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A wordless Tuscan weekend

If you see me now, I have John Wayne's femininity and charm. I walk with that cow-boy-like walk, staggering, holding my back with one hand and leaning on whatever support I find with the other one. The reason for this behaviour is a horse. And no, I wasn't trampled by the horse, and…

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How to feel like a princess with a very low budget

I have always been a romantic girl. I have always loved happy end fairy tales, from Cinderella to The Sleeping Beauty. England has always have a special place in my heart. And I’ve been waiting for my Prince Charming for a while now, even though I must reckon that the electric blue tights are not my favourite outfit for a man! I do prefer masculine torn jeans!

Sum all these factors. Which is the first thing that comes to your mind? Quite simple, William and Kate’s royal wedding. Royal weddings make me shed an emotional tear every time, they allow me to dream for a little while without getting hurt, as when I used to watch Cinderella as a little child from a worn out video tape .

What girl doesn’t dream of feeling like a princess, even if just for one day? Watch out! I used the verb to feel, not to be. It is not necessary to have blue blood or marry a royal scion to feel like a princess (even though, if I had to choose one, I admit I have a soft spot for Carl Philip of Sweden, but I do not think I can compete with his current girlfriend, er…).

Last Saturday I felt like a princess, even though on a very low budget! I enjoyed a high tea at the Florence Four Seasons. It is a fabulous hotel, a Renaissance palace with one of the largest gardens in the city, just a few steps away from the Dome. It is possible to book an English afternoon high tea for just 22 €. It was just the three of us, happy, excited, even slightly intimidated … Here’s how I spent the afternoon with Laura and Emiko. Read the post until the end because there is a tiny surprise for you!

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Riz rouge de Camargue with fennel confit

I love colourful and distinguishing bridal bouquets, especially if they have unusual flowers and intricate interwoven green leaves. There’s a bouquet that beats them all. If ever a destiny will resolve me to leave my single status to get married, my bouquet will look like a bouquet garni! How I would love my father to walk me down the aisle, me holding tight in my hands a bouquet of fresh herbs, maybe some chili and certainly a lot of mint. After the ceremony, no way I’d throw the bouquet to the bridesmaids, it would end up directly into the pot to make us a risotto or a roast meat!

Last summer I visited Provence and Camargue: the stalls along the road were selling Provençal tablecloths, pottery, wrought iron souvenirs and bunches of fragrant lavender along with these small intense bouquets garnis, made with some of the most scented herbs of Provence. Again and again I was tempted to buy a whole bag of them, even though this would have meant finishing the trip in a car overfilled with thyme and laurel smell. Then I realized that it is much easier and cheaper to make them, instead of buying a bouquet garni as a common turist.

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London: a new perspective

A different perspective on London, the one that friendly eyes can give you when they guide you, host you and let you experience the city as a town dweller: backyards where you can enjoy a relaxing breakfast under a shy early April sun, food markets, because you’re a foodie inside, a river view of the city from the Thames, covered by splashes.

London is the right city where you can improvise a self-taught photography workshop and have Sari to teach you how to control light and Tiina to dispense you useful tips of fresh Scandi food style.

London, that once again leaves me speechless. London, that once again is best told by pictures!

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Dobos Torte, the 127-year-old Hungarian dessert

Dobos Torte

It was August 2006. We went there for the European Swimming Championships, to follow the steps of the Empress Sissi, to visit the spas, the Imperial palace and the zoo. We returned from Budapest totally in love, drunk with so many gold medals and fascinated by the Hungarian cuisine.

There are many moments carved in my heart from that holiday: beautiful gardens, elegant spas with affordable prices, friendly people, a well-organized subway with the longest and steepest escalator I’ve ever seen, the most hot fresh paprika salad (Laura still cries thinking back at that salad!), colorful markets overflowing with products, where we are also able to explain us with signs and buy three whistles to cheer at the competitions, breathtaking night views of the Danube.

Beside this, we lived the most exciting sport experience ever (obviously as spectators): gold medals won scream after scream, encouragement after encouragement, painted faces and posters designed with markers on the hostel floor. The stands were shaking beneath our jumps when we were singing out national anthem with tears in our eyes. We were suffering from supporter’s fever, and we did our best not to recover from it!

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Food, wine & friendship in Tuscany

I have no left words to describe the past weekend, spent between food (a lot, either eating out and cooked together at home), wine (a lot, tasted and appreciated in its very place of origin and production) and friendship (even more valuable, the greatest gift, the secret ingredient of the weekend). These three days were infused with laughter, fun, discovery and growth, showered by a persistent rainstorm that forced us indoors for most of the time … but you are aware that four foodbloggers forced for long hours into the same kitchen know perfectly how to spend their time, aren’t you?! So, to cut a long story short, let me tell you the story of these three days through a few pictures to depict the fun and the joy of the time spent with Sarka and Pavel, Beth and Chris and Tiina and BeeGee.

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