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Queen’s Day (in Dutch: Koninginnedag) in Amsterdam is a unique night and day carnival-like event on 30th of April each year. On this day the Dutch celebrate the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands. Although it’s original the birthday of Queen Juliana (the mother of Queen Beatrix), not of Queen Beatrix, they celebrate her birthday on 30 April. Queen Beatrix birthday is really on the 31th January, but the winter isn’t the time to party outside. Because of this Queen Beatrix officially celebrates her birthday on 30 April, so people can party with (hopefully) better weather! What is special about the Queen’s Day, well simply there is a huge party across the whole city, and it is combined with the market in the streets.
So off course when my friends asked me if I were interested to join them, I right away booked my flights. My flight was soo early that I had to wake up at 4.30 am to go to my second home, Geneva airport. After an hour and 30 minutes of flight, I arrived to Schiphol airport. Schiphol, Amsterdam airport, is so big that I had to walk 20 minutes before getting my luggage… but let’s be positive, it means that I had my mini morning workout so I can eat and drink freely ;)
The plan was to celebrate the Queensday on a boat that will cruise the canal while we drink, dance and have fun. At noon we were at the lobby of the hotel with our first drinks waiting for the boat.
No need to say that it was a blast; we had 2 dj’s and 30 something people, and most importantly lots of liquids. I don’t remember if I ate something, actually there are some parts of the day that I blanked out… but I remember the gifts that were thrown to us at the “Red Light District”. They were pink and big!!!! I also remember lots of people dressed up in orange, lots of vodka and very friendly people; I might say one or two extremely friendly… I guess The Netherlands has a different way to welcome visitors…
Our little party lasted only 9 hours… Our boat survived the journey but I heard some didn’t and few boats sank… It was a really fun experience but believe me once a year is enough… I guess tomorrow I will suffer…

Here I am back with my sale news, this time is for Diane von Furstenberg and it is an online sale where an assortment of merchandise is discounted up to 70% off. The sale will continue until Wednesday, April 28th, and right now there are plenty of styles and sizes available. And shipping is free if you enter the code shipsale at checkout.

Oh and for New Yorkers again, there is a Sigerson Morrisan sale from Wednesday April 28th (at 10.30am) till Friday 30th(3pm)at Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 west 18th street, gallery level.

The link for DVF private online sale

The Geneva Old Town (La Vieille Ville) is a picturesque portion of Geneva, characterized by its cobblestone streets, old buildings and sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Perched on a hillside south of the Rhone River, la Vieille Ville can be seen from around Geneva. The heart of the old town is the Geneva Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Pierre).
This week-end we had an a amazing weather in Geneva. Sunny and warm, I guess summer is really around the corner. On Saturday morning I went to “la Clemence” in Vieille Ville (the old town) with my mom and had coffee there.
La Clemence, for the ones who don’t know is “THE” place in Geneva’s old town, to have coffee and happy hour on the sunny week-ends. It is located in the very center of old town, and you can simply sit and watch all Geneva pass by, as well as all the tourists. And as we saw on Saturday those tourist walk around with their camera and ask you to take their picture in front of the water fountain, just by the Clemence.
La Clemence is also the morning spot of the Old Towners (that my sis calls the clan of old town). Because they all know each other, and they have their own activities. It is quite cute actually.
After our looong coffee watching everyone, we decided to go for lunch at a restaurant in old town that I used to go a lot when I was a student. It has a nice terrace, and as I am seeking about all the nice terrace restaurants around city, I thought we should try this one as well. It is called “Le Mortimer”. This restaurant is known for its chocolate cake, the best of Geneva, the center is chocolate is fondant, and one word can describe it… heaven!!!
When we arrived to the restaurant they sat us on a side where we had sun, but the owner told us that, unfortunately it won’t stay long, due to the buildings around. We ordered our plates, and honestly were not really impressed by the food quality and taste. The staff is really nice, but I think when on the menu it is written half chicken, they should put some chicken whites and not simply a piece of drumstick and a wing, where there is barely meat to eat. Especially at this price, when one door down you have “Chez ma Cousine” which gives you for the half price, a real half chicken, with salad and potatoes.
Anyway I guess we will keep Mortimer for the chocolate cake spot, and the beauty you don’t even need to eat it there, you can just take out ;) and on my side, I will continue my search for the great terraces in Geneva center.

Last night a friend of mine organized a dinner a “Brasserie des Halles de L’Ile” in Geneva. We were all gonna meet up there; check out the photos exhibitions of New York than have dinner. I have been there last year the day they opened. We were a big group and it was a disaster; bad service and bad food… and they gave us the excuse of this is a test night. Well let me tell you I was happy to be there for that “test” night instead of the official opening night where a woman had been sexually abused in the restrooms. And apparently the aggressor, who was one of the guests, continued drinking at the bar after the attack. I guess I don’t need to add more, all these events didn’t really inspired me to go back there.
So when my friend proposed Les Halles de L’Ile, I was really hesitant at first, then decided to give another chance, and promised myself to not drink too much liquid so I won’t need to go to the restrooms ;)
It is located between Rive Droite and Rive Gauche, on the lake. The place is beautiful, it is owned by the city of Geneva, and the prices are not expensive at all. When I arrived, the outside court was full of people… the crowd??? hmm hard to explain, beside some homeless passing by, I saw few bankers, some artists and was particularly amazed seeing a bunch of young boys who were dressed to impress. One of them was wearing his bowler hat, and smoking his pipe… it looked like a low budget remake of “The Avengers” with the 12 year old boy as John Steed….
I finally sat at the table. The dining room is huge with lots of tables; it has a cafeteria feeling, with techno music on top. So no need to say very very noisy. Our waiter, who was a sweet man, was totally lost and definitely had hearing problems. He was running from one side of the room to the other side, like a headless chicken. We all knew that we had one chance to place our order, cause once he will leave our table; no one knew when he will be back. So we decided as a group to get really ready for our order before calling him. When he came everybody said what they wanted, and too bad for the ones not ready, who missed their chance to order appetizers. We right away ordered several bottle of wines, so we won’t be short on that side, and believe me to survive to that banging music you needed lots of liquids.
Food started to come, and they missed one appetizer, which was off course mine. When I finally got it, I was impressed by the quantity, my salmon petals were more like a salmon tree, and there were sooo many of them.
The main courses followed later and everybody seemed happy. So I must say the food got better, the service, giving the circumstances was ok. The price was cheap. Between cocktails, appetizers, main dish, desert and drinks, we pay per head, what you normally pay for a main dish in most of Geneva restaurants.
The restrooms? Well I kept my plan, and never went there, no need to take the risk. Would I return??? Not on my own initiative, but wouldn’t be totally against it if a plan comes along.
Apparently they have a great brunch, do I risk trying it…. Would let you know. In the meantime have a great week-end all

Hey girls who are Manolo addicts and who live in New York, I have a secret for you. Manolo’s secret sample sale!!!
Usually reserved for editors and fashion insiders the Manolo sale is renowned as a full-on fashion event. Gossips say that
that this season’s sale will feature Vogue’s contributing editor and America’s Next Top Model judge, André Leon Talley.
At previous sample sales leather heels started at $100. Usually the morning of the sale is reserved for press and insiders and the afternoon is open to the public. Hopefully all the publicity of the sale won’t change the rules a bit.
So here is the info
Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Warwick Hotel
54th Street and 6th Avenue

Enjoy it girls and if you cannot take the sample crowds, check out your local Saks Off 5th outlet store.
Secret has been revealed that the shoe department is very well stocked with Manolos– all priced in the $200 range. It’s not a $100 and there’s no ALT but we found patent lather, high heel, Marry Janes and they come with a return option.

Today I met a friend at “Senso” restaurant in Geneva. I have chosen the location, because been at their lobby several times for drinks and really liked it. I had dinner once in winter, the restaurant was empty. I know that they have a terrace and wanted to try it, so I could add a new restaurant with terrace in my city center list.

The city of Geneva, tries to discourage drivers to take their cars. All the outside parking spots (that are always full or closed for construction) can be used between 30 and 90 minutes. And believe me the city uses so many people to control it that if you are late 10 minutes, you can find yourself with a minimum fine of 40 USD, up to 160 USD. Sometimes I am thinking that those people are either bitter from life and it is their way of revenge, or they are like sales assistants, they work on commission. So unless you find an outside parking and/or you have a quick errand to do, you park in the closed parking. In the city Center, we have “Parking of Mont Blanc” and “Parking of Rive”. They are almost more expensive than the fines that you collect outside, so don’t know what the cheapest option is. And to top that Parking of Mont Blanc, is on construction to make our lives easy. What they do is they keep one side open, while they redo the other side.
It has been months that it started, and I don’t see any difference, the parking spots are so small that if you have a big car, it is a challenge to fit it. And on top of that, the parking is full of noise and dust, so make sure to wash your car when you leave….
I guess there is no way to get fresh air right now in Geneva; we have the ashes of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull outside, and the dust and smoke of the construction in the parking.
Anyway, finally I parked my car to join my friend at Senso. It is a located in place du Molard, and if you don’t know exactly where it is, you have big chances to miss it. Because it is hidden inside “the Passage du Rhone”. The decor is really nice, and the garden is cozy. It has a bar where you could imagine sipping your wine at night while waiting for your table. They have a great list of wine; the food menu is ok as well. So we sat and the hostess came to tell us the specials and left. The restaurant wasn’t that full, and she kept passing around and looking at our table but never came back. After 25 minutes, I lost my patience (and you know for me it is a record), and asked her if she mind taking our order finally. When I asked again about the specials, she answered me with arrogance, don’t bother we don’t have any left. Oh well I guess they made only 2 plates of that special, and off course it would be finished after 25 minutes wait.
We finally placed our order, the food came in 15 – 20 minutes, but they forgot to bring the drinks… My dish was ok, but my friend who ordered a fish suffered. Already it looked like a hospital food, and she said the fish was cold, and between us I don’t think it was cooked enough.
We finished our dishes and they got collected quickly, but had to wait another 10 min before the hostess decided to come and see us, and ask us if we wanted to see the desert menu…
Seriously, I think we should have left after waiting that much to place our order. The service used to be good, but today it was a disaster. I wished, I have seen the manager, because I would have few words to tell him about the service…

My friend told me that when they opened few years ago, you had to book 3 days in advance, no need to say that it is not the case today, and we all know why….

Every Wednesday and Saturday at specific places in Geneva you have the market. All the farmers around Geneva bring their fresh products, and it is full of fruits, vegetables, flowers and other products.
You can be sure to have big traffic, because the biggest one is in city center at Rive, where normally there is a big circulation.
The place is packed with who’s who…. from restaurant owners, to housewives, passing by families who do their Saturday outing. Everybody has a fancy bag, (it is Geneva after all) so they can put their purchases. Again you have to be dressed correctly, because you are sure to see someone you know, and in Geneva it is a crime to leave the house without a decent outfit and make up. You risk being outcasted…
The nice thing is that you have several coffees around, where after your shopping you can sit and enjoy the day.
Normally my mom and sister go together to the market on Saturdays, as she is stuck in New York because of the Volcano ashes, I went with my mom. Once our shopping done, we decided to go to a nice terrace for lunch.
We went to Le Cottage, it is on the other side of the bridge, but has such a nice terrace and food that it is worth it. At nights their menu is composed with Mediterranean tapas or mezzes or antipasti… While you eat the delicious food, you can taste different wines.
At lunch they have a smaller menu, no tapas to share, just few appetizers and few main courses, but a huge desert list with artisanal ice creams.
One of the biggest complaints about that restaurant is the service; it is known to be very slow… I found the stuff nice and not that slow.
After all, I had a great lunch under the sun with my mom, who even tried the ice cream with orange and saffron…
But next time, maybe I will go there for dinner instead of lunch, cause I prefer from far the menu; and if I want to enjoy their terrace during the day, would have coffee or tea…

I meet my friend and her adorable daughter sometimes at park, but today we met at a coffee shop, due to pollen allergies she has.
In Geneva, all my friends with kids hope that the sun is out so they can take the little ones to the park. In my neighborhood is Park Bertrand. It is full of moms and babysitters running after the kids. It has several playgrounds, some for the little ones and some for the older ones.
During the week-end you see the fathers joining the mothers, or alert for single girls…. there are lots of single fathers. I seriously believe that it is a great place to meet someone. So girls if you have a dog, r if you can borrow a friends kids, go to Parc Bertrand on the week-end. You might get the whole package… father and kid ;)
Joke aside, I am impressed with my friends with kids, because even in winter, as soon as they see the sun, the kids are at the park.In January I had my niece and nephew over for few days, I decided to take them to the park with my friend and her daughter. Mine were paralyzed with the cold, (they come from a Mediterranean city where snow is nonexistent), so I had to put several layers of clothes so they won’t freeze.
Every neighborhood has great Parks, no kidding, with the amount of rain we have, we better have some green in the city.
Although it is not Central Park’s zoo, we have some Parks with animals as well, where kids can have a pony ride.
If you compare Geneva to New York an Milan,it is from far the best suited city to have kids. They have fresh air, and have much more places to play, and no need to talk about the great schools that Geneva have.
So can we say that Geneva is more a family town than a single town??? Oh yeah….

Last night we decided with a friend to meet and catch up. We decided to go for wine and tapas. In Geneva the happy hour spot for that is Le Soleil Rouge. Basically you drink in a cave, and as it has always been non-smoking (even before the law), you always see a bunch of people at the stands outside. Le Soleil Rouge is generally full of wine connoisseurs, happy hour people, as well as with people who just go there with the hope of meeting their future love interest. We were there just to catch up and have some good time.
The only problem is that there is no service, you have to go to the counter to order your glass of wine, and there is only one person there. So we did like most of people, ordered a bottle of wine to avoid the long queues ( I guess it is their trick to push people to buy bottles). And for the food, you have to go to the kitchen and place your order, and then they will bring your tapas to your stand.
Honestly, if they have few people walking around taking orders I am sure they would make better business, and the customers would be happier.
Otherwise it was a fun beginning of night. Then we went to my old spot Quirinale. The bar was full, so we sat at the high tables near the bar and ordered more food. My friend did the great choice, she ordered a pizza. I made the mistake of ordering pasta, it was too salty sent it back, got a new one, which was very salty as well… thanks god wasn’t that hungry… result bloated like a balloon because of teh salt, filled up with water…
The crowd, as usual a bit of everything, less the “working ladies” that for some reason always pretend being an “aesthetician”, and funnily most of the crowd was not that tall… maybe it was a theme night and for once my friend and I were happy to not be that tall…Although would have proffered to see tall men around.
Before leaving the bar, we noticed that we were actually sitting on the wrong side of it. Cause the other side was full of hotties. That would teach us to stay on one spot and not circulate!!!
Overall it was a great night, I was happy to see my friend and catch up, had good wine, good tapas, and laughed a lot… perfect Thursday night in Geneva…

In Geneva you have two main restaurants for seafood. La Brasserie Lipp and Cafe du Centre.
They both have great terraces, although at Lipp; located in Cofederation Center; the terrace is more private, whereas at CDC, located at the Molard square, you can sit and watch all the bankers getting out of their banks for lunch or shoppers leaving Globus (Grand Passage for us old Geneva people)… But at the end of the both of them have the same clientele.
If you compare the food, I personally prefer Lipp, cause I think they have a bigger choice and the food is tastier. Their mussels are great, much better than the CDC one where there is so much onion that I need a day to digest and wash my hands all day long to take out the smell. So highly unadvised if you are planning a hot date later that day.
The service, well you can be sure that at Lipp, during your lunch or dinner, someone will break something, I guess it makes part of their tradition, but at least they all speak well French and English and are professionals. Whereas in Cafe du Centre, they keep hiring these interns, who are not very capable, and don’t really speak French or English.
And although I agree it is a brasserie, but at Lipp, it is so noisy that you cannot really talk (unless you seat on the terrace in summer which becomes the winter garden in winter). At Café du Centre you don’t have this problem, the closed area is much calmer and outside is happening.
If we talk about the crowd, well both attract the same people, lots of tourists but lots of locals as well. They both serve all day long, and Lipp serves until late night, so great spot to have dinner after a show or a movie.

This week I had lunch at both of them, I am trying to be healthy and eat fish… but I have to admit the potato gratin next to my salmon was yummy compared to the artichoke puree next to my sea bass… But if I had to pick overall… summer nights or winter lunches at Brasserie Lipp the terrace, or the winter garden. Quick bite for summer lunches Café du Centre… but I guess you need to taste both of them!!!