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Holiday Recap: I came, I saw and I ate

Published July 25, 2014 by The Feminist

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I’m back, dear readers. After spending a week enjoying the heat of the sun and the gentle sea breeze in Cannes, followed by a week of nothing but mountain glory in the North of Italy, it was time for me to come home.

I did not want to, believe me. I would have rather stayed in France and would have preferred to spend my entire life sitting on the beach, eating fish soup with delicious rouille whilst making googly eyes at a tall and dark French Adonis, but unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale. Reality awaited. And I had some duties to return to. Like paying rent, going to work and, last but definitely not least, connecting with my thousands of loyal followers. You.

So here it is, folks. A long (and yet incomplete) list of all the delicious things I had the joy of eating during my stay at the French Riviera and in the Italian Dolomites.

Because I Cannes
Let’s start with the heavenly delights of France!
First off, I have some unfortunate news: I did not spot any celebrities. *releases a soft wail of disappointment*. However, what Cannes was not able to offer me regarding star status, it totally made up for in its array of hotness walking around. Because –let me make abundantly clear- Cannes is FULL of handsome men.
I mean, hallelujah! It was almost uncanny –pun fully intended- to see so much hotness on one tiny spot by the sea. Add to that the fact that the French Riviera had tons of delicious food on offer –I’m now referring to those of the non-male, edible variety- and you will understand why I had such a lovely time.

Sweet and juicy scallops with a saffron sauce and plenty of different vegetable side dishes. Always a winner with me!

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A delicious fish skewer, marinated in lemon and herbs with a sauce vièrge. That dish was preceded by the most delicious fish soup I had ever tasted and was so damn yummy I forgot to talk a picture.

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FYI, if you go to Cannes, it is key to find local restaurants. They will most likely offer delicious but affordable food. So don’t go running to the Carlton for lunch. Just sayin’.

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I mean, who the hell would pay 8 euros for a cup of coffee??

The French Riviera is famous for its fish, so obviously I ate plenty of it. This was a succulent piece of red mullet with Brandade de Morue.

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This dish surely packed a punch: homemade gnocchi with pistou and octopus in a spicy tomato sauce

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If there is one restaurant experience I have to tell you about, it is this restaurant in Nice: Oliviera. Honestly, it was one of the most extraordinary restaurant experiences in my entire life. First of all, the waiter. He was awesome and talked with so much passion about the food and his olive oils you almost started drooling just by listening to him. Secondly, each dish was paired with a particular type of olive oil. Olive oil was not just used as something to cook with, it was the heart of every dish. While we were waiting for our different courses, the friendly waiter brought us plenty of different olive oils to taste. Lastly, the food was insane. Pure. Delicate. Simple. Heavenly. Succulent burrita mozzarella with Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes, feta and herbs filo pastry tart, homemade raviolis,… and all drizzled with plenty of good olive oil. Mmmm. This was a courgette flower stuffed with a spicy bulgur salad and –of course- drizzled with lots of fragrant olive oil.

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Needless to say, I enjoyed plenty of desserts as well. I started my holidays with an epic ice cream cone with the most insanely delectable flavours: caramel au beurre salé and marron glacé

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(not a very flattering pic, but it’s about the ice cream, not my face 😉 )

Furthermore, I ate quite a few café gourmands, which are espressos served with lots of delicious things along the side.

This one was bold and big with honest flavours: a mini chocolate fondant, a strawberry macaron, vanilla panna cotta with apricot coulis, an almond tart and a huge scoop of rum and raisin ice cream with whipped cream…

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And this one was more petite in portion but –Oh my Frenchy God- that was by far the best coffee layer thingy I have ever tasted in my life! The flavours! The layers! Sensation in the mouth guaranteed. (I enjoyed this one at a rather fancy-looking place called Le Nôtre in Cannes)

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On our last night in Cannes, we ate dinner at L’Assiète Provençale, which is situated in the touristy heart of Cannes –right at the harbor!- but was anything but the tourist trap. The food was refined, and offered modern interpretations of French classics. I had the most amazing fried fleur de courgettes as a starter, honey glazed tuna steak with five spiced vegetables (praise the Lord!) and by miles the BEST LEMON MERINGUE PIE I HAVE EVER TASTED. (In fact, it was so good, I only realized half way through that I forgot to take a picture. So my apologies for the half-eaten slice of pie)

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Oh Mighty Dolomites

Now onto the delicious food I’ve eaten in the Dolomites, a region that embraces both Austrian and Italian cuisine. (So double check pot!) Luckily for me, apart from eating, I spent my days hiking, climbing mountains and doing laps in the swimming pool, so (hopefully) most of those calories got burnt off.

Our hotel is renowned for its gourmet cuisine, so I definitely do not want to spare you the delicious details:

Open ravioli with pea puree, delicate fish and a cream and white wine foam.

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Pan-fried sea bass with steamed vegetables and herby mash

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Milk chocolate mousse with mango and orange-scented shortbread

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Seared swordfish with crispy vegetables and beetroot macaroons.

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Fragrant herb risotto with prawns

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The most delicious banana tart with banana-flavoured parfait

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The ultimate Tiroler dish: spinach spätzle with Almkäse (mountain cheese) and fresh mushrooms

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Steamed whiting fillet on a bed of red pepper couscous

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Vanilla and puff pastry tompouce with vanilla ice cream and red berries

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So who’s hungry now? 😉

Splendid Summer, Splendid Shoes: Preparing for Cannes

Published July 8, 2014 by The Feminist

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I am leaving for the glitz and glam of Cannes in a couple of days – *feel free to insert an envious grunt*– and since Cannes is famous for being all classy and glamourous, it is essential that I look great. (Obviously.) So no white socks in crocs for me. (Not that I would ever wear white socks… or crocs… or wear both of them together… I would rather die… but you get my drift)

Instead I’m spending a lot of time these days selecting the most fashionable of holiday wardrobes. Not just funky dresses and chic jumpsuits, but fab day outfits as well that will turn hiking into an ultra-posh event.

And with the right outfit go the right shoes. From comfy but bold to sky high and fabulous, there is one suitable pair for every occasion! Here is a list of all the types of shoes I would ideally like to take with me to Cannes. But since I am neither rich nor famous, I will always suggest a more affordable alternative as well. 😉

1) The thrill of the espadrille

A couple of years ago, these type of flats would have been “not done” in fashionable Cannes, but nowadays the classic espadrille has become so immensely popular that even the rich folk on la Croisette can no longer ban so much cooldom in one shoe.

For the rich and famous:

espadrille stella mccartney

(by Stella McCartney)

For mere mortals:

espadrille lace

espadrille leo

(both from Asos)

2) Extravagant pumps or sandals…

… preferably with some transparent detail.
If you want to ooze confidence, glam and an I-don’t-need-a-sugar-daddy-to-make-me-happy spirit, these are the shoes you need to wear!

For the rich and famous:

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(by Christian Louboutin, sigh.)

For mere mortals:

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(by Asos, hip hip hurray!)

3) As brogue as can be

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you will have noticed that women suits or hotter than hot. What used to be a solely male garment has now entered a woman’s closet as well and is regarded as the best thing since  the push up bra (or is that just me?) . The same thing can be said for the shoes that usually go with the male suit, because the so-called brogues are my favourite It-shoes. Not only does it look fab under a suit, but it is also a cool option for your summer holiday, because it is comfy and way more original than those boring ballerinas. (yawn!)

For the rich and famous:

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(Louboutin, again.)

For mere mortals:

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(Asos, again. Thank God for Asos!)

Cannes Closure: Red Carpet Recap

Published May 25, 2014 by The Feminist

Yes, this is yet another Cannes post, but don’t worry,  it is the final one.

After eleven days of glitz and glamour at the Côte d’Azur, it is time to roll up the red carpet and look back on a fabulous edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Top honors went to Winter Sleep by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, but I myself would like to take this opportunity to hand out my very own fashion Palm D’Ors to those celebrities who really took glamour to a whole other level.

YES THEY CANNES:

Sonam Kapoor

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If I had the money to buy a dress like that, I would wear it every single day. Like, non-stop. It would make ordinary stuff – e.g.  buying tampons at the drug store- much more glamorous. Seriously. This Elie Saab gown is making my fashion-beating heart go into overdrive.

Lara Stone

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I hereby give my body (in particular, my brain) to science, because surely there must be some biological explanation why I always fall for hot pink dresses. (I probably have some sort of gene mutation that makes me particularly susceptible to all rosy things) Whatever it is, Lara Stone’s dress is gorgeous!

Jessica Chastain

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Descended from Mount Olympus, I present to you: Jessica Chastain! I’m so glad she dedicated some of her time to mingle with us mortals so we could get a glimpse of her sheer flawlessness…

Freida Pinto

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"The Homesman" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

I think the word you’re looking for is KA-POW! This Oscar de la Renta dress breathes drama and stylish bombasticism (And I mean that in a good way)

Léa Seydoux

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This luxurious emerald green Prada dress is simply exquisite. (Also, I find it utterly disorienting how much sex appeal Léa can exude just be staring into the camera. )

Uma Thurman

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In true Kill Bill style (and Kill Bill yellow), Uma took out the competition with this stunning, flowy gown.

Marion Cotillard

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This short and funky Maison Margiella dress is made out of hundreds of small objects that the designers picked up on flea markets in Paris and Brussels, and it allegedly took the team 67 hours to sew everything on the dress. One word: RESPECT!

Unfortunately, there were also pretty disastrous dresses at the red carpet…

NO THEY CANNED

Irina Shayk

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I’m all for using bright colours and bold silhouettes but this sh** is just too crazy, even for me. And when I say crazy, I do mean CA-razy! That hideous electric-mustard colour (I didn’t even know such a colour existed!), that failed Madonna-eighties-revival pointed bra (why do some still think that is stylish?) and don’t get me started on the wannabe “Can’t get you out of my head” Kylie look.

On the upside: at least from the back the hood in combination with the bare back looks stunning (that is if you are able to trigger acute colourblindness)

Frederique Bel

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If they ever were to turn Game of Thrones into a nineties inspired porn film, she would be in it. And I do not mean that as a compliment.

Eva Longoria

"Foxcatcher" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

I honestly don’t know where to start with this one. First of all, the colour. It looks like a 1940s granny pantyhose. Secondly, the shape. It’s like an oversized thermal underwear kinda thingy. Thirdly, the turtleneck. Yikes! And finally, the peek-a-boo breast slit. Sure, a little bit of skin is sexy but the way the fabric is just all ruffled together in the corner with some sort of silver pin(??) more resembles “DIY diaper” than “femme fatale”.

Jullianne Moore

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Let’s start with something positive: I love the leather burgundy red top. Now on to the negative: everything else.

Sharon Stone

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Dear Sharon, this is a red carpet event, not a gathering for Harley Davidson enthusiasts. That dress is too short, too sleazy and shoelaces should never ever serve as a trashy form of breast imprisonment. Oh yeah, and lose the aviators.

 

Blake Lively, Queen of Cannes: But Why Was She Even There?

Published May 21, 2014 by The Feminist

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In exactly four more days, the greatest film fest of France will be over. Looking back on the past couple of days, Cannes truly has embraced its French Riviera finesse and extravagance with movie stars from all over the world graciously strolling across the red carpet.

As always, there was one star who was able to shine a little bit brighter than all the rest, and that star was Blake Lively. Not only did she show up to more than just one event and wore more than just one fabulous gown, she simply blew away the competition with her ever-present grace, charm and overwhelming beauty.

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But… what was she actually doing there? The last time she appeared on TV or in cinema was in 2012 with Gossip Girl and the Savages. Sure, Gossip Girl was a tremendously popular show, but even the best shows have an expiration date. Moreover, her next film will be released in 2015, which isn’t exactly just around the corner.

So the question remains: what the hell was she doing there in the first place?

Time for some gossip!

Possibility nr. 1: She may be working on a very secretive project.

We all know that one year of absence on screen is like a lifetime of absence in Hollywood. So who knows, Blake might be releasing some brand new project in the very near future and is strategically trying to create some momentum around her personality. In that case, looking stunning on a red carpet is definitely the way to go.

Possibility nr. 2: She is there as L’Oreal Paris ambassador.

L’Oreal is big in Cannes, so obviously the brand needed to get some famous divas on the attendee list in order to promote their products.

Although a very good marketing trick, I do not think any woman will fall for that. Unfortunately, no matter how much L’Oreal make up we would put on our faces, we will never ever ever look like Blake. *letting out a soft sob*

Possibility nr. 3: Ryan Reynolds needs a distraction

One of the most plausible explanations for Blake’s presence could be because her hubby Ryan Reynolds is there to promote his film the Captive. Now, as a devoted wife and fashion-diva you simply cannot pass on a trip to Cannes. Flaunting beautiful designer dresses and that great body on La Croisette is something we all want to do, right?

However, Blake Lively’s presence might also be to his advantage, because his film got completely bashed in the press. So in order to shift the attention away from the bad reviews (in this case, “bad” is a euphemism for “I would rather be disemboweled with a clothes hanger than watch that movie again”) he simply had to have Blake by his side to overwhelm the press with her fabulous femme fatale-ness.

Here is what they might have been saying:

"The Captive" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Ryan: “Oh God, this is so embarrassing.  I wanna go home and order pizza.”

Blake: “Just keep smiling, dear. The press loves us. We’re wearing matching outfits!”

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Ryan: “ I think that photographer just winked at you.”

Blake: “Why, at me? How charming! Shall I strike a pose. Blow him a kiss, maybe?”

Possibility nr. 4: It’s not Blake, it’s her clone.

Okay, so maybe I have been watching to many episodes of Orphan Black, but just think about it! What if the real Blake is locked up in a room in LA somewhere, while her evil clone is pretending to be her, just so she can wear all the fabulous clothes and sleep with Ryan Reynolds. (Don’t frown, ladies. We would all do the same if we had the chance. 😉 )

So yes, Black Lively was indeed the Queen of Cannes, but why she was actually there, no one really knows.

Obviously, I’m leaning towards option four.

Grace or Disgrace: Red Carpet Fashion at Cannes Opening Night

Published May 15, 2014 by The Feminist

Last night the much anticipated and controversial film Grace of Monaco kicked off the 67th Cannes Festival. Although the mixed film reviews were hardly something to celebrate, the stars did manage to plaster a smile on their faces and stroll across the red carpet in true French Riviera style.

Unfortunately, not all of them embraced their inner Grace Kelly…

Here are the good ones.

Grace:

Zhang Ziyi

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She wore my favourite outfit of the evening. Isn’t that just the most extraordinary dress you have ever seen? It is bold, daring and a bit bonkers but –damn!- it just looks amazing!

Blake Lively

Blake Lively

Stunning as always, Blake Lively in deep red.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda

More deep red with Jane Fonda’s gorgeous Elie Saab gown. A legendary dress for an even more legendary woman.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman

The star of the night did not let the bad reviews get to her. Why would you? She looks absolutely amazing in her embellished blue Armani dress, and that alone is reason enough to raise your glass!

Paz Vega

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Nicole Kidman may be the star in Grace of Monaco, but on the red carpet Paz certainly looked as ravishing as her Australian co-star.

Now prepare yourself for the bad ones.

Disgrace:

Kendall Jenner

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Just as Zhang Ziyi, Kendall opted for graphic black and white, but whereas Zhang blew everyone’s mind with her gorgeous gown, Kendall made us sigh out of utter frustration. What was she thinking?

Karlie Kloss

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I think I might have missed the memo that said that all the models were to wear hideous dresses. Seriously. Kendall’s dress was bad enough, but Karlie’s truly made me want to run up the hills.

Laetitia Casta

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Oh yes, yet another model in yet another ugly sack.

Because they Cannes: Umbrellas and Red Carpet Glamour in the French Riviera

Published May 16, 2013 by The Feminist

When it Rains, It pours.” Whoever came up with this expression must have had last night’s Opening Ceremony of The Cannes Film Festival in mind. It is supposed to be the most glamourous event of the season, but instead of the Mediterranean sun everyone had hoped for, all they got was shitty rain. Glorious red carpet gowns got drenched and the long list of Hollywood stars were holding onto their umbrellas as another windy shower blew them across the red carpet.
However, no matter how shitty last night’s weather was, the dresses were still to die for! And there was Leonardo DiCaprio. If there is anyone who can make you forget the rain , it is him.

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Gentleman as always, Leo was happy to lend his umbrella to his Great Gatsby co-star Elizabeth Debicki to protect her stunning designer gown. Swooooooon! (If I were her, though, I would have asked him to join me under the umbrella! What was it Rihanna once sang? “You can stand under my umbrella-ella-ella” Seems rather appropriate, don’t you agree? 😉 )

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British supermodel Cara Delevinge, wearing a Burberry- dress and Chopard jewels, shows that it is indeed possible to be classy and sexy at the same time.

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One of my favourite looks of the Opening Night was definitely Nicole Kidman in her stunning Dior outfit. I love how her shoes match the pretty pattern on her dress!

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Freida Pinto looked absolutely breathtaking in a coral Gucci dress! (Coral is by far my favourite colour of this season!)

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Julianne Moore was a vision in black and purple in her voluminous –yet elegant- Dior dress. No wonder she has such a radiant smile in this picture! (If I had the opportunity to wear such a dress, I wouldn’t be able to stop smiling too!)

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I just LOVE that Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi opted for trousers and a stylish peplum strapless bustier instead of going for the floor-long dress. And how cool is her haircut?! 😉

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“Shine bright like a diamond!” Naomi Harris followed Rihanna’s advice and opted for a gorgeous silver Calvin Klein dress.

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