I must admit right up front that today’s This & That is Parisian and British themed. With an abundance of ideas and inspiration I want to share with you, today’s six picks were inspired from my first full week in Europe. From a fantastically simple and decadent English dessert to a Parisian issue of Vogue that is grabbing hold of its unique premise, and so much more. Have a look . . .
If you are a fan of Lucy Activewear of Title Nine athletic clothing for women, you will become a quick fan of Sweaty Betty. The name alone caught my attention while in London. So when my hostess, Kim, introduced me to the store while strolling through Notting Hill knowing I appreciate staying fit, but at the same time wanting to look stylish, she certainly read me quite well.
Sweaty Betty is a retail chain of athletic wear for women found throughout London and the wider United Kingdom area. I have wholeheartedly fallen in love with their seven purposes, and discovered the colors, styles and options to be quite to my liking. While I don’t have much space, I still managed to purchase this tank (which they call a vest) for yoga which was only 29 pounds in a beautiful shade of emerald green (in comes in many colors).
~Scarves – Burberry checked modal and cashmere blend scarf - $650
I vowed that while on my trip I would begin to build a scarf wardrobe. Purchasing my first scarf at a market in London, I am beginning gradually, but what I adore about wearing scarves is that they take the place of a light jacket or coat in the summer evenings and mornings when the air still crisp. After having stopping into Burberry, I couldn’t help but dream of their cashmere scarf as this would be an ideal addition to any woman’s classically sophisticated wardrobe.
During my last evening in London, we chose to stay in the flat, and our hostess prepared a scrumptious meal with flavors of curry in abundance as we watched the Olympics' Closing Ceremony. (Did you know curry is the number one food of choice surpass that of fish and chips in London? Who knew!) But it was the dessert that was beyond expectation.
Labeled Eton Mess, a traditional English dessert, which is a mixture of chopped crisp meringues, crème fraîche, and marinated strawberries making a delightful summer treat that will certainly send your tastebuds into absolute appreciation. I have discovered recipes using rhubarb as well, but regardless, the sweetness of the fruit and the decadence of the cream establish a lovely blending of flavors to enjoy.
I mentioned last week my excursion to Fortnum & Mason in London, and being the tea lover that I am, I had to purchase some tea from this delightful gourmet grocery. As I type today’s post in Paris, I sip their classic Earl Grey tea which is full, yet subtle and exactly what the day needs to begin brilliantly. With many options of tea, you too can purchase loose leaf or bags for a reasonable price to bring a bit of luxury into your every day routine. (Earl Grey Tea - 25 tea bags – three pounds.)
~Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities by Vahram Muratyam
One of my first stops in Paris upon arriving via the Eurostar train was Shakespeare & Co. bookstore. Tucked into a bustling side street near Notre Dame, this bookstore, while tiny, is overflowing with new and used books in English. And while I could have perused for hours, it was a comfort to know that an English speaking Francophile who is still brushing up on speaking fluent French can always find comfort at this local haunt when surrounded by books in their native tongue.
So the book that I flipped through and thought ideal to spotlight was Vahram Muratyam’s Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities which is full of color comparative images juxtaposing the two cities preferences, cultures and behaviors. Based on his blog of the same name Paris versus New York, stop by to view a variety of images. This would be a delightful coffee table book for guests to flip through or a quaint gift for a lover of travel, New York and/or Paris.
The last major fashion magazine has revealed its September cover. Emmanuelle Alt’s Vogue Paris has bravely (and wisely) chosen to revamp the magazine, revealing with September 2012’s issue a new focus. With three collector edition covers (Kate Moss, Daria Werbowy and Lara Stone photographed by Mert & Marcus), Vogue Paris is the only Vogue specifically named after a city (and a fashionably avant garde city at that). With that in mind, she shared with Women’s Wear Daily her concept as she moves forward as the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, "It's the concept of the 'Parisienne . . . the 'Parisienne' is a girl who makes people dream worldwide, rightly or wrongly — a girl who represents a particular style, a taste, an allure."
And don’t forget, even if you don’t speak French you can read the English version.