Looking back over my photos from Arles it appears we had a pretty jam packed day. We started at Les Arenes, the Roman amphitheatre constructed in the first century AD.
In its hay day Les Arenes held 20,000 spectators, as it stands now, minus the third tier, they estimate 10,000 people could comfortably be seated in here.
Bizarrely the amphitheatre was turned into a mini town in the Middle Ages when over 200 dwellings and three churches were built in here. Now it’s restored to its original purpose – as a magnificent backdrop for french bullfighting and affording some lovely views over the city itself.
Dan and I then headed over to Musee Reattu which is so beautiful and understated I am tempted to call it a hidden gem (if it weren’t in every guidebook).I can’t rave about this Museum enough. Its set in a fifteenth century priory and has a super permanent collection including 57 ink and crayon sketches by Picasso and an awesome room full of Christian Lacroix sketches. I love this ones face, suitably fashionably bored despite the amazing outfit – It was fun to see that something can look like this on the outside – and have works like this on the inside – As well as going to the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, we also visited the Cryptoportiques. Basically an enormous, dark, slightly damp underground gallery space. Nobody knows what the Cryptoportiques were originally built for but accessing them via a steep staircase in the Hotel de Ville makes a fun way to spend half an hour. One final piece of information – should you ever find yourself in Arles, make it your mission to find Patisserie du Forum (4 rue de la Liberte) without doubt the best pain au chocolat I’ve ever had.
Posted in Architecture, Art, Design, Favourite things, Inspiration
Tagged amphitheatre, architecture, Arles, Art, Christian Lacroix, Cryptoportiques, hotel de ville, Les Arenes, museu reattu, patisserie du forum, Roman, Ronin
Posted in Architecture, Art, Design, Favourite things, Inspiration, Travel
Tagged architecture, Arles, Art, charcoal drawings, David Hockney, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, ipad drawings, light, The Arrival of Spring, Vincent Van Gogh, Woldgate The Arrival of Spring 2013
I’m lucky enough to have a couple of heaving Quince trees and a Nigel Slater obsession. Below is my modified NS recipe for poached Quince … I have added the chocolate, chilli and creme fraiche (basically making a very elaborate school pudding!)Put a saucepan of water on to boil. Add a couple of heaped tablespoons of brown sugar and stir in until dissolved. Peel your quince, cut them in half length ways and dig out as much of the core as possible. Rub the quince with lemon (to stop them browning) and add to the now simmering water. Add half a teaspoon of chilli flakes to a dry frying pan and flip about in the heat until they smell good and are slightly coloured. Cook the quince until tender (about 20 minutes, test with a skewer to make sure they’re soft!) remove from the pan, place in a bowl and top with dark chocolate shavings – the more the better. Add a massive dollop of creme fraiche and sprinkle the chilli flakes over the top of the whole thing.
Posted in Drawings, Food
Tagged Autumn, chilli, chocolate, Coing, cream, Creme Fraiche, poached quince, Provence, pudding, quince, warming, winter
It’s been a five months since I returned from New York. Provence is as beautiful as ever and after the ultimate city that never sleeps, the last few months have been an amazing rediscovery of everything slow! Like the incredible Chateau la Coste, outside Aix-en-Provence, whose presence is so out of the way and understated it’s taken me five years to realise it exists. But oh boy, this place is so pretty it could be in the pages of New York magazine.
Above is the incredible restaurant, where you can sample the vineyards wine and enjoy the menu du jour for 32 euros… All in the comfort of Japanese architect Tandao Ando’s extraordinary concrete Centre d’Art. They have a Le Corbusier tapestry hanging by the restaurants entrance which is reason enough to fall in love with the place for me. The restaurant, bookshop and information center are surrounded on either side by water. And some fairly heavy weight sculptures. Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider greets you on the way in and Alexander Calder’s Small Crinkly leads you into the garden beyond.As perfect a combination as possible, Chateau la Coste boasts Wine, Art and Architecture. The latter includes the 2008 Frank Gehry Music Pavillon (that to me looks like the Serpentine Gallery pavilion of the same year) as well as an incredibly spacey new Jean Nouvel designed chais de vinification or the naff sounding English translation – winery.
There is a 2 hour sculpture trail around the domaine and includes some fun pieces by Liam Gillick (above), Tracy Emin and Tom Shannon (below) among others. As well as a newly opened gallery in one of the former village buildings currently showing Different Places – Sean Scully.Looking down towards the Gehry pavilion.
The Chateau also holds open air screenings and music concerts in the summer. The map of the grounds has some incomplete circles marking installations a venir (coming installations) including what looks to be a Richard Rogers designed building, Ai Weiwei pavilion and John Rocha art installation. Maybe I didn’t have to go to New York to find cultural Nirvana after all!
Posted in Architecture, Art, Design, Favourite things, Food, Inspiration
Tagged Aix-en-Provence, Alexander Calder, architecture, Art, Autumn, Chateau la Coste, concrete, Frank Gehry, Le Puy-Sainte Reparade, Music Pavilion, Provence, Tadao Ando, wine, wine tasting
Posted in Architecture, Flowers, Garden, Travel
Tagged central park, flowers, manhattan, New York, NYC, Spring, tulips, wards island