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Parisian birthday or ‘following the footsteps of Barefoot Contessa’

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Recently I couldn’t be bothered to write any posts. The uncertainty of what is going to happen next after Brexit, attacks and abuse of Brits who ‘wanted to take their country back’ was not only making me feel scared but depressed.

But I am not going to dwell on it here, I never believed in nationalism, I think it only caused wars and violence. And I’d rather be Cosmopolitan than proud to be of one nation.

Anyway, before it all happened, Boyfriend had had his birthday. Very nice.

As a very good girlfriend (but only on special occasions, on every day I am a raging bitch), I’ve decided to take him out for dinner. In Paris.

Before you are mistaken by the nature of this gesture, let me assure you, I had an ulterior motive.

You see, whenever I travel with my sister, we always spend days in museums. Like a whole day. We get up early to avoid queues, get there, and stay until they kick us out. So last time I had been to Paris, I’ve been eating in museums’ restaurants. Not that I am complaining, the one in Musee D’Orsay has a beautiful decor and setting, not to mention a terrace from which you have a panoramic view of Paris. Or the one in Versailles – nice, elegant, great soups. But if you know me, you know I am a huuuuge fan of Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa. And I sort of always wanted to follow her footsteps and recommendations while in Paris. So although it was nice to surprise Boyfriend with the Paris trip, it was also nice to have a foodie city break.

So to start with we stayed in St Germaine. As soon as we arrived, we went for breakfast to a Parisian institution – Cafe de Flore.

I have heard horror stories from many Brits about French people being rude (especially waiters). Let me tell you, I have never experienced it, I more often encounter rude Brits than Frenchies. Maybe it is also in your attitude – if you treat other people like they are inferior to you because they aren’t the best nation in the world (and you are), and you think every other country should be colonised, also that it’s a disgrace if natives don’t speak English, maybe you deserve to be treated rudely. Just saying.

Back to Cafe de Flore – the service was implacable, friendly and polite, we even exchanged a few random jokes with our waiter. It can be quite pricey but it is totally worth it – their omelettes are fluffy and cooked to perfection. I always loved the fact that in France and Italy you always get nice bread and water with your meal without asking. 20160607_104010



Cafe de Flore


Cafe de Flore


Cafe de Flore





Birthday Boy

We stopped at a few cafes and had obligatory crepes as you do when in Paris. In the evening we went for diner to a restaurant Ina Garten was raving about called Marco Polo on Rue Saint Sulpice. And oh my, was it worth it….

Our dinner was delicious, Boyfriend opted for spaghetti alle vongole, I went for pasta with grilled courgettes and tomato sauce. We also had tiramisu. I felt like I died and went to heaven. You might be surprised why we went to an Italian restaurant in Paris, but firstly as you remember I was on the Ina Garten wagon and secondly, it is quite difficult to find a veggie dish when you are dinning at the Parisian bistro.


Marco Polo, Paris


Boyfriend’s spaghetti alle vongole

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Marco Polo, Rue Saint-Sulpice

Next day we had decided to try something totally different. We went to an American diner. In Paris. Yes, guilty as charged. The place was called Breakfast in America and it looked like a typical diner.

breakf in america

Portions were truly American as well. I had blueberry pancakes and I could only master half of it, Boyfriend opted for banana pancakes, but unwisely he had a milkshake while waiting, and that was like a meal in itself, so he only had 1/3 of his stack. The owner ( a true Yank) thought that something was not right with our food and was really concerned, we had to assure him that our appetite got used to ‘French portions’.


Breakfast in America, Paris


Breakfast in America, Paris

What I loved the most about the diner was the ‘bottomless mug o’ joe’ – just like in American diners, nice mug of coffee, filled up constantly by a lovely waitress as soon as you  get to the bottom.

I absolutely couldn’t leave Paris without eating Hank’s Vegan Burger.

And let me tell you, I could eat there every day. Boyfriend who is not vegan and tried different burgers in his life decided that Hank’s was the best burger he had tried. The other advantage is the price. You can have a burger of your choice, a drink and either chips or coleslaw for 12 Euros, if you throw in 2 more Euros, you will get dessert as well.


Hank’s Vegan Burger, Paris


Hank’s Vegan Burger

We also had to visit Poilane, a bakery in Saint-Germaine-des-Pres, Ina Garten owns an apartment nearby and is a frequent visitor.

You can read the whole article I based our trip on here.

And here are some random but lovely pictures from the city of lights and love…




Almond Mocha Latte

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I don’t drink coffee very often but it’s not every day Princesses are born (Congratulations Duchess of Cambridge) and I waited long enough for a new series of ‘Silicon Valley’, so there you go, it’s my celebration day.

Why I love ‘Silicon Valley’ so much? Because it is divinely hilarious and quite intelligent. It’s got something that ‘Big Bang Theory’ is lacking for me. I never finished watching a single episode of Big Bang Theory, it got me annoyed and bored. It always felt like the show was made for the public to think they are more clever than they are, because they watch something about nerds. The viewer is not laughing with the geeks but at them, jokes are stereotypical. On the other hand in ‘Silicon Valley’ characters and situations seem more realistic and not geek offensive. I love when creators don’t treat their audience like idiots who can’t…

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Yellow Peanut Curry

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My dream about Valentino made me revisit some of my favourite fashion films.

And the winner definitely stays the same: ‘Diana Vreeland:The Eye Has To Travel’.



It’s an amazing documentary about an amazing woman. It’s very inspiring and makes you want to make an effort to express yourself better via clothes. The film is packed with beautiful photographs and Diana Vreeland is the most captivating person you can make a documentary about. My family was a bit like her mother in a way of telling me I was the ugliest child on Earth. It made her become a very strong individualist and see the importance of taking care of herself – with me it went sort of the other way. I became quite an individualist as well, but totally abandoned the other thing – the taking care of yourself and always being well put together part. Most days I don’t…

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Vegan Flapjacks

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Vegan flapjacks Vegan flapjacks

From time to time it’s good to have a flapjack and time off. When you have such a classic dessert like flapjack, you should also watch something you really like, possibly from the 80s.

I love Francis Ford Coppola’s films, but the one which is perfect with this kind of nibble is ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’.


I bet there are many people dreading their school reunion. And many might remember that one odd guy they would sleep with, if they went back to school years. Or if they went back, they would do everything differently. Well, maybe if you could time travel you could try to change things, but probably the only thing you could succeed in  is ‘to take better care of your teeth’.

The film is beautifully shot, dialogues are a perfection and the cast is star studded. I love the fact that Peggy’s younger sister…

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Rocket, goat cheese and fig salad

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For a week the weather has been really amazing. Autumn is my favorite part of the year anyway, but the beginning of the season is incredible. It is still warm, the leaves on the trees just started turning yellow and red, and you can detect that autumny smell in the air – decay and crispy, foggy morning smell. For some unknown reason to me, it makes me feel really optimistic and whole. It makes me want to dine outside in fading warmth of the sun. It also makes me think of my favorite French director – Eric Rohmer. Especially two of his films – A Tale of Autumn and The Green Ray. One reason is because there are so many beautiful scenes of people dining outside but also because of the atmosphere of his films.

Rohmer’s films make me feel really nostalgic. I became obsessed with his work as a…

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Jacked sweet potato and baked beans

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I haven’t posted anything for a while as I was extremely busy… As you can imagine, it was hectic…Absolutely mental. Comfort is what you need when you are off your feet. Comfort fo…

Source: Jacked sweet potato and baked beans

Easy Stir Fry

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It’s getting colder. Misty…darker…the best time to watch old classics.

And there is nothing better on a cold dark evening like ‘Chinatown’…I mean ‘forget it Jake…It’s Chinatown.’



It’s a classic film noir film with the crispness of an early Polanski’s work. It’s beautifully shot and if you ever talked to anyone who worked with Polanski or read his book, you know why – he’s a bit of a control freak when it comes to framing his vision. It has to be exactly like he wanted and imagined to be. It might be frustrating for a cinematographer but after all, a good cinematographer knows how to leave their mark on someone’s vision in a subtle way…

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway have never looked better. The way Dunaway’s face is lit makes her look almost ethereal. In his book ‘Roman’ Polanski mentioned that in one of the scenes Dunaways face was…

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Black Rice Porridge

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black rice porridge black rice porridge

I discovered my favorite breakfast and I feel like Will Farrel as Elf….

Whenever I have it I behave like that. Which makes me think, is it just me or does everyone play their own film in their head?

For example, whenever I’m choosing what to wear, in my head I play the scene from ‘American Gigolo’.

Or when I’m pleased I feel like saying ‘alright, alright’ alright’ Mathew Mcconaughey style.

Whenever I’m dancing, I’m John Travolta in ‘Saturday Night Fever’. People who went dancing with me know exactly what I’m saying, as I like my dance floor to be empty, that’s why usually I’m the first one on it and I come off as soon as it gets crowded.

Or whenever people try to interrupt my lunch break:

I could go on for ages, but let’s concentrate on my favorite breakfast for a moment.

It’s just…

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Grilled Polenta with Mushrooms

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in anticipation of the new season of Bloodline


Have you ever had that spooky experience in your life, when once you start thinking of one thing it comes to you in bunches? Let me elaborate…

In my last post I mentioned Hemingway. Around the same time I started reading a book by Naomi Woods ‘Mrs Hemingway’. It is a marvelous book taking you through all Hemingway’s marriages from his wives’ perspective. I loved it, it’s beautifully written, I really enjoyed reading it and I don’t even like Hemingway.

The other thing I never had an interest in was Florida. Never desired to go there, see it, couldn’t understand people’s fascination with it. In my mind it was the area ridden by hurricanes, alligators and pensioners.

After reading Naomi Woods book I sort of had and urge to go there. The way she described Hemingway and Fife’s (wife no 2) house in Key West, relaxed life in the sun…

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Kimchi Soup

because season two is in full swing and as entertaining…


What do you do when you feel sorry for yourself?

I make Kimchi soup and watch some guilty pleasure type of thing.

Like ‘Jane the Virgin’ for example. It really makes me chuckle. Especially the commentary. Even if you have never watched Latino telenovela, this is the time to get into it. Especially that ‘Jane’ is a bit of a parody of a genre but with all the key elements.

Many years ago my sister and I were remodeling my sister’s flat. That involved plastering, tiling, painting etc, all done by us. It took us longer than we planned (usual story  – the pipes weren’t delivered in time or the place we bought the floorboards from didn’t tell us that they run out of matching skirting boards. Anyone who’s done redecorating knows how it goes – usually not according to the schedule). Every day we got up in the morning…

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