It was one of these Sundays in Adelaide, when the cold wind of winter bites your face and the rain just won’t stop . Latin music playing on the car radio, the crispy air seeping through the windows. It was the perfect day to enjoy some comforting and joyful food and it does not get better than a legendary tasty cuban sandwich.
Basically, a Cuban sandwich (also called a cubano) is a variation of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and baguette. Biting in a cubano, it s not just like biting in any regular ham cheese sandwich… it’s taking a slice of vacations because once the flavours melt on your palate you can feel the sun, the warm atsmosphere, the music, the colours, the people…
This is how on a rainy and cold Sunday, I ended at Henley Beach in a little restaurant called Hermanos Cubanos. Don’t be fool by the size of the place, it may look tiny but wow oh wow the food is absolutely amazing. I must say I experienced one of the most amazing sandwiches I had in a long time. Imagine the delectable savory roasted pork marinated in garlic, orange and lime juice, the dill pickles tingling your tongue and the mustard magnifying all the flavours. All in all a good hearty sandwich with punchy flavours where every bite is absolutely pure bliss.
But maybe the best way to fully enjoy this moment is to start by watching this feel good movie called CHEF, if you want to know, a culinary masterpiece for the eyes where foodtrucks and savoury cubanos are legends! After this, there is no way you can resist going to Hermanos Cubanos for the real deal or if you are feeling adventurous and want to awaken the chef vibes in you, challenge yourself by cooking your very own cuban sandwich for the perfect tasty Sunday afternoon treat! And why not, if you feel like it, come and share with me your experience by commenting!
Am I turning into a footy fan or just becoming more and more Australian?! The question needs to be asked 😉
Not so long ago, I had the pleasure to attend to my very first footy game at the Adelaide Oval on the Sunday March 31 and it was fantastic. Not only it was a bit special as it was a first time for me BUT on top of that I was lucky enough to see The Crows girls team winning on that day: what an epic match with those amazing players but also for Adelaide feminine footy history as the Oval was packed and super excited and proud to support our girls team !!!
Funnily, call it luck or faith, shortly after this game, I won a footy ticket via my work to see Adelaide Crows versus West Coast Eagles on Saturday 25th May. So this time I was supporting the boys team (I m all about equality lol) and what made it special this time is that I was invited to sit in the open boxes in the VIP suite zone with some other lucky colleagues of mine who also won the tickets! And it was pretty awesome!
It was indeed a fun experience, I must say (despite the cold) to enjoy the match while drinking champagne and enjoying some good food! We really had a good time and felt spoiled.
As for the game…. do I understand the rules better? Well… as mentionned in a previous article , Aussie Footy is very different from Frenchie Soccer and if you add in the equation on top of that a couple of glasses of champagne and wine, it becomes more and more difficult to get the essence of the game, please don’t blame the frenchie, it is too easy 😉
But sadly, despite all those good vibes, Adelaide Crows were defeated by West Coast Eagles and the fans were a bit disappointed. Come on boys!!!! Well I guess the boys footy team were not at their best on that night and the The Eagles came from 33 points down in the third quarter to prevail 13.7 (85) to 10.13 (73). With scores level with three minutes to go, 12-gamer Oscar Allen and Jack Darling booted late goals for the Eagles to consolidate their top-four slot.
It was still a pretty cool experience and I encourage all my foreigner friends and followers living abroad to at least once in their life, even if you are not a massive sport fan, it does not matter, please trust me on that, you will not regret it: pick the national sports of your country of adoption and go to a match in a stadium to feel the atmosphere and embrace the spirit with the locals, you will have the best time even if you don’t get all the rules, the main point being experiencing the real thing and having a good time!
“Who doesn’t want a world where everyone bursts into song and dance?!”
What goes well with a rainy and cold day?! Warm socks, comfie pullover, turmeric tea, music and hair in a bun! That’s my comforting routine when it is cold outside and all I want to do is either writing, drawing, reading or watching TV and no that does not make me a nerdy!!! So for those who are in the mood for a “lift me up” movie session, may I suggest something a bit different like a musical 🙂
I just love musicals! Probably because it combines 2 arts I really enjoy: Music and Dance to tell a story in an emotional way!
I saw a few on TV: West Side Story, Grease, My Fair Lady… but of course it is not the same as seeing a real performance on stage with the orchestra, the dancers, the crowd, the magic in the air! So it all really started a year before I moved to Australia. At that time, I was living in London. I would not compare London to Broadway but when it comes to musicals, I must say this is the place to be, at least in Europe! So I had the luck and pleasure to see on stage: The phantom of the opera, Les misérables and Mamma Mia and I absolutely adored each genres and that’s how it all started!
I must confess I have a sweet spot for Mamma Mia, probably because somehow it makes me think of my mother’s youth: the music (Abba group), the clothes (flares jeans, high boots, belly out and colourful tops) and the hippie style. So I could not resist going to the movies and watch the film ! What I liked about it: It’s the story of a passionate, strong and independent young woman who after graduating, starts to travel first to Paris and then follows her heart and her desires freely despite the obstacles, and successfully realises her life plan in Greece! It is a story about different sorts of love ❤ , friendship, starting over and discovering your true self. It is a recurrent theme that many foreigners can relate to when starting a new life abroad!
One of my favorite moment and song in the movie is “I have a dream” when she finds this old house in Greece and she can see the potential it holds and decides to purchase it and renovate it to transform it successfuly in a hotel. I like those moments in life when you feel passionate about a project of yours and nothing can stop you, you have a vision, you know it has the potential to work, you just go with your heart and you put all your efforts into it, when you know you know!
I also like the fact that this musical takes place in Greece, I have never been in this country but it is definitely on my list. I m particularly keen on the Greek islands and their glorious beauty of deep blue waters and white and blue houses. I want to get lost into the beauty of Santorini ant its whitewashed houses perched on the cliff of the volcano. I want to wander around and visit its historical sites, gazing at Athen’s necropolis and its stunning landscapes and architecture. And as the enthusisatic foodie I am, I want to taste a flavorful Moussaka (eggplant, minced lamb, tomatoes and Béchamel), enjoy a Greek salad with some delicious feta and some scrumptious skewered meat served in a pita bread with tzatziki: that is exactly what I intend to do!
In the meantime, if I can’t go to Greece, Greece will come to me… luckily I know a nice Greek café in Adelaide with withe walls and a blue door, just like in Mamma Mia, and maybe my next blog mission will be to find a Greek restaurant as well, because on a cold and rainy day, a delicious Moussaka would be the perfect comforting Autumn dish 😉
“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”
Sometimes you wish you could stop the time so you can enjoy a little bit more : The Fringe festival is one of my favourite moment of the year! There are so many things to do and see and not enough time to do it all, it feels like I have not slept in a month but it was all worth it! Adelaide is so vibrant, so lively and on top of that I have a sweet spot for outdoor events especially with this beautiful weather !
This party at sunset was pretty magic, almost unreal ❤ We danced until the sun disappeared behind the horizon.
Did you know that Adelaide Fringe is the world’s second-largest annual arts festival?! For 31 days and nights during February and March, it features more than 5,000 artists from around Australia and the world. Over 1100 events are staged in pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, lane ways, theatres, hotels, bars, pubs, art galleries and cafes. Aren’t we lucky to have it all here?! There is a little bit for every tastes from comedy, to circus, cabaret, musical, drama etc….name it, the Fringe has it all, just pick and go with the flow! And if you are pretty smart about it, you can enjoy many shows for half price and maybe even for free if you have some good connections 😉
I personally declare that this year was the best 😀 Maybe because I really embraced it… I would not say I went everyday but almost. There were actually really good shows to enjoy and so many beautiful nights to just hang out with friends, chatting in the park, trying all sorts of foods and cocktails. And this year, I even ventured myself in one of those crazy fun fairs games, you know the scary ones where people scream like crazy ! I particularly enjoyed the stand up comedies and I saw a few ones like “The walk of Shame” (pretty hilarious with a bunch of girlfriends so we could relate to some of the girls stories), “The fourth floor” (I was with my mexican friends there and there were some reference to Mexico during the show so that made the whole experience pretty memorable), “Confessions of an aerobic instructor” (I went there with a colleague of mine and it was funny since our job is related to the fitness industry), “Anastasia” (it is a musical and the artist writes her own songs/music and it’s reallyyyyy good), “Ebony” (African circus). Something I really encourage you to try next year is to go to the Fringe with no plans and end up in one of those 6 dollars shows that last like 30 minutes, they are good fun and I like the idea of the spontaneous last minute “let’s try this show”, they are good fun too!
Some hilights this year during the Fringe were, for me (in chronological order):
Massaoke…. I know I know, to quote a friend, to really enjoy it you have to be wasted, cuz it s like a gigantic karaoke where everybody is drunk singing and dancing basically. I only had a few drinks but I promise I enjoyed it a LOT. Music was good and it was exactly what I needed to start the Fringe season. Actually I think it was the first Saturday night of the Fringe and I came back home at like 2am after sharing a gigantic pizza with my girlfriends… late food cravings moments are my fav and the perfect way to end a fun night ! I like the idea that I can have access to food at anytime of the day!
Red Hot Chili peppers concert as part of the Clipsal, pretty awesome! It was in the park and it was of of those magical summer nights. We sang, we danced and it was like the time had stopped and we were just free and wild kids. “Californication” was the biggest sing-along of the night, and it was incredible to hear ten’s of thousands of voices singing out into the warm Adelaide evening. But my favourite moment and song was “Give it away” and I was happily, crazily dancing, jumping on this one, I definitely gave it all ❤
St Patrick’s day which marked the very last day of the Fringe. My friends took me to a quite charming street party with a live band and good vibes all around with people all dressed in green and happily drinking beers. I met a really nice French couple there and we chatted and had some cocktails while sharing our experience about life in Australia as foreigners. Funnily all my friends left around 8pm because it was on a Sunday (and there is work on Monday) but again it was such a beautiful night that after a few seconds of hesitation (should I stay or should I go) I ended up staying by myself until 11pm!!! Actually I had a really good time, the band was pretty good and for the last part of the night they invited people on the stage to sing and they would perform whatever we wanted to hear. I met some really nice and fun people : my point being that, even if it feels comfortable to hang out with your usual crowd, sometimes it can be also good fun to step out your comfort zone, drop the shy attitude and mix with new people!
And now what’s next? Well…. once the Fringe and MAD MARCH is over,
it is said that Adelaide becomes quite dull and boring because the weather gets colder and there is not much to do. I guess it depends on how you keep yourself busy. For me cold weather means maybe more cooking, more writing, more reading and more time spent in cafés doing the latter… but it also means that far far away in another part of the world, in a country who’s got my heart ❤ , it is spring time and soon summer to be and with it the sweet promise and hope that I’ll be enjoying it too 😉
“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it own magic!”
“A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes” – indian proverb
Have you ever noticed how cats can be all cuddly, gracious, sweet and cute sitting on your lap and the next minute flexible little hunters, all claws out, ready to scratch and jump on their prey ?! Like the Yin needs the Yang, the cat is the perfect expression of this duality. And Kitty lovers, I am sure, would agree that it is precisely why they are so attached to their (un)domesticated but fascinating little felines. Because let’s be honest, at the end of the day, you never really own a cat, he is the one who choses you and runs the show. “Cat have it all : admiration, an endless sleep and company only when they want it” – Road McKuen (poet, Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows).
Now that said, if you want to explore this microcosm of the world, there is a Cat Café here in Adelaide! What is a cat café? Well obviously not the place where you take your cat on a date and share a latte together while chit chatting about the chubby mouse you saw in the garden shed, gossiping about the noisy neighbor’s dog or complaining about the poor quality of the litter ! A cat café is actually a place where you can catch up with your friends just like in any regular coffee place while fulfilling your craving for hugs with cute little kittens running around the place, curling around cat scratching poles and rubbing against people’s legs. And if you get lucky those little furry friends will entertain you for sure because when they are not sleeping they can be quite playful or all cuddly depending on their mood!
This concept comes from Asia where the first cat cafe opened in 1998 and then it became such a trend that every big cities (Paris, London etc…) have their very own since a couple of years. And it is quite successful… I mean… who can resist a kittens’ cuddle… it is good for the mood, it is good for the stress and it is even said to regulate blood pressure… pur-fect!
So if you want to satisfy your meow needs, why don’t you try the Meow Me Cat Cafe on Glen Osmond Road. This cute little place offers delicious Asian treats and drinks while you can gaze at the cats playing around and if you get lucky they would jump on your lap while purring loudly. And cherry on the top, if you fall for one of them, you have the possibility to adopt any of those cuties for an endless flow of affection ❤
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!!!
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.
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!
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
173 Avenue Duluth E
Montreal, QC H2W 1H4 – Plateau-Mont-Royal