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Showing posts from May, 2015

Ventimiglia - The sea and the old town

It was a beautiful day when we went over to Ventimiglia and I just want to share some pictures with you. We meant to wander up to the old town but were full after lunch and had too many bags full of food :) Next time!





The colour of the water is just insane, mind boggling and beautiful. This is why it is called the "Cote d'Azur", the Azur coast.  Love it.



Ventimiglia - Pizza at La Vecchia Napoli

La Vecchia Napoli in Ventimiglia gets a lot of bad reviews on TripAdvisor but we quite like it! It is mostly the service that gets slated but hey, we are French-trained, so we are immune! So after our market shop we crossed the bridge towards the Old Town of Ventimiglia and plonked ourselves down outside of La Vecchia Napoli which is just at the end of the bridge. We both really enjoyed our pizzas so make your own mind up, TripAdvisor doesn't always have it right.


So what did we have and what do we think...

Ventimiglia - What we bought at the market shop - May

We popped over to Ventimiglia to do a market shop the other day as we took a Friday off and Ventimiglia is famous for their Friday market. We weren't the only ones! Half of France seemed to be there too but we were very happy with our fruit and veg haul.

Trompette courgettes are coming into season and I could not be happier as I adore them!!!! They are so full of flavour and their texture is wonderful. So we bought loads :) Current market price seems to be around 3.50 - 4 Euros a kilo in Italy (a bit more expensive in France).


Sun dried tomatoes were around 6 to 8 Euros a kilo and we got half a kilo.


Normal tomatoes are also in season of course. Around 2 to 3 euros a kilo depending on the type and stall. I am obsessed with the smaller grape type tomatoes, so cute and so yummy. We got San Marzano ones for example and datterini. So yummy!



These ones are so cute and colourful!


Ventimiglia - Mercato Coperto - May Market Shop in Italy

We popped over the border to Ventimiglia the other day to do a market shop. The produce is generally quite a bit cheaper in Italy than in France and it was nice to get out of town for a little while. It still amazes me that we can take the train for 40 minutes and be in another country!

So here is my contribution to what is currently in season here in Southern Europe in May. All these pictures are taken at the "Mercato Coperto" which is close to the station (basically walk 5 minutes straight down towards the sea) and I think is open every day, and sells fruit, veg, plants and a bit of deli style food and bread/pastries. But Friday is also the day of the weekly market in Ventimiglia which is outside and a bit further down towards the sea from the covered one and sells all sorts of things including shoes and bags and clothes.

There are millions of varieties of courgettes which makes me very happy! Usually around the 2 euro a kilo mark, as low as 1.80 and some a bit higher arou…

Meatless Monday - Pesto & Tomato tart

A bit of a change finally for this Meatless Monday, no pasta! Sticking with a kind of Italian theme though so not too far off base. This was such a super easy dish to make, ok it needs some time to cook in the oven but it is really yummy. We went to Italy and came home with fresh pesto (though it could be rather easy if you have the ingredients to make it at home) and we picked up pastry in the supermarket. The pastry I used is kind of not quite puff pastry but similar, just a bit more dense. I collected a whole load of tomatoes from Italy and the Cours Saleya in Nice and I caramelised some onions to give it more intensity of flavour.


You can see the steps above but read on for more detail. Easy and quick enough for a week night. 

Nice can be so beautiful at sunset

Just thought I would share a few pictures I have snapped around town after work this week, as there has been some beautiful light and sunsets.

View towards the old town from Place Garibaldi (drinks at Le 4 - formerly 4 Drinks, a wonderful cheap bar just don't expect fast service)



And the view back to the other side of the square.



View from the Port towards the Castle hill.



Nice - just over the border - Liguria recommendations from our Italian friend

Hi, this isn't so much a guest post as a list of recommendations from an Italian friend who left the Nice office of our company and joined us in the Singapore office. When we decided to move back, he shared his favourite spots over the border in Italy with us, around Ventimiglia and San Remo. I hope to try them all out soon and share the results with you! Now over to C:


Note that the places here below are my headquarters, the places where you would very probably find me if I was still living there. It is nothing fancy, but just simple and amazing quality/price ratios.

Ristorante Ca' Mea - Badalucco
http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restaurant_Review-g2089120-d2317657-Reviews-Ristorante_Ca_Mea-Badalucco_Province_of_Imperia_Liguria.html

The place above has a fixed menu (around 10 courses). Normally you will eat so much that you will roll down the mountain and to the sea. The location is amazing (an old water mill) and price just ridiculous.

Equipe Gabri - Sanremo

http://www.tripadvisor.c…

Meatless Monday - Pea, Mushrooms, Baby Leek Pasta

Here is a lovely and quite easy pasta to make on a weekday and meaty enough for the non-veggies who do Meatless Monday due to all the mushrooms, which lend a wonderful umami flavour to the dish. This Meatless Monday I opted for mixed wild mushrooms, with peas and baby leeks. It was gorgeous!




Nice - The Nice Life International concept for healthy vegan food

I went for pizza with a friend at Made in Sud Nice and we fancied dessert afterwards. We had plans to head over to Deli-Bo for some decadent patisseries but we walked past Nice Life and we both wanted to try it out (and our other halves never wanted to go with us!) So we then decided that since the desserts at Nice Life would be healthy, that meant we could have two! So we stopped in for a couple of cakes.



Nice - Hotel Le Negresco - The Jewel of the bay

Le Negresco hotel is really the emblem of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Everyone recognises its famous pink roof and it is quite the beautiful hotel.


You see this colourful mosaic jazz player out front, so you know you are in the right place.


I went to Le Negresco as part of a Yelp event. We got to visit the hotel and have some cocktails in the bar. It is really an amazing hotel, still at least partly owned by the Augier family who bought it in 1957 from the founder/builder who was a Roumanian called Henri Negrescu/Negresco.

For more info about Le Negresco - check out Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Negresco Mme Augier still lives in the hotel and decorated the full hotel, each piece of art was selected by her. Each floor is decorated in the theme of a different era which makes it rather eclectic and fascinating.

Le Negresco was named a National Historic Building by the French government in 2003 but it does seem to rankle them that they are not considered a palace a…

Nice - Made in Sud Pizzeria in Nice Port

I have been collecting recommendations from everyone around me (and would love to receive yours too! drop me a message below or by email or come join me on Facebook). One that came up from two Italian friends is Made in Sud (they both specified "for takeaway" as they are also Les Amoureux fans).

Made in Sud is a small small pizzeria on Boulevard Stalingrad with room for 4 people to sit down inside plus a couple of high tables for one outside and on request they can open up the upstairs oart it seems. So it is really mainly for takeaway. They do proper decent Neapolitan pizza at a very competitive price. I have been a few times and my husband has now tried it too and also approves (though he thinks Les Amoureux wins on the dough but does of course like the Made in Sud pizza dough too). I also took a foodie friend along for lunch and she appreciated the pizza too (plan was to take it to the beach but it rained so we made use of the small table inside).

Here is a collage of the…

Meatless Monday - Lemon roast potatoes with garlic as a side

Today I am going for what you might consider a cheat, but I am bringing you a side dish that I like so hopefully you will forgive me as the rest of the meal was pretty standard.

I used Pinterest as my inspiration again, I do love going on there for ideas. I have an entire potato board so checked that out as I had some spuds I bought at the organic shop. I found a recipe for lemon garlic potatoes and adjusted it slightly to suit my needs (cooked the potatoes longer in the pan rather than the oven to save time, etc).




Lisbon - Art and Street Art

You know I love a city with interesting street art, I find it gives character to a town. Like Barcelona, Naples and Seminyak, Lisbon has lots of interesting graffiti dotted around town, as well as more official art and some random pole decorations!

A dancing couple...


A sculpture down by the water



More art. I like the colours.


Nice - Big Fernand - New Burger Kid on the Block

The Paris-famous Big Fernand has arrived in Nice with its "hamburgé" - that's hamburgers to you and me but these are French hence the random spelling :)

The hype has been building up for a while, so when I found out they opened on Tuesday 5th of May, I wandered past on the way home to check out the queue (I am not on the fancy blogger list for Nice yet so I didn't get an invite to the pre-opening on the Monday - *sigh*).


The queue wasn't too bad, it was about 5-6 people deep ahead of me and the lady who works there advised that should mean about a 5 minute wait. Even I can be patient for 5 minutes so I joined the queue and checked out the menu she handed me:



The general idea is that you can pick one of the ready defined burgers, or you can build your own from the base ingredients. And then you can turn it into a menu with a drink and chips or not. The standard burgers are 12 EUR with their "fernandines" (aka chips / fries) or 15 EUR with a drink (non-al…

Lini's Choices for the French Riviera, Monaco and Liguria

UHi All! It has been ages since I had a guest post here on the blog and I have missed it. I would love to have more guest posts so please get in touch if you would like to share anything here on Living in Sin, especially about my home of Nice and the surroundings. So to restart my guest posts, here is Lini from Lini's Choice who knows the Riviera, Monaco and Liguria very well, and will share with you her favourites spots and favourite things to do and eat down here. Thanks Lini!!   


First of all I'd like to thank Living in Sin for letting me scribble a few words on her great blog. Thank you for this opportunity. Second, please forgive all mistakes I will make. I'm more used to write in french than english ; ) 
I'm Lini and I live in Bangkok since December 2013 and I write a blog at http://linischoice.blogspot.fr. Before that I've spent most of my life between Monaco, Italy (near the french border) and the French Riviera.  Here's some recommandation of places I lik…

Meatless Monday - Curries for a change! Mushroom & Pea, Aubergine & Tomato, Green Beans & Coconut rice

For a change, my meatless Monday is going Asian! Specially Southern Asian - all sorts of Indian food. Indian food is awesome for vegetarians, even my meat-loving husband goes mostly veggie when in India. And since curry started out as a way to hide the gone off meat, well, you might be safer to only eat meat in very reputable places any way!

So what did I make? Well.... I had a craving for a type of rice preparation I had not made in a long time, so I made oven cooked coconut rice. I paired it with a pea and mushroom curry in a cashew nut sauce, baked aubergine slices with whole spices and tomatoes, and stir fried green beans with spices, garlic and chilli.


Read on for how to make these gorgeous dishes, most of which were inspired by recipes in the multitude of Madhur Jaffrey curry cookbooks of which we are the proud owners. For a change, this Meatfree Monday post was actually cooked on a  Monday after work, so whilst these dishes may take a while (about 2h in my case but could have b…

Nice - Le Banthai for, surprise surprise, Thai food :)

Nice hasn't changed drastically in the 2.5 years we were gone but there are subtle changes and I see so many more restaurants opening which is great. I sometimes think there are not many places to eat in Nice but I just need to open up my eyes and work my way down my "to do" list of restaurants. Please drop me a comment below or an email on mylifeinsin@gmail.com if you have anything you suggest I should try in Nice.

Here is the collage of our food. Overall, it was quite nice! I wasn't blown away entirely, but it was all very good, simple but nice.



Nice - Deli Bo for afternoon tea & coffee + shop

I made plans to meet friends for coffee in the afternoon and decided to join the long queue at Deli Bo as any good Singaporean would (or in my case Singapore-trained). Queues = good in Singapore and it seems it translates to Nice as Deli Bo is rather yummy! Deli Bo is a great place for an afternoon sweet snack and I will be coming back for their Sunday brunch at some point soon as I had serious food envy looking at my neighbours' food.

Deli Bo will pretty much always have a queue, so be prepared to wait or book ahead. We didn't wait too long to be fair and it is a nice area of Nice, on Rue Bonaparte in the up and coming area close to the Port and Place du Pin.


Read on for some gorgeous looking and tasting desserts from Chef Patissier Sebastien Jacob!