Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lunch in Lyon

{wearing a ($10) Zara tee, Urban Outfitters jeans (yes, three days in a row) and H&M panama hat}
After Avignon and Chateauneuf du Pape, we continued north along the lavender/olive tree/sunflower- lined highway (gorgeous) 2.5 hours to Lyon. Although we were only there for an afternoon, I've definitely pinpointed it as somewhere to go back and explore further. It seemed pretty young and vibrant and more gentrified than the other French cities we had visited up until this point, most likely because it's bigger. We stopped for lunch at Paul, which we later discovered is more or less a French fast food chain (think Au Bon Pain, I guess, but much cuter/more rustic and 10,000x better bread & food)...but really good if you ask a fat American like me. After lunch we window shopped around Rue President Éduoard Herriot & Republique and then of course had to stop for ice cream before hitting the road to head to Beaune. This time: Terre Adélice. Over 150 flavors of heaven and really obscure/interesting ones including balsamic vinegar, caprese, foie gras, lilac, mascarpone, olive, sesame, truffle, wasabi and verveine among others. I stuck to the one French word I know really well: macaron.
{the buildings along the river brightened up an otherwise overcast day}

{a cute antique print store in old town}

{a quick baguette at PAUL, which we later realized is not a cute/unique restaurant specific to Lyon but at every rest stop, airport, etc. but really good nonetheless}

{one of the many outdoor restaurants overflowing with students/young adults}

{a cool doorway to a bookstore between Rue de la Republique and Rue President Éduoard Herriot}

{about to make out with some macaron ice cream at Terre Adélice}

Monday, September 24, 2012


Thrifted Top (Beacon's Closet) | Urban Outfitters Jeans | H&M Panama Hat | Aldo Sandals

Following St. Tropez, we stayed one night each in Aix-en-Provence and Avignon...trying out different family-owned Domaines (vineyards) in the country by day and exploring/having dinner in the cities at night. These photos in particular are from Chateauneuf-du-Pape just slightly north of Avignon in the Rhone wine region, known for its rich red wines that are often high in alcohol content. Needless to say, I picked up about a half dozen bottles before heading on to Lyon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

St. Tropez in Whites

Zara (sale) Shirt | Urban Outfitters Jeans | Aldo Sandals 

And onto St. Tropez wearing white for the last of the French Riviera posts. Happy Friday, folks!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cassis in Brights v. 2.0

H&M One Piece, Sunnies & Bag | Zara Shorts | Forever 21 Sandals

Remember my use of a one-piece as a top a couple weeks back? Well, followed suit with this look worn first in Italy and then again in Cassis, France. It's perfect because it passes as a normal outfit yet you can shuck the shorts at any given moment to assume the tanning position. Fellow sun addicts will sympathize with said sense of urgency as we all join in a concerted effort to fight seasonal depression and soak up every last ounce of Vitamin D before the start of fall this weekend (really?). I digress.

Back to Cassis...which was a lovely little, unpretentious town (especially when compared to St. Tropez) positioned on what is said to be one of France's 'most breathtaking coast lines.' And I concur. Why you ask? Because of the huge limestone cliffs that span the 12 miles west of the town to Marseille. You can charter a boat, rent kayaks or, if you're feeling adventurous, hike along the rugged landscape through a series of eight different calanques (pronounced 'kalonk' not 'colonic' we discovered), a series of white sandy inlets and secluded beaches formed back in the day by glaciers. Given our short time frame, we rented a boat to explore all 8 calanques. As with pretty much everyone in Cassis, the guide did not know English but luckily the visual stimulants along the hour and a half ride spoke for themselves.
{boat ride through the calanques}

{secluded white sandy beaches accessible only by boat, kayak, or your own two feet (provided you're an expert rock climber)}
After the boat ride we walked to practically every restaurant in the bay before settling at the far west end at Le Bistrot for lunch because, again, it was one of the only ones with English on the menu. With relatively cheap daily specials, the restaurant was great but you really can't go wrong with moules frites or crêpes at any one of the restaurants in Cassis. A nap on the beach was then in order to digest...just before waking up for ice cream and a cocktail at Le Bada Café on the water.
{naps on the beach}

{Le Bada Cafe for ice cream}

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cassis in Brights

Ella Moss Shorts | Splendid Top | H&M Bag | Forever 21 Sandals (similar here) | Burberry Watch

Paired this bright blue top with these comfy Ella Moss shorts for the third leg of the trip which commenced in the French Riviera in Cassis, which much to my surprise, I actually liked more than St. Tropez. More to come on this later this week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Switzerland in Stripes

Joyce Leslie Striped Dress | Express Military Jacket (similar here) | Urban Outfitters Backpack | Aldo Sandals

Last fall Express had a red & navy striped dress that unfortunately some celebrity was photographed wearing and it sold out like hot cakes. I called every NYC store on a daily basis for two weeks and no dice. The weekend before I left for Europe, however, I found myself wasting time in Joyce Leslie...the sister store to Necessary Clothing (shown here, herehere and here) and both of which have a target audience about a decade my younger. There she was...pretty maids all in a row in white/black, navy/light blue and navy/red for the nice round price of $12.66. It's a little shorter than I would prefer but that affords the possibility of pairing it with jeans like shown above in Switzerland or yoga pants last Sunday morning to run errands.

After Italy, we headed north for the next leg of the European Vacation in Switzerland. The first of two days was in Geneva. It was rainy and pretty chilly so we spent the day ducking in and out of little cafes and restaurants while walking around the city. We started out walking around Old Town and Rue de la Fontaine (my favorite street in the city), which was full of little tea rooms, antique stores and art galleries.

{Rue de la Fontaine in Old Town Geneva, Switzerland}
We then walked through Geneva's shopping district and stopped at La Tour du Molard, a charming little bar inside a clock tower with a series of small landings two or three chairs each and great views of the city. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon so luckily the place was dead and we had some one-on-one time with the owner of the restaurant, who went into detail about the local wines and a (free) Swiss cheese platter before providing an extensive list of restaurants in Geneva (will update my Pinterest board with these). By this time it was 5:30, the locals were getting out of work and started filling up the place.
{a selection of Swiss wines and cheeses at La Tour du Molard}

{one of many small landings in the tower}
Day 2 was supposed to be spent in Chamonix/Mont Blanc but the dense fog put a damper. We then decided to take a two hour train to a small town outside Geneva called Montreux. Started the day with a morning hike before spending a large portion of the afternoon at the over 1,000 year old medieval castle, Château de Chillon, a swim at sunset and concluding with a traditional Swiss dinner of steak frites and fondue at Le Chalet.

{positioned on Lake Geneva at the foot of the Alps: Château de Chillon}

{chevron walls and chandeliers inside Château de Chillon} 

{one of many courtyards in Château de Chillon}
{fondue at Le Chalet in Montreux}
{sunset swim}

{snow capped mountains peaking through the fog at day's end}
{a serene Swiss sunset}

Monday, September 17, 2012

Milano in Lace

Urban Outfitters (sale) Dress | American Apparel Bandeau | Tiffany's Earrings | Aldo Sandals

Wore this lace dress I nabbed at the Urban Outfitter's end of summer sale for a jam packed day in Milan a couple weeks ago as well as this Saturday in NYC for brunch at Joseph Leonard and to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway later that night.

Like I mentioned in this post last week (updated to include a restaurant from that day), I tried to pack pieces that didn't take up much room in my suitcase to leave enough space to buy shoes & other shopping on the trip. I modified the look (below) by wearing a mens t-shirt over it and wrapping a jean jacket around my legs in order to grant access into the Duomo to start the day (women can't get in with their shoulders/knees showing but men can be half naked??). After that we headed to lunch at Cafe Trussardi, gelato at Ciccolati Italiani and dinner at Ristorante Solferino, a must try both for the amazing food and neighborhood (Brera). Full with quaint restaurants and outdoor bars; cute boutiques, design and antique stores; and more charm than the area surrounding the Duomo just south of it, the Brera district was probably my favorite and a must if you're looking for a reasonably priced yet excellent meal in Milan.

{wardrobe modifications to grant myself entry into the Duomo}

{lunch at Cafe Trussardi}

{Cafe Trussardi chicken salad w/ paprika chips...}
{...and veggie club sandwich w/ fried egg}

{gelato break at Cioccolati Italiani and the chocolate cream (choice of white or dark) that they fill the base of the cone with...}
{dark chocolate & mixed berry cup and pistachio & rosa dark-chocolate filled cone}

{our cute little waiter at Ristorante Solferino}

{unbelievable gnocchi with pumpkin cream & pecorino and creamy burrata cheese w/ fresh cherry tomatoes to start}

{homemade tiramisú to finish}

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