Wednesday, 17 October 2018

MUSTARD JUMPER FOR A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES

Hi everyone, trust you are all well
I believe the first time I became aware how popular mustard colour is this season was when I spotted   Laurie from "Vanity and Me"  looking gorgeous in her new mustard jacket on Instagram.   This image must have somehow crept into my subconsciousness because a few days later, while wandering along the stalls at Bondi Markets, I spotted a mustard coloured jumper hanging on a rack and felt an irresistible urge to buy it. 
I approached the stall to have a closer look and check the price.  The stall holder told me that this was the last one and she was selling it very cheaply to clean up the stock.  It has this uniformed slouchy shape with a knot tie at the front of it that adds an interesting touch to the otherwise simple style.  I bought it immediately without even trying it on.
I wore it the the evening when my husband and I went to see the movie "Ladies in black" at our local Westfield Shopping Centre, that also has, apart from all the usual attributes of the modern shopping mall, a movie theatre and if we are not doing grocery shopping, we like to leave our car at home and take a walk to the movies.  It is about 20 minutes by foot uphill,  so I laced up my Converse sneakers for comfort. 
The earrings I am wearing are from Gorman.  I like their quirkiness, they are my latest crush and I wear them a lot. 
This vintage Gucci bag used to belong to my late mother-in-law who had an amazing collection of scarfs, you can see me quite often wearing them, and handbags which after her passing, were equally distributed by my father-in-law amongst all the female members of the immediate family, young and old, as a way to remember her.
We arrived at the movies a few minutes early and while waiting for the movie to start, went wandering around the food court which was closed for the night, when suddenly I came up with the idea of how to make waiting time to be more exciting and suggested "Let's have a photo shoot". 
After taking few sample photos at different locations, we found the perfect spot and went to "work".   Later on, while I was viewing the images, I came to the conclusion that doing something spontaneous sometimes delivers much better results than the actions that being carefully planned.  I let you be the judge.
Until then,

Anna
xoxo

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

WEARING A "CARIOCA GIRL" BLOUSE

Hi Everyone, trust you are all well

Although, technically, it is almost the middle of the spring season in Australia, the temperature jumps around like a yo-yo and you don't know what to expect from one day to the next.  On the day that I wearing this outfit, it was nice and warm and today I wish that I hadn't put away my winter puffy jacket.
Luckily, today the weather is quite pleasant for me to wear just a light blouse, a pair of jeans and slides.  First of all I want to tell you about my new pair of jeans.  In the last couple of years you have seen me wearing a pair with a lot of holes in it but eventually I've become a little sick of wearing the same pair over and over besides the streets of Sydney have been over-saturated by everyone wearing the identical distressed style to the point that I've become fed up with it and decided that it is time to look for something different.
At the moment all the stores are having mid-season sales and you can score a very good bargain. Following a brief consultation with my fashion forward older daughter, I set out to look for pair of jeans that a) is cropped and b) raw-hemmed and c) without holes.  And last but not least, they should be straight, not skinny.  Armed with all these prerequisites I set off on a quest of a perfect pair.
I generally try to avoid the speciality shops, like General Pants for example, where jeans and all denim related clothes rain supreme mainly because these shops like to play loud music to appeal to a young clientele, the sale staff, for the obvious reasons, consists of young boys and girls who find it hard to stay still for more then 5 consecutive seconds and seem to always move with the beat and most of all, no matter how unflattering you look in their clothes, they always say the same old adage: "This looks good on you".  I cringe every time I hear this praise. 
I prefer to shop in big department stores: they stock the same brands as the designer shops but the atmosphere there is much more relaxing and welcoming and you can spend the whole day trying on garment after garment at your own leisure.  Besides, when these stores run independent sales and if the amount of stock becomes too low, they sell it very cheaply to clear the floor for the new arrivals.
And that's where I found this pair of jeans by Neuw.  I previously bought a pair of black jeans, worn here, from this label so I know exactly what size and style suits me best.  At first glance, they ticked all the boxes and I took them into the fitting room.  They felt very comfortable, the size was right and I liked the extra detail that outside each leg run two slim panels of different colour denim which made them look different from the rest of the pack.  And the original price was reduced almost by half.  What's not to like about them?
Next, my new blouse.  Well, technically it is not, it is a hand me down from my older daughter like the one I showed to you here.  Interesting fact, she bought it while on holiday in Brazil at the shop called Farm, a hip clothing store which she praised very highly and suggested that we should go there while in Rio de Janeiro to check it out and so we did.  I liked the shop and its funky clothes, the swimwear and accessories looked really pretty in bright bold prints and a lot of embellishments, which I thought was a big too much, besides the clothes are predominately designed for "Carioca girl", young girl who likes the beach, parties and nature and everything else related to Rio de Janeiro life style,  and I just felt that it was not exactly my cup of tea.
Six months later, however, and here I am wearing the blouse from that same shop and quite liking it.  I think that having just one thing made me appreciate it.  It is made of very soft wrinkle free fabric in a simple silhouette with a deep v-neck cut that has an easy relaxed feel.  I like the way the red colour embroidery, fringed by the same colour tassells richly decorates the front and follows the shoulder line of the blouse.  The sleeves have a fluted shape with side slits and they too are highlighted by the same pattern as the front of the blouse.
I opted for white slides that I bought in Marrakesh souk during our last year holiday that compliment very well my relaxed easy-going outfit and old leather saddle bag that I bought many years ago in Cape Town from one of the community workshops.

Until the next post,

Anna
xoxo

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

A TRANSITIONAL DRESS

Hi everyone, hope you are all well
It does not matter which season has just ended and which has just arrived, you would need to have something in your wardrobe that you can wear while transitioning from one season to the next.  And I found just the right dress that is exactly what you need when in between the seasons.
For those who don't know me, I am from Sydney, Australia and our seasons come and go in reverse to what you experience in the Northern hemisphere.  That said, we are in the first month of spring.
I found this dress in COS, a contemporary fashion brand that I frequently visit because I like their vision and their ability to reinvent classics and make them look timely and modern.  Their wardrobe essentials are to go to if you work in an office but want to stand out from the crowd dressed in the standard corporate uniform of black skirt and a blazer topped with white buttoned blouse.
Although my office environment is very relaxed and I don't have a need to regularly update my wardrobe, I still like to pop in the store from time to time to view the new collection and pick up a piece that catches my eye.
It was during my recent visit to the store, that I spotted this box-shaped dress which appealed to me for its warm, happy colour and simplicity of style which opens the door to multiple outfit possibilities which will go far beyond the office look.
As it happened, the first time I wore this dress was for a night out.  We were meeting our friends for a pre-theatre dinner and a performance at a local community theatre of which they are patrons.  Not wanting to be overdressed, I opted for low heel court shoes.
On the other hand, my dress looked a tad too plain so I decided that some embellishment wouldn't hurt and chose a necklace that I bought in Sorrento on our last trip back in 2017.  I love big statement pieces and when I saw this necklace on a stand sparkling in all its glory, I couldn't walk away without it.
As for my handbag, you have seen me carrying it here.
We didn't know exactly what was on the program for the night, turned out it was a dialogue with Carlotta, a 75 year old transgender person who back in the 60's was a star of the internationally renowned Sydney's "Les Girls".  Even at her age, she was thoroughly engaging, witty and openly frank answering questions asked by the host of the evening and even treated us to a couple of nice songs and an occasional twirl.  It was a fascinating encounter with a side of life that we do not know much about.
I am wearing a dress from COS, shoes - DVF, bag-Furla, sunglasses - Burberry (old)

Till the next post

Anna
xoxo


Monday, 24 September 2018

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN

If you ever going to visit Cape Town, don't forget to include a trip to the Old Biscuit Mill - vibrant, warm-hearted little area in the heart of Woodstock, one of the up and coming suburbs that, in recent years, has become home to a creative community of innovative designers, artists, photographers and connoisseurs of fine taste and décor. The Mill is home to day and night markets, dynamic office space, a range of workshops and designer stores, delicious farm stalls, decadent restaurants as well as an inspiring line-up of festivals and productions.


It is such a fascinating place to be.  Every corner you turn, you most certainly will discover some new ideas and inspirations, feel the vibe of creativity hanging in the air, to find beautiful pieces made out of ceramic, textiles, glass or metal.  I always come back to it and quite often end up buying some jewellery or a scarf or a beautiful ceramic bowl.

Once your appetite for creativity has been satisfied, think what you can do to pleasure your taste buds.  And don’t you worry, you don’t need to go far as the Mill is bursting with cafes, restaurants and coffee hangouts.

Amongst the highly regarded places to eat, the two which I strongly recommend are The Taste Kitchen and its his humble cousin The Pot Luck Club.  

The Taste Kitchen which was opened in 2010, is owned and run by the British born head chef Luke Dale-Roberts, one of the most celebrated chefs who cooks his most creative dished in a distinctive contemporary space.

The Test Kitchen”, as its name implies, affords Luke the opportunity for maximum innovation as a chef and the dishes are a pure reflection of his creativity with flavours and ingredients.

During our fist trip to the Old Biscuit Mill we were not lucky enough to score a table at this establishment. Due to its huge popularity, this place gets booked for months in advance.  So the next year, the moment we booked our plane tickets to South Africa, while still in Sydney we went on-line and made a lunch reservation.  And we were not disappointed.

As we stepped inside the restaurant, we were greeted by the floor manager who kindly offered us a table in a quieter part of the restaurant.  On our way to the table I looked around to get a feeling of the place.  The space itself is a fusion of industrial rust softened by urban/Asian-inspired décor—textured paper globes hang from the ceiling, piles of bespoke crockery are neatly packed onto crimson shelves and beaten metal tables juxtaposed along leather covered couches make up the intimate restaurant. At its heart is the open kitchen; wrapped around the perimeter is the ‘kitchen bar’, here guests can dine off the â la carte menu while watching the carousel of professional chefs create culinary magic.

The lunch menu at The TasteKitchen had three choices:  a-la carte, a 5-course lunch and a vegetarian lunch menu.  We chose a-la carte one. 

The first thing that arrived on the table was a trio of deliciously smelled, in-house baked bread rolls with home churned butter carefully placed inside a muslin cloth and oven baked flour dust.

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
A trio of breads

For a starter, I choose Grilled Scallop (grilled scallop, fine bean, tofu miso suke, braised scallop dressing, miso on toast, braised shitake, raw shitake) while my husband settled for Pickled Fish (ceviche, lightly curried dressing, bbq carrots, ras el hanout honeycomb).

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Pickled Fish
THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Grilled Scallop
My main was Autumn Lamb (pan seared lamb loin, slow roasted lamb shanks, lamb sweetbreads, bbq broccoli puree, courgette and caper emulsion, lamb jus).  And since my husband absolutely loves eating duck, there were no surprises here.  He ordered Confit Duck (confit duck leg, mushroom and liver stuffing, assorted onions, truffle and foie gras egg, duck liver jus).

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Confit of Duck

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Autumn Lamb

As for dessert, my choice fell on Carob (carob mousse, roast banana butter, meringue, rum foam, coffee and tanariva cremeux) while my husband ordered Apple (apple crumble, elderflower jelly, sour cream, signing nettle granita, streudel).

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Apple Crumble

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Carob dessert

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Enjoying the dessert

While we were enjoying a glass of champagne, a carton with two ceramic eggs was placed on the table in front of us.  Inside were pastel balls of sorbet, a fitting end to a light summer’s lunch.
THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Sorbet served in porcelain egg cups

THE TEST KITCHEN, CAPE TOWN
Sorbet

The food absolutely blew us away.  Every dish was cooked to perfection; the match of flavours was superb and looked like an art-work on the plate.

The staff was deeply knowledgeable, very friendly and knows exactly how to put their patrons at ease and let them enjoy the experience from the beginning to end.

We had an amazing culinary adventure and I would recommend anyone who is planning a trip to Cape Town to experience it.  A word of warning, don’t attempt to go there without booking and you might need to book a few months in advance.  But I promise, you will not be disappointed.