alexandre farto | london

last time in london, whilst walking through brick lane, i stumbled upon this image. at first it looked like a graffiti and then i realized the image was carved on the bulding’s wall.  i find it fascinating!

i soon found out that the artist, alexandre farto, aka vhils,  is a portuguese painter and grafitter, known for his faces sculped on walls. his work can be found on the streets of london, moscow, bogota, new york and la amongst others.

he is also the artist behind the silver elevator in bica, lisboa – remember this post?

first image by me, second via alexandre farto’s website

viajante / london

i like casual places to eat, with simple and fresh flavours and a happy atmosphere. but sometimes i like to try out restaurants where i am surprised with the experience,  the mix of flavours and the textures i would’ve never thought of.

viajante is one of these, it has been on my bucket list for a while, and i finally got to try it out on my last trip to london. plus, it makes me proud, to try out a michelin star restaurant in london, by nuno mendes, a portuguese chef.

we booked for sunday lunch, and since we were on a lower budget, we went for the three course meal. if you add up the different amouse bouche before and the petit fours to end the meal, it wasn’t such a small lunch after all.

there were three amouse bouche – thai explosion (not pictured) – amaranth with sorrel, the tamarind and popcorn made a surprising texture – and potatoes with yeast and lardo, would have never thought of yeast flavour, and it’s good!

bread and butter, a reminder of how good bread can be, with smoked and ham flavoured butter.

the main dishes were warm mackerel with red pepper juices and soaked bread, and turbot with seaweed sofrito and seafood rice broth.

we were then served a sorbet to clean the palate, pickled and raw cucumber with reduced milk sorbet, another amazing surprise.  and dessert was milk in three textures, which i thought was simple, yet perfect to allow for a couple of petit fours to follow.

to end the meal we had a freezing olive oil toffee snap frozen in liquid nitrogen that melted in our mouths (sorry, it was too hard to wait to be pictured), and the chocolate and cepes mushroom truffle.

i specially liked having lunch with a view to the kitchen where our lunch was being prepared in total silence, as if the chef’s work was all synchronized. the service was very friendly, attentive and discreet.

viajante, 3 course meal for lunch – GBP 35 per person

note – i am no food critic, i simply enjoy food and sharing meals with friends.

first photo by conde nast traveler, all other photos by myseastory

one year

without even realizing, it’s already been a year of blogging! this year has been life-changing for sure.

after three months of arriving in turks and caicos, i got the courage to start a blog, (you do need courage – posting things for anyone to see? what is everyone going to think about me?) not really sure of how much i wanted to share, for a start it was a great way to show my family and friends how life is in the caribbean. then i got the hang of it and couldn’t stop.

we had our first visitor, james’ cousin, peter, who took amazing pictures of the island and inspired me to try do the same.

i had my first trip to california, visited james’ mum and met his long time friends. we went to the getty museum, took pictures of the walt disney concert hall and had fun like a kid at the universal studios. we even got out little get away to palm springs, visited joshua tree national park and had cocktails at the pool of the parker!

we moved out from our first home in provo, and sometimes i think if we should’ve stayed – it was so spacious and right on the beach, but somewhat over our budget.

we finally bought a car, and one that can take us anywhere around the island, especially after a heavy rainfall when all the streets are flooded – and also to visit our favorite beaches, which sometimes are on rugged dirt roads.

i started posting some of james’ amazing pictures of his diving outings and after a couple of months he finally started his own column – his dive story.

whilst james is enjoying his diving and i stick to my fear of sharks, i get to enjoy the marine life in provo, sea urchins and ticklish star fish are my favorite discoveries.

we finally move to our definite home in provo, after waiting for 6 months (and living in 4  different homes), we are ready to open our personal stuff, kept in storage in more than 40 moving boxes for the last months.

i am “forced” to go to new york to renew my passport, i stay for a week with my brother who is there for work and have a blast with him and my friends. every time i am more in love with this city, and as i feel more comfortable and have my favorite spots, i just want to come back.

we experienced our first hurricane (irene), i am impressed with the help and team work around the island. when it was all over i was relieved, it wasn’t as bad but i learnt that you can never trust nature, everything can change in a matter of moments, and you are never too prepared.

james and i went on an amazing trip to peru, we try to do one big trip per year, and peru had been on our bucket list for a while. it was truly a fulfilling trip, in every way. we were surprised by the hospitality of the peruvians, the richness of their culture and roots, and how diversified and delicious is their food.

before heading back to provo we make a quick stop in new york, where i attend blogshop – i couldn’t believe that living in turks and caicos we managed to plan it perfectly to attend this workshop, for the first time in new york. i met some amazing bloggers, and learned tons of tips from bri and angela. i wish i could do it all over again!

we attend the annual conch festival for the first time, and get to sample a few options from the different restaurants on island – cracked conch, curried conch, conch stew, conch ceviche, conch fritters…you name it!

it’s finally december and i head home in lisbon, but before, i spent a girls weekend in london catching up with my cousin and visiting my favorite places. i used to live in london, a few years before moving to provo, and i always feel like it’s my second home.

christmas in lisbon was a rush, james joined me for a week, we had family lunches and dinners almost every day – it’s the first time i have been away from lisbon for so long, 10 month record! oh how i missed my family and friends, and portuguese food too. i’m sure i put on a few kilos!

we spent our first new year’s eve in provo, i was so jet lagged i could barely keep my eyes awake. and soon it’s been a year since we moved.

i decide to make a surprise visit back home (lisbon), somehow over christmas i felt time flew and i didn’t get to do half the things i had planned. it was so worth it and so much fun seeing everybody’s smiles when i arrived unexpected!

since my brother is in london for work (he lives in sao paulo), he flies us over to spend the weekend with him – i know, london again, lucky me! we visit the tate modern and the royal academy of arts, spend a morning eating all sorts of goodies in borough market and go shopping to liberty’s and fortnum and mason.

just a few days back to provo and my mum and sister come to visit for easter – i get to spend quality time with them, i enjoyed exploring  the island and getting to see things through their eyes. we went kayaking, snorkeling, visited chalk sound and made it 10 different beaches. we ended their stay with a mini off island get away to parrot cay – we literally felt like we were in paradise!

i am back to “normal” island life, making the most of it, morning power walks on the beach, weekends relaxing in the sun and quality time with james help make up for being far away from my family and friends – i know one day i will miss this place.

it’s been an amazing year, and i am so grateful for all your love along the way – thank you so much for supporting and reading myseastory, as well as my personal journey through life in turks and caicos.

artsy london

last weekend i was in london with my family, we went shopping to liberty and fortnum and mason, spent a morning in borough market and we did some artsy stuff too.

when the weekend was over my mum and i were talking about how much we enjoy seeing a good exhibition. it really fulfils me, learning more about a painter, his history, why he works the way he does, his style and his colour combinations. i must’ve gotten this from her!

i thought i’d share with you the three amazing exhibitions we went to.

yayoy kusama at the tate modern – if you like polka dots, you will adore this japanese contemporary painter, sculptor and novelist. one of the installations i saw was a dark room representing a living room filled with fluorescent polka dots!

alighiero boetti at the tate modern – this was the first solo exhibition of the italian artist. i was amazed by the embroidered maps in which each country is represented with it’s flag, and changed through time.

david hockney at the royal academy of arts – a bristish artist who lived in california, i specially liked his colour combinations. i was amazed by his collection of ipad drawings! see a short video of him at work on his ipad.