There will be plenty of bloggers covering the royal wedding, posting images of Kate's dress, the kiss on the balcony and ceremony. Being a food lover I'm obliged to cover the cake. Oh my, what a cake! It was made by Fiona Cairns using the Joseph Lambert technique of cake decoration, which I know absolutely nothing about. All I know is that I'll never be able to make a cake like that with my ingredients – maybe I have to abandon healthy baking!
In my mind this is simply too beautiful to cut and eat. My heart wouldn't handle the after photos.
Since I wasn't invited to Will & Kate's wedding (no hard feelings) there was only one thing to do: Go to one of my favourite cafés in Antwerp, Café Wattman in old Berchem. Their hamburgers are the best in this city and the meat is organic. The café is located at Tramplein 3, which is at the end of the famous Cogels-Osy leistreet (Zurenborg).
By the way, how gorgeous was Kate's wedding dress? I think Sarah Burton did a great job. I hope Alexander McQueen was able to see the glory, wherever he is resting in peace.
This day started really well but then it turned into one of those crazy days where I find myself running between places trying to make it on time and not making it on time. It was so nice to come home to this baby; the latte bowl of my life.
Well, before I went out this morning I got a package from Denmark, from the Vintage Kompagniet, which I told you about in this post. I'm now the happy owner of a few really cute things so the day wasn't all that bad.
Since I woke up this morning I've been thinking about bright spaces. Maybe because of the morning sun that made our living room so bright and pretty. I have kept these photos in my inspiration folder for some time. None of them is taken in the same home; they simply fit my mood perfectly. I love the welcoming effect of the white and soft blue colours, reminding me of summer and sea.
Yesterday, with Cuban music in our ears, we drove to Holland, to a small town called Bruinisse in the Zeeland province. We found a pebble beach, a sand beach and marinas and had a wonderful time in the sun. Never before have I spent Easter Sunday on a beach with a book, never. I'm definitely doing that again! I brought the camera with me, of course. The photo with the flowers was styled by our five-year old. Maybe he should have his own blog. The next time we go to Bruinisse we are renting a cruising boat and going sailing.
Don't worry I'm not turning religious on you but when I was growing up (do I sound like eighty!) Good Friday was the most boring day of the year. Everything was closed and it was like you weren't allowed to do anything. In Iceland, where I grew up, the day is called long Friday and believe me, it was loooooooong. Well, my parents gave us religious freedom and never forced us to go to church (thank you mom and dad) but the mood of that day was somehow forced upon you by society. I remember a poem called Good Friday by a girl in my school (I didn't know her so I can't remember her name), a very short poem that read something like:
Even the angels dragged their wings behind.
To me, that was sheer brilliance and caught the mood perfectly. My hubby, who is older than I am, says Good Friday was even more boring when he was growing up; in fact, he remembers it as a day of pure agony. We were talking about this yesterday when we came back home from a little shopping trip (he even went to work yesterday) because he hadn't even realized that it was Good Friday. In Belgium it's not an official holiday so people simply go about their day as any other. I have to add that I'm religious but I'm not a fan of organized religion. You'll only see me in church when I'm invited to a wedding or something. But I admit that when I was shopping yesterday, the first time in my life I do so on Good Friday, I felt a little guilty. I believe Jesus existed but – I hope I'm not offending anyone when I say this – I'd like to hear the authentic version of his life story. So, here is my tribute to Jesus, the live version of Gethsemane, performed by Steve Balsamo, who has a voice that shakes the very core of my
Yesterday I went shopping and on my list were a few yellow items for Easter and ... ahem ... as you can see I didn't buy anything yellow. Okay, okay, okay, I'll admit it, I've a soft spot for blue shades. I even bought light blue napkins. Well, there is some yellow in the orchid, doesn't that count?
photo credit: Lisa Hjalt
We've been going through a breaking glasses phase – they somehow just fall out of our hands and
smash so beautifully on the floor – and we needed more. I've been swooning over these yellow ones, which my moving-to-the-north-gal Signe at SignePling pointed out to me and I was hoping to find something similar. I didn't find any so we simply left Antwerp centre and headed to IKEA. We had some of the turquoise ones so we added to our collection and then bought the three other types too. I don't know about you, but I get so tired of the Made in China label on everything nowadays. So it was a wonderful surprise to see the Made in France label on the glasses second from the left and Made in India label on the tea towels I bought.
For some time I've been drawn to this home, well the details of it; there are so many things in there that appeal to me, although I'd probably arrange them differently. "We used a lot of Napoleon III and Victorian, a lot of French and Continental pieces that are small in scale," says Jonathan Berger, who designed this Brooklyn townhouse for a mother with three girls, hence the fuchsia and all the girly stuff. A few days ago I was at a flea market when I saw a similar blue and white vase, as the one in the bottom-left photo, but it didn't look exactly as I wanted it be. But looking at this vase with the branch in it encourages me to keep on looking. Click on the link below the images to read the full interview with the designer and to see more photos.
This apple cake recipe of mine (the link takes you to my English food blog, kitchen & aroma) is posted especially for my fabulous blog friend Christel at Captivated by image, who has been swooning over the cake since I emailed her the photo. Well, I have to admit that it's so good served warm with whipped cream – perfect at Easter!
Our dining room is a space where we spend much of our time, we enjoy all our meals in it, the children like to do their homework at the table and I use it as a home office (well, I recently got a chaise lounge so I have to admit that now I'm usually in the living room with the laptop). I don't want the dining room to be too formal; I like the idea of it being a relaxing family room. Lately I've been thinking about buying a large world map for one of its bigger walls but I also like the idea of something smaller, like this size in the photo, in case I'd grow tired of it.
It also crossed my mind to simply use some of our sea charts. We have a few Icelandic ones and also some rather old ones of foreign places.
What do you guys think about maps or sea charts as wall decorations? Is it tacky or cool?
Do you remember the photo of the kitchen with the gorgeous lake view, which I just wanted to spend a day in? Well, yesterday we drove to Lake Genval, south-east of Brussels, to take a look at the area and it was as wonderful and peaceful as I had imagined it to be. All around it are beautiful houses, hotels and restaurants without the commercial feeling that so often ruins the charm of tourist areas. We sat down at an Italian restaurant to enjoy the lake view and afterwards we went for a drive in the area and visited Waterloo, which I'll tell you about later.
How gorgeous is that Fendi dress, worn here by model Caroline Winberg? This editorial in the May
2011 issue of Marie Claire UK is definitely one of my favourites this season, shot by photographer
Frédéric Pinet. You'll find more photos here but I had to include the other one because I've been in
love with that Chanel blouse since I saw it on the runway last autumn.
For some time I have kept these beach house images in my folder and now that spring has arrived they simply look more appealing to me (well, I posted the bedroom here). The house is situated on Shelter Island, NY, built under Scandinavian influence around 1980. When the new owners bought it, it looked rather gloomy with dark stained walls. To give the house a lighter appearance they sanded the walls and then painted them with a diluted grayish-white wash made from leftovers. Click on the link below to view a few more images by photographer Ditte Isager.
Hubby had the day off yesterday so we drove to the Belgian seaside, to Knokke-Heist in West Flanders to be exact. It's a beautiful beach resort north of the historical city Brugge. When we got out of the car we were greeted by sea breeze and squawking seagulls. We took a long walk and sat down at a café on the beach where the children were able to play in the sand. Then we walked some more and dipped our toes into the North Sea before heading back home. We drove through Brugge on our way back but next time I promise to stop there and take photos.
Recently, I stumbled upon the work of photographer Emma Mitchell and I had barely got through her interiors section when I was hooked. Flowers, old letters, a designer dress form, and the Eiffel tower ... what's not to love?
I got her permission to share these photographs with you on my blog.
This collage pretty much sums up my yesterday. The kids and I spent the day in Antwerp's city centre in wonderful weather. They got ice cream and I got my latte at café Mockamore (the photo of the cups is taken in there). It's located on Groenplaats square, where they're always selling flowers and you have a view of the Cathedral of Our Lady. We walked through many of the narrow streets, which I love, and on one called Groendalstraat is one of my favourite shops, Oil &Vinegar. I had to take a photo of the bowls through the window; they've been on my wish list for a long time. Close by is the iittala shop on Korte Gasthuisstraat street. Their window display was beautiful (centre-right with the Alvar Aalto vases
and tomato and blue shaded boxes). I visited Dille & Kamille on Vleminckstraat street, another of my favourites, where I bought a beautiful latte bowl before we called it a day.
I wouldn't mind having a reading nook in my home that looked exactly like this inviting space – oh my, silk curtains! How wonderful it would be to spend a few hours there with a good book and latte, and perhaps a little chocolate too.
We are enjoying another wonderful sunny day with at least 20°C. I'm picturing myself reading a book in the Park while the children play. For dinner I've promised them to make lasagne and with it hubby and I will enjoy red wine from Corsica, which we recently tasted and absolutely love.
Yesterday was spent in Den Brandt Park, which is a part of the Nightingale Park in Antwerp. My daughters' school had organized a run, called Stancross, and almost all the children showed up to compete, many with their parents and siblings. We had so much fun and the weather was fantastic.