Sunday, June 28, 2009

An Unusual Garden Feature [Bici no jardim]

The Dutch are so mad about bikes to the point of using them as a decoration feature in their gardens. I do not see that in other countries, so I think it is something typical Dutch. Well, I wish you all a nice weekend !
Os holandeses são tao fissurados numa bike que usam as bichinhas até como inspiração para decoração de jardins. Eu não vejo isso em outros países, só por aqui mesmo ... Tenham todos uma ótima semana !

Friday, June 26, 2009

Goodbye MJ

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Chic Rack for Bikes

Beautiful rack for bikes in Gothic style. Patio of a cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium.
Um elegante suporte para bicicletas em estilo gótico. Pátio de uma catedral em Mechelen na Bélgica.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SENZ Umbrella [antistorm paraplu]

Facts of life in the Netherlands:

1) In Holland it rains and winds a lot.
2) The Dutch are world masters about water engineering.

They developed an anti-storm paraplu. I am not kidding. Such thing is called SENZ Storm Paraplu. It costs around 50 euros, will never break or go inside out, gives good vision and is beautiful. You can purchase one at : or click here to see some little funny films. I especially like "SENZ and the City" one.

I loved it. I need one (hint) ; )

Esses holandeses são mesmo danados: desenvolveram um tipo de guarda-chuva que não se quebra nem se inverte durante ventos e tempestades. Também da boa visão e tem design bacana. Ele é comercializado por SENZ. Vá ate o site (em inglês) para ver melhor a descrição do produto e alguns filminhos muito divertidos (Clique nas palavras em vermelho acima ou aqui). Custa cerca de 50 euros e tem tamanho pequeno, médio e grande. Beeem carinho, mas olha: eu compro uns dois a quatro guardas-chuva (o plural se escreve como ?) por ano na base de 7 euros cada. Faz as contas...

Friday, June 12, 2009

La Rive [Amstel Hotel]

Some days ago hubby and I visited one of the leading restaurants in Holland. We had dinner at La Rive which has been awarded a Michelin Star and serves French-Mediterranean delicacies. La Rive is located in the five star Amstel Hotel.

I had received in December 2008 a voucher from my work, as a Christmas present. It consisted in dinner for two with wine arrangement at La Rive and it should be booked up to beginning of June. Spring was just perfect time for sitting outside and have some rose wine. We started with this combination of nibbles below: a kroepoek of manioc and parmesan cheese, curry mini cones with salm and caviar and the mini bacon rollades with two types of mousses. Work of art !

Deep fried tomatoes in a crust with a ginger caramel followed.

The third starter consisted of delicate pieces of fruit-de-mer served in a shell and with asperge mousse and olive oil scented with lemmon.

We were then invited to enter the salon and had a table next to the window. It was wonderful to look into outside and see people in their boats passing by. Time for foie gras, two different sorts of pates and chutneys with a very good baked bread.

Below: fish with spinazie and asperge. Hubby and me we disagree about the fish names. Sorry, but I am not a food critic and this is not a restaurant review. Therefore do not take my text in this blog so serious.

Below: a shrimp with sweet peas puree. Fantastic !

Main course: roe deer.

The service was superb without excessive formality. Not too quick, not too slow. We were pampered just in the right measure. In the picture sommelier Mr. Ted Bunnick. He did not mind to be in our photos ! Have I mentioned before that we had beautiful views of the Amstel ?

Amuse served before the dessert:

The lovely dessert: une fête en rouge ! Red fruits and white chocolate.

And also mignardises and macarons with the coffee.

Every dish was in perfect balance, delicate, tasty and in perfect combination with the wines. The evening we visited La Rive all tables were occupied. The clients were some couples in love, businessmen and a small group of Americans. I guess everyone with a thick wallet. If you would like to visit the Amstel another (less expensive) option is to have afternoon tea there in the conservatory. The sphere is very elegant anyway.
If you wish to know more click here (in English) for a full description of the menu and wine cellar. Or visit their site:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Front Doors

Every beginning of a month I will be posting here a beautiful front door of a Dutch residence or office. This one above was clicked in Amsterdam and has an amazing rose tree in full blossom during these spring days. It is really WOW !

Many Dutch who live in apartments have no backyard or balcony. Therefore, during sunny days, they sit by their porch or the entrance stairs of the building with a glass of wine or a cup of tea in the hands. This in unthinkable in Brazil, where people try to hide from the sun looking for shadowy places on the streets. Brazilians do sunbathe in parks, rivers, lakes... Unthinkable. They prefer strictly beaches or swimming pools.

Lovely flowers, amazing vegetation isn't it ? The Dutch know how to embelish anything with flowers !