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Cuisine

Posted on July 13, 2015

5 reasons to visit Palermo

Cuisine/ Featured/ Italy/ Romantique
The Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo

The Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo

1. Food

There are two Italian sayings relating to Sicilian food: “You haven’t eaten lemons until you’ve eaten them in Sicily” and “You haven’t tasted Cannoli until you’ve had one in Palermo.” Sicilian food is richer and even tastier than in the rest of Italy. And Palermo is the capital of Sicilian food. I loved the unassuming Trattoria “Da Pino”, where the owner tells you that he is the menu and where you can choose from a selection of authentic dishes served with a warm smile.

Tip: For good street food, observe where the locals are queuing. Sicilians are very fussy with food and only accept the freshest ingredients.

Da Pino Trattoria Palermo

spaghetti sardines sicilian Trattoria Da Pino

2. Magic of forgotten splendour

Palermo is a captivating city of glaring contradictions: Spotlessly restored grand palaces stand side by side with dilapidated historic buildings, quietly crumbling away.

Sicily’s history is endless, there isn’t a single dominant culture that hasn’t left some indelible mark on the strategically located Mediterranean island: Greeks, Romans, German tribes, Arabs, just to name a few. Sicily is struggling with the upkeep of all these edifices: 228 buildings are in an alarming state and locals are calling for a governmental intervention to help maintaining Palermo’s “Centro Storico”. When you stroll through Palermo’s markets and squares, you can almost hear the stories of forgotten grandeur, battles for dominance whispering from the Unesco heritage sites.

The Fontana de la Vergogna in Palermo means Fountain of shame because a lot of it's marble nymphs are naked. An extraordinary piece of art.

The Fontana de la Vergogna in Palermo means Fountain of shame because a lot of it’s marble nymphs are naked. An extraordinary piece of art.

A thrown out sofa in Palermo centro

3. Shopping

Via Roma and Via Ruggero Setimo are Palermo’s main and most elegant shopping streets. A sheer endless boulevard of high-end fashion stores exhibiting the crème de la crème of powerful Italian fashion houses. Mid-priced fashion brands such as Max & Co are cheaper in Sicily than in the rest of Italy. You’ll also find precious jewellery and enchanting little book and craft stores which don’t belong to big retail chains.

My favourite shop in Palermo!

My favourite shop in Palermo!

4. Beaches!

Just 15 min from the historic centre, Mondello beach invites the exhausted city traveller to rest and relax on the sandy white beach whilst enjoying one of Palermo’s best seafood restaurants.

Mondello Beach Palermo

5. Independant Hotels and B&Bs

Palermo boasts Sicily’s best independent boutique Hotels and B&Bs. Our charming B&B in Richard Wagner Street, near Via Roma in the Centro Storico, was the highlight of the trip. Central but quiet, with tastefully decorated bedrooms, a huge terrace overlooking Palermo and a fantastic host serving breakfast on the private terrace, replete with home-made jams. Living la Dolce Vita! Inbox me for the name and details if you’re interested to stay there (don’t want to give away that little gem)!

Palermo B&B Richard Wagner

Palermo Road

Posted on June 17, 2015

Taste of London in Bermondsey

Cuisine/ Featured/ Romantique

Maltby street food market Ropewalk Bermondsey

A few weekends back, on a rainy British bank holiday weekend, we visited London’s best kept secret: The Maltby Food Street Market Ropewalk in Bermondsey. Whilst most visitors to London will know the famous Borough markets, the Maltby market is the lesser known, charming boutique pendant.  The top notch sellers will make any foodie’s heart beat faster. My absolute favourites were the smoked Norwegian salmon from Hansen & Lydersen,  freshly chucked oysters washed down with a fresh cranberry nectar, followed by an eclair from Comptoir Gourmand.

Maltby street food market ropewalk pulled pork burger nectar

Fresh apricot and cranberry nectar for the girls, pulled pork burger from African Volcano for the boys!

Maltby street food market Ropewalk Bermondsey

Mmmmmm – there’s nothing better than creamy, freshly chucked oysters!

Chucking oysters Bermondsey Food market ropewalk

Hansen & Lyderson salmon london food market ropewalk

Who would have thought of London as a Food mekka 20 years ago? Hansen & Lydersen’s salmon has the perfect texture and is not too salty. Served on rye sourdough bread, this is mouthwatering delicious.

Maltby food market waffle on Bermondsey

Don’t forget desert. Waffles from Waffleon. Worth every calorie!

The cheese truck Bermondsey Maltby street market rope walk

The Cheese truck is celebreating great British Cheese with London’s finest cheese sandwiches, made with Pagnotta sourdough.

French Pastries from Comptoir Gourmand

French Pastries from Comptoir Gourmand

After living in London for more than 7 years, I continue to discover new areas and Bermondsey is one of them. (Admittedly, I love London’s manicured West and I probably should venture out of my comfort zone more than I currenlty do!). With it’s tall buildings and ping pong tables, it reminded me a little bit of Berlin, early 90s!

 

Posted on March 28, 2015

Coats and Biscuits

Coats/ Cuisine/ Featured/ London/ Romantique

London street style purple coat max and co prada handbag

We are approaching now what I’m hoping to be the last few days of having to wear a woollen coat. I love all my coats as they are bright coloured to help overcome the winter blues. Still, I’m longing for the warm rays of spring, for lighter trench coats and jackets, for ballerinas without socks and drinking macchiatos in street cafes. Unlike the last couple of years before, March has been quite a chilly month with temperatures only in the one digit spheres.

For an outing to my favourite biscuit boutique Biscuiteers in Notting Hill, I’m wearing:

  • Purple coat by Max and Co
  • Black doctor’s handbag by Prada
  • Sprinkle ankle boots by Kurt Geiger
  • White cat earings by Les Nereides
  • Gloves by Blumarine
  • Shades by Ray Ban

Biscuiteers specialise in hand-iced, beautifully decorated cookies. Often London themed, the Notting hill shop window is a feast for the eyes: Iconic sights such as Buckingham palace, red telephones are taxis and black cabs interpreted with sweet gingerbread.  The cookies biscuits are so detailed, they can pass for little pieces of art. If you are looking for a special Easter present, check out the Biscuiteers shop in Notting Hill or the newly opened boutique in Clapham.

London street style purple coat max and co prada handbag

 

Biscuiteers London Notting Hill red telephone box

 

London street style purple coat max and co prada handbag

Easter themed Biscuiteers Boutique in Clapham, London

Easter themed Biscuiteers Boutique in Clapham, London

Posted on January 10, 2015

Green Smoothie from Fashion to Mainstream

Cuisine/ Rebel

Green-smoothie-true-fruits

Naturally I’m not able to spend all day making smoothie drinks and going to the gym like all celebs in L.A but it’s cool to see fruit & veg getting pushed by celebs instead of drugs, booze & other junk! Green smoothies are the  new fashion drink like Starbucks cups. It’s finally happening.

green-smoothie-jessica-alba

The juices now going mainstream and everybody (even in Germany) can get green smoothies at supermarkets. Now I just drink my bottle of veggies and enjoy them because I would struggle to eat a plate foods – e.g. spinach, carrots, ginger (a real good immune system booster), carrots, celery, apples, cucumber – in the morning, or even in the day!

beckham-green-smoothie

Do it like David Beckham; a bottle healthy green smoothie in the back of fitted denim on motorbike!

 

Posted on September 21, 2014

Weekend in Paris with Cat Macarons

Accessoires/ Cuisine/ Dresses/ Paris/ Romantique/ Travel
Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris

Badou Badou cat macaron and macaron bracelet by N2 Les Nereides Paris.

 

September has been a whirlwind month for me: a trip home to Berlin, rocked London Fashion Week with Rebel, started a new job in Marketing and last but not least, Mr Romantique whisked me away to Paris to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!

Paris romanced us with stunning weather, mouth-watering food in Paris’ most popular tea room and breathtaking views from Montparnasse tower.  My absolute highlight of the trip was a box of cat macarons from Parisian patisserie Lenôtre. Unlike Laduree’s Hello Kitty Macaron collection, which simply contains macarons in Helly Kitty themed packaging, Lenôtre offers macarons shaped like Kitty’s head. The adorable cat macarons, named Badou Badou, are offered in two delicious flavours: Cotton Candy and Strawberry Haribo.

 

Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris

 

Elodie Martins, writer and amateur pastry chef, created the feline macarons inspired by the girly universe of the movie “Marie Antoinette”, directed by Sofia Coppola.

Paris Street style pont Alexandre trois Max and Co vichy gingham dress. moschino bag. Street style Paris at the gorgeous pont Alexandre III.

I’m wearing:

  • The quintessential French Vichy Gingham dress by Max & Co
  • Green ballet pumps by Pretty Ballerinas
  • Brown cross body bag by Moschino
  • Shades by Ray Ban
  • Parisian themed hoop earrings by Les Nereides

Paris Street style pont Alexandre trois Max and Co vichy gingham dress. moschino bag.

The girly world of Sofia Coppola's movie "Marie Antoinette" inspired Elodie Marting to create her Badou Badou cat earrings.

The girly world of Sofia Coppola’s movie “Marie Antoinette” inspired Elodie Marting to create her Badou Badou cat earrings.

 

Paris Lenotre cat macarons Badou Badou Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris Lenotre

Posted on July 23, 2014

Granita Siciliana

Cuisine/ Italy/ Romantique/ Travel

granita siciliana taormina bam bar

Sicilian cuisine is just as rich and diverse as it’s culture, bearing traces from the Arabs and Greeks. The opulent deserts and sweets have been influenced by the Arab candymakers of the 9th century.

My all time favourite desert from Sicily is Granita, also knows as Granita Siciliana. Hailing from Catania, Sicily, the delicious, sorbet-like dessert made of sugar, water and flavourings is savoured all over Italy, but it tastes best in Sicily! (Yes, you guessed it, Sicily is NOT the place to go when you’re on a diet)!

The quality of Granita is amazing almost everywhere on the island, but Bam Bar in Taormina is the prettiest spot for enjoying the sweet but light local speciality. At the orange-themed café in the heart of Taormina, you can chose between several flavours: Café, Almond, Nutella, Peach, chocolate & and many more. The icy granite is a saviour during a hot summers day. Dip a brioche into the Tranita to eat it like a real Sicilian!

The texture and taste of Granita varies from city to city in Sicily: Catania specialises in chocolate Granita and he texture is smooth like a sorbet whereas in Palermo, the sweet is more coarse and grittier.

granita siciliana taormina bam bar romantique

My favourite Granita flavour? A mix of Coffee and almond. Delish!

 

The pretty tiles of Bam Bar also decorate this years Rough Guide travel book

The pretty tiles of Bam Bar also decorate this year’s Rough Guide travel book

 

Mr Romantique cooling down at Bam Bar, Sicily.

Mr Romantique cooling down at Bam Bar, Sicily.

 

I'm wearing a gingham dress by Gant and blue Straw bag earrings from Sicily.

Posted on January 19, 2013

Biscuit Boutique in Notting Hill

Cuisine/ Decor/ London/ Romantique/ Travel

Nothing is more invigorating than a stroll in London’s Notting Hill, even if it is a bitterly cold wintery day. There are always new cute shops popping up, like Biscuiteers, a biscuit boutique and icing Cafe in Kensington Park Road.

The beautifully decorated shop front, just opposite of my favourite Italian Restaurant, Osteria Basilica, drew me in straight away.  At Biscuiteers, you can’t only buy beautifully iced biscuits that taste as good as they look, but you can also get down to icing straight away!

Above: Puffer jacket from Feyem, gloves from Ugg, knit cap from Missoni.

The Gingerbread Buckingham Palace

If I’d live in Notting Hill, I’d have a pink door too!

The Parisian biscuit collection at Biscuiteers

Street Style London: Purple woven leather handbag from Patrick Cox.

Shelf at the Biscuiteers.

Yes, that’s the gingerbread Queen next to Batman and Superman!

Posted on January 17, 2013

Why Demi Moore drinks Red Bull

Cuisine/ Lifestyle

:

No Paparazzi photo of Demi Moore without a tin of Red Bull in her hand. Have we missed something, is this the new It-accessoire or is she addicted to the sickeningly sweet energy drink? Wracked with curiosity, I analysed the ingredients of Red Bull which explain why Demi is so keen to put the drink on her grocery shopping list.
Red Bull is a source of: Vitamin B12, Vitamin B 6 and Niacin. Let’s have a look at the vitamins:

 

Vitamin B 12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, it strengthens the immune system and nervous system and fights signs of fatigue.
Vitamin B 6: one of the most important and industrious nutrients in the human body.  It plays a vital role in many of the chemical reactions that take place in the body and it is essential to metabolize foods into energy. This vitamin also helps to lower stress, decrease symptoms of PMS, treat depression, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of dental cavities
Niacin or Vitamin B 3 have an antioxidant effect: Niacin is essential for the regeneration of skin, muscles, nerves and the DNA.
Red Bull a great feel good and anti ageing drink!

 


Posted on November 4, 2012

German Cinnamon Star xmas Cookies

Cuisine/ Romantique

The days are  becoming shorter and  the weather colder: For me it’s  time to hole myself up at home and bake German xmas cookies! “Zimsterne” cookies are a very traditional part of German Christmas. They are made entirely without flour but with almonds and cinnamon instead, which makes for a heavenly delicious combination.

In Germany you can buy them packaged as well, but of course I prefer the home made version.

I’m not really a whizz in the kitchen when it comes to cooking and baking, but this recipe is so easy, you should give it a go:

You need:

  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 1 pack of Vanilla sugar (Dr Oetker)
  • 400 g crushed, raw almonds
  • 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 egg whites

You’ll also need parchment paper, a star cookie cutter (or any other traditional cutter, I used hearts for a change), and a rolling pin.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, add powdered sugar and vanilla sugar while continuing to beat.  The mixture should be stiff like the icing on a gingerbread house.

Take a whole cup off the meringue and put it in the fridge.

Add measured almond meal and cinnamon to the meringue and mix by hand. The dough should hold it’s shape and not be runny.

Chill the dough for an hour in a freezer bag.

Powder the counter top with almond meal and roll out the dough to 7 mm.  You can spread the icing on now or after you have cut out the cookies. I did it before cutting.

Cut out stars with the cookie cutter and dip the cutter in water in between

Place the cookies on parchment paper.

Bake for 25 min in a pre-heated oven at 130 degrees.

Baked cinnamon stars (or hearts in my case). Make sure to put aside a whole mug of the meringue. Mine wasn’t enough (only half a cup) and I ran out of icing! If you used enough icing, it should look like the below…

Posted on September 9, 2012

German Organic Apple Jam

Cuisine/ Rebel
At the tender age of 10, my boyfriend already produced his own organic, home-grown apple jam. The delicious apples can be found in his parents house and are called “Ruhm from Kirchwerder” – an old type of apple which has been evolved  near Hamburg. Even in Winter, he loved to eat home made apple jam for breakfast – so he took matters into his own hands and studied the back of jam sugar packages. In Germany, these jam sugar packs contain recipes on how to make home made jam with jam sugar, one of the main ingredients containing pectin. And this is how a tradition developed over thirty years ago.
Oddly enough, you cannot buy apple jam in the German supermarkets. One of the reasons why the jam is even more precious. Another reason is the special apple cultivar that goes into the jam, as it’s  rare and hard to get.
Here is a fool proof guide on how to make yummy, organic apple jam:
1. Buy 4 kg of organic apples from an organic farmer. Peel, quarter and core the apples to prepare them for the food machine.
2. Put the prepared apples through the food processor to turn them into a grated mash.
3. Next, mix the apples with jam sugar in a pot, bring it to the boil and let it boil for 4 minutes. Mix apples and sugar at a ratio of 1:1 – this will make it quite sweet but at the same time, it will last longer and will be preserved for 5 years. We suggest a mix of 1:2 or 1:3 and additionally some vanilla sugar or even cinnamon for the Christmas edition.
4. Rinse the jam jars with hot water before filling the jam into the jars.
5. Fill in the jam, put it upside down and let it cool.
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