One recent weekend in the early morning hours, I spent some time with Janine and Jake, a couple of young Aussies living in Vancouver. She likes to bake and he likes to paint. We enjoyed a cup of coffee on the hood of their car as the fog rolled in and then returned to their home to enjoy some of Janine’s home baked banana bread. (Recipe below!)
The ultimate haven from supermarket chains, Le Marché St. George, recently hosted an olive oil tasting in conjunction with the Creaza family (behind the incredible Messors company) in the backyard of their Vancouver outpost. The olive oil is considered to be the shop’s best-kept secret, bottled from their expansive olive groves in the southern heel of Italy.
Our San Francisco brunch was a whirlwind of flowers, fresh market goods, delicious food, and good conversation, all shared at the corner Heirloom Café on a perfectly sunny day. We had such a nice time meeting all the SF folk, and couldn't have been more delighted by the variety of generous locals that pitched in to help with the gathering. We are so grateful to all who participated and contributed to make it a special event!
Monosquare is a carefully curated collection of household goods and accessories that are both beautifully designed and masterfully crafted. Focusing on the traditional manufacturing processes from various locations in Japan, their artifacts are made using skills and techniques passed down for generations over hundreds of years. Their goal is to represent craftsmen, artisans and independent designers while bringing unique items from small villages across Japan to a new audience.
Elizabeth Street Cafe, a hybrid of Vietnamese and French fares popped onto the Austin, Texas scene recently from the folks behind Lambert's, Perla's and the newly opened Fresa's. The design of the space, with ample outdoor seating for the long Austin summers, not to mention the bright color spectrum in the building and decor nod toward the tropics.
French Trotters is a trio of boutiques on the rive droite in Paris, opened by Clarent and Carole Dehlouz. They’ve spent much of their time traveling the world’s design-minded cities like New York, Tokyo and London, which inspired the name of their shop — “a French couple globetrotting around the world.” Not overly trendy, they keep to their Parisian standards by maintaining an unfussy inventory and clean aesthetic. Along with stocking copies of Kinfolk, they have an in-house line of handcrafted garments and a slew of collaborations up their sleeve for this coming year.
Known for serving the best coffee in Nuremberg, Café Wohlleben treats the preparation of their food as art, using only the finest ingredients in town. The little café fills up quickly, as locals flock for bites of their delectable pastries and cozy ambiance. Classics like chocolate pear pie are served atop antique china to be enjoyed at rustic tables in an atmosphere reminiscent of your grandparent’s house. With music from the 1920’s playing over the speakers, this quaint eatery makes for a perfect Sunday afternoon retreat.
Cherry blossom season — such a dreamy and beautiful sign of the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Last year, The House That Jack Built hosted their own celebration of the Japanese cherry blossom festival, Hanami. This year, as a tribute to how Japan is coping after one year, they hosted a smaller celebration bringing back together friends who helped them with the event last year. With floral blossom tea, sakura & nettle jelly and a Japanese-inspired azuki bean slice baked from the Rose Bakery cookbook, they ate cake and welcomed spring...
We gathered in a pecan orchard just outside of Austin, Texas for an evening picnic. As the light faded, we enjoyed food fresh from the fields around us, met new friends at our makeshift table, and listened to tunes played for us by Austin's own Balmorhea. Once again, we were spoiled by the goods of local makers--pies, honey cider, coffee, and countless other treats. We were honored to enjoy the richness of Austin's close-knit community! Thanks to everyone who was involved.
Katie recently popped by to photograph a newly opened Sydney-based restaurant called The Grounds. A former warehouse and pie factory now serves as a calming culinary space and coffee house with adjoining exterior gardens. Luscious banks of herbs and vegetables grow, setting the tone for their “back to basics” manifesto, offering everything from barista courses to a picnic box for two to be enjoyed in the garden. “It’s an escape from the city, in the city,” according to in-house coffee expert, Jack Hanna, and is sure to become a retreat for Alexandria locals.
I spent the afternoon with my dear friend, learning the process of making the Italian lemon liqueur, Limoncello. As we harvested the last of lemons from the garden, the blooming trees were buzzing with life, carrying much-awaited signs of impending spring. We sat under the patio with the scent of lemon blossoms in the air, and prepared the fermenting phase of Limoncello, all the while sipping on last year's batch.
The slow and process involves much patience and alchemy to produce a sweet and refreshing digestive to be enjoyed perfectly chilled on a hot summer night, after a delicious dinner with friends.
Valley View Farm is a new sort of 'American Dream' where the Mulhollands have taken their love of the farm and created a business that has brought them back to basics. They have developed the farm from what was once a handful of Nubian goats to a herd of over 60. Their original chevre has blossomed to a variety of cheeses, such as feta, Harmony (a combination of goat and cow milk), Essex (soft-ripened cow's milk cheese), and New Meadows (a soft-ripened camembert style goat cheese).