Beautiful colours at cafe Troppo

I have noticed that each time I am moving to a new country, I need to find a little cafe I like. Maybe it is because I need a routine, a place that I can call mine, where I feel at ease. It is fun how you try to create your own story when you arrive somewhere new… I guess it is a way to appropriate yourself your new life and your new city.

When I moved to Adelaide, my first house was in in the South West CBD. I think it is a lovely area because it is very closed from China town, central market and Victoria square. In my opinion it is very lively and there are many cool and cheap restaurants in this part of the city!

Anyway, one day I was exploring the neighborhood and I have noticed this little charming hipster place:  Cafe Troppo. I love the funky decoration, the wood tables and chairs and the beautiful view on Whitmore square. I really like to  sit at the Terrace while enjoying a nice and refreshing drink.  It is the perfect spot for a drink with a friend or to relax on your own with a book or the newspaper.

IMG_0072

The staff is nice and friendly and the menu looks really appealing! So far I have tested the iced chai latte and the homemade iced tea and they were both delicious. I have been told that the coffee and the food are also a hit!

IMG_0071
Iced Chai Latte

I love also the way they present the drinks with all these colors, it definitely adds charm to the experience. I can’t help taking pictures to post them on my Instagram 😉

IMG_0144
Homemade Iced Tea

 

I bet you are thirsty… Now you know where to go  😉

 

CAFE TROPPO

42 Whitmore Square

SA 5000 ADELAIDE

http://cafetroppoadelaide.com

https://www.facebook.com/CafeTroppo

Be prepared to face Adelaide “City-Wildelife”

When you think of Australia, the first things that come to your mind are: the cute koalas, lively kangaroos, playful dolphins and happy platypus.  But what you maybe don’t know is that Australia is also the home of dangerous animals such as: the Box Jellyfish, the Taipan, the Saltwater Crocodile, the Blue Ring Octopus, the Stone Fish, the Red Back Spider, the Brown Snake, the Tiger Snake, the Funnel Web Spider and the Great White Shark… scaring!

I must say I am more like the city girl type: spending time with my friends, going to cafes, reading in the Botanical garden, gazing at the shops…  and Adelaide is the perfect place to enjoy these activities! I mean it is lovely and friendly ❤ so you would think my chances to bump into a dangerous wild animal when walking down the city streets are close to zero, right?!

I guess yes but…. yes there is a “but”… after 5 months living here I also realised that Adelaide CBD is also the home of not so friendly creatures. I assume for locals they are part of your everyday life but for a French girl it is pretty scaring… so I thought I could share my experiences so foreigners like me are more prepared to the “city-wildelife” when they move here!

  • First say hello to creepy cockroaches!

IMG_0462This is what I found one morning on my kitchen floor. A big cockroach lying on its back, agitating its little legs. Absolutely disgusting… I was really surprised by the size of it: nearly the size of my little finger… YUK… much bigger that the ones I have seen in France! No wonder nearly everybody here has a Mortein spray in the kitchen cupboard (and my rented fully furnished house is no exception). So I terminated the wild animal by spraying it and I must say the product is very efficient. My Australian neighbor told me that cockroaches are on their back when they are about to dye so in a way I did him a favor by finishing him… He added that on warm nights you can hear them crawling in the back of the lane. I have asked him what would happen if one night for example I can’t sleep and it is dark in my house and I want to have a glass of water, should I switch on all the lights and wear flip flap shoes all the time so I don’t walk on one of them?! He laughed at me saying that I should be all right it never happened to him and anyway cockroaches run so fast, there are no risks so “no worries”! Well I wish I was that relaxed and that cool…  maybe after a couple of years living here I will 😉 But at the moment, I have put cockroach baits nearly everywhere in the house so problem solved… I guess.

  • Now meet psychopath spiders!

IMG_0270This is what I found one afternoon on my bedroom window. A gigantic black spider…. I swear it was the size of my hand!!! I have never imagined before that such animals could be found in big cities! I tried to knock at the window so it will go away…hopeless… it did not make any difference.  I was so scared I did not sleep well on the following night because I had nightmares… dreaming that the spider could come into my house and walk on me with her hairy legs when I would be asleep! Again I talked with my Australian neighbour about it. He smiled and he said I shouldn’t worry. These kind of spiders are called “Huntsman”  and don’t be fooled by the name because NO they are not hunting men, they are hunting LIKE men (speed and technique)… actually they are pretty harmless… So I guess I was relieved but then he added that I should pay attention to small spiders with a red spot on their back because they are very dangerous and potential humans murderers… creepy… but then when he saw my face he said, don’t bother too much, they are peaceful and generally they keep to themselves in the garden… really?! Anyway a couple of days ago, I found a sneaky black spider in my shoe – size of a 50 pence coin (more like the ones you would find in France in a dark cellar… but I still don’t like them). I had just the time to check that it was not a “red back spider” and then I managed to neutralize it! I hope there will be no revenge from any spider family members…

Well I hope I did not scare you with my stories! I just think it is part of the experience of living abroad… Most of the times you will fall in love with everything you see in your new country…  and sometimes you will discover things you dislike… and it is OK, I mean it is natural and inevitable! Afterall it is not that different when you are in love with somebody, you like the good sides and you learn to cope with the not so good sides, that’s life! Falling in love with a country does not make you blind, actually it is the opposite: it makes you open your eyes and your heart to new experiences, new feelings and new ideas and then it is your choice to go with the flow and make it work ❤

3 typical dishes to eat in Adelaide – Australia!

I find it always interesting to get to know a new culture and a new city through its cuisine! I really enjoy to explore new flavors and to discover dishes I have never heard about before!

So forget for a moment about your home country… I mean I can have “blanquette de veau”, “ratatouille” and “raclette” everyday in France if I want do!  Let’s try something new 😉 something you have never tasted before, something typical from here that you will remember for sure! Here’s my top 3:

 

1. Pavlova

A trIMG_0785aditional and festive Australian dessert that people seem to particulary enjoy during summer time. Basically a beautiful meringue cake, crusty on the outside and smooth on the inside, topped with whipped cream and red fruits! It is very sweet and it tastes good. I don’t know if you can find those in a bakery/restaurant here… but you can definitely make one at home and buy everything you need at the Coles supermarket (here’s a good recipe from a previous article).  If you are lucky and make friends with locals, I am sure if you ask they will bake one for you! Adelaideans are very friendly and generous people!

 

2. Pie floater

IMG_0816Again a very Australian dish, very common in Adelaide! It is a traditional meat pie floating or submerged in a sea of thick pea soup. It reminds me of the Titanic…  It is usually covered with tomato sauce (ketchup) which was the weird part for me…  but “when in Adelaide, do like the Adelaideans” so I ate it exactly the same way and it was ok.  Australians enjoy it mostly as a late evening meal. I must say it tastes good and it is budget friendly (only $6) but it is pretty heavy on the belly especially on warm nights (and there are many here!).  In my opinion the best place to enjoy this typical dish is the Bakery on O’Connell in North Adelaide.

 

3. Lamington

27947_lamingtonsAnother Australian dessert. It is a sponge cake coated with chocolate sauce and grated coconut. There is another version with a layer of cream and strawberry jam in the middle. It is quite nice to have it with tea or coffee. You can find those cakes at the supermarket or in a cafe/bakery. I personnaly like to have mine again at the Bakery on O’Connell in North Adelaide (I know I am repeating myself but this is a good address)! As for those who are not living in Australia and want to give it a try, here is a nice recipe http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lamingtons/

 

I hope you will enjoy this selection and that you will make sure you have ticked these 3 dishes on your list so you can feel you are becoming a perfect Australian 🙂 And as an Adelaidean don’t forget to pop by Haigh’s chocolates to indulge yourself, they are an icon here!

As for me, I am always glad to experiment new things when living abroad and I am really looking forward to it/eat. Speaking of that I have found a very interesting article  called “100 things to eat in South Australia” http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/lifestyle/special-features/things-you-must-eat-in-sa-great-plates-1/story-fnmhkdr1-1226892366054 – this could be my next challenge by the way!

What are your favorites foods here?  Do you have any typical Australian dishes you would like to recommend me? I would love to hear about it ❤

 

 

Bakery on O’Connell

Bakery – Cafe – Caterer – Open 24/7

44 O’Connell St,

North Adelaide

South Australia, 5006

Phone: (08) 8361 7377

http://www.bakeryonoconnell.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/bakeryonoconnell?pnref=story

All we want is…

Five women sitting at a table: one is from Venezuela, another is from Vietnam, a third one is from Japan, another is from Australia and the last one is from France. What is the common point between these 5 women? They are all talking about the same feeling. A feeling we all experience, no matter our background, education, culture, religion, belief, skin color… a universal feeling that anyone can understand: LOVE ❤

I find it always interesting to discuss with people from other countries; somehow you always realize that besides all our differences,  inside we are just the same. And I guess this is even more true when it comes about romantic relationships… and of course MEN… there is a lot to say about them too… a worldwide concept 😉

Many times I have heard that I come from the country of love.. “oui l’amour!” and I think it is cute… I want to believe this is true… that in France: you can bump into couples kissing at each corner of the streets, we do say “je t’aime” at least 4 times in the day and if not it is because we caught a bad cold and we can’t speak, we have regularly red roses delivered at work, we hold hands and kiss all the time, we don’t accept to have dinner if there is not a chandelier or candles on the table and we can’t imagine a dinner without chocolate, champagne and sweet little words whispered in our ears… I actually like this vision of France and I really want to believe in it, I really do! Afterall, maybe it is because I am French that I enjoy so much to hear about “l’amour”, “mon chéri”… when talking with my international friends.

Actually, my heart wants to jump when I hear about a beautiful love story, I want to cry inside when I hear about a painful break up, I want to believe that passion can come back when I think there is still hope, I want to explode when a man makes a woman unhappy, I want to spice up things when I sense there is routine, I want to believe that the perfect guy is on his way when I hear “single” . It is true, I love to listen to all these stories and I am glad when I can help… that’s what women do, we comfort and support each other no matter what because we have all been there, we just know what it feels like!

I am sure Cinderella, Snow White, Barbie…  do the same when they are having coffee together (maybe not at Cafe Cibbo… Starbuck?). Surprisingly we never read this part of the story… All we know for sure is that they felt madly in love and they kissed the boy but what happened then? What about the 1 week, 6 months, 3 years and 7 years milestones? and why didn’t they leave us any memo?

“Falling in love” seems to be the easy part of the story…  the love boat is sailing, the sky is blue  and it is the beginning of a wonderful journey full of promises: remember your eyes have been replaced by 2 shiny hearts, you see “la vie en rose”,  you can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you are glowing and giggling all the time, you can not possibly get rid of your smile, everybody but you can tell you are in love (it is written on your forehead) and of course that is when all the men decide suddenly to chase you…try to figure!

And then there is “being in love and in a relationship” and this is demanding because it is not the destination, it is THE journey! It is an adventure, it is the moment of truth where your dreams and expectations meet the reality! Sometimes you will travel on a beautiful and peaceful sea with amazing stars over your head and other times there will be storms, waves and rain…  But you don’t learn to sail in just one day, do you?! It takes time, patience, compromises and a lot of love to grow together looking in the same direction without forgetting who you are, where you want to go, what really matters… but when you know, you know!

It is a long way to go but it is worth it… Because at the end of the day, what do we want? Pretty simple… to love deeply, fully with all of our heart and to be loved passionately, indefinitely, madly in return… universal ❤ so let’s embark on this boat and see what the future holds… and remember:

“It is all about the journey, not the outcome” Carl Lewis

My favorite natural beauty products

Every girl has a beauty routine, products and brands she trusts because she knows it works well on her skin. No matter what people say or think: it is not that easy to find the equivalent version when living abroad. Nobody wants to risk an  allergy or to look like a “beautiful” red lobster. Every wise girl knows best that it is better to pack in your suitcase the beauty products you cherish the most to pamper yourself! It will save you time, money and stress, so you can explore then at your own pace local brands and find what works best for you!

Speaking of that I recently posted about a popular French beauty brand called L’Occitane as I think it is part of the routine of many women.  Actually the article received many likes so today I thought I could  share with you MY favorite French brands that I make sure to pack in my suitcase when moving abroad  😉

First I have to confess that I have tried in the past famous brands such as Chanel, Dior, Clarins… they were good but in my opinion not spectacular considering the price. Furthermore I have realised I was more into organic cosmetics so my selection is natural products orientated.

“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction” – E.O. Wilson

So here is my top 3 ❤

1.  Senteurs de fée Paris

I absolutely adore this brand. I am a huge fan of all their products and I have been using them for many years. I am in love with the rose fragrance and a lot of their products contain this amazing ingredient! I find them extremely effective at keeping my skin nice and moisturized. They are absolutely perfect! There is only one shop and it is in Paris (Le Marais). When you enter the shop, the magic happens: the colors, the lovely smells, the atmosphere. I had the chance to meet Katia (the creator of this amazing brand) and she is as splendid and lively as her products! My favorites are:

  • Nectar de rose: an aromatic hydratating face care. It is actually an oil texture composed with apricot, macadamia nut and bulgaria rose. It is perfect for my sensitive skin since I can not possibly use cream.  If I could only bring one beauty product on a desert island, I will definitely choose “Nectar de rose” because it is the best product ever!
  • Rose huile vraie: a non greasy body oil which smells divine and makes your skin so soft… I just love it! The bottle looks so nice with a kind of retro look. Like I said I am fond of all their products.

If you travel to France, make sure to pop by this lovely shop, it is in a nice area in Paris and it is totally worth it.  They also ship worldwide, look for the English version! http://www.senteursdefee.com/index.php

 

2. Douces angevines

I like this brand and their products smell amazing (if you like the  smell of plants). I have read in the press that the French actress Marion Cotillard loves them too. One day, I was in a changing room in Paris trying some clothes on. When I handed back the clothes to the shop keeper, she asked me what my body lotion was. She said it smelt so good on the clothes. I actually was wearing Douces angevines’Baobab oil! On the other hand, one day I was at my parents place and my father came into the bathroom because of the smell. He said that it reminded him some kind of medication you use to breathe better and found awkward it was part of my beauty routine (men…). So I guess it is a matter of taste… I personally like it. My favorites are:

  • Fantômette: A non greasy plant fluid to remove make-up and clean the skin. I find it very effective on the eyelids especially when you are wearing waterproof make-up.
  • Berbere: A pre-shampoo fluid to protect and repair your hair. It smells very nice and when using it I find that my hair is more shiny, soft and beautiful with a nice glow!

You can find those products in organic shops in France or you can place an order via their website and take the opportunity to learn more about them:  http://en.doucesangevines.com/s/10843_beauty-of-the-face

 

3. Couleur caramel

Organic and natural make up range. The products are high quality, easy to use, look pretty all day long! I have been using this brand for many years and I am pretty happy with the results. Products last long so it is a plus! Furthermore the packaging is so cute! I really like this brand! My favorites products are:

Eyeshadows: silky, velvety made with micronized powder… they have a full range of beautiful colors! It is perfect for a natural make-up.

Mascaras: water based formula, will protect your eyelids and it is perfect for sensitive eyes! It is very easy to remove it and I like the natural smell.

Have a look at their website, there is a good selection and I particularly enjoy their special collections/editions for summer, valentine’s day, christmas… they are very creative! http://www.couleurcaramel.com.au

 

I hope you like my selection and as I said these are definitely nice natural French brands that you have to test when you go to France.  I am sure you will fall in love with them! What about you? What is your beauty routine? Do you pack also your favorite products in your suitcase when going abroad? What are your essentials?

As for me, after 5 months living in Australia, I am at this crossroad where I need to start buying local because now I am living here and I have to embrace my new lifestyle and I want to…  But I have been so busy these past few months that I did not have a real chance to explore and test Australian beauty brands. Shame on me!

So if you happen to live in this wonderful country (or New Zealand) and have amazing natural/organic brands to recommend me I would be really thankful!

SMILE 🙂 You are beautiful ❤

Secret garden at Cafe Komodo

There is a place in my heart that I go in my dreams! It is a funky patchwork of blue, yellow and green. It has a vintage touch and a vibrant spirit. It is a little gem and I am glad I found it ❤

Cafe Komodo has definitely a special spot in my heart and I feel poetic about it. I like the fact that it is hidden at the end of a flourished lane way. It is like entering a new world with its retro decor : formica tables, vinils on the wall, old books and magazines… I really think it is a cute place and it is impossible not to feel at ease.

IMG_0878
Retro chic style

This cafe has a nice garden where you can sit outside under the shade and enjoy a brunch or a refreshing smoothie. It is very quiet and it is the perfect place to read your favorite book or have a little chat with some friends. I absolutely adore this little garden, with all the flowers, the plants, the trees… it is so charming and I really do believe it adds a real plus to the whole experience!

IMG_0688
Lovely outdoor space

Everything on their menu looks delicious and their drinks are pretty cool too. I have tried so far a chocolate/coffee smoothie which was perfect and then I felt full of energy! Lately I had a vegan smoothie with crushed ice, it was yummy and very refreshing ! I have also tasted their warm pears and yogurt muesli and my friend Nasim (from Iran) had the chicken burger and it was yummy! I haven’t tried all their dishes yet but I have been told that it is really fresh and good! Furthermore last time I was there the cakes on the counter looked really appealing.

IMG_0876
Chicken burger and Turkish bread

Cafe Komodo is really closed to North Adelaide and it is on Prospect road so it is easy to locate. There are many retro shops in the neighbourood and it is worth visiting them.

Last time, I went to Prospect, I was with my friend Nasim and we had good fun trying different kind of old hats. She tried one which was covered with nice and colourful birds feathers. It was both original and awkward at the same time. But I must say she looked so stylish when she wore it with her long brown hair falling into a cascade over her shoulder. I told her she reminded me of these stunning models during fashion shows wearing incredible outfits that look so original… but the question (besides the price) is: can you really wear these kind of clothes in real life?!

 

Cafe Komodo

118 Prospect Road

Prospect SA 5082

Tel : (08) 8344 7448

https://www.facebook.com/cafekomodo?fref=ts

5 French films to watch with your in-laws!

I am always amazed when abroad to meet people who absolutely adore French cinema. France is such a small country, you would think you could hardly notice it on a map! In the other hand, it is a country appreciated for its history ,culture, gastronomy, fashion and of course passion!

I love when my foreigners friends tell me « Paris, oui l’amour ! », this is so charming! I enjoy seing my country through their eyes, listening to their favorite spots in Paris and their impressions about the Frenchies or the « sacré français ». I feel bad they know so much about my country when sometimes I know so little about theirs but I am willing to learn and to keep exploring the world!

Anyway I had a discussion about French movies with my lovely friend Nasim: she is from Iran and she has been living in Adelaide for 8 months. It turned out that her sister and herself enjoy watching French films and they wanted me to recommend a few. The real challenge is that they have already seen a LOT of films. So I have been thinking about it and I made a list covering different years and I thought it could be a nice idea to share it with everybody on my blog!

 

  • Un héros très discret (A Self Made Hero) – 1996 – directed by Jacques Audiard – Starring Matthieu Kassovitz, you have probably seen him in the film: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (Amelie)

When you are watching this movie based on a novel, keep in mind that «the most beautiful lives are those we invent ».

  • Ridicule (Ridicule) – 1996 – directed by Francis Leconte – Starring many well known French actors.

Decadent Versailles in the 18th century where social status can rise and fall depending on your ability to play with words and demonstrate how cultivated and clever you are!

  • L’ Auberge espagnole (The Spanish apartment) – 2002 – directed by Cedric Klapisch with the famous Romain Duris and Cecile de France

Fun, good feelings, friendship… and how you become a different and a more complete person when living abroad and surrounded by so many different cultures. Hey! does it sound familiar?!

  • De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté (The beat that my heart skipped) – 2005 – directed by Jacques Audiard with the talented French actor Romain Duris.

Human drama, vibrant, vivid, sincere… You will be moved for sure!

  • Molière à bicyclette (Cycling with Moliere) – 2013 – directed by Philippe Le Guay with the very French Fabrice Luchini.

Comedy about friendship and the search of the creative spark! Fun, inspiring and shoot in a beautiful part of France!

 

If you are passionate about French movies, please let me know and I will keep posting from time to time about this topic! I called it “5 French films to watch with your in-laws” because these 5 movies deliver a message, they are powerful and well written so it is a good selection to impress somebody and especially your in laws!

Feel free to give me your feedbacks and maybe I can adapt my selection accordingly.

The next step to fully appreciate the experience would be of course to learn French… haha  « sacré français »  😉

A bientôt!