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Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Message to all my Followers:

                                          MAY 2012 BE AN EYE OPENER
                                    UNTIL THEN....FROCK UNTIL YOU DROP !

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Magical World According to Carlos

 Carlos sells "The Big Issue" magazine on Motcomb street, one of London’s classier streets, at least he was when I rushed passed him early December with a brief glance in his direction. He was juggling a magazine from one hand to another with a big old smile on his face that you simply couldn’t ignore ...along with the stomach clenching piercing in his ears... You know the one that makes a gaping hole in the earlobe and your stomach somersault?

Anyway, ignore him I did as I rushed passed with a barely a fleeting smile in his direction as I headed towards my local newsagent, berating myself for not having stopped once in there.

“Tell him you don’t read the Big Issue and give him a £1. Just so you know...he is a very talented photographer, he is planning an exhibition too. Ask him...he’ll show you some of his work.
So out I went, back towards the juggling Carlos.

"The Big Issue" is a weekly street magazine written by professional journalists and sold by homeless individuals. The vendors purchase it for £1; sell it for £2, keeping a pound for themselves. This is an opportunity for them to earn a legitimate buck and reintegrate themselves into mainstream society.

I gave him a £1 and told him that I had heard that he was a photographer which he was visibly flattered by and as I turned to leave after our brief chat, he called out to me and  handed me a couple of postcards of his work. I could have left and never seen what Carlos saw when he peered through his viewfinder and that would have been a doggone shame.
Honestly? I don’t know what I was expecting... but what I wasn’t expecting was to actually like what I saw. More than that...I was taken in first by the haunting images before me and then the look of unadulterated pride on Carlos’ face when I told him so. With his permission, I have printed them here for all to see,enjoy them and visit his unpretentious site for more.

Moral of the Story: next time you rush by a seller of "The Big Issue" don’t render him invisible by your lack of interest or time... (which we are all guilty of doing). Once in a while stop.... you may even meet Carlos or another budding artist in the making.

I urge you to visit Carlos’ site and see for yourself; there is far more than meets the eye and what an eye he has.


photo by Carlos Gonzalez Perez*copyright*

San Francisco:Photo printed with permission from Carlos Gonzalez Perez*copyright*

Friday, 16 December 2011

Someone Like You ....Adele

While shopping in our local Waitrose when last in London, I came face to face with...the gorgeous ADELE!

I was walking up an aisle,arms full of stuff and looking for my sister, who had absconded with the trolley,when I stopped to let someone pass: "Thank you very much" I heard someone politely say.
"You're welcome" I replied and then looked up into... Adele's gorgeous face. Yes,up! Believe me when I tell you that Adele is tall  and more amazonian than small ninja turtle, as we are given to believe.
 When she saw that the realisation of who she was had hit me... she quietly looked down and continued on her way. I was hardly going to tackle her to the floor and would need a step ladder to do so... and frankly,I'm just not the kind of person who goes berserk when faced with a celebrity. I silently acknowledged her and went about my business... as did everyone else . Maybe no one else recognised her under the big fuzzy hat she was wearing with her locks looking distinctly blonder...
Had she just come out of Daniel Galvin Jnr's salon across the road...hmmmm.

I for one, was in quiet contemplation of Adele at the checkout counter and adoring her from afar.

*Vogue Oct.2011*

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Something Old,Something New: for Xmas or simply just because...

               * Antique jewellers SJ Phillips and Eliane Fattal : a match made in heaven * 

I don't know whether you are familiar with the magnificent SJ Phillips shop on Bond street, but let me tell you that it is a treasure trove of Victorian and Edwardian delights.
Each piece tantalises and taunts you from the safety of the window display as your eyes sweep over the items on display. You simply have to tear yourself away with a sigh, knowing full well that you haven't even scratched the visual surface and to try an absorb anymore will result in a migraine for you and your other half ...
 I for one have always been in awe and somewhat intimidated by antique jewellery shops; I daren't inflict my ignorance on the staff by entering the premises with foolish questions while desperatly pawing the merchandise with a half crazed look upon my face.
As the saying goes : " Who Dares, Wins"and  that is precisely what portrait photographer Eliane Fattal did, quite succesfully might I add.


Eliane was on a mission to find a flower ring and instantly fell in love with a 19th century pansy brooch  on sale at SJ Phillips. She had the in house workshop team convert it into a ring of her own design. A firm believer in jewellery that must be worn at all times and not only on special occasions,(which for some are few and far between)Eliane continued to convert pieces that worked with her everyday uniform of jeans eliciting many a stolen glances from passersby.
It was apparent that she had the eye and sensitivity to be able to approach Victorian and Edwardian pieces of jewellery by giving them the respect they deserved while indulging in a flight of fancy. The Norton family,owners of the establishment, were delighted by the outcome and a collaboration was made with the launch of the aptly named "Metamorphosis" .

"Metamorphosis" is a collection of 20 heirloom pieces that have been converted into drop dead gorgeous pieces of self indulgence.


Each conversion is easily reversed to its original mount thanks to a little screwdriver found in the velvet lined boxes so that its original value can be restored. The chosen piece is presented in a leather bound book box with a brief history of its origins as well as a historical telling of how one can wear the item in many different ways.  
Bring a little Downton Abbey into your life.


                                            * Something old with something funky*

And you get my latest discovery: MYMO33. 
This is Myriam Adjinakou's baby and her passion : a collection of colourful and vibrant pieces of jewellery that focuses on vintage pieces collected at flea markets throughout Paris and on her travels. These are then mixed and assembled with all sorts of exciting and innovative materials to create unique "hybrid" pieces of jewellery.

Myriam is French born and LA based  who established her jewellery line back in 2001, after having had an internship within the hallowed walls of Chanel, rue Cambon as well as honing her techniques further at Louis Vuitton. She soon came to the realisation that this was no longer a hobby or a whim, but something she was willing to invest in ,in order to create and share her passion with like minded people: fun,fashionable trendsetters with a finger firmly placed on the "vibe" button.

She has just launched her new collection of  one of a kind cuffs and collared necklaces made from different pieces she discovered on her travels to Casablanca and Lome,Togo as well as in and around Paris.

Prices start from around $150 to $950 and will shortly be available at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and other high end boutiques throughout the US...and if you are not in the area...online at:

Bold and beautiful, these pieces are made with attention to detail and today's trends.Most importantly: they are made with love....Who can resist anything that comes from the heart.
I can't.

Do visit Myriam's website to see the gorgeous elephant , read her fun bio...and for the jewellery of course!

"Quand on aime...on ne compte pas" so put your calculator down and click on "pay".

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Pierre Reboul: Ode to the QuailBurger.

Whenever we go for lunch at Pierre Reboul's house of culinary magic in Aix en Provence,we feel excited like two kids about to enter FAO Schwarz in NYC...that's Hamleys to you and me . We are giddy on the drive up and too distracted to deal with the amazing shopping on hand until.... we enter and then the magic begins.

A week before :
My BF had told me in no uncertain terms that the "Caille Burger/Quail burger" was back on the menu  at Pierre Reboul and that we simply had to go; Xmas budgets be damned! And as we licked our lips Homer Simpson style while uttering "Mmmm...Caille Burger" our eyes locked and our fate was sealed.

3 days before:
I called to reserve for lunch on Saturday and right before I hung up something made me  mention the burger.....There was to be a menu change on the very day we wanted to come. Crime of all crimes!...I was speechless, my BF was bereft and all this translated into sheer desperation over the phone. The chef was consulted and Joy of Joys! Two quails were put aside for us...Now THAT is what I call service.

The QuailBurger: The gourmet burger for those in the know....

Small enough to fit into the palm of your hand...but you dare not alter the perfect symmetry.
The perfectly toasted round bun  and the sesame seeds that pop and crunch in tandem in your mouth...but wait! Before you can even sate your hunger for the juicy quail you have to pop the green ice lolly into your mouth (just seen on the left hand side of the photo) to get the full impact of this mouth watering journey. The ice stick is in fact the sophisticated version of a pickle without the crunch or the juices trickling down the sides of your mouth. Oh Boy! That will make you laugh and sigh with joy, for what is a burger without a pickle? Batman without Robin...redundant and rather sad.
 Then and only then can you take the perfect bite into the burger and I swear I could hear angels sing. The quail is soft and juicy and the relish crunchy, adding the cushion to the bun and playing havoc with your taste buds.
Close your eyes and saviour the moment .Of course Virgile, the sommelier will serve you the perfect glass of red wine to accompany your journey.

4 words to describe this experience : Bliss in a bite....and Perfect,as I seemed to have used the word rather often .

Consult the website for the menu,they change every 3 months or so...keep your eyes open for the return of the QuailBurger and then tell everyone you know about it.

"Mmmmm.... Pierre Reboul."

Friday, 25 November 2011

Intouchables - Bande Annonce Officielle [HD]

"INTOUCHABLE": French cinema at it's absolute best.
This film is loosely based on a true story and it will make you laugh until you cry, cry until you laugh and touch your very soul. I haven't had to blow my nose so many times during a movie since my sister and I saw Jackie Mason on Broadway and ended up having to halve my last Kleenex to wipe the tears,the make up and the odd runny nose.

This film should remain "Untouchable" by Hollywood because I fear that in the name of "Box Office" and "Blockbuster" it will be mangled and desensitized.
Francois Clunet whom I know from Harlen Coben's french movie rendition of "Tell No One" (even he went French when it came to making his hit book into a movie...!) is France's answer to Dustin Hoffman...see him smile,see him act and you'll agree wholeheartedly with me. Omar Sy who plays Idris his aid and saviour is so funny and so larger than life he fills the screen and all our hearts...watch him get down to "Boogie Wonderland" and your soul will fly and your feet will move to his beat.

A tour de force;this film screams "awards" and as many as you can throw at it.
GO SEE THIS FILM...it will make your heart soar .

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Pssst...I Have a Secret...and I'm telling Everyone!...

Ron Rizzo,the new name in innovative jewellery and his brand new:"Pleve" collection:

With Christmas around the corner and Santa’s wish list still lying empty on the kitchen counter, I suggest you pen this in and then underline it in red: Ron Rizzo and his magnificent“Pleve” collection .

These are exciting times especially when a creator can envisage a revolutionary method in diamond assembling or “diamond sculpting” as Ron calls it, without relying on the tried and tested traditional methods . What he has created and I am sharing here with you is a fresh and unique approach in hand sculpted jewellery.
We all need some Christmas cheer and Ron Rizzo ticks all the boxes .
Forget what you know, clear your mind of the classics,pour yourself a glass of chilled champagne and...Feast your eyes upon these:


We all love a little bling, especially around this time of year.... Anyone who says otherwise is lying to herself; this is the season to be jewelled and bedazzled. Waste it not,"Bah,Humbug's" go home and let the rest of us kick up our diamond heels.

Here’s a little about the artist and creator: Ron Rizzo.

He was born into the business where he was able to nourish his passion for jewellery making within the folds of his family’s business. He attended F.I.T and the Gemological Institute of America and went on to receive the accolades from his peers such as the prestigious DeBeers award amongst others.
 “Pleve” (pronounced a la fran├žaise) is a brand new line of unique and innovative jewellery which cannot be found in stores ...Yet!
Ron Rizzo's other designs have been sold in Henri Bendel, Saks as well as Neiman Marcus in the US. What makes this method stand out from the rest is its uniqueness...these pieces cannot be duplicated, this method has never been seen before, in fact there is a patent pending on this process.
Check out the process and the artist at work:


With the success of his wholesale business under his belt, Ron has moved onwards and upwards, opening his own retail boutique and studio in Long Island, NY.

62, Glen cove Road, East Hills NY 11577. Tel :( 515)484 0030

And you thought you didn’t have any ideas for gifts....!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Is this a Man's World?

Cue Keira Knightly clad in a  tight fitting leather onesy riding on a motorcycle while Joss Stone bleats out "This is a ma-ya-yans world..."for Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle. Keira is gorgeous and I am sure Jeremy Clarkson concurs despite the rather unglamorous description he made of her on Top Gear as being"a head on an ironing board"... I shamefully laughed at his rather crude description...but I am only human. Some men will find her sexy others not...this is a man's world after all....or is it?

Has fashion dictated a trend this season that will turn things on their head with the new androgynous trend of women shod in men's shoes or is it an empty promise of things to come? Why make a mockery of women who work hard in a world run fundamentally on man's ideologies by making them literally step into their shoes? Any takers on that trend...please raise your hand! Any God fearing fashion forward woman who wants to cling  to one ounce of her feminine wiles will be squirming at the mere sight of Stella McCartney and Celine's idea of a fashion trend: a man's shoe for a woman.

Hello? Shoe meet Hideous...because that is what they are,hideous :a travesty of good taste and common sense.I get brogues,I got brogues!...flat heel,high heel...love 'em. Doc Martens what the hell but these...these look like the shoes Saudi men used to wear back in the day to look chic. I should know,I grew up around some of these men,thankfully Dad stayed clear. If they see these same shoes on their women...it is grounds for divorce.

I get woman dressed in a suit ,I not only love the look but applaud it : I wore out an Et Vous  cream pinstriped trouser suit back in the 90s while working as a sales girl at Blanc Bleu,Juan les Pins...a demeaning job run by a ruffian but I had something to prove to mysef. I would alternate wearing it with a tank top, suspenders and high tops (gaining the unwanted attention of the lesbian girlfriend of the girl who worked next door in Reminiscence)then switch to high heels and we would get this party started. 
On that same note, I have more than once embraced the perenial YSL inspired tuxedo for women at weddings when every other woman was in a dress be it long or short. Anyone at Mo and Moncy's wedding on the Cap d'Antibes will remember me wearing  a white linen Claude Montana tux. High heels,makeup and a sexy updo and who wouldn't pull it off? Someone who would take the trend too far and add Stella's or Phoebe's shoes. 

*SEPT.2011 UK ELLE:STELLA McCARTNEY £550....and they are not even leather!*
 The common denomenator here is the word "woman" and then what the look inspires in men and other women :"sexy,appealing,inspiring..." And there lies the crux, take away any one of those adjectives and you will remove femininity and what differenciates us from men. This is a "Mad Men" world, a "Pan Am" world,these tv shows that occupy our screens say it all: women work in men's worlds and ooze sex appeal even at 30,00 feet.
This is a fashion trend that seriously is left wanting and forget wanting to appeal to a man...because no man will come within a 10 mile radius of you wearing these shoes. You may appeal to women if you are so enclined and there is nothing wrong with that but we are talking fashion here and not Match.com...we all dress to appeal to someone other than ourselves even on our lowest days and this trend of fugly shoes has me flumoxed. Thankfully I have not seen anyone following this trend while last in London (in Cannes women are still perplexed by a squoval toe , a man's shoe will push them over the edge)but almost wish I had, just to see the beast out in the open. Will it be attacked or will it be followed?

Alpha male or alpha female...you pick your side. I have my alpha male who wears his shoes with pride and doesn't covet mine,thank God.
 I am woman hear me roarrrr!


Thursday, 17 November 2011

"P" is for "Barty" and other nonsense

Russel Peter in Lebanon: I have never heard of this comedian but when I was sent this by my sister I was nodding and laughing..."He gets it !"

There is no "P" in the arabic alphabet and "the broof was in the budding" way back when I was a kid and I would hear one of my uncle's say: he was travelling to "Baris".
"Make sure you have a barachute"!

I had to call up a store yesterday and identify myself:
"Bonjour! I'm calling to see whether you have sold the brass bed I left with you?"
"Can I have your name..."
" Adeeb....A.D double E..." and he interrupts
"Slow down please. A.D.."
"E.E. B...for Bernard."
"Reem Adeeb..."
"Yes,that's me."
"You said your name was Bernard!"
Pfffffff....."Give me an A...."!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Spanner in the Works....

Just after having taken my car for a service at my local garage and being told that all was "good under the hood..." my BF and I were more than a little surprised when black smoke started to pour out of the exhaust like a smoke screen from the Batmobile. It got so bad that passersby were covered in the stuff as we idled by traffic lights and we were too embarrassed to look anyone in the eye.  A couple of phone calls later and a lunch that was not so much appreciated but merely ingested and we were back at the garage with the little chap who had serviced the car the day before.
This is a peculiar little man with a raucous laugh due to one too many cigarettes and a sense of humour that I just don't get...luckily my BF does so I let him handle it. The problem was solved in no time whatsoever once he had driven the car full throttle, covering part of the landscape in black smoke and then popping his head under the hood....he had failed to tightened the "what not" on the radiator. I was relieved but not surprised. A year and half ago I was there with the same little chap who was once again looking under the hood, when all of a sudden I heard:
"What on earth?...." My heart sank as I could see a simple oil check turn into a complete overhaul and kissing goodbye any chance of buying myself a "little some'tin some'tin"nice...
"Is that my screw driver? I've been looking for that for ages!"
Should have gone to Spec Savers....

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Talking about Beyonce....

I heard a while back on some entertainment show or another(E!) that Beyonce's latest album "4" hadn't done well in the album charts....until she announced that she was pregnant..... So people started thinking what?: " Poor love, she's preggers now and will have a mouth to feed?"
Seriously what is the thought process behind that?
I love Beyonce but of late her songs are so fired up, her music clips are so intense:what with insane dance moves,insane wardrobe and make up that not only pops! but startles...that you need to pop a few Advils just to get over the sensory overload.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

What Goes Around ....Comes Around

I don't have any children...But! I have a cat...Loulou. Lame name but in fairness he was my BF's first and now he is my Big Fat baby.
I heard him in the kitchen scratching on the door to be let out :
"Loulou...LOULOU! Come here and sit with us a while...."
And it hit me like a freight train....my mom used to yell the same thing to us when we used to hang out in our rooms ,to be anywhere in the house except with the rents:
"REEM! LiiiiiNA!??? Where are you?"
One floor up, each one in her room...."Whatttt??"
"Why don' t you come and sit with us instead of in your rooms...."
OMG! I have become my mother!!!!

"..What goes around comes back around,my....my baby" BEYONCE

Friday, 21 October 2011

" AaaaahhhH !.... Bicester ! " (pronounced:"Bis-ter" as in"Mister")

This will make sense to all the Brits and Brit expats out there...as for my American followers:the title of this piece will sound lame! (Play on words on the advertisement: "AaaaahH! Bisto!" a gravy mix). Andiamo...

So how excited were we to board the Shopping Express coach : Destination Bicester!
It did not disappoint...3 of us rushed to the back of the bus to lay claim on the back row...You never get over that instinct ,believe me. Once there we sat back and watched the lovely British countryside whizz past while ticking off all the shops we wanted to go to on the brochure...which was promptly discarded once we got there, preferring a synchronized zig zag to anything remotely organized.

"Are we there yet?" one of us exclaimed...."Not yet" replied the "Voice of Reason"(my sister)
We all spilled out of the bus once we got there around 10.30 am and rushed head long into the quiet outlet village. First port of call : SUPERDRY and my first purchase: a t shirt for £11.00 as opposed to the £19.99 in the shops. OooH ! Bargain!!
 Out we flung ourselves into the brisk Oxforshire air, ready for our next "stop and shop"...it's a little like a "meet and greet" but with money being spent .

"Voice of Reason" bought a pair of booties she had coveted last year at Rupert Sanderson while I and "Young at Heart" hovered around like hyper children, ready to pounce in Prada or boogie in Burburry. Once in Burberry, I was running round like an insane person ... not knowing what to buy nor why and whether, if at all,it was wise to...as if wisdom was a necessary evil on this trip but I listened to it nonetheless and we left Burberry unscathed. 

The Ralph Lauren emporium had everything you could possibly not particularly want but could buy nonetheless...a perfect place to be outfitted from head to toe if you are so enclined. Classic pieces never die...we were not enticed and other than a polo for her husband ,"Voice of Reason" was the only one who bought something there.... "Young at heart" and I ran rampant around a still quiet village while waiting for her to pay. The retilin had not kicked in yet..so a pit stop for coffee at Pret a Manger was called for.

We progressed in orderly fashion, only stopping in places we really had a vested interest in. Both "Young at Heart" and I purchased a pair of shoes from Tod's and we were over the moon to have found classic shoes that don't need to scream "Last Season!" as there will be no one out here to hear them. Perfect shoes at a perfect price..the VIP card kicked in , giving us an extra 10%... Bonus!

"Prada" was heaving with people and with reason....there is so much to choose from. I spied a bag I had coveted : I plunged,touched, paused.....and engaged (Rugby season works for fashion too).

I won't go through all the places there are, the map is there to provide you will all the info as well as the different alternatives on how to get to Bicester... and get here you MUST! It is an absolute treat even if you only go home with a pair of tights from Wolford, as my friend Anne -Marie complained to me.

The only places that were more misses than hits were : Dior...a shambles/Amanda Wakeley,Aquascutum,Hobbs, Jaeger...fuddy duddy with nothing that screams this century...shame as I had my eye on a coat from Aquascutum,maybe next winter they will catch up with the present vibe. 
 Gucci was full of TOWIES and scary wannabe rap artists...But! Plenty to find there too,if you are so enclined. The UGG store was full of  the "Youf's"in pink velour tracksuits trying on fuschia pink Uggs...turn and leave. Moncler was the next stop for the Youfs now clad in their Fuschia Uggs ...those gorgeous downfilled jackets are as gorgeous as the ad campaigns by Bruce Weber .Try as I might, I simply come off  looking like a midget in a sleeping bag. So...a pass for me.

Lunch at Busaba Eathai was perfect and the only real restaurant open serving  hot food in a nice ,viby atmosphere. With a bottle of Merlot between us and some fabulously spicy thai food,we were beyond ecstatic... by the time Princess Micheal of Kent walked in with a small retinue of friends we were delirious! A celebrity sighting is always a crowd pleaser.
 The little shower of rain did nothing to dampen our spirits and by the time we got on the bus at 3.45pm, our shopping safely tucked away...we were laughing all the way home.


Open 7 days a week/ Shopping Express coach service,pick up at Victoria and the Cumberland hotel /drop off at the Cumberland hotel...but they will drum that into you during the journey:£23 return trip with a smile ...excellent service.

NB: aAAH! Just noticed that I could have used my VIP card at SuperDry as well as Busaba Eathai...!!! You'll just have to now...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Reprieve

Apparently and according to my BF...I am in need of a visit to Katie at Daniel Hersheson for a much needed Permanent Blow dry...Guess my reprieve is ovah!...
The fact that he noticed is momentous :
"Babe! Look at your hair?!..." he mimes fuzz and whirls.
"You look like a Cauliflower!"
My next appointment is booked.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Look Du Jour: Snakes on Main street and LV bondage

Trench coat by Chloe
Levi's: vintage
Snakeskin boots by Prada
Leather bag by Mulberry
Python bag by Dior
PHOTO by Raymond Meier for Vogue (August)

Louis Vuitton monogrammed leather clutch with wrist cuff
Mary Janes by Manolo Blahnik
Photo by Alasdair McLellan for Vogue (August)

Better sift through my wardrobe... and I see what I can find in there! 

Monday, 3 October 2011

"How to Catch a Boar...."

With a bowl of Irish whiskey and a handful of sleeping tablets.

I kid you not, that is precisely how my friend Janet's husband Philippe is going after the wild boars that have ravaged the garden of his summer house.
They first made an appearance earlier this summer...that is the upturned turf and holes did...no one saw nor hide nor hair of any boars. Someone said : "Oh that comes from a wild boar..."  Philippe's brother Frederic was more adament with his theory: " Don't be ridiculous...a bird made that hole."
There hasn't been any sightings of Emu's in the area either....
A G20 summit was held by Philippe with his gardeners and various family members to discuss this  attack on his garden. The summit approved his plan of attack and Philippe was dispatched to the nearest pharmacy.
The pharmacist was deeply concerned when Philippe wanted a packet of her strongest sleeping tablets:
"Are these for you?"
"No..I don't want to commit suicide, I just want to get rid of some boars that are making a mess of my garden" replied Philippe." How much would a guy my size need to be knocked out?" Philippe is a robust guy.
"One tablet."
"I'll take 3 boxes."

Three days later and still no sign of any nocturnal visitations, let alone any slumbering piglets. If anyone wants to go on a bender, there is a bowl of fine Irish whiskey in Philippe's back garden. As for the sleeping tablets? Well, the very busy ant activity around the house has ground to a startling halt ....zzzzzzz

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

"Adonis? More like bloody Hades !": a tale of a meal in a Lebanese restaurant in Nice

 I was hankering for some Baklava when my BF asked me where I fancied having lunch, last weekend in Nice. I suggested "ADONIS" as we were heading in the direction of the Old town and the Cours Saleya. We had eaten there before and the service wasn't great nor was my suggestion Du jour but I did remember that the desert menu was copious and filled with the sticky,sweet goodies Lebanese desserts are all about and just perfect with a fresh pot of mint tea. And did I mention my hankering?...
There were a few people eating on the terrace,enough to indicate that it was busy but upon looking indoors where there was no one, not enough to indicate that they were overwhelmed. We chose to sit indoors(hesitation from waiter and first scowl of the day from the manager) for the a/c and to get away from the hustle and bustle created by the " Marriage a Minute" festivities happening in front of the restaurant, at the town hall. Lunch and a show was perfect but from a distance.
Not so much as a welcoming smile from manager as we sat down and were handed the menus. I had noticed how surly he was the first time we ate there and  had hoped that he would have gotten over it whatever it was by now...Apparently not. My BF decided on the chicken shawarma platter and I wanted something "light" (if that isn't an oxymoron when Lebanese food is concerned!) so that I could have dessert. I saw "the vegetarian dish" liking all the suggestions there except for the falafel. I never eat the falafel on these dishes and thought why waste a falafel when I could have say...a sambousek (meat or cheese filled samosa)? I asked the waiter and he replied that he would need to check with "Le chef". There was I thinking he would consult the chef in the kitchen when lo and behold the manager came flying at me like a bat out of the eaves:
"What is the problem? What is it you want?"
"I don't like felafel...I simply would like to know whether you could replace it..."I replied surprised at his outburst.
"The restaurant is full, we are very busy...we can't waste time changing things on pre pared dishes! What dish did you ask for, vegetarian? What dish??"the man was pent up anger in rubber soled shoes.
"Stop!" I exclaimed. "Fine! You don't have to say another word..." A simple "yes" or "no" would have sufficed.
Smarting, he walked off. I was boiling with anger....we could have left, but I hate to make a scene and frankly was too hungry to move...yes,yes...I know.
He came back to take down our order, trying for polite and mild mannered but failing..." Do I have to explain Bamieh (Okra) to you...or are you familiar with it?" My cold blooded look had him check his attitude.... I was giving him the cold shoulder frozen and double dipped in dry ice treatment...and it seemed to work.
The food was good, my Okra was sublime with just the right amount of coriander and garlic, the labne (thick yoghurt to be served with a trickle of olive oil and finger licking good..)was perfect to scoop up with the hot pitta pockets and the meat sambouseks...yummy. My BF was in food heaven  with his shawarma platter as well as a dish of "Soujouk"(little lamb sausages in a heavenly tomato sauce)and as long as the "chef" stayed away from us...all went swimmingly.
After we finished and my BF went to the restroom, the manager ventured over to remove the empty plates and try his hand at small talk. One word : Useless .
We did have our baklava and ate it too, along with a portion of freshly made "Ishta": little blini like pancakes with a cheesy, chewy interior all drenched in thick syrup that makes your teeth scream and your stomach cry out for more.
We paid and left, thankfully service is included in France otherwise he wouldn't have gotten a red cent as a tip from us.
The food is good,the service is terrible: the manager needs to check his irritability at the door and deal with the scowl....Check TripAdvisor...I wasn't the only one to complain about the weird service at this otherwise delightful restaurant.
Will I return? Definitely NOT...
.....who needs a stomach upset before even getting to the food.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Fawlty Phone Lines...?

I picked up the phone today to call my favourite little Italian restaurant "Da Laura" in Cannes to book a table. It is incredibly popular and if you don't reserve you will be disappointed.
"Buongiorno ,Da Laura...can I help you?"
"I would like to book a table please.."
"For lunch or dinner?"
Funny I thought,they have never been open for dinner:
"Are you open for dinner now?"
"No, just asking."
"Right, well I want to book a table for two..."
"What name?"
"What time?"
"12.30 please."
"And the name..."
I pressed my mouth closer to the mouth piece:
"And what time?..."
"Right 12.20"
"And what name..."
"MANUEL? Is that you?...."

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Anthropology 101

One doesn't need a pith helmet, a shovel nor sponsorship to be able to enjoy the many splendors at the Anthropology store on Regents street... just a healthy dose of curiosity and time. The ample space once occupied by Wedgewood, has now been transformed into an edgy,viby boutique.  As soon as you step into its welcoming arms....you will feel like Dorothy stepping into OZ..... a long way from home.
 The two shopping emporiums opened in London (one on Regent street and the other replacing Antiquarius on Kings road)are far more edgier and visually appealing than their counterparts in NYC. The decor and light,the structure and layout is such that you seem to be in a museum one minute, a boutique the next and a work of art throughout. The need is to buy , but also to gawk and stare at everything.

The changing rooms are like studio apartments ; they are  clean and spacious havens that look more like the insides of a large walk in closet than those tight coffin like boxes with curtains that stick to your bum like static giving the impression that you are inside wrestling with an alligator when all you are really trying to do doing is put on a pair of trousers. And don't get me started on the dust bunnies....Gap currently holds a gold medal for those.
 The staff are extremely pleasant ,many of them are americans with an easy smile and a helpful nature.
I love the skylight in the Regent street branch and the "hanging gardens of Babylon"... if Babylon is in London's Regent street. You are lulled into serenity and insighted to buy almost immediately... you can't help yourself: a little something for yourself,your kitchen...a gift that you end up keeping .

 I came away with  a chequered shirt as well as a delightful stack of colourful measuring cups that are too beautiful to be used for something as basic as that.My sister came up with a much better option: to use them for various snacks at "wine o'clock ", or "beer o'clock" or if you must..."whisky o'clock".

With all the american brands arriving on our shores where will the fun be in shopping Stateside? 
 You can't walk passed Cecconi's in Savile row without your senses being assaulted by the citrusy signature scent wafting over from the nearby "Abercrombie and Fitch" . As you approach the store you are wallowing in both the scent and the enormous bags from the shoppers stumbling out into the daylight. "Banana Republic"  is now on Kings road as well as Regent street with this season's look  focusing on"Mad Men"....if Mad Men is based in the Yorshire dales and not on Madison Ave. I frankly wasn't impressed with this season's collection ; I saw creased dresses hanging on listless hangers and a colour combination that would make Nora Batty cringe .... I simply couldn't conjure up an image of Betty Draper, let alone Joan Harris sporting any of these garments on show. Disappointed.
 Moving on....
"Coach" will be opening it's doors soon and the fabulous Reed Krakoff (chief designer at Coach who has his own fabulous collection)bags I so coveted when in New York  are now available at Harvey Nichols and on net-a- porter....hmmmm
  "Kate Spade" has opened 2 shops, one in Covent garden and the other on Sloane square,yes the darling of the Upper Eastside has defected .How will it compare with the likes of the very British and very in demand Anya Hindmarch ? Fashion is like a lunch with a very large italian family...there is enough for every one and something for all tastes.
Buon Apetito.

Saturday, 10 September 2011


 Look at this beauty : directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud , filmed in the Galeries des Glaces at the Chateau de Versailles and music by Gossip.
Keep your eyes open for some guest appearences....
Enjoy....it will help you forget the whole Galliano debacle.
Timeless, beautiful Dior.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger ft. Christina Aguilera

 For all you lovers of Maroon 5 out there: Pre order their new album " Hands All Over"...so you can "Move like Jagger" all over your living room.
Such a feel good song...join me and lets LET LOOSE!
NB: I almost got pulled over by the police on the highway as I was " Moving like Jagger" while driving...Hey! if it feels good....Worrysome part was , I had had a couple of glasses of champagne and wine... looks like I was also " Drinking Like Winehouse".

Friday, 2 September 2011

" Say You , Say.... Ravioli ": a love story part 2.

For all those who read my posting “Say you, Say me...” back in Oct.2010, you will be familiar with the characters: the ballsy B looking for love and her hopelessly romantic “starter boyfriend” X. For all those who don’t...you have some scrolling to do or simply click on this to catch up:

So B thought long and hard over the situation with X and she decided to give things a chance. She kept her mouth closed and her ears open trying to figure this tall lanky guy, with a penchant for “cheesy and queasy”, out. What she did know was that he was visibly besotted with her and had no qualms in showing it. But love had played tricks on her in the past, she was now prepared to outwit it before she falls into its trap.But they had to step it up a notch now, another night in listening to bloody Lionel Ritchie and she would have to break X’s heart as well as his stereo. His romantic overtures were too Barbara Cartland for her taste and yet he still hadn’t taken her out for a slap up meal. Could X’s reticence be an oversight on his behalf or was he simply a tight wad? She shuddered at the memory of a past paramour who would bring a teabag of his favourite green tea with him whenever he spent the night as well as a packet of biscuits.There was never a second teabag, nor a second packet of biscuits. After several nights of this ritual, B had to ask:
“Tell me something, what is up with the one teabag?”
“Oh, I love a cup of green tea before going to bed” was his reply.
“And ...you just think of bringing the one?” said B dripping with sarcasm. “How about bringing the entire box? And maybe...I don’t know, leave it here?”
“Well... I didn’t know whether you liked green tea...” was his response.
 Hers was to send him packing.

The Foire de Nice, a yearly event and culinary treat for all self respecting foodie on the Cote D’Azur, was in full swing that weekend and B suggested to X that they drive to Nice to check it out.
So there they were amongst the many stands and stalls of mouth watering treats and B’s stomach started to rumble to a steady beat....take me out for lunch,take me out for lunch.But the loved up X remained stoically oblivious to the wild card she had dealt him: would he pass the test or tighten his wad?
“So what do you want to do now?” he happily asked, rose tinted glasses firmly in place.
“I’m hungry and would like to get something to eat!” she responded, slightly riled now that he still hadn’t picked up on the natural flow to this date: food, wine and then if he is lucky...some passionate dessert back at his flat with their companion Lionel Ritchie .Then again, at this point all she could imagine him possibly singing was: “Hello?... Is it meat you’re looking for?....”Grrrr
“Oh! Why didn’t you say something? Come with me...”he grabbed her hand and headed for a stall that made and sold fresh ravioli. B faint with hunger but determined to stand her ground, spotted a smattering of tables and chairs beside the stall and thought to herself: “Ok... he is making an effort here, although this isn’t quite what I wanted... it is kind of cute.”
X bought a portion of ravioli and turned to B triumphant. He then proceeded to turn his back on the stand, the tables , the inviting chairs and everything he holds dear...the lightning was about to crack.
“Isn’t this fun?” he declared with unbridled glee as he forked a piece of ravioli and thrust it at her gaping mouth: “A bite for you and a bite for me...”
B delirious with hunger and disappointment let rip: “Are you f**# kidding me? Are you seriously planning on spoon feeding me bits of ravioli while we stand here in the middle of all these people? What comes after that... Paddy cake?”
A now frightened X stood stoke still, fork in mid air, eyes agog, his blood rapidly draining from his face: “But... you said you were hungry! “he replied in his defence.
“Yessss ...as in take me to a restaurant ! Would that be too much to ask...or doesn’t your wallet stretch that far?”
“But I thought that this would be romantic....”insisted a stunned X with a face like a slapped arse.

X looks back on this day fondly now: “Boy! You looked scary...like an electrified brillo pad!”
Moral of the story: Never look a gift horse in the mouth...and if its mouth is open...it obviously needs to be fed.

They have moved on and moved in together since then....except for Lionel, of course. He can now be seen on television making fun of his own tunes in the ad for Walkers crisps....thankfully it isn’t on French TV.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

"If You Go Down to Harrods Today...you're in for a BIG surprise..."

These bears have been hired to keep Mohammed Al Fayed OUT of Harrods.
His waxwork effigy that once stood proud in the Menswear dept. can now be seen standing outside the locked doors of Madame Tussauds.
I guess the only place for him is on Celebrity Big Brother...he can bond with Jedward. And for all you out there who don't know who Jedward are....consider yourselves lucky.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous...

Gerard Depardieu, France's pride and joy and best export actor, a man who is a far cry from decorum and chi chi values....decided that he needed to relieve himself there and then on a flight from Paris to Dublin. By there, I mean on the much trodden carpet of the plane and then, well simply that.... and not the 15mns after take off the stewardess asked him to do. Apparently it was done with as much tack and sophistication as possible...he simply stood up and peed.....
If you can't hold your alcohol,you can't hold your pee....thanks to Mr Depardieu ,both  issues have been tried and tested in front of a live audience.

My friend whose husband is a pilot for a well known airline, told me a fascinating tale about the sunny Kate Hudson. The lovely young actress know for her romcom roles and easy manner  kicked up a fuss on a flight from London to Los Angeles . The reason for her unease? The gentleman sitting across from her in First class was talking on his cellphone.......in Arabic.
Yes, the Lebanese passenger was talking in his mother tongue and Ms Hudson took  immediate affront and sought umbrage with the staff , demanding that the passenger be immediately removed from the plane.
When the message was relayed to the pilot, he asked the stewardess to relay the following message to his valued passenger :" Please tell Ms Hudson that she should rest assured, her pilot is himself Lebanese and has never had any problem getting his passengers to their destination. Now if she feels that she cannot  remain on this flight , then he would be happy to take the necessary measures to have her  disembark at her leisure and continue her journey on another flight."
Ms Hudson's luggage was removed from the plane and left on the tarmac...for as long as it took to clear them and her..... for her next flight.

P.Middy's every move is documented ad nauseum. Yes, today she was papped in Chelsea coming out from her beautician's after having had a wax..yes, even the illustrious P.Middy gets a wax from her local beautician. What I find bewildering is the unnecessary need to proclaim her  "fashionista du jour".
Her mid drift mack may be "trendy"  and yes, nude maxis are in style and yes...she happened to pair it all up with a mustard coloured handbag...I say kudos! Today she has actually come close to dressing like a woman of her age .
Let us really address the "Fashion Police" issue:those horrendous "auntie" peeptoe canvas slingbacks she insists on wearing.

What is up with those? They are so beyond fashion they have actually left this hemisphere and moved on to planet Mumsy. They simply do not figure in any fashion lexicon as something remotely considered as fashionable or dare I say it : sexy footwear. Check the celebs and fashion forward people around you....Daphne Guinness? Angelina Jolie? Even British Kate Winslet?... Hmm ?.....seen anyone of them wearing that particular model of sheer mumsiness?
I didn't think so.
Can we kindly take it down a notch and revere her simply for her bottom.

Now for the ridiculous......

Yes, don't adjust your sets...this is Mohammed Al Fayed in the celluloid flesh on....Celebrity Big Brother.
He was doing a guest appearance and as well as making a royal "Asp" of himself. 

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Polka Dot Dress.

Once upon a time, in rented ground floor flat in Queensgate, London lived a budding dreamer and fashionista who wanted to be all things great but suffered from bouts of extreme shyness which would incapacitate her. That and the fact that she was always taught to respect her elders and bite her tongue kept her from speaking up from a tender age. What she feared most was confrontation and this is why, on that fateful day, she was pushed to her wee limits. Her younger sister, the tomboy of the two who preferred to drive over her Barbie’s rather than drive them around, always managed to voice her opinions loud and clear in her beat up trainers and short skirts. On that afternoon, she was busy with her Tonka truck and headless Cindy doll, so she did not witness my undoing.

Our gorgeous and temperamental mother, whose love for her older brothers sometimes bordered on adoration, had given away something of mine in an instant that stuck with me a lifetime and when invoked,the memory of it still is like a finger repeatedly poking my shoulder.
It was a day like any other and I was happily doing my bit for childhood somewhere in my room when my uncle popped in for a visit on the way home to the States from a business trip. Family visits were always a treat in our family, an opportunity for old and young to rally round and listen to tall tales relayed by not so tall men. One minute my mother and uncle were in the living room and the next... before me in the room I shared with my sister. They were gazing into out closet and before I could piece their conversation together, my mother had pulled out my prized possession: my navy blue “Flamenco”style, polka dot dress. Brand new, I was saving this marvel for the next birthday party invitation and my grand” Sunset Boulevard” entrance (I lived for the dramatic and any opportunity to project).
This was 1970 after all, I was testing my fashion waters and apart from the dreaded and itchy Viyella dresses our mother made us wear, this dress was my attempt at being avantgarde and fashion forward. And there it was, held up to my uncle for inspection before it was whisked away. It was then that I figured out their exchange and what it boiled down to is this: “You can kiss your dress goodbye now Reem, your uncle needs a gift for his daughter ....”
In that brief exchange, my dress was no longer my own, my feelings were confetti and my uncle wore the triumphant smile of the cat who got the bloody flamenco dress and wouldn’t get a bollocking from his wife.

“But it’s mine!” I screamed humiliating myself and breaking the code of family ethics: “Thou shalt not reclaim your property once it has exchanged hands.”
“Reem, how rude! Apologize to your uncle immediately!” exclaimed my mother happy that she had found favour with her brother while bailing him out.
 I was inconsolable until my father came home and I ran into his arms, explaining the reason for my distress. He could have promised me as many toys from Hamleys as I liked...nothing could replace that dress in my eyes.

Fast forward many years later, dresses have come and gone, my uncle now divorced was free to fully embrace his new title of playboy and charmer.He always had a beautiful woman on his arm and a libido as large as his kingdom sized bed.... (The bed in his London pad was so big that a hand full of kids could play freeze tag on it and never fall off...)
He paraded around his conquests and kept us entertained with his endless supply of stories. Soon the demands of these lovelies and the upkeep of this lifestyle began to take its toll on his wallet; style and substance costs money so do gifts and restaurants.He was saved the day he stumbled across “Pandora”: the luxury second hand boutique in Knightsbridge that sold gently used designer garments, accessories and as luck would have it.... my cast offs! His hapless girlfriends got gifts, as well as his friends and family, my uncle’s wallet got a reprieve and I ......got satisfaction.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My Poster Girl for Summer 2011

This is my poster girl for Summer 2011: my dear friend's daughter and my fresh faced sweetie: Mael.
Glasses by : Ray ban
Denim shorts by: True Religion
Chunky watch by:G Shock
Shirt : Zara
And my favourite sandals ....Giuseppe Zanotti.

Nail polish by :Dior "Silver"
White gold toe ring:...bought in Saint Lucia by her mom...

Janet and I both bought and wore our toe rings on our trip to the beautiful island and it now belongs to Mael. I wore mine for a while until winter came round and the unsightly bump from the toe ring made wearing shoes and boots impossible. 

Phone : Blackberry....
BBM-ing her beloved: " Jorge.... la gente esta muy loca...."

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Champagne Breakfast & "Paloma" or Bust...

Another wet weekend,but it didn't ruin our plans: Saturday was a ladies only "Champagne Breakfast": mimosas for everyone!
Apparently a couple of husbands couldn't quite grasp this concept and were quite undone:
"Women only? Why? What are you going to do?" As if naked waiters would be circulating drinks while we pole danced for them! Seriously ?
For starters...we 'll get a word in then.... we'll drink, eat , kick back and talk, laugh, hell...even cuss a little,then drink and laugh some more.
 Then we can come home and do laundry....
Actually to be fair my BF simply said:" Have a good time and Reem?...Don't come home drunk..."

Thank you Karen...a perfect hostess and a lovely gathering.

 Sunday rolled in as did the clouds and thwarted our well layed plans to go boating and lunching on "Anjuna beach". Once the storm died down, we reconfigurated and went ahead with lunch via road and traffic. 
Our destination: St. Jean Cap Ferrat and the vertiginous walk down to "Paloma Beach".
Two couples convoyed through the winding roads from Nice and the busy Promenade d'Anglais while the third very astute couple (my sister and her husband) came from Monaco via motorcycle .If you are familiar with this neck of the woods take my advice :do not go via Nice...you will spend an inordinate amount of time stuck on the Promenade while chewing on your cuticles and wishing to God there was an alternate route to the Cap Ferrat( There is!)... other than meandering through the gorgeous and scenic Villefranche before missing the turn 3 times....to the small,glamorous St. Jean.

*My foot on the ghost peddle,urging us on...*
Take the highway, exit at Monaco then make your way via Cap D'ail and the Moyenne corniche...you will thank me for it.You will also thank me for warning you that the steps down to the beach are steep and long, the people are a plenty and no one wants to see you hurtling down at breakneck speed because you insisted on wearing plateforms.
 The heat was taxing, once we got over the drive but the Mojitos....divine.

Paloma beach does not take reservations for the restaurant...but we chilled with pre lunch  drinks until our beeper went off ...( you are given beepers while you wait for your table and we didn't have to wait long). The service was prompt and efficient: we were never ignored, snapped at or left without food or wine.
The waiters are professional and friendly,the food is good,clean Mediterranean fayre: I recommend the  artichoke and parmesan salad as well as the fresh fish : the Saint Pierre en papillote was delicious.

*MY BF looking like the cat who got the Chablis premier Crus...*
NB: Beach toilets are usually the bane of my life especially come mid day...but here it is maned by a delightful lady who swabs the decks each time someone comes out of the toilets. Spotless.

*The pebble beach from on high and the clear waters*