Dec 31, 2011

Wishes for 2012

May all your dearest dreams come true!
Keep on dreaming! Happy New Year!

Music Playlist at

Dec 29, 2011

Samouraï exhibition at Quai Branly

What comes to your mind when you hear the word "Samouraï"? We usually think of fierce warriors slaying their katana swords, lashing on their enemies with style. Well, this exhibition show us other sides of the Samouraï's world. Through the armor pieces presented, you can see they cared about beautiful details and they had a sense of humor.

helmets inspired from fantastic creatures
 helmets inspired from sea creatures
from more diverse inspirations...
the one in the middle is an eggplant helmet

Horses get theirs too

Masks are always my personal favorites

Dec 25, 2011

Noël à Bruxelles

It was great to skip away from Paris for some days before Christmas to Brussels. It is just a bit more than an hour (by train) from Paris but Brussels is different enough. I like when I walk around a place and hear people talk in a foreign language I don't understand so it really feels like I'm away.

Dec 10, 2011

Photography challenge

The girls on Culinographie had this fun idea of a Christmas photo challenge and the theme is "White & Gold". As I'm on the lazy side (and not a lot of time), I figured I won't do a complicate scene with props. So I tried hard to find a recipe on which there would be both white and gold colors. The result is this Saint Honoré with white chantilly cream and gold caramel toppings.

As there's not a single prop, I chose to put it on a black background. As I was playing with the lights, I found that the small directional lighting creates a kind of "Dutch golden age" feel. The main difficulty of this shot was the recipe itself: the cream that was melting. Note to self: shoot involving cream always need a second stunt replacement :)

Nov 21, 2011

My mini chocolate charlotte

This is my first cake I'm presenting to you since I began my baking school last september at Ecole Grégoire Ferrandi. The past weeks have been filled with exciting new things. At the beginning of the course, we were all in awe every time the chefs showed us a new technique or a new recipe. They are the masters even when it's just about cutting an apple into slices.

Now that I look back at some things I've posted before like this (my chef should never see this) or this, I'm really ashamed... I'm getting better but have still a long, long way to go before reaching the master lever :) But anyway, I made these mini charlottes and my little goddaughter told me they were really cute and ate all her slice without a single word in 2 minutes, so I thought I could share this with you :) 

Inside is a dark chocolate mousse at the base and
a praline mousse on top, topped with chunks of gavottes
for some crunchy contrast with the soft biscuit and mousses

Sep 19, 2011

Hallyu in Paris

The Kpop wave has settled in Paris. In Chinatown, shops that used to sell Honk Kong music now had definitely more Korean items than anything else. Just see the shop's display! And they have all the idols collectibles! Hallyu collectibles shops in Myeongdong can't even compete with this one in Paris. They have SHINee note books, JYJ tumblers, F(x) pins, 2PM pens and even the pig-rabbit! Ah, these Chinese merchants, they never lose an opportunity!

 A puzzled Chinese ahjussi in front of all this

Sep 17, 2011

King Sejong Story

Didi you know there is a musuem hidden under the King Sejong statue on Gwanghwamun plaza? It's a little exhibition to illustrate the creation of the Korean hangeul alphabet and some other inventions of King Sejong.

At the end of the exhibition, there is a wall pasted with little block on which children drew about their dream. Close-up on two funny ones :)

The one on the right hand side is a little girl who dream to become a doctor.
Although the drawing of the guy lifting his shirt seems a bit pervy.
And I just can't figure out what is about the one on the left...

This musuem also connects to another part which is about the life of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin who has his statue on the other end of the plaza. You can find out more on Visit Korea website here. Both exhibitions are free.

Sep 16, 2011

Seoul by night

Travelled four times to Korea, this is my first time up Namsan. I never wanted to go because it's such a tourist place. I've been tricked by a  friend who convinced me to drag myself up the hill in the summer heat... Actually, it was okay, not that many tourists as it was already late at night. There were more Koreans who were there to take a walk. The night sky was specially clear so it was worth the hike after all.

Sep 15, 2011

Korea - Random 4

Cute things I've found here and there in Seoul.

The little bell sign is the symbol of the center district of Seoul

Some serious kicking

 While waiting for a friend , I found out there was more to the giant interactive information board in subway stations. Besides the basic maps and weather info, there are also tabs if you need to know how is your luck today. It's all complete with the Chinese zodiacs, astrological signs and even the fortune cookie. So, are you superstitious?

Sep 3, 2011

Seoul center

Just some pics around Jonggak area.

Sep 2, 2011


While roaming around Jonggak, I saw this juice shop and went in. It happened to be their opening day in fact. It's a new concept where they propose a very large selection of ingredients for you to choose and compose your own mix in three different kind: smoothie, yogurt or ade. The ingredients are represented on little hexagonal capsules you pick and put in the beesket which is then scanned at the cashier.

The concept is based on the natural ingredients and the fun in picking and creating your own drink but it doesn't come cheap. I paid 6700W for a pumpkin/ carrot/ orange smoothie but I got a free mug as a special opening day gift.

You can find out more about Beesket here. They even have the whole list of ingredients, each with a spectacularly detailed chart of its properties (calories, composition, vitamins, etc...).

Aug 30, 2011

Korea - Random 3

The Gangnam area is full of clinics for plastic surgery. It starts from inside the subway station where there are all the advertising with "before/ after" pictures of surgery services they propose. I think this one was the best with its name "Cinderella". But I thought Cinderella was just about getting the right shoe?

Aug 29, 2011

Seoul - Sinsa

Garosugil, on the south side of the Han river, is known for its trendy shops, cafés and restaurants. I was there before noon so it was not still very quiet. As I stroll along the road, I noticed how the interior design here, in Korea, is always well done. In this trendy area, for sure, the shops and restaurants have the budget. But even in less expensive area, shops, and particularly cafés, manage to create a special mood for their interior. You can see that the design concept has included every detail. From the colors, materials, packaging till the font used on the receipt. I think that this reflects a trait of the Koreans. Things are never half done, every detail has to be well done.

For lunch, I chose this Japanese soba shop called Obiya. Their specialty is green tea soba. You can order with the soba a side of tempura. They serve chilled green tea and they fried the soba as chips. You get some salt mixed with green tea to dip the tempura.

Aug 27, 2011

Korea - Random 2

A car ferris wheel!! Little scooter is not tall enough to get on it so it had to wait
on the side :)

Aug 23, 2011

Traditional folk dance

There was a group of youngsters presenting a traditional folk dance. People gather quickly from the sounds of their drums and some joined in the middle to dance with them. I just took pictures on the side under the shade of a tree. It's already so hot!


Thanks to the Korea Tourism Organization, I booked a free trip to Jeonju. Their program also offers buses to Busan and Gyeongju. You just have to book early online on theire website here. Although the online applications were overbooked, our bus was not even half filled. But Jeonju is less popular than Gyeongju or Busan.

I come to Jeonju every time I visit Korea. I come for the food and  enjoy walking around the tradition hanok village. The university area is also great for shopping if not better than in Seoul. It's less crowded and you can get things cheaper than in Seoul.

There's been quite some changes in the hanok village. They are renovating lots of houses, probably to turn them into shops, restaurants and guest houses. More modern coffee shops also bloomed. The feel is definitely different now compared to the first time I came here three years ago. The houses they rebuilt now has only the roof and the structure from the origins. They tear down everything inside and use new materials for the inside. It's not quite as same as a tradition house that has been maintained in good condition. I hope the city will try to save the authenticity of the place.

Now, the food. My yearly pilgrimage to this beef soup restaurant Omokdae. Food is still so good but side dishes are getting smaller each year. The owner of the guest house I'm staying at explained that these days, vegetables have become so much more expensive that restaurants are now reluctant to give refill for the kimchi and vegetables.

And I ended up the day with an iced berry tea in one of the new coffee shops on the main street in the village.

Aug 22, 2011

Korea - Random 1

 Guess where are these cute figures in front of?


Answer is the police station. They don't have these in front of every station. This one was near Gwanghwamun.