A few months back I photographed the apartment of my friends David & Florence in Hoxton. With a great ceiling height and the two front windows giving a lot of light, the place feels really bright and airy. The key colour theme of green lime against white gives it a very punchy edge, while the massive oak dining table and and the leather club sofa keep the atmosphere welcoming and warm. What also makes the apartment a fun and cool place are all the quirky details found and treasured by my friends, such as the yellow mushroom sculpture, the bull’s trophy head, or the turtle stool in the bedroom.
Catching up on my reading, I recently finished the French classic Du Côté de Chez Swann by Marcel Proust. In the first volume of the acclaimed series La Recherche, Proust reminisces a long forgotten childhood memory when tasting a madeleine dipped into a cup of tea. The unique flavours of the soft madeleine, almost dissolved after being dipped into the cup of tea, suddenly call back to mind the afternoons spent as a little boy at his aunt’s countryside house of Combray. It is incredible how the power of taste can awaken long gone moments that come rushing back in waves, as if time had had no effect at all. I must say I was quite fascinated by this famous episode of French literature, so much so that it gave me the idea to interpret it in pictures. Here are a few.
The end of the ski season has sadly arrived, with the rise of temperatures and the melting of the already scarce snow. It has however brought back the sun and its nice terrace lunches. It was on one of those days, during my last trip to Switzerland in March, that I took some pictures of a beautiful typical chalet. Set in the lovely village of Champéry, in the Valais region, it is a convenient 1hour and 15 min drive from Geneva. A blessing for the lucky Swiss people who have adopted it as their week-end retreat. This gorgeous chalet was decorated very much in keeping with the traditional style of Swiss mountain abodes, but with a slight international twist. The fair wood, comfortable furniture and great features such as the wood burner bring warmth and cosiness, while personal souvenirs such as the Russian porcelain wall lamps give the chalet a very intimate feel. A big thanks to Christine and Diego, the wonderful hosts who allowed me to take those pictures.
Belgian waffles are such a great treat for those feeling a bit naughty around tea time. Sprinkled with icing sugar and dipped into dark melted chocolate – it doesn’t get any better! And the best thing is, when you’re done devouring your golden – tender on the inside, crispy on the outside – waffles, then you still have the pans, spoons and whisk, all coated in chocolate, to “take care of”.
Lemon tart is one of my all-times favourite deserts, one that has especially marked my childhood. My dad used to bake them quite often – mostly at my request! – following the great Pierre Hermé’s recipe, expertly mastering it, time after time.
So it comes as no surprise that this is the recipe that I tried to reproduce for this shoot. I admit it was quite a lot of work, as I wanted to make everything from scratch, but there was something almost of a soul-search in exploring this recipe that I have seen my dad perform so many times. In terms of aesthetics, the crust of the pastry came out slightly irregular around the edges, but to be honest, without using a proper “cercle a patisserie” that’s a lost battle. Apart from that I was quite happy about the result: it was very similar to my dad’s version and tasted absolutely fantastic.
The second lemon tart, sprinkled with icing sugar, was Marta’s version – we had agreed on baking one each – and funnily enough it came out very different. It was nice to see that there is a whole variation on the lemon tart theme.
Photography: Astrid Templier – http://www.astridtemplierphotography.com
Styling: Marta Wojtczak
This is a series of pictures I took last summer in Shoreditch, East London. The idea was to explore the contrast of beautiful and sexy fashion, shot against a derelict, urban background.The outfits were provided by Ohran, whose shop is set on Hoxton’s Pitfield Street.
Fashion credit: Orhan / www.orhanlondontailoring.com
Back to food with a few still lives around winter vegetables. I found this beautiful scale at a car boot sale recently and couldn’t wait to shoot it. But first I had to get the right background, which was solved with this wood table that I built from wood pieces picked up in the street (the finishing oil gives it a really lovely colour). And obviously the vegetables had to look really good. I went to Panzers in Saint John’s Wood for inspiration as they are renowned for always having great looking products. I wasn’t disappointed, the artichokes especially were amazing. Naturally you would wonder what to do with so many vegetables left over (onions in particular, I had bought tons of them). With my parents coming for dinner, I thought I’d try a new recipe. I made a pot-roast beef with French onion gravy, which received more praises than I ever had! You can find the recipe here.
It’s already been a while since July, but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to post a few pictures of this gorgeous wedding I shot in London. After a lovely civil ceremony, the newly weds hosted a buffet lunch at their St John’s Wood apartment. As the bride is from Russia, the food theme was easily found, with caviar and blinis, fish, and many delicious Russian treats. The evening was an intimate soirée hosted at the Ritz in London, which gave a perfect backdrop to this glamorous wedding. The couple and their thirty guests were first treated to a champagne reception in the blue salon, before heading to the spectacular red dining room for a fabulous seated dinner. Late in the night, the party continued in the blue salon with more champagne – and Russian vodka! – dancing until the break of dawn…