Simple Christmas


Here's to keeping it simple
Wishing you all a Joyous Holiday

Great Food/Great Design: Thomas Keller/Adam Tihany


I read a great restaurant review in the Los Angeles Times yesterday by critic S. Irene Verbila, which you can read in its entirety here.  She starts of the article with "Ladies who lunch: On your marks:  Bouchon Beverly Hills...…"
The review is quite good and she goes on to lavish praise on Thomas Keller.  Having eaten at the French Laundry in Napa and Bouchon in Las Vegas, I would agree that he is one of the best restauranteurs we have in the United States.

What makes his restaurants so special is in addition to superbly plated and presented food, are the venues themselves; always a perfect compliment to his total vision

The French Laundry in Yountville in the Napa Valley epitomizes that vision.  The restaurant
 invites you in with the wonderful gardens and gravel pathways from the moment you arrive.  You can read more about The French Laundry here.  He spends a lot of time reflecting on his philosophy about the total experience of a great meal and his goals as a chef.
All of his restaurants were designed with the help of Adam Tihany.  Mr Tihany is well know for his work in the hospitality industry  He has a remarkable way with his use of lighting and understated colors.  I think one of the goals is to make the customer look really good, sipping champagne at the nice!  The sleek metal  bar at Bouchon Beverly Hills is no exception.
Bouchon Bistro Las Vegas
What is interesting about restaurant design and more specifically restaurant kitchen design is that it is often the inspiration for many home kitchens and eating areas.  You would think that a restaurant would want us to feel like we are dining at home but in fact it's the other way around...when dining at home we want to feel like we are at a restaurant.
Ad Hoc, which literally means "for this purpose" is one of my favorite restaurant interiors

Thomas Keller has designed his own line of white porcelain dinner ware which can be purchased through Gumps in San Francisco and Adam Tihany has his own line of flatware for Christofle.

Per Se Restaurant New York City
The cookbook collection is really wonderful, especially The French Laundry cookbook.  Both would make a great gift.  You can also down load the daily menu's from their web site which is really fun to do.  Here is the menu from Ad Hoc for today
 I think I need to take a trip to the market, my fridge is looking a little shabby after all things Thomas Keller
Have a great day~*~kelley

Holiday Inspiration: Rogers Gardens


Even if you're feeling a bit like Scrooge this year a trip to the famous nursery and shops of Rogers Gardens in Corona Del Mar warm your heart.  This is not just any is 7 acres of botanical beauty and at Christmas time they deck out the entire site with ornaments and gifts for all ages and interests

The interior gift shops feature these amazing Christmas trees, each with a theme

The trees are so packed with ornaments you can barely see the green.  At the base of each tree are baskets filled with the items of each theme for purchase

This year was amazing.  I didn't count the amount of trees displayed but it had to be close to 30

I especially liked this tree called Bohemian Bourgeois.  It was sitting in a bright red chinois pot atop a painted cabinet with lots of blues and golds

Nutcrackers anyone?

Throughout the shops are tables of books, boxes, cache pots, faux floral arrangements and candles.

They sell an amazing variety of orchids and interior plants.  I loved this table made from reclaimed wood with the vintage roof cupola as a center piece

More gifts and gardening supplies.  This collection of fun birdhouses was really great

The selection of forced bulbs and poinsettia was just beautiful.  They also have a floral studio where you can have them create a custom center piece in your own pot or basket.  I have an old butter churn that I am going to have them do for me, which I will share later

This is the vegetable/herb garden area.  So many fun and different things to plant this time of year!  Notice the hanging herb baskets in the background.

Succulents have also become a specialty for Rogers.  They have an annual contest for the most creative water-wise garden for local gardeners

The hanging baskets have been a signature for the last 20 years or more and they are still a favorite of mine.  This is really a great gift to give any time of year and the baskets last a very long time as well

Here is my purchase, from this trip.  The wreath is fresh eucalyptus and the little pots are paper whites.  I left feeling very inspired and what a great way to spend and hour.  If you would like more info or directions here's a link to Rogers Gardens

best to all ~*~kelley