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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

The Alcorn

The Alcorn

The Alcorn on the corner of Yonge & Alcorn (naturally!) Image c/o BlogTO

Sometimes if you venture outside of your comfort zone, you will be generously rewarded.  As a west end girl, it’s highly uncommon for me to venture north of Bloor.  I make rare exceptions for veryx3 good friends.  But I’ve been in a hair slump since my hairstylist T’s (aka My Perfect Man) sudden city departure for higher education.  My bangs were a hot mess and the state of my tresses were more shabby than chic.  baha!

So I was mentally auditioning hairstylists to see if they could fill the void, or at least trim the split ends that T left behind.  The Alcorn (1222 Yonge St) is a boutique salon in the chi-chi neighbourhood of Rosedale (near Summerhill station).   The salon is refreshingly low-key, bright white on white décor with fashion photography.  The staff was extremely friendly and professional.  There was a mix of clientele – Bergdorf Blondes getting touch ups, privileged teens getting their hair blown out and a micro fashionistah just chilling.   My stylist R had reallyx3 good hair of the Olivia Palermo variety.

Michalsky Style Nite during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2010

Don’t let those lustrous locks fool you! Olivia Palermo has two redeeming factors: her amazing hair and her uncanny socialite sense of style. Life is more unfair once you Google her supermodel boyfriend.

If you arrive early, check out the cute boutique across the street The Cloakroom (1177 Yonge St.)  They have a nice assortment of contemporary brands including my faves – BB Dakota and One Teaspoon.  But you might buy something by accident…like this girl I know.

One Teaspoon November Rain Blazer

One Teaspoon is an Australian contemporary brand. Loving the draped collar on this November Rain Blazer

BB Dakota top

Following a fashion event, M asked me, “What is the point of a leather skirt?” To which I said, “There is a point. I love leather skirts!” Anyways, that’s how you should feel about this faux-leather perforated BB Dakota peplum top. Trust.

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October 28, 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

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

The Secret Lives of Bon Vivants

Marie Antoinette loved her macaron! Kiki Dunst in the fashionable Sofia Coppola film of the same name

French bon vivant (literally “one who lives well, good ‘liver’ (living person)”), from bon (“good”) + vivant (“person who is living”), agent noun of vivre (“to live”).  A person who enjoys the good things in life, especially good food and drink; a gal about town.  We are lucky, non?

I subsist on a diet of salad, vegetables, fish and when I’m feeling very naughty, gluten-free hummus chips.  When I indulge in food and drink on the weekends, I love to try new restaurants, share a dessert, let my foodie friends feed me multi-course meals, have a glass of champie here, maybe a cocktail over there. 

Here are my foodie & drink obsessions au moment:

  • Fro-yooooo:  There is a frozen yoguort resurgence of late.  Remember when the only choice we had was Yogen-Fruz? Soooo boring!  My cravings started in LA where the DIY fro-yo craze has a shop on every corner.  Lately, I have noticed the Yogurty’s chain popping up like dandelions.  I love dispensing my own red velvet, dulce de leche, swirled with pumpkin, stacked with strawberries, nuts and a dash of Reese bits.  Tummy ache!

Control issues over the fro-yo dispenser much? Swirl to your heart's desire and negate the low calories by piling on the toppings. Cheesecake bits? Sweeeet!

  • Lobster-Mania – Lately, I’ve been craving lobster ALL the time.  They make a delicious lobster ravioli at Brassaii (461 King St. West).  I feel like lobster might get all trendy like poutine.  That would be fan-tastic!

Rob Pattinson stays warm in cable knit and takes comfort eating his feelings - a generous helping of lobster and corn on the cobb.

  • It’s A-OK to drink at 11:01Am – If you asked for a morning cocktail at 10:59am, well the disgrace on your waiter’s face.  In the summer, I think a morning champagne spritzer or prosecco is quite delightful when lunching al fresco.  There are some lovely patios hidden like secret gardens that you could enjoy one of these refreshing afternoon drinkie-drinks such as Hacienda (640 Queen St. West) or The Harbord Room (89 Harbord St.)

Bellini time! Just muddle some raspberries and pop 'em in some champie. But promise me, you'll NEVER ever mix the Moet or Veuve with juice! Drink the good stuff straight.

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August 8, 2012   No Comments