{Chateau de Fontainebleau}

One day this summer my dearest Anna and I ventured to the Chateau de Fontainebleau to make the most of the blue sky and one of our final days together in Paris. We took along our ideal picnic which for us pretty much means a feast abundant in fruit and berries. We spread fresh avocado over crunchy chunks of baguette and ate apricots until our stomachs ached. We wandered the gardens and danced around the castle with the biggest smiles on our faces. The day past by in a flurry and before we knew it the evening was drawing in and we needed to hop back on a train to Paris. It’s these kinds of summer days that I’ll treasure forever.

{La dolce vita}

I woke up at the crack of dawn as I wanted the Italian capital all to myself for a couple of hours. It was eerily quiet, too early even for the locals to set off to work. I wound my way along the river, across the bridges until I reached the Vatican city without a single human being in sight. So ingrained into my memory is the emptiness of St Peter’s square with the light rising above the arches that I couldn’t now imagine it flooded with tourists. I spent a long while marveling at this city within a city.

To my eye there are two contrasting sides to Rome; the first being the Eternal city of ancient monuments and grandiose architecture and the second being the Rome of winding backstreets and dilapidated buildings. Last time I tried to share with you the charming side-streets where you’ll stumble across authentic bakeries and cafes but there is no denying that Rome simply wouldn’t be Rome without the intimating monuments jutting out from the skyline. The city is often referred to as an open-air museum and I entirely agree, it’s impossible to walk down a road and not notice the domed roof of the Pantheon or the crumbling arches of the Colosseum. A place steeped in so much history, it feels as though every wall has a story to tell..

{Roma}

Truthfully speaking I wasn’t really expecting to like Rome, people had forewarned me of scams and graffiti and after hearing everybody’s advice I was set up to be disappointed by the Italian capital. Maybe low expectations are the key to success when visiting new places because this way I ended up being blown away. Sure there are con-artists to watch out for and graffiti on the walls but this didn’t taint my visit in the slightest. For me the charm of Rome lies in the burnt orange architecture with its rundown paintwork, the verandas overflowing with flowers and the doors which are all beautiful and unique in their own way, not forgetting the divine smell of Italian food which haunts your nostrils on every street corner.

{Timeless}

Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield watch 

A watch isn’t simply a time-telling device, a watch is something which you wear everyday, it’s the first thing you put on every morning and the last thing you take off every night. Just like your underwear it becomes a part of your second skin where you feel naked without it. A watch defines you, it shapes you and becomes a part of you, which is why it is so important to chose the right one for you.

I’ve never been a fan of showiness always favouring simplicity over eccentricity and quality over quantity when it comes to style. That’s why I fell so in love with this watch, it’s classic in design, neutral in colour and beautifully stunning but best of all its utterly timeless and sometimes all you need is a timeless watch to help you feel fully-clothed.

Daniel Wellington are currently offering 15% discount to all of you lovely readers when you enter the code “farfelue”

{In search of salty waters}

After months of city life and the madness which comes with it, my body and mind were in need of respite. In a quest to flee the over-pollution and general drabness of urban life, we flew to Crete in search of salty waters and sandy beaches. Some days were more active than others, we’d drag ourselves up from the pool and exert our energy with water activities; swimming for hours or skimming the sea’s surface on jet skis. We’d get our adrenalin pumping by revving up steep and winding gorges on motorbikes, feeling the wind whipping my hair and the sun blazing down on my thighs. I made sure to etch those views into my mind as I knew I’d have no photos to reminisce over, somehow a camera just wasn’t a practical choice whilst riding a motorbike. Other days I’d simply lounge by the pool in company of good music and good books and eat watermelon until my tummy ached. One day we drove across the island to Elafonisi, appropriately dubbed the pink beach due to the pastel pink hued sands which line the shore. The shallow waters were heated by the power of the sunshine turning the sea into what felt like hot springs. I dipped my toes into the crystal clear waters and pretended I was a mermaid, only leaving the sea when my stomach started growling for more fresh Greek salad generously drizzled with olive oil.

{Atop the Arc de Triomphe}

I have a weakness for panoramas, there isn’t anything quite like a little height to help you appreciate the enormity of a city and put life into perspective. There is something particularly special about the view from atop the Arc de Triomphe; the symmetry of an already ordered city is highlighted by the twelve avenues which uncurl from the roundabout below. I could spend hours watching the world go by from such a height and no matter how many minutes pass, it always seems as though my life is frozen in time and the world is simply spinning around me. I find myself hypnotised by the vehicles circling the chaotic roundabout below where seemingly no road rules are practiced, or at least the cacophony of car horns would indicate so.

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{An Ispahan guide}

If you’ve been reading this little blog for any time at all you’ll know about my utter obsession with Ispahan, an ingenious flavour combination of rose, raspberry and litchi. I was initially drawn to this patisserie due to its beautiful exterior, I remember thinking to myself that a patisserie that attractive surely had to taste as good as it looked. Indeed it was exquisite, ever since that first mouthful a long love affair began to blossom. With this in mind I decided to dedicate a whole post to Ispahan and share a few of these delights with you all.

Pierre Hermé created this trio of delightful flavours when he was first working at Ladurée. However as the years went on, Pierre Herme opened up his own pastry shop and later created a whole range of Ispahan delights but the traditional patisserie still remains an emblem of his brand.

I’ve raved about his Ispahan croissant a lot before but I’ll say it again, it is the best croissant in Paris and an absolute weakness for any viennoiserie lover.

A couple of my other favourites inside his boutique are the Ispahan macarons and the Miss Gla’gla ice cream, unfortunately neither can be found in his boutique all year round as both are seasonal which makes it obligatory to snatch them up when you spot them.

From time to time you’ll spot something Ispahan flavoured in an expected place, when this ever happens to me I get so excited to have found other brands offering this combination. Not long ago I was wondering along Rue Cler and discovered the little glacier Martine Lambert which offer a refreshing Ispahan sorbet.

Of course the founding pastry shop which homed the creation deserves a little mention even if it isn’t the best example of the Ispahan patisserie in Paris it definitely is among the prettiest.

Most patisseries in Paris now offer their own version of the Ispahan and some among them are absolutely divine, some even argue that they’re better than the one found at Pierre Hermé. Among the best are the Symphonie from Sadaharu Aoki, a Japanese take on the traditional Ispahan with violet and earl grey notes running through it, and the Marie-Antoinette from Carl Marletti.

Late last year I decided to host a little Ispahan brunch as Pierre Hermé released a limited edition range of Ispahan pastries incorporating everything from the millefeuille to the rum baba all of which were heavenly. Here’s to hoping that all of these pastries become regular features in his boutique.

If you know of any other Ispahan delights in Paris I would truly love to know 

{Ile St Louis}

I’m currently away on my summer vacation travelling through Italy after a wonderful week spent relaxing with my family on the Greek islands. I would love to send you a couple of postcards from my travels but unfortunately I have no way of uploading photos from my camera just yet. I’m still thinking of Paris every step of the way and of course comparing each place with the beauty of my beloved city. I found a Ladurée in Rome a couple of days ago so I bought a couple of macarons and indulged in a little Paris daydreaming for a short while.

{Breakfast at Fondation cafe}

Fondation is such a happy cafe, partially due to the main barista, Chris, who you’ll always see joking and laughing around with his customers as well as an excellent playlist which results in an always upbeat ambiance. It might seem of little importance but coffee cups are something which I often notice and crockery as cute as those lime green cups are sure to make you smile. It’s large bay window allows the light to pour in turning the tiny interior into a much more spacious and airy cafe. When the sun is shining it almost seems a shame to sit inside and at Fondation you needn’t as a little terrace flows onto the side street once more enlarging the tiny space. My friend and I stopped in for breakfast which Fondation does excellently serving a very simple menu yet executed superbly proving once more that simplicity always wins. Their granola blend comes from the always delicious Emperor Norton which you can always rely on for the best baked goods in Paris and their avocado on toast is worth waking up early for.

16 RUE DUPETIT-THOUARS, 75003 // METRO TEMPLE

{The perfect breakfast}

The other morning one of my loveliest friends and I went for a little breakfast date together, we were in the mood for something sweet so we stopped by Pierre Hermé to pick up a couple of Ispahan croissants. I’ve talked about these croissants before but they are worth mentioning again and again. The perfect flaky pastry is filled with a rose, raspberry and litchi paste and sprinkled with candied rose petals. It might sound a little bizarre and a little too extravagant but once you’ve tired it you won’t be able to look at the standard croissant in the same way ever again, in fact all other viennoiseries will pale in comparison. Whilst I wouldn’t incorporate these into my daily breakfast routine, from time to time there is nothing better than being a bit naughty and indulging in a pastry laden breakfast… is living in Paris excuse enough for this?

We headed around the corner to my favourite cocktail bar in Paris, le Schmuck, which is also open for coffee in the daytime. Luckily for us the sun was shining so we made ourselves comfortable on their Italianesque terrace which looks out onto a quiet road tucked behind St Sulpice. I can’t imagine a better morning than sipping a cafe creme and savouring every mouthful of croissant heaven in wonderful company.