FRANCE - WEEK-END IN MARSEILLE - MASSILIA DOLCE VITA

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LA PASSARELLE

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The charm of the countryside in the heart of Marseille? Bohemian style? Possible at La Passarelle. This Meditteranean restaurant serves healthy and tasty dishes all made with organic products. Vegetable and fruit salad, grilled fish or Kefta in a big garden near a Pétanque playgroung… Here it is.

ASK : If they’re open as they close in October when it starts getting too cold. And if they’re not, you can try tapas at their bar L’Alimentation Générale.

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JOGGING

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This former butcher shop revamped as a concept store is one of a kind in Marseille. Tastefully designed, co-founded by Olivier Amsellem (photographer) and Charlotte Brunet, it curates fashion items and lifestyle products not to be found anywhere else in town.  Aesop, Olympia Le Tan, Christophe Lemaire, Opening Ceremony, Adieu Paris…

Plus, there’s a hidden charming little garden hosting events at the back.

ASK : Olivier for some tips, where to eat, where to be. He knows the city like the back of his hands.

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MAISON EMPEREUR

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Manufactures françaises

Manufactures françaises

This is too good to be true. Old fashioned but modern. Chic but affordable. The oldest hardware store in France hasn’t aged a day in two centuries. From “savon de Marseille” (soap) to “Pierrot Gourmand lollipops”, here’s where you’ll find everything. Lifestyle paradise.

ASK : How to go to “Manufactures françaises” If you’re looking for made in France products only. Part of Maison Empereur, this little shop tucked in Le panier (one of Marseille’s loveliest neighborhoods) offers what’s best.

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SUSHIQUI

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Friendly Christian Qui, former landscape architect has trained 6 months in California and learned cutting techniques in order to become the fish master he is today. So there he goes, working all by himself  behind a little bar and transforming the morning’s small-scale fishing products into delicious and creative sashimis from Marseille. Enjoy them in an intimate and relax atmosphere between some Miso soup and oysters. 12 table settings here and dinner only. 

ASK : To have a look at Christian’s vinyle collection. And let the music play.

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image Roof of la Cité Radieuse
 
image Hotel Le Corbusier
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A visit to Le Corbusier’s “Cité radieuse” is not limited to architecture lovers. Besides the MaMo (art center),  the hotel, the restaurant and a bakery, you’ll find another gem at number 318 of this incredible building people of Marseille used to call “la Maison du fada” (the crazy man’s house). In cosy “SEMIS boutique expresso” you can enjoy a cup of coffee, fresh orange juices, cookies and muffins from Coogie coffee shop and buy traditionally knitted pieces from the cool brand “Atelier Semis”. A sweet treat while shopping.

ASK : For the home made ice cream… in Marseille.

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SORMIOU

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The road that leads to Sormiou is incredible, as you can see Marseille City on one side and the calanque on the other side. This vertigo feeling has a price. In order to go by car (and avoid walking an hour), you need to book a table in one of the two restaurants. Le Château (that I recommend) or Le Lunch (on the beach but not so good). Until October.

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LES GOUDES

image La baie des singes
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Les Goudes has an easy access by car. The best way to enjoy this calanque is to rent a sunbed at the restaurant La Baie des Singes (until October). Magical.

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SINGAPORE - SHOP - Manifesto

This multi-label concept store is unlike any other you’ve seen so far in the city. The first thing that crosses your mind is “Where am I?”. Well basically, you’re in Walid Zaazaa’s creative mind, a world where art, architecture and fashion all come together. This French fashion designer has worked with brands like DKNY and Calvin Klein for 15 years before opening what is today the most avant-gardist and coolest store in town. More than half of the brands you’ll find here are new to Singapore. Think Gilet, Inari, Mads Norgaard or Maison Olga… And by coming here, you’d definitely save a shopping trip to Japan, Denmark or France.

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Zaazaa’s idea is to welcome everyone, “no matter if it’s to buy an affordable postcard, or to get a 300 dollars Maison Kitsuné dress”. That sounds like a lovely Manifesto.

ASK : What’s coming up. The store also aims to host events and exhibitions, Daniel Buren for example might come soon.

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image Shop lifestyle at Manifesto
image Shop fashion at Manifesto

 

 

Singapore -One of a kind- Books Actually

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Your attention please, rare specimen here. This Independent bookstore, unique in Singapore, almost went out of business several times but survived thanks to owner Kenny and his team’s passion and devotion. Specialised in fiction, they house the largest collection of Singapore literary publications and publish poetry, novel and essays under their imprint “Math Paper Press”. You’ll also go crazy for the wide range of magazines. Plus they have a vintage bric-a-brac at the back, like a tiny tiny flea market. If you have time for only one place in Tiong Bahru. This is it.

ASK: for the hand stitch notebooks and stationery they produce under Birds & Co.

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Singapore -Flower Couture- One Olive

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This little “flower couture” shop is worth having a peep at. Old French songs are playing (ones my own grandparents won’t even recognize). Even if you have no one to buy flowers to, let yourself go to the romantic atmosphere and floral scents. Prices are up to 5 times the Tiong Bahru market next door, but it’s (haute) couture isn’t it?

ASK: to meet Sunday, their star cat even has a soft toy in his image.

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Singapore -Tintin & Co- Woods in the books

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Another Indie bookstore and neighbour of Books Actually. Woods in the books specializes in picture books for all ages. From comics to graphic novels, you’ll meet Tintin and The little Prince. And also gems from local authors, Illustration paradise.

ASK: For drawings and toys created by the shop owner and artist Mike Foo.

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Singapore -Hipster Corner- Strangelets

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This is the story of 4 interior designers and architect friends who travelled the world in order to create a shop that would gather charming and clever items. The result is this little design shop, a response to hyper-mega mass production. High-End. Think tableware by Astier de Villatte, Jewellery by Kiel Mead, lighting by Mark Product…  Beautiful, quirky, and expensive.

ASK: For the singaporeans frozen treats “Popaganda”. And for the crafts from Heart works, part of a social project in Cape Town. They’re one of the few little affordable things to buy in Strangelets.

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Singapore -Shop the local Chic-Nana & bird

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Georgina Koh and Tan Chiew Ling opened this online store and Multi-label boutique in 2011. Their goal is to cater the best of what international and local emerging designers such as Yumumu and Aijek can offer. They sell “only what they would buy for themselves" for the modern and engaged woman. Which wardrobe should be functional including classic pieces and occasional “why not” piece with quirky details.” 
ASK: To see what their kids collection. They have recently started to sell children wear.
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Mumbai -Must shop- Bungalow8

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Since 2003, Mumbai’s beautifully styled first concept store spotlights the very best of Indian inspired design and fashion.  This is where Madonna and Sting shop when they are in town. From dining and living, bath, bed and fashion, everything is lifestyle connected. Walking thru the shop is like living in a dream house. Bungalow 8’s philosophy is to pair “Indian-ness with global-ness”. Charming.

ASK: For their house designed kimonos to bring some cosiness back home

At the time of writing, the Colaba store was about to move to Churchgate.

An organic pop up restaurant helmed by owner Maithili Ahluwalia’s mother is coming up in September.

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Mumbai -Quirky Shop- Loose Ends

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Ex media professional Madhumita Goswami created this quirky shop that carries home accessories, clothes and retails “stuff less ordinary”. Its goal is to gather things that are “unlike any other available in the market”. Located near the popular Bandra market, you will indeed find products you have never seen elsewhere. Cushion covers, T-shirt, ashtray… A good stopover to buy an eccentric gift.

ASK: For the vintage Hindi film posters. You might be able to find something unusual and stylish.

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Mumbai -Hipster Corner- Filter

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This little hipster corner store curated by advertising copywriter filters, as well as showcasing the works of illustrators, photographers, graphic designers and product innovators. The store offers a range of products that goes from limited edition prints and stationery, to T-shirts, mouse pads, diaries, sketchbooks… A good mix of local and international modern refined aesthetics.

ASK: For the latest works from Mumbai designers.

11am-7pm- Closed on Sundays

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Mumbai - Local & global lifestyle- The White Window

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Former film actress Twinkle Khanna, ventured into interior designing and founded The White Window, a décor retailed store which aims to present items with timeless designs. Miss Khanna has won an Interior designer reward since then, and her shop provides a wide range of products from local artisans to globally sourced object and vintage pieces.

ASK: For the Buddha head candles. They never melt. Made in India.

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Mumbai -Shop local- Fabindia

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Fabindia was created in 1960 by American John Bissell to curate sustainable rural employments. Today, the brand works with over 15 000 artisans. Their stores (over a 100) offer everything in one go, all made from traditional and hand based processes: Textiles, fashion items, stationery, furniture, organic food… Their body care products are particularly worth the try. All at affordable price.

ASK: For their lemon and mint foot scrub. Such a relief after a walking day.

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