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Sydney, Australia
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Forget about Le Louvre and Versailles. For a slice of true Parisian history, skip breakfast, grab your shopping bag, rob a bank and head to ‘A la Mère de Famille’ on rue du Faubourg Montmartre, in the heart of the 9th arrondissement. The heritage-listed, family-owned confectionery store celebrates its 250th anniversary this year. It is an absolute must-go destination for chocophiles and food lovers in Paris [...] Continue reading
When comes to cycling in Sydney, I'm a total newbie. I don't have a bike, to start with, and I'm a bit scared of being run over by a reckless cab driver. However, I've recently embraced the joys of cycling thanks to Paris' fantastic 'Vélib' street bike hire scheme, one of the first and largest schemes of its kind in the world. Such a fantastic way to re-discover the city - especially comes spring and summer, when you can ride to your favourite sunny cafe terrace while perfecting your tan (and keeping your carbon emissions down). So when I read about Art Month Sydney's free "ART Cycle" guided bike tours, I jumped at the opportunity to explore Danks St, Redfern and Waterloo by bike. It looks like cycling is the new black these days, and I didn't want to be missing on that trend [...] Continue reading
Travellers frustrated by flimsy paper maps will appreciate "Crumpled City", a soft collection of Rome, London, New York, Paris and Berlin maps you can crumple up and stuff in your pocket. A super smart way of not looking like a tourist anymore and sparing oneself of the usually frustrating exercise of unfolding and refolding maps constantly [...] Continue reading
Jean, you'd really love this book. Bruni has a fantastic appreciation of good food... You can get it at the Manly library too, so no excuse ;-)
Thank you Catherine - this type of food makes gorgeous childhood memories indeed... We also used to do "breakfast dinners' every now and then, with croissants and hot chocolate for dinner, I loved it!
Thanks Tony - Oh, you're going to LOVE this book, I promise. And so well written too... PS: I loved Ratatouille, I'm a sucker for animated movies anyway. You're right, I should really watch it again some time soon!
Merci JB ;-) Lorraine > Hello darling! I'm with you here, cheese is like Champagne, ice-cream and chocolate in a way - good but to be consumed with moderation...
Dear friends, you want in on a little secret? Laurent Dubois is my all-time favourite cheese shop or 'fromager' in Paris. The crème de le crème of brie and camembert, the Coco Chanel of cheesemongers. Dubois opened his first cheese store about 15 years ago and hasn't looked back. Nowadays people travel from all over Paris - and beyond - to stock up on his amazing cheeses [...] Continue reading
Today is Candlemas (or La Chandeleur in French). In France, that Catholic holiday is celebrated with crêpes, which must be eaten only after eight pm - and in great quantities (nothing wrong with that!). On that night, we also do a bit of fortune telling while making the crêpes. It is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family is supposed to be prosperous for the rest of the year [...] Continue reading
I loved this book so much that I wanted to share it with you guys! This is one of my favourite reads in a long time... Funny, captivating, honest, very moving and extremely well written - I just couldn't put it down. As a passionate foodie, I knew of the 'Frank Bruni legend' well before reading the book (through his widely read New York Times column and Bill's Buford fantastic book, Heat) and really enjoyed joining him behind the scenes at some of New York's legendary eateries [...] Continue reading
Suffering from January blues? Feeling a bit depressed about being back at work so soon after the summer holidays? Sighing with nostalgia at the thought of those lazy summer afternoons on the beach, with a great book in one hand and a chilled mojito diet coke in the other? I know the feeling... Thank God for Sydney in January, with fabulous events such as the Sydney Festival and St George Open Air Cinema providing lots of options for an inspiring night out. If you're looking for a sure-fire remedy to lift your spirits and help you get over your 'January blues', I strongly recommend you pay a visit to the Mirazozo inflatable wonderland at the Sydney Opera House forecourt [...] Continue reading
Hi guys, I hope you had a lovely Christmas, with gorgeous gifts, plenty of food and all your loved ones around you! I love the whole 'Christmas on the beach' notion, but being an expat here in Sydney, Christmas is always a tad nostalgic for me... Thank God for Skype, but still, Christmas isn't exactly the same when your family is 20,000 kms away. Anyway, I put on a brave face and still managed to have a fabulous Xmas with our closest friends here, involving all the usual suspects [...] Continue reading
Thanks Robin! PS: got to see another fabulous play by the Sydney Theatre Company, 'True West' - you would have loved it...
Anna > Would love to have you on the tour as well, my dear! Next time you come to Sydney, maybe? And I might also ask you for advice on must-do places to visit food-wise when I visit Canberra later this year? Lorraine > thank you my dear! the gingermen tasted really good too, very Christmassy... Gastronomy Gal > Thank you for stopping by! Have you been to Kakawa before? Really gorgeous chocolates... Summer Jobs Abroad > Thank you, it looks like we're both chocoholics ;-)
Oh wow, what a unique experience Frances - not for the faint hearted indeed! Ubirr was one of my favourite places, the views from there are really breathtaking..
Thank you Sally - hope you can travel to Paris again soon! PS: Jesus, I wouldn't want to be there right now, with all the snow, virtually no public transport and lots of grumpy visitors and Parisians... We're better off here in Sydney chilling out on the beach.
Ah ah ah - you're so funny Annalisa! Knowing about the adventures in your life as a thriving entrepreneur in the transcription business, I know it is NOTHING like dull ;-))
I love theatre. Borrowing words from Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton in the 2011 season leaflet of the Sydney Theatre Company, "theatre gives you a chance to lead many lives, to experience many more moments than those (too few) allotted to us by fate." And when I say I love theatre, I mean performing arts in general - from contemporary dance, circus and musicals to ballet, cabaret and opera. So you can imagine how happy I was earlier this month to be able to spend a whole day behind the scenes at some of Sydney's leading performing arts companies, from Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Company, to Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, the Bell Shakespeare Company and the Sydney Theatre Company [...] Continue reading
Let's put it that way: if you only had one day in Paris, I'd advise you to go to L'Avant-Comptoir. It's THAT good, and inexpensive, and iconically French. This is one of the places I always go back to each time I go back home. L'Avant-Comptoir is an offshoot from more famous "Le Comptoir du Relais" next door, in the heart of vibrant Saint-Germain des Pres. Both are run by French bistro maestro Jean-Yves Camdeborde, the godfather of no-fuss modern bistro gastronomy and one of my absolute favourite chefs back home. This tiny, standing-room-only bar is where you go for fabulous wine by the glass and a quick bite to eat (we call it "dejeuner sur le pouce" in French, or 'eating on the thumb'), or for nibbles before lunch or dinner [...] Continue reading
Do you want to know more about the wonderful flavours of Basque gastronomy? Do you want to find out why some of the most talked-about chefs in the world right now are coming from the Basque Country, from Juan Mari and Elena Arzac and Martin Berasategui (3 Michelin stars each) to Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz in San Sebastian (2 Michelin stars)? Look no further! Join our "Seven Wonders of Basque Cuisine" in Sydney on Saturday 5th February 2011, at 12:30pm (to secure your booking, visit our event page here). The famous 'Gateau Basque', with 'xapata' black cherries After our... Continue reading
Today I'm just taking a break from my quest for Sydney's best chocolates and other edible gems to tell you about Kakadu National Park, one of my absolute favourite places in Australia. Kakadu is so beautiful, wild, lush, and so iconically Australian... It's also the largest national park in the country, with plenty to do and see. So if you're thinking of travelling to Australia, or if you're living here but planning an interstate escape for 2011, here are my Top-5 reasons to visit Kakadu [...] Continue reading