Vase d’Avril: The vase is a series of glass test tubes which slot into connected zinc covered steel holders. It comes in two sizes small and large, mine’s the small one and what you see in the picture is just a portion of it, as the whole thing is more than double that length with twenty-one glass cylinders. You can use it whole, in pieces, or even just one tube. Empty it’s not especially pretty but it’s totally transformed by adding a few flowers and bits of greenery. It cheers up a corner of a room, without the need to indulge in bank-balance-busting-buying of bunches of flowers. The Vase d’Avril is by Tsé & Tsé Associées, a small French design company.
Update 12th November 2011: I was in Paris earlier this week and noticed that there are now three sizes of Vase d’Avril: small, medium and large.
Paris Tokyo Cushions: I knew when I saw these cushions, a few years ago, in the Conran Shop in London that they were just right for my sitting room, which has duck egg coloured walls and a black floor on which I have place a bright red sofa. Perhaps the décor is somewhat eclectic but it works (well at least for me). I had seen other variants of the cushion, with pictures of dogs, Picasso paintings and Russian dolls, so I didn’t automatically assume they were French but when I looked at the label today I discovered that are indeed made in France by a textile company called Iosis. Looking at them closely reminds me I need to revisit the City of Light soon.
Goat’s Cheese: I am, in the main, dairy phobic, taking my coffee with soya milk, forgoing regular tea with milk for herbal varieties and eschewing cheeses made from cow’s milk. I miss eating the huge variety of cheeses made from cow’s milk (I confess I occasionally indulge) so I thank the food deities for goat’s cheese. It’s a very versatile ingredient and a staple I usually have in my fridge, I find it useful for adding depth and flavour to a variety of dishes, tonight’s mushroom and goat’s cheese omelette being a case in point. By a neat but entirely accidental coincidence the goat’s cheese in the picture is also from France.