Spring has been so lazy to come this year. We experienced a lot of morning showers, grey sky, wind and some severe storms in September and October. In one hand, it was a bit depressing + there was a “major” water leaking in my house (one morning I woke up and water was coming from the ceiling, click here for the full story) but in the other hand, it is really good for mother nature because the trees and flowers look amazing right now with beautiful deep and lively colours. I guess you can’t have it all!
These past few days, spring is back on the track and it feels good to wake up with a big bright sun in the bedroom. I like to ride my green bike in the parks with this beautiful weather and explore new places whenever possible. In Australia, you have to wear an helmet (it is the law) and I must say when the weather is warm (sometimes around 40 something) I miss to feel the refreshing wind in my hair when biking! But again, I know this is for my own good so I am just going with the flow…
Maybe you will think I am a fool but one thing I was really expecting was to see the Jacarandas blooming! They are my favourite trees and their romantic purple flowers appear the first weeks of November announcing that spring is here and summer is only a month away. This year, because of the strange weather, the Jacarandas only started now to spread their vibrant colours in the whole city. Their mauve flowers petals are falling on the pavement like confettis and it brings a “je ne sais quoi” to the streets of Adelaide. Someday when I will own a house with a garden I will plant a Jacaranda tree to gaze at it!
At the moment, my friend Jessica (Mexico) is encouraging me to practise “mindfulness”. I started doing it in London with my yoga teacher and I must say it is a really calming and grounding state of mind. We are so busy with our everyday lives sometimes, worrying about the past and the future that we forget to fully live the present moment. Maybe it will seem odd to some of you but sometimes just taking the time to stop for a minute and gaze at a tree or a flower can make a big difference in the rest of your day ❤
Just try it and tell me in the comments below how it felt!
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.
South Australia was in the eye of a nasty storm on Wednesday 28th September 2016. Despite all the announcements on radio and social media, I believe nobody really expected what happened.
Since it was my first storm in Aussie world, I decided to play it safe. I just went jogging early in the morning as it was very sunny and I noticed it was windy (I mean more than usual) so I made my way back home and decided to stay there for the whole day, working from home, just in case. Around noon the weather dramatically changed and turned into lightenings, heavy rain and a lot of wind but nothing THAT scary. I thought “well ok, not a big deal”.
But then around 5.00pm, things got ugly. I was chatting with my friends on “WhatsApp” and we were worried because our friend Jessica (from Mexico) was outside with this terrible weather, when suddenly we experienced a major power cut. What was unusual, is that my friends and I live in different parts: some in the suburbs, some by the sea, some in the CBD and we were all left without electricity, meaning: no lights, no heating, no TV, no internet (except on our phone for those who have enough battery). We joked about it and thought it was time to reach out for some candles (thank god, I had few big ones at home), very handy!
A bit later, I called some friends to enquire if everything was ok on their side and to inform them about the situation. They told me that it was the same issue for them at work and actually that the whole South Australia state was experiencing a total blackout! In other words: no traffic lights in the streets, no lights inside and outside, businesses, shops, librairies force to close… So basically we are talking about a whole state and its 1.7 millions residents left in the dark! Jessica texted me to tell me that people were running in the streets, all shops were closing and supermarkets were full with people buying supplies such as water, milk, candles… (she also mentioned there were good deals on chicken breasts haha… 😉 ).
As the hours were passing by, my friends and I decided to limit the text messages since our phones were running low of battery and we did not know when we could recharge. It was getting darker and darker and despite all the candles, it was not very efficient to read, write, cook (thank god I have a gas stove). It was so strange to see the city and the streets that dark. According to the newsfeed, it turned out that 2 tornados destroyed some critical infrastructures causing a network shutdown. On top of that, 22 interconnectors were knocked down by the wind. Thank god no death was reported, only properties damages, broken trees, flooding etc… People tried to make the most of it, lighting candles, playing board games, reading, drawing, meditating, checking phones, getting bored, eventually sleeping… two men were also spotted in the streets walking around with banners saying “the end of the world is coming”, “Aliens are here”…
On a more personal note, the blackout lasted in my house from 5pm to midnight. First time, I was in bed that early, I think around 8pm! I could not really sleep since one of my neighbors’burglar alarm went on and on the whole night forcing me to sleep with ear plugs (which I hate). And cherry on the cake, when I woke up on the next morning and I opened my bedroom door, water was falling from the ceiling so I had to contain the situation with buckets and towels and call my landlord to let him know that there was a leaking due to the storm. By the way, he sent someone to fix the issue and so far so good.
Thursday was supposed to be as bad maybe worst than Wednesday. People were asked to stay home if possible. Fortunately, despite of the rain and the wind, it was manageable. I stayed home and did not experience any power cut whereas my friend Zinaida (from Russia) did. All in all, it was not that bad but I can’t help wondering about the hospitals who had to use torches and what about if you are in the middle of a surgery when it happens, I assume they have energy power back up. And what about people on life support machines when there is no electricity… OMG I am thinking too much!
“Life without electricity, it is beyond our imagination”- Siddhant Chak
“As every cat owners knows, nobody owns a cat” – Ellen Perry Berkeley
You don’t choose your cat but he definitely chooses you. And the Tin Cat Café is no exception! Last year, I was living in North Adelaide and my favorite café was the lovely E for Ethel. It was maybe 2 minutes away from my home and I often went to this place to blog, enjoy a nice latte or have a little chat with my friends. When I moved to Kent Town, I was a bit sad because I knew I was going to miss this charming café and it would not be the same. On my moving day, I went to E for Ethel to say goodbye and enjoyed a last green smoothie and when the owner learnt I was moving away, she said that she knew just the right place where I would feel welcomed, happy and comfortable to keep my old habits. She knew the perfect place and it was just near my new house and that is when I heard for the first time about the Tin Cat Café ❤
But I was so busy with my life at that moment that I did not get the chance to visit this place. Few months passed and Elaine (an Australian friend) was in my neighborhood and wanted to have coffee with me and sadly the place she had in mind was closed so I recalled about the Tin Cat Café and we decided to give it a try and I have never been disappointed since. I guess it was meant to be this way! Actually, after this episode, I went there MANY times with my friend Ann (she is Australian too) whenever she needed to practise her French and also Nassim (Iran) and Jessica (Mexico) had breakfast with me there one day and it was really nice 🙂
This place is so cute and it has a really special vibe. It has a home feeling, probably due to the fact that it is located in an authentic terrace house (in the very typical Australian style). I also like the vintage decoration of the place and the staff is so lovely! The café supports local artists so there are always paintings to be seen and interesting stuffs to discover and to talk about. It is absolutely charming and it has this “gilmore girls” feeling that I like so much!
It is pretty big, with several rooms and it has also a nice garden in the back which is absolutely lovely during summer time. One Sunday, my friend Ann invited me to a book launch at the Tin Cat Café that took place in the garden and it was so lovely, many people, good food, lovely colours… again I felt very welcome and it was like visiting some dear relatives!
As for the food, you won’t be disappointed, there are always nice treats! The Chaï Latte is lovely and so is the coffee and I recommend you to indulge yourself with their sweets. They have a nice selection of desserts and the presentation is always lovely with a big smile!
Sadly, good things have an end and I guess that for the Tin Cat Café it is time to explore new fields. The café will be gone soon since the Terrace house has been sold and it is a real pity. I am sure a lot of people will be missing this spot. So if you are curious to know more about this cute little café, please hurry (only a few weeks left from now on) and visit this little gem, you won’t regret it ❤
A couple of weeks ago, I got an amazing bike for my birthday and I just adore it ❤ it is so cute and I love the colour and the little basket on the front, so girly!
In my opinion, having a bike in Adelaide is a MUST! I mean it is so easy to get from one point to another, there are lot of beautiful bike lanes and the ride is so nice. You can ride your bike in the parks or along the Torrens river… don’t rush! Just enjoy the beauty of things: the colourful (and noisy) birds, the flowers, the majestic trees…
Since I arrived in Adelaide, I must say I am impressed by the colours. I have never seen a sky that blue, a grass that green, a flower that deep red and yellow. It is so true: colours are deeper and brighter here! It is so joyful and it feels so good to be able to appreciate this profusion of beauty while riding my green bicycle!
In the very near future, I am planing to go to work by bike which will be a first for me but I am really looking forward to it! I had never imagined I would love that much living in a smaller city (for those who don’t know me I actually lived 10 years in Paris before). I must say I really appreciate the life quality here. I love the feeling to do whatever I want to without thinking about traffic, crowd, stress and who knows what.
Besides, we are so lucky here because for those who don’t want to spend money on a bike or don’t have enough space to store it… no worries! You can always use Adelaide free city bikes! You read well, they are free and you can find them in many locations in the CBD and North Adelaide: it is pretty straightforward, all you need is an ID! http://www.bikesa.asn.au/AdelaideFreeBikes
So my lovely friends from Adelaide! What are you waiting for?! Grab an helmet and join me on this beautiful ride on the streets of Adelaide…
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.
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 🙂
Tuesdays rhyme for me with English class and cooking! Actually there is an original free English conversation class at the North Adelaide Community Centre hosted by the talented and hilarious Malcolm. The theme of this class is: World cuisine. People from all continents attend to this joyful English class, there are no homeworks, no grades but only one rule: each participant is invited to share about his culture and his country through cooking. In my opinion it is a very interesting concept and a good way to practise English while learning about other customs and fooding. Malcolm puts everybody at ease, he is a very encouraging teacher and he has a lot of humour so everybody, even beginners, has an opportunity to speak! There are very interesting stories to hear about and it is like traveling the world! So many foreign countries are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Spain, Iran, France, Italy, Croatia, Chili, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela… it is wonderful to be surrounded by all these different accents and good vibes. I have met really amazing friends thanks to this class and it has made a huge difference in my experience here for sure!
Once a month or so, thanks to Malcolm and our amazing coordinator Kellie our English class takes place in the community centre kitchen. We cook all together traditional dishes from our respective countries but also sometimes Australian meal (like Anzac biscuits) and learn about the story behind. Malcolm says that it is a good exercice for us to put our English into context with real life practice: reading recipes in English, understanding the vocabulary, solving problems together, connecting with each other, joining forces… The results is always incredible, so many different ingredients, colours and flavours: the world in a plate! We have a lot of fun as you can see by yourself in the following short video. If you start watching at 1:14, you will see our teacher Malcolm being interviewed about this wonderful class and if you pay attention you will see me as well with my friends at the North Adelaide Community Centre kitchen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip0LqXRDRpg
But the fun does not stop here, because after the cooking we can taste all these lovely dishes and share with the community centre guests. Again it is another opportunity to meet locals, mingle, express our opinions and please our palate with worldwide food. I am glad we have also the opportunity to taste Australian traditional dishes: pavlova, lamington, anzac biscuits… because we don’t have those in our countries and the point is to learn more about Australian culture because this is where our ❤ is at the moment. So come and join us at the North Adelaide Community Centre, you will love cooking and speaking English for sure!