Cool Places, Food

MORE COMFORT FOOD…KASE SPAETZLE

31 January 2012

MORE COMFORT FOOD…KASE SPAETZLE

All this cold weather has made me turn to comfort food, which of course is carb rich, laden with calories and oh so yummy.

I discovered a great dish called Kase Spaetzle which is pretty much the Austro- German version of macaroni and cheese.   This version is courtesy of the restaurant Goldener Burg, which also has a pretty nice hotel attached.  You can visit it here. I found a recipe for it here. It looks pretty easy.  In the recipe they use a utensil called a hobel, but I think you could use a colander or a rice press.

With melted emmentaler cheese and the additional of crispy fried onions and chopped chives, it certainly took the chill off- and the kids loved it too!






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Cool Places, Food, Paris

PARIS AGAIN….

31 January 2012

PARIS AGAIN….

No matter what the season, Paris still has allure. This was the first place I ever visited where they did not speak English. I remember getting off the Metro at Montparnasse and really feeling totally overwhelmed. I was 16 years old! How did my parents ever let me go? I survived not speaking a word of French but managed to subsist on a diet of pain au chocolat and McDonald’s. What a trip down memory lane!

The food is better and the accommodation definitely is. But Paris still has the ability to make me feel 16 again, full of the wonder and romance of it all











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Cool Places, Design

COOL… ARCHITECTURE OF THE VORARLBERG

30 January 2012

COOL… ARCHITECTURE OF THE VORARLBERG

When we see a gingerbread house you may not realise that it is  based on the architecture that typified Austro-German-Hungarian architecture dating from around the 14th- 15thC.  Traditional Vorarlberg architecture is typified by its use of wooden construction, simple and elegant design and functionality.   As you can see in these images, not only buildings are constructed of wood, but bridges as well.

The designs of the dwellings may be simple, but the decoration is not: ornate painting, carving and decorative construction are used to add interest and beauty to the buildings.  As you can see in the town of Lech, this combination has a magical affect, contributing to that ‘gingerbread’ quality. The material, wood, shines through.  Much is made of grain and the size of the trees that were felled for construction.

I haven’t shown any of it here, but contemporary Vorarlberg architecture is pretty spectacular too- retaining traditional modes of construction but reinterpreting it.  I hope to bring you some images soon











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Cool Places, Food

COOL… COMFORT (& MEMORY) FOOD

30 January 2012

COOL… COMFORT (& MEMORY) FOOD

Okay, this may not look like the most delicious thing you have every seen but to me it is not only a joy to eat, but rendolent of good memories not only of times but people.  This simple dish you see before you is the very famous Bavarian dish, weisswurst- literally translated as white sausage.

It is made out of a combination of veal and bacon mixed with spices such as parsley, mace, onions and the like and then boiled in water or in diluted white wine.   It is traditionally eaten at breakfast- you can see it here with some scrambled eggs and is eaten with a Bavarian sweet mustard.

Now why do I like this dish so much?  When I was at Christies in London in my (very) early 20s, I shared a flat with a great Bavarian guy ( hi Alexis!!!)  Both of us were hopeless cooks- we managed to cook three things: spaghetti, chilli con carne and bacon and eggs.  However, every few weeks, Alexis would make a return trip home to Germany and return with these sausages-so plain and simple but different!

When I eat it, it reminds me of a good friend and happy days!

 











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Cool Places, Design, People

COOL…SKI CHALETS

29 January 2012

COOL…SKI CHALETS

I’m staying in a lovely traditional hotel in the Austrian Alps but all this skiing is making me wonder how I would design my own ski chalet.  I would probably never do it, as I don’t like skiing that much but I have to say that the first four images of Aerin Lauder’s chalet in Aspen has piqued my interest.   I like the brightness of the spaces and the warm textures.   I am also liking the strong grey oaks in the images of a ski chalet in Verbier.  Finally images of a strikingly designed ski apartment in Slovenia.  Pity the environment wasn’t as striking, but I love the use of the stripped wood contrasted with the grey slate.











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Design, fashion

COOL…PRADA 50S INSPIRED SHOES

28 January 2012

COOL…PRADA 50S INSPIRED SHOES

Loving all things retro inspired, I am totally in love with these 50s car inspired shoes, dresses and bags.  I would love to see the Prada inspiration boards for this season because Miuccia Prada went all out in car love.

From prints that wouldn’t look out of place in your 7 year old son’s bedroom, it has made cars on dresses cool.   Apparently, the venue for the show in Milan was turned into a giant car park, complete with styrofoam cars.   The detailing was exquisite, following the 50s theme through with the retro appliques and candy colours.   Even the cut of the swimsuits and dresses were 50s inspired.  This is such a strong collection & is an example of what great design is.    I can’t wait ’til these are in the stores- maybe a sneak peak in the Prada store in Milan in a few days?











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Cool Places, fashion, Paris

ARIZONA MUSE IN PARIS FOR LV CRUISE 2012

27 January 2012

ARIZONA MUSE IN PARIS FOR LV CRUISE 2012

I’ll be in Paris next week on a sourcing trip but I doubt that I will have as glamorous a time of it as Arizona Muse shot by Mark Segal for LV Cruise  2012.  She is, as always, breathtakingly beautiful ( I mean Paris, though Arizona isn’t bad either).  I am also a great fan ofMark Segal’s photography.   His images are always strong and devoid of gimmick.

I am sure Arizona is having her coffee in my favourite café in St Germain, where a pain au chocolat and cafe au lait set you back 10 euros.   I’m staying in the Marais this time (I work my way around the arrondissements every time I go to Paris) which has become more and more hip and has loads of design stores. Check out my posts from there.











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Cool Places, Design, Objects

COOL STORE…CAST & CAST

26 January 2012

COOL STORE…CAST & CAST

Walking through the back streets of Como, I happened across a design store that was so similar to my aesthetic that I could have taken everything in the store back home with me.   I had never heard of the brand Cast & Cast before, but it was full of luxurious finishes and interesting pieces.  Unfortunately, the assistant did not speak English and the website is not the best in terms of images.  I will have to do further investigation!

The only thing that I did find out was that the owner owns 2 apartments on the shores of Lake Como that are available for rent. They are called Pescallo.   The website for these properties was a bit better and the prices for accomodation were very reasonable.











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Events

HAPPY YEAR OF THE DRAGON

24 January 2012

HAPPY YEAR OF THE DRAGON

The dragon is a very powerful symbol in the Chinese zodiac. Dragons are born leaders.  Every Chinese parent hopes to have a Dragon child.  They are feisty creatures and are famous for their power and luck.  I should know – I married one!

Hoping that 2012 is full of luck and power to you too.  Enjoy!











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Cool Places, Resources

COMO IN WINTER

24 January 2012

COMO IN WINTER

Como is a destination that is teaming with people in the summer.  Famous for the magnificent lake, it is a summer vacation spot for the rich and famous.  Its most famous resident is George Clooney who has a fabulous house there.

The lake itself was as beautiful as always but seemed quite bereft without boats cruising around at fast speeds. In fact, it seemed almost unrecognizable.  Is its glamour because of the people that visit or its natural surroundings? However, though it had a melancholy air, it did retain an aura of romanticism, even if I had to pull up my collar against the chilly air.











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