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27 posts categorized "WorldTours"

Lily reporting from Paris

Lily Descazeaux from the very beautiful and inspiring French blog les Carnets du design ... lives very near the Montmartre area and in the image above you can see the view from her window...

I would like first of all thank Irene for having me on Bloesem it's a true honor. Bloesem is one of my favorite blog on the internet planet!
"I live for twelve years at the bottom of Montmartre. I love this area which is like a village; When you start to go up the hill you left the noisy and restless Paris behind you. At the bend of each small streets there is a surprise, beautiful houses hidden in privates passages, artists workshops , new shops, galleries and when you reach the top of the hill there is the extraordinary view of Paris. Below, second hand trade on Place des Abbesses last weekend.

Near la Place des Abbesses there is a well-known boutique that I love called,  Spree, Roberta and Bruno have create it six years ago.  They develop their concept : mixing a selection of fashion designers, design furnitures from the 50’s till the 80’s and contemporary artists. Spree is a boutique gallery who shows the passions, influences and voyages of Roberta and Bruno. In the same street Rue La Vieuville there is this empty shop "papiers peints" which means wallpapers.I like these surprising colors.


{Tienda Esquipulas}
Rue Houdon, going down to Place Pigalle there are two small shops of decoration. I buy lots of candles, among other things, to Anna. Tienda Esquipulas is an ethnic and trade fair boutique, colourful handicrafts and folk arts of Guatemala, Mexico and Latin America. Cosi Loti is a pretty new shop where you can find low prices small decorative items.

The shop "Zut!" Means "Damn!" An insolent name after a former cafe in the Ravignan street, frequented by Picasso. In 1903, this lair of anarchists was closed by the police after a brawl. Its owner, Frederic Gerard, founded then "Le Lapin Agile "  well known literary cabaret. I love that kind of stories, it's really typical from Montmartre. Today, Zut! is the lair of industrial items. Frederic Daniel find for you a selection of stools, studio chairs, racks, luminaries, wall lamps, enameled or ceramic hanging lamps, medical lampposts, old-time filmmaking lighting equipment, factory, train station or bell tower time clocks. Zut! is a real cabinet of curiosities, hétéroclite and baroque. Below,here is the Place Charles Dullin whith le Théatre de l'Atelier surrounded by restaurants.
On la rue d’Orsel, Christine Diegoni specialist furniture from the 30's and 50's, opened her first space twenty years ago, a few years later she took on a second space and a third. She proposes in her gallery original pieces by Andre Bloch, George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Gino Sarfatti, that collectors appreciate. Below, Boulevard Rochechouart, today most of the workshops have been converted into apartments.


This could be the place where you probably dream to live, like me. With its form of emphasis, this avenue, is one of the most mysterious of Paris. First, because it is hidden behind a gate rue Victor Masse (No. 24) controled by a code. If you arrive to come in, once inside, you are somewhere else. Along the cobbled street, magnificent Gothic-style houses where lived Regine Crespin, Django Reinhardt, who burned his furniture for firewood, the workshop of Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir father and son and today Jean-Paul Gaultier. A peaceful place just behind Pigalle.
Perrine Rousseau is a very young talented designer. She has the most incredible workshop in the district of La Goutte d'Or. She creates fabric collections, that she weaves herself with natural fibers from organic agriculture. A rare approach. You can commissioned household linen, cushions, tablecloths, etc. ... she has also an industrial line which is cheaper and can be ordered also from her studio. I will write a note for her new collection soon on my blog.

This is an interesting building, Le Floors, a former printing plant which was turned on three levels in restaurant, few month ago. For having a brunch I prefer walk on the other side of Montmartre at the restaurant Just Be with the two charming new owners. The decoration and dishes are simply very nice.
{Restaurant l'Eté en Pente Douce}
Last few images from Montmartre, I like the name of this restaurant below; L'Eté en Pente Douce means Summer Gently Sloping. I hope you enjoyed to share with me my favorite places. A bientôt...Lily..."


Thank you Lily for showing us your favorite spots, next time I visit Paris I will definetly bring this guide!

* * * les Carnets du design
* * * contact Lily

{originally posted in 2008}

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Pia reporting from Amsterdam


I’m a wanderer.  I love to wander wherever I am and try to make the time to do so as often as I can. My new home is Amsterdam, and I am head over heels for it’s quaint bridges, canals, and wonky old buildings. I love putting on my strolling shoes and wandering in Amsterdam, and this is one of my favourite wanders in this gorgeous city:

I start at utrechtstraat which is a strip of fabulous re staurants, cafes, homeware stores, music stores and delis. I then wander up towards rembrandts plein (’plein’ means ’square’). Then I continue up over the bridge of the amstel until I reach the beautiful staalstraat (’straat’ means ’street’) bridge:
Once here I turn right onto staalstraat which is full of gorgeous design shops including droog …
which is one of amsterdam’s destination design stores. Even though this is such a little street you could spend hours wandering between the stores. At the end of this street is one of my all time favourite amsterdam cafes: Puccini’s. The menu is fresh and delicious and no matter what time of day you wander this way, you must indulge in a puccini hot chocolate. I will not say anything more about this hot chocolate except that you must. Puccini’s also has a chocolate boutique just a few doors up so you can take home some gifts (for yourself).
So, after my chocolate comatose I turn left along the canal and this is where you will find all sorts of quaint painted apartment doors which to me, is so Dutch ‘keselic’ (homely) style. (Irene, I can’t remember how to spell this word, do you know the one I mean? Could you spell it properly for me? Px)
It’s along here that I change my path to discover new streets, so you just keep meandering and see what you discover along the canal, but keep to your left as you walk on ahead (you will spot such places as wonderwood, and some beautiful street art)…
and you will make your way to Nieuwmarkt which is another big square and marks the end of this walk. But don’t leave just yet as right in front of you is In De Waag,
an incredible medieval looking building turned restaurant which was once the Amsterdam ‘gatehouse’. Inside are beautiful beamed high ceilings, the whole restaurant lighted with candles. It is magical. Here I indulge (again! always with the indulging) in a glass of champagne and a little plate of Dutch bitterballen - I think these are some of the best in town. They also serve delicious cheese croquettes. You must arrive before 5pm though as the bar section closes to make room for dinner guests. I suggest you aim to arrive here at around 2-3pm as they change the candles in the huge chandeliers and that is quite a sight. You can also sit outside In De Waag when it is a sunny day. Bliss.
I hope this little ‘wander guide’ comes in handy for some of you, do let me know! I will share more of my wanders on my blog in coming months.

* * *Pia Jane Bijkerk blog
* * *My Heart Wanders project by Pia

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Diana reporting from Munich


I came to Munich with the idea of visiting my “husband to be” and to follow a German language
course, just for a couple of weeks. I stayed ever since (and yes: I got married!). It’s hard not to like
this city. Elegant, green, safe, pretty and with an ease of living that is almost southern European.

And then there are the shops. Oh the shops! Away from the glamour of the Maximilianstrasse there
are many, many small shops with individual style and handcrafted products. Although Munich
probably isn’t an international hotspot for avant-garde design, it has a long arts and crafts tradition,
the results of which can be found throughout the city in studios and ateliers from young designers, in stores that specialize on arts and crafts supplies or in traditional family businesses.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

For my paper supplies (I’m a hoarder!) I usually go to Carta Pura. A small shop in the
“Schellingstrasse”. Their beautiful paper, notebooks and albums are displayed in a purist, clean style.
The very friendly and knowledgeable team designs their own books and albums and have a great
collection of utensils for calligraphy, drawing and paper crafting. Also worthwhile: their wood block
print cards form Georg Schwellensattl.


Another address I like to go to, especially when I’m looking for a gift, is Kokon. This shop’s decoration
is a feast for the eye. Their florist corner, home textiles and what is probably Munich’s largest
collection of coffee table books on design and life style could keep me there for hours.

Whenever it’s lunch-time and I happen to be in the city center, I always try to drop by Poseidon. This
fish shop/bistro offers delicious food and in summer you can sit on their small terrace and watch the
coming and going at Munich’s central market the “Viktualienmarkt”. Another of my favorite places
(sweet tooth people pay attention!) is Götterspeise. This delicious café lies in the middle of the
“Gärtnerplatzviertel” (…those German names are killing me…). An area high on my favorites list
anyway. You’ll find everything in this part of the city: thrift stores, fashion boutiques and shops
carrying anything from tin toys to vintage movie posters. In “Haidhausen” (another great
neighbourhood) you can find Petra Fischers ceramic studio: 1260 Grad.

When a day comes to its end, for me there is nothing better than to put a basket of food together (in
daily life that means from the local supermarket-for you, as visitors: Indulge yourself at Dallmayr’s!)
and to meet up with friends and family in one of the many Beergardens (e.g. in the “Englischer
Garten”) or somewhere upstream at the river Isar (preferably south of “Thalkirchen” unless you
wanna go for the young party crowd). In case you decide to stay after all, one day you’ll have Ursula
Fröhmer make you a Dirndl! A traditional one, without “schnick-schnack” as the Germans say...


* * *Diana from Oh...My Bag
* * * Diana's shop Ribbons & Crafts

{originally posted in 2008}

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Kris reporting from Milan


I hope you had a nice weekend...we had a wonderful time...we have been very lucky with the weather these last two weeks...feels like summer... so we've been out in the sun...enjoying it while it lasts I guess...and to bring some more summer feel to your home... the next stop on our world tour is Italy... my favorite country in Europe... fell in love with Rome... but today is all about Milan...another beautiful city in Italy I still have to visit... and will make sure to visit in the future... especially after reading  about  this famous store Kris from Colorstripes is telling us about today...{ps. don't forget to pay a visit to Kris her blog, it's truly different and I love it}
"Spazio Rossana Orlandi
is a multifaceted and fascinating  gallery-shop situated in old converted tie factory,in Milan. It’s a home wares store, design gallery and fashion boutique, all in one. Owner Rossana has incredible capacity to pick such a variety of products and make them all fit together perfectly. Piet Hein Eek’s chairs, industrial lamp Jielde, Lisa Stickley’s tea towels, old terracotta chimneys,Kiki Van Eijk’s bottled carafe, airplane propellers and Anne Claire Petit’s crochet toys seam to be the part of the same fairy tale.

Serene and calm atmosphere of this place together with a kindness of  staff always remind me that design should be emotional,authentic and fun as well as functional. Stepping out into the real world could be cruel, so I suggest a break, just two steps behind the corner there is a small, cosy restaurant from the same owner called ’Pane & Acqua’(bread & water).
Designed by architect Paola Navone, it follows the spirit of Spazio, in fact all furniture and tableware are borrowed from the shop and it’s continually updated  so that you can actually by the coffee cup, dinner fork or even the clock!"

* * *Color Stripes
* * *contact Kris

{originally posted in May 2008}

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Charlene reporting from Singapore


Singapore is a city state with modern buildings and convenience of transport. If you ever consider going to Singapore for a short visit and would like to go to attractions that do not require entrance fees. Here are some of my personal favorite places to go.

Visit the Chinatown if you’re interested in the culture and sights of the largest ethnic group in Singapore. A great place to shop for traditional Chinese goods plus great shopping bargains. Singapore is a food paradise so you must not miss the local Singapore food. So, eat your heart out at the huge People's Park Food Centre. A few of those must try local dishes are Laksa, Char Kway Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Satay, Nasi Lemak.


While you're in the vicinity, I highly recommend you this noteworthy shop :: Casualpoet
Casualpoet – a newly opened arts and cultural concept store housed on the 3d floor of an old shophouse. I love this small, cozy boutique (with a mini café!) itself, the home, paper goods, books, record labels that they are stocking. You will love this shop if you have a thing for linen and natural fashions. They have 2 separate online stores selling cultural goods and daily goods.
Location: 3rd level, 273B New Bridge Road.



Singapore Art Museum is a great place for photography. The building itself has fantastic architecture and the inside is filled with amazing and beautiful pieces.
For Japanese craft lovers, Kinokuniya is located at Takashimaya. Also, don’t miss the Art Friend, a huge store selling art supplies. It is located just right above Kinokuniya. Another great place to shop for craft supplies is Spotlight at Plaza Singapura.

For the scrapbookers, go experience the magic of paper at Laine’s Papeterie located at Wheelock Place.

Let’s move away from the hustle bustle of Orchard Road and head to Bugis. A few minutes walk from Bugis will take you to Arab Street, the shopping paradise for all crafters. There are a lot of small shops where you can shop for beautiful textiles, silks and other craft supplies.

Just beside Arab Street is Haji Lane, the Singapore designer street with a lot of hip, quaint, quirky shops. Some of my favorite shops include Soon Lee, Pluck and Salad. Check out the lovely accessories, clothing, the beautiful interior designs, unique ornaments in these shops.


Soon Lee is located at 56 Haji Lane, level 2.

Salad - A black and white theme boutique with modern fashion and home accessories.
Location: 25/27 Haji Lane
If you love greenery, resort-like ambience and nice dining places, you have to visit the Dempsey Hill area that caters to families and diners.
Complete your trip and enjoy a glass of Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the famous Raffles Hotel.

There are of course other things to do and see, but in my opinion the above places are the best to give you an overview of the latest, coolest shopping finds along some narrow lanes/streets hidden in Singapore. I'd like to thank Irene for inviting me to contribute to Bloesem’s World Tour project. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you all in Singapore soon! {Thanks to you too, Charlene for this great write-up}

* * * Charlene's shop  :: going simple on linen
* * * Charlene's blog :: Scrapabee

{posting date May 2008}

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