Muscovado

Perched on the sleepy rue Sedaine a few blocks from the bustling Bastille, Muscovado stole my heart with it’s delicious Belleville coffee served in bright red cups. The cafe is owned by two sisters from the Philippines, Quina and Francine (one a former pastry chef), serving healthy meals and tasty desserts for breakfast and lunch. The menu varies each day, some have an international flair like the breakfast burrito or the Cuban sandwich, but the ingredients are always fresh.

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I took a break from shopping during the latter part of the afternoon for a coffee and a strawberry salad – which was just the right amount of sweet.

 

Summer Spot: OFF Paris Seine

 

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There’s an aura of coolness surrounding the first floating hotel in Paris – and it’s the novelty of introducing a unique setting in a city that thought its seen it all.

Docked at the river Seine, the boat/catamaran or otherwise hotel overlooks the steel bridge where metro line 5 passes every few minutes – a very artistic trend nowadays that mixes modern luxury with a plebeian scenery.  The hotel itself looks like a rectangular warehouse smothered in wooden window blinds keeping it’s sleek interior space private, until you cross the ramp and walk into the stunning bar.

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The bar is cut in half by an open deck showcasing a long plunge pool that seems to go onto the river (an infinity pool illusion). Theres’s certainly an attractive business slash hipster ambiance what with the golden swan floatie hanging out on the pool and the musical playlist. I had a glass of rosé and enjoyed the warm summer breeze by the pool, happy to note the place wasn’t as crowded since most Parisians are on vacation in August. If you’re in Paris, don’t miss this place!

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The beauty of Étretat

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageI tend to visit Étretat every time I crave a quiet moment away from the Parisian bustle. This time I wanted to disconnect from the social media sphere and I even wrote a story about it for The Style Line. You can read the story here.

Étretat is about a 2-hour drive from Paris in the region of Normandy. This beautiful gem should make it on every nature lover’s bucket list. There are spectacular views at the top of the cliffs lining the sea shore, and I even went kayaking through the caves and hiked up the hills.

I took the roadtrip with two friends – one of them Veronicka who happens to be a nature photographer and is traveling Europe this month all the way from Seattle. I spent slightly scowling her to keep from tip-toeing on the edges of the slippery cliffs. Luckily we made it to ground-level with all our body parts in tact. (If your eyes need a breather browse her Instagram feed @veronichkaaa). We never know when we’ll be hit by inspiration, but when it hits, we should reap energy from it. All her travels have inspired me to go on my own. Therefore, stay tuned. Travel adventures coming soon in July!

A stylish brunch at Hardware Société

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Photos by Ketevan Giorgadze IG: @katie.one

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Perched at the top of the steps of Montmartre is the Australian restaurant Hardware Société bringing it’s Melbourne flair for brunching to a space decorated by black and white tiles, marble top tables and colorful golden rimmed coffee cups – a blogger’s dream café.

Though I can’t say I enjoyed the climb up the stairs (it’s next to the Sacre Coeur Basilica), the quiet neighborhood was an oasis in the typically polluted streets of Paris.

I went up with my friend Katie (whose photos I shared) and ordered from the tempting menu. A flat white, a plate of roasted mushroom with poached eggs on a bed of cheese and toast, an egg casserole (fries mixed with chorizo and eggs) and a raspberry pastry. It’s worth climbing the stairway to heaven!

 

 

Magnum ice cream in Paris

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I’ve been hearing quite a lot about the new Magnum ice cream shop that opened in Paris, so I passed by Le Marais to get a taste. It’s not your typical ice cream bar on a stick, you design your own ice cream. Mine was vanilla inside, dipped in milk chocolate then sprinkled with three flavors of pearl-like beads.

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IMG_1436It’s no wonder they’re marketing this to fashion girls – the likes of Kendall Jenner and Suki Waterhouse being ambassadors for the brand. The ice cream is a jewel! #ReleasetheBeast IMG_1376

A weekend in Château Landel

IMG_0236.JPGI was never the kind of little girl who dreamt of princesses and castles.Though I did own enough Barbies to populate a tiny island, it wasn’t until recently that I got the idea to spend a night in Cinderella’s abode.

IMG_0379Apart from the many palaces and castles kept as historic landmarks and museums, France has hundreds of castles used as a hotel space where you can book your wedding or just spend the night. I chose Château Landel – a small getaway between Paris and the town of Rouen (where Gustav Flaubert the author of Madame Bovary is from).

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IMG_0513The bedroom was small with rose pattern wallpaper, a circlular window that opened to the gardens and lamps whose yellow light made me feel I was in an abbey. The bed squeaked and the wooden beams were ancient, but this is what sleeping in an old French home is like – quaint, cozy, and 18th-century-ish. Of course, it was traumatic when the WiFi wasn’t working, but it was nice to step away from the digital world and spend an evening gazing at the stars. After all, the place describes itself as ‘le relais du silence’.

IMG_0441.JPGHow beautiful it was when the light of morning peaked through my window, and my breakfast was brought to my bed. I dipped into flaky croissants, orange juice, tea and pain au chocolat. Everything is so fresh in the countryside – the food is warm, the air is clean, the people are kind. A weekend in a castle is a lovely break from Paris.

Château Landel: http://www.chateau-du-landel.fr/fr/

 

 

 

 

La Grande Epicerie

IMG_0901.JPGThe luxury department store Le Bon Marché is home to an equally upscale specialty grocery store called La Grande Épicerie. What is just so grand about it? Well they have every ingredient, sauce, or sweet confection a true Parisian chef can dream of.

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Though I’m not a connaisseur of exotic jams or honey, I love to look through the thousands of perfectly packaged items and dream of one day being able to cook my guests a three course meals using these lavish recipes. I do however do plenty of shopping at their baked goods section! Aside from the rasberry cakes, and strawberry cakes, and mousses of chocolate, I love to get a box of macarons. I opted for the following flavors. lychee, yuzu vanilla, pistachio and rasberry. Mmm, c’est delicieux!

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Paris in the Spring

 

 

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It’s finally spring in Paris! The cherry blossoms and magnolia trees are stretching their petals through out the city. We’re also lucky strawberry season is upon us. Time for strawberry cakes and nutella dipped desserts. The whole city is blooming.

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Shopping at the market for fruits, flowers and time spent on the terrace drinking tea is never wasted.Hello Spring!IMG_0056

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Officina del Poggio

IMG_1260It’s officially Paris Fashion Week so I took advantage and poked through showrooms between rue Saint-Honoré and Le Marais to hunt for some serious labels. I discovered Officina del Poggio.

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The luxury leather handbag brand is based in Italy and designed by Allison Nicole Hoeltzel, a Texan native with a passion for minimal design and of course, quality leather. In her take on leather craftsmanship, she opts for durability – doing away with synthetic linings in order to make timeless pieces that withstand aging. I’m a fan of the “Bauletto” bags from her prefall collection, but check out her broad selection of satchels, totes and more Officina del Poggio.

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Lily of the Valley

 

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Lily of the Valley, not the scented poisonous blooms but the tea room by Temple is a romantic’s fantasy. Run by a married couple, Paul and Pauline, their decor transports you to an Alice in Wonderland tea in the garden atmosphere. The ceiling is covered with lush greenery and flowers hanging low, the porcelain tea cups and even the tiny pink floral details of the sofa pillows give a fairy tale feel.

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I stopped by for Earl Grey tea and a chocolate chip cookie which was gracefully brought to my table by Paul in a silver platter. The Parisian born owner evidently cares for aesthetics – pâtisserie books and candles decorate the shelves. Even the seemingly fading floor pattern is vogue. (The owners seem to have a knack for everything adorable, after all their marriage proposal was on an air balloon.) If you’d like the chance to be whisked away on a daydreaming cloud for a moment of your day, stop by for afternoon tea.

Find it: Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris