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19 Sep

The restaurant check list, Malta

By / on Food and Health

In some of my previous posts I have mentioned that I am quite the foodie. This doesn’t mean that I’m an excellent cook, nor that I’m some kind of food expert. Basically I love food, I love to cook, I love to try different dishes, and I eat out quite a bit (although I’m trying to cut down on this to boost my home cooking.) I’m always up for trying out new places to eat in Malta.. I do sometimes get bored of the same places, so before going out to eat, you’ll find me on Tripadvisor carefully reading the comments.. or stalking restaurants on their Facebook page or website, whilst carefully examining their menus. I will recommend my favourite restaurants in Malta in my next post, but today I present to you my ‘restaurant check list’.

1. First impression & Interior

This depends on what sort of restaurant / bar / pub I’m at, but I usually look for places that aren’t too noisy, have good lighting and general interior design (new restaurants that make you feel like you’re sitting in a garage under harsh white light are becoming quite popular unfortunately) and places that are just generally nice to look at and that make you feel at home (even if it’s your inexistent dream home…).

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Gululu, Paceville, Malta. Pic from: http://niu.com.mt/fr/works/gululu-2/

Aside from having some of the tastiest ftiras in Malta, Gululu in Paceville has one of my favourite interior spaces. Really well thought out, unpretentious, and the right mix of traditional / contemporary, with beautiful natural light during daytime, and a warm atmosphere in the evenings. The last time I ate here we were given the best table, i.e. on the balcony, with fantastic St.Julians sea views!

2. General menu

So working in the design industry has turned me into a bit of an asshole when it comes to menu first impressions.. I carefully study its layout, colour, texture.. and later, the content & spelling. Nice branding makes me excited about what kind of food the place will have, but really it’s all up to the content. I look for restaurants that have quite a small selection of food. When they offer EVERYTHING, you start wondering how much of it is actually ready made / fresh..I love restaurants that have the menu of the day, where you can just order whatever they have prepared fresh that day. I’m not a fussy eater, so for me, it’s just perfect. I’m also impressed with salads that are not limited to: chicken caesar salad, greek salad, tuna salad, octopus salad and green salad. There are endless exciting salad combinations even if using just normal inexpensive food, so I don’t understand the craze with these ‘classic’ salads.

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Rubino, Valletta, Malta serve whatever they are cooking on the day. You cannot go wrong here.. their food is divine

3. Wine

First of all, there is no reason why wine should be expensive in restaurants. Yes I’m willing to pay more for your food if your chef is more experienced and so food tastes nicer, but a bottle of wine is a bottle of wine! It tastes the same everywhere, just make sure that it’s not corked, and that the temperature and dates are right (normally white wine needs to be chilled, and red served at room temperature.. dates can be trickier but for generic cheap – medium wines, the newer the better.. certain reds get better with age). I’m no wine connoisseur but this formula usually works for me. Here’s a wikipedia reference if you’re not sure: “Master of Wine Jancis Robinson notes that only around the top 10% of all red wine and top 5% of all white wines can improve significantly enough with age to make drinking more enjoyable at 5 years of age than at 1 year of age.” (and yes Wikipedia is a perfectly reliable source if it agrees with you ;) ) read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_wine

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La Mere, Valletta, Malta, Photo from: http://www.behance.net/gallery/La-Mere-Interiors-Signage/2841693

Gotta love Indian restaurants in Malta (and perhaps even outside of Malta too) who only charge up to 5 Euros for the corkage fee. Above is a picture of the lovely ‘La Mere’ in Valletta. A cosy restaurant that offers Maltese, indian and arabic cousine, all served with affordable wine.

4. The food quality

Obviously food quality is the make or break of a restaurant. The fresher the better, but sometimes the little things can go a long way. What I absolutely despise are restaurants who serve vegetables from the pack. I expect fresh vegetables everywhere, I don’t even cook frozen vegetables at home, so I don’t expect to find it a restaurant. Meat should be the right temperature (rare please :) ). Pasta should be al dente. Sauces shouldn’t taste like soup.. and of course the food needs to have flavour. Yes sometimes I mess up, or cannot be bothered to pay attention to flavour when I’m making something quick at home. At a restaurant, it’s unacceptable. Pizza that came from the freezer – no thank you.

Home made desserts are not hugely popular in Malta for some reason, so when a restaurant has a them, major plus! Freshly ground espresso at the end of a meal is always welcome.

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Nothing beats Mgarr ix-Xini’s (Gozo) seafood restaurant for fresh fish and seafood that has literally been just caught and served. My favourite here are the deep fried prawns. (And just look at the view!) Picture from: http://www.gozo-guide.com/about-gozo-and-comino/food-drink/#/7

5. Service

You know what, I don’t mind if my waiters are too young and inexperienced, or if they drop my food / are slightly awkward etc..  I just want the food to be (more or less) on time, and the waiters to smile every now and then. Sometimes if the food arrives too early, this is also quite disappointing. People go to eat for the experience, not because it is a ‘need’ and I think this is something that restaurant owners seem to forget sometimes.

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Lulu, Paceville, Malta: Nicest guys on the island who serve excellent food :) Photo from: http://www.starwebmalta.com/company.aspx?companyId=L020

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10 Sep

A unique goldsmith in Florence

By / on Memoirs

Today I am going back in time to a few years ago, when I was still an art student in Florence. In my first week there, I didn’t know anyone yet, and I had some extra time to spare before my course started. During this week, I spent most of my time walking through the narrow streets that surround the magnificent Duomo. I enjoyed discovering things by chance whilst wondering around these streets. At the time, I couldn’t believe that I was finally pursuing my childhood dream; I was living in the city of Art! Aside from the museums, churches and bridges, Florence is full of unique shops and markets. Most of these small gems sell beautiful goods which are still inspired by the well-known historical and cultural period that made Florence such an important city – The Renaissance.

One of my favourites was a jewelry shop called ‘Fiori del tempo’ owned by a talented jeweler, Francesco Deidda. His creations are inspired by the Renaissance and the Art Deco periods but are also fused with more contemporary influences. The prices vary, depending on the material and stones. In general however,  the items are quite affordable. ‘Fiori del tempo’ is found in Via del Corso and in Via dei Pucci, both not very far from the Duomo.

Via del Corso Florence  http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigmico/4145565018/

Via del Corso Florence
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigmico/4145565018/

Being a student in Florence is not easy because it is quite an expensive city, so most of the time the only shopping I could afford was window shopping. Once as I was daydreaming at the window display of ‘Fiori del tempo’, I was robbed. They managed to take my wallet from my bag without me realising. On the bright side after saving some money student-style (that is: spending quite some time eating solely pasta or bread, and I am not even complaining! I was in Italy after all) I managed to buy a beautiful silver bracelet from ‘Fiori del tempo’ that was decorated with gorgeous silver leaves. That was the only thing I managed to buy from this shop during the year I had spent there. A few years later, I travelled to Florence with my friends Moira and Eleonora, and at the time my financial situation was much better. I could spoil myself and buy some more items, and needless to say, my friends got something of their own as well. Whenever I travel to Florence, I always make it a point to return to these special shops that I discovered while I was living there, and in this post I am also sharing a list of other places that are worth visiting if you are in the area.

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The only thing I managed to buy from Fiori del tempo during my year in Florence

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The handwritten business card of Fiori del Tempo. Photo by Eleonora Rose Abela

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photo by Eleonora Rose Abela

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photo by Eleonora Rose Abela

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photo by Eleonora Rose Abela

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These are some rough sketches that I made with the style of Fiori del tempo in mind. I do have a habit of wanting to create and develop drawings from beautiful things that I see around me. Perhaps one day I can put this all together into some sort of project.

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http://www.walkaboutflorence.com/what-to-do/fiori-del-tempo

Window display of Fiori del tempo
http://www.walkaboutflorence.com/what-to-do/fiori-del-tempo

 

 

Other places that are worth visiting if you are in the area: 

 

Giubee Rosse Bar - Piazza della Repubblica

http://www.esercizistorici.it/opencms/esercizistorici/repubblica/Giubberosse.html

 

CANTINETTA in Florence - Via dei Tavolini

http://www.verrazzano.com/en/the-place/

 

Zecchi Art Supplies – Via dello Studio

http://zecchi.it/

 

Il Papiro (Florentine paper merchant) – Piazza Duomo

http://www.ilpapirofirenze.it/Prodotti_0.aspx

 

 

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30 Aug

Blog Me, Draw Me Special Edition

By / on Blog Me, Draw Me

I’m calling today’s Blog Me, Draw Me a special edition because I am not drawing the actual blogger, but rather one of the models that was photographed by this particular blogger.

I’m not usually a fan of ‘Fine Living Network’ because most of the time they’re showing stuff I can’t afford, but as I was flipping through the channels, I came across a documentary that stole my heart, and well, it made my day a bit brighter. Of course, anything that makes someone’s day brighter, is worth sharing, so here we go!  Ari Seth Cohen has a street fashion blog based in New York, but here’s the thing, he only photographs older ladies, and by older ladies I mean old ladies! 70s, 80s, 90s even. What a great concept huh?

(Photographs from: http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/)

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So I was wondering, what makes us youngsters get so excited when we see fashionable older ladies? Why do they look so much more genuine than say a 20 year old?  I think it’s just because there’s more where that style came from, there’s a history behind it. I’m pretty sure that these ladies didn’t just log online and bought whatever was ‘just in’ at the moment (do they even BUY online? Hey.. these days, I wouldn’t be surprised!) I guess this is also the reason why we love to buy vintage. We want our clothes to have some kind of history, a story that can then be continued when we wear them.

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So why did this documentary make me feel all happy and funny inside? I guess it’s the thought that getting older doesn’t have to be so bad, in fact, it can be exciting! Women in general are enjoying life more nowadays.. A lot of ladies are taking their time to make babies, deciding first and foremost to focus on their career, become successful and be in a better financial position. Style is still a big part of their life when they reach their 50s, 60s and even later. The image of a 60 year old woman wearing a frumpy cardigan and a grey bun is long gone, and this blog affirms it.

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This is today’s sketch; pencil, ink and digital rendering. It’s quite different from my usual and much more colourful. I’d like to think it’s a lot more ‘pop’

“Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing or two about living life to the fullest. Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.” – See more at: http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com

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21 Aug

Stories from the Sea

By / on Memoirs

In my latest post “Chanel Vintage finds”, I wrote that I will be bringing across at Design Sorbet items that carry sentimental values, such as today’s historical item which carries an interesting family story. Having inherited this item from my grandmother, who was very close to me, it is undoubtedly a very important part of my family history. The item in question is a ring. I remember my grandma wearing 2 rings; one was her wedding band, and another ring given to her by her mother. The ring which until this very day carries sentimental value, is the ring given to my grandmother by Uncle John – a sailor who didn’t get to see the end of the War.

During the Second World War, my grandma`s brother John, a 17 year old youngster brimming with youthful energy, left Malta to serve on the aircraft carrier, H.M.S Glorious. Apparently, he was not officially listed on the crew list since he was a minor, and no one knows how he managed to convince the captain to allow him on-board. On the 8th June 1940, in cold Norwegian waters, H.M.S glorious endured its last battle after it was sunk when engaged with German battleships. The total number of killed or missing people from the ship was 1,207 – one of them being Uncle John. No one knows for sure what happened to him, but he never came back home. Some members of his family had heard of the news but kept it secret from his mother. Six months later John’s Mother, my great-grandmother, was doing her shopping in one of the local shops and some of her groceries were wrapped in a newspaper, as was usually done back in the day. She soon realised that on her newspaper wrapping was the name of her son, along with a list of missing people. The news came as a great shock to her, but still, she hoped he would return, and waited for him to come back, despite the probability that he had died at sea.

The ring my grandma gave me was given to my great-grandma by Uncle John some time before he left Malta. She never took it off: it was one of the very few objects that belonged to her son.After my great-grandma died, my grandma used to wear this ring and like her mum, she never took it off. I remember my grandma telling us stories about Uncle John, her mum and her childhood whilst stroking the ring in a reverie of passionate remembrance. When my grandma Bice passed away two years ago, my mother decided that I should keep this ring due to the bond I had with her. I wear it from time to time, especially when I miss my grandma, but unlike my grandma I can’t wear it every day since I have this habit of losing everything, so I keep it safe in a special box:)

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A painting done by my uncle, Tony Scerri (nephew of John Brincat) narrating the H.M.S Glorious Episode. Donated to the maritime museum in Vittoriosa

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http://www.network54.com/Forum/47751/message/1276618349/HMS+Glorious+and+Embarked+Aircraft+-June+8+1940+Part+IV

Source: http://www.network54.com/Forum/47751/message/1276618349/HMS+Glorious+and+Embarked+Aircraft+-June+8+1940+Part+IV

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Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/HMS_Glorious.jpg

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The ring that uncle John gave to his mum (my great-grandmother) before he left.

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John Brincat (on the left) with his older brothers and a sketch done by my uncle a few years ago, commemorating this event

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John Brincat

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10 Aug

Blog Me, Draw Me!

By / on Blog Me, Draw Me

I have just recently started following Nina Urbańska’s blog “My life is my style” and she’s got that easy going dress sense and lifestyle that makes me forget the stifling summer heat and just enjoy the last few weeks of my holidays out in the sun, and into the sea. You want to know why? Well, here are some recent pictures from her Facebook page “My Life is My Style”

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If you’ve read my last post you’d probably know that one of my top priorities in life is to make, find, and eat great food.. so when Nina throws such pictures (top and bottom) on her Facebook page, she’s got me! To me, if a blogger can influence and inspire their readers, then she’s doing her job right. Great pictures make for great blogging, and Nina’s blog has got it.

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But besides the food, Nina has a vast selection of beautiful outfits on her blog, which is why I was more than happy to select a picture and sketch it for “Blog Me, Draw Me!”

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I loved this picture the minute I saw it.. the dress, the posture, the flowing white scarf, the sea and the boats.. this one is going in my sketchbook :)

So I found the perfect picture from one of Nina’s Blog Posts and below are my 2 interpretations:

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This one is 90% traditional.. in fact the only thing I did in Photoshop was to add the skin colour. I used pro markers to render the sketch and I didn’t have a skin colour that was light enough, so I went for digital skin :)

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Here I was experimenting a bit, because I always like to minimise as much as possible. I loved how without outline, the figure still looked very much in movement. These were two overlayed layers in Photoshop, and I added a bit of pink on her hair and the scarf.

My Life is My Style Blog

My Life is My Style Facebook Page

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03 Aug

Paris

By / on Food and Health , Journal

I had been thinking of going to Paris for a very long time, but sadly due to studying abroad (and studying online with a foreign University) most of my trips in the past couple of years have been to the UK.  This year I rebelled. I did not go to my Masters graduation in London and instead booked  2 flights to Paris, found a nice hotel and that’s that. I did visit Paris when I was 12, but back then I was more interested in spending 3 days in Disneyland. This time round, Disneyland was one of the least exciting things on my to-do list.

My priority when going on holiday is food. Yes I love sight seeing, shopping, events and museums, but I love them because I know that afterwards I’ll be getting local food. Let me tell you, thank God I did a lot of walking in Paris, because if I hadn’t done so, I would have come back to Malta with an extra 10 kilos or so.. but before I start yapping on about food, I’m going to show you my Paris pictures in the form of an informal guide.. so if you’re planning on visiting Paris yourself, I’ll spare you some embarrassing moments, time wasting, and perhaps a blister or two :)

Walking

Before going to Paris, a lot of my friends told me to walk a lot and explore the city, and “take good walking shoes with you”. To some extent I agree, but if you’re like me i.e. not used to wearing walking shoes / trainers.. it will give you even more blisters. This is what worked for me in the summer: trainers + extra sandals in my bag. I ALWAYS change my shoes halfway through my trips.. my feet seem to like it for some reason… Problem is it took me a while to come up with this formula, so I got really bad blisters on my feet (some are still healing after a month!), and the below picture from Jardin Du Luxembourg is a sweet reminder that I was sitting because I couldn’t walk anymore, and I still had a long way back to my hotel room.

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The park is peaceful and you’ll find most people making picnics or reading.. it’s a nice break from the city

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Jardin De Luxembourg is a beautiful park in Southern Paris. It’s in the Montparnasse district (where our hotel was located) so we only had about a 20 minute walk to get there. Recommended for a Sunday stroll where a lot of shops in Paris are closed (although we did find a couple of shops open at Quatre Temps which is the massive La Défense shopping centre. There is a Michael Kors store in Quatre Temps, so I helped myself to a bag :)  So yes, that’s a picture of me with my newly purchased Michael Kors bag. See how I’m holding it? Ain’t noone’s gonna take it away from me! ;D so that was the most expensive accessory I got in Paris.. which brings me to my second point:

Shopping

If (like me) you’re a lover of vintage clothing, do your research before going to Paris. Most vintage shops are spread around Paris so you’ll end up taking a lot of Metros just to find one (crappy) shop.. The best I’ve found were ‘Omaya’ and the general Montmartre vintage shops. ‘Omaya’ has a great selection and the prices are very reasonable. There are also a couple of ‘concept stores’ in Paris, you know the ones that sell cool accessories that don’t actually have a use.. At first these shops seem really awesome but you soon start to realise that they all sell similar stock.. so watch out for the prices.. A popular one is Colette that is located in the popular Rue Rivoli. So much cool stuff to look at but I ended up not buying anything from there because you do have to stop yourself and think ‘Do I really need / want this?’ Often times the answer is no, and I’d rather spend my cash on food :D

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Looking for addresses, well here they are! Definitely recommend going to Oberkampf for Omaya Vintage

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Omaya Vintage – hipster heaven! ;) Photo via: http://www.omaya-vintage.com/

 

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Photo via: http://www.omaya-vintage.com/

My partner is obsessed with comics and figures and the first thing we spotted on Rue Daguerre was a comic store, just opposite our hotel! Unfortunately most of the comics were in French, but fortunately I fell in love with two illustrated books :) One of which was a bit expensive, but I tend to buy things on impulse, and whether or not they give me inner joy (cheesy I know, but that’s how I spend my cash these days.. exception when it comes to clothing) and well these books were both funny and creative, so I had to have them. I also picked two mini books for some friends of mine.

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‘Dessins de nuit’ is full of random illustrations and I absolutely love the drawing style, whilst Mrzyk & Moriceau is about an interesting relationship between two body parts ;)

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My blogger buddies at Design Sorbet are always telling me to put some pics of myself because it attracts the readers, well here I am :D Are you attracted? lols

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from “Dessins De Nuit”

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Comics, Adventure Time soft toys, Kiss vintage sweater, 2 vintage Levis shorts, The Last of Us concept art, a wind-up robot, a chocolate tin container and a woodland rabbit night light.. JOY

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..and remember kids, buy your make-up at the airport! (Seriously it’s like… half the price)

Food

Food, glorious food! Here are some food snaps. I felt silly taking pictures of my food, but I put my pride aside because I wanted a clear memory of my food because I LOVE my food. Thank God I did because I find myself looking at these pictures over and over, and also looking for recipes to see how I can replicate the Confit du Canard and the Tartare de Beouf, unfortunately they both take quite a while to put together.. Because food is just generally really good in Paris, and I have no control over my consumption of delicious food (but I’m also an organisation freak) I wanted to plan my food intake to eat as much as I could without feeling guilty. The plan was to have salads / split platters during the day (along with a glass of wine of course, to make it exciting, and an espresso to get me back on the go) lots of walking, and a decent meal in the evening. I actually lost a bit of weight on this ‘diet’ probably because I don’t walk as much in Malta.

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cheese, salami, foie gras, gerkins, ham, wine and freshly cut baguette.. Man I could stay here forever! (Cafe Daguerre, Montparnasse)

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Our first asian style tartare de beouf.. can’t remember where this was

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We’ve had several Crème brûlée but the best was probably at Le Bistrot De Pingoins (Rue Daguerre)

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That’s the “This is a great Crème brûlée” look

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Our second more traditional tartare de beouf from le Blan B, Rue Daguerre, Montparnasse

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…aaand this is a sketch that I did of us eating at Le Plan B, admittedly I was a bit tipsy (at the restaurant, AND whilst sketching)

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Foie Gras and Champagne, on board the Paris En Scene

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Rue Daguerre food market.. cheese!!

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Montparnasse 1900, highly recommended! Picture from: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d1020589-Reviews-Le_Montparnasse_1900-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

As you can see, most of my food intake was done in the Montparnasse area, specifically at Rue Daguerre. I did eat at other places around Paris, of course, but just remember that the closer you get to the attractions, the more expensive the food gets, and if it’s a touristy place, the worse the quality becomes. Always check to see if a restaurant is filled with tourists or locals, it gives you an idea of whether it’s going to be good or not. My chosen touristy restaurant of choice was going to be one on the Eiffel Tower, and then ‘Le Train Bleu’ but ended up being ‘Montparnasse 1900′ that instantly got to me with its beautiful Art Nouveau decorations. Set menu is 35 Euros (without the wine) and the food is very good (besides my Crème brûlée which was a bit burnt)

The Eiffel Tower

There’s something magical about the Eiffel Tower that makes tourists like yours truly, walk the 45 minutes from their hotel just a few minutes after arriving to Paris (rather than say, settle in one’s room or have a little nap) to the direction of the tower. It does become a bit of a game.. walking for a few minutes and spotting the tower, then walking for a bit more and it’s gone.. looking at one’s map and walk a bit more – hah there it is again, bigger this time! When you do get to it, you  take a few picture (more like 50..) and then you’re tired, hungry and you’re not sure what to do. There are quite a lot of tips from people online for cheaper places to rest and eat around the tower. We opted instead for a metro back home and dinner closer to our hotel (It’s nicer, cheaper and you’re not surrounded by tourists).

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“Can you take a picture of me looking up at the Eiffel Tower? And make it snappy!” ;D

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An overexposed close-up, but who cares! It’s us and the Eiffel Tower, Yay!

Ladurée

Well I suppose it does deserve its own section, mostly because it’s the subject of 50% of Tumblr posts..

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Disneyland 

I didn’t want to go to Disneyland because I’m not much of a theme park lover, but Mark convinced me to go for just one day, it was only a train away anyway, so we did! We ended up leaving at 2pm because of 4 reasons mainly:

1. Disneyland is stuck in the 90s

2. All the shops have exactly the same stock, EXACTLY

3. You can get mostly junk food that tastes bad and that is also overpriced

4. Queues

Nonetheless, when you get to Disneyland, the child in you does become excited, and you unknowingly start taking pictures like the crazy tourist that you are…

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I have to admit that Disneyland’s architecture is quite beautiful.. possibly my favourite feature of Disneyland, as an adult visitor.

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Check out my new house, just a few metres away from Disney’s castle, no biggie!

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We couldn’t help but think, ‘What if he took a huge dump right NOW?’

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I do wish there were more rides for Ratatouille and Monster’s Inc rather than just a couple of scenes that one can pose with..

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The inside the castle is quite fascinating..

Other pics:

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This was my plane book

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Sorbet at the Jardin Du Luxembourg

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Lulu Berlu, an amazing (but overpriced) vintage toy shop .. ‘Cluny La Sorbonne’ is the best place for toys / comics etc..

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At the Louvre

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Montmartre

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Mark drew the typical French Man that looked a lot like Serge Gainsbourg

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27 Jul

Chanel vintage finds

By / on Journal , Memoirs

Ever since moving from designsorbet.wordpress.com to designsorbet.com each one of us authors has found an area in the art, design & diy world that is close to her heart. Whilst Moira is re-discovering fashion illustration through Blog Me, Draw Me! and Sarah is coming up with fresh prints, my area is that of memoirs. Items of sentimental value have always intrigued me not just through their function and decor, but also artistically. Therefore, my main task at Design Sorbet is currently to introduce an object that doesn’t simply interest me aesthetically, but that also carries a history or a story along with it, perhaps it being a beautiful vintage item or a more contemporary object that might have a playful/funny story behind it. These items can be inheritances, tools or objects which were produced by my family or the family of other authors, and other special artefacts that we bring from different places that we travel to. I sincerely hope that you will appreciate, enjoy and perhaps learn something from our colourful memoirs.

From tweed jackets, brooches and silk scarves, Coco Chanel`s world has always been a fascination for most women and fashion enthusiasts in general, mostly due to the brand’s timeless design and also Gabrielle Chanel’s enigmatic life. Gabrielle Chanel was brought up in an orphanage where she was taught to sew by the nuns in charge. She had a short career as a singer before she opened her first boutique in 1910. During the 1920s she launched her first perfume and introduced the legendary Chanel suit and the revolutionary little black dress. Throughout her career she became a style icon known for her simple but refined outfits matched with stunning accessories, such as pearls and brooches. She managed to change the mentality of the fashion world in a radical way, by borrowing features from men`s clothes and giving importance to comfort over the limitations of then-popular fashion. Coco Chanel believed that luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury at all. Through her innovative fashion ideas she encouraged women to say good-bye to the corsets and other uncomfortable clothes.

http://www.biography.com/people/coco-chanel-9244165

Her fashion items are quite expensive and not always easy to purchase especially if they are vintage. So when you receive them as gifts (which is very rare:) it can be a very special occasion. Moira, my friend and author/illustrator of Blog Me, Draw Me! here at Design Sorbet, received an amazing Chanel scarf and a Chanel Vintage brooch for her 27th Birthday. It was quite a difficult mission for her partner; he had to do a lot of research especially to buy the brooch. It is very difficult to be sure if a vintage Chanel is authentic or a fake and most of the time can only be identified via lots of research. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to illustrate these items, especially the scarf that is so tastefully decorated with beautiful ornamental patterns and that is also made from very fine materials. I have tried to amalgamate these two beautiful objects into one detailed composition to memorialise this special gesture.

Check out this link to discover some tips on how to purchase an authentic Chanel brooch: http://www.extrapetite.com/2012/04/chanel-part-4-vintage-jewelry-brooch.html

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My interpretation of the brooch and scarf
aquarells and colour pencils

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Moira wearing her brooch and scarf

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Suggested book and movie:

http://www.bookdepository.com/Chanel-Lisa-Chaney/9780141036854

Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney

Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney
photo by Moira Zahra

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1035736/?ref_=sr_2

Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel in the movie Coco before Chanel directed by Anne Fontaine Image via: http://www.swingfashionista.com/2009/07/audrey-tautou-as-coco-chanel/

Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel in the movie Coco before Chanel directed by Anne Fontaine
Image via: http://www.swingfashionista.com/2009/07/audrey-tautou-as-coco-chanel/

 

 

 

 

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25 Jul

Sketching Away

By / on Prints

Lately free time has become a luxury which unfortunately I cannot afford or have any access to. I’m not really complaining, as this is due to the huge amount of projects I have undertaken which is generally a good thing.

Although this did lead to a decrease in printed works, I am still making a lot of sketches which will eventually be turned into multi coloured silk screen prints.

This is how all my works start. In their initial stages they are just little doodles on my sketch book, and eventually I scan them and further work on them digitally. I will be explaining more about my working methods in upcoming posts.

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16 Jul

Blog Me, Draw Me! Sheri Lee

By / on Blog Me, Draw Me

From LA, to Germany and Australia, Blog Me, Draw Me! today takes me to South Africa! Sheri Lee is today’s Blog Me, Draw Me! blogger from http://www.safashiongirl.com/ I would say she’s probably the blogger with the wildest style I’ve drawn so far. Her outfits have surely changed towards the years (while searching for the perfect picture to use for my sketch, I was surprised at how long Sheri has been blogging for!) By the time she was 9, Sheri was making little websites with html and Javascript and had  around 5 different websites with Angelfire, Geocities and the usual 90′s / early 00′s free personal website creators (I had my own Geocities page with glittery backgrounds and silly gifs all over the place.. will they make a come back like 90′s fashion just did? Doubt it..) Sheri’s style is quite unique, it can be quite goth / punk and a little pop at the same time. She’s quite hard to miss, especially with her bleach blonde hair with a bright blue dip dye. So yes, going through her pictures was a lot of fun and it was hard to pick one. I ended up choosing one from her latest posts because I just really like the movement in the picture. Be sure to also check out her Facebook Page right here :)

sherilee

Loved drawing this in charcoal and really like how her legs turned out (a few digital strokes added in post-production ;) )

 

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One of my favourite outifts: http://www.safashiongirl.com/

 

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Loving the attitude here! http://www.safashiongirl.com/

 

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14 Jul

Delicious Smoothie

By / on Food and Health

I’m really not a Summer person as I can’t stand the heat (or the sun) usually. This is what makes me want to explore new ways, especially delicious ones, of cooling down.

Recently I have this new fad of constantly making smoothies. It is a natural, healthy drink which not only refreshing, but also a delicious treat. I keep trying different fruits in order to have new flavours, amongst which were strawberries, raspberries and mixed forest fruits.

The fact that it contains so much fruit is the reason why I don’t feel guilty for having 2 or 3 glasses a day.

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Ingredients

1 cup fruit of your choice

1 1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar (or honey)

5 cubes ice

 

Method

Put everything in a blender, blend. Pour into a glass and enjoy :)

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