Archive for August, 2010

Now That’s Cake.

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

I have eaten much cake in my lifetime and I know when to spot a good one. The Cheesecake Shop should be forced to remove the word ‘cake’ from their name as what they sell is NOT cake. In fact, they should be forced to call themselves “The Shop That Sells False Hopes”.

Meanwhile, my cousin who currently resides in Beijing is home (she’s a tall, blonde chick who speaks fluent Chinese, sings Chinese opera like an angel, and plays the chinese flute. Yes… we’re an odd bunch.) and we went for coffee and cake at Boucla in Subiaco. I had been meaning to go here for a long time and had once been there to pick up a cake for a colleague of mine and had to deal with the pain and anguish of not being able to eat any of it. It just wasn’t fair! But my cousin and I made amends and chose a piece of homemade cake each which were significantly larger than we expected. Going halves in two huge pieces of cake doesn’t make you feel any less greedy. But it’s practically my birthday so I don’t care.

Please excuse the very blurry photos as I took them in a dark room with an old iPhone I adopted from my brother on the weekend.

Chocolate and ricotta cake

Chocolate and ricotta cake

This was my choice – we figured it was healthy because ricotta is a low fat cheese. It was amazing – full of dark chocolate chunks, it was moist, rich and oh-so-good. It was so good that I forgave it for putting icing sugar all over my new black pants. I didn’t care, I was too busy eating chocolate.

Custard cake

Custard and filo pastry pie/tart/cake thing

Another amazing creation that was so buttery and melt-in-your-mouth. The filo was crisp and the custard did that great squidgy thing in your mouth. It took us 2 hours to have coffee because we had to eat slowly enough to digest and finish the cake. They were too good to leave. Next time I’m feeling depressed and need a hit of cake, I know where I’m going.

Boucla on Urbanspoon

Felty Goodness

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

A few months ago I stumbled across the website of Bug & Megs, a felt product and material supplier from WA. They make some beautiful things including bags, drink coasters and computer cases, all out of my favourite material – felt. I don’t know why I love felt so much… it is so nice to touch and such a great thickness. I plan on incorporating more felt into my stuffed creatures because socks and felt just live in such harmony together! Anyway, on the weekend I stumbled across the Bug & Megs store in High Street Fremantle which is currently located out the back of a fabulous clothing store. They are hoping to set up their own shop somewhere in Freo soon. It’s so nice to see great shops like these opening up throughout Perth. Finally we’re growing up and getting some interesting stores in our city. Keep it up!

Passport holder

Ok, this is called me dropping a VERY BIG HINT. It's my birthday in 15 days...

It’s Coming…

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

There is one thing that I look forward to every year – the arrival of Spring. There is something so wonderful about seeing the first buds arrive and suddenly gardens are full of bright flowers. I went for a morning walk today and as I stepped outside into my front garden I noticed the flowering plum has released its first blooms and there are freesias popping up. As I walked through Kings Park I saw my first kangaroo paw for the season. Very exciting.

Plum flower

Flowering plum.

Freesia

Freesias – They may be weeds but they're pretty and smell damn good!

Perhaps I am a tad more excited than usual about the approaching season as it means my move to Paris is getting so much closer. 167 days to go. It’s remarkable how quickly it is passing.

The Guylian Experience

Friday, August 13th, 2010

I’m not a huge fan of Guylian – their seashell chocolates are the consistency of soap and contain too much white ‘chocolate’ for my liking. I don’t even like calling white chocolate chocolate because in my opinion in order for chocolate to be chocolate it needs to contain cocoa beans and white chocolate doesn’t. Sure, it has cocoa butter but that doesn’t count. Anyway, on my recent adventure to Sydney I was in desperate need of something sweet and found myself at the Guylian cafe in the Rocks. Much like the Lindt cafes that you can also find in Sydney, it is a pompous affair with over priced products and an air of false prestige. I don’t know why chocolate cafes do that – there’s no need for chocolate to be portrayed as a high-flying product. Sure, it used to be considered on a similar par as gold, but now it is a humble and friendly treat that everyone can enjoy.

Anyway, I decided to try their basic hot chocolate, not expecting the earth but hoping for the best. I was pleasantly surprised.

Hot chocolate

The Guylian hot chocolate experience

I was served a jug of hot chocolate, a cup with a ‘dark’ chocolate shell and then a BONUS! white chocolate and pistachio chocolate to enjoy. At this point I was glad I had decided not to try any of the cakes because while I am a chocaholic that wold have been a bit much.

Chocolate shell

It looks a bit odd...

The shell in the cup, while resembling something a little less delicious, was a nice idea. I was torn between eating it or pouring the hot chocolate over it to let it melt. Seeing as Guylian’s dark chocolate is rather pathetic, I decided to go for the pour and was pleased with the results.

Melted chocolate

Mmmm...

I discovered the best way to eat Guylian chocolates is to melt them in hot chocolate first. Very yum.

Hot chocolate

Not quite a Paul hot chocolate

The hot chocolate wasn’t bad – a tad sweet and not the thickest and darkest hot chocolate I’ve ever tried by any  means. The fact that the jug gave you two cups worth certainly put a smile on my face because I’m all for good value and the opportunity for seconds. I would put it on a similar scale as a San Churro hot chocolate in that they’re trying to be chocolatey but really they have a lot further to go.

White chocolate

It was free!

A free chocolate isn’t necessarily a good chocolate and I give this one 6/10. For a start it was white and it had that soapy feel but it was better than a homebrand easter egg given out by the Easter Bunny in a supermarket. I do love pistachios.

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe on Urbanspoon

Comic Sushi

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I was shown this today:

Comic

That's me!

It is by a British illustrator called Lizz Lunney. You can find more of her amusing comics at her website, Online Comic Sushi.

So? How was it?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I know you’re all chomping at the bit to know how I enjoyed my Tuesday night out at Challenge Stadium. Well calmez-vous, here is your answer.

Where to start… My decision to go to Florence and the Machine was made before I really knew who she was and how many times she gets played on Nova. When I originally decided to buy tickets to her show, I was under the impression that she was a bit like Goldfrapp and that only weird (but super cool) people get her music. I later discovered that she is a tad more ‘pop’ than Goldfrapp and so I attended my first concert with a bunch of 15 year olds. I’m used to going to festivals and gigs in licensed venues where everyone is AT LEAST 17 with a fake ID and completely off their faces. When my brother and I arrived at Challenge Stadium and went to find our viewing position on the basketball court I found myself surrounded by sober, excited teenage girls who had spent the last month planning their outfits and hence needed to stand around for 15 minutes taking photos of themselves pouting. It was all very new and probably more enjoyable than the drunken yobbos but once Florence came on stage I learnt yet another thing. Fifteen year old girls sing louder than Challenge Stadium’s sound restrictions. While I will admit to singing along at concerts myself, I was a little bit frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t really hear Florence singing over the cat-screetches that were coming out of the audience. Sure, I could maybe handle it if it was just the chorus, but they sang for the ENTIRE song. I must be getting old.

When I could hear them, Florence and the Machine’s performance was very good although not the best show I’ve seen by any means. Florence was very vivacious, bouncing across the stage and clearly getting into her music. I’ve never seen that much emotion on a performer’s face before – it was almost melodramatic. Her voice is spectacular and she can move from deep roars to high notes very easily (I don’t know – maybe this is normal but I found it quite impressive!). Her band was a little disappointing as they sat spread out around the stage, not interacting or putting on any sort of show. Their bored looks were amplified by Florence’s extreme hyperactivity and I wanted them to dance and sing along. In the last  few songs they seemed slightly more animated but I think they took on their role as “the machine” too much.

Overall it was an entertaining show and I enjoyed it but I think the main issue was the terrible venue. Challenge Stadium is a basketball court, not a music venue. The stage lighting was marred by the fluorescent Exit signs that were dotted around the stop of the stadium. I’m glad we’d chosen standing tickets as the people sitting down would have had a very average view. Perth needs to build a descent music venue that’s easily accessible and that world-class performers will actually want to come to. The current situation is just embarrassing.

Italian Songs

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I didn’t realise Italy was located in Challenge Stadium… At least Florence is anyway. HA. Hilarious, I know. I’m off to see Florence and the Machine tonight. Sadly she’s performing at Challenge and I’ll have to fight a hoard of 15 year olds to get to the front. Yuck. But this will be my second Tuesday night out at a concert in a row! What has happened to the sacred Tuesday night of pyjamas, television and early to bed? GONE.

Florence

Florence

Melbourne Styles

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I got dressed this morning in one of my Melbourne purchases – a giant, comfy jumper-dress with an embroidered tree on the front. I found it in a Design A Space store – wonderful retail shops that Australian designers can hire shelves and hanging space in to sell their wares. A fantastic concept that I wish would come to Perth.

This dress is a Gyegi design, a Melbourne based designer whose clothes are a great mix between cutesy Korean and simpler western styles. I checked out the Gyegi website to see what else is on offer and am now back in saving mode so that I can make some more purchases.

Red top

Red.

Dress

Grey.

Jumper

Black.

It was GOLD.

Monday, August 9th, 2010

I’m fairly certain I’ve said it before (I can’t find the blog entry… I clearly have a terrible tagging system) – I love Alison Goldfrapp. She’s absolutely amazing. Strong, confident, sexy, blonde. Her voice is remarkable and she looks great in lycra. Although I must say she had a bit of competition on stage when I saw her perform in Melbourne last week. There was muscly guitar man wearing tight silver pants thrusting along with the music. But the winner of the show was the violin/keytar/a bit of everything hairy dude whose open-fronted, sloppy body suit made him look like some sort of caveman. The crowd cheered as he bounced across the stage. Well actually, the Melbourne audience appeared to think they were attending an opera and hardly got into the music at all. Very disappointing. But in the front right corner, three people from the stage were the Western Australian groupies who had flown over just for the show. And how we danced and sang!

Alison Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp

I had previously seen Goldfrapp perform a few years ago at Parklife, which is an outdoor festival full of drunken, naked teenagers who just go because they think it is cool. Sadly Perth can only attract bands like Goldfrapp through holding festivals so my brother and I had to fly to Melbourne to see Goldfrapp perform this year. I’m not complaining as I love Melbourne, but it is a tad more expensive and time consuming. The performance at the Palace theatre in Melbourne was significantly better than Parklife. The indoor environment meant controlled sound and it was a much more intimate show. The sound and lighting was very simple yet effective and Alison spent the entire show being blown in the face by fans (the electric, wind generating type, not the screaming and waving sort). She was wearing a big jacket covered in thousands of pieces of shiny black confetti that shimmered and danced in the wind. Simple yet effective!

It was a great night, ending with my favourite song Strict Machine. I’m fairly certain Alison was singing to me. Her voice is spectacular – I wish I could sing like that. She manages to hit these notes that when you listen to the CD you presume have been electronically enhanced. But no… out of her mouth they pop. Maybe by the time I’m a 40-something year old, I’ll be just as cool and good at singing as her. I’m sure it just comes with age.

Back… with a Vengeance

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Well not so much of a vengeance… I’m just back. My trip to Sydney and Melbourne was great – lots of food, lots of fun, lots of funds spent. I managed to add 5 kilograms to my original bag weight and I had to unzip the expandable section which is a good sign. I had purposefully avoided buying winter clothes as I knew I was going to Melbourne, the land of amazing clothes and great designers. I have so much to write about but the problem is that it will just go on and on and on forever. So I recommend you visit my Flickr Site to see photos of my trip because you totally know you want to. Here are some tasters of what you have to look forward to:

Beer

There was beer (and gluhwein in a coffee cup)

Bulldog

Adorable animals

Lego man

Amazing art works

Goose

A sleeping goose.

Don’t miss out! Click here for more!

And stay tuned for more blog updates with specific details, travel highlights, hilarious quips and remarkable stories. You won’t believe it until you read it!