Tag Archives: France

Shot of the Week

The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris features an underground tunnel built by soldiers in 1807 to evacuate the city government, protecting them from invasion during the Franco-Prussian War. The French Renaissance-style building now houses the city’s first openly gay mayor, Bertrand Delanoë. Click to take a digital tour of the Hôtel de Ville.

Tara for TKGO

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Countdown to the World Cup 2010: Four Days

The World Cup isn’t all that happens in Cape Town.

Tune into the first matches this Friday, June 11 at 9 a.m. (CT) South Africa v. Mexico, and at 1:30 p.m. (CT) Uruguay v. France. Matches take place all over the country, but Cape Town is enough to entertain.

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Still not satisfied? Fill your house with the smell of Cape Town by making the Kalmanson family bobotie recipe. The traditional meat pie was invented by the Cape Malays.

Tara for TKGO

Drinking Wine Like Grown-Ups

For the past couple of months, we’ve been touring the world of wine. We signed up for the weekly, introductory Wine Appreciation “mini course” at Northwestern University’s student center to start drinking wine like adults instead of college kids. Below is a regional run-through of what we learned, as well as descriptions of some of our favorite bottles, most of which cost under $15. This is by no means an exhaustive tour, but you have to start somewhere!

The Basics

  • Hold the glass by the stem so your hand doesn’t warm the wine.
  • White wines in this price range are better when younger (more recently bottled).
  • The term “estate bottled” means the grapes are grown and bottled by the same vineyard. This ensures quality.
  • Reserve (or reserva) means the producers kept it back a year or so to age before distributing it. Drink them right away; there’s no need for extra aging.
  • Gewurztraminer is the current trendy choice in white wine. It’s hearty and aromatic, and is one of the rare few that goes well with Asian cuisines (BYOB, anyone?).

 

Sparkling and dessert wines at Wine Appreciation, by Karina for TKGO

 

United States: West Coast
Chardonnay is the most popular grape in America. Pinot noir originated in Burgundy, France, but also grows well in Santa Barbara.
  • Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2008
  • Bonterra Mendocino County 2008
  • Turn Four Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Washington
France
You won’t be able to discern the varietal (or type of grape) from the label, which is a departure from wine labeling in the rest of the world. What’s important in France is where the grapes grew and the wine was bottled. French people themselves tend to drink wines from the Loire Valley.
  • Muscadet Henri Poiron 2008, Loire Valley
  • Cotes du Rhone Jean-Luc Colombo 2007
South America
Chilean and Argentine wines are famously delicious and easy on the pocketbook. Malbec is a varietal used in blends all over the world, but Argentina is the only producer to bottle it alone.
  • Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Reserve, Maipo Valley, Chile
  • Terrazas Malbec, 2008 Argentina
Australia and New Zealand
Chiraz is the national grape of Australia. Though rieslings are often German, New Zealand makes some rieslings to reckon with.
  • Yard Dog White Blend 2008 Australia
Sparkling/Dessert Wines:
Champagne is sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France. Anything fizzy made elsewhere is just called sparkling wine. In order from dry to sweetest, the classifications are brut nature, brut, extra dry, sec/dry, demi-sec and doux. Brut is most common, and it’s typically 60 percent pinot noir and 40 percent chardonnay.
  • Method Champenoise Gruet Blanc de Noirs
  • Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top Champagne Brut

Grab some bottles and start tasting. Cheers!

Tara and Karina for TKGO

Paris, Circa 2008

It’s been a rainy week in Evanston, and on top of that, it’s midterms season at Northwestern. After I found myself five episodes deep into the first season of True Blood (thanks to Comcast On Demand), I started thinking about better rainy weeks.

In March of 2008, I attended Northwestern’s weeklong International Media Seminar in Paris. We heard from the legendary former Life photo editor John Morris, correspondents and editors at the International Herald Tribune, editors at Libération, one of France’s leading newspapers, the chief press and information officer at the U.S. embassy and many other leading figures in international culture and politics.

Like this week in Evanston, Paris was overcast. And on days like that, there’s nothing better than romping around an old city with new friends.

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Tara for TKGO

(International) Online Shopping

Who says you have to go to Firenze to look like a Florentine? If you have some extra dough to spend, check out some of these cult favorites of the high-fashion elite, all of which let you order online and ship internationally but don’t have locations in the U.S.

Kokon To Zai, London

Call it ’90s tribal, call it futuristic. By any name, it’s quickly becoming a favorite of celebs like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Bjork. The online store just launched in 2009 and features (what I would call unisex) collections of denim overalls, oversize t-shirts, tribal-patterned hoodies and neon striped trousers. Three physical stores exist, two in London and one in Paris, so you’ll rarely see another person in your look. Another perk? Shipping is a flat 15 pounds for overseas purchases. Look for blowout sales, where you’ll find merch for up to 70 percent off.

Luisa Via Roma, Florence

Yes, Luisa Via Roma carries the same selection of designer labels as most high-end boutiques. But what makes it unique are the exclusive special collections that result from it’s collaboration with many top designers, like Lacoste and Levi, which are available online. In addition, Luisa Via Roma makes all the seasonal collections available online months earlier than most stores, so if you’re desperate for a FW/10 runway look (that hasn’t appeared at department stores yet), you’ll find it here now!

Colette, Paris

This boutique is well known all over the world for its super edgy, trend-setting clothing selection, priced for those who can afford Chanel. But don’t overlook Colette’s more playful side. While you can buy all that clothing online, you can also find great gifts like Yves Saint Laurent coloring books for 5 euro, a set of Colette lighters designed by Andre for 8 euro and a pack of 20 Stéphanie Daoud postcards for 13 euro. The site plays great music, too, in a bar at the top that lists the artists’ names and song titles and lets you skip songs you don’t like. If you’re looking for inspiration, the blogs section of the site is a compilation of photos and text (some French, some English) from anyone NYC hair/makeup artists to Japanese street fashion bloggers. Go crazy!

Tara for TKGO

Sweet Treats to Greet the New Year

Too much rhyming?

When I think of New Year’s Eve, I think of all the goodies laid out on tables all over the world to satisfy hungry party-goers. Here are a few of my favorite spots to find those delicious morsels.

Cesibon, Naples, Florida

 

My sister at Cesibon in Naples, Florida, by Tara for TKGO

 

I’m currently in Naples, Florida, with my family for the holidays, and my favorite part of the whole city is the homemade gelato from this little stripmall shop. Let the owners (who are French but studied gelato-making in Italy for years) tell you which two flavors to mix. You may be surprised, but coconut and pinneapple is a heavenly combo!

Find Cesibon at 8807 Tamiami Trail N, Naples, Florida 34108; (239) 566-8363.

Caramelito, Buenos Aires

 

Caramelito in Buenos Aires, by Tara for TKGO

 

You can’t even walk inside this tiny store, it’s so packed with nuts, wrapped candies and dried fruits (with the pits still in!). Pick up a little of everything—I like the fig varieties the best—for a good party.

 

Find Caramelito on the corner of Pasteur and Viamonte in Buenos Aires. Courtesy of Google Maps.

 

Glup’s, Paris

 

Glup

 

This French version of Candyland is packed wall to wall with pour-it-yourself sugary treats. You name it, you’ll find it: watermelon sours, licorice ropes and everything in between.

Find a list of Glup’s locations here.

Tara for TKGO

Champagne Tasting

Pops for Champagne is one of the nation’s top champagne bars and, lucky for us, right in Chicago. Last week we attended a Marguet champagne tasting and had the chance to talk with the owner and producer, Benoit Marguet, who had flown in from France for the event. Cheers!

-Tara and Karina for TKGO