Friday, September 30, 2016

San Sebastian Saturday

It started with a wedding in the Parte Vieja (in the old town)

Weddings are hard to resist, aren't they?  The guys pretend to admire the car.  We ladies want to see the dress(es). But mostly......

  We just seem happy to share in the hopefulness of the day and someone else's good fortune.

San Sebastian is a beautiful city.  Unspoiled, shall I say.

Where many generations of families still live close all together.

And enjoy each other.

In fact, there were two weddings.  This group was waiting for the wedding party to emerge

from an other church.  But the Paradis family did not wait with them.  Because.....

it was getting close to pintxo time.

It's possible to get a good deal of window shopping in while you're scoping out the best

prospective pintxo options.

And bringing yourself up to date with the events that celebrate San Sebastian's

designation as a "Cultural Capital of Europe 2016" (shared with Warsaw).

With pintxos come long lines, and crowds (and for bread too - some in San Sebastian actually eat at home!)

It's a hectic way to live - queuing up and crowding into small spaces

or hustling and serving mobs.....especially when your specialty (battered fried shrimp)

makes people so happy.

Everyone seemed to be in the bars.  And not on their bikes.

The beach was quiet because rain was in the forecast.  San Sebastian can be a fairly rainy place.

When the deluge came, the Paradis family raced into Zara (just like last year in Barcelona when the torrents came funny, that!  "The rain in Spain......." is not just a song, we're learning but - a real thing!) 

It was either Zara, or pintxos.

And post-rain, we wanted to see more of San Sebastian before we succumbed to pintxo charms.

So it was back to window shopping.  Though

many shops close for lunch and for the siesta that seemed.

Making a hole-in-the-wall automated pharmacy a handy convenience.

Eventually, the famille Paradis began to feel that famished and fragmented sensation that only

 PINTXOS COULD FIX!  But I'll have to give you those details later.

Yeah.  Prolonging the suspense.  I promise.  The pintxos will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Design Museum, London - November Re-Opening

The New Design Museum Shop

was an exciting stop during our

sojourn across the pond.  (We always have to make a stop in the U.K. to visit with Mr. P. 's family.)

The Design Museum is re-opening November 24, 2016 in it's new quarters next to Holland Park.

The shop is small but everything within seems to be perfectly formed.

From soaps (up top) to the ultimate in bicycle bells (2nd pic) to these poetical flowery arrangements.  Highly recommended. Holland Park is a lovely, magical park too.  More on that soon.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bacon, Vacation, Les Basques..... And we're back! After A Bloody Beautiful Time Away

Have I mentioned that the Passage Paradis family have now felt for years like underachievers

because we have never properly visited Spain.

We are trying to make up that deficit with this recent visit to Basque country - staying right on the 

French and Spanish border about half and hour from San Sebastian.

  We learned a lot about these lovely little pigs.  

And the "journey" they take to end up on someone's table ("Ouch!" say vegetarian and sympathizer M./Mlle. P.)

The Basque Country seems SUCH a peaceful, happy place.  I'm afraid we were unable to come up with too much moral outrage about this "nose-to-tail" culinary lifestyle.  Our visit was far too short for sampling all the regions riches.  But we do, do, do - want to go back.  This part of the world is 

hard to resist, as it has BOTH the mountains

AND the sea right outside your back door.  And then there's something else - 

All those Michelin stars....and pinxtos!

 Many will tell you that it's not strictly Spain.  Never mind.  Never mind.  Never mind!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Witty French Learning Tools for Mealtime

"I eat with my mouth closed"

"I sit up straight at the table", "I put my napkin in my lap"

"I don't tip my chair back", "I don't whisper with my friends at the table"

These plates might help save you from some of those scolding Mommy moments.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Mews You Can Use - South Kensington, London

If you spend any time wandering around London

you are likely to stumble into one these......

Or poke your nose around a corner and wonder what, exactly goes on

down there.  Many mews in London are being bought up, done up, and then sit empty

when the posh folk who own them go flitting off to homes elsewhere.

But here is a mews that retains its whiff of home.  Of villagey-ness.

Of the vital, the immediate, the promising.  With life all around you and plenty of company

to welcome you home.  This is a mews with groovy surroundings to pop into at lunch.

Art and culture just steps from your front door.

And neighbors who will brighten your outlook

on the grayest of London days.  This.

Is a Mews You Can Use.  I'd say it's worth the detour.