Posts Tagged ‘book’
There was a time when hotels did not matter much in the idea of travelling. There wasn’t a whole lot of choice - most were part of chains, guaranteeing the same decoration from one city to another, neutral, no surprises. It was considered comforting. The truth is, there wasn’t much choice. In the 8os appeared boutique hotels, still a hit today. So much so that the dream often starts differently – a gorgeous room, a surreal decor, a glimpse of the perfect spa will make you decide on your next destination. Jewel-like places, an urban experience, a modern fairytale, a cocoon that makes the trip amazing even if you arrive late at night and do not yet have the time (or energy) to walk around town.
No idea where to start? Laurence Onfroy, founder of Tempting Places, has selected 60 unique destinations. The book is in French but just going through the pages will make you sigh and want to be there. Right now. Exceptional places, with tips on how to go there, when, how to make the most of your stay. Some are in France (Legend Hotel, Original, NewHotel Roblin, Seven… ), others in Portugal, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Senegal… Just a few words are enough to catch their essence: inspirational, picturesque, out of the ordinary, magical. But wait, isn’t it time to choose our next holiday?
Because London, with its urban jungle, its forests of glass towers, its roaring doubel deckers… also is a green city and I’m not just thinking of the Royal Parks. There are so many secret squares, tiny places, unknown to tourists.London out of sight took me a little by surprise. I have been walking through the capital for 10 years now. Some of the names in that book I recognised of course, were familiar even though I had not necessarily stepped in. Little details on the pictures intrigued me. Made me want to finally visit them, take the time to spend more than a few minutes, go back to others. Because I wasn’t aware of that particular mosaic. Or that sculpture really intrigued me. Or this romantic path really is inviting, has to be seen. How about these intricate bird boxes, Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven in Duncan Terrace Garden? And did you know London has a Tibetan Peace Garden? That you can see otters elsewhere than in the London Zoo? And so many more inspiring ideas.
A new travel guide? Yes. Because London is so many things at once. Modern, reinventing herself (such simple complexity, how could this not be a she?) constantly, a daily firework of trends. But also suspended in time, always different yet always the same, comfortable and comforting, loyal to herself. Because amongst this incredible buzz, the silent commuters’ race to everywhere, nowhere, anywhere, you will still find peacefulness a couple of meters from there, places where locals still talk, where your life matters to complete strangers, where people look at you and smile. Where shops, cafés focus on a real service to customers, a savoir-faire, play with neo-vintage to create cocoons in the city. London villages. Because you think you know London by heart, of course you do, how many times have you been from A to B? But you are on autopilot, you do not look around anymore, you missed out on that little street so quiet but that makes the whole difference. A travel guide to remind you to slow down, leave fashions aside for a while, focus on what is essential.
Everyday, I find a thousand amazing ideas. In magazines, nature, blogs, shop windows. I feed on visuals, graphics, exposion of colours. My mind is a complex chest of drawers, each with a different theme, like a puzzle where everything makes sense in a new creation at some point. Ah, what I would give to have more hours in a day, more days in a week to try, experience them all! Alpro has just launched an #inspiremyday campaign, asking bloggers to share 10 ideas that amazed them. Trends, recipes, beauty tips…
Here is my first one. I love to wander through bookshops, reading a page here, a page there. I brought back two gorgeous books on birds. The first one, Our garden birds, details them in adorable illustrations, as beautiful as a kids fairy story. The other, The Poetry of Birds, has a touching, lyrical and often funny way of making them alive. I keep leafing through them both. And so, whenever we go to the nearby forest, we collect feathers, try to imagine whom they might come from, imagining an adventure around them, placing them in vases in reinvented bouquets… So lovely to admire at the end of the day with a cup of Alpro Hazelnut milk infused with a touch of cinnamon and a spoonful of honey. So silky, so comforting…
Your turn. What is your latest discovery ? Leave us a comment or tweet them under #Inspiremyday !
London is so magical, isn’t it? A galaxy of brilliant little extra-ordinary details, of green havens or sparkling cafés. So many addresses and surreal places – how often have you thought “Only in London can you see that!” – that it is impossible to keep track. When comes the time to plan a special day or evening out, the memory is misty, yes, there was this little restaurant in this neighbourhood but the name? Or was it on the other side of town?
London for Lovers is one of these travek books you read by pleasure, not just with a plan in mind. The typo, the graphism is so seducing, white, red, blue, between modern and vintage. The pictures evoque the word dreamscape – so bright, so real, so near. Oh, to sit under this tree in a park, or sit at this romantic table or find this exact detail in a museum, or run down these stairs! You will leaf through it preciously, page after page, with the same care, the same fascination as you would a collection of poems.
And so it will remind you of forgotten places you had promised yourself you would take your loved one too, one day and forgot. Those mysterious places that make you whisper a few lines from a book or an anecdote about the history of the building. Those narrow streets where you just want to get lost and forget everything else, everyone else in the world for a few hours.
One of these books you see, that will make your eyes sparkle, fall (back) in love with London, even fall in love if you are not yet.
So many ideas to enjoy the city together. Whether it is your firt time in London or whether you have walked these streets a thousand time, you will fall under the charm all over again.
The title stops you in your tracks, puts a smile on your face. You are awesome. When is the last time your heard that? And so you stop, leaf through the book, loving the rich cardboard cover, the touch of neon in the text. The craft ideas play on natural textures - wood, thread, blackboard paint… yet it keeps a modern vision, lovely angles, bright hues. The explanations are kept simple, with just the right amount of details and anyone -yes, even the clumsy me – can manage these and are echoed in gorgeous drawings too. They all can be done with kids, a great rainy day project. In seconds, you so want to make wooden medal brooches, doodle on jars, turn enveloppes into notebooks… A very refreshing book with -finally!- new ideas and not recycled ones, adding confettis of happiness to the house.
The story starts by a passion, of course. Her name is Lisa Comfort – the most adorable brunette you have ever met with a vintage look and the most enchanting smile. How many hours has she spent discovering the universe of sewing, dreaming then making unique models, sharing her knowledge, transporting her machine all around London? The came the idea of a café, Sew over it, thought as a second home. A place where you could fight the world one stitch at a time, learn a few more techniques and even indulge in a cup of tea and slice of cake. And for people like me, who barely master changer a button and would not even dare stepping in, clumsy as we are, but yet would love to add a splash of colour to a dress, there is a book too.
The first pages explain the very basics - the difference between stitches, sew a button, make an impeccable finition. Simple, clear explanation, lots of pictures to guide you. Right, yes, you can manage that, you are indeed feeling confident enough to take another step. until now, you never really knew which one. Well, you can indeed cover a button with fabric. Try – oh, success and you are most amazed. So what next? You leaf through, following the artist’s inspiration: pearls are a little like buttons, when you think of it so you could line them, make a pattern. A ribbon can be folded geometrically of in a beautiful flower. A simple collar suddenly becomes a work of art and a very unique one too. Now you are dreaming of a sewing machine, of making a gorgeous skirt.
One of these books that make you go forward, wonderful to discover on a winter day with a steaming mug of tea, enchanting with its simple words and taking you along to a world where everything feels possible.
Love Alice in Wonderland? Switch universe for a little while. You will melt for the wold of Oz, so unique and rich in magic. From the yellow brick road to Emerald City, thousands of ideas can be adapted to baking, crafting, sewing. Look for inspiration in Everything Oz: The Wizard Book of Makes & Bakes. Hot air balloon mobiles, tin hearts, gorgeous hair clips, rainbow cake, wild fabric flowers… Ah, click your heels three times, invent a party, a birthday any excuse will do to use those fabulous ideas! You will find a few creations explained step by step on the website.
Carnivorous friends, rejoyce. Little did you guess London had so many mouth-watering addresses in the meat field. Whether you favour delicate morsels, meatballs, the most tender lamb ou a juicy sirloin, Meat London will make you feel like planting your fork through one of the gorgeous pictures. Oh the agony of reading late at night when all is closed! The descriptions are worth applauding too, recreating the atmospheres, the textures, the fragrances to perfection, transporting within seconds in front of a nirvanesque plate. Techniques, anecdotes, history – it is all there and a formidable read too. The book lists some famous places of course but will also make you discover more skills of your favourites places, let alone amaze you with surprising alliances of taste. Even better, it does take street food in account as well as the master of this art - the best butchers in town. An absolute must.
If you are passionate about Alice in Wonderland and craft, you simply need to get that book. Page after page of gorgeous ideas, 50 in total, all enchanting. Adorable cushions, creations around the characters, extra-ordinary fashion accessories, details for amazing tea parties… No need to be a pro either - even I, so very clumsy, succeeded easily. Very inspiring and a magic of its own.