Travel Diaries: Italy

So, while some of us are casually in Russia for the week (wtv Krishna), the rest of us are throwing back to last summer in Italy. It’s been a while, people of the internet, but finally, we are back with our favourite PS Travel Diaries series!

This trip, we covered Tuscany and the Italian Riviera. Starting with Pisa, this town is mostly all about the photo opp. The 18 quid to get up the leaning tower is definitely not worth it but since it’s the arrival destination for most cheap international flights, when in (or close-isn to) Rome right?

Florence is a magical town filled with parks, views and secret midnight bakeries (yes you read that right). The Duomo is an architectural marvel for all the nerds out there and unlike the wonky tower of Pisa, the view is definitely worth all those steps. For all the art lovers out there, Uffizzi is free on the last Sunday of every month. If you’re overwhelmed by all the culture, laze about at Le Cascine Park and for a bit of shopping, check out Florence The Mall, an outlet with ridiculous deals on Prada, Gucci, and other designers.

From there, we headed straight to Villa Le Calvane, an estate that sits in the heart of Tuscany. Only 20K from Florence, the drive through the rolling hills and vineyards is unbelievable. This place has got quite the history, it has been the home of renowned painting, “Madonna and Child” by Benivieni and in 1942, works of Botticelli and Michelangelo were hidden there during the war. German troops even used a circular Ghirlandaio as a dining table when they passed through. History aside, our main reason for visiting was for the Merlot and Cabernet (obvs). When we weren't drinking, we ate at Ristorante Da Delfina and La Cantinetta Di Passignano.

Cinque Terre, the five islands on the Italian Riviera, have to be on your bucket list. We especially recommend Manarola and Monterosso (the later is actually two towns in one). It’s right on the cliffs beside the ocean, so everywhere you go is a workout but if you are into hiking and swimming, then this is the perfect vacation spot for you.

Italy has so much to offer and there’s only so much you can do at a time, if you’re not OD’ing on gelato then really, have you ever been?

Namaste from PureSpaces!

It’s been a tough year and yoga has been our saviour! We thought we would talk about some of the things that gets us through the day and yoga is definitely one of them. Most of you know of this ancient Indian practice - the controlling of the body and mind through meditation and exercise. This stress buster is the key ingredient to our zen work life. If only we could attain moksha! 

Mumbai based Zia Yoga was our go to instructor but there are plenty of classes in the city (Akshar Yoga is walking distance from the office). Do a little research an decide what school of yoga works best for you. Krishna’s routine is a more general fitness based approach. She usually starts in the morning and she spends an hour, three times a week doing a variation of surya namaskars and a combination of cardio, breathing and stretches. Remember when it comes to yoga 7-1=0 so you should dedicate at least 5 minutes every single day to it, it’s a way of life after all. As far as accessories go, we recycle our regular gym clothes and equipment (mat, foam roller, elastic resistance bands, headbands and clothes) but we know that Fabindia has a special yoga wear section and if you’re looking for high end, specialised leisure wear, Proyog is another brand to look out for. While yoga has recently been used as a political tool to promote nationalism, we encourage everyone to counter that saffron tinted nonsense and get into the spirit of it regardless of your background.

Namaste from the folks at PS!

 

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All we want for Christmas is… not you #sorrynotsorry

We celebrate Christmas in a big way at PureSpaces. Between the German and Indian variants of us, our celebrations are like no other! December is always a feast fit for kings (three of them to be exact and a cookie for each - Kull-Kull, Rose Cookie and Vanillekipferl) While you may find Kull - Kulls or Rose Cookies at an old school super market (Thoms or Fatimas), you definitely won’t find Vanillekipferl anywhere! We thought we’d share this top-secret-generations-old-easy-peasy-christmas-classicrecipe with you that’s super easy to make and has been passed down for generations in Krishna’s family. 

We wish you a the merriest of Christmas’s, filled with bottomless mulled wine and eggnog. See you again in the new year!

Lot’s of Love from the PureSpaces Team.

xx

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Vanillekipferl Recipe:

  • 150 grams soft Butter or 5.3oz or ⅔ cup

  • 70 grams powdered Sugar 2.5oz or ⅓ of a cup

  • 8 grams Vanilla sugar 'homemade or store bought mixed with some regular powdered sugar or 2 Teaspoons

  • 100 grams Almond Flour/Almond mealor 3.5oz or almost ½ cup

  • 200 grams all purpose Flour or 7oz or almost 1 cup

  1. Start by mixing the soft butter, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar smooth.

  2. Then add sieved white flour and almond flour to the mixture and incorporate the ingredients with your hands to a smooth pastry.

  3. Keep it to rest minimum 1 h in the fridge or in a cool place.

  4. Once ready to be used, form the dough into a sausage shape with a 2 cm thickness. Cut thick slices so, that each should be around 20 grams heavy.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius or 392 Fahrenheit! Roll each "sausage" pastry slice into a smaller sausage with pointed ends and shape it into a half moon/crescent form.

  6. Place them onto a baking tray, each with enough space around to rise a bit, and bake them for 10 minutes a 200 Celsius to a light yellow shade.While the cookies are baking, prepare a plate with the home made Vanilla sugar.

  7. Add the cookies to the homemade Vanilla sugar in the plate, once they are finished baked and they have cooled down for at least 1-2 minutes and roll them and coat them well with that sugar.

  8. Best stored in a metal Cookie boxed with baking paper (butter paper) and apple slices on top. Note that the Vanillakipferl cookies are very fragile and might break when coming out of the oven, that is why you should give them 1-2 minutes to rest. During that time they harden when they take contact with air. It's important to roll them into the homemade Vanilla sugar when they are still hot, so that the sugar sticks on the cookies.


Passive - Aggressive

We haven’t done a material palette post since copper and it’s December!!! It’s cold and shiny and we wanted to introduce you to a material (more like technique) that we cant get enough off. We are currently using it in a big way on a project that we’ve been working on for the past year. This is just the thing we want to talk about to add to our festive cheer.

 

Who knew physical chemistry could be so sexy? We are aggressively enthusiastic about Passivation. This process involves a micro coating of a shield material that causes a chemical reaction to the original material which makes the whole thing passive to corrosion. Okay that sounded complicated. Not as complicated as “circuit resistance”, “polarity reversal” “rejection of fouling layer” and propriety systems”. So, you know, we tried. 

It’s the most common of practices, everything from your most basic nut and bolt, even your key chain has this amazing coating that has a trippy psychedelic rainbow effect. After learning about it from the folk at A&J Design Work, we thought it would be perfect to use for a rooftop bar - functional and glamorous!

Check out the images below to see the different ways it’s been used.

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Dubai Finds: A Design Directory

95% of our job is not glamorous - long desk hours, endless traffic, grimy site visits, casual sexism - but once in a blue moon we get to be the ritzy glitzy people you think we are. Last week we got flown to Dubai (yes, you read that right) to buy accessories for a client. 

Ask us why this was the perfect opportunity..
(a) Love Dubai
(b) Love Shopping
(c) All of the above

Here is a list of all the stores we visited and our favourite products from them.

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The One
Very cool accessories and home decor (pictured above)

I Light You
Shout out to Marie & Afsal for being amazing! Over 300 designer brands for lighting with great customer service and experience as a bonus!

Crate & Barrel
Basic home furnishings.

Galeries Lafayette
Kartell & Mood

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West Elm 
"Just love me some west elm" - Obvs, Krishna. (Pictured above).

Super Studio
This cool warehouse is filled with designer furniture, lighting and accessories - Tom Dixon, Lee Broom, Moooi, Bocci and more! They will move to Dubai Design District soon.

Indigo Living 
Furniture, soft furnishings & accessories. They have Kelly Hoppen products !!

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Marina Home
Great for accessories but also have quirky pieces of furniture and lighting (pictured above).

Ethan Allen
Classy AF.

Shtorm Group 
Outdoor furniture galore. 

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Flamant 
LOVE this store, all neutral colour scheme, very contemporary and just so pure (pictured above).

Bloomingdales Home
Bernhardt, Pantone and all the cool stuff Fornasetti has to offer.

The Den 
Bits & Pieces
Designers Home

All of the above in a really nice area called City Walk - casual and design oriented products.

Andrew Martin
Blanc D'lvoire
D. Tales
Ikonhouse
The Bowery Company
The Odd Piece
The White Company
Zen Interiors

These are the stores exhibiting at Downtown Design during the Dubai Design Week in November:
Designed by Hind
Apical Reform
Ayka Design
Canvas Carpets Cushions
MISK
SACD
Studio A 
Roudha Al Shamsi
Chattels & More