Last Tarte Flambée @ Strasbourg

I love my Bella to bits and nothing will ever change my feeling towards her. However, the life with Bella the Dynamo tends to be full of unexpected mini drama and it can be a bit more than I am asking for. For example, I took her to our usual Regents Park run this afternoon and she came back with loose claws, one definitely on her right front paw and another suspect on her left hind leg. How did it happen?! Are you a trouble magnet or something? You are the trouble wearing fur, aren’t you?

Nothing was wrong with her then…

On our way home, I noticed that something was wrong with her. Normally, she was pretty chilled out on my lap after playing in the park. However this time, she seemed to be paying too much attention to her paws. I felt around her pads with my fingers, expecting some small twigs and leaves stuck between them but found none. And Bella didn’t like it at all. She never dared to sink her teeth in my fingers, yet she made sure I knew her discomfort. At home, I gave her a more through examination while Hubbie held her so she wouldn’t wriggle too much. Then, I discovered one of her claws was definitely loose. Oh dear, I will have to make an appointment to a vet tomorrow, I sighed. My heart sank because I was super committed and busy this Monday and a visit to the vet would be overladen my plate for sure. However, it has to be sorted and the life is like that, isn’t it? Continuous problem solving exercise…

Probably, the sky above the pavilion was telling me something…

There may be trouble ahead…

Anyway, let me get back to the evening my mum and I had our last tarte flambée aka the flammekueche at Strasbourg.

After leaving the cathedral, we sauntered southward, trying to find some inviting eatery along Rue du Maroquin.

‘What do you fancy, mum?’ She pondered for a while and replied, ‘How about Alsasian pizza with beer?’ It sounded very agreeable, therefore, we headed to Le Gruber la brasserie Alsacienne.

The restaurant was pretty full but soon their receptionist ushered us to one of their tables facing the street…

Since it was one of those summer weekends, Strasbourg was brimful of tourists from all over the world, especially from France and Germany, and we were a little worried as if the service could be slow because of it. However, the staffs, who must have been dealing with the tides of visitors on daily bases, seemed to be totally unfazed  and came to take our order fairly quickly.

Mum ordered tomato and basil tarte flambée and I ordered a ham and cheese one…

Mmmmm, tarte flambée and beer are the best bed fellows! The saltiness of the dish enhanced the flavour of the beer so well. We enjoyed our last supper at this historical city very much…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Pasta & pizza @ Augsburg

Where shall we have our dinner tonight? Mum and I pondered as we alighted from the tram. It was around half six and we were rather hungry. I remembered Albert the Hotelier gave us a flyer of his beer garden, ‘Do visit my place later!’ as we were checking in. Shall we go there?

The eatery was about five minutes’ walk from the hotel and it was on top of the hill. We found two mobile canteens in the corner, one was serving drinks and another one was for food. We were a bit taken aback by the sight of the place because we were expecting a building and a terrace. Instead, it was like a picnic area with wooden benches under the trees.

Eww, I don’t fancy it, I shook my head as we studied their menu. They were more like bar foods – burgers, chips, hot dogs, etc. Mum wasn’t keen on them either.

‘Shall we go back to the city centre and have dinner there?’ Since we had more than enough tram tickets to use up, it was silly not to.

There were many restaurants around Rathausplatz, and we decided to eat at Aposto, an Italian restaurant.

Mum was very happy to put her hands around a beer mug…

She opted for a pizza with ham, rocket, mozzarella with tomato sauce.

I fancied pasta…

Linguine with goat’s cheese, Italian ham, red onion and cherry tomato.

The meal was a welcome change from sausage and potato. Even though I did like German food, I missed something lighter time to time.

The square seemed to be a crowd magnet, we noticed it as we headed to a tram stop.

Apart from the people enjoying al fresco dining under the parasols provided by the restaurants and bars, the square was dotted with groups, sitting cross-legged and sipping beers…

Most of them looked like students. They seemed to be enjoying a mellow summer evening with their friends.

Let’s go back and have some rest because we are visiting a highlight of our road trip, Füssen…

Apparently, poor mum didn’t sleep very well that night. She recounted to me next morning that she tried to open a bathroom window after I fell asleep. Unfortunately, the window had a very fancy hi-tech hinge which allowed the window to open in multiple angles, and mum, who didn’t know how it worked, thought she broke the window! She was worried all night how she was going to explain about the incident to the hotel…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Hay Fever Blues…

Most definitely, love is not in the air but pollen is!
My eyes behind a pair of shades feel sharp pricks from the particles in the atmosphere and at the same time, I experience a strangely dry and itchy throat. Oh, it’s so unfair that I can’t enjoy a sunny late spring day like this!
By the way, Mr.B also suffers from hay fever too. He sneezes frequently when he goes out this time of the year. His cute little black nose appears ever more black because it is so runny. As being a doggie, he has no option of blowing nose and therefore he must resort to licking his nose constantly. Mr.B and I are not a big fan of British spring time, I’m afraid.

Despite our seasonal misery, the allure of alfresco dining was too hard to resist and Hubbie, I & Mr.B found ourselves seated at an outside table at Ask Italian on Grafton Way near Warren Street tube one Sunday lunch time…

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It was far from sunny but that seemed to lessen the amount of pollen in the air and we definitely sneezed less…

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Ahhhh, the crusts!
Mr.B was so keen to inspect what was brought to our table…

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I ordered Quattro Stagioni.
This pizza with four different toppings was a perfect solution for someone like me who always got bored in the middle of the meal…

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After lunch, we strolled to Waterstone’s Gower Street near UCL to find guidebooks for Hubbie’s trip to Sydney. He was to give a few lectures at a design conference and would be there for 12 days. I imagine the Sydney Opera House would be one of the first images to be captured by the Leica rangefinder he bought the other day…

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Then, we dropped in Hubbie’s office in order to print out the itinerary of the trip.
He had to find it through tons of emails and Mr.B & I were very bored…

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‘Will he leave this denim with me while he is away?’…

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Oh no, I don’t think so.
Why don’t I dig out his old t-shirt and give it to you instead?…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Franco Manca @ Tottenham Court Road

I am very sorry for not updating my blog at all recently. My Mac went haywire and it disrupted my routine greatly. Anyway, it’s started to behave again and therefore I am back in the blogosphere!

‘Yes, they are gone!’ Now I remember. Gahhhhhhh!
One Saturday afternoon, I slapped my forehead as I stood on the pavement opposite to where once Jossep the camera shop used to be but now replaced by Morrison the supermarket.
I was after a certain bland of memory card for Hubbie’s Leica however, the task proved to be trickier than I anticipated. I trekked to three different locations but none of the shops stocked what I wanted. Specialist camera shops in Central London are a dying breed, aren’t they? They seem to have gone virtual or folded all together. And all the spaces they used to be are now occupied by fast food chains! There are too many of them! How many Starbucks and Pret alike do we need?

When I eventually knocked on the door of Hubbie’s office, I felt defeated, miserable and hungry.
‘I’m starving!’
So we headed to Franco Manca on Tottenham Court Road. Ever since opening their first West End branch in last November, there has been a sizeable queue in front of the restaurant all the time.
Even though the sight intrigued me but I was not a huge pizza fan and therefore I did not taste their offering until then…

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It was around 5ish in the afternoon so there was no queue.
The first table we were ushered to was too draughty due to being too close to the entrance. So we moved to the seating further down the dining room…

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I had a pizza with ham.
So this is the real McCoy…

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I wish if I could rave how great the pizza was. However, I was rather underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong though. The pizza was decent and proper. But would I queue up for it? No, I don’t think so. My pizza just didn’t blow me away.  Oh well, never mind. At least I know what it is like.

Normally, the outside of the restaurant looks like this…

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Maybe I should have tried their Margherita instead…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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