{christmas} expo at Caprice de Fil

Visiting a Christmas exhibitions in November makes you want to go home and redecorate on the spot! Caprice de Fil is the place to go if you need inspiration and if you have a sudden urge for Christmas! Entering the white little shop (5 minutes away from Antelias Church (15 minutes from Beirut Center) ) today was a sweet experience… walls and shelves were filled with little elves, angels, red and white christmas balls, hand made ornaments, and lots more…my children and I were touching every little piece and seeing it in our home! Needless to say that this was impossible as such beautiful ornaments come with a price… different prices for all budgets. the taste of products is exquisite, pretty, fresh and very Scandinavian…I felt I was in Denmark for a little moment…

What I also found remarkable is the wonderfully hand made ornaments; made by angels I would say,Lebanese Ladies living all over the mountains, working sometimes for months to deliver just one piece. Incredibly refined and lovely.

Here are some snapshots of the shop…

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For more info why don’t you follow their facebook page:

or call them +961 4521710, or visit them at their shop in Naccache Antelias (Rabieh area), opened every day (except Sunday) from 10 am – 5 pm..

Enjoy …ho ho ho….

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Leelouz cookbooks {a passion}

It is no secret that I collect cookbooks, more than fifty stacked in my library or shelves around the house and in all languages (mainly English, but French Danish and Arabic should account for some). The funny thing is that I love buying them, looking at them, browsing each one of them and dreaming of making all recipes during a month (project that never really saw the light!), but if you ask me how many recipes I have tried from those books I would say a mere 5%? meaning 2-3 recipes per book? that is even a bit exaggerated…

My last acquisition “The jewelled kitchen” by Lebanese Bethany Kehdy made me realize what a treasure i had lined up on my shelves and that it was about time to explore them one by one…Huge and impressive task you may say.. well, this blog should have a new direction or at least a fresh input so why not start with my passion?

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I will tell you how I am going to proceed with this journey, and will be sharing my views and feelings as I cook along those books. My inner secret is to be able one day to created my own cookbook (yes) and this journey is definitely going to provide me with a load of material on the how’s, do’s and don’ts… I must confess that my current work at Hachette Antoine publishing house is yet another step towards my secret dream…writing and publishing…the creation of a cookbook is not as it looks (i am experiencing this first hand with my colleagues); it is a very hard and long road where several people must be working in tandem and harmony to be able to give us readers an enticing and inspiring book. Every single entry in a cookbook should be well dosed, controlled, checked and tried! every picture has hours of work behind it (involving up to 5 persons if the cookbook’s budget permits it, more of this in my next post about my food blogger workshop with Bethany Kehdy and co.).

So what characterizes my collection of cookbooks? see for yourself:

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a bit of everything really… love Nigella (its is obvious, have 3 of her books), Ramsay Gordon (even if his character seems a bit amplified on TV), and The naked chef (you have to be as quick as Jamie O when trying out his recipes!)… William Sonoma was also a discovery, and the book most used on those shelves must be The soup Bible (a must have in every kitchen if you love soups…). This book has probably food stains on more than one page!

What about you? Do you also have a passion of cookbooks? if yes I would love to hear about it… my library is definitely not complete yet!

Here is a peak on what my next post will be about (today’s menu, inspired by “The Jewelled Kitchen”)…

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See you next week!

Rough and magical sunset in kikhavn

I know this is going to be repetitive for some of you, but not sharing this magical walk is too selfish! Please bear with me and I am sure you will enjoy to some extend what we experienced first hand. ..Some of these pictures are taken by my son georges who has a good eye  for beauty ( thanks God my love of beauty is being transmitted to my young ones!)

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It is truly beyond description…am fascinated and in awe of these moments…

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Kikhavn is a fairytale village on the border of the  North Western coast of Sealand in Denmark. Orange and red coloured brick cottages with hay roofs and surrounded by wooden cottages, mostly painted in black or brown…a maize of colours and houses. Some even inviting us as the local café with a mix of chairs and tables,  offering hot cocoa and home made cake. .

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These houses are beautiful seen early morning with the warm light of the rising sun..but during our evening stroll everything takes a magical appeal. A golden and pink light falls and embrases the village.
We walk in silence and enjoy imagining whom lives behind the now closed doors. .
Several houses offer to the lucky hikers a selection of their home produce, all neatly placed on wooden and sometimes flashy metal tables,  with a price list neatly written on a piece of paper, beside a glass jar for the money.

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Hope you will enjoy the most soft and mesmerising sunset to this day, photos taken by my son Georges…am discovering talents here!

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Nature is truly the best artist…

600 m2 Flee market in the middle of nowhere!

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If you are to some fun and exploration then this 600 m2 flee market on a road between two villages, asserbo and frederiksvaerk in northern Denmark is the place…you are met by myriad of knick knacks,  porcelain,  dolls, 50 year old tabloid magazines,  phones from 80 years ago, silver cutlery,  zillion of wooden frames and faded paintings, vintage furniture and fur coats. ..all of that served with a warm cup of coffee in pretty little white porcelain cups and even a piece of chocolate marble cake!  Ole the owner of this ali baba cavern meets you with a smile and will pretty much accept your price for your findings. .
Definitely a place to visit and who knows,  you might find your next perfect vintage orange glass plate for your collection!

Eat @ Le Telegraphe de Belle-Vue (Bhamdoun area)

When my husband tells me to go to Bhamdoun for dinner, my first reaction is lethargy! Bhamdoun is a summer resort for Beirutis, escaping the draining and humid heat of  the city during the months of July and August. A retreat. But not a quiet retreat during these months, as the city of Beirut transplants itself in the cooler shades of the Mountains…That is why I am not very fond of those crowded places. Nevertheless I give my skeptic mind a rest and tell him “yalla” (a Lebanese version of OK in Arabic!), and Friday night we venture with some friends at the quest of “Le TELEGRAPHE de Belle-Vue“, a newly opened gourmet restaurant in the vicinity of the old city of Bhamdoun.

{photo from le telegraphe facebook page}
{photo from le telegraphe facebook page}

l telegraphe map

30 minutes away from Beirut, Le Telegraphe meets you with its charm, its quietness and a garden full of lovely colorful flowers.

The place is cosy, adorned by its two meter long rustic wood table mixing conviviality with elegance, and a lovely fire-place with a myriad of orange and red candles . The table is set for us, and we are the only privileged guests of the restaurant. As mentioned, the place is newly opened and the summer season has barely begun.

garlic detail from our dinner
garlic detail from our dinner
lovely wine, lovely atmosphere
lovely wine, lovely atmosphere

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The wine is exclusively created for the restaurant, from the neighboring winery “Chateau Belle-Vue”. Exquisite taste, matching perfectly the refined main dish (we chose lamb shanks and duck breast).

Le Telegraphe is a place to explore sooner than later, especially that an adjacent two floor building is finishing its construction, offering for the interested a delightful place to spend few days. A bed and breakfast is opening its doors in the very near future.

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To connect with the crowd of  “Le Telegraphe”, join their Facebook page or just hit the roads and try it out one lovely evening!