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!!!!

hendy’s home store

After wondering around Hastings for a few hours on Sunday we decided it was time to eat.  This was an important decision as many of the restaurants weren’t going to be open on Monday.  We decided to try The Kitchen at Hendy’s Home Store as it is only open for a few hours on the weekend.  Mr was a bit nervous as he thought it looked like an underkeeper’s, but I suggested that it was likely just their Halloween decorations (which it was).

The restaurant is literally in the kitchen and another small adjoining room of the restored period house.  We were seated at the stainless steel table in the warmth of the kitchen which I was pretty happy with. The menu is seafood heavy but did have a vegetarian option for us and a selection of delicious looking desserts.  We were served complementary bread and had butternut and mushroom tart with elderflower cordial for our main which left enough space for dessert.  I had date loaf with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice-cream and Mr had a chocolate cardamom ice-cream which had a texture like chocolate truffle.  Both were delicious and everything was homemade by the chef, Alistair Hendy, who is a food writer and photographer during the week in London.  Although it was a little bit pricey it was well worth it and we loved the homey atmosphere and friendly service.

After eating we wandered around the store which has a selection of very useful items like string and kitchen items, but also a variety of decorative items like glass jars and antique furniture.  It was all really beautiful and I was about ready to buy the place when I spotted the vintage copper bath.

Definitely recommended if you’re in Hastings on a weekend.

last sunday

Last Sunday we had lunch at Giant Robot in Clerkenwell which serves brunch until 5pm on a weekend (my kind of place).  The decor is 50s Italian American diner, kind of dark and smokey minus the smoke where people come to read the Sunday paper and have some good food.

We both had a veggie breakfast which was a generous portion (served on a platter plate!) that came with a delicious hashbrown.  Their fresh juice was great and I loved that they served their table water with cucumber and lemon.  We are planning to head back for dessert at some point this week because there is a peanut butter and chocolate torta that has my name on it.

It would definitely be a regular if we lived in the area.

workshop, clerkenwell

As part of our staycation experience we are visiting a couple places for brunch before I have to head to work.  It is easy enough to do as my friend’s place is in walking distance to my temp job.

Our visit this week was to Workshop.  It has the trendy urban woody look which I love – raw, rough wood and metal.  We rolled in just after 8am and easily got a table.  Mr had toasted banana bread with a date spread and espresso mascarpone (second picture from last).  I had french toast with orange mascarpone and poached rhubarb (last picture).  Mine was perfect although Mr felt his was a bit heavy for so early in the day.  I also had fresh mint tea.  A place instantly goes up in my estimations when it serves fresh mint tea.

Early morning breakfast outings are certainly something I could get used to but unfortunately living in Wimbledon doesn’t really work with having to get up earlier to commute.  Although … my new job does have one day off a week …

wallace collection

Mr is a teacher and is on half term so we decided to do a few things.  The first on our list was a visit to the Wallace Collection.  I have been wanting to go for a while, not to see anything in particular but because I inherited my mother’s nosey gene and like to see how the people lived, especially the ladies.

We were in time to join one of the free guided tours which was led by a very knowledgable lady.  To be honest the type of paintings aren’t really my thing but like I say it is interesting to get an insight into how people lived in a different age.  I also wouldn’t decorate my house like a Georgian manor but it has been beautifully restored (some rooms are still under restoration) and I do always love the fabric walls.

The chandeliers were also pretty impressive.  I love the idea of having one in a beautiful old farm-house bathroom – a bit of glamour in a rustic room.

We then headed to the tea room which is in a covered courtyard.  They have a large tea selection and I continued my ginger obsession with some peach and ginger tea which was more peachy than gingery but still really good.  Mr had a scone with cream and jam which looked (and from the sounds of it was) delicious.  The cream looked almost like butter.  I might be tempted to go back after June just to try it out.  I absolutely loved the tea strainer which looked like an art deco antique (though I can’t imagine it was authentic).

Of course we briefly wandered around the shop afterwards.  I had my eye on a few of these amazing maps from Herb Lester and might be tempted to buy some in the future.  I think they would make great gifts for friends visiting London or going to one of their other destinations.   I am a fan of souvenirs which have a bit more personality then the usual tat.

If old houses and art are your thing I would definitely suggest going.  As is usual in London the museum is free and there are generally two free guided tours a day.  Plus, as you probably worked out, you are allowed to take photographs.  A rare occurrence in London museums.