All posts by Virginie the Frenchie

Bonjour, my name is Virginie. I am a French girl, but a true citizen of the world and this is my story! In less than two years I have lived on 3 different continents... and I recently decided to create a blog to share my experiences. If, like me you have a passion for travels, food, and lifestyles from overseas you came to the right place! So join me in this adventure around the globe, fasten your seatbelt, we are ready to go! Welcome to Hello World! www.helloworld-blog.com

OK, but first coffee

When you think about Australia and more specifically when you think about Australians… what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I mean as a stereotype, as a cliché?! Before I moved to Australia, I thought that Aussies were all surfers and crazy about surfing mostly… that was THE thing! But then I moved to Adelaide and I realised that one of the most important thing for Australians is actually…. wait for it…. COFFEE!

They drink a LOT of coffee… and forget about Starbucks, because here it is not just about the coffee, but also about the cute little place where you enjoy your latte, the friendly and talented barista who knows you well and the vibes and atmosphere! For those who know me… I know what you’re thinking… V you don’t even drink coffee, what are you talking about?! Well I am a Chai Latte lover… so generally where there is good coffee, there is a good barista and de facto there is a good Chai, it is as simple as that 😉 And you know me, I like to discover new cafés and to blog about it… I have always this crazy fantasy that I am going to have my local café where I am going to be a regular… Long story short : a bit like the Girlmore GirlsTV show with “Luke’s dinner” except that Lorelai did the mistake to date Luke, big time, and then they broke up so it was very awkward she could not go there for a while and she was really missing the coffee, hugeeeeeee mistake (lol, that was a wink for the TV show fans).

I know that some of you cried a river when the very hipster Tin Cat Café closed but maybe this will cheer you up if I tell you that a new tenant has taken over : The black addition. Sounds promising for coffee lovers, isn’t it?! And this is quite an interesting story since it was formerly a mobile coffee business which was pretty successful on the road…on various private and corporate events… so busy that they were hard to catch… it is like when the fun fair arrives in town and you have all those colours, those lovely smells and you just follow the music hoping not to miss the show!  Actually they were so successful that some fans even made the secret wish that someday the 2 owners would settle down so it would be easier to find them and enjoy one of  their delicious coffees and this wish came true!

So at the moment, they are operating in the former Tin Cat Café in Kent Town. The two lovely owners Alison and Sean (a couple) are experts in the latte art and even host Barista classes in their lovely little café! I had a Chaï Latte and it was absolutely delicious with coconut milk and it tasted different from what I am used to and I really enjoyed it! As for the coffee, because I wanted to give a fair review, I went to this place with my coffee expert friend : the lovely Jessica from Mexico (and god this girl lovesssss coffee and can be fussy about it lol) and she really enjoyed it, she said it was sensational!


And cherry on the cake they are opened until 7pm! And believe me this is something to definitely mention! You know, as every good french, I like to complain and one of my recurrent complaining topic is that in this city everything closes at 5pm so it is like nothing is opened for people who basically work during weekdays… so this is nice to feel welcome in this cute little place after work for a comforting cup of coffee while watching life passing by. They also collaborate with other catering businesses so they can offer a nice range of yummy cakes and pastries. I have not tried them yet but I definitely intend to go back and it might even become my local ! And if you are in the mood to give this place a go, they also offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea so it is definitely a nice weekend plan! The two owners are absolutely lovely and will make you one of the best coffee in town ❤

What about you? Are you tea or coffee drinkers? Any nice cafés to recommend me?!!!! oh… I already know what you are about to say… OK V, but first coffee 😉

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The Black Addition

107 Rundle Street

Kent Town SA 5067

Tel : +61 4 0174 3962

 

The girl with the red Vespa

Going to Central Market with my bike on Saturdays is the best!

Spring time is my favourite season in Adelaide! I really enjoy riding my bike to go to work, central market or else through the parks. You would think that after all this time I got used to it and I don’t really pay attention but it is not true. I’m still amazed by my commute. For the birds lovers, you will be greeted on your way by cockatoos, magpies and colourful parrots. And forgive me if sometimes I arrive late at work, I was probably enjoying the ride a bit too much and stopping to take pictures of those cuties 😉

Sharing a glass with my friend Sybilla at Brighton beach!

I believe that when you have the chance to live in a such beautiful city as Adelaide, you should enjoy the landscapes, feeling free with the wind in your hair driving along the beach in an old vintage car or a motorcycle, stopping at a terrasse for a glass of wine while gazing at the sunset on the jetty… There is something romantic about vintage transportation, la dolce vita, as they say in Italy… this is actually how I picture it. And I believe Adelaide is the perfect spot to enjoy life and take your time to seize the day. I think sometimes we are so used to the place where we live, we are so stuck in our own routine that we don’t acknowledge anymore the beauty of it, we don’t pay attention to what is beautiful and unique, we don’t feel enough grateful for what we have… and maybe this is the beauty about being a foreigner because you still have this fresh outlook on your country and culture of adoption and you keep being surprised and amazed by your everyday life.

OULALA !!!! Gigi and I were meant to be!

Speaking of it, one of my crazy dreams has always been to own a red Vespa. I think they are so cute and I like their retro look, their style, their shape… To quote this song, that I’ve heard so much on the radio lately : “I’m in love with the shape of your body”… well…for sure the singer was not talking about a Vespa but I am! So when I met my friend Sybilla (Germany) and she told me her husband had a Vespa called “Gigi” , and yes that’s a SHE, I thought the universe was telling me something! So instantly my next question was to enquire about her colour and when she told me it was red… I knew instantly Gigi and I would be an item ❤

Sybilla and I being both crazy about GIGI!

For a city like Adelaide, a Vespa can be a good option because you can park easily, which is very important. Besides, you can cruise around the city and enjoy the streets of Adelaide without speeding and it seems pretty safe to drive (even if the first time I tried it I managed to fall…but it was me being clumsy and inexperienced). I believe it can be perfect to explore Adelaide surroundings (compared to a bike where you are a bit limited). And I can’t help thinking how charming it must be to ride a vespa on a nice and sunny spring day, even if it is to go to work, it feels already like an adventure, and it is impossible not to feel happy with a great smile on your face when driving it 😀

So to Vespa or not to Vespa… this is the question… what do you think?! Shall I find Zoé (that’s how I call my bike) a new friend? So I can keep exploring and blogging even more about Adelaide and its surroundings!

I scream ice cream!!!

I know, I know… it is still winter in Australia, so an ice cream seems like the craziest idea. When all you want is to snuggle under a comfy blanket and just wait for summer… But sometimes, it is nice to remember that when it is cold here in the south hemisphere,  there are some other parts of the world that are nice and warm and it means that soon it will be our turn 😉

So before I scream for summer, maybe I’d just scream ice cream, like a magic prayer, so it will make summer come quicker! And when you hear these mouth watering words, there is a special place that comes to my mind where you get the best ice creams you can think of. I am not even sure I should share this secret with you because it is such an enchanted place. Maybe I should just keep it to myself so it is mine forever… but that would not be fair. Little gems like Kem CoBa must be shared ❤

So if you happen to go someday to Montreal in Canada and it is one of those warm days… then go to one of my favourite areas : the Mile End, it is definitely worth the walk. There are lovely boutiques, with some good vibes and a really nice trendy atmosphere. Look for the little pink and green shop and the queue on the sidewalk, because here is Kem Coba and its delicious homemade ice creams owned by a charming couple.

Cute ❤ this one is called “La romantique” and acts like a love filter! Forget about the traditional roses bouquet, this ice cream says it all!

Those people know how to make your heart melt. Who said that an ice cream would make you cold. Those “crèmes glacées” are just pure sweet love. Imagine what happens when a cute vietnamese baker meets a French baker…. it is all hearts and  ice creams!

Kem CoBa it s a bit like the Jacarandas in Australia announcing spring and summer! It is opened from May to September, best days in Montreal  😉

They are as beautiful as delicious. Besides they are all made with natural ingredients: so super healthy… well… as healthy an ice cream can be 😉 It is been years… but I still remember the lovely flavour of the Masala Chaï ❤ and I have heard that the “beurre salé” (salted butter) is reallyyyyy good too!

Dulce de leche and mangoes. Because in a perfect world, you don’t have to choose, you get both!

But the cherry on the ice cream is probably Kem CoBa’s famous “crème glacée molle” (soft ice cream). It looks like an italian ice cream to me with a torsade and double flavours and coulours! They have each week I believe a new combination: blueberries and honey, vanilla and passion fruits, dulce de leche and mangoes… I tried them all haha when I was in Montreal and I highly recommend to do the same. Besides trust me because normally ice creams are not my thing but Kem CoBa is the kind of place that turns a “never in my life” into a “normally not but this one is different”. Yes this is how good it is!

The soft vanilla from Madagascar allied to the exotic passion fruits because life needs this je ne sais quoi touch!

I could spend hours describing the vibrant colours, the exotic flavours of those sweet treats, the lovely texture, how they melt on the tongue leaving an exquisite taste but I guess the best way to really get the feeling is to go and try them all and tell me about it! So next time you go there, make sure to tell me what is your favourite!!!

 


Kem CoBa

Mile End

60, avenue Fairmount Ouest

kemcoba.com

Cash only

 

Yoga at the beach

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A Mexican girl and a French girl, both focus and enjoying yoga at Semaphore beach in Australia


When I was living in Paris, many people would talk to me about the benefits of practising yoga. Life in a big city can be stressful between your job, the commute, busy people and so little time to enjoy life. I was curious about it and I thought maybe I should try and see by myself how it feels. So I enrolled to a class and it was good but I did not connect with it and I stopped after a few sessions. Some of my friends were surprised as they really believed that it would fit with my personality but sometimes all it takes is to meet the right person.

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I want to hug the sun with all my heart ❤

And it happened… with patience… many years after in another country actually. Life, work and opportunities took me to London (UK) for a year and this is where I met the most amazing yoga teacher you can imagine. And have you also noticed that often the best things that happen to you in life, are very often the ones that you were not looking for. It is like sometimes, life has little gifts for you. And this is what happened to me with Mieke 🙂 at that time I was really not thinking about yoga or anything and I found a card in my letter box and I was about to throw it directly in the bin, but some words caught my attention  because I could relate to them. And this is how I started yoga sessions, 5 times a week with the adorable Mieke. And you can’t imagine how much it helped me at a time I needed it the most in my life. At the beginning I remember it was challenging because it was in English and I did not know the names of the postures etc… but then I got used to (watching her mainly and associating images with words) and now I can’t imagine yoga in another language than English, funny isn’t it?

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My family name is related to nature and more specifically to trees… so this posture was made for me 😉 even if I am a very tiny and not very flexible tree lol I can bend but I won’t break!

Now that I am living in Australia, I still practise sometimes yoga on my own thanks to internet and when I find the time to do so. It is a very calming and grounding activity that I highly recommend. Besides I must say that with this beautiful weather I had the opportunity to go and practise yoga at the beach and it was a great experience with all these beautiful colours, the sound of the waves rolling on the beach and this beautiful sun in this vibrant blue sky. It was like a dream and practising yoga in such a beautiful setting made me feel very grateful. Besides I had the opportunity to teach some postures to some of my friends (Jessica from Mexico and Liliana from Venezuela) and they really enjoyed it! It is a good way to feel connected with earth and feel your stress leaving you as you are embracing yoga with all of your heart, letting go, no where to go, no where to be, just in the present moment!

Namaste! ❤

Looking beyond the horizon

“Being happy does not mean everything is perfect, it means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Gerard Way

My friend Jessica (Mexico) often says that people come to your life for a specific reason. Sometimes it is to teach you something about life or yourself, sometimes it is to bring you love and kindness, sometimes to challenge you… and you have to embrace this feeling!

There will be sometimes, when living abroad, when you will feel frustrated, like nothing is working the way you want and you don’t really understand why because you are trying your best. It is a strange feeling that many foreigners experience because we are far away from our country, our culture, our family… and everything is new and different. The key is to learn to adapt as quickly as possible which is not always easy. But you can’t do this alone, you have to surround yourself with true friends. Friends who will become your second family, friends you choose because they are “like” you, friends who will show you the way when you are lost, friends who will be there for you no matter what. These people will make a big difference not just in your day but also in your life and you will do the same for them too, sometimes without even realising it!

Picnic time in the grass

I recall once I had a “perfect” day with my friend Liliana (Venezuela) and it felt really nice. We did not do anything “spectacular”, we were just 2 girls sharing a nice picnic together, taking pictures/selfies, enjoying a good conversation! But it was sooooo good. Sometimes you think that you need complicated things to be happy and you can feel frustrated thinking that it is going to be hard to get them but thinking of it most of the time it is the simplest things that make you really happy. Think of it, try to remember when was the last time you really felt happy and I am sure  you are going to realise that it was something very simple.

When France meets Brazil, it’s crazyyyyyyyyyyy! My Brazilian friend and I, partners in laughing crime.

It can be a smile, a compliment, a nice walk, something nice to eat, a beautiful bird passing by… you don’t need your day to be perfect to feel it is perfect, you just need to collect moments, those who make a difference in the rest of your day and will accompany you the rest of your week. And sometimes, total strangers will make a difference too without knowing it, just because they are genuinely nice and friendly when you need it the most.

So yes, all in all it does not have to be perfect and does perfection really exists anyway? The most important is not to be fooled by imperfections, not to focus on them but rather look beyond them, what really matters and enjoy 🙂

Life is beautiful like a nice walk on the beach

Chez José

Last Christmas, I was in France and I had the opportunity to meet my brother’s lovely girl friend who happens to live in Montreal. Talking with her about this beautiful city brought back some memories. Oh Canada, Canada… you are not a country, you are a season! And as for you Montreal, you are my morning Bagel at Saint Viateur, you are this cute maple leaf on the sidewalk, you are my enchanting stroll in Mont-Royal Park, you are my chai latte at café Pikolo, you are my bubble tea in China town, you are my favourite ride along Saint Laurent river, you are my matcha ice cream at Jean Talon market, you are this lovely blue sky even when it is so cold outside.  And my heart just melts when you are wearing your majestic white coat that gives me the feeling that for a minute the time just stopped.

I am so far away from you now, it is summer here in Adelaide and still winter for you. But lately you have been a lot in my mind. So I thought today, I would share with you one of my favourite place for a delicious sandwich in Montreal 🙂 should you ever visit this beautiful city!

As for many French people, Le Plateau, is my kingdom. I know that Canadians like to joke about the fact that obviously French people must be missing so much the Parisian expensive lifestyle that they are attracted like magnets to the trendy Plateau area… What can I say?!  I like the atmosphere, the little cafés, the shops and the artistic vibes all around.

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Colourful, vibrant, local!

In a charming little street stands a funky Portuguese café called “Chez José”. A cute and tiny little place that tends to get crowded at busy hours, but the food they serve makes the wait worth it. If my memory is is correct, I had a lunch combo (smoothie + sandwich) for something like 10 dollars! I must say this spicy sandwich was something very special… and normally spicy is NOT my thing but… I guess when you find something special, some rules may not apply… the chicken was thinly sliced and paired so well with the homemade hot sauce, the cheese and the avocado. I really enjoyed each bite of it. It was fresh, it was delicious, it felt very local and typical!

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This sandwich is killing me softly with its sweet spicy sauce!

Sometimes, you discover little gems like “chez José” and you are so grateful they do exist. How can a simple sandwich make your day?! Was it just about this sandwich or the whole journey?! Walking in this little street, looking for this address, spotting this graffiti wall, gazing at all these vibrant colours, looking at the people queuing happily outside, trying to imagine who they are, discovering new flavours and being overwhelmed by this new experience… I think it was a mix of everything. Next time I will go back there, I will just order the same but this time I make sure I won’t go on my own and share this precious moment hoping that it will be once again a delightful moment  ❤

“Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing” Steve Jobs


Chez José

  • 173 Avenue Duluth E
    Montreal, QC H2W 1H4 – Plateau-Mont-Royal 
  •  Phone number(438) 764-1381
  •   Website www.chezjosecafe.com
  •  Cash only

Let’s go crabbing!!!!

What could be better than sitting on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day 😉

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Let’s go to the jetty!

Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.

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Sometimes it feels like your own private desert island!

I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.

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Catch me if you can 😉

But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with line and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!

So lucky to be surrounded by my international friends!

Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!

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Thank god, I have been working out lately and it shows!

We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.

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Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!

We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ❤

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But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!

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I would have never imagined that eating crabs  that I caught could be so much fun!

These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ❤

Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep 😉