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Category — food

So Very French

Carrie Bradshaw Paris

Remember the Paris episode where Carrie took a face plant in Dior? Then she was mortified and bought the entire store. Hrmm…unintentional poetry.

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!

Catherine Deneuve

The epitome of chic: the one, the only Catherine Deneuve

If you don’t know much about my French muse Catherine Deneuve, I insist you really must read on Parisian Bombshell Chic: Catherine DeneuveTrust. 

Croque Madame

Perhaps you will order yourself a Croque Madame – a grilled ham and cheese with béchamel topped with a fried or poached egg

C by Bloomingdales beret

It’s rather chilly out, non? Tilt your C by Bloomingdales beret ever so slightly. Passerbys will admire your air of “je ne sais quoi”

Eiffel Tower at Night

Bonsoir and bonne chance young lovers! The Eiffel Tower lit up at night *le sigh*

 

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November 3, 2013   No Comments

BooknBrunch at The Soho House Toronto

In Defense of Food

You know how I feel about food documentaries. Now that I’ve run out, I’ve moved on to food books. Obsessed.

Many of my friends have invited me to be part of their book clubs but I often hesitated with a suppressed eye-roll and an excuse like, “I’m busy.”  Yes, I admit to taking a snobbish anti-stance to book club.  I am a bonafide lover of books, a speed reader, a bookworm, a mega-nerd but why would I want to sit around listening to strangers talking about books?  In an effort to support my friend S, I decided to put my ‘no-thank-you’ ideas about book clubs aside as she has organized a monthly meet up called BooknBrunch Club which has blossomed into a 260 member group and growing.

This month’s book was Michael Pollen’s In Defence of Food, a follow up to his successful The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  The novel recounts the industrialization of the food industry and the ensuing consumer confusion on nutritional choices.  It asks the questions – “What does it mean to eat healthy in today’s society?” and “How has it devolved that the common Western diet is perhaps the greatest blame for preventable diseases such as diabetes, strokes and cancer?”  Think about that!

Pretzel Bell Bar

The strolling brunch was held in the Pretzel Bell Bar, a cozy space on the 3rd floor. The room was decorated with antique curios, velvet recliners and artwork. Very boheme.

To parallel the theme of this month’s book selection, S had a sit down brunch for thirty with a healthy and locally sourced menu. Some of the messages in the book were about taking time to enjoy food as a community and to consume only foods which our grandmothers could name. Our location was The Soho House Toronto (192 Adelaide St. West).  It was a beautiful setting, though a larger group than her usual, it felt intimate and the people I met were affable, intellectual and extremely interesting.  Talking about books is not so bad especially over salmon, beet salad, dollar pancakes, fresh strawberry compote and fruits! Clearly, I am a converted Brookie (book + brunchie)!

If you live in the Toronto area, click here to learn more about Book and Brunch  and follow on Twitter @BooknBrunch

Soho House SATC

Remember that one time Samantha got kicked out of Soho House on Sex and the City? *lesigh* I miss SATC…and Gossip Girl.

 

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October 19, 2013   No Comments

Christian Louboutin @ The Design Exchange

christian louboutin

The Paris-based shoe designer Christian Louboutin and his iconic shoe, known for its red sole

Funny how when I am travelling abroad, I make it a point to see interesting exhibits, visit every museum and immerse myself in local culture.  But at home, I am less inclined to do the same.  I am putting a stop to such madness.  Adding that to my summer TO DO list!

Recently, I had a beautiful al fresco brunch at Origin (107 King St. East).  Try the refreshing lychee mojito – ahem, you can ask them to de-virginize it.  Afterwards, we took a leisurely stroll to Bay Street to catch the Christian Louboutin exhibit (The Design Exchange from June 21st – September 15th, 2013).  Complimentary with your admission is a year-long subscription to Flare.

Here’s an excerpt of what it’s all about…

“Curated by The Design Museum London in conjunction with Christian Louboutin, this exhibition presents iconic French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, celebrating a career that has pushed the boundaries of high fashion shoe design. This exhibition celebrates Louboutin’s twenty years of designs and inspiration, revealing the artistry and theatricality of his shoe design from stilettos to lace-up boots, studded sneakers and bejeweled pumps. It is a magical journey of style, glamour, power, femininity and elegance.” – DSX website

louboutin sketching

Take a break and watch a few short films on Louboutin’s creative process

SPOILER ALERT… some of my highlights. But these images do not do the shoes justice or the interactivity of the exhibit.  You reallyx3 must check it out for yourself.  You promise me?

louboutins_4

Inside the designer’s studio: a smorgasbord of inspiration including Miss Piggy’s glitter platforms

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Let them eat cake: Inspired by Marie Antoinette

louboutins_1

Ruffles! The perfect flamenco shoe in a buttery satin.

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August 10, 2013   No Comments

Documentaries Are Better Than Fiction

Girls Night popcorn

Girls Night In: Slouchy 80’s sweatshirt – check. Chunky socks – check. Popcorn – check. Pants optional.

I was walking past a sandwich board for a comedy bar and it read, “Better than Netflix.”  Confession: My subscription to Netflix has contributed to my blogeress hiatus.  Thus, I should have limitless celluloid fodder on which to base many a post.  Nothing peaks my curiosity quite like a good documentary!  You too? Nerdy.

There’s just something about the human experience that gets me.  Oh yes, I am a private movie watching crier.

Brooklyn Castle – This documentary focuses on 5 unlikely young chess prodigies attending inner city junior high IS 318, a school recognized for winning the most national championships.  The story of these students is remarkable because it shows their passion in winning chess as a reflection in their personal determination to attain higher education and rise above circumstance.  A truly inspirational story about underdogs!

Brooklyn Castle

Brooklyn Castle is the bomb-diggity.

No Impact Man –  A NYC journalist, Colin Beaven and his family decide to reduce their environmental footprint by producing less waste, consuming less and eating local.  I found the premise to be an interesting social experiment and very entertaining to watch.  The wife goes on a shopping shame spiral before they embark on their year-long adventure and the husband deals with a public backlash as he publicizes his sustainable lifestyle.

Farmageddon, Vegucated & Food Inc. – Growing up, I was chowing down on chicken nuggets and porkchops.  I never thought I would be a mostly dairy and gluten-free vegetarian.  Last December, I went on detox (was already lacto-ovo by then) and became obsessed with food docs. These are eye opening exposes on food production (insert super-tear).  If you love ribs or chocolate milk, NEVER watch these movies or it will be like that time Neo took the red pill in the Matrix Trust.  But for you GOOPs, go right ahead.

The GOOP-meister Gwyneth Paltrow in a very cute heart sweater (ahem, ethically produced)

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July 24, 2013   No Comments

Her Name Was Carmen

Lana Del Rey Carmen “It’s alarming truly how disarming you can be…”

I’m kind of obsessed with the video montage for Lana Del Rey’s Carmen.  When I used to have long stays in LA, I would play it on repeat instead of watching the depressing news.  On a brighter culinary note, there’s a Spanish tapas revival in Toronto of late.  This bodes well with my other obsession, channelling my inner senorita. Ole!

My favourite Spanish tapas are in no particular order:

  1. Tortilla Espanola – a thick egg and potatoe omelet
  2. Patatas Bravas – bite size potatoes (my favourite type are fried, obviously!) with a tomatoe and garlic sauce
  3. Croquetas – Croquettes flavoured with béchamel combined with ham, shrimp or cheese
  4. Manchego – A cheese made from sheep milk originating from the La Mancha region of Spain. Reminds me of lazy afternoons having wine with the locals in Marbella. Le sigh!

For a casual option, try the restaurant of the same name Carmen (922 Queen St. West) or for a more ritzy experience, try Patria (480 King St. West).  I’m going to go out on a limb and say, “Patria has the best Patatas Bravas in town.”

Free People Tier Maxi

Free People Tier Maxi: You know how I feel about maxi-dresses of the hippie-dippy variety. They are perfect for dancing in the street.

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May 21, 2013   No Comments

Whatever Happens In Cabo…

Cabo San Lucas, Lover's Rock. Reminds me of that Sade album that I played on repeat "Won't pretend, that I intend to stop living..."

never happened!!  (ba-dum-pum)  This is especially true if you go to Cabo San Lucas to soak up the sun and take an extended siesta all day on the beach, then repose by the pool, gorge on salsa and tortilla chips only to siesta in your room and tuck in early to catch Kourtney & Kim Take Miami on E! Latino.  But if I was in Cabo with my girlfriends at 21, I would be that girl drinking pina coladas in the infinity pool, doing the hotel dance and waking up my neighbours at 4am from a late night dance session to latin house.  How can I judge the kids on Spring Break?  I was that girl.

Cabo San Lucas is a resort town on the southern tip of the Baja California.  Nestled amid the scenic mountains are million dollar mansions and a marina filled with bright white yachts.  This charming town has restaurants, bars and a few outdoor shops.  Perch yourself on the pier at La Casa Country, enjoy a plate of fish tacos, a major pina colada and people watch until the sun sets. Or indulge in some retail therapy at Ondade Mar for vibrant Columbian swimwear or uniquely latin caftans.

Much like an observer of street trends, I thought I would share some insights straight off the beach…

  • Day Glow Neon – Perhaps you feel you’ve already done neon but it was huge on the beach.  To avoid neon overkill, many gals paired their bright bandeau with a black bottom or toned down the fluorescence by wearing a print accented with neon.  For the less fashionistah adventuress, muted neons in coral, pink and chartreuse are the way to go. 

Free People Yellow Neon Bikini with your matching straw fedora. Fedorable!

Fun fact: There were less string bikinis and more hipster bottoms. Mix it up with your J. Crew Neon Swirl Bikini

  • Stacked Bracelets – Oh, you can never wear too many at once! The look is a mashup of skinny bangles, round beads, braided leather or string friendship bracelets.  To elevate the look add a few simple gold bangles, charm bracelets or a skinny watch.

Try this at home! Alexis Bittar and Cara bracelets c/o Nordstrom

  • Haute Hippie Headwrap – Perhaps the beach is the best place for fashion risk-taking.  Swim turbans and headwraps abound!  Function meets fashion!  Not only are you shading your pretty little head from the sun, you are also making a MAJOR statement. 

This is my favourite way to wear a silk scarf on the beach. Take a rectangular scarf and tie at the crown of your head. Secure with bobby pins. Secret Garden Head Wrap

  • Return of the Crop Top – Oh yes, 90’s resurgence. Save the fitted crop top for the teens and the 20-somethings.  Go oversize for that Flashdance/Let’s Get Physical, off the shoulder, laisser-faire, I’m casual vibe.

Nothing's better than a super oversize soft cotton tee. Roxy Sea Crop Top

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February 24, 2013   No Comments