For an Asian street food vibe, Sunnys’shoplocated on Prospect road will blow your mind.
Prospect is full of surprises and today was no exception. It is so closed from the CBD, it takes me only 35 minutes to get there with my bike (and I go very slow) so no excuses! Each time I go, I discover a new shop or a cafe that I fancy a lot! And today Sunnys’ shop took my heart away 😉
As I parked my bike, I could not help noticing this lovely dark pink and blue frontage. It reminded me a bit of the cafes and restaurants in the Grenadines islands. It felt so welcoming with these cute and lively colours, a holiday spirit was floating in the air.
I ordered a chicken lemon grass Bahn Mi ❤ It was DELICIOUS! In a very quick and short way, it is a vietnamese baguette sandwich but in an authentic and poetic way it is so much more. A Bahn Mi is the fruit of love of two distinct civilisations, the Viet and the French. For the history note, France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887, which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! Let’s say that the French baguette was part of the happy legacy from that time. So when you think of a Bahn Mi sandwich, you have to picture a fresh and crunchy French baguette filled with the colourful beauty of Vietnam: Fresh herbs, carrots, chili, a bit of mayonnaise and then you can add chicken, roasted pork or meat. It is so tasty and so aromatic, it is in my opinion the best sandwich!
Sunnys’s Bahn Mi is wonderfully fresh and tasty, soft inside, crispy outside. The staff is super friendly and the vibe in this little shop is soooo good. I checked the menu and there are so many dishes I wish I could try because everything looks so yummy and the price is reasonable. I wish next time I turn up to this restaurant, they will be serving Vietnamese coffee (my new found passion)!
So all in all a really good experience and now I can’t get this song out of my head:
“Sunny, thank you for the sunshine bouquet,
Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all,
Now I feel ten feet tall,
Sunny one so true, I love you” – Boney M.
At the moment, it seems that I have a thing for vietnamese food and I can’t get enough of it. When you think of it, it is not that surprising, Vietnamese and French cuisine have history.
It all started in the 17th century with the arrival of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam. But it did not stop there, then France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887 which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! So naturally when you stay that long in a country, you leave pieces of yourself in several ways: be it architecture, culture, words, names and of course cuisine. I find it fascinating to discover (and taste) the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine (the tasty baguette sandwich called Bahn Mi is one of them). For sure it is different comparing to what I am used to in my home country, and sometimes it is hard to make the link between the two countries but there is something magic about all these flavorful dishes and I can’t help being attracted to them (maybe it is in my DNA).
For those who know me well, I often go to Central Market in China Town. Most of the times to buy herbs or lemon because the quality and the price is much better than what you would get in the supermarkets and also the atmosphere is really nice and friendly.
Last time, I went there, I remember it was a beautiful day and as I was feeling a bit hungry I thought I should pass by Little NNQ and see if it was not too crowded. This is a vietnamese restaurant and it is quite popular so it can be tricky to get a good seat sometimes. This place has been recommended to me by John’s vietnamese friend, his name is Phong and lives in Adelaide (and John is American from California who happens to know a lot of people everywhere because he has traveled and worked in so many countries). Luckily the odds were with me and there was a lovely table by the window and the friendly waiter told me I could sit here. As it was a beautiful day, the large windows were opened so it was like I was sitting at the terrasse outside watching people passing by, cars honking and for a minute imagining I was in another country, in a galaxy, far, far away…haha. As things were going well for me, I decided to continue playing my luck and I asked the waiter to choose his fav dish for me. Besides, as I felt adventurous, I opted for the Vietnamese coffee. Normally I’m not the kind of coffee drinker type (I am more into chai or matcha latte) but I’m always happy to try new things and this was the opportunity to get the true vietnamese experience… besides one coffee can’t hurt, can it ?!
My dish was a combination noodle salads. It was very colourful, tasty, crunchy and pretty healthy I believe. So I really enjoyed it and I really recommend it! But I must confess, my favourite part was definitely the Vietnamese coffee as I’ve never had this kind of experience before. By the way, I apologise I have not a lot of pictures to demonstrate the technique but I think I was so overwehlmed by this experience that I completely forgot to document it, my bad !
First the coffee was served in a slow drip filter tool. So basically, the coffee was slowly dripping into the condensed milk in the glass just below it (one drop at a time, so it is a long process). The waiter explained to me that in Vietnam locals would use this time to chat and catch up with their friends while waiting for the coffee to fully drip through. Once it is finished, all you have to do is to transfer the content in a glass full of ice cubes, and enjoy your ice coffee with a straw. So basically drip coffee is the way Vietnamese people create and enjoy conversation with their friends or relatives. I ❤ the concept, I must say and I can’t wait to renew this experience with my friends next time!
Just so you know the Vietnamese coffee has a strong taste (always Robusta, twice as strong caffeine wise, so be prepared to jump like a kangaroo after that ). Once again, it is one of the many heritage from the colonists period. The French introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s, they also brought with them condensed milk as they could not get fresh milk in Vietnam and they also brought phins which is a slow drip filter that sits on top of a cup. Since that time, it has become a tradition in Vietnam to enjoy coffee this way. It is more than just coffee, it is an invitation to relax and chat. I think that the combination of the bitter coffee beans allied with the sweetness of the condensed milk and the cool refreshing kick of the ice cubes just work perfectly! I think I have officially became a Vietnamese coffee lover ❤
So next time you are in the mood for Vietnamese food, why not go and try Little NNQ with some friends and indulge yourself with a Vietnamese coffee while chatting remaking the world. Vietnamese coffee will boost your body while relaxing your mind, call it magic or mystique, the choice is yours 😉
Spring time is my favorite season here in Adelaide. It is not too hot, it is not too cold and when walking in the parks, all the colours are so vibrant. I have never seen a sky that blue, a grass that green, a flower that orange, a bird that colourful. Every day is the perfect excuse for me to take my bike and wander around.
One of the many things I enjoy the most is to go to the market (central market on Saturdays is my fav). But I have my little routine: it has to be with my bike (so rainy days are excluded) and I like to have a purpose like : today I need to buy parsley or triple cream cheese or blueberry muffins or god knows what! Give me a mission and I am on my way!
There is a cute little market on South Terrace, I discovered it lately and I really think this is the perfect spot to meet friends for brunch. It is called the Market Shed on Holland street and it is a lovely place to be on Sundays! It has a cool vibe with its local fresh products and its intoxicating scent of freshly ground coffee ❤ Besides there are bands playing live music and it has this “je ne sais quoi” in the air that makes it so welcoming.
If you are into healthy drinks, may I recommend this kermit beverage. It is full of vitamins with oranges, apples and seasonal greens (Kale, Spinach and broccoli). Delicious without guilt, so the perfect combination! Besides green is the colour of luck so it is a good start for a perfect day!
There are many different stalls and food from all other the world are well represented. Lately I have been obsessed with Mexican food (probably related to the fact that one of my Bestie is from Mexico). So my eyes were caught by this stand. I mean, look at it, it is so colourful that it is already a Mexican party in your plate before hitting your palate! I am instantly attracted to it but then, I can’t help it and there is always the same old question “Is it spicy?”. Let’s be honest, I am French and apart from pepper, spicy is not really my thing 😉
Aren’t these terrariums adorable?! The simple fact to gaze at them is already a blessing. Maybe someday i will buy one but I am not sure it will survive the trip by bike! Actually I have a green succulent at home (a present from my colleagues), I put it on my desk and I really like it. It is hard to explain but somehow I find it very calming.
At the back of the market, there is the real deal: Belgium hot chocolate! I tried it once with my friend Cathy (from China) and we both felt in love with it! Besides the guy working at this stall is soooo nice. Don’t hesitate to have a chat with him, you won’t regret! As a matter of fact, he comes from Brussels, he used to work in a Bank and he decided to change his life, to come to Australia with his wife and start his chocolate business! Sweet!
So next time, why not sit and relax at the Market shed on Holland Street and take it easy as a Sunday Morning!
Lately I have been obsessed with coloring books for adults. It’s the new trend and it is nearly impossible to miss them when you are in a Bookshop. Anyway I own a few of them and I really enjoy using those books whenever needed. I believe coloring has a grounding effect.
It all started when my friend Ana (my former Spanish teacher from Colombia) offered me a postcard from the artist: Johanna Basford! When it comes to coloring book, this girl is a GURU, believe me! Her work is amazing: have a look at “Secret garden” (my fav), there is so much poesy in her art, she managed to create a real enchanted universe.
So I started with her books and her postcards that I would share with some friends. Sometimes we would go together to the café, with some pencils and we would colour some beautiful magic scenes while chatting. It turned out to be very effective, especially when we were stressed or worried about something. It acted like a colour therapy session and it was a very calming and a comforting activity.
It is a combination of little things that separately are just details, but when all combined, it is like a ritual where all your senses are activated. The colours that are dancing in a farandole in front of your eyes, the paper texture under your fingers, the soft sound of the pencils pressed on the paper, the delicate smell of the drawing in progress and the taste of gratitude as the image starts to appear more and more alive.
So now I extended my selection to other colouring books such as: Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford, The mini Mandala by Susanne Fincher, the little book of Mindfulness colouring by Holly Macdonald. I really enjoy them as they are a great help to meditate , to relax and sometimes to escape .
What about you? Have you ever tried it? Tell me all about it in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences when it comes to coloring books 🙂
“Dancing is an art. The floor is my canvas and I am the brush and whatever I create comes from the heart”.
To me, ballet is like a day dream, where the music takes you to a sweet escape and for one moment you belong to the story and everything falls in its right place. There is no need to speak, to explain, you just feel it and your imagination does the rest.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend to one of the most famous ballet : Swan Lake! Luckily a friend of mine managed to get me a ticket to the dress rehearsal at the Adelaide festival centre by the Torrens river and I really enjoyed this moment.
I swear I could see the swans on the stage, the way they move, they were so real. The main ballerina was so gracious and really into her character : sweet and fragile as a white swan and her doppelgänger charming and confident as a black swan. The music was so touching, melancholic… and the end so sad… but we all already knew that, didn’t we ?!
As it was a dress rehearsal, it was also interesting because I could see how they improve the settings, adjust the lights, how the dancers adapt and sometimes request to repeat a particular moment. When you see a ballet, the dancers make it so easy that it feels so natural that sometimes you forget all the work, commitment, dedication and hard training to complete the perfect choreography.
What can be said about a classic like Swan Lake that hasn’t already been said! Some critics would say that the storyline lacks of originality but to me, if I should say in just one sentence how I felt about it, I would say:
The sunlight tiptoed in my bedroom, crawling silently in the dark like a cat approaching its prey. Gently, silently making its way to my bed, caressing my face and whispering in my ears, calling my name. ‘A little bit more,’ I implored turning my back. But it did not want to listen, it did not care, it kept going crescendo brighter, making a warm crackling sound on the floor, its loud colour invading my space, knocking on the walls, jumping on the sheets like a capricious child. ‘For the last time I beg you to let me sleep! Just five minutes more, that’s all I am asking for!’ and I hid my face into the pillow. But now the roaring noise was getting louder, producing sharp disharmonious combinations of yellow and white tones, exploding like a military band in my ears, blowing through the windows like a storm: it was unstoppable, it was everywhere! The deafening sunlight had a message to deliver and was determined to make me listen. I could not ignore its voice anymore, it was time for me to surrender, wake up and get ready because today was the day and there was nothing I could do about it!
This text is one of my assignments from creative writing class that I wanted to share with you. We were asked to write a paragraph using synaesthetic metaphors. The idea was to create new ways of expression by creating cross-sensory experiences where you can for example hear colours, smell sounds, see music, feel the texture of light and so on… By mixing the different senses you can layer your story and come up with a unique and original piece. In order to warm up our creativity, we were given a list of questions and we had to pick one of them and work on it using synaesthetic metaphors… I was inspired by “How does sunlight sound?” and I built a short story starting from this question. I must say I was pretty impressed with the result because it worked really good and I was really proud and happy about what I came up with! I think this technique helps to describe a scene in a original way and it helps creating a real universe by using lively images so people can truly feel the atmosphere! I hope you have enjoyed this story and I hope it will intrigue you so you want to know more 😉 Please do not hesitate to leave me a comment: Did this text tickle your imagination and if that so why do you think the main character does not want to get up? I am curious to know because it is always interesting to hear about different ideas and then we can compare with what I had in mind when I wrote that piece… Come on, don’t be shy, I am sure it will be fun!
It is not easy to get in the mood of christmas spirit here! First, my family is far away and normally this celebration is all about being with your love ones, sharing stories, eating good food, exchanging presents… Secondly it is summer here in Australia so it does not look like christmas to me. Normally when talking about christmas, I am thinking France, winter, cold, snow, christmas tree, family reunion, turkey, coat, warm socks, fireplace, wool blankets, hot cocoa. I am picturing myself looking through the window while the snow is falling and the wind is whistling and children are wondering if Santa Claus is going to make it and deliver all his presents and how he is going to fit in the chimney!
But here like I said, it is summer, it is so hoooot… Yesterday and today the temperature was around 38 during day time and 28 during night time! All I am thinking about is : air conditioning, refreshing drinks, fruits, music, swimming, bathsuits and going to Bali! It happens I am in the mood for summer holidays which makes sense 😉 But I don’t want to be the one complaining or refusing to adapt, afterall I am really happy to live in Adelaide so I have to make the most of it. Maybe it is up to me to turn christmas mood ON!
Yesterday, I bought some decorations because I thought it could help me to reaslise christmas is coming very soon. I kept it simple but it sends a pretty clear message, you can’t go wrong with green and red combination and wooden christmas trees! Besides, the TV spot is pretty strategic because you watch TV everyday so it will be a gentle constant reminder of what is coming in a couple of weeks, it starts with a C……
I also thought it would be nice to decorate the garden with some red bows. Unfortunately I am too small so I could only reach the bottom of the tree but still, it is looking pretty good I think. Aussie trees deserve also to celebrate it, it is not because you are not a fir that you can’t be a christmas ambassador!
And for those who are wishing to send me their christmas greetings, I am all ears and actually my letter box is looking forward to receive your nice post cards and letters ❤