Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sweet treats and swinging in Chicago

Windy City, The Second City, Oprah and Obama’s hometown or just the city of the year according to the magazine Wallpaper and others.
I have just been to Chicago for the first time and I also fell for the charm of this city and the interesting mix of architecture (a lot of Frank Gehry) and the perfect location right on Lake Michigan.
A very chatty taxi driver greeted me and told me that this city is a smaller and friendlier version of New York. I would never compare it to New York, but he was certainly right about people being friendly. I met my good friend from New York. She has been a loyal support, source and companion, when I researched and wrote my book I LOVE NEW YORK. Together we decided to find those cosy, cool and charming neighbourhoods. To be honest it wasn’t easy. But it probably didn’t do the city justice that the weather was a changing mix of chilly rain and freezing wind and temperature way below zero.
We did find some interesting up-and-coming areas with shopping like Marc Jacobs on North Damen Street and Barney’s Co-op on Halsted Street.
To be honest our biggest treat was Molly’s Cupcakes. OH MY GOD… totally creative and over the top cupcakes like cheesecake, tiramisu, German chocolate… We each bought two. Who could blame us? As if the decoration wasn't already extravagant enough, we could add extra colour and sweetness at the Sprinkle Station. We sat on wooden swings in “the bar” and one of the girls behind the counter revealed some interesting news. Molly’s Cupcake will take on Manhattan and open a shop on Bleecker Street, where a certain Magnolia Bakery (famous from Sex & the City) might as well prepare for some fierce competition.
I will be back with more Chicago tips…

Marc by Marc Jacobs,
1714 North Damen Avenue,

Barney Co-op,
2209-11 North Halsted Street,

2536 North Clark Street

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

How much is that doggie in the window?

Sorry that is just such a cheesy song, which is extremely difficult to stop singing, once you hear it.
But I couldn't help myself, when I passed this little dog in a shop window in Marylebone High Street. Luckily the little Japanese shop, the Eclectic Gallery, will soon make you forget all about the song. It's such a delicate, beautiful, bright little place with Japanese sweets, music, art and design.

Gallery Eclectic
66 Marylebone High Street, london W1U 5JF

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Bill has arrived in London

Bill's Produce Store is one of my favorite cafes and shops in Brighton. I love the mix of New Yorker warehouse atmosphere, delicious organic food and sitting tucked away behind fresh vegetables, which are on sale in the deli in the front.
I don't go to Brighton that often. So it's great news that the Bill team have opened a restaurant in Covent Garden i London.

I need to check that out soon.

Bill's Produce Store,

28 St Martin's Courtyard (off Long Acre), Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9AB

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year

The snow has long gone here. Richmond and London are again looking quite gloomy. But I am uplifted and positive as ever. It's a new year, new beginning and lots of great new places are waiting to be explored.
Never the less - I will kick off my blog year with an old classic: Petersham Nurseries. I thought this snowy photo captures all the beauty and cozy feeling of this gem of a cafe and restaurant. I went there just before Christmas and good news. The cafe is still serving the extended menu with brunch and cream tea in January.
I can't think of a better place to curl up in stylish January hibernation with a scone and hot tea. And the thing about Petersham Nurseries is that the place always has it's very own charm no matter if it is covered in snow, rain, blooming flowers or faded fall leaves.