Posts from August 2008

What's better, the Food or the View? Auberge du Gros Bill in my native Morbihan

This restaurant, Auberge du Gros Bill on Pointe du Bile (Penestin) in my native Morbihan opens for business from March to November.'

Lisa Kelly made my mouth water with Plate With A View: Auberge du Gros Bill, Brittany, France (The Independent, August 16)...

What was on her plate you might ask, well "the restaurant is a cliff-drop away from the sea, so fish has a big place on the menu. My grilled prawns were served over a lightly oiled nest of tagliatelle, with a pot of Marie Rose sauce. Mussels are a must when in season –Penestin is renowned for its plump yellow-orange  moules de bouchot. A dozen Brittany oysters glided down my husband's gullet" Lisa writes.

Highlights of the Penestin area (picture below, from local site) are numerous beaches, the Mine d'Or and its cliffs and if you want to get a first look at the catch of the day, the fishing port of Trehiguier which hosts a Mussels Festival.


The Penestin is located 30 minutes from La Baule if you travel by train and about 1 hour from Nantes if you fly.

Looking for an affordable yet comfortable place to stay, the Camping des Iles seems to fit the profile.

Many attractions located within an hour drive are offered by South Brittany Gites.

You can find Details on the Moules de Bouchot thanks to Jacques Godefroy (of Normandy).

Wish I was there!

Recent Brittany bit: 'Histoire de Chocolat' The story of Brest in Chocolate Instalments

Would Balzac feel Honored to Have a Wine Bar named after him?

How would a heavyweight of French literature feel if he had a chance to see his name adorning the marquee of a Wine Bar I wondered?

The wine bar in question, Balzac is in Milwaukee (Wisconsin)...
They do know how to come up with a few good lines such as their 'Elegantly Wasted Happy Hour' (Monday to Friday from 3 to 7pm (1/2 off selected bottle and glass pours) and 'Raid the Cellar' (Sundays, same as Happy Hour, but from 3pm to Closing Time)...

For the solo diner, they offer a great variety of half bottles.

In Uncorked, a guide to Milwaukee's Wine Bars, Kristine Hansen gets Peter Bressert of Balzac to share some of his favorite wines, One is "the 2005 Domaine Serene Coeur Blanc, a white Pinot Noir from Oregon". The 5H Riesling is another. He describes it as “loaded with minerality and high acidity, which is great with food pairings.

Balzac also offers wine classes on Thursdays according to the article with past topics including “Wine 101: Why it’s not rude to spit” and “Terroir: Why we  love the French.”

What led me to Balzac you might ask?

It was purely accidental. Let me blame Tuesday in Miwaukee: Pecha Kucha Night #2 on the Daily Blog of 800 CEO READ.

The event takes place on August 26 at the Hi Hat Garage which seems to be a sibling of Balzac, hence my discovery...

Related: When Creatives go Pecha Kucha and Talk...Face to Face

Samba Time in Tokyo: Brazilian Carnival in Asakusa on August 30

Can't make it to Rio but happen to be in Tokyo on August 30th, for an afternoon the Asakusa district comes alive with the annual Asakusa Samba Carnival and its sounds of Brazil...

The festival started small in 1981 yet last year managed to attract half a million spectators according to Feel Brazil: Asakusa Samba Carnival by Eriko Arita (Japan Times, August 15)...

The article estimates that some 4700 musicians, singers and dancers in 30 to 40 teams divided in 3 leagues will compete for the top spot...

For the pleasure of your eyes, there is a good Asakusa Samba Festival Slide Show by Gino T. Manalastas of past editions of the festival. 

The video above offers highlights of the 2007 event...

That's entertainment for Tokyo Thursdays #52

Last week: Papier Mache Floats rule for Tanabata Festival

From 'Consumed to Thrifty' News: From Tech to Fashion

In a number of areas the appetite of either businesses or individuals for new purchases rather than falling off the cliff is (pardon the expression) getting weak in the knees.

Richard Waters warns Back to bust? High technology on course for harder times (FT, August 14)...
Even the consumed and insouciant are affected as Retailers Catch Teenage Blues(WSJ, August 8) tells us...

Jonathan Guthrie sees one category of experts are safe, Cheer Leaders of Positive Thinking that is in Why a bust is boom time for happynomics (FT also, August 6)...

The end of the world is not near, it is more about living (rather than dying) with our eyes open in my humble opinion...

A quick addition to my Consumed to Thrifty musings...

Visit to 'Toy Exhibit' at 'Museum of City of New York' followed by Dinner at Nice-Matin

My Wednesday Museum thread continues with a visit to the Museum of the City of New York, mainly their Toy Exhibit.

This museum is a good bet if you have kids 12 and under as they get free admission.

After the museum, I will have dinner at Nice-Matin, to get a first hand look at their 'tomato festival' offerings...

Bonne journee...

Related: You say Tomatoes, I Say Tomatos, Festivals of Them, Restaurants in New York, Art in Nashville

'Pay pump prices' Hertz Ad...Plus $6.99 Refuelling Fee says Fine Print

While checking the news of the day, I noticed a new ad by Hertz that touts 'Take the easy route. Let us fill it up. Pay pump prices when you return your car*'.

I first thought here is an example of a company that understands the Consumed to Thrifty trend...

When I clicked on the Ad to see details on the offer, I was disappointed to see that 'a flat $6.99 refueling fee per transaction' is added...

A case of muddling the message...

Are you aware of Car Rental companies where you can refuel at pump price without any fee?

Please let us know. It would be useful information for our Consumed to Thrifty Panel at South by Southwest.

Give Your Vote to Consumed to Thrifty before August 29 if the topic strikes a cord with you.

Dia Redondo: An Afternoon of Pampering at Hilton Diagonal Mar (Barcelona)

At the end of a business trip or after a conference, your batteries might be running low and all you want is a few hours to chill before you catch your plane or train to get back home...

Here's a suggestion for you.

Rather than have rooms stay idle during the day, the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona (as in Spain, or should I say Catalonia) came up with the idea of Dia Redondo.

What's it all about you might ask?

The Dia Redondo package costs 75 Euros per person (VAT included).

What you get is:

Room use from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm

Towels and Access to the Swimming Pool (my illustration)

Barbecue at the Brisa Pool Bar (includes water and coffee)

Gym and Sauna.


Need to remove the knots in your back, get a relaxing 30 minutes massage for an extra 25 Euros.

Your flight might not leave until the next morning and you want to spend the evening exploring the town, for an additional 50 Euros keep the room for the night (Breakfast included)...

The Dia Redondo special runs until September 26

Thanks to Maria Oliete (Cluster Marketing Coordinator for the hotel, not sure what her title means) for providing me with all the details and the enticing pictures so quickly...

Bon Voyage!

Related: Hilton Hotel New York (Avenue of the Americas) is pet friendly

and Kubik Barcelona, DJ's, Beats and Recycling

Is it true that 'Everything That Happens Will Happen Today'? (Ask Brian Eno and David Byrne)

Music is Not Dead.

Its Future is being constantly reinvented.

You will not find the new collaboration between David Byrne and Brian Eno in stores but could can taste Everything That Happens Will Happen Today right here and if it pleases your ears then purchase it...

Is the title a reminder that we should live in the present and enjoy it fully?

Being stuck in the past or worried about the future, we might miss what's happening right now under our nose...

Another meaning for Consumed to Thrifty, Everyday is Precious!

Do not forget to Vote for Our Consumed to Thrifty Panel (South by Southwest 2009)

Can you Walk or Ride your Bike Down the Street without being Run Over?

I have to admit I become one of these 'on the edge' drivers when my wife starts hitting my buttons while I get close to pedestrians, dogs or cats or raccoons or any other living creatures.

She makes me tense.

I am not trying to overrun any living creatures either human of animal.

Jay Walljasper in his Ecopolitan column (August 18) on Green Guide feels that There's a battle raging in the streets of America between Bicycles and Cars, Taxis, Trucks and the Others...

Reading his piece made me think of Mercy Mercy Me (the Ecology) on What's Going On by Marvin Gaye...

Seems like he was Eons ahead of his time...

Have you been run over or pushed around lately while riding your bike?

That's all for Green Day # 40

Last Week: Walking: The Cheapest Way to Move Around: Walkscore can help

Strongman in the Circus meets Wine: Hullabaloo, Fun and Zinfandel

There is no reason why people should feel intimidated while trying to pick a wine.
All that matters is how much you enjoy it.

Far from being pretentious and fussy, Hullabaloo is a Zinfandel that brings back the fun into drinking wine.

Not as earthy and peppery as you might expect from a ZIN (it might be due to the 5% Syrah added to the mix), the fruit forward styled red is a good companion for a Summer meal.

The Strongman in the Circus label adds to the Fun.


Maybe all it takes to bring back the fun to Napa is some Canadian Expats like the owners of Nine North Wine Company, the proud parents of Hullabaloo and other labels...

On Zany Wines: Wine goes to the Dogs...Que sera Shiraz!