My European adventure is finally drawing to a close. I’m sitting at my gate at Charles de Gaulle as I write this, feeling more than a little heartache to be leaving. But more than sadness, I feel so lucky to do what I do. To share my most beloved places with others. To connect people. And to discover new and magical cities (I’m looking at you, Porto.)
It’s been an amazing trip, maybe my best culinary tour ever, but I’m ready to come home. I’m ready to get back to the rhythms of autumn. To pots of soup simmering on the stove. To rainy afternoons with my latest knitting project. And especially to breakfasts shared with my sweet Beau.
I’m also ready to get back to connecting with all of you! To that end, I’ve got cooking classes at Book Larder coming up and a pop-up dinner collaboration with one of my favorite chefs in December (details coming soon!). But in the meantime, I wanted to give you guys a little inspiration for your own autumn rituals with a new Love List.
- First up is a new Paris discovery: Aux Deux Amis. This little bistro on the rue Oberkampf had actually been on my radar for a while. But the last time I was in Paris, there was always an enourmous crowd of hipsters outside every time I walked by. It looked noisy and scene-y and not like the kind of place I wanted to eat dinner, so I struck it off my list. This trip, a friend suggested we meet there for lunch. And I’m so glad he did. The hipsters had dissipated, leaving behind a charming, bright, and still-hip bistro with fantastic food. I started my meal with a sort of decadent deviled egg with smoked herring served on a bed of shaved vegetables. I followed that up with a bowl of perfectly cooked squid and clams with tender Swiss chard in an olive oil infused broth. And the wine, from the 100% natural wine list, was the best I had on this trip.
- I love this look for fall. It feels perfectly of the moment. I especially love the little bit of lace peeking out to soften the whole look and make it more feminine. I plan on pinching more than a few of these sartorial details!
- This NYT piece on Edna Lewis and the Black Roots of American Cooking is my favorite kind of essay: intimate, inquisitive, food-focused, historical and masterfully written. If you are a fan of Edna Lewis’ writing (and you should be--what an amazing woman, cook and food historian she was!) or interested in traditional foodways or just an appreciator of Southern fare, you’ll love it, too.
- If you are going to be anywhere near Portugal this November, I highly recommend signing up for this creative autum retreat. My friends Sanda, Joana and Egle are teaming up to bring you a long weekend of photography, macrame and knitting. These three women share a keen aesthetic sense and a love of handcrafted beauty. And I can’t imagine a more restorative location for a retreat than Casas Caiadas in the rolling hills of the Alentejo. If I hadn’t just spent two weeks in Portugal, I’d be signing up myself!
- For a dose of visual inspiration, head over to the dreamy Instagram feed of Alexandria Nagel. She is a gifted noticer of details and the subtle tones in her images evoke an autumnal sense of tranquility and nostalgia. Her feed is one of my my absolute favorites.
- And because it’s the weekend, we need a cocktail! I intend to mix up a pitcher of this Cider Rum Punch to celebrate being home with the people I love most.
Happy Weekend & XO!