Thursday, 28 June 2012

De retour d'Europe (part 2)

The second part of my trip took place in Paris. As always, the food was delicious. The only problem with restaurants in Paris is that you can't eat out on the terrace unless you're a smoker or don't mind the odor of cigarettes. 

I went to Disneyland Paris. If you experienced a Disney park in the US, you might be deceived by the lack of cleanliness in this park (floating Coke bottles in "It's a Small World") and people do not respect the designated smoking areas. The attractions are great though. I recommend Phantom Manor (their version of The Haunted Mansion) which is quite different from the one in other parks.

Back in Paris, I visited "La Sainte-Chapelle" which is quite impressive and also went to Notre-Dame de Paris. In terms of shopping, I went to the Galeries Lafayette, Le Printemps and Le Bon Marché. Even if there aren't many affordable things at Le Bon Marché, you have to go see La Grande Épicerie, the food hall of this department store. The other good thing about Le Bon Marché is that, unlike Lafayette or Printemps, it isn't invaded by tourists and also seemed to have more A/C.

Monday, 25 June 2012

De retour d'Europe (part 1)

I'm finally back from my two weeks in Europe during which I visited Munich, Berlin and Paris. It was my first time in Germany and even though I speak a bit german, all i ended up saying in that language were "Schinken-Käse Baguette", "Marmorkuchen" and "grüne Handtasche", the first two being Starbucks items. Otherwise, most people in Berlin and Munich speak english, which made my dad very happy (his german being non-existant). The weather in Germany was gray and quite rainy in Munich. In Berlin, the weather was also cloudy, except on the last day. I visited the Brandenburg Tor, the Museum Island and the Reichstag in Berlin, while in  Munich, I visited the Residenz and walked around the old town.

I didn't eat any Wurst or Sauerkraut as I have to admit that I'm not a fan of german food. In Munich we depended a lot on Starbucks and the restaurant at the hotel (which was good), but the choice in Berlin was much better. Our hotel (the Marriott) had a nice steakhouse and at the end of the meal, they would bring us, along with the bill, a tiny fire pit with marshmallow that we could grill. It was quite fun and original.

Shopping wise, I can't say much about Munich as we didn't spend a whole lot of time there and didn't really shop. But if your dream is to own traditional bavarian clothes, you are sure to find what you want in Munich. I was indeed quite surprised to see many stores selling dirndls and lederhosen. I even saw a man on the street wearing a lederhosen. In Berlin, there are two department stores you have to visit. The first (and my favorite) is the Galerie Lafayette, which is a branch of the parisian department store. This branch is not as big as the one in Paris, but if you are craving for some french clothes and food, you'll be in heaven. The  macarons they sell in the food departments are excellent. The second department store you have to visit is the biggest in Europe (at least according to my travel guide) and it's KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens). The most interesting part of this store is the food hall, which has quite a variety of food and you can also eat there. If you are looking for original napkins, you'll also love the selection they have. Be aware though that if it is hot and humid outside, it will be worse in the store as there is no air conditioning (most public places don't have A/C in Europe) and avoid going there on a Saturday like I did. The crowd is unbearable. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012


Never been to the Cork Jazz Festival, but I have been to Cork. Can't say I have the fondest memories of Cork, but the experience would have definitely be better if I had been staying in a different hotel. If you ever go to Ireland, avoid the Jurys Inn, which is a chain of hotels. I stayed at the ones in Dublin and Cork and both were disappointing, the one in Cork being the worst. There was a pub next to the lobby, which might be a plus for some, but it's definitely a negative when you want to sleep and people are coming back to their room and are too drunk to know which one is theirs and might try opening your door. Unless they did some major refurbishment since I went, I repeat: Avoid the Jurys Inn. 

Now, back to Cork. It's not a city with a "wow" factor like some other cities in Ireland, but it's not a dump either. The Italian restaurant where I remember eating was good and I did see a rainbow while in Cork, which might see a bit cliché in the land of leprechauns, but Ireland's weather allows you to see quite a few rainbows. Indeed, the weather will always be as followed with some variation in the order (spent two weeks in Ireland and it was always like that): cloudy, raining, sunshine. Rain and sunshine following one other or being at the same time is the perfect equation to create a rainbow. Don't expect to find a pot o' gold or a leprechaun at the end of it though. That's just a legend.

Nothing much to say about the outfit. I again went for something green and just built around it to create an outfit I considered would work to attend a jazz concert.

Cork Jazz Festival

Sheer dress
$53 -

Karen Millen summer jacket
$350 -

L.A.M.B. black booties
$355 -

Loree Rodkin leaf ring
£10,000 -

Carolina Bucci yellow gold bangle
$1,531 -

Friday, 22 June 2012

Caisleán na Blarnan agus Caisleán Bhun Raithe

I visited both locations! The Blarney Castle is of course a classic, especially if you want to kiss the Blarney Stone. I'll admit that I did not kiss the famous stone because of my fear of heights and also because too many people kissed it and it's not very hygienic. It's a nice castle, but I preferred the Bunratty Castle. Why? Because there are other things to do around the castle once you are done visiting it. Bunratty Castle is surrounded by a folk park representing a 19th century irish village. You will fine many "fake villages" (that's how I call them) around Ireland, but the one at Bunratty is the best I've seen.

Now, about the outfit. I decided to go again with something green and added a celtic ring to the complete the irish theme.

Blarney Castle and Bunratty Castle

Etro ruffle top
£283 -

Vintage jeans
$80 -

Mulberry handbag
£425 -

Celtic emerald ring
$377 -

Alex Monroe gold plated jewelry
£190 -

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Ireland! As you can see, I decided to go for a color traditionally associated with Ireland: green. I have never been to Dromoland castle, "home to one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood" (Schultz, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, p.66), but I have been to the Cliffs of Moher which are a 30-minute drive from the castle, now a hotel. The cliffs are quite impressive and also  a bit scary when you have a fear of heights when you lean over the edge, thing you can't do anymore since they places a fence to prevent people from going near the edge. At least, that's what I read. When I was there, there was only a low brick wall that a 5 years old could have climbed over, hence how I (and many others... if not everyone) was able to get near the edge. I have to admit I didn't really looked over the edge as I was keeping my back against the rocky "wall" and trying not to look down.

Anyway, about this outfit. Because of the location's past, I decided to go with a sophisticated look.

Dromoland Castle

Couture evening dress
£650 -

Miu miu shoes
$645 -

Moschino quilted leather handbag
$648 -

Gold diamond ring
$1,809 -

Aamaya by priyanka chain necklace
$207 -

Marc by Marc Jacobs hair bow accessory
$22 -

Christian Dior lip makeup
€21 -

Monday, 18 June 2012

Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi

This is the last UK location in the book "1000 Places to See Before You Die". Since it's a cathedral, I decided to go for a respectful look, adding a bit of "humph" with the sparkling sneakers.

Saturday, 16 June 2012


I have to admit that the pictures of the location more than the description inspired me for this look. It's the countryside and the light tends to make me believe that the air was crisp and chilly, hence the turtleneck and the jeans. The other parts of the outfit were simply based on those two pieces of clothing.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


This location is where Wale's most famous poet, Dylan Thomas, lived. Because of that, I decided to create a look I imagine a poet wearing while writing poetry in a boathouse.

Dylan Thomas's Boathouse

Edith A Miller knit top
$64 -

Mid rise jeans
$76 -

Shoulder bag
$45 -

Halleh ruby ring
$1,540 -

Straw hat
$50 -

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


According to Patricia Schultz, the literary festival in Hay-on-Wye is probably the most prestigious in Britain. Because of the importance of book in one of today's two location, I decided to create a look that was chic, to go with the elegance of the second location, but also reflected a bookworm personality. The look is mainly composed of pastel colors, except for the handbag which adds a pop of color.