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Saturday, July 19, 2014

French use anti-stress coloring books for stress therapy


One of the things I like doing when I'm in another country, living a Travelife, is visiting bookstores.

I enjoy browsing through the shelves in a bookstore just in case I find a beautiful coffee table book for my collection of books on architecture and design around the world, or a very interesting cookbook.



AN INSTANT LESSON IN CULTURE

A bookstore visit is also a good way to get a feel of the local culture and psyche -- and this us something I consider very important in a never-ending Travelife.

It's not enough to see the sites or taste the best food



WHAT A TRAVELIFE IS REALLY ABOUT

A real traveler must learn about the history and culture of a destination, including what makes it's people tick and what they consider important in life.




So I was intrigued and very happy to stumble upon an entire large shelf of absolutely beautiful coloring books in a bookstore in the Champagne region of France, in between gastronomic meals and visits to champagne cellars.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

These coloring books first drew my attention because of their intricate covers. 

I thought they were design books.




Then when I looked closely, most of them had the term "anti-stress" on the cover.



This was when I realized that these were actually purchased by people to color as a form of therapy to manage or reduce stress.

I don't have too much stress in my life, so fortunately this was not encouragement to buy, for me.

SUCH LOVELY COLORING BOOKS



But then I opened one book and it was a coloring book of the world's most famous and picturesque places

Of course, I just had to buy this, for my never-ending Travelife.

REMEMBERING OUR MOROCCO HOLIDAY 
JUST LAST MONTH


Then I spotted another book full of amazing design patterns. 

When I leafed through it, these designs reminded me so much of our last hotel in Morocco, on our two-week holiday last month.

It had the same engrossing and lovely designs.



Again, I never let go of this book.

I also got one on African animals, to remind me of all my wonderful trips to Africa, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

PS: If you find less blog entries here from now on, at least you know what I'm doing instead…

Friday, July 18, 2014

The best scrambled eggs in France are at the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux


We at Travelife Magazine join the rest of the world in offering our sympathies to the families of the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight, and in condemning this most senseless and unfortunate tragedy.

••••••••••••


THE BEST SCRAMBLED EGGS IN FRANCE

In the last 15 days, going around France and Spain, living a Travelife, I've eaten what are undoubtedly the best scrambled eggs in France.

If not in Europe.



The first place is at the breakfast buffet of one of my favorite hotels in France: the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux

This hotel also happens to be the best hotel in Bordeaux city, conveniently located to everything. 



IT'S ALL ABOUT LOCATION

When I'm in Bordeaux, I don't stay anywhere else. 

It's a grand and historic hotel with amazing service

And when I check in, we give the car to the valet and we don't have to get the car out again until it's time to drive out of Bordeaux.



A GREAT BREAKFAST

Another reason to stay here is their great breakfast.

The Grand Hotel de Bordeaux breakfast is not the grandest breakfast buffet I've ever seen, but the quantity us just right and the quality is wonderful. 



PLAYING FAVORITES

The other night, we took a poll among our group as to which was their favorite hotel on this trip. 

We have been staying in some of the most amazing places in this part of the world, after all. 

AND THE WINNER IS...



Well, the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux won by a margin. 

And those who picked it as their favorite (myself included) picked it because of the service and the breakfast.


THE RUNNERS-UP

The runners-up, by the way, were the Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, a Luxury Collection hotel, and the Chateau D'Artigny in the Loire Valley, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels (SLH). 



Some people in the group also liked our stay at Michel Trama, which is a Relais & Chateaux member property with a restaurant run by the famous Michel Trama. 

It's in the tiny town of Puymirol, which has something like 100 inhabitants.

ONE OF THE GREAT CHEFS OF FRANCE




Mr. Trama is considered one of the top 5 chefs in France, as outlined in a foodie bible that everyone in France reads. 

This isn't my personal opinion, by the way, as I have my own list of great chefs of France.

Scroll down to read more…


BACK TO SCRAMBLED EGGS

Anyway, the scrambled eggs at the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux is really divine. 

They probably mix it with lots of cream. 

And I like having it with slices of mozzarella cheese, which is another excellent offering in the breakfast buffet of the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, and slices of wonderful smoked salmon.



I know mozzarella and salmon don't really go together, but this is my way of eating this. 

And I absolutely loved it.

THE 2ND BEST SCRAMBLED EGGS IN FRANCE



As for the 2nd place with the best scrambled eggs in France, I can't mention the place yet as I'm still here, living a Travelife.



But it's considered one of the finest chateau hotels in Europe, with one of the best fine dining restaurants in France. 

And that Michelin-starred restaurant has been making my delicious scrambled eggs every morning, on the last leg of my summer holiday in Europe, living a never-endingly eventful Travelife.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A wonderful holiday in France and Spain, including Bordeaux, San Sebastián and Paris

At a lovely chateau in France


Good evening from the most civilized middle of nowehere possible in France, living a Travelife.

I just finished a six course dinner that ended up becoming eight courses, and then some. So very delicious, in fact, that we've decided to have dinner there again tomorrow night,

In the Loire Valley

AN UNPLANNED SABBATICAL

Very uncharacteristically, this blog has not been updated for awhile. 

I think it's the longest hiatus we've ever had for our online content and there are two reasons

Bordeaux, France last week

First, my computer died on me in Bordeaux.

And instead of panicking and going out and buying a new Mac, I decided to just bring my sick computer home and work on an iPad and iPod.

AN IPAD MINI
 ON MY TANZANIA HOLIDAY

In the Selous, Tanzania a few months ago

I've blogged and done work on an iPad before, most recently on my two-week holiday in Tanzania a few months ago, when we were severely limited to 15 kilos of luggage each, for those rides across the country on tiny safari planes. 

And that included handcarry. 

So I decided to leave my heavy Mac behind and just take my iPad mini, to save on two precious kilos. 

Beside, I reckoned I was on holiday anyway.


IT IS NOT ALWAYS AN EASY TRAVELIFE

But blogging on an iPad Mini certainly isn't easy. 

And moreso when you have a very full schedule of things to do and dinners are ending past midnight everyday



THE GOOD LIFE IN FRANCE

They sure know how to live well in France.  

Talk about good eating every single day of a Travelife.

I think the most modest dinners we've had so far have been at least four courses, and they've involved a minimum of two bottles of wine. 



And that's with me drinking very little, as I generally only drink to celebrate something or if I'm really in the mood.



It's been a really wonderful holiday so far, and not just because I basically got to choose almost all the hotels, restaurants and sightseeing activities.

I had great company and we all had fun. 

It has been such a stressless holiday so far, and it's not quite over yet.

FOUR TIMES IN 12 MONTHS



I'd done this same itinerary thrice in the last 12 months, and this time is actually the fourth time in 12 months that I've revisited certain places. 


Still there was lots to discover, so many things to enjoy, and a whole lot of new places to try, even in my never-ending, and never endingly eventful Travelife.