I really enjoy walking in the parks around Adelaide: there is always something nice to discover! A couple of days ago as I was walking in the North Adelaide Nantu Wama park, I suddenly noticed a hut made of wood. I could not resist getting closer and visit this secret little place! I am always fascinated by children imagination and creativity. It was nicely built and there was a whole little world inside: a door, a window, a bench and even a pot with “food”!
I must say it was a pleasant surprise and it reminded me of this artist I am crazy about at the moment. Her name is Johanna Basford and she became in a short time very popular with her colouring books for adults! You have probably heard about “Secret Garden” or “Enchanted Forest”… or maybe not?! Well they have been sold out in NO time and it is very difficult to find them in stores especially abroad (the artist is based in UK).
I must confess I have never heard about this artist when I was living in London! Actually I had to come here to Australia to discover her amazing work! One day, my Spanish teacher, Ana (from Colombia) offered me a postcard with a beautiful garden scene drawn by Johanna Basford and I really felt in love with the design! I like the poesy she puts in her drawings and all the tiny details that make all the difference. It makes me dream and I wish I could create a little universe full of wonderful creatures and splendid landscapes 😉
So have a look at Johanna Basford’s lovely books and maybe next time you are walking in your garden or in the forest, you will start to see the world differently! A simple hut made of wood would become a secret and poetic hideaway in the trees ❤
“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” – Twyla Tharp
What if I told you that I know a place here in North Adelaide to travel the world, escape the routine and embrace history, would you believe me?!
The David Roche Foundation is an impressive arts collection gallery featuring two centuries of European designs. His founder, David Roche, was passionate about antiques and fine arts. He devoted his whole life traveling the world and acquiring unique objects. When it came to arts he had absolutely no limits and he adored everything: furnitures, paintings, sculptures, porcelains… His home was filled with treasures from the past to be cherished and kept secret! But David Roche had a dream: he wanted to leave a legacy to Australian people! His foundation is his last gift so visitors can enjoy his legendary collection and learn more about history through unique and original pieces.
I really recommend to visit this art gallery. It is fascinating to gaze at all these original objects and hear about their origins. It is like traveling to the past: it is a beautiful journey from the early rococo of France to Faberge in Russia. Furthermore David Roche is quite an intriguing character and it is interesting to hear about his life. The gallery is run by an amazing Lady called Ann, she is absolutely fabulous and I could honestly listen to her for hours presenting each item of the collection: so fascinating! Besides she speaks English beautifully (crystal clear) so for foreigners like me, it is a really good practice! In my opinion, she speaks the “Queen’s English” and it is absolutely divine! I think she really adds something to the whole experience!
As for me, thanks to Ann explanations, my favourite piece was actually a Napoleon dessert service depicting views of Paris. It was made with delicate and finest porcelain and it looked really precious. The emperor offered this set to his beloved sister Pauline! And if you paid a closer look to the dessert plates, you could see on one of them the “Jardin des plantes” and 2 kangaroos as part of this beautiful scenery! Actually the French emperor was fascinated by Australia: in the 1800s it was considered as the most exotic, exiting and unexplored place of the world! No wonder that at that time an expedition was orchestrated by Napoleon himself! He appointed the French explorer Nicolas Baudin and instructed him to bring back to France typical Australian plants and animals! It is nearly a miracle that the kangaroos survived the 6 months journey on the ship (when I can hardly cope with the 21 hours trip by plane from Adelaide to Paris) and could be seen in the famous Parisian botanical garden. So as you can easily imagine I really enjoyed gazing at this beautiful Napoleon dessert service, it is more than an object, it is all the (hi)story it represent and what Australia means to France and French people ❤
So next time, you happen to visit the fancy Melbourne street on North Adelaide, pop by the lovely cafe E for Ethel for a nice lunch or a latte and then head to The David Roche foundation and don’t leave the gallery before having found a favourite piece to remember so you can tell me all about it in the comment section 😉 I’m really looking forward to hear from you!
237 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide SA 5006
(08) 8267 1755
Entry by donation of $2 per person
Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 3pm – Friday to Monday: Closed
Here are some informations about the antiques presented on the different article pictures:
The pair of moulded and carved terra cotta figures are allegories of Spring (with the posy of flowers) and Summer (with the buch of grapes) and are in the style of Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853). They are from France, early 20th century.The silvered and parcel-gilt electrotyped copper wall plaques are referred to as “Chargers” and were made by Elkington & Co. in England in 1869, from French designs.One is “January-June” signs of the zodiac, the other is “July- December” and each has a different season portrayed in the centre.
The black and white earthenware Pot-pourri Vase is by Pratt & Co. of Fenton, England and was made circa 1880. It is in perfect condition, and is in three sections with a domed lid, an inner lid pierced with holes and a base with two handles attached from the shoulders to the rim, decorated in black over white with painted and transfer printed classical pattern borders and figural designs and gilding. The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.
The patinated bronze statue of the Madonna is by British sculptor, Nic Fiddian-Green who was born in 1963. It is titled ‘Mother of Mercy’ and was produced in England circa 1999. This sculpture was created for the new millennium as an edition of only three – the first is in the Vatican in Rome. On completion of the third and final cast, all moulds are to be destroyed by the artist.
“Sometimes, you just need a break. In a beautiful place. Alone. To figure everything out!”
There is a charming organic cafe right in the middle of China town. It’s called Bliss Organic Cafe and it is colourful, cosy and very friendly! The menu is really appetizing and there is a large choice of vegan dishes. The staff is absolutely lovely and they are always happy to chat and put people at ease. It is impossible to feel stress when you enter this little paradise: so peaceful, so many good vibes! But most of all, there is an amazing secret garden at the back of the place where you can relax and enjoy a drink! Can it get even better than that?!
My favourite beverage is the warm apple juice: so sweet and so comforting! I just love the flavour and the smell of it! As you know I have a sweet tooth and I can’t help indulging myself with their homemade pastries! I highly recommend the chocolate and goji energy ball or the dark chocolate rocky road bar! Both are absolutely divine. As for the perfect spot to enjoy these little treats, I would definitely point the sofa at the back of the secret garden under the majestic trees.
This is what I like about Adelaide and about Australia: no matter the season you can really enjoy being outdoor! Actually maybe it is even better sitting outside when it is Autumn or Winter time. Let’s be honest it never really gets “very” cold here (comparing to Europe… and my vague memories of -20 in Canada haha). Furthermore, Aussies cafe are very well equipped providing special outdoors heating and/or beautiful warm blankets. So when the sun disappears below the horizon and it is getting chilly, “no worries”, you can still enjoy the moment and sit outside under the stars feeling bliss in your heart ❤
There is always something nice to taste, a new flavour to discover or a new technique to master while learning English!
Today was a very special day because there was the famous South Australian Life magazine covering our international cuisine event! Actually they wanted our dishes to appear in their food and wine section…. wow… can you believe it, our dishes are making the news!!!
So we did our best to represent our countries with food we really love! I think we did a great job and we enjoyed plates from different part of the globe:
– Yosuke (from Japan) made delicious sushis for us! The tuna and the salmon came from Adelaide Central Market and it was very fresh and tasty! I think all the eyes were turned on this piece of art and we were all more than welcome to give it a try. It was not that easy and rolling a sushi is a real technique! Actually Marjorie (from Colombia) and Balbina (from Spain) were really good at it!
– Jessica (from Mexico) cooked amazing chicken tacos with a fabulous fresh guacamole: OMG it was divine! I love the colours of Mexican cuisine, it is so lively! It is like the party is already starting in your plate before it has even reached your mouth.
– Marjorie (from Colombia) prepared some vegetable roots with cheese and tomatoes/onions sauce. Somehow the sauce reminded me of the taste of one of our traditional dish from South of France called: ratatouille. What a lovely surprise I must say!
– Pegguy (from Taiwan) made a beautiful Taiwanese beef noodle soup, such a comforting dish! The beef was literally melting in my mouth and the flavour was absolutely lovely!
– and I (Virginie from France) cooked a “tarte au thon”. Basically it is a kind of quiche made with mustard, tuna, tomatoes, cheese and cream! It can be a starter or a main dish with a salad… depends on how hungry you are! I got the recipe from my grandmother and it is always a hit when I make this dish. My family and friends absolutely love it, and so do I ❤
As always, this class was good fund and a great success! It was a wonderful opportunity to taste some lovely dishes and bond with each other 🙂
Do you know what is the most common fear for people living abroad? No matter the origin, colour, religion… it is always the same obsession! You would think: the language to master? the new culture to adapt? missing your family so much that you can’t breath? I won’t deny that these are part of the concerns too but the most common fear is actually and surprisingly: gaining weight!
When you think about it, it does make sense! Afterall when you move overseas, you have a lot of free time when you arrive, meaning a lot of opportunities to taste local dishes, an enormous curiosity to satisfy and the desire to discover everything about your new culture and food is definitely part of the plan! But all these little culinary experiences have a price and soon before you realise you have gained 1 or 2 size and it can be more if you have abused of comforting food!
I have a little trick in order to avoid this unfortunate experience! I have the perfect weapon that I always have in my wardrobe! Please I hope you are not thinking of Bridget Jones’slim panties! Please… No! My secret weapon is actually a pair of jeans that I used to wear in my early twenties! It has even a name: it is called the “Sienna Miller”! Why this name? because when I bought it, there was a big black and white poster in the shop featuring the beautiful Sienna Miller wearing this exact same jeans! She was absolutely gorgeous ❤ with her beautiful curves sublimated in this mythical denim pants!
Wherever I am going, I always bring my “Sienna Miller jeans” with me! I can’t really wear it anymore because it is 15 years old, very used and full of holes but I can assure you it works better than a scale. Whenever I am in doubt about my figures, I just have to fit the SM jean: if it fits it means I can still enjoy cakes and candies, if it does not then it leads automatically to more walking and less treats! It is as simple as that and so far it has worked for me wherever I lived and despite my love for St Viateur bagels in Canada, my obsession for scones with marmalade and cream in England and my sweet spot for Lamington in Australia!
In conclusion, a scale can lie to you because these are just numbers… it can be water retention, hormonal etc… but the Sienna Miller jean will always be true to you showing no mercy to extra kilos!