- DadaDo (4292 Boul St. Laurent) – Artist studio meets vintage shop meets boudoir. The entrance greets you with a bargain bin of accessories and books and as you get further in you will find racks of flowy skirts and lacy slip dresses.
- Annex Vintage ( 56 St. Viateur Ouest) – A wide selection of wearable vintage and upcycled pieces. There are also many pieces from local designers. I was particularly taken with the “Stay Home and Watch Buffy” totebags.
- Lo Well (5364 Boul St. Laurent) – Streamlined Scandinavian is the mood with labels Norwegian Wood, Dusen-Dusen, swim from Mimi Hammer and a wide selection of Montreal-made canvas and leather handbags by Rachel F.
- La (Found)erie (6596 Boul St. Laurent) – I never made it north of the tracks to the up and coming hood of La Patrie but this shop was recently featured in Porter Airlines magazine.
- Onze - This store has 4 MTL locations and features vintage-inspired romantic girly looks. They were heavy on chiffon floaty things, nautical, floral apparel and accessories. Here you will find young contemporary brands such as Mink Pink, Gentle Fawn and Ark & Co.
- Kitsch n’ Swell (3968 Boul St. Laurent) – A 60’s swingers pad meets hunters lodge and antique shop. Fashioned in bubble gum pinks, tassled furniture and laden with curios, there is nothing quite like it in Montreal. A must-see for inspiration.
A parting gift: One of my fave Sam Roberts songs Bridge to Nowhere & some hottt goss via Lainey Gossip. (ps. I’m sad I’m not going to Smut Soiree this year). Bonne journée! (good day)
June 22, 2014 No Comments
I blame my friend S for my ruin. She gently twisted my arm and we bought stellar tickets to Beyoncé. She only gets reallyx3 good tickets to concerts. She wants to see them up close and personal. She wants to see them sweat. But now that I’ve been spoiled, I can’t go backwards and every time I get tickets to something, I need to be right up in the action. Slippery slope and it’s what I like to call a shame spiral.
Of all the bands and artists I have yet to see, I put it out there that I would like to see Lana Del Rey. Lo and behold, the universe delivered in the form of a Live Nation alert. So I bit the bullet and I’m going to see her do her gangster-Nancy Sinatra thing in the Spring (a rhyme).
Here is a playlist of my faves on repeat… She will be releasing a new album in 2014 Ultraviolence
- Summer Wine – with James Barrie O`Neill (cover of Nancy Sinatra = fun!)
- Blue Velvet
- Ridin`- with ASAP Rocky
- Bel Air
- Bonus: Link to her short film Tropico
March 26, 2014 No Comments
Little French cafés are so mignon (cute, dainty), non? Today, me and A went for petit déjeuner (breakfast) at the most darling patisserie housed in a Victoria row house. The food was deliciously French and so were the waiters. It’s the kind of place where they serve you lattes with the foam shaped in a heart. And where you say no béchamel and you end up saying yes to brioche and crepes with nutella. I can’t divulge its name for fear of it becoming too popular. Sorry darlings. Some secrets have to stay in my hair. We had a very French afternoon punctuated by flirty girlish giggling. Those are the days my friend!
If you don’t know much about my French muse Catherine Deneuve, I insist you really must read on Parisian Bombshell Chic: Catherine Deneuve. Trust.
November 3, 2013 No Comments