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Monday, 30 April 2012

Words to the Wise:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
 Doct. Seuss

*...I absolutely go by this now and so should you.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

La Maison Rouge in Mougins: The Complete Package.

I have been very fortunate to have been able to travel to Marrakech twice and both times I have enjoyed the hospitality, the divine food and the mystical splendours of Morocco.
Now I no longer have to dream the impossible dream, I can eat the most mouth watering Saffron Couscous, tajines and pastillas right here in Mougins.

Zohra and her ever smiling husband Hassan have finally made it happen, they have opened La Maison Rouge in Mougins, a casba of infinite pleasure when it comes to the stomach, the heart and the soul.
This lovely red house in a quiet part of Mougins is not only a restaurant and what a fine restaurant it is but also a lounge bar and a traditional Moroccan Hamman. Have I got your attention now?

*courtesy of their website*

Let’s talk food first: home cooked by Hassan himself using fresh produce and vegetables I did not know existed let alone tasted. There are no entrees...the entrees are brought to the table in little shot glasses: tuna in a harissa sauce with capers, baby artichokes marinated in olive oil and lemon,a mini cucumber and tomato salad with fresh coriander so delicious I had to mop up my plate with the sesame and olive bread.

The main meal you pick yourself: the men went for the" Saffron Couscous": a dish fit for our kings. Heaps of golden couscous, lamb, 2 lamb kefte, a brochette of beef and 9 different sorts of fresh vegetables...go ahead count them.

I went for the Lamb and Fig Tajine: need I say that the figs were fresh and the dish divine. Even when I was full and could eat no more..I kept at it.

Janet went for the Gambas Tajine in a fresh tomato sauce....erm,I'll just let the pictures do the talking:

It is hearty and tasty food...the kind your mom would make if she was Moroccan....
The plates are full of goodness that will fill your belly and make you purr with pleasure and once the fresh mint tea has been poured and Zohra has placed a selection of sticky pastries in the middle for all to share...does your purring reach an almighty crescendo and you need a lie down.

The ambience is low key yet enough to transport you.The music isn’t your typical Arabic selection that you now here everywhere including your local supermarket.They were playing a soft jazz combo,music that Woody Allen would use in his movies and it accompanied our meal in perfect harmony.

Now to the newly opened Hamman: you needn’t bring a thing; it is all there for your pleasure. A locker room is at your disposal, thick towels, bathrobes and disposable knickers and slippers. All you have to do is walk in to the thick welcoming heat of the hamman,choose and slab and lie down.A scrub with “savon noir” and massage is available as well as a walk in shower you could fit a football team in. Did I say that you will feel like you are in the heart of Morocco? Well you will feel like you are anywhere but here and that is part of the journey: to escape your day, your routine and surroundings.

Once you have been rubbed, scrubbed and massaged, you are invited to relax in their “Salon de relaxation” where you can drink your fresh mint tea to your heart’s content and close your eyes some more.

Are you there yet?

Open from Tuesday to Sunday
To book Hamman experience or restaurant call:04 93 75 67 28 or 06 45 36 89 11

There are several offers  including the "Formule Repas III" which consists of: use of the hammam,bath towels/bathrobes,disposable panties and slippers, "savon noir" scrub,access to relaxation room with mint tea and couscous or a tajine....80€
If you add a half hour massage to that: 120€

Oh and tell them Reem sent you....Enjoy.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The Dare Devil wears Zara....

Why does one have to be daring to wear Zara,you might ask?Well you don't as far as the clothes are concerned but the shoes?.....An old adage comes to mind about : "cheap shoes and ruined your feet" but when I saw these sling backs my mind went into overdrive and my wallet danced the macarena:gorgeous and a steal at 79.95€ !!
I have never bought shoes this cheap.... but any worries for my newly pedicured and paraffined feet went out the window...I simply had to have them.

Let me tell you that at that price,they are thankfully in leather and made in.... China. But what isn't these days.

So... the verdict on comfort and the state of my feet...(drum roll please....):
My toes suffered slightly on my right foot,as a toe or two was feeling the pinch and/or the need to escape. But in fairness I had been wearing them all day... my feet fared pretty well all things considered.I have had a worst time in a pair of Loubous,let me tell you and blisters the size of kumquats after an afternoon in a pair of Converse hightops.

So : "Que sera, Zara! "...no regrets.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Going For Brogue....

Prada did it  and so did Pollini ...The Brogue is back in force sista'!... And I can walk for miles in them.

Yes, they are mannish looking...They are brogues.
Yes, my BF hates them...They are brogues! (Although he has generously conceded that they aren't that bad).
And Yes, they are part and parcel of fashion footwear that is simply timeless.
There is nothing sexier than a woman in man's clothing and has long as you aren't literally wearing your man's clothes and looking like a bag lady...run with it. Fashion embraces all trends,it is all down to what you pair it with.

The blush colour is perfect for this summers colour palette of pastel hues and goes handsomely with my Zadig and Voltaire "Rorschach" skull T shirt....I see a skull...you may see a butterfly....that is the beauty of Rorschach.

Looking back ...I seem to have my finger firmly on the "Liberace"pulse...BUT! A trend is a trend is a trend.... my mom made sure of that.....

....Whether we liked it or not!
                                                                     Girl Power!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Sex and the City Closet Dress up Scene Extended Version Carrie's Apartment

Just had lunch out with my dearest friend Janet...we share so much together: fashion,shopping, sports...the difference between a credit and a debit card....
And Oh! How much we love our Carrie in Sex and the City...her closet,her clothes and her nonchalant attitude to life,love and Manolos.
This one is for all you girls out there who miss Carrie and the girls....and who can't get enough of shopping.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Que Sera...Serra-valle:Designer Outlet

My sister and I decided on a girls day out in Scrivia,Italy....
Scrivia? I hear you say...What the hell is there to do there?
SHOP,my friends...whatever else?
Serravalle is designer outlet village..about 2 and half hours from Monaco as the crow flies...well rather as the Porsche flies.It is not far from Genova and on your way to Milan...and you have to be in the mood to drive. Thank God for sisters with fast cars.

It was very quiet being mid-week, and  pretty grey and drizzly...like that could be a deterrent.There were a few shoppers nonetheless....and a street sweeper (see photo below)

After Bicester, this is more sportswear,less fancy...there isn't even a proper restaurant here,but the snack bars are nice and perfectly fine.

There are of course the Big Guns : Etro, Bulgari, Versace, Ferragamo...and Prada, to name a few. But Prada was a little empty of stock...once again I am comparing my visit to Bicester last Autumn which was bursting  at the seams with stock and clients.

There is no Gucci...strangely enough but all in all,there is something for everyone .For the sports fanatics such as my BF:  a great Asics store with a large selection, Puma,Nike and a cavernous Adidas that has seen better days . I excitedly plucked a workout cropped ,drop crotch trouser to try on. My sister took one look at it and sang:
"... You can't touch that.....MC Hammer moment there Reem?!"
One word :hideous...actually make that 2 words, you can add: ridiculous.That was probably why there was a railing full of them...even Adidas disowned it.
So enough about the bad...what did I buy?

Trainers at Asics for 73€
Leather pale pink brogues from Pollini...functional,funky....and F-ugly (my BF's description,not mine) 149€
A pearl necklace from Ferragamo, a steal at 90€
Silk scarf from Etro...did want a dress,but no longer had my size...
Brooks Brothers polo for my beloved 44€ and a SUMO Lindt Easter rabbit! 7€
Yes..there is a Lindt shop there.

Serravalle Designer Outlet : Via della Moda 1, Serravalle, Scrivia 15069 Italy.
Open Mon-Sun 10.00 am to 8.00pm

Sunday, 8 April 2012

My Top 6 Beauty Favourites:

I am over the moon that I have at last found the Chanel nail varnish I have been coveting: Blue Rebel #553 part of the Jean collection...and the colour does NOT disappoint:

When I was last in Terminal 5, I was accosted by a young eastern European sales girl at the Benefit counter...did I snub her and go about my business ? No...I let down my guard one minute ,as I was fumbling to find the piece of paper on which I had earmarked the product I wanted. She was in my space and face, so to way lay her I said:
"Erm...eyebrows". And like a heat seeking missile she reached out and plucked out the product before I could say "Hey Presto!".

" Browzings "- a brow shaping kit complete with 2 mini brushes and  tweezers is absolutely fabulous and the perfect kit to define your eyebrows and to fill in the overplucked spaces. It comes in 2 shades: dark for me and works like a charm on your face. There is a coloured wax that you apply with the angled brush to draw the line and then the powder that goes over it with the flat brush. Easy peasy...I have very dark and defined eyebrows and for once the colour was perfect and my eyebrows did not come out looking like Joan Crawford's. 

The "Speed Brow" gel  quick sets it all , making the stragglers lay down in submission...even that stubborn one that stands to attention like a tv antenna.

 I was weakened by her magical fingers and the way my brows looked that I broke down and bought the "Pore-fessional" pore minimiser balm that goes on as soft as a baby's bottom and  comes with a perfect little concealer: "Erase Paste". 

The "Hello Flawless"is an oil free foundation and was a freebie. I don't tend to use much foundation  in general,least of all in the summer...I either end up looking like I am wearing kabuki makeup or part of the Adams family. So I use it in moderation and under strict supervision . 

I did buy one other product: the" Clinique even better dark spot corrector". Yes.... just like in their ad with the 2 eggs,one with dark patches and the other without...I was hoping the cream would erase the dark/age spots on my nose and face from sun exposure...ain't happening yet.

Hope does spring eternal though....watch this space.

Friday, 6 April 2012

GLEE - Full Performance of "Somebody That I Used To Know" airing TUE 4/10

Boy am I glad I came across this version of Gotye's song "Somebody..." by the wonderful Glee cast. Once again their rendition has given a much heard song a great spin and this clip is compelling viewing. Who would not want to stare at the gorgeous Matt Bomer formely from "White Collar"?...Ladies,he has come out of the closet, so pine no longer...and let our gay buddies take over from where we have left off.
Watching Gotye's body being painted from his hairy toes up has been anything but attractive viewing...Watch this instead,the song really comes to life: I actually paid attention to the words!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Touch...Pause...Engage : Harrods and lunch at the Fish Counter.

Don’t you just love Harrods? It is as familiar to us as our own homes and has been a welcoming haven since our childhood. It has also been the preferred meeting place for us and our dear and cherished friend O:
“Where shall we meet O?”
“The Harrods bookstore...?” he would ask knowing full well our reply. Whenever we felt like messing with a good thing, we would try to find an alternative to our tried and trusted stomping ground:
“Shall we meet some place else today?” I tentatively ask trying to sound convincing.
“Okay ...” O would compliantly reply.
“How about Harvey Nicks for a change?”...I suggest, hopeful.
“Okay...” replies O non committal. 
“So ...on which floor ...?”I persist.
“On the second floor...at the Harrods bookstore!” he would reply sarcastically.
                                              Good Cod!:
The Fish counter at Harrods is a great place for lunch, as are all the other counters for that matter, we have tried them all. On this particular day, my sister, her husband and I just came off a flight to London and we were absolutely starving. We managed to get stools as soon as we got there and we quickly ordered some food. My brother in law asked for steamed cod and vegetables, while my sister and I ordered fried scampi and fries. We were sipping our wine while hungrily eyeing everybody else’s food when the waiter popped up wearing rubber gloves and brandishing a large cod fillet... that he proceeded to drag  across the counter towards my BiL (brother in law)with gusto...as though presenting him with a fur pelt:
“Is this to your liking sir?....”
“Yes, yes yes...”replied my BiL...wanting to put an end to this unnecessary public display of potential infection. He absolutely loathes anything that involves public scrutiny almost as much as Madonna loathes... Hydrangeas!
A split second later, a young woman wearing a gaudy Rolex watch the size of a newborns head...you know the kind with diamond bezel, diamond face and leopard print so tacky that no one in his right mind would buy except... her sugga daddy. She settled beside me and was asked by the same waiter what she would like to eat...she dutifully replied: cod. Lo and behold...the gloves were back on and the cod was dragged out for an encore .The question on our lips: Was it the same piece?
                                  “I ask you nice...for some F’rice!”
Back at the Harrods fish counter, give or take a month after the cod incident. My sister and I having eaten a very satisfactory meal once again: the chowder was heaven (served in a scooped out bread bowl...yum!) were entertained by the goings on around us.There was an American lady from New Orleans sitting next to my sister  (we know this because the 2 other American ladies sitting next to her got chatting). The waiter came to remove her meal and asked her whether she wanted anything else:
“Could I have some f’rice please?”
“No problem Madame, but it will take 20mns....” She nodded and the order was placed.
We thought that it was a little long for fries but maybe the cook was being meticulous.

“Here we are Madame..Sorry about the wait” said the waiter as he placed a bowl of steaming rice in front of her.
The lady looked down puzzled and  then back up again into the face of the beaming waiter :“ I asked for f’rice?... Not rice!"
We looked from lady to waiter and saw him wearing the same look of puzzlement until his "Aha" moment visibly changed his demeanour:
 “I am so sorry Madame... I haven’t been feeling very well...” he gushed pressing his hands to his ears for emphasis. “Would you like me to get you some fries?”
“No that’s fine. Just the check please.”
Time ticked on. The waiter popped up again:”Is everything ok Madame?”
“I asked you for the check...?”
And the hands went up again; to indicate the presence of left over symptoms of the malaise that was holding him back from understanding a solitary word she said.