Brunch. Always on the lookout for a new brunch spot, Mr E took me here, to Gartine, last Saturday. Tucked away just off the Kalverstraat it's a little oasis of peace, calm, and delicious food.
A very tiny little cafe packed with charm. We were lucky enough to fluke a table, many that came after us were turned away. So if you are going, I recommend you book ahead.
The brunch menu is quite limited, and we both opted for the scrambled eggs with home grown herbs. Amazing. I'd never had my scrambled eggs like this, and it was really good! The sourdough bread was also phenomenal, and drenched in butter. Ooh, they know how to make this Australian happy. There were no scones, poor moi, but they have a pretty impressive looking cake fridge. Had we only spied it properly on the way in, not out, we would have tried something for sure. It all looked incredible.
So, if you're heading to that horrid Kalverstraat for X-mas shopping, my advice is to give yourself a treat and book in a little respite at Gartine.
Yesterday was windy as hell. So Mr E and I decided there would be no leaving of the house. Saturday was fairy average too, so we stacked up on supplies ready to settle in for the weekend. Sometimes you need these weekends in to catch up on life and take it easy. So, I did a lot of backing-up on the hard-drive, laundry, Christmas present wrapping, Christmas card writing, and amongst it all watched The Godfather I and II. Quite the movie marathon for moi. It's something Mr E has been on at me for a while...picture frequent "how have you NOT seen the Godfather?!" comments with a look of both disgust and confusion... Well, now I have seen 2 out of 3. Ticking it off the list of classic movies never seen. Best use of a windy weekend ever.
Looking for a nice new brunch spot this weekend? Well, here it is: Worst. Which, contrary to it's name, will actually be the best brunch you have in a while. Mr E and I went for the first time last Sunday – note, only they're only open Sunday for brunch – and you can believe the hype. The food was fantastic. We were up early and the first ones in, luckily for us they're literally around the corner, all of 200m from our house. So I can see this will fast becoming our favourite brunch haunt.
The food was fresh and different. 'Worst' means 'Sausage' in Dutch, and by night it's a sausage and wine bar – also fabulous. I had a great take on Eggs Benedict with leak, bacon, and the best Hollandaise sauce I've ever had, and Mr E had white beans, chorizo, and egg oven bake. Delish! The staff are friendly and happy, a rarity in Amsterdam. Owner and head chef, Kees Elfring, always has a smile on his face. A beautiful, welcoming and warm environment, with great decor, service, and scrummy food. Note: It might look far on the map, but tram line #3 will take you within
about 200m of Worst (last stop, Zoutkeetsgracht). So don't be a lazy bum – get out there!
Cleaning through my little study I came across a collection of napkins gathered from Bilabo earlier this year. Every bar, cafe, and lunch spot seemed to have them and I loved the graphics, though I'm a little concerned of the message the broken bottle one above could be sending to it's customers. Thought I'd share before packing them away.
Singer turned 160 this year! Huge. To celebrate they've released a limited edition sewing machine, honouring their past design heritage. Looks pretty snazzy. Comes with a fairly hefty price tag, I saw on Amazon for USD $800. So, I guess for the serious sewers. I went to the Singer site and they have a nice thing where you can date your old machine, if you're lucky enough to have one.
A new exhibition is here from Guns & Butter: Your Face Looks Familiar opens tonight! G&B bring you a brand spanking new solo show from Barcelona artist, Alexandre Madurira. Below is the artist statement:
icons from the annals of art history and fusing them with fragments of popular
culture, Madureira, in a multifaceted cubist language, answers the call of
Postmodernism: to test the master narrative. In Madureira’s imaginary museum,
hierarchies collapse. Dichotomies of high and low art, image and reality, are
challenged. In his large-scale compositions, we see the contemporary mind—the
ideas, interactions, needs, desires, and cultural elements of the times
proliferation of images through mass media and the speed of visual consumption disrupt
the notion of time. Histories overlap. Madureira’s pictorial surfaces speak to
this temporal speeding and contradict any timeline of visual culture. Relating
it to a kind of spectacle, Bernini’s
Saint Teresa is not struck by divinity but by the beams of a disco ball. The Thinker’s
lofty perch is Jeff Koons’ balloon dog. Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull balances upon Marcel
Duchamp’s fountain. George Lucas’ stormtroopers pose with Pablo Picasso’s les
Day two of Mr E and my little gettaway in France. Again, we slept in, making it to Lyon just in time for lunch. We went to another restaurant in the same family as Leon de Lyon, Le Bistrot de Lyon, which was the perfect lunch spot. An emotional Mr E, and I quote: "best black pudding I've ever eaten". The street the restaurant is on was the only busy street in this part of town, the rest shut down on a Sunday.
Shopping out of the question we decided to get some exercise, so crossed the River Saône and start to make our way up to the cathedral. To our surprise, a lot of shops at the base of the hill in the old town were open. There were a few pretty amazing antique bookstores, Diogène, is one that is worth taking a look at. After sniffing about the little shops, it was then time to suck it up, and make our way up the hill.
Passing a beautiful waterfall on the way up, slowly, but surely, we made our way up the hill, looking out at the fantastic city from above.
After a few wrong turns we finally made it to the cathedral gardens, which were beautiful.
And then we were at the lookout, taking in the astounding views. Lyon is such a pretty pretty city. The autumnal colours showing the landscape at it's best.
The Basilica of Notre-dame de Fourvière is a little fairytale structure perched on the hill. With some nice detailing on the outside, not much to see on the inside as it's covered in scaffolding in the midst of a renovation.
After a peek about the cathedral we then discovered there's a funicular that runs from the base of the hill to the top of the Cathedral... Ah, well. The exercise was good! We rode it down, and then decided to walk to the Gare Part-Dieu Villette (the other, closer station, doesn't have a locker for luggage). The walk only took about 20 minutes, easy peasey.
You can see the Cathedral poking through the streets of Lyon everywhere you walk, really pretty.
Passing this fantastic car on the way to the station. So so fabulous. And that was it! Tine to head home after a brilliant weekend.
We finished up the paper fair at about lunchtime, having spent about
three hours there. Not bad. And with the rest of the day suddenly at our
disposal we hightailed it to the train station and jumped on the next
train to Lyon.
Ahhh, Lyon. We loved Lyon! First things first though, it was lunch time,
and we needed lunch. I'd asked my colleague for a lunch tip, and he
gave us a beauty. Leon de Lyon. Warm, cozy, with mechanical penguins and
bear, what's not to love? We had a very good hearty meal here, Mr E in heaven with his slow-cooked braised beef cheeks, and I fell in love with a potato-cheese bake like no other. I could have eaten ten of them. Super comforting food on an autumn day, perfect.
Recharged, we were ready to explore Lyon. We were at the far end of the old town (opposite end of the train station), so
wove our way through the streets gradually making our way back to the
station. We came across a fab bookstore, which has a great selection of silk-screen printed comics and art books. I was spoiled with a
treat by Mr E of the fashion persuasion (thank you, Pou!), and I treated myself to an pretty little umbrella with an abundance of bows from Crozet Parapluies in a beautiful shopping gallery Passage de l'Argue. One thing's for sure, it'll get plenty of use in Amsterdam! I'm actually looking forward to the next weekend Pou and I can go for a wonder in wellies and umbrella. Nice.
The city was lively, and everyone super friendly. All the trees were amber and golden, the temperature was mild, even though it doesn't really look like it in these pictures - no hats or gloves required!
The city is lovely, flanked by two rivers and jam packed with beautiful buildings. The hours flew by and soon it was time to call it a day and head back to the train station, so we'd make our dinner reservation on time. Bye, bye, Lyon, see you again tomorrow...
Crozet: Parapluies & Cannes. 50 Passage de l'Argue, 69002 Lyon.