Manger Workshop with Mimi Thorisson

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Earlier this month, I had the delightful opportunity to attend a Manger Workshop hosted by Mimi Thorisson at her home in France. As a long-time follower of her blog, Manger, and an avid cook from her first cookbook, A Kitchen in France, meeting Mimi in real life and cooking with her was a wondrous experience. I have always been intrigued by her background, part French and part Hong Kong-Chinese, thus explaining my strong

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Café du Bonheur

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One of our favourite cafés in Zurich is the French-inspired Café du Bonheur in the Kreis 4 neighbourhood. Surrounded by old residential buildings and nestled on one side of Bullingerplatz with its impressive fountain, it is the sort of neighbourhood café which everyone wishes was tucked around the corner from their home.

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Jucker Farm – A Swiss Pumpkin Patch

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A few years ago when we were in the Napa Valley region in California, we were lucky enough to visit the Stanly Lane Pumpkin Patch with our son who was just shy of 2 years old at the time. It was our first experience of an American pumpkin patch, something which we had only ever seen in movies and TV shows. Needless to say, we were probably more excited than our son was!

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City Guide – San Francisco & Napa Valley

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This post on San Francisco and the Napa Valley has been long overdue; it was typed up and ready to be published over a year ago, but the arrival of our girl in the interim meant that scrolling through the 1000+ photos from our trip seemed like an unachievable task. But upon hearing that some of our friends will be visiting this beautiful part of the west coast of the US in the

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10 Things You Should Know About Using Airbnb

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Now that we are a family of four, holidays have taken on a completely new meaning, especially when it comes to organising accommodation. Finding a hotel which can accommodate two adults, a toddler and a small baby can be a tricky task if you are on a budget. We have stayed in a few hotels where my husband and I would occupy the main bed, our toddler would take up the whole sofa

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Brunch in Zurich

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When I first moved to Zurich in 2006, “brunch” was not quite in the Swiss vocabulary. Only a very few places offered brunch in Zurich on Sundays, and those places were typically always booked out by expats in search of pancakes, waffles, baked beans and the like which were not commonly offered by the more traditional Swiss establishments.

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Le Raymond Bar

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A stone’s throw away from the busy banking district of Zurich centred around Paradeplatz is Le Raymond Bar, a new establishment catering to the after-work crowd and lovers of coffee alike. Owned by the same group which operates the popular local coffee institutions of Grande and Bovelli, customers will enjoy the offerings by this new kid on the block.

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Juicery 21

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Its doors only opened at the beginning of this year, but Juicery 21 is quickly becoming a popular hangout in Zurich for coffee-drinkers and health-conscious juice-lovers alike. Owned and operated by Fred Jacobi, a Swede who grew up in Brazil, studied in Australia and who recently set up roots in Switzerland, Juicery 21 draws inspiration from Jacobi’s far-flung global travels. In fact, the idea behind opening a juice bar came to him during

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Maison Blunt

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Maison Blunt is a Moroccan-inspired tearoom and restaurant in the hip area of Kreis 5, a few tram stops or a short walk from the main train station in Zurich. Set in an industrial building with an unassuming entrance, the interior has been transformed into an exotic oasis; the colourful and patterned wall and floor tiles cleverly work together to create an uplifting ambiance, and the fresh bouquet of garden flowers at every

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Zurich Christmas Markets

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With the precision of Swiss timing, at exactly 18:00, the Christmas lights floating above the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich suddenly glow and twinkle like a cluster of diamonds sparkling in the night-time sky. Befittingly, the lights are named “Lucy”, after the hit Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”. The crowd below gasp in unison before cheering and clapping; the annual switching on of the Christmas lights heralds the start of the Christmas

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City Guide – Stockholm

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With its arresting architecture, winding cobblestone streets and lush greenery, Stockholm is like a scene from a fairytale. The natural beauty of this city is best appreciated in the warm summer months but, even on the dark, wintry days when daylight peeks through the sky for a teasing few hours, Stockholm is a city which excites and entices. Museums and trendy art galleries abound, and you already know about the stylishly attired Swedish

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Zurich Street Food Festival

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The Zurich Street Food Festival was in full swing this past weekend, this time along the scenic banks of Lake Zurich with the Swiss Alps providing a stunning backdrop. The diversity of cuisines prepared by the food stands and food trucks was a welcome surprise in a city where the local fare is often limited to cheese, sausages and potatoes. From Austrian dumplings to Yemeni pancakes, with various burger outlets and Asian dumplings

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A Food Lover’s Guide to Paris

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Like quite some many Vietnamese immigrants in Australia, my parents ran a busy bakery which sold everything from the likes of crusty Vietnamese baguettes to sourdough breads, meat pies and sausage rolls, and a wide selection of cakes and pastries from the humble Australian lamington to French classics such as the éclair and tarte au citron. If I wasn’t eating toast with Vegemite for breakfast, I was eating a hot croissant, straight from the

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On Instagram & A Quick Trip to Brittany

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I ought to rephrase the title of this post because there is no such thing as a quick trip to Brittany. Set in the far north western corner of France, there is never a quick route to visit our family and a train journey from Zurich typically takes 12 hours door to door. And making this trip with an 11-month old baby somehow feels twice as long. But the trip is always worthwhile

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City Guide – London

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A (long) while back, I optimistically mentioned that I would be publishing a travel post on London. But when I went looking through my photos, I realised that I had actually very few photos of London. There is one of me standing proudly in front of the Australian Embassy for no apparent reason other than perhaps I was feeling a little homesick that day. And then there are a few shots of my

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A Weekend in Kandersteg & Pearl Barley Soup

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A trip to the Swiss mountains usually guarantees good, hearty, winter fare. After a day of heavy duty winter sports, the body is likely to crave something substantial, something loaded with calories. On a recent weekend away in the picturesque Swiss village of Kandersteg, my husband and I found it difficult to hold back when it came to mealtimes, despite the fact that neither of us had engaged in any strenuous outdoor activity

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City Guide – Grindelwald, Switzerland

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Happy New Year everyone! We welcomed in the New Year with our lovely neighbours over good food, wine and smelly cheese, followed by a spectacular display of fireworks over Lake Zurich. The following day, we headed to the mountains of Grindelwald for a change of scenery. Anyone who has watched the classic Clint Eastwood film, The Eiger Sanction, will be somewhat familiar with the famous Eiger mountain that dominates Grindelwald. Unfortunately, I never

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Martha’s Vineyard, USA

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I had always dreamt of visiting Martha’s Vineyard, though it never quite occurred to me that an opportunity to actually do so would ever arise. The closest we had come once was when planning our honeymoon which eventually took place on the neighbouring island of Nantucket. But last summer, faced with the choice of returning to the idyllic comfort of Nantucket or visiting Martha’s Vineyard as a new destination, we suddenly found ourselves

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Chocolate Chip Chouquettes

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While working in the outer suburbs of Chicago in the last few years, I often found myself at a Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore during lunch, not only because I have a fondness for bookshops but mostly because I discovered that living and working in Switzerland had had a big influence on my lunch-time eating habits. Unlike the Australians and Americans who often grab a quick sandwich or heat up leftovers to

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Le Salon du Chocolat, Zürich

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The Salon du Chocolat is the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate and this year was the first time the event came to Zurich, Switzerland. One of the organisers of the event was Kerrin Rousset of the delightful Swiss food and travel blog, My Kugelhopf. She and her colleagues did a fantastic job in introducing some truly wonderful French chocolatiers and pastry chefs to Switzerland, as well as bringing together some local names

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Brittany, France and New Year’s Resolutions for 2012

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have all had a good start to 2012 with lots of fine celebrations, good food and good company. Christmas for us is usually spent with our family in Brittany, a cold and windy region in the north-west of France. Except, this year, it was thankfully not so cold and windy, which meant that my Ugg boots which I had lugged with me on the 9 hour

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Nantucket, USA

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The mere mention of Nantucket often raises eyebrows, even amongst our geography-bright friends. Most people have never heard of the place, they don’t know where it is or they think it is a fictional town. We first visited Nantucket in 2010 for our honeymoon. Hubby had volunteered for the task of organising this much-needed holiday, before he realised that it was a traditional task of the groom! I left quiet hints about Martha’s

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Wales and Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakes

We’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to go to Wales twice, both times for weddings of close friends. It is such a beautiful country, particularly if you head outside of Cardiff where you will see picturesque rolling hillsides, lush green farms and, if you make it that far, magnificent coast lines.

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