Category Archives: Délicieux!

Retail notes from Tokyo: [Store Profile] Hands Expo Culture Mall at Tokyu Plaza, Ginza

This is more of a pictorial article! I was in Ginza a few days ago and whilst I was navigating my way through Ginza subway station I almost accidentally strayed into Tokyu Plaza department store. Like so many of Tokyo’s department stores and malls, Tokyu Plaza has several direct exits to the underground public transport system. On my way to the Marounochi line I saw one of the exits for Tokyu Plaza and went in; was charmed by the food places and restaurants in the basement levels and decide to explore the store further. And this is how I ended up walking around the Hands Expo Culture Mall for almost an hour, admiring arts, crafts and foods from all over Japan.

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Fragrances Bar, Berlin: [Profile] The Art of Cocktails & Perfumery

See the picture below? That’s the motto of the Fragrances Bar in Berlin’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel. And believe me, the cocktails in this bar are indeed works of art!

As you might have guessed, the drinks in the Fragrances Bar are inspired by perfumes. However, Arnd Henning Heissen – creator of Fragrances and bar chef of Ritz-Carlton’s Curtain Club – takes his innovative mixology/perfumery project one step further.

The Fragrances Bar does not offer a conventional paper-based list of beverages. Instead, the bar’s cocktail menu is olfactory, three-dimensional and fully interactive.

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Retail notes from Szczecin: [Store Profile] Vegananda

A few days ago I spent the day in Szczecin (or “Stettin”,  as it is called in German), a city in Poland which is located very close to the country’s border with Germany. From Berlin, Stettin is an easy day trip (the direct train takes just 1 h 50 minutes!) so I like to visit every once in a while.

In this case I hadn’t been to Stettin for a couple of years so I used the opportunity to do some store checks (Rossmann, Douglas, Sephora, Hebe, Drogeria Natura, Dayli, Carrefour, Auchan), keeping an eye out for new beauty brands (organic and otherwise!) and also checking on the organic food situation while I was there.

On my recent trip to Budapest I had been surprised by the strong presence of Vegan and Paleo foods in the city (check out my store profile of Bio-Barát) so I was on the lookout for similar developments in Stettin. And I did find something interesting: Vegananda, a charming little Vegan store and café which was opened exactly a year ago.

Stettin, Vegananda (1)

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Retail notes from Budapest: [Store Profile] Bio-Barát

If you’re following me on Instagram you’ll know that last weekend I was in Budapest. I had a fabulous time there; if you like coffee and books, it’s the ideal city! Antiquarian book shopping along Muzéum körut (one of my absolutely FAVOURITE book streets!), sampling espressos in various Budapest cafés, eating roast duck with red cabbage and dumplings, discovering the amazing variety of Tokaj wines and, of course, I also spent hours in various drugstores and supermarkets doing store checks! And whilst doing so, I came across a very interesting domestic health food retailer: Bio-Barát.

Cosmetics Bio-Barat (12)

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Next Organic 2016: [Show Report]

This is the fourth time I’ve attend organic trend show Next Organic (if you’re interested, here are my articles about Next Organic 2015 and Next Organic 2014). What I like about this compact little trade fair is that Next Organic is refreshingly non-dogmatic: a brand’s regional heritage and an ethical, sustainable production process is more important than organic certificates. This makes Next Organic is a great place to discover small manufacturers, artisan food labels and innovative food start-ups.

Each year, Next Organic organises a start-up competition and the winners get the opportunity to present themselves at the trade show. And in 2016, there were some fabulous brand concepts to discover: seaweed pasta made from algae harvested in Ireland, a company selling food products sourced from conflict countries and a food label which manufactures bone broth in convenient to-go packs.  On a side note: I also enjoyed seeing Paleo foods mingle so harmoniously with vegan brands!

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Another visit to Les Gourmandises de Miyuko

Whenever I visit Freiburg I fly to Zurich and take the train across the border into Germany. It is faster and usually cheaper than taking a direct train from Berlin to Freiburg (a tedious 6 1/2 hours; Freiburg doesn’t have an airport!). Also, I like Zurich! And I always book my trains and flights so I have at least one afternoon in the city.

This time I checked out the Jasper Morrison exhibit at the Museum für Gestaltung in Toni-Areal and Ian Cheng at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Löwenbräu-Areal), stocked up on my favourite espresso mixture at Café Noir (1 kilo of Parchement, freshly ground!) and, of course, visited Les Gourmandises de Miyuko to take a look at their latest patisserie collection!

Miyuko (7)

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A visit to Basel: Xocolatl

Yesterday I visited Basel, a city in German-speaking Switzerland. Basel is just one hour by train from Freiburg in Southern Germany (where I am currently staying) so it’s a perfect day trip. I hadn’t been to Basel for several years so I walked around the historic city center for a bit and then visited Fondation Beyerle to check out the new Jean Dubuffet exhibition. I also discovered a fabulous chocolate store: Xocolatl!

Xocolatl (5)

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Another visit to Les Gourmandises de Miyuko

A few days ago I was in Zurich – gorgeous winter weather, blue sky and lots of sunshine – and of course a visit to Les Gourmandises de Miyuko was at the top of my to-do-list! Miyuko is an fabulous little patisserie which is run by Swiss graphic designer-turned-confectioner Sara Hochuli.

Zürich Miyuko Dez 15 (10)

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Off-Topic: An ode to Injeolmi bing-su!

Check out my new favourite dessert! This is Injeolmi Snowflake Sherbet (as prepared by Sulbing Korean Dessert Café): a great big pile of shaved ice – I have no idea how they manage to achieve such fine ice grains! – layered with a mixture of powdered Injeolmi (glutinous rice cake) and toasted soybean and topped with an extra-thick layer of Injeolmi powder plus flaked almonds.

This kind of traditional Korean ice dessert is called bing-su (which translates as “shaved ice”) – you can get it with different kind of toppings but my favourite is the Injeolmi version – it’s completely addictive! I read that Sulbing uses frozen milk in the ice mixture; you get a small dish of sweetened condensed milk to pour into the dish once you’ve eaten a path into the interior. When the ice starts melting, the Injeolmi powder turns chewy. It’s delicious!

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Cake design extraordinaire: Les Gourmandises de Miyuko in Zurich

I visited the most amazing patisserie in Zurich yesterday – the famous Les Gourmandises de Miyuko. I’d been in Freiburg (a city in Southern Germany, close to the Swiss border) and was travelling back to Berlin.

Freiburg doesn’t have an airport and Berlin is up in Eastern Germany (the travel time between the two cities is around 6 ½ hours by train) so it was actually cheaper and faster to fly to Zurich and then take the train across the border.

And a stop-over in Zurich is always a bonus! I had booked my return train and flight so I’d have a free afternoon in the city and after a quick visit to Kunsthaus museum to check out the new exhibition “Europa: The Future of History” (interesting!) I walked over to Kreis 6 district to visit Miyuko.

Zürich, Juni 2015 (12) Continue reading

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