Diner en Blanc by the Lincoln Memorial

The very first diner en blanc took place in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne in the 1980s and has popped up in some of the most iconic locations around town since then, like the Champs Elysees, Notre Dame or the Place des Vosges to name a few. While I loved Washington’s first two diners en blanc, the sites (Navy Yard Park in 2014 and the Carnegie Library in 2015) had lacked a certain wow factor. This year, however, the organizers really delivered that only-in-DC magic as 3500 white-clad diners descended on Henry Bacon Park for an over the top, elegant pop-up picnic in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.

Diner en Blanc, Washington DC

Getting so many people, slugging their tables, chairs, decorations and for many food, to an undisclosed location and setting them up at the site is always an exercise in organized chaos, but it always all comes together beautifully in the end.

Diner en Blanc at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial

Photograph by Vita Images for Diner en Blanc Washington, DC

The diner has many detractors but, as I mentioned to the Washington Post for an article on the event, one of the reasons I keep getting involved in Diner en Blanc is the camaraderie and the creativity. For all the talk that it’s a pretentious, posh, exclusive event, with a restrictive dress code and many strict rules, it’s actually one of the most inclusive and diverse I’ve ever attended in the city. Whether you’re a chief of staff in a congressional office or an inter, a lobbyist or a student, a lawyer or a bartender, everyone is equal for one night. I’ve never heard anyone ask someone else the dreadful “oh, what do you do” question at Diner en Blanc. Instead it’s compliments on fun angel wings, a sparkly beard, original outfits or crafty centerpieces. Everyone is treated the same at Diner en Blanc: everyone has to drag their stuff across town, no one knows where they’re going to end up setting up and everyone is given the same blank white canvass to work with. And they are free to get as creative as they want… well, as long as you keep it white ;-)

Diner en blanc Washington DC

Diner en blanc Washington, DC

Some of my friends express their creativity through their outfits, others go all out on their table scape. Check out this sail my friend Jade made! It was amazing!

Diner en Blanc at the Lincoln Memorial

Some get creative on the dance floor too ! I usually focus on my menu but this year decided to spend some time and energy on a homemade flower crown instead. And I had a pretty simple but stunning table design planned that involved massive white balloons (inspired by this pin) too but that was thwarted by the National Park Service rangers who apparently disapprove of balloons… womp womp. We still got a few good pictures with them though!

Photo by Jai Williams for DCist

Photo by Jai Williams for DCist

Picture by Vithaya Phongsavan for DC Modern Luxury

Picture by Vithaya Phongsavan for DC Modern Luxury

Again, it was a wonderful evening, spent laughing, eating, drinking champagne and dancing under the stars with old friends, and strangers alike, in one of those truly only-in-DC moments. I only wish it could have lasted longer…

Diner en blanc 2016

 

 

A Taste of Lille ~ Méert’s Legendary Waffles

No visit to the Northern French city of Lille would be complete without a stop at 27 rue Esquermoise. This address has delighted local gourmands since 1761. Initially, it was a humble chocolaterie and ice cream shop until it was taken over in 1849 by Michael Paulus Gislinus Méert who turned the shop into a local institution with its signature thin, gaufres filled with Madagascar vanilla. Today, the former confectionery is an elegant patisserie, salon de thé and gourmet gourmet restaurant and a must-visit sight if you’re in the area. 

Meert's famous waffles - image courtesy of Meert

Meert’s famous waffles – image courtesy of Meert

I don’t remember the first time I had one of Méert‘s waffles, but I must have been a baby — I’m a second generation Lilloise after all, though we moved to Paris when I was 5 years old and hardly ever think of myself as anything but a Parisienne. Today, you can find Méert in Roubaix, Brussels or Paris (I love the tiny shop near the Picasso Museum in the Marais) and the sweet waffles are set to jet off to America as well soon (to New York… of course…).

Meert's first boutique in Paris is located at 16 Rue Elzevir in the Marais. There's a new one in Saint Germain now too.

Meert’s first boutique in Paris 16 Rue Elzevir in the Marais. There’s a new one in Saint Germain now too.

During my last visit to Lille, we swung by Roubaix, which is a quick metro ride away. We visited la Villa Cavrois  as well as La Piscine-Musée d’Art et d’Industrie André Diligent, a fantastic museum housed in a former indoor swimming pool, with a notable art déco interior. My dad actually learned to swim in that pool when he was young!  

The former A.Baert's 1932 Art Déco swimming baths offer a stunning backdrop for the Museum of Art and Industry's collections

The former A.Baert’s 1932 Art Déco swimming baths is a stunning backdrop for the Piscine’s collections

Méert runs the restaurant and café there so we were able to get our waffle fix without having to wait in line at the shop in Lille — there’s always a bit of the line these days!

Meert's waffles at the piscine museum

 Trust me though, those waffles are worth waiting in line for…. and while I love their fun new flavours, especially the spéculos one, the classic Madagascar gaufre is still my favourite, and has been since I was a wee little Northern France girl.  

Meert Lille

 

Weekend Highlights: Restaurant Week, Caipirinhas & Grilled Peach Pizza

Definitely another low-key weekend… sometimes you just need some of those you know, especially as I gear up Diner en Blanc next Saturday. Friday night, I had a couple of girlfriends over for rosé on the roof. My friends Jean and Aparna can’t make it to diner en blanc, so we thought we’d dress in white and have a bit of a test run. I’m being a bit of a rebel this year and sprinkling hints of gold into my tablescape so I wanted to check out how it looked. Plus I love any excuse to host. I think it turned out pretty well no?

diner en blanc table

I wanted to keep things simple for the menu so I made Martha Stewart’s Grilled Peach Pizza recipe as well as a pitcher of caipirinhas (check out my recipe here, along with some personal memories of drinking Caipirinhas in Brazil)  since I wanted to finish my bottle of cachaca. We talked about the Olympics, of course, our latest trips, ones we have coming and diner en blanc. It was lovely.

Martha Stewart's Grilled Peach Pizza

Martha Stewart's Grilled Peach PizzaSaturday was beautiful and I was quite lazy, spending most of it at the pool. On Sunday, I caught the tail-end of Restaurant Week with a lunch-date with the hubby at Del Campo in Chinatown. I used to be so into restaurant week before, booking lunches and dinner throughout the time of the promotion, but now not much. Del Campo did a great job with their menu though. I kicked off my meal with the Chilean Salmon Ceviche while my husband had the empanadas de Pino. Those were basically breakfast empanadas with bacon and egg and I’m totally going to try and make them at home one day! 

Salmon ceviche at Del Campo

empenadas de pino at Del Campo

Since I had Brazil on my mind, I ordered the Smoked Pork Feijoada. It was ok, though definitely not as good as my husband’s Grilled Short Rib with jalapeno potato puree and bone marrow. 

Short rib and bone marrow at Del Campo

The desserts were lovely, I always love the tres leches twinkies with passion fruit sorbet. The menu offered for lunch and diner is actually exactly the same but it’s $13 pricier in the evenings, so I’d definitely recommend the earlier option and the deal continues through next Sunday too. There’s also a $55 Restaurant Week’s chef menu, that swaps the short rib for grilled Wagyu bavette sirloin & chorizo and the empanadas de pino for Wagyu skirt steak empanadas. I still think the lunch menu was really good and a good deal, so I’d stick with that though.

Tres leche twinkies at Del Campo

Did you partake in restaurant week this past week? If yes, any stand-out meals? If not… why not? Do you find your interest in the promotion to have decreased over the years? Let me know in the comments and have a great week!! 

Saying Adeus to the Olympics with Caipirinhas

Caipirinhas on the roof, a slight twist on my traditional rosé on the roof ;-)

Caipirinhas on the roof, a slight twist on my traditional rosé on the roof 

While I haven’t really followed the Olympics over the last two weeks, I’ve loved seeing the spotlight back on Rio de Janeiro and it’s brought back some great memories of my trip there two summers ago. My husband and I headed to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014 and even got to cheer for France at Maracanã Stadium. Well, I cheered more than he did, of course ;-) 

Cheering for France at Maracanã StadiumCheering for France at Maracanã Stadium

In addition to Rio de Janeiro, we also traveled to Belo Horizonte where we cheered on England even though it was already eliminated from the tournament, the Minas Gerais where we witnessed what it’s like to be in a really small town when Brazil wins a game and Foz do Iguaçu on the Argentine border where we saw that it was like to be in Brazil when they lose 7-0 to Germany and get booted out of the tournament they’re hosting). One constant throughout our trip: caipirinhas, the country’s most famous cocktail. After a long day of navigating a country that can be difficult at times, with only rudimentary Portuguese and a French guide du routard to guide you, plus a nervous husband who’s not a great traveler, caipirinhas (yes, plural!) were just what I needed to relax. 

Caipirinha with a view (of the Municipal Park) at Hotel Belo Horizonte Othon Palace

Caipirinha with a view (of the Municipal Park) at Hotel Belo Horizonte Othon Palace

 Rio de Janeiro unnamed-3

Rio 2016 sand castle
One of the souvenirs I brought back from Brazil was a bottle of cachaça so I could indulge in some of the country’s flavours back in Washington, DC. Cachaça is distilled from pure cane juice and taste a bit like rhum agricole. It’s not widely available in the United States, and when it is it costs a lot more than it sure and that’s a shame because Caipirinhas are a ridiculously easy cocktail to make, requiring just 3 ingredients (muddled lime, cachaça and sugar.) Here’s what you need to make the classic version of the cocktail at home:

1-2 limes, cut in quarters (plus an additional slice for garnish)

1-2 tablespoons of white sugar

2 ounces of cachaça (approximately 6 CL)

Start by muddling the limes and the sugar at the bottom of a cocktail glass or in a shaker. You basically want the juice to mix with the sugar before adding the cachaça and further mixing or shaking. If using a shaker, pour the content, including the crushed limes into a short glass filled with crushed ice. If you used a glass directly, just add some crushed iced to it before serving. If you want the drink to be a little less potent, you can also add a splash of perrier lime sparkling water before serving. You can also, as is often done in Brazil, add fresh fruits to the mix like crushed pineapple or passion fruits (though those are even harder to find here it seems than cachaça.) And if you’re hosting a large party and don’t want to bother making individual cocktails, Caipirinhas work really well in a pitcher too, just quadruple the recipe. And if you can’t get your hands on some cachaça swap in some vodka instead and make it a caprioska!

Toasting the Olympics with Caipirinhas

Saúde and obrigada for the memories Brasil

Highlights From My Long-Weekend in Montreal

I first fell in love with Montreal when I was seventeen, so much so that I moved across the Atlantic right after high school to attend its prestigious McGill University. Recently, my college flatmates and I met up back in the city where we had lived together for four years for a quick 3-days mini college reunion slash girls getaway. Here are some highlights from my trip down memory lane back to the city I still love so much. 

WHAT BROUGHT ME TO MONTREAL?

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I went to college there and hadn’t visited in a while (like 8 years a while!) So I was definitely overdue for a visit and when one of my university floormate and flatmate who lives in Calgary suggested we meet up, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with both my friend and the city I called home for 4 years.

Met these two ladies my very first week at McGill when we were floor mates at McConnell Hall's 7th floor

Met these two ladies my very first week at McGill when we were floor mates at McConnell Hall’s 7th floor

HOW I GOT THERE

So, I’ll preface this by mentioning that there are direct flights from Dulles to Elliott Trudeau airport on Air Canada, Porter Airline and other American carriers like American and United. But that would be too easy right? Right. I actually flew to Hartford, Connecticut, where I was picked up by my old McGill roommate and bestie Elena, who currently lives near New Haven. We road-tripped up to Canada through Vermont and while it took longer, it was also super fun and delicious as we made stops at Grafton cheese, Harpoon Brewery, Magic Hat Brewery and the Ben & Jerry’s factory along the way. Totally planning a trip to Vermont for the fall now!!

WHERE WE STAYED

I had wanted to re-live my college days a bit by booking an AirbNb in the McGill ghetto (note: not an actually ghetto… but that is how the neighbourhood around the university is known) like this stunning loft or this cozy 3 bedroom house. But we found a good deal at the Hotel Gouverneur Place Dupuis. The hotel was ok, it’s the location that was a real draw, at the crossroads of the Quartier des Spectacles and the Gay Village and a major metro hub. Getting around the city was a breeze, both on foot and public transportation and there was some interesting people watching as the hotel held auditions for the Québécois version of The Voice while we were there. The view didn’t suck either😉

Auditioning for Quebec's The VoiceView from the Hotel Gouverneur in Montreal
Montreal's Pink Balls

I loved being so close to the pedestrian stretch of Rue Sainte Catherine (and its famous pink balls!) but if you can splurge, stay at the Ritz Carlton (the grande Dame of Sherbrooke) or the Sofitel, both right by the Musée des beaux-arts in a ritzy Anglophone side of the city. Back on the francophone side, and more budget friendly, I also love the Hotel de l’Institut du Quebec, a teaching hotel and restaurant with just 42 rooms on the edge of the Carré SaintLouis between the Quartier Latin and the Plateau. 

Square Saint Louis, famous for its Victorian style residences facing a quiet park

Square Saint Louis in the Plateau, famous for its Victorian style residences facing a quiet park

BEST THING I ATE

From poutine, to smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz’s and bagels at St Viateur, my Montreal eats are obviously worthy of their own post so I’ll just highlight our decadent diner at Au Pied De Cochon. Everything I put in my mouth that night was outstanding, though the bone marrow topped with caviar was probably my favourite. It was light enough that I could enjoy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a few bites of my friend’s Duck in Can without leaving the restaurant feeling overstuffed, yet luxurious and highly satisfying. 

Bone marrow topped with caviar at Au Pied de Cochon

Bone marrow topped with caviar at Au Pied de Cochon

BEST FREE ACTIVITY

Montreal is said to owe its name to Mont-Royal, the “mountain” that sits just above McGill University, downtown and the plateau. Since the weather was beautiful, we metro-ed over to the Oratoire Saint Joseph du Mont-Royal and from there joined one of the many hiking trails to Le Lac des Castors, a man-made lake that turns into an ice skating rink in the winter. The whole Mont Royal Park, which was designed by the same person responsible for New York’s Central Park, is a breath of fresh air in the city and the views from the chalet simply cannot be beat (and we certainly needed the exercise ahead of our diner at Au pied de Cochon that night ;-) 

Montreal skyline

I also loved just walking the city, revisiting old college haunts including campus. Located right in downtown Montreal, McGill University is an English-language school that was founded in 1821 on a royal charter from King George IV. Some of the buildings were built in the Victorian era and you’ll even spot a statue of the British queen in front of the School of Music that bears her name. A lot of it was under renovation while we were there, including the The Roddick Memorial Gates (affectionately known as the Erotic gates because college kids are stupid even when they attend one of the best university in the world), the Three Bares fountain and the bookstore… which was kinda devastating because I really wanted to buy a bunch of new McGill stuff.

McGill 1 McGill 2

As I mentioned, the neighbourhood around the University is known as the McGill Ghetto and there’s a lot of great street art around there and down Saint Denis, thanks in part to a mural festival that take place in the city every year. 

I used to live on this street ad frequent Amelio's now Amelia's all the time. Now it's got a fabulous mural courtesy of French collage and stencil artist, Mathieu Bories, alias Mateo.

I used to live on this street ad frequent Amelio’s now Amelia’s all the time. Now it’s got a fabulous mural courtesy of French collage and stencil artist, Mathieu Bories, alias Mateo.

BEST SPLURGE ACTIVITY

Did I say you couldn’t beat the views from the top of Mont Royal? I may have to retract… So, since our hotel had an indoor pool, I actually tucked in a swimsuit in my small weekend bag at the last minute. Best decision ever because BOTA BOTA. What happened is an old college friend of mine suggested we meet up for lunch near the old port and then asked if I had brought a bathing suit to Montreal. I had no idea what kind of lunch I was in for that required me to be practically naked, but hey… I put my bathing suit in my purse and headed to the Vieux Port for a little touristy sight-seeing before lunch. Turns out we never actually ate lunch, though there is a restaurant at Bota Bota. Unless you count rosé as liquid lunch. Then we had lots of “food” ;-) 

Bota Bota Spa sur L'eauThe View of Montreal from Bota Bota

Bota Bota in Montreal

 So what is this Bota Bota? It’s a floating spa on a former ferry boat that’s now anchored on the Saint Laurent river, offering stunning views of the city skyline AND 40 different kinds of spa treatments. It was amazing in the summer, and I can imagine that it’s a completely different, yet equally fabulous, experience in the winter! Spread other 5 levels, Bota Bota offers wet and dry saunas, outdoor/indoor cold and hot pools, facial treatment, swings, a restaurant (apparently lol)…. It wasn’t cheap, but it was SO worth it!

MY TIPS IF YOU’RE HEADED TO MONTREAL

Winters get really cold in Quebec and Montrealers really make the most out of their (short) summer. From the pink balls that topped Sainte Catherine in the gay village to festivals every other weekends, there’s SO much to do in June-July-August. Which of course were the three months out of the year that I never got to spend in Montreal while I was a student. You’ll want to check out a calendar of events to either avoid certain happenings or schedule your trip during a festival that’s of interest to you. One of my favourite was always the Festival International de Jazz and Just for Laughs, and we did manage to catch the tail end of that and the accompany Bouffons Montreal street food fest on this trip. 

The Best Ikea Products for Diner en Blanc

I’ve been combing through the new IKEA catalogue since it came out last week and re-designing my apartment in my head ever since. Because I’m in a Diner en Blanc state of mind right now, putting the final touches on my tablescape etc. I’ve been paying particularly close attention to anything white that I could possibly hack for the event or use as a fun little additional design piece. And guess what, you can pretty much find everything that you need for your table at IKEA. So if you don’t have all of your stuff for #DeBDC16 yet, check out these pieces:

Ikea Table - Diner en Blanc

Since the table has to be covered by a cloth, it doesn’t need to be white and the askholmen table folds easily for transportation to and from the secret location. The Gunde chairs are equally convenient and you have all your basics covered for less than $60. 

Now for all the stuff that goes on top of the table… Of course you can go for a more elaborate tablescape but your basic pieces are:

  • napkins
  • plates
  • glasses 
  • silverware
  • lights.

I would add a cheap place mat to add a little “color” and the pretty 3-tiered kvittera serving plater to use as a functional centerpiece. You may also need a wine cooler if you’re having champagne or white wine (and of course, Ikea’s got you covered for that too). The skurar lantern (and all of the skurar series) can be used either as a vase or pot for flowers or for some dim dinner lighting. Altogether, we’re looking at $70 for all the dining elements. 

Everything you need for Diner en Blanc

If you’re headed to your first diner en blanc soon and are looking for a one-stop shop, Ikea basically has you covered. And if you’re veteran diner, you can still pick some super cute pieces to add to your table design without breaking the bank.

County State Fair and Baseball Game – An All American Weekend Highlights

It’s WAY too hot to spend a lot of time outside… so that’s exactly what I did lol. What can I say? I made plans and I wasn’t going to let record temperatures stop me😉

These plans included Star Wars Night at Nationals Park on Saturday (pretty much the only thing that could get me excited about going to a baseball) and the Montgomery County State Fair with my friend Kaoru on Sunday. I mean, if you stay indoors with the AC on, you’re basically letting DC’s steamy summer weather win and we can’t have that!! 

JASON WU FOR CAUDALIE LAUNCH EVENT 

I kicked off the weekend Friday night with my bestie  at City Center DC where Caudalie was celebrating the launch of their Jason Wu collaboration with mini-facials and wine.

Jason Wu for Caudalie Launch Event

If you’re not familiar with Caudalie, it’s a luxury French skin-care line that’s famous for using grape extracts in its products. It was founded by Mathilde Thomas whose family owns vineyards in Bordeaux and they have a Vinothérapie Spa on the grounds of Château Smith Haut Lafitte that I’ve been *DYING* to visit!! I’ve been using their products since the late 90s and I was stoked when they opened in the District. I Never fly without one of the brand’s travel-size Organic Grape Water in my bag – and it’s so hot right now, I pretty much always have a bottle in my purse these days as well. One of their other star product is the Beauty Elixir, a facial mist/toner hybrid that’s great to keep at your desk for a mid-day refresher. Apparently, designer Jason Wu is a huge fan of Caudalie too and he paired up with the company to jazz up the Beauty Elixir bottle with a delicate lace design inspired by his spring/summer 2016 collection. As if I needed a reason to spend more money at Caudalie ;-) 

IN A BALLPARK FAR FAR AWAY 

I kicked off Saturday like I typically do, with a little poolside reading before stopping by Freshfarm’s Mount Vernon Triangle Farm Stand. It’s pretty small and nothing like a full farmers’ market, but it’s perfect to pick up some fresh eggs and vegetables. I simply cannot get enough tomatoes right now so I grabbed some stunning heirlooms that I topped with some burrata for a light and refreshing lunch. 

Tomato-burrata salad

Since the force was still strong with the thermometer by 6PM, I left my Chewbacca furry onesie at home and opted for a Pricess-Leia as a Nats fan look, complete with the ear bun chignons of course, for Star Wars Night at the ballpark.

Star Wars Night at the Nationals game

I spent most of the match by the misters and walking around to take pictures with the characters that were spread around the stadium. 

Star Wars Night at nationals park

star wars night at the baseball game

I left the game early though I heard the Nats did well… 

For those who read French, you can read more about my experience with Star Wars Night at the Nats game here.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY AGRICULTURAL FAIR 

State fairs are big events in America. The first one I attended was one of the biggest, the Minnesota State Fair, and it was everything I had read about with politicians, rides, animals, fried everything and all sorts of food on a stick. Of course, DC isn’t a state so we don’t have a state fair (well, we sorta do… but it’s really not the same thing). But nearby Maryland and Virginia do and they also have county fairs. The one for Montgomery County is near Gaithersburg so I jumped at the chance to spend a fun day at this all-American event AND stuff my face with all the typical carnival food with one of my fave junk-food loving friend. 

Of course, fried everything didn’t sound as fun in the 98 degree heat so I didn’t eat as much as I had planned on, though I did tried deep-fried oreos for the first time. Definitely an experience everyone should have once in their life. But only once😉

Deep fried oreo

Food vendor at the montgomery county fairWith Kaoru
Red velvet funnel cake

Other than the food, I also loved walking around the barns with all the lifestock though my favourite were the pigs’ race. That was SO cute!! 

Pigs' race at the Montgomery Country Agricultural Fair

Did you have a good weekend? Between all the beer at the baseball game and the fried oreos at the country fair I definitely indulged a little more than I meant to… and with Restaurant Week coming up in DC, I’m afraid this week isn’t going to be much better. Dining at any fun restaurants?

Soirée Guerre des Etoiles au Match de Baseball

Dans la catégorie experience typique Américaine à faire au moins une fois, je vous présente le baseball. Mon premier match c’était à Fenway Park, le terrain de jeu des célèbres Red Sox de Boston, qui est aussi le stade de baseball de plus ancien encore utilisé aux U.S. Tant qu’à faire, autant choisir un stade historique et une équipe mythique non?  

Match de baseball des Washington Nationals

L’équipe de D.C. c’est les Washington Nationals et elle est plutôt nouvelle. La capitale Américaine avait été privée de son sport national pendant des années, jusqu’à ce que les Expos de Montréal débarquent sous un nouveau nom et branding en 2005, pour la plus grande joie de tout le monde. En contraste au Red Sox et à Fenway qui sont pleins d’histoire et de nostalgie, nous on a un stade et une équipe flambants neufs. En tout, j’ai dû aller à une dizaine de matchs, souvent avec le travail, car ça se fait beaucoup ici les virées organisées au match de baseball l’été quand les bureaux sont un peu plus calmes. Sinon, je préfère m’abstenir et j’ai de la chance, mon mari c’est pas son truc non plus le baseball. Sauf que hier c’était soirée Guerre des Etoiles au stade et que pour une fois j’avais vraiment envie de voir ça!! 

Soiree guerre des etoiles au match the baseball

Et oui, comme la saison de baseball dure 6 mois et que chaque team joue plus de 160 matchs, le staff marketing des équipes organisent souvent des soirées à thèmes pour égayer un peu tout ça. Souvent c’est des “Girls Night Out” ou “Bark at the Park” quand on peut amener ses copines ou son chien. Et des fois c’est un peu plus geek avec des matchs Pixar, Zombies, Star Trek, Game of Throne ou Star Wars. Pourquoi pas…? 

Comme la force était forte du côté du thermomètre (il faisait encore 35 degrès à 7 heures du soir) j’ai laissé à la maison mon costume de wookie Chewbacca  et j’ai improvisé un look princesse Leia fan des Nationals, tout en blanc avec le logo de l’équipe (et surtout des manches courtes!) et les doubles chignons macarons. Les 20,000 premiers spectateurs arrivé au stade on eut le droit à un t-shirt special, les présidents qui vont la course au quatrième inning étaient en costume aussi et un peu partout a travers le stade il y avait des photos opps avec les personages de la franchise. 

Star Wars Night at the baseball game

Star Wars Night at the Baseball Stadium

Star Wars Night at the baseball game

 

 

 

Star Wars Night at the baseball stadium

Sinon, le match… oui, j’ai pas trop regardé ;-) 

                                           *              *              *                *                  *

Deux trois trucs a connaitre pour voir jouer les Nationals, l’équipe de Baseball de Washington:

  • La saison de baseball c’est debut Avril a fin Septembre et les matchs se passent au Nationals Park dans le Sud Ouest de Washington, au metro Navy Yard. Y’a plein de truc à faire avant le match, comme le Bullpen at Half Street Fairgrounds, avec de la bière et des food-trucks, ou la brasserie Bluejacket. Mais il ne faut pas trop se gaver… les concessions à l’intérieur du stade valent vraiment une visite! 
  • Les billets s’achètent en ligne sur le site de l’équipe. Sinon, vous pouvez vous renseigner sur la disponibilité des places sur place au stade en vous rendant à la billetterie le jour du match. Les prix varient entre $10 pour des places plutôt basique à la Right Field Terrace et $370 dans le Delta SKY360 Club ou vous avez buffet et boissons à volonté (et une vue bien meilleure a mon avis…)

 

 

Happy Watermelon Day!

Rather than give you a French inspired recipe using summer’s most refreshing fruit, pastèque, I give you one of the most colourful house in Washington, DC and one of my favourite piece of street art in the city: the Watermelon house!!

DC's Watermelon House

The row house is located at 1112 Q Street near Logan Circle. Its exposed side has been painted in pink and green to resemble a has a watermelon slice, complete with seeds. Story has it all started with a bad paint job and since everything I know about Logan Circle’s famed Watermelon House I know from this Washington Post article, you can read all about it there too.

Oh, and if you really want some recipes, I do have two super refreshing ones for you right here.

Bonne journée de la pastèque!! Are you celebrating?

Weekend Highlights ~ It’s Getting Hot In Here

It’s been a scorcher of a weekend here in Washington, D.C. with temperatures in the high 90s and very little breeze. With that in mind, I tried to beat the heat by staying indoors and pretending the icebergs at the National Building Museum were real and not just made of translucent polycarbonate panels! And yes, there was pastis and rosé involved, of course😉

Friday night I actually stayed in and finally watched Mustang, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Mustang was nominated for a Best Picture in a Foreign Language at the Oscars this year as France’s entry, though it eventually lost to Son of Saul. I was a little disconcerted at first that it was picked to represent France, given that the film is in Turkish and takes place in a remote Turkish village but now I totally understand why it was our best chance at an Oscar. It’s a beautiful film about patriarchal oppression and the bond between 5 sisters who become prisoners in their own home to prevent them from having any contact with the outside world and especially boys. It has the melancholic feel of The Virgin Suicides and you should definitely watch it when you have a slow night and are in the mood for a good, understated drama.

Mustang

Saturday morning, I crossed the moat to grab brunch and pedis with my good friends Nicole and Cecile. We’d been talking about checking out Coatroom in Ballston for a while and since my feet really needed a little TLC, it seemed like a good time to go. We also checked out the new location of Cheesetique afterwards and I must say I was rather disappointed by their brunch. I liked the $22 bucket of mimosas, but my lobster mac’n cheese and the rest of the food around the table food was just ok. I still think it’s a great wine and cheese shop, but I probably won’t brunch there again.

Grilled sardinesThat evening, my husband and I waited until the temperatures had cooled down a bit to grill. I had picked up a black bass for him and some sardines for me and had been looking forward to a fishy feast on our rooftop! My husband is still on a pretty strict no-carbs, no-sugar diet so I simply stuffed his bass with slices of limes and cilantro and served it alongside a lime-cilantro-red onions-avocados salad. For me, I made a panzanella salad with bread from A Baked Joint and tomatoes from the farm stand at 5th & K (that corner, by the way, is a pokestop!) to pair with my sardines, which I simply dressed with a little olive oil, and salt and pepper. The husband stuck to water while I had a bottle of 2015 Castelmaure Corbières vin~gris, which I had picked up at Whole Foods at the same time as the fish. At $8.99, it’s a great value pink wine from the Languedoc.

The whole meal was pretty perfect, except I got some weird looks from all our neighbours who were all grilling hamburger meat or steaks… Sometimes I’m pretty French I guess😉  

Finally, on Sunday, I spent a bit of time at the pool. I like to get there pretty early before it gets too crowded and read the newspaper with my legs in the water (this sunday it was more like my full body… it really is that hot!) There happened to be A LOT of kids at the pool. I didn’t realize our building had this many kids, and I didn’t stick around too long and I made my way to the National Building Museum to check out the ICEBERGS exhibit.

Icebergs exhibit at the National Building Museum

Icebergs exhibit at the national Building Museum

Icebergs exhibit at the National Building Museum

And that was pretty much it. My husband and I took a late night stroll around the neighbourghood to catch some pokemon (and to get him to the 10,000 steps he walks daily.) Don’t judge me… I’ve already walked 30K since I downloaded the app, even though I’m pretty sure that’s just how much I regularly walk though…

How was your weekend? How did you beat the heat? Would love to hear in the comments!