trieste | strange but true

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I’ve had an idea for a project for a while now and this is the first step. Let me introduce you to some beautiful places in my (no longer so) new town … This is the first of many I hope, Let me introduce you to stranomavero.

stranomavero is a boutique store in Trieste which I regularly walk past, gaze in the window and sometimes save up my pennies to buy beautiful bags (okay that only happened once but still). Antonella, the owner of the store, started designing jewellery 14 years ago and set up the original store 7 years ago. The interior is simple and comfortable, kind of like you have walked into a friend’s stylish apartment. A friend’s stylish apartment that is full of stylish clothes. That you can buy.

What I really love about the store is that it exclusively stocks Italian designed collections. A great way to support the local economy!

I asked Antonella a few questions about the shop and Trieste(which I hope I have reasonably translated from her responses which were in Italian. Thank goodness for Google Translate):

Why should a visitor to Trieste come to stranomavero?

stranomavero is conceptually and philosophically an international store in Trieste. It is a “concept store” with a combination of alloy wire accessories by myself and clothing from Italian designers. The result is a unique style that is non-conformist and decoupled from the fashion trends and instead is inspired by creativity and passion.

What makes Trieste special?

Trieste is a multicultural border town with Latin, Slavic and Germanic populations interacting on a daily basis. So in a rather small area there is a collection of various identities, souls, cultures which are all so different. The Italian stands out because it was always claimed as such, but at the same time there is a jostle for space and visibility by the other identities which are never silenced. This feature attracts and appeals to those who come to visit the city.

What is your favourite thing to do in Trieste?

I like to walk along the streets of the Old Town (Cavana, the old Jewish Quarter, Rive) and look at the palaces of Liberty Trieste, I savour and enjoy the air of nostalgic Trieste which flourished during the Austrian rule. The Bora (a locally famous winter wind which is freezing cold and very strong) is what I love the most. Walking against the wind, along the waterfront or on the dock by the Maritime Station when the sea is all abuzz …. so much life energy!!!!

read ‘em; no eat

I swear by February I will have got on top of this here blog and will share a decent breakfast with you again. I did in fact make a really good breakfast this morning but we had invited friends around and I didn’t feel like it was polite for the host to hold things up while I took a photo. So will try that again. Stay tuned.

On a side note my house only ever seems to be tidy for about 5 minutes at a time. Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyway, here are a few links from around the web this week which seem to be rather foodie orientated (perhaps to make up for the lack of a breakfast)


This looks like a great way to get more of the veggies in while being delicious. Now if only I had a spiral thing to make zucchini noodles.

It is going to be a late one for me but I am looking forward to joining this Dean Street Society call to up my Instagram game.

Our friends showed us this video of John Joseph (frontman for the bad Cro-Mag) making a smoothie. Warning: he has written a book called “Meat is for Pussies” which might give you some indication of how the video goes. But I love how he breaks any stereotypes of what a vegan is.

I am about to go on a smoothie craze because we treated ourselves to a Vitamix with some wedding gift money. I am pinning recipes like crazy. Let me know if you have any favourite recipes. I am also interested in using some protein powders so if you have any recommendations let me know.

On the other end of the food spectrum I am liking the idea of this mac and cheese party. And just incase you think you would find Mac and Cheese on menus in Italy. You won’t.

Okay that is all I have for you this week. Have a good week folks!


In last week’s post I mentioned hiking in Chapman’s Peak and really wanted to share some more pictures from the day. It is one of our (pretty recent) New Year’s traditions to get as high as possible on the first day of the year (although this was admittedly the second). It really gives you some perspective.

Plus this part of the world is just so breath-taking. And how about the fauna? The Western Cape is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and is the only place in the world where you find these type of plants called fynbos (fine bush). It smells amazing too! Kind of like rooibos tea but better.

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read ‘em and eat

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I think Freya’s key to happiness is such a perfect insight.

Every few months I resolve to be better at staying in touch with my friends around the world. And mostly I fail but this is a beautiful idea to keep connected with your global community that I might steal.

Thanks to my friend Donald I discovered the five minute journal this week. You can buy the app, an actual journal or they share the whole journal (which has some research and explanations) as an Issuu so you can read it and then just go make your own journal with a notebook you have lying around. Admittedly I have just done the latter because I didn’t like the idea of doing it on my phone and I wanted to start straight away. It is definitely a really helpful tool in helping me to live my word for the year, Intentional. I have now done it for five days but have changed the ‘gratitude’ question slightly in line with advice from Marie Forleo about making gratitude more precise.

I made this beetroot soup the other day. I have to say I was a bit … scared … about what beetroot soup would taste like but it was really good. And it felt so healthy I was sure I lost weight just eating it! (Okay maybe not but it felt like I was getting all the good stuff). Plus with the little bit that was left-over I added it to an abundance bowl as a dressing. I love multitasking food.

I think I might take up Rosie’s call for learning/re-learning a skill. I have a few in mind, I just need to get some materials …


I haven’t had too many exciting breakfasts since my return to Italy. This morning I met a friend for coffee though and this is the standard Italian breakfast out. Un brioche con cioccolato e un capo in b, per favore. Seriously I don’t know how they stay so slim! I don’t often have this for breakfast. In fact this is probably the first time in about 4 months, but sometimes you wake up late on a Sunday and are eager to catch up with a friend. A ‘capo in b‘ is short speak for a cappuccino in bicchiere (a glass). The cappuccino’s in Trieste are much smaller in size than the rest of Italy. Just an espresso glass size. Which is plenty big enough for me. Also Trieste is the only place (as far as I know) where you ask for a coffee like that. Even an espresso is called a ‘nero’ (black).

There you go a little lesson on coffee in Trieste. This year I plan to share a little more about the city which I hope you will enjoy. At some point I will also pull out my actual camera to start taking pictures again!

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I had great plans of all the tips and insights I would give you to Cape Town, my place of birth and home for 20 years. But when you go back for 10 days, have to see all your people and it is Christmas, a family engagement party and a celebration of the fact that you got married in the year, the bulk of activities and meals are allocated to not eating out. That said I still have some thoughts and things I wanted to share incase you find yourself heading to Cape Town. Which I think you should because this is definitely a city that is worth seeing!

Cape Town is a beautiful and dynamic city. Without having visited any other parts of South Africa for a while, I would say it is the ‘flagship’ of a country that embraces its multiculturalism so beautifully. In 2014 Cape Town was the ‘Design Capital’ and it is definitely showing up everywhere. I could have spent an absolute fortune in shops all over town, even little stalls in the middle of nowhere. Tip 1: Go with a big bag and spare cash!

Here are a list of my suggested places:

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1. Starlings: A coffee shop and restaurant in a suburban part of town. Has great cake and a lovely outside eating area.

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2. Watershed at the V&A Waterfront: a great destination for picking up some gifts and souvenirs by local designers who hold concessions in a large old wharf building.

3. The Old Biscuit Mill: on a Saturday this has many of the same designers that you can find at the Watershed but it does have more of a market vibe, as well as a variety of food stalls. My suggestion would be to go early and check it out and then wonder around the other shops and restaurants that are popping up in the area. Definitely a gentrification process going on here which has its pros and cons.

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4. Take the metro along the coast: When I lived in Cape Town I used to take the metro to work and on the weekends we would head down to the lower regions of Cape Town for some adventuring. You need to take the route that goes from the City Bowl towards Simons Town. From Muizenberg you start seeing the sea and it is such a lovely trip. Get off at Kalk Bay for trendy shops and eateries or Simons Town for some sightseeing in the former naval town. Locals might still warn you about safety but I had no issues and really felt quite comfortable. Get the Metroplus (which is like first class) as you will have more space and more comfortable chairs and a return ticket is still less than £2.

5. Try out some of the local wines: We went to Eagle’s Nest in Constantia for a picnic which was absolutely brilliant with delicious food and definitely suggested. On Christmas we also went to Blaauwklippen in Stellenbosch (outside of Cape Town) for a Christmas meal and wine tasting. Apparently they also have a brilliant market on the weekend with live music (which is currently my Uncles).

6. Get some fresh air and go for a hike: The scenery around Cape Town is absolutely breathtaking. We went for a hike up Chapman’s Peak. In summer I suggest you go early as it does get hot. Also take lots of water to prevent de-hydration. It probably requires a moderate fitness level but there are also more gentle excursions. There is something particularly special about seeing all the way around the peninsula from the top though.

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7. The Oude Molen Eco Village has a little restaurant that had a lovely and well-priced breakfast menu which we enjoyed with the sounds of chickens clucking and a nice view. I felt like we had driven an hour of of town and had found a quaint dorpie (little town).

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8. The Imhoff Farm: An old farm in Kommetjie which now has several eateries (we had breakfast at the restaurant with a view of the mountains and peacocks). It also has a few shops and if you have young kids a sort of zoo and camel rides.

9. Truth Coffee: good coffee in a steampunk setting which has some great attention to detail.

Also, I didn’t get to experience it but Cape Town is expanding its public transport facilities with a City Bus. The routes are limited to the City Centre but if you are a tourist in town that is probably where you want to be anyway.

Honestly, I didn’t take my camera out much while in Cape Town and these are all iPhone pictures. I suppose that is sometimes the way when you are just enjoying time with friends and family. But I will be sharing a few more photos of Chapman’s Peak that I took.

getting there

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I feel like it has been more of a slow shuffle into the new year and all that is promises rather than a leap. But I am getting there and starting to work out what I want 2015 to look like.

Until I allocate some time to actually sitting down and writing some posts I thought I would share these iPhone photographs of yesterday’s sunset with you. I just kept taking pictures as it changed and it was so darn pretty. I think sunsets are just about one of my most favourite things in the world. I would estimate that I have spent about 942 hours of my life appreciating the wonder of sunsets. Maybe I should make a book … Or one that is crowd sourced … A world of sunsets.

Anyway, I hope they set you up for a week where you stop to appreciate the magic of the everyday.