Autumn pleasures

· Fashion, Travel

I understood how to appreciate the autumn season only a few years ago (my travel to Japan in 2015 might have helped a bit, as well as my interior refurbishing and the influence of Instagram).

Before, I didn’t find any interest: random weather, rain, cold, less light and shorter days, mood down… but! There are actually a few sides balancing these drawbacks.

As we’d better see the glass half full, here is a lit of advantages in Autumn that you will be free to complete if you want.

 

The beauty of the colors of nature

You might need to get outside the city to really find it out but the yellowing and reddening of the leaves remains a fascinating event.

 

The advantage of walk in the forest

I used to go hiking quite often when I was younger in Auvergne but I lost this habit when I moved to Paris.What a pleasure to go back at it during our holidays in the Vosges last week.

Walking with full consciousness in the forest seems to have stress relieving virtues and benefits for our global wellness: so why do without?

 

Go to rest in the mountain

Sauna with a view, at La Cheneaudière Spa-hotel in the Vosges

 

Before, I was always tempted to choose a sunny destination when the weather was not good or cold but I now actually think that it’s as pleasant to enjoy the current season.

We are lucky enough to have 4 real seasons in France. So when it’s cold, why don’t we choose to go where it’s colder? (…of course, if you can find a cosy and cocooning place).

Henceforth, I enjoy a mountain trip almost more as doing nothing on a Thaï beach (good point for the carbone footprint!).

 

Find advantages to the rain

When it rains, going out requires much more effort and does not feel as confortable: so why don’t we stay home? (I’m talking about weekends: I know it’s more complicated to stay home when we work (although… remote working might be an option)

When it’s rainy outside, staying at home is a real pleasure: hot herbal tea, baking a cake, reading a book or doing nothing, it became priceless.

So as I was telling you, it’s important to be able to arrange out interior: to create a cosy space, no matter the size and the budget, it really has a positive impact on your mental health during the gloomy weather periods (at least it has helped me a lot!).

 

The pleasure to wear warm clothes

In Autumn, it might be a more exciting challenge to decide what to wear compared to summer days: to match colors, thicknesses and textures, it’s a real pleasure… especially when, like me, you’ve been trying to keep only the essentials in your wardrobe.

 

To start manual activities

To echo the « rain » section. To keep yourself busy, nothing better than create something with your hands: drawing, preparing Christmas decoration, trying new artistic activities. Not long ago, my SO and I went to a Japanese ceramic workshop and it was just perfect for a Sunday afternoon (and what a satisfaction to see our masterpiece to come alive, even though it was not perfect).

You don’t think you have an artistic fiber? The result is actually not the most important but it’s the time spent to create that is the most satisfying.

 

To Light the candles

I barely use candles during summer season: so it’s a real pleasure to smell the woody scent when autumn is back. It adds up some warmness to our cocoon, but you are not learning anything here.

 

Enjoy seasonal veggies and fruits

This year I’ve been cooking squash and butternut a lot (gratin, tart, stir fry) (I actually pinned some recipes on my Pinterest) and I’ve been enjoying the large diversity of the recipes. I’ve also started cooking the fennel that I like baking as gratin.

And to simmer apples with cinnamon allows me to spend a comforting and yummy moment!

 

I could have also mentioned Halloween but I don’t have a huge passion for it and do not really celebrate it. I hope anyways these propositions will inspire you to fully enjoy this season that will end quite soon! (English translation by Quiterie)


My Outfit

Beanie Etam (already seen here)
Coat Urban Outfitters (already seen here)
Cashmere SweaterLa Redoute (already seen here)
Pants Leon & Harper (already seen here)
Hiking boots “Mountain Pass” Danner
Backpack Sanpak Japan

Five senses #15

· Decoration, Fashion, Food

Here is a new Five senses episode to share what have stimulated my 5 senses lately : let’s go !

 

Sight

Sweatshirt American Vintage
Suit Urban Outfitters (2014) (already seen here)
Sneakers New Balance (2014) (already seen here)

 

I’ve got two main colors in my wardrobe: beige and grey. I find them easy to match together and with other colors too.

I also really like the pink color (for the fresh and “healthy glow” touch) that I wear with a few pieces of clothes (with a trench, long jacket, and a raincoat and pants). I didn’t have any pink top (apart from a pullover that I loved but had to give up as it was too itchy!) : so I invested in this pink sweatshirt (being 100% sure it won’t be itchy as it is made of soft and fluffy cotton).

So here is the outfit with a grey suit spiced up with a touch of pink, that I wear outside with a long warm coat. I will try to mix and match it with beige clothes : it’s my own way to bring some brightness to the current weather!

 

Taste

Quite a few yummy discovery lately and 2 sunny shops to recommend.

The first one is HÉBÉ (15 Rue Frédéric Sauton, 75005 Paris) The perfect balance between tastes and textures from starter to dessert. I was over excited in front of the tartare, the duck with lavender and crunchy millefeuille. A menu to share for a friendly and happy moment.

Beef tartare, grilled corn, octopus and dick with its lavender mash potaoes

Praline and nut Millefeuille and verbena peach

 

The 2nd one: TINTAMARRE (80 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris) is simpler but as yummy as the previous one. This address with Lebanese inspirations is dedicated to only use organic and seasonal products, directly from producers as much as possible.

Beef tataki, mememen, grapefruit hummus and chickpea fatteh , halloumi skewers

 

I particularly liked the cassolette with eggs and vegetables slightly spiced up called “menemen” as well was the various hummus with a delicious taste of “eat some more”. This being said, I will try to go back there to try out the brunch that looks pretty good too.

 

Touch

Agenda et refill Delfonics

 

The years go by and I can’t give up on my paper agenda (I can’t sort out my meetings with a calendar on my phone).

My favorite shops in Paris is called Delfonics (a Japanese shop) at le Carrousel du Louvre: Every year I buy my new agenda there. Last year, I chose a cover that I can re-use every year (as the year is not mark on the cover) and this shop sells agenda refills!

Therefore, I just bought the 2020 pages refill (I am part of the team “agenda pages start in January” and not “September”): so I am ready to start the next year, well organized!

The shop also has a lot of nice cards, pens, pencils and pouches: eye candy!

 

Hearing

What an excitement when after waiting 7 years, Keane got a new music album out “Cause and effect”, which I’ve been listening again and again.

CD/vinyl collector box Keane “Cause and effect”

 

As I was saying on Instagram, it’s not really easy to get into this album from the very first time you listen it considering the slow pace and the not very catchy melodies. But if we try harder (such as endive or Brussel sprouts) we can end up liking it (you’ll say that I am not objective I know…)

I actually already purchased tickets for the coming concert in January at the Olympia: when we love it…

 

Smell

My last passion these past few weeks are symbolized by this green pot filled with matcha spread, randomly found in a Korean grocery shop near by the Opera.

Matcha spread “Bokumjari” (found at ACE Opéra)

 

A very subtil smell of matcha (or nokcha as the product is Korean) which spices up the taste of milk jam, to spread on bread or brioche toast. For the non-Parisian, I found a recipe of DIY matcha spread here that I will probably try once this one will be done: to be continued! (English transation by Quiterie)

Awaji & Tadao Ando

· Art, Decoration, Food, Illustration, Travel

Finally ! After all the details about Osaka, here is the first step of our road trip. It’s now time to start this journey in chronological order.

Indeed, as soon as we landed at Osaka airport early in the morning, and right after getting our rental car (= all the info about this topic here), we drove non-stop toward the Awaji island. This island connects the main island Honshu to Shikoku (which will be our main interest for this trip). Let’s go!

 

Awaji Yumebutai

This garden/monument/park (I don’t exactly know how to describe it) was our very first stop to visit almost right after getting off the plane! But the excitement of being in Japan as well as the idea to discover this master piece of Tadao Ando kept us awake.

I am grateful to my favorite travel agent for suggesting me this stop that really worth the visit if you are a fan as me of the work of the architect.

Awaji Yumebutai was built after the earthquake in Kobe in 1995 by Tadao Ando, who was able to use the damaged nature to enhance this space. The result, quite wide to explore, gathers a hotel, a memorial, a botanical garden and various point of sea views.

The most impressive place is the Hyakudan botanic garden : multiple plant-filled terraces that you can admire below. The flowering was not optimal at that time but spring season must be amazing.

From models…

… to reality!

As always, Tadao Ando devotes significant attention to mix with harmony nature and architecture and it’s a real pleasure for the eyes. So make sure to plan at least a few hours to half a day: depending on how you can get amazed to look at every single details.

 

Naruto whirlpool

This curiosity of nature is located between the island of Awaji and Tokushima prefecture (Shikoku side) and can be observed twice in a day (around 8:00am and 2:00pm to properly see a whirlpool). We got there a bit later but we could still witness this phenomenon.

This whirlpool is created due to the Pacific Ocean and Seto sea tides meeting, which form this phenomenon.

From the ferry boat, we can admire the bridge such as a Golden Gate spanning the Naruto strait. And as always in Japan, mascots are part of the game!

 

TOTO Seawind hotel by Tadao Ando

This first day in Japanese territory (without sleeping!) will end up in this seaside hotel, designed by Tadao Ando (I told you my SO had found nice spots!).

We can recognize the very specific style of the architect: these lines, concrete, light and shadow effects. A strong minimalism very soothing for the sight.

The only downside: it’s so minimalist that if you arrive around 7:00pm without booking your dinner, you won’t find anything nearby and won’t be able to enjoy the dinner prepared on site (Japanese people hate unplanned situations so don’t even try to insist!).

We got trapped and ended up in our bedroom to warm up instant noodles that reception members found somewhere in the pantry (they really must not be used to see not far-sighted clients, such as us!).

Dreamy isn’t it? You cannot say that I haven’t warned you about the dinner to book in advance!

Regarding the breakfast it was perfect (we booked it!) : a buffet of various Japanese food (mostly salty= rice, fish, tofu…) where everyone can pick and arrange his/her favorite food in well compartmentalized plates.

A very nice housing address (surprisingly not so expensive for Japan = about 12000¥= 100€ per night) for anyone who loves architecture and absolute calm with sea view.

 

Sushi at Hayashiya 林屋鮓店

(HAYASHIYA 1168 Iwaya, Awaji 656-2401 Hyogo Prefecture) The only yummy address tested was this sushi place, where we had lunch before visiting the Yumebutai park.

I had the impression that all the population of the town was in this fully packed restaurant considering the empty streets.

Proof that it’s a good place! Sushi were very good and prepared on demand in front of us. Unfortunately I didn’t take any picture good enough to show you what we ate but it was delicious and terribly fresh! (I captured the ambiance on my Instagram stories).

Our first visit is ending here! The exploration of Shikoku will start in the next article before coming back to Awaji at the end of our trip for relaxing activities: talk to you soon! (English translation by Quiterie)

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