Five senses #20

· Beauty, Culture, Fashion, Food

Fall is back and a Five senses article was necessary! On the one hand to share my favorites and on the other hand, to try to give you some ideas to spend these grey days in a warmer and more pleasant way…while slowly approaching the Christmas season!

 

TOUCH

Finding my fall wardrobe is quite satisfying, especially since after my many sortings, I kept only what I really like.

So I vary the pleasures by composing outfits in which comfort has a primary role. Here is the one I really liked to wear lately.

 

And for shoes, fall is the occasion to find these two pairs.

I had to give up the patent Dr Martens I loved so much: I bought a pair to replace my old ones but I couldn’t find the same comfort, even if I wore them many times to “break them” (Did they change the sizing system or is it my foot that is at fault?).

Anyway, I opted in last january for another pair of unvarnished shoes, inspired by Dr. Martens but from APC, and my feet tolerate them much better (even if I miss the varnished look of Dr. Martens).

I pulled out these special edition Dr. Martens x Comme Des Garçons purchased in 2014 in Japan at Ginza . The comfort is still there for these (maybe the fact that they are made in England has something to do with it?). As a result, I pamper them even more!

 

SMELL

BLOM by AQUALIS

 

I recently received from Aqualis, a discovery set of their fragrances in order to find out which one suited me.

After many tests, I chose BLOM, with its floral-fruity notes that resemble me the most. The top notes are bergamot, grapefruit and blackcurrant, followed by floral heart notes (magnolia, rose, jasmine and gardenia) and ending with woody notes (amber, vanilla, cedarwood and musk): everything I like!

You have to spray very little (a pressure on the wrist is enough) for it to diffuse harmoniously all day long. This is because it is pure perfume (more concentrated with less alcohol). What a precious early Christmas gift!

 

SIGHT

I take the time to read more and more and I am delighted because it allows me to escape and make very nice discoveries. After Ogawa Ito, I’ve been looking at other Japanese books. Here are my 2 favorite novels of these last months:

TANT QUE LE CAFÉ EST ENCORE CHAUD de Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Ed. Albin Michel) : Spotted thanks to a friend (hello LN !), the pitch caught me immediately:

In Japan, there is a café in which you can travel in the past under certain conditions: this trip will not change the present and lasts only as long as the coffee is hot (hence the title). This amazing establishment is the perfect setting to discover the stories of 4 different women. A touching story to be savored to the last drop.

AU PROCHAIN ARRÊT de Hiro Arikawa (Ed. Actes Sud) : I read this novel during my vacations in Brittany and it was simply perfect.

In Japan, on the train line between Takarazuka and Nishinomiya, passengers come and go at the rhythm of the station stops. Pieces of life will intertwine, impacting the destiny of the characters. The trajectories cross and the reader is the privileged witness. A reading as interesting as soothing, I really enjoyed the journey.

 

HEARING

Autumn is a good time to listen to music (while watching the rain fall through the window or walking on the dead leaves = so cliché!). My love for the band Bastille is intact since the beginning and I’m looking forward to discovering their new album next February.

For the moment, I enjoy the singles already released (Give me the future, Distorted light beam, Thelma & Louise, No Bad days). Special mention to the clip of No Bad Days, rather futuristic, (directed by Dan Smith, the leader of the band) which will please the science fiction lovers.

 

In another pop genre, crush for the new single “Between us” from Little Mix, an English girl band which celebrates its 10 years of existence: a perfect pop ballad.

“Between us” cover of the Little Mix best of album

 

And if you want to listen to the best of what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years, I can only encourage you to let your ears hang out on their best of album of the same name.

Beside that, here are a few songs that I also like at the moment:

 

TASTE

Sushi and chirashi at Restaurant YOU

 

Here are two Japanese addresses I discovered recently and which made me spend a good moment.

RESTAURANT YOU (56 rue Ste Anne): a Japanese restaurant in Ste Anne street (how surprising) where I could taste good sushi and chirashi. My favorite is still Toritcho (47 rue du Montparnasse) but this one was quite qualitative and authentic too.

ECHIZEN SOBA TOGO (33 rue St Roch) : A good soba noodle restaurant (buckwheat noodles) discovered this summer. I really enjoyed the agedashi tofu (as good as the one in Sanukiya) as well as the soba noodles to be eaten hot or cold. (English translation by Quiterie)

Agedashi todu and Ten oroshi Soba


My Outfit

Manteau ASOS (déjà vu ici)
Pull cachemire La Redoute (déjà vu ici)
Béret Le Béret français (déjà vu ici)
Jean Topshop (déjà vu ici)
Chaussures Dr Martens x Comme des garçons (déjà vues ici)
Sac Sézane (déjà vu ici)
Boucles d’oreilles Eloïse Fiorentino

My vacations in Roscoff

· Food, Travel

With a little delay, I come back here on my summer vacations which took place at the beginning of September in Brittany. One thing is sure, I always enjoy going on holiday when everyone else has already gone back home.

Last year, it was Belle-île-mer. This year, it was Roscoff in Finistère where the calm of September is always appreciated. Not to mention that we had a rather dull summer, so I took it as a blessing to be able to enjoy these Breton sunbeams.

I will try to list in this article the different places we visited during our stay so that you can maybe organize a vacation or a weekend there (a weekend seems to me a bit short to enjoy everything). Let’s go for the visit!

 

Getting to Roscoff

We chose to go there by car (about 5h30 drive).

However, there are trains with a connection in Morlaix from Paris Montparnasse. Once there, it is easier to drive to visit the surroundings but I imagine that with a little organization (and bus lines) everything is feasible.

 

ROSCOFF and its surroundings

 

THE EXOTIC GARDEN OF ROSCOFF : A garden with more than 3500 species of plants from the southern hemisphere. Very interesting to walk through, exotic and special mention to the panoramic view at the top of the rock and to the Koi carp pond.

 

HIKING TO THE POINT OF PERHARIDY : We went for a short day walk to reach the point of Perharidy, starting from Roscoff and following the coast.

No big difference in level, it is a hike categorized as easy.

Some people will finish this walk in 2 hours or less: we chose to take our time to admire the scenery and have a quiet picnic.

The changing atmosphere, from bright sunshine to fog, was full of mystery.

 

THE MENHIR OF CAM-LOUIS : 7 meters high for this erect rock.

It is said that it is built on a treasure accessible only on Christmas day (if you want to check, you know what you have to do for the holidays).

Beach and rocks of Cam-Louis

 

 

BAY OF KERNIC AND DUNES OF KERRAMA : Long beaches of fine white sand that we walked at the end of the day. If you like sand yachting or kite surfing, this is the place for you.

 

BATZ ISLAND (some pronounce it Batz and others Ba, I don’t know who has the truth because I heard everything on the spot 😉

We spent a small day on this island to go on foot or by bike (the Roscoff – island of Batz crossing is done by shuttle during 15mn).

We chose the bicycle to shorten the distances (already short) but the exploration on foot in one day is quite possible if you have time.

 

The most striking point of interest is the Georges Delaselle Garden which is a good complement to the exotic garden of Roscoff. It brings together plants from Africa, Australia and Asia and thanks to the micro-climate of the island, you really feel transported to other latitudes.

Of course, I had planned to wear my vintage Hawaiian shirt to match the scenery that day… and I don’t regret at all this express stopover in Hawaii!

The lighthouse on Batz Island can be visited, to admire a high viewpoint or explore its museum. Unfortunately, it was closed during our day of visit.

 

CALLOT ISLAND : My favorite island, which has kept its wild side (indeed, you will not find any shop or restaurant on the island, be careful).

This long island is accessible at low tide. You have to be careful to note the tide times to know when to go there and when to come back! Otherwise you might have to sleep in the only gite on the island (or enjoy the hospitality of a local villa owner).

 

I loved the little Notre Dame chapel on the highest point of the island and leaning against the Mazarin turret to admire the horizon for a few minutes. Wild and quiet, a real luxury.

 

BEACH OF THE AMIETS AT CLEDER : We regretted not to have discovered this immense beach of fine sand earlier. A small air of Thailand with its rocks. A pleasure to contemplate.

 

My addresses in Roscoff

 

THE BRITTANY & SPA HOTEL : A Relais & Châteaux hotel with a view on the sea, very comfortable, and close to the city center on foot. We really wanted to treat ourselves during this week of rest by taking care to be pampered as we should: Mission accomplished!

The breakfast was copious and we were able to taste an unusual specialty of the place: the gros lait (a kind of fermented milk with a stringy texture).

There were also some Japanese-inspired dishes (horse mackerel in dashi broth, nori seaweed tartar) at the breakfast buffet since the second in command (Kazunori Tanigawa) and the wife of the Chef Loïc le Bail happen to be Japanese! The timing couldn’t be better!

 

LE BRITTANY RESTAURANT of the Chef Loïc le Bail : With one Michelin star and its few Japanese influences, our 2 dinners booked within the hotel were absolutely wonderful.

Amuse bouche with Roscoff onion and Kouign amann, caramel apple stratum, rosemary orange sorbet

 

Brittany and Japan mix very well: a festival of iodized, Breton and exotic flavors (they even served small bánh bao (or nikkuman) with seaweed and Roscoff onions as a side dish)

 

LA CREPERIE DE LA POSTE The buckwheat pancakes are soft and crispy at the same time (special mention to the Concarnoise (St Jacques and leek fondue with cream) and the wheat pancakes are tasty.

 

CHEZ JANIE The seafood restaurant that was recommended to us by the hotel. Enjoy a seafood platter or a dish of the day cooked with love. The service is friendly and I have the sweet memory of a fresh and greedy strawberry pavlova.

 

 

The rest of the time, we picnicked or ate on the go so I don’t have many gourmet addresses to share with you but if you are local, feel free to post your recommendations in the comments (=visits or gourmet places)! It could be useful for the next visitors !

I hope you enjoyed these selected pieces of Breton summer vacations before entering a little more seriously into autumn! (English translation by Quiterie)

Motionless journey

· Culture, Fashion, Travel

I’m back on my blog after a few months of absence, following technical problems that prevented me from posting. Everything seems to be working again (fingers crossed): so I’m taking advantage of this to finally find you here!

This summer, I stayed in Paris and didn’t move around much, but that didn’t stop me from escaping on several occasions during a few immobile trips (which you may have seen, if you follow my Instagram stories), whether it was via exotic Parisian places or other inspiring reading. If you haven’t had the chance to go far away and you miss Japan, maybe this article will give you some ideas and allow you to escape too!

 

Japanese serenity at Jardin Albert Kahn

Here are some pictures of a morning spent in the Japanese garden of the Albert Kahn museum in Boulogne. I hadn’t been back since 2014 and was pleasantly surprised by the size and beauty of the recently renovated place.

The tour begins with the Japanese village, which banker Albert Kahn, inspired by his travels, had built in 1898, with the help of a gardener and carpenter from the land of the rising sun. The vegetation and the tea pavilion are immediately transporting us to another place.

Further on, a more contemporary Japanese garden, designed by landscape architect Fumiaki Takano. Maples, ginkgo biloba, azaleas and magnolias complete the harmony: the view should be even more spectacular in autumn or spring.

Two bridges spanning a stream in which a few Koi carps are waving : it really is like being there in Japan.

If you decide to visit this garden during the weekend, don’t forget to book in advance (during the week, it is not necessary to book).

 

Books that smell of Japan

 

To escape at the moment, there is nothing better than to immerse yourself in some exotic reading! I’m not going to list all the books in my library related to Japan, but here is a small selection that recently allowed me to travel there, by turning the pages.

 

♦ OGAWA ITO’S BOOKS

I started with “The Restaurant of Regained Love”, then went on with “The Tsubaki Stationery” and am currently reading “The Republic of Happiness”. The Japanese author has written 5 novels.

I am so seduced by the three I mentioned that I intend to read all five. Each novel has such a cosy and gourmet atmosphere that you have the impression of travelling through a Japan where the sweetness of life is omnipresent. A very soothing and epicurean read.

 

♦ HANDMADE IN JAPAN (Ed. Gelstaten) : A magnificent book that brings together the work of several Japanese craftsmen. Ceramic, fabric, wood, metal… All materials are worked with love to obtain precious objects highlighting the Japanese sense of detail.

 

♦ TOKYO PETIT ATLAS HEDONISTE (Ed. Chêne) : A book gathering good addresses in Tokyo with a lot of photos and a nice layout.

♦ SOUL OF TOKYO (Ed.Jonglez) : a small guide with other off-the-beaten-track addresses.

♦ ANDO (Ed. Taschen) : I already had a book collecting some of Tadao Ando‘s works (bought at the Pompidou museum exhibition). However, I fell in love with this book, more complete. I also plan to buy the one gathering the works of the architect Kengo Kuma whose work I also like a lot. (English translation by Quiterie)

ANDO Complete Works (Editions Taschen)


My Outfit

Jumpsuit American Vintage (already seen here)
Bag brought back from Bali (2017)
Sandals 70/30 (already seen here)
Earrings Eloïse Fiorentino (already seen here)

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