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I know, I know… too many pictures in this post: Honestly I couldn’t cut it down any further, there were just so many I liked! ‘Twas another weekend getaway with some lovely ladies… this time northeast across the French and Belgian borders to Holland to find some tulip fields. Low and behold, we also found beautiful fields of daffodils and hyacinths. But before that— we passed [far too] quickly through a lovely town called Rotterdam. I had been wanting to go to Rotterdam quite some time, especially after drooling over Kit & Nancy’s blog and Instagram. The modernity of the city and tasteful design had me dreaming a bit.

We got into town and the rain had us a bit down, but with a little vintage shopping fix, Cube House selfies, stroopwafel stop and recharge we were able to have a chatty and boozy evening at Aloha. Aloha was awesome, but don’t let those Dutch smiles fool you, they rarely take another card besides Maestro (who has a Maestro?!). Definitely plan to have cash on your on your trip, to avoid unnecessary stress. Aloha is a once pool now awesomely tropic bar and restaurant. In the summertime I bet their terrace is pretty rad. I’ll need to head back to Rotterdam sometime, because to be honest when we woke up to blue skies that Sunday we booked it north to find flower fields. Geeks!

The mini road trip started by heading towards Leiden, which I had heard of cos a good friend of mine went to Law School there. Anyways, she had told me to just drive around there, and that is exactly what we did! Before we knew it we were off the main streets near Noordwijk and pulling over to go hang out in random local fields. I honestly am not sure I know what to call someone who grows flowers professionally…? It was beautiful and had me questioning life and my career, ha. Our third field was the most rad of them all: various color palettes and flowers. Luckily Ylenia needed to use the restroom so we wandered around the greenhouse next to the fields, and found the most MAGICAL PLACE THAT COULD EVER EXIST ON THE PLANET. When I say that I am not exaggerating. It’s called Kwekerij en theedrinkerij Noordwijk Buiten, and it’s incredible. There’s even a bus pulled in the side, vintage knick-knacks and fresh flowers all over the place, delicious snacks and teas, wooden and iron tables out in the lawn with a view of the fields, wooden suspended chairs…

And then there were more flower fields.

Aloha // Restaurant & Bar (rezo recommended)
Markhal // Market hall with restaurants, shops & bars
Noordwijk Buiten // Greenhouse café and event space
Tony’s Garage Sale // Vintage shop
Stroop // Waffle Shop

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I hope your weekends are all off to a good start. The past 10 days have been pretty intense with work on my end, but finally things are starting to calm down. As I munch on some praslines for my sanity, I had the urge to share this adorable shop here on the blog.

I discovered the Praslines de Mazet from my in-laws. As they live in Montargis (at that really awesome country house) and my father-in-law grew up one town over, every special occasion involved a little pastel-colored box from the local shop, Praslines de Mazet. With coffee, as a gift.. there always seemed to be a box or bowl around the house. I go gaga for their pistachio praslines. The shop in the town of Montargis (about an hour and a half from Paris) is stunning: the dark wood with stained glass, shelves filled with treats and bowls to grab a taste… I always thought it was the most charming little shop and loved getting loved ones gifts from there. Not to mention the precious packaging… oh la la.

It’s safe to say that ever since they opened their second shop in the heart of the Marais with the same codes of the original shop, sporting the Paris-Montargis on their yellow storefront, I get my Mazet fix a lot more often.

Praslines de Mazet
37 Rue des Archives, 75004
Tél: 01 44 05 18 08
Métro: Rambuteau (11)

 

Chettinadu - De quelle planete es tu - 2I’ve been coming to Chettinadu for 5 years now. I first discovered this magical place when I first arrived in Paris, when a professor took our class here. At the time I had never really been exposed to Indian food, but the bright yellow walls (at the time) and the delicious grub only left me wanting to come back all the time. I was destined to be a regular there.

Chettinadu is located in northern Paris, near metro stop La Chapelle. This is also sort of a Little India, and where they host the Ganesh festival every year. The streets are home to colorful storefronts and bling of all shapes and sizes. The choice of Indian restaurants is quite large, considering they are stacked up and down each one of the rues, but in my eyes there is only one that sticks out.

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Chettinadu
15, rue Cail, 75010
Tél: 01 40 34 49 17
Métro: La Chapelle (2), Gare du Nord (4,5)

Café Madam Latte Goodness- De quelle planete es tu - 1Café Madam is a staple on rue Saint Denis. The fact that it’s run by a mother-daughter duo makes me love it even more.

You’re guaranteed a smile when you walk in, and will immediately feel the cozy relaxation in the atmosphere: white walls and tables with bold lettering on the walls, precious succulents, sweet treats under glass bells and little bowls of rock sugars to drop into your coffee. Their perfectly toned yellow espresso machine always catches my eye as soon as I open the door.

You may recognize this spot from the Cleopatra’s Bling launch party.

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Café Madam
150 rue Saint Denis, 75002
Tél: 01 40 39 01 45
Métro: Réaumur Sebastopol (4)

Loustic - De quelle planete es tu :: 1As a side note, I have many memories from University on Rue Chapon. It’s a lovely street near the Pompidou with various gross sales shops and beautiful buildings with shadow-filled streets. But now there’s a new hub on this very quaint rue: Café Loustic.

Café Loustic was opened oh so recently by coffee connoisseur and avid Yelper, Channa. Let’s just say his taste in déco is unlike any other café I know of in Paris. It’s perfection. The tones are relaxing and are as cozy as can be. The wallpaper is sublime, and from the tiles to the the bench of seats facing the shelf of deliciously plump tartes and treats, your eyes will wander. Every pattern goes together just perfectly, and it’s got this sort-of-rustic-vintage-industrial-chic feel that makes me crave an espresso as soon as I walk in. Like a sudden need for a burst of energy.

The café itself is set up in a way that is wonderful for a chit-chat, with the people you came with, or for other coffee lovers sipping one of Channa’s delicious brews next to you.

The grub comes on and off from the fabulous Kale Project, Sugar Daze as well as Emperor Norton (see the fancy sandwich in the below). What I loved the most was that the sandwich was toasted and not microwaved, which made it nice and crispy yummy… not too big and not too small. For lunch they’ve got deals with quiches and salads with a bevvie and the likes. Or even pop in for a sweet and espresso for an afternoon pick-me-up. But be careful, you’ll sink into the beautifully patterned, über comfortable couches in the back and getting up will seem slightly harder than you expected.

I’m pretty sure popping in here to sip an espresso once a week and flipping through a magazine before work would be the most amazing routine of all time.

A perfect spot for a cuppa and smiles. I’m anxious to learn more about coffee. He’s got some intense equipment & contraptions at Loustic.

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Loustic
40, rue Chapon, 75003
Tél: 09 80 31 07 06
Métro: Arts & Metiers (3) & Rambuteau (11)