Friday, 30 September 2011

Days of Biarritz: Part Three

Images of Port des Pechêurs are my own taken on my iphone - please credit to SisterBatik

 Image via Arena cafe Biarritz 

Aaaah food in France......

There are few greater pleasures or so it feels, when you are eating well.  Amazing food feels like a luxury, and you should luxuriate in that moment - it should make you feel like you had just died and gone to heaven.....

The first time, and incidentally the last time, I tasted ceviche was at La Rosa Nautica down a long pier which weathered the tempest of the Pacific in Lima, Peru.  As a young group, a few years out of college, we had backpacked, Cusco, Machu Picchu and back to Lima, and it might have been the first day we had felt properly clean and smart after hiking and camping. There were evening surfers dotted along the coast as we walked to reach the long pier.  Being in that environment and tasting ceviche for the first time, may have been enough for me subconsciously not to have eaten ceviche since.  Something to do with memory, more than desire - perhaps it is just me?  Wanting to avoid the disappointment of tasting an inferior version or being in a contrived environment that would desensitize my tastebuds or memory of it.

But back to the present and Biarritz and meeting that fine dish once again at the Arena café overlooking the little beach of Port Vieux, and their Peruvian inspired cod ceviche in lime and coriander (cilantro) for starters - it was a perfect match for my second time. I was loving being at the coast again and the freshness of the seafood, so I followed this with grilled large juicy scallops, seared on the outside and barely cooked freshness in the middle and large grilled gambas (prawns).  When prawns are this fresh, I like to suck the juices from their heads, all with a side of delicious Potato Dauphinoise.

This meal was an early birthday treat - thank you! I would love seconds : )

I also recommend:

Walking down to the Ports des Pechêurs for fresh seafood - where the restaurants are set right on the quay of the fishing port.  La casa de Juan pedro serves from a simple limited tapas style "small plates" menu, mainly of freshly griddled fish and seafood.  I had the octopus salad, griddled calamari brochettes and generous gambas - so good!  This is a great place for fresh seafood, simply prepared and good value for Biarritz. The service and food is unpretentious - the atmosphere and setting is rustic.  It gets extremely busy.

The home-made foie gras with fig topping at the restuarant at the foot of De L'Océan Hotel on Place Sainte-Eugénie.

There are many great restaurants in Biarritz you won't fall short : )

*Sorry there are no food pictures to whet your appetite - I was too busy eating.

I bought these great french artisanal espadrilles which are so comfy and cheery to remind me of Biarritz:

 Images of Biarritz are my own taken on my iphone - please credit to SisterBatik

So long but I may well be back, now I know you are so close by!

I returned with Ryanair - from Biarritz to London.  Ryanair are very proud of their record, as the European airline with the most on-time flights - cue fanfare : )

I hope you have a lovely weekend planned and enjoying food!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Warm evening and Meditation Floor Pillow

It has been a gloriously warm September day in the city.  

I have been working on a range of bumper super-size floor pillows, great outdoor seating for a warm evening and superbly comfortable as meditation pillows, which I have had requests for.

If you would like me to custom make one of a kind patchwork floor pillows, just convo me on Etsy with the designs you like.  I would be happy to work to requests.  I am thinking of making a few for my own home, as they are so darn comfy and fun, and will share these with you in the near future : )

They are made with gorgeous "grain sack" burlap, an ideal base for floor seating and enduring,  with a rustic charm that I am absolutely in love with!

Mix & Match Pillows

Mix 'n' Match of 3 large (20" x 20") pillow covers (not including deluxe range) for $90

Using genuine Dutch wax print batik - 100% lightweight cotton.  Used for both sides of the cushion cover so that either side can be displayed.  Concealed zipper.

The exuberance of batik prints add a touch of character and refresh any living space - and ideal for mix and matching.

Super comfortable and huggable!!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Days of San Sebastián: Part Two

 Images all my own using my iphone - please credit to SisterBatik.

Make your own way: Basque Country starting at cultural Bilbao - the centre of modern cityscaping resides along its river - for the extraordinary Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum - Plaza Nueva for Pinxtos (I recommend Victor Montes at no.2) - onto San Sebastián and the annual film festival (the gliterrati and paparazzi were in town) catch a few screenings - wonder through Casco Viejo (old town) - mornings on La Zurriola beach for the surf/ watching - afternoons on La Concha beach for the bathing - I recommend Pintxos at popular Gandarias and in particular the octopus pinxtos at humble Beti-Jai (both in Casco Viejo) - visit the old fishing port - walk up Monte Urgull early evening for the view - resting at Plaza Buen Pastor - window shop the smart shopping street and elegant architecture of Calle San Martin - onto Biarritz in Part three.

* Sorry no food pictures to whet your appetite - I was too busy eating.

You may also be interested in Make your own way: Provence

Monday, 26 September 2011

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Kente Groove - On!

I love this patten rich traditional Kente design. 100% crisp cotton. Additional inside lining of neutral cotton giving this pillow a luxury decor fabric feel - superb quality. Wayward bird print on the back in 100% fresh cotton.

Or, below, in 18" x18" square, embellished with simple colourful hand stitched embroidery.  With grep wool mix back.

Kente prints are traditional patterns from Ghana; multicolored bright colors, geometric shapes and bold designs. Each colour has a meaning:

blue—peacefulness, harmony and love
maroon—the color of mother earth; associated with healing
red—political and spiritual moods; bloodshed; sacrificial rites and death.
white—purification, sanctification rites and festive occasions
yellow—preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Nomad Pillows - A Time to Move on

Available on Etsy: ooak-patchwork-pillow-cover
You might like to see: nomad-journey-always-whispers 

My OOAK pillow covers embrace the patchwork and simple hand embroidery of the nomadic style.You might like to see the stages of creating one of my ooak pillows: you-are-ooak