Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Summer well 2014

It feels like I've karated my way through a brick wall, that's how tired I am. And that new sofa bed I'm now sleeping on? Yeah, not that comfy. I've actually counted 20 hours of sleep in three days, which for me is just not enough to function on, especially after the week in Vama Veche.

Nonetheless, I had so much fun at Summer well, my first ever festival (no camping involved) that took place this year in around Bucharest. It was held on a private estate Palatul Stirbey, which is otherwise a kind of monument with a big park, a lake and a manor house all transformed into a fun park for the 10.000 people that turned up.

I guess you want to know about the music too, huh? The two main reasons for me going were Bastille who headlined on Saturday to a really enthusiastic crowd and their performance live really rekindled my love for their music, which has been stuck in my head for the past two days (if you meet a freak screaming fire fire fire! that's me and credits to you if you know the song and started humming it too). The second reason was in the form of the blondie that is Tom Odell and his sultry voice. His concert was so much fun in the sense that you could see he was enjoying it and they had moments of improv and it really felt like a jam session which was pretty darn cool. You'll see I took an embarrassingly large number of close up pictures of him, don't ask why.

The organisers apparently thought it all through by having tons of stuff to do around the main stage like an outdoor cinema, a hot air balloon, a massive air mattress, food courts, creative stuff and diy stations by brands like H&M. The perfect way to lure you in a 1 hour and a half queue for a burger. Had I not already payed, I would have waltzed right out of there.

All I'm left with now is post concert blues, a snazzy bracelet and memories of laughing so hard that my stomach started aching. Or maybe it's that elbow to the ribs I received during 'Pompeii'? 

Primark top, Oysho bra, Zara skirt from 5 years ago, Kipling bag, Geox trainers from 6 years ago

Friday, 15 August 2014

These streets

TKMaxx red backpack, Johne's flats, Zara scarf, trousers and t-shirt, Mango knitwear and Uniqlo trench

Not the most successful of photoshoots but when in London you have to battle the wind and the rain. 

I'll be subtle about this one (not): I GOT INTO CAMBRIDGE! Too much excitement concomitant with exhaustion but that didn't put a downer on the day in any way. These photos were taken on my old street where we used to live and even though we only moved recently it still felt like a trip down memory lane. 'These streets' is also a song by Bastille who I saw live last weekend...more on that coming soon ^^

Till then...stay cool but if you can, I'd suggest a warmer place to do that in than London.

Monday, 11 August 2014

La patisserie des reves in London!

Anyone who is serious about their sugar should know about La Patisserie des Reves. I honestly didn't know about it since a few weekends ago it seems that I kept getting signs from the universe that this is what I should be doing. How often does is happen that you watch a Roux documentary on deserts where this little gem is mentioned in the same weekend as your friend who, recently returned from Paris, urges you to try it when you're next there?

There's only one inconvenience: that damned Channel. Thankfully, Philippe Conticini built a bridge for me and now I only need to go as far as Marylebone High Street to have a sample of his croquant mille feuille. And oh my god is it croquant!

I have no idea what this one is called but it's so good! The mousse of vanilla has some sort of chocolate inside on a bed of something quite nutty in flavour. Please excuse my limited vocabulary in regards to food, it really doesn't do it justice.

This one. This. Oh my goodness. It indadvertedly makes you go 'Mmmm' and 'Ohhh' just because it's brilliant. The mille feuille pastry is so crunchy and buttery and the vanilla creme is amazing and there's a sugar glazing that just explodes in your mouth. I could have a cake sized version of this Saint-Honore desert every day, any day.

This one is the Tarte Tatin which sadly sort of moved over in the box, despite the cute little picks that are meant to hold it in place. It was very good too but not as spectacular. I'm not too keen on apples either so I'm probably not the best judge.

There's no words to describe how much I recommend this. So far, THE best patisserie in London (no wonder it's a French one at that). If you want to know more, click HERE to browse the mouth watering website with short videos of Philippe Conticini himself trying out all these sugar-coated-chocolatey-parcels-of-deliciousness. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Discovering Vama Veche - or how to challenge your perception of yourself

I'm not the most 'sauvage' of people, nor am I the lowest maintenance. If you haven't guessed already, I feel myself in white dresses, art galleries and country homes and wouldn't say no to an avocado and chia seed smoothie, organic bananas off course!

This might explain my reticence towards going to Vama Veche for my best friend's birthday. I mean, not going wasn't an option but feeling alienated was definitely in the cards. For my non Romanian readers, Vama Veche is a bohemian resort, where people camp, bring one t-shirt and maybe no shoes, drink their brains off and pass out next to camping fires on the beach.

Some aspects from the aforementioned list actually sound inviting (if my parents ask, it's not the alcohol) but some I just can't get my mind round. Like shared showers. With people in tents. Yuck.

Luckily for us, we found lodgings in a house quite close to the beach with non-stop warm water and individual showers (hurrah!). To be fair though, the only thing I actually cared about was the bed where pass out sessions at 8 am had to be carried.

Fast forward four days and I look quite the hippie. Wavy beach hair up in a bun, flowers in my hair and a coloured braid, loose dress worn more than once (such a shock) and barefoot. Not caring about any earthy possessions since I have none on me and not caring what people think. The latter was quite an achievement and a refreshing break from constantly putting on a full face of makeup when I go out and taking so much pleasure out of new outfits each day.

Since I've arrived, I discovered I can be nonchalant and worry less to not at all. And why would I when everyone in Vama Veche comes to have a good time and be foolish rather than facebook tag their every move, hairstyle and trendy pressed juices by the beach. I've had sea water and algae flood my suede tennis shoes, I've seen naked men pee in the sea at sunset, I've danced like a crazy absinth drinker pill-popping druggie on the main street and I've seen a shooting star. I've done more for myself in these four days than I thought I'd achieve this whole summer and for that I say ... I might actually camp in Vama Veche next year.

The birthday girl! ^.^

'La Papa Bun' - best crepes ever, with salty cheese, jam, vanilla creme, meringues etc etc 

Stuf beach and totem around which everyone dances

La Stuf beach watching the sunset whilst Bolero plays...such a beautiful moment and an unforgettable memory

Folk You! festival
Trying to set up a lantern 

La Pescaria lui Matei - catfish and grilled vegetables