Back from Pisa

· Fashion, Travel

Last weekend I escaped the fog and greyness direction Pisa: Italy’s appeal, the sun, the pasta… A decompression post-completion of the book that was very beneficial. Pisa is actually perfect to spend a weekend: charming and ideal to visit by foot and of course famous for its leaning tower! I resisted to the temptation of the trompe l’oeil picture with my arms supporting the tower but I think quite a lot of tourists went for it: it was a festival of arms held out in every direction – the tower has never been so well supported! Otherwise I went all the way up and I didn’t think that it would be so impressing: with each step up I was leaning down one side (without having drunk before) and needless to say that the view is splendid (well in fact, you see, I did say it).

For the tourist outfit I really took what was the simplest in my closet: a twisted pullover and my starry shirt worn with brut jeans and flat ankle-boots. And my bag “sign language” to slip everything in there.

Otherwise, over these 2 tuscan days my brain has been so bombarded with this song of Giorgia “E’ L’Amore Che Conta” that I could sing it for you in Italian yogurt: be it in the taxi cab, at the hotel, in the shops, I think I won’t be sticking my neck out too much by saying that this is THE hit in Italy, right? (English translation by LN)


My Outfit

cable knit sweater Baruckello
shirt Only
Jeans Slight Curve Skinny Levi’s
Bag Borders & Frontiers
Chelsea Boots ASOS

Aki Boulanger

· Food

With Asian food, desserts aren’t really the part of the meal that blow your mind. I’m generally pretty frustrated after an excellent bowl of udon or an okonomiyaki that I can’t have a dessert worthy of the main course I just had. A scoop of green tea ice cream is good you know, but a creamy pastry would be so much better.

Which is why the Aki Bakery opened a while back (a year, maybe two?) in the area of the Rue Sainte-Anne : what a wonderful idea! Now we can go and have our main course in one of the numerous restaurants that line up in that particular street and leave right after the main course to go and have dessert at the Aki Bakery (Well … for lunch at least. It closes at 8h30 PM … or you can turn into a logistics master and buy your dessert beforehand to go so you can have it later).

Inside, we’re greeted by with the typical Japanese smile and accent. It’s even possible to have a quick “on the run” meal, they have pretty interesting menus … but let’s not stray from my original idea : sweet desserts! So in this Japanese bakery, you’ll find what you’d find in any typical Parisian bakery : baguettes, slices of brioche … but most interesting are of course, the French pastries with just that hint of exoticism.

Yuzu eclairs (= yuzu being a small asian lemon … hey, it could be used to vary the expressions : saying something turned out to be a yuzu is cuter than saying it turned out to be a lemon don’t you think?)

Matcha eclairs, half matcha custard – half whipped cream cream puffs!

 Matcha and red beans cake, white chocolate and matcha opera cake : such a perfect balance : delicious!

matcha rolls, matcha Napoleons (ok Aki, we got it, you’re the matcha master in all it’s variations, stop showing off already!).

There are also some words on the labels that will get one smiling, like the “azuki beigne”. For me (and for the French in general), “beigne” is a synonym for big fights with boards pierced by rusty nails thrown at your face (All that pent up violence inside of me is pretty scary isn’t it?) but it turns out the word means “donuts” in Quebec …

Are we in Paris, Tokyo or Montreal? In the end I’m kind of lost! In all cases, I’ll gladly let myself be hit by an “azuki beigne” anytime (and I’ll even turn the other cheek), for I tasted them, and they’re incredible!

All in all, the pastries are meant to be simple but scrumptious. Who’s going to complain? I certainly won’t. (English translation by Bleu Marine)

AKI BOULANGER
16 rue Sainte-Anne
75001 PARIS (Métro Pyramides)

Sweet & Savory Barcelona

· Food, Travel

Staying 2 days in Barcelona allowed me to get back to those shop signs I appreciated last time but also to appreciate the sugary side of barcelona. This is why I refused to get breakfast in the hotel (what a rebel!), preferring to try a shop where the usual Barcelona native would go to. And I went to this address:

LA RAMBLA 31

as the name would suggest is on…. The Rambla…. at number 31 (oh spirit of deduction, you’ll always surprise me!)… But a bit far from the touristy center. I don’t know if it’s a bakery chain like our Paul here but it’s quite good and I noticed that plenty of Spanish came in as regulars.

Inside, a similar layout to our french bakeries except that there is a little desk in the center with high stools for getting coffee, a patisserie or in my case, breakfast. So, I’m telling you now, I mixed everything in my breakfast: sugary, salty, chocolate, orange juice… If there was a spicy option, I would have taken some too. You see, It doesn’t bother me having a sauerkraut in the morning. You have been warned.

What you could find on my tray; little sandwiches with an omelette, tomatoes with goat cheese, a ham croissant… I also tried this spanish bun called Ensaimada, a specialty you’ll find on the Majorque coast. Very light, you can also find some filled.

I succumbed to the Cacaolat call, the local chocolate milk. It has been a long time since I drank some chocolate milk. In the end, you have to pay around 8 euros per person for a breakfast from the menu (salty, sugary, you choose anything you want) and which is substantial. So, quite interesting!

 

BUBO bakery

Then, for the snack, I stopped by the Bubo Bakery apparently quite famous, its chief Carlos Mambel has been chosen as best baker in Spain.

I didn’t note down the exact name of the patisserie I picked but I tasted some sort of a raspberry mille-feuille and I have been convinced to try more next time. Very delicate and not too sweet, it’s everything I like.

What would you have chosen, if you were me?… What do you mean everything? (English translation by Charlotte B)

Boulangerie LA RAMBLA 31
Rambla Catalunya 31
BARCELONA

Pâtisserie BUBO
Caputxes 10 (près de l’Eglise Santa Maria del Mar)
BARCELONA

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