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Friday, 29 April 2011

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Dress by McQueen: tick
Tiara (Queen mother's) by Cartier: tick
Handsome Prince House of Windsor : tick tick tick

Someone posted on Twitter that he was able to lip read Prince William as he leaned over to  to Kate's father:
"...We were supposed to have a small family affair..."

        A happy couple , a happy occasion .
Princess Diana was the People's Princess, today Kate was William's Princess ... a new member of the Royal family beamed .

Monday, 25 April 2011

Aix marks the spot

And that would be the: Restaurant Pierre Reboul in the heart of Aix en Provence. This is a shout out for all you foodies out there.... You will be in for a treat,I guarantee it.

 Before I get to the divine menu served in the restaurant at present (the menu is changed every month and 1/2) let me tell you a little about this quiet genius: chef Pierre Reboul . He calls his cuisine "creative" but also concedes to the fact that it is by and large "molecular gastronomy". And it is molecular gastronomy at it's best and most playful:Reboul revisits the old french cuisine classics and not only gives them a twist,but turns them on their head. Call it topsy turvy cuisine that is so lighthearted and playful you feel like a child in a candy shop. Your taste buds are titillated, your mind will be blown and sensory confusion will set in , eg:  a "rocket/arugula" lollipop with all the flavours you would find in that flavoursome dish had it been served to you in a conventional manner....I had to close my eyes in order to enjoy and appreciate the subtle flavour and divine joyfulness of it.....
".....and there is far more yet to come" as the delightful sommelier Sebastien Lelouch will tell you...and as sommelier's go, he is the bomb! Lyrical and poetic this wonderful gentleman enhances the adventure tenfold.
Pierre Reboul may be Aix's answer to Heston Blumenthal....but with less aggressiveness and weirdness...I have of yet to eat at a Blumenthal eatery and await the opening at the Mandarin Oriental in London...but the idea of Snail Porridge leaves me not only cold but positively freezing.  Reboul is a positive initiation and one that will have you coming back for more...and more....and more.
This is the Amateurs menu we chose on Saturday and you get to share the experience visually .
FYI :The menu comes in 3 categories: L'initiation 39€ , Les Amateurs 81€ and finally Les Experts 138€.
 *Bib alert...you may be subject to severe drooling*

Step 1 :  Transparent ravioli filled with Pertuis green asparagus in asparagus jus served with langoustine and shards of raw asparagus .

Step 2: Mini organic carrot from Provence done 3ways: sorbet,froth and with an orange coconut twist.
Step 3 : Roasted fillet of John Dory with its microcress salad in a miniature garden.

Step 4 : Carbonara 2011.....divine.

Step 5 : Parmesan cheese espuma....with rocket lollipop.

Step 6 : Strawberry from Chateau de Virant done 2 ways :with its caramel swirl , in a macaroon with a touch of basil served  alongside a "cream" of olive oil in its "pipette".

Step 7: The Chef's grandfather's egg and full cream flan served with the chef's favourite childhood caramel.

NB: There were custard cream lollipops served with it but they were eaten before I remembered to photograph them!

...And just when you think you can't handle any more food let alone dessert...Step 8 comes along: Grand Marnier mini cones with crispy pistachio cigarettes and.....bubble gum marshmallows.

Aaaah, coffee..... and not another morsel more....the chocolate came and left intact.

So there you have it and for all the info on the chef,the restaurant and the glorious menus please visit the website:

                                                                                             Plunk plunk fizz fizz...Oh! What a relief it is....

Friday, 22 April 2011


SAT.16-MON 18 APRIL 2011:

Paris was sparkling in the April sunshine like the jewel that it is and we shone like the sun as we ambled from street to boulevard,lost in it's beauty.
My friend Joumana, who lives in Paris, warned me that the temperatures had drastically cooled down from the heatwave they had the week before and that I shouldn't bother with sandals,my biker boots would do...lucky I packed my ballerina shoes. My feet were expanding within my biker boots with each step I took and they were screaming to be set free before they burst on to the pavement. Yes,folks the temperature was soaring as our spirits but my dogs were miserable! Enter ballet pumps for rest of the stay but the damage was done: my swollen feet resembled individual portions of camembert pouring out of my delicate pumps + the redening of the sun....camembert fresh from the oven...Didn't spoil my stay, no siree ! I soldiered on like a trouper.
We stayed at this delightful hotel in St.Germain , just off the Blvd Raspail which is a lively area full of people and bars and restaurants including the well known chic eatery : La Coupole.
The Hotel des Academies et des Arts is luxurious boutique hotel which first opened its doors in 2007. It is listed as a 3* but it is 4* all the way. There is no restaurant or bar just a lovely breakfast/tea room "Chez Charlotte's" which serves the most exquisite macaroons and tea from the Palais des Thes between the hours of 2.30pm and 6pm...we missed the time slot on both days!
You will see silhouettes known as the "white Figures" everywhere inside the hotel and rooms as a wink to the arts and the famous artists that were drawn to this area back in the twenties, such as Picasso, Modigliani and Fujita. They ad such a whimsical touch and almost seem to guide you from room to hall,from elevator to lounge and usher you out into the street to enjoy the pleasures of Paris while they silently await your return.
The hotel also boasts a "wellness spa"which we didn't visit but a menu of the treatments offered was at our disposal in the room and massages were on the list. A cosmopolitan selection of guests were seen and heard but never a hindrance... well other than the overly merry woman who was shouting "Wake up,wake up" in the wee hours of Sunday morning outside our room and persisted in being a wee pain in my ass. 
Thankfully the reception area is small and cosy, tasteful and chic...more like a comfy sitting room in a country manor and smells so delicious thanks to the divine candels burning all day and night. They are thankfully sold at a mere snip of 24€, a lovely souvenir or gift you'll be hard pressed to be parted with,believe me.
Let me not forget the staff who were extremely friendly and helpful ,the likes of which one rarely gets in big and busy hotels.We got in mid morning and since check in wasn't before 3pm the receptionist kindly juggled things around and gave us a room straight away,that sold it for us.

We will return,this hotel is perfect in every way, check their website for more details, I give it 2 thumbs up. Must mention breakfast,it is fab french fayre that even my BF who is a hearty eater, especially at breakfast,had his fill. There is no menu,they just put everything before you and you start salivating, trust me...if you don't like warm chewy croissants,hot baguettes...you are screwed and will just have to eat the fruit and yoghurt. Breakfast:16€

*The stairwell*

*Cosy lounge area*

*It is all in the detail and this hotel has it in spades*
*Breakfast room*
*wall outside room#34 window*

 Pictures speak for themselves and I will let our stay in Paris shine through the photos I took..you can add your own thoughts and words.
Abercrombie and Fitch yet to open on the Champs Elyssees
                                         Old fashioned tricycle chained to railling...I kid you not.
                                                  *Paul Smith: hole puncher gone wild...*

Magical Pont des Arts with all the padlocks everywhere...lovers locking their hearts to the railing of Paris's famous bridge..they are all over the railing! Amazing. *My dad would be in hog's heaven...he has always had a thing for padlocks!* See the Dad Hatter*
I loath posting pictures of myself...but this is apt : Lovers on Pont des Arts..and more padlocks behind us!
Paris would mean nothing without our dear friends Philippe and Marc both modelling the Toby Peace bracelet @ Les Petits Carreaux Restaurant in Montorgueil.
Love you guys.

                                But love my boo more..Dregs of Tea by The...still a great stop.
                 *Last lunch under the fabulous dome of Mega dept.store le Printemps,blvd Haussman*

Well,there you have it....our weekend away in Paris: less words and more pictures.
Thank you Marc,Philippe, Joumana and her lovely girls for their company and Fabulosity.

Saturday lunch at "Noura" for lebanese,delish but horribly expensive.
Dinner Saturday night in the Marais" Des Gars dans la cuisine": cosy,great vibe but soon became quite rowdy which overshadowed the good food and even better company.
Quick tea break at Tea by The, off rue du Rivoli...perfect.
Sunny Sunday lunch at "Les Petits Carreaux" on rue des carreaux and Montorgueil:fine french food, great steak au poivre and wonderful rose: Mont Redon.
Dessert:The best gelato known to man or myself at"Pozzetto Gelato Cafe"in the Marais.Very small list of homemade ice cream.Try the fig...I died and went to heaven...DIVINE. 
Sunday dinner,home cooking at Joumana's:fabulous spaghetti al forno...and no,she doesn't take reservations.
Monday lunch at Le Printemps:" La Coupole":Carpaccio with a poached egg and heavenly french fries swallowed down with chilled Cotes de Provence rose...don't say I didn't share!
Orly airport,departure lounge: a diet Coke and a stick of gum....all fooded out!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI:my selection for the summer...

...and I have yet to buy a pair !
These I love! And they no longer have my size...tried the "desperate shopper squeeze":when you will try anything just to buy it, including a size too small...And a 38 was out of the question...my foot was bulging out in a rather unsightly fashion.
Not to mention that my BF likened them to orthopedic footwear....like HE understands fashion...pfff.
Moving on:...LOVE LOVE these sexy classic slingbacks...BF wore a grin when he saw these...typical!....If they came with a pole, he would have bought them for me there and then,price regardless and these puppies don't come cheap!
They would look so good with the McQueen dress I bought at Harvey Nichols...hmmm. He who hesitates ultimately loses out. But there are times when spending 400/500€ on shoes...hurts and doesn't make sense...like there is sense in fashion.
Shiny,shiny palest pink and Swarovski crystals: absolute darling meets rock chick fatale. BF poo pooed them obviously..the crystals confused him, if they were M&M's that would be another story....
My man.....gotta love him, but his fashion antenna needs honing big time.
So if you are in Cannes this Easter or this coming summer...direction Giuseppe Zanotti, 9 rue des Etats Unis-06400 CANNES  and ask for Cecile,the manager and also my friend...Say I sent you! xx

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Toby or not Toby....that is the fashion accessory.

To all those out there who haven't heard about this elegant and charming gentleman,let me introduce you to Hatem Alakeel aka Toby...Saudi menswear designer and creater of the culturally correct ,must have cuff du jour: "The Peace Bracelet".
This young man has carved a name for himself in the international world of fashion with his bracelets adorning the wrists of the young and restless,the bold and beautiful...that would be society jetsetters, socialites, the famous and the fashionistas. All the proceeds from the sales go to various children international charities.
His new take on the arabian "thobe" has earned him the majestic title of "King of Thobes"as well as International Man of Peace...who knows with a little luck he may even become the Middle Easts answer to James Bond, the fighter for international and interacial peace: "Not only is PEACE the best option,it is the only solution."
The cuff is made from the Palestinian black and white keffiye fabric,with the bold letters embroidered in red,black and green. The cuff comes studded with Swarovski crystals or without and in either case they make a bold statement and a bold fashion accessory.
Join Toby at :www.urtoby.com for more on this enigmatic designer and humanitarian.
As Lady Gaga proclaims loud and proud :.. he is "Born this way"!

NB:...I was very lucky to be gifted a PEACE bracelet and will include a photo of myself wearing it...as also requested by the Toby clan. First,I need a trip to the hairdresser, a facial...mani, pedi and the help of the likes of Mario Testino to stand up to this crowd!
Otherwise a snap shot will just have to do.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Docteur House...the french counterpart

Who knew that his addiction to Vicodin would have him running for the hills and driving a repair and maintenance van on the Riviera?!
God help the punters who require his services...the call out charge alone will be astronomical...what with him having to take so long to find the diagnosis let alone the bloody problem.
Everyone will start popping Vicodin by the time he's finished.
Hopefully a game of "boules" and some Pastis will have him forget what ails him....

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The "It" Mandals ! Yes...man sandals.

This prime example of Man sandals extraordinaire was spotted at the checkout queue at the supermarket today.
I thought I had seen everything that fashion could throw at us in mens footwear, as limited as it may seem...obviously there was room for improvement. Imagine them in black satin for Black tie events held....on a yacht? A beach ? The mind boggles at the endless possibilities...
 Words alone cannot express my thoughts ...the photo says it all..." Rubber Fuglies."

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Lunch in Alassio,Italy

The benefits of living on the Riviera is that you can drive to Italy...and be in Alassio in an hour and a half ... just in time to walk along the sea front towards the  cobbled pedestrian streets to window shop before lunch. One thing to note: shops close for lunch around 12.30/1.00pm and do not reopen before 3.30pm ...so try and get there in time and not as they close their doors. If not get there for a longgggg lunch...I recommend " Sail Inn",via Vittorio Veneto and in the heart of where it is at. Food delicious, a true culinary delight for the eyes and the stomachs but menus in Italian only. So if you understand a word here and there or are up for an adventure:wing it, you won't be disappointed. Then you can have your espresso just in time for the re opening of the boutiques and the Saturday passagiata crowds.

*My BF admiring customized Piagio motor cycles*


A divine selection of sorbets and ice creams on a stick, a must after lunch dessert or simply an afternoon treat. A MUST!

* Seagull chillaxing....*

Perfect Saturday.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Hair today,Gone tomorrow: a story of lost hair and lost friendship

Once upon a time a friend told me that it was perfectly normal to lose a certain amount of hair every day,be it through brushing or washing ...and that 60 hairs a day were considered the norm. When I begged to differ ,she simply responded:..."why don't you count them?"
Are you insane? Do you think I have that kind of time or forensic dexterity to accomplish such an arduous task?..furthermore, have you seen how much thick hair I have and shed on a daily basis?
Let me show you the small pile of hair that comes away from simply having washed it and this is not including the ones that come away once my hair has been combed,dried and styled...Squeamish Look Away Now:

Where is Grissom or a good pair of tweezers when you need them?

Since then ,more hair has been lost as well as this friendship:
" Hair today, Gone tomorrow." 

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Dapper Dandy as seen in COTELAC

*spring / summer 2011 look for men at Cotelac,Cannes*
Where for art thou Donato?
The ex manager and the best sales man on the planet is now on the road for COTELAC  and he is deeply missed...the boutique is a much quieter place without him .

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Funny thing I heard on a Monday morning....

This is a story I heard on the radio and absolutlely loved.
Dating is hard,Lord knows we all have our own dating disaster stories but this one is a doozy:

Girl in question was on her first date with Boy of the hour. He picks her up and takes her to a restaurant for dinner. Girl is happy,restaurant is buzzing and the conversation and wine are a flowing. Girl looks to the bar and finds a Woman looking at her. Unsure as to whether she knows her she turns to look at her again:Woman still looking at her,so Girl smiles at Woman and turns back to her companion to enjoy her evening. Every once in while Girl would turn to look and find that the Woman has slowly crept forward...as diners would leave the Woman would take their empty seats and inch closer. Girl finds it strange but doesn't let it ruin her evening.
Plates cleared, meal enjoyed the Boy gets up to go the toilet, Girl distracted turns and finds Woman sitting right behind her. Startled, she can only stare...and this is when the Woman says to her:
"Just making sure my son is going out with the right tart."
Girl gets up ,walks out.... without once looking back on  mummy's "bestest boy"and  his rabbit boiling mater.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Friday, 1 April 2011

Fur-rell Williams and Friends

 Courtesy of last week's French Grazia magazine and as my sister so aptly put it : "It's Fur-rell and friends ! "
Judging by Monica Belluci's coat they must have gone for the fur sandwich effect to muffle the over enthusiastic dynamic duo: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
Of the two coat wearers, Fur-rel is hands down the most ridiculous ,even his bow tie seems to be bending in submission and embarrassment. Who styled you dude? Kanye West??