Browsing Tag



Festival International des Jardins at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire

jardins chaumont sur loire

jardins chaumont sur loire

This year is the 20th edition of Festival International des Jardins at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire in France. These special gardens are more vegetal art installation than a typical garden.

2010 Edition

I noticed a common denominator on some of the photos of last year edition. They all have details suitable for entertaining. I thought that you might enjoy seeing them.

bon thé bon genre

This teacup display could be something that you reproduce on a smaller scale for a tea party. It is pretty simple to build your own stand or to find a wall shelf unit at a store or at the flea market.

Birdy Place Card Holder Ideas


For a big outdoor event, you could transform basic wood bird houses into place card holders or to identify the tables.

jardin qui chante

+ Les Bulles Fertiles from the 2011 edition – photo from Maison Française (Juillet-Août 2011)
Festival International des Jardins – photos of 2010 edition by Eric Sander


Jazzing Up the Fire Extinguishers

modern design fire extinguishers by fire design :: in France only

Fire extinguishers typically comes in red or white. Because they are not the most decorative items, many are tempted to put them in a closet. This is a big mistake. It has to be easily accessible in case of emergency.

One French company called Fire Design makes it easier for us to hang in style our fire extinguishers. Fire Design proposes 13 finishes for the cylinder. You can opt for an illustrated model or a solid color. You can even custom the color and pattern. Know that this concept is only available in France.

Keep one in the Kitchen

It is a good habit to keep a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen. I do. It hangs mine on a small wall that you cannot see from the great room. Luckily for me, it was also a functional place. My fire extinguisher is strategically placed in direct line with the stove. Think about all that before you hang yours. Remember to have it check every year.

+ Fire Design – site in French only
+ Via Plastolux


Word Graffiti and Single Alphabet Side Tables

alphabet side tables

If you wish to carry out the alphabet prints and word graffiti wall decor trends over your home, take a look at these side tables. It is not just for living room. Use any of these tables to put your stamp on a reading nook or as bedside table with your initial.

word graffiti table

The Alphabet side table at Andrew Martin spreads to the entire 26 letters of the alphabet. You could write a 3 to 4 letters word and if you wish, put a glass surface on the top. It is not simply for letters. Depending of its design, an A can become a 6 or a 9, an E can act as a 3. Have fun scribbling words with your furniture.

+ Andrew Martin Alphabet Side Tables £995 at Amy Nicholas
+ Oak veneer Alphabet Tables by Siskô in France


French Top Chefs invent the Fast Good

ouest express by bocuse

France is renowned for its culinary excellence. Leave it to them to reinvent the fast-food industry. Fast Good is the latest breed of restaurant. Instead of the unhealthy meals, you get the excellence of the French café in a self-service version.

In January 2008, Paul Bocuse opened Ouest Express located in the 9th arrondissement of Lyon. The long white Corian service counter is split in 6 themes: hot, bread, fresh, sweet, coffee and drink.

interiors of ouest express in lyon

The menu changed 4 times a day. Breakfast is served until 11 AM, followed by lunch, then, the afternoon snack and the dinner menu starts at 7 PM.

It is more expensive that a fast-food meal but the quality is there. It costs between 10 and 14 euros for a well-balanced meal. This time of establishment did not really exist in France.

Fast Good In Paris

miyou by atelier guy martin

Guy Martin opened an upscale sandwich shop called Miyou at its 9th arrondissement cook studio in Paris. Sumac shrimp, goat cheese with fresh coriander and vegetables, duck foie gras are a sample of the flavors. If you have a connecting flight at Roissy airport, look for Miyou’s sister shop at the Terminal E.

These places are great to know if you travel and do not want to pass a lot of time eating.


  • Miyou by Atelier Guy Martin – p (0)1 42 66 33 33
    35, rue Miromesnil, Paris in 8th arrondissement
  • Ouest Express by Paul Bocuse – p (0)4 72 17 95 95
    41, rue des Docks, Lyon in 9th arrondissement

+ Via Amabilia


The Cookbook Goes Digital on Nintendo DS


The computer entered the kitchen a while ago. Unfortunately, what is on the market is not really practical nor innovative.

The solutions so far are either small retractable under the counter screens, a computer integrated in an odd place like the fridge (who wants to stand up while browsing the Net) or use too much counter space.

Keep it Simple

The ultimate solution must be small, movable and support voice commands. And to gain mass appeal, it must be cheap. Enter Nintendo DS.

I am huge fan of the DS. After my surgery, my husband gave me a crimson DS Lite to occupy my mind. I am so happy with his gift. The DS Lite screen is easier to read than my old DS.

Nintendo DS already attracts the non gamer crowd with games like Brain Age. The other day I was at Future Shop looking at DS games and a woman in her fifties was buying a DS for herself. With the Wii and the DS, Nintendo is committed to serve a broader audience. I think they will bring exciting stuff in the future.

Learning How to Cook on a DS

The time where you get your recipes on a DS is not far away. Last week, the PR firm of Nintendo in France La Boite Com Concept invited journalists for a tour of the upcoming Leçons de cuisine. In the kitchen of a rented loft in Paris, they greet one or two journalists at a time. Each journalist prepared a recipe in order to experience the digital cookbook.

From what I have read, Leçons de cuisine targets the beginner cook. Leçons de cuisine explains culinary terms. The recipe adjusts automatically to the number of servings you need. A truly handy feature! There is no need to type any command while you are cooking; everything is voice activated.

Popular in Japan

The cookbook also comes with a few mini games. The French cookbook/game is an adaptation of a Japanese version. The recipes and techniques have been adapted to the European market. No words if or when the title will hit the stores in North America.

I would wait for a more advanced cookbook in terms of recipes. But I think the concept shows great potential. It certainly proves that you do not need a fancy computer in the kitchen. You simply need some interactivity. As far as making grocery lists, the old pen and paper work the best.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Nintendo DS Lite Crimson & Black at – price: $129 USD
Buy online: Nintendo DS Lite – Crimson Black at FutureShop – price: $139.99 CAD
Pre-launch Ad: La Boite Com Concept
Kitchen photo: Video on Elle TV France – Rights reserved
Via: Marianna [Tastespotting] + Leçons de cuisine [INpact Virtuel]