Huckleberry Travel Guide: The French Riviera

I was lucky to spend Thanksgiving week in the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur with some of my family this year – and it was such a magical time! Here’s a quick post to share some photographic highlights and quick tips from the region:

Nice, France

Enjoying le Promenade des Anglais in Nice on a sunny day!

| asos jumpsuit, soldout (similar) | westward leaning sunglasses | club monaco cardigan, soldout (similar) | black on black birkenstocks | everlane petra crossbody |

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Gorgeous beaches like this line the coast, steps from the Promenade des Anglais (above); here’s my father enjoying the lovely Mediterranean Sea.

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Everyone in France seems to have a scooter – it sure made me miss mine.

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Le Negresco is a lovely hotel situated right on the Promenade des Anglais – common to spot celebrities like Madonna, Julien Lennon, Prince Albert, Elton John here.  I really loved their holiday décor!

| minnie rose fringe poncho | boots from italian shoemaker in venice (similar) |

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Le Chantecler is “worth a detour” per Michelin review sites; I’d especially recommend it though if you get excited about food adventures and gastronomic experimentation.  My wonderful parents took me to a belated birthday dinner here – such a treat!

Quick tip: Not likely one is thinking about frugality in a restaurant as this, but a bottle of water costs 12E here, so might as well drink champagne and opt for that wine pairing to enhance the culinary experience ;P

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The Musée Massena is located on the Promenade des Anglais – right next to Le Negresco, actually. It’s filled with ornate art and artifacts of the French Riviera and houses Napoleon’s death mask.

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The Musée Matisse was one of my favorites in France.  Not only do they have a great exhibition of every imaginable media of Mr. Matisse’s work, but the building’s façade and grounds are a beautiful site to admire as well.

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The Musée d’archéologique de Nice-Cimiez is a a nice stop after the Matisse Museum – after being indoors enjoying artwork, it’s a nice break to explore the archaeological site outside!  By the way, it’s definitely worth getting the French Riviera pass if you’re into site and museum hopping around the region – it grants you access to a lot of these cool places (kids are free, students discounted).

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Saint Paul de Vence

One of the oldest towns on the French Riviera, Saint Paul de Vence is a must-see for art-lovers.  It is full of history and seemingly endless art galleries.  Many well-known artists – including Marc Chagall, Jacques Raverat, and Gwen Raverat – spent parts of their lives and are buried in the local cemetery here.

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Here’s a photo of my father with our friend Stephane outside of a gallery.  Stephane who is from Saint Paul de Vence & showed us around the area.  He runs a private car service across the Côte d’Azur, and I’d highly suggest booking his services if you’re in the area; he’s extremely knowledgeable, honest, kind, and accommodating.

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It’s easy to get lost along the cute cobblestone streets here!

| everlane anorak | citizen of humanity rocket | adidas stan smiths black leather + leopard sold out (similar) |

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This beautiful “bonsai” iron sculpture was actually created by Stephane’s friend and is exhibited outside of a historic church on the street in Saint Paul de Vence.

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Monaco

Wondrous and opulent Monaco features many of the lavish experiences one stereotypically expects – luxury boutiques, incredible cars, beautiful casinos (below is a photo of the world-famous Monte Carlo casino).

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What’s also rather amazing – and family-friendly – about Monaco are the many sites to visit, including the Musée Oceanographique de Monaco (below) where you can get lost among the large aquariums and learn some cool things about marine life for a few hours 🙂

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Struggling against the wind with a map outside of le Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée or Saint Nicholas Cathedral of Monaco.

karen walker harvest with mirrored lenses, soldout (similar with regular lenses)

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There are beautiful views along the walk up to the Place du Palais where you can go see the royal guards.

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The family was actually in Monaco for american Thanksgiving, so we celebrated a French brasserie-styled Thanksgiving with a feast at the Cafe de Paris on the Place du Casino.

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Cannes & Iles de Lérins

I snapped this shot of my parents at sunset in Cannes after we returned from the touring Lérins Island off the coast.  They’re hands-down the best people I know.  Their love inspires me.  And they are just so adorable.  I love them to pieces.

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Sunset in Cannes

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It’s only a short ferry ride from Cannes to visit Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat – the first on which there is a huge fortress prison you can tour (where The Man in the Iron Mask with Leo DiCaprio was filmed).

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Getting the kids into Céline early 😉 special edition navy/tortoise color (similar)

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By the way, if you enjoy seafood, it’s AMAZING on the French Riviera.  I had so much fresh, tasty sea urchin.

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Cap Ferret

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild: OMG this gorgeous pink mansion seems unreal and gave me a whole new appreciation for the color pink.  Definitely a place one should stop for a few hours to tour the extravagant history and take in the beautifully manicured gardens whilst listening to beautiful symphonies timed to the water fountains in the courtyard.

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Ok guys, I’m exhausted for now.

Tell me: have you been to any of these places on the French Riviera?  Let me know what you think!  I’m definitely going back to the Côte d’Azur sometime soon and am open to more recommendations <3

xx, Huckleberry Kim

home is…

Rub Rub Rub

Lush recently released in a solid bar formula of one of their best exfoliants, Rub Rub Rub.  In its solid form, Rub Rub Rub is the best exfoliant I have ever used.  I loved the original tub form of Rub Rub Rub – it works so well and smells amazing; but the solid version is super easy to use, still smells amazing, and….look how pretty (!)

cheers to soft, sweet, smooth skin baes!

 

xx, Huckleberry Kim

Officially Autumn | What Do You Mean? CHVRCHES |

We’re officially into autumn 2015, guys; but problem is: I’m still smitten for summer.

No, not this summer – I poured myself into work this summer and left little room for much else..

(I wish I had some dreamy story to tell you about this summer #eyeroll)

What do I mean?  Summer.  Not a summer; I mean the idea of that summer, that vulnerability of summer, that endless feeling of possibility that comes with summer.

The feeling that makes you overly adventurous, so uncomfortable, naked & afraid, swooning so hard, blissfuly happy, dangerously curious.

THIS SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY OVER.

but I’m not mad about it…because it has only just begun for me 🙂

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Autumn is here to lead us into layers, bundled with warm beverages and familiarity.

snore, snore, snore; not interested.

LET’S KEEP ADVENTURING

WITH SUMMER IN OUR HEARTS

UNTIL OUR TOES FREEZE OFF IN BERLIN OR MOSCOW

BECAUSE AT LEAST THEN

WE CAN SIT AMIDST CRACKLING FIREPLACES

& SWOON OVER OUR MUTUAL LOVE FOR THE WANDERLUST

THAT SUMMER INSTILLED IN OUR HEARTS.

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| Slapper of the day: What Do You Mean? CHVRCHES Justin Bieber cover (a little more adventurous, naked, and raw compared to the original) |

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| mirrored sunglasses | neoprene bikini (similar) | sandals | poncho | hat | bag |

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so long sweet summer, i stumbled upon you and gratefully basked in your rays

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and enjoyed your beautiful colors

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and yummies

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and merriment

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, see you soon <3

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delightful star alignments & dirty drinks

A friend introduced me recently to the wonderful merits of a classic dirty martini. The basic recipe for a dirty martini includes: vodka, olive brine, dry vermouth, and a green olive garnish (see following). dirty martini ingredients
…though I’ve never been the most keen of basic..recipes. So a few days ago I soaked 6 green olives, a slice of pickled jalapeño, and a slice of pickled beet in about 1.5 cups of Hangar1 vodka. It gives the vodka a lovely blush color!
dirty soaked vodka
And this is the recipe I came up with after a few nights of experimentation for my ideal super dirty martini.

Huckleberry Kim’s Super Dirty Martini

  • 4 oz. of soaked dirty vodka
  • 2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. olive brine
  • olives to garnish (I like 3 olives in my dirty martini because yum.)

Good tips for mixing your drink:

  • Vigorously shake the ingredients with ice for no more than 45 seconds; if you’re going to stir, use a large hunk of super cold ice so it doesn’t melt too fast; don’t stir for more than 30 seconds.
  • Freeze your martini glass ahead of time to keep it all super cold.
  • Use a fine strainer when pouring the drink from the shaker into your glass; lots of olive/pickley gunk should be filtered out 🙂

dirtiest martini

New favorite Major Lazer jammy; thanks for the share T.

xx, Huckleberry Kim

east river sunrise

There’s nothing like the stillness of sunrise over the city. You know: before the elders start their in-park tai chi, before your best friend has to wake up to take her dogs out, while everyone’s still snugglin’.

Climbed over into a troll dwelling in the east river for this for-fun shoot…because sometimes it’s nice to adventure doing something that you always do but have never done.

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bananna

 

toes

contrapasto

whatever a sun will always sing

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| Helmut Lang blouse (similar) | Birkenstock sandals |

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Photography by this guy, Mitch Blummer – sunrise & cinema expert, who taught me everything I know about bouncing light and ee cummings.

happy birthday.

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Power Heels

There is something truly wonderful about wearing high heels.  They make you stand taller (so you can tower over your frienemies), and they generally force better posture.  I came across this wonderful Racked article called, “The Male-Dominated, Power-Hungry History of High Heels”, which goes in depth about the origin of high heels – noting the air of regality, confidence and dominance that presupposed the style.  It was an enjoyable read and really reinforced my sentiments and justifications for wearing primarily-impractical footwear on special days.  Even Louis XIV had days where he needed a little boost in confidence 😉

Some of my colleagues poke fun at me on my high heel days, “Oh! TK’s wearing her super heels again…” Well boys, I doubt any of you have woken up with the confidence that you could make it through a day wearing 5 inch Acne boots with unparalleled grace and tenacity.

I do, on the regular.

#micdrop #manolosforall

xx

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Photography by Red Gaskell

Stuart Weitzman Nudist Sandals | Topshop Boyfriend Jeans | Everlane Ryan Muscle Tank | Zara trenchcoat (similar on sale!, similar, similar) | MAC sheen supreme lip colour in Royal Azalea |

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Some more Stuart Weitzman Nudist Ankle Strap Sandals:

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Did you know that coffee beans are green? (And turn shades of brown once they’re roasted.)

I learned that this weekend while playing at-home barista.  The following is a little anecdote about my inspiration…

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Generally, I don’t like to use over-used quotes, but I’ve been pondering a lot about work-life balances, purpose, and roots of happiness of late, so I’m going to make this exception for that one Confucius jammie: 

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

I’m a very fortunate person in that I have found a job that I really do love. Though since my early years in college, I’ve always asked myself, “But maybe I’d be really happy if I was a barista…” I love coffee (caffeine is probably my greatest vice), although, I have never worked in the industry. There is something that has always drawn me to the idea of being a person who provides a carefully crafted, artisanal dose of enjoyment and daily ritual to a local ecosystem of regular patrons.  Really though, how many people ever make it into being a part of your daily ritual?  To me it seems so simple and powerful, and I’m into that.

In the last three years, there have been three men who’ve made an effect on my simple, mundane daily ritual with the products they’ve crafted: Mike Kreiger & Kevin Systrom (who created this little mobile application called Instagram), and of course my rat-tail barista.  I never knew his name, but he always remembered my order – it was our ritual, “TK USA” in Sharpie on paper cup.

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Since my rat-tailed barista long ago moved on to a new daily ritual, I thought of him this past weekend and wanted to make the perfect cup of coffee. Here are a few things I learned:

i. LEARN SOME ROAST BASICS (mostly will depend on how long and at what temperature you roast your beans at; the following is from Sweet Maria‘s – an Oakland, CA based home green coffee bean purveyor):

For this cup, I chose a Zimbabwe Chipinge.

ii. DON’T OVERFILL YOUR ROASTER; your beans will become aerated and increase in volume when roasting (see before and after below):

Fresh Roast SR500 Home Coffee Roaster

iii. LEARN HOW TO GRIND FOR YOUR BREW METHOD; I like this guide with photos from I Need Coffee:

Porlex Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

iv. TAKE TIME TO ENJOY your creation! You don’t even need cream or sweetener for a perfect cup of joe like this (though I’ll admit, on indulgent days, I will add a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk to my coffee…#sorrynotsorry)

Nighttime Americano

throwback to yolanda be cool

It was one of those Tuesdays, you know. So I decided to make a special dinner: a hybrid negroni x americano.  Easy peezy orange-squeezy, try it.

5 ingredients you will need:

  1. a lovely gin of your choosing; I used Hendrick’s, a Scottish gin that is infused with rose & cucumber
  2. Campari
  3. a sweet vermouth; I used Martini’s
  4. oranges
  5. club soda

In wee old fashioned glass with a big cube of ice, add 1 oz of gin:

Then add 1 oz of vermouth:

Add 1 oz of of Campari

Add a generous slice and squeeze of orange

Top it off with club soda and enjoy!

May this recipe help prepare you for many solid tomorrows to come.

xx, Huckleberry Kim

#huckleberryeats #huckleberrydrinks

xiao long bao (小籠包) at home

I spent a lot of my day listening to Ginuwine hits from the early 2000s, doing a little vacation-daydreaming, and getting nostalgic about being in Asia on this dreary Sunday; so, I decided to make some soup dumplings (aka 小籠包).  This is my first time making XLBs, and it won’t be the last…

Gotta be compatibleeeeee

The following is my v1 recipe for XLB; overall I thought the filling was perfect, though I’ll be iterating on the dumpling skins and “meat jelly”  sounds gross, right? but that’s the yum that turns in to soup inside the dumplings when you steam them. If this is too crucial for you, I guess: I DON’T THINK YOU’RE READY FOR THIS JELLY.)

HERE IT GOES:

  • In a pot of about 4 cups of boiling water, add a pound of skin-on pork belly for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pork rind, rinse in cool water and cut into small strips.
  • Add back to a clean pot of 4 cups of water, 5 smashed ginger medallions and several green onion ends. Cook for 2 hours on low heat.
  • Using a food processor or emersion blender, pulse the soup for a few seconds and put into a container and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (preferably over night).
  • In another bowl, add about 6 tablespoons of finely minced ginger, 3 tablespoons of minced green onion, 1 pound of ground pork, 2 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce. Mix well.
  • Pulse this mixture with your blender/food processor until it becomes like a paste.  Add in the meat jelly.
  • In another bowl, add 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of cold water into a large bowl and knead well until the dough is smooth and stretchy.  Let it rest in a covered bowl for 25 minutes before rolling it out.
  • Roll out your dough and cut into even pieces
  • Roll dough pieces into little balls about 4cm in diameter
  • Roll out the little dough balls into circles a few millimeters thick
  • be firm but delicate when making your dumplings!
  • Add about 1.5 teaspoons of your filling in the center of a dough circle and pleat and pinch around until the dumpling is closed.
  • I steamed my XLBs on porcelain spoons lined with thinly sliced carrots
  • Steam each batch for about 8 minutes
  • Enjoy with some black vinegar and grated ginger!

And of course because I CAN; I made myself a few pork belly buns too. HA!

goodbye.