Category Archive for Food + Theme Restaurants
Grand Central by Scandic, Stockholm’s hippest hotel! Cocktail bar & restaurant review, Long Clothing hexagram skirt.
I’ve got Stockholm on my mind. Let’s flashback to Scandinavia, where I spent a few weeks in the late summer!
It was my first time in Sweden, and my team got a warm welcome at Grand Central by Scandic. This is the hippest hotel in the city, with a visual identity inspired by New York’s theatre scene. Every aspect of our stay was infused with music — from band posters in the bar, to live DJ parties and stage shows in a late 19th century theater.
(Find out more about Grand Central Stockholm and book a hotel room here.)
My junior suite even had a vinyl record player, with a selection of LPs including Madonna. One of the walls opened into a picture window, which let me watch these otherworldly pink sunsets every night.
Directions: It was convenient to roll our suitcases to Grand Central by Scandic (address: Kungsgatan 70) as it was only a few blocks from the central train station (we took the 30-minute direct Arlanda Express line from Stockholm airport). The hotel is located in Norrmalm, which made it easy for us to walk south to Gamla Stan and Sodermalm, home to the trendy SoFo area.
Grand Central turned out to be the perfect place to unwind between stretches of sightseeing. (I’m wearing a Long Clothing x Grace Neutral top. The same mandala design is also on this label’s black jacket.)
The hotel’s modern design matched with my outfit of the day. Clean and geometric, that’s how I like it.
♥ I’m wearing a Long Clothing hexagram skirt (they also make a dress). This brand uses the same print and fabric in their Infinity Clip pants version of my maxi skirt.
For more about the clothes I’m wearing, click the thumbnails below:
Grand Central by Scandic has various types of rooms, but I love the Junior Suite. Every evening, I perched on the windowsill and watched the skies change color.
My room was decorated with paintings of musicians, to fit with the vibe of the hotel.
Close-up on my silver cuff bracelet and ouroboros ring, by Alex Streeter. A perfect match for the hotel: Alex is the legendary NYC downtown silversmith whose devilish designs are worn by rock stars around the world (like Marilyn Manson and Hyde).
The glass windows by the elevator made me feel like I was about to blast off into a space fantasy. (I love Michi, the indie designer that makes my cutaway top. More from them below:)
The rooftops of Stockholm made me want to sing: Chim-Chimney, Chim Chim Cher-ee.
Can you see Miffy peeking from my thumbnail?
I adore Long Clothing’s hexagram fashion. Their streetwear is eye-catching and alternative Gothic, yet can be worn on all types of occasions. The black and white geometry is also easy to style.
My team and I got a backstage tour of Vasa Theatre, which dates back to 1886 and adjoins the hotel. While we were there, workers were still working hard to restore the space to its former glory.
The opulent theater is open now at Grand Central by Scandic, and hosts all types of contemporary stage shows as well as private events. The hotel is doing a great job of bringing in both Swedish and international artists to Vasa, for public performances.
We crept into a dressing room that was supposedly haunted by the ghost of an old actor. If a male enters the room, nothing happens. But if females walk in, the phantom gets enraged — and supposedly starts shaking the chandeliers!
Maybe there are also ghosts haunting this gilded and mirrored theater bar. It reminds me of one in The Shining…
Time for a drink at Teaterbaren, Grand Central’s hip cocktail bar. We chatted with the expert mixologists, who let us examine local spirits such as O.P. Anderson aquavit.
The cocktails were magnificent, with colors that matched the Swedish sunset. (In the summer, daylight lasts until 11pm!)
The bar brings in live DJs for late night electro parties. Grand Central also has rotating photographic art / design exhibitions. During my stay, there was a showcase of alternative street fashion portraits.
We sat down for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Teaterbrasseriet. This relaxed space has plush leather couches, and offers a Scandinavian menu inspired by modern cuisine. Of course, we started with Swedish red caviar — the above photo says it all!
When you’re in Sweden, order fish and seafood, as it’s some of the best in the world. Look at the color of the smoked salmon starter, with lemon and dill to taste. My friends also enjoyed a Toast Skagen appetizer with shrimps and horseradish.
Swedish meatballs are legendary, and something you must try. At Teaterbrasseriet, they’re made with Viking heartiness: paired with potato purée, lingonberries and pickled cucumber.
Eat all the berries when you’re in Scandinavia. We ate up this antioxidant-rich ice cream sundae. I’ll agree with the restaurant menu, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”
“Tak” (thanks) to Grand Central by Scandic for the inspiring stay. I loved how the hotel pays homage to theater, starting from the moment we stepped into the lobby lit by stage lights.
If you want to stay in a hip Stockholm design hotel, this is where it’s all happening. Find out more about Grand Central by Scandic, and book a room here.
(Photography by Joey Wong.)
There’s still more from my Scandinavian journey to come. If you missed my first post about the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, you can see it here.
Curious to learn more about my clothes in these photos, including prices and sizes? Just click below for all the details. Arigato!
Tokyo Halloween themed food: pumpkin burgers at Grand Hyatt, Oak Door! Pastel pink hair color, Attitude Clothing.
Trick or treat! I now have pastel pink hair, with blue and purple highlights. Are you surprised to see this new color?
I’m overjoyed because it’s the best time of the year — Halloween. To celebrate, I’ll show you photos from Japan, where locals celebrate the season big-time.
We’ll kick things off with my fairy-hair, and then chow down on Halloween-themed cuisine in Tokyo, including skull cocktails and bat pastries at the Grand Hyatt’s Oak Door restaurant.
First, let’s take a look at the latest additions to my fall wardrobe. I’m wearing wooden designer sunglasses by Moat House, my favorite independent eyewear designer.
These artisans craft all their frames by hand in their Derbyshire, England workshop. The Moat House team sent me these gorgeous Godiva frames in Brazilian purple heart and oak, with a violet mirror lens. The cat eye shape is as flattering as it gets, and the frames are lightweight — so I can wear them with comfort all winter.
I’m a big supporter of Moat House‘s artisinal approach, and encourage you to support indie, sustainable brands like them. (They have all styles of wood glasses for both men and women, which you can see on their website.)
Attitude Clothing (an online shop with an amazing selection of dark fashion) sent me some designs by a Thailand designer, Morph8ne. Their dresses seem to be made for Wednesday Addams and Nancy of The Craft (especially their plaid schoolgirl dress).
I’m wearing the Charlotte dress, which has ultra long sleeves and a doll-like lace up corset back. I love the details such as the keyhole closure in the back, and the Morph8ne logo in a heart on the front.
Isn’t this witch-baby dress perfect for the Halloween season? (Shop more fashion by this brand from Attitude Clothing, and by clicking below…)
How would you describe my new mermaid hair: My Little Pony? Cotton candy pastels? It also looks a bit like the asymmetrical cut and color of Final Fantasy’s Lightning character.
I always go to hair stylist Stephanie Hoy at Sugar Skull Studio, in Gastown (#300-68 Water Street, Vancouver BC). Her work is magic: I went from grey-green to layers of light pink, baby blue and lavender. Stephanie is amazing at alternative dyes, but does all types of cuts: ask for her!
As the weather gets colder, I’ve been reaching for these new gold skull tights from Gal Stern. Based in Israel, she designs luxury legwear and just released a new Halloween collection that is perfection.
The nude hosiery is the softest, highest quality (it won’t tear or run) and how wonderful are the Day of the Dead golden skulls printed over the knees!
I’ve been keeping warm with my Long Clothing beanie, also from Attitude Clothing (they carry all my favorite brands). There’s a skeleton skull and chain version of this knit cap as well — or tuque, as we say in Canada.
Now, let’s take a look at the cute Halloween food you can currently find in Tokyo! The October holiday gets bigger every year in Japan, and you’ll find spooky-themed dishes all over the city.
Nobody does it better than The Oak Door restaurant, located at The Grand Hyatt hotel in Roppongi Hills. This American steakhouse released a masterful Halloween menu, complete with kabocha pumpkin burgers.
Pick your poison: the Oak Door Bar is also offering creative cocktails that feature skull glasses and syringes. All are beautifully mixed and presented, and available only for a limited time.
Above, I sipped on a Deadly Rose with pomegranate syrup, apple brandy, silver tequila and lime juice — with dry ice added for a ghostly touch. In the middle, the V-Blood pays tribute to vampires. The Trick or Treat on the right is an unusual and delicious concoction of vodka, melon and pineapple juice.
The “Dr Frankenstein” behind these drinks is Seyeram Anagbonu, bartender of The Oak Door. He takes a playful approach to his creations, and showed us how he made “brain sludge” out of vodka, lime juice and cranberry jelly.
Then, Chef de Cuisine Adam Noffsinger came in with these mouthwatering burgers… which look exactly like Halloween pumpkins!
I’ve never seen a burger bun as creatively executed: the bread is made from pumpkin puree and baked in the shape of the squash. Delicious, and all-naturally flavored and colored. Inside, there’s a juicy patty (The Oak Door is known for its beef), Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced Japanese kabocha and classic fillings. Paired with sweet potato fries and spiced aioli, this turned out to be the most “spooktacular” meal I’ve ever had.
The Grand Hyatt also debuted a Halloween afternoon tea, and we got to try a sampling of dark desserts. The bat-shaped chocolate cookies, crème brûlée, tarts and creamy roll cakes (all pumpkin flavored) are made in-house by the award winning patissiers.
They’re masterpieces: not overly sweet, with pleasing combinations of natural flavors, and expert decoration (check out the intricate swirls on the tarts).
Head pastry chef Goto Junichi is highly regarded, and deservedly so. His Halloween desserts showcase his fine French training, fused with a Japanese sensibility and touch of kawaii.
You can find his sweets at Fiorentina Pastry Boutique at The Grand Hyatt hotel, and I hope you’ll come to The Oak Door for a kabocha burger and Gothic cocktail before the season ends. (Above food photos by John S.)
As you may have seen on my social media, I was in Tokyo for the start of my JRailPass train journey. I found lots of Halloween-themed snacks all over the city, and took photos for you. If only I could eat them all…
At Krispy Kreme Japan, there’s a “sweet monster show” donut box available.
You can buy the Krispy Kreme donuts individually, or get a dozen in a graveyard-decorated box. I spy a melon soda monster, spider chocolate custard puff, grinning caramel pumpkin jack, and a purple mummy with sweet potato icing!
The Mr Donut franchise also gets into the Halloween spirit, with spooky Snoopy donuts.
Mister Donut has donuts shaped like the Peanuts puppy, in white chocolate and chestnut glaze. The seasonal packaging makes it look like Snoopy is wearing a witch’s hat. This chain is also selling chocolate spider and pumpkin ring donuts at the moment.
The cute cafe La Petite Mercerie celebrates with these adorable cakes: a Halloween shortcake and pumpkin gateau chocolat.
Their smiling Jack-o-lanterns with highlighted cheeks are the definition of spooky-cute.
Cozy Cafe is offering a Disney Villains special. There’s a Mickey Mouse pumpkin cream cake, with chocolate 3D facial decor. Cozy Cafe also has gift boxes and other sweets themed like Maleficent, Ursula and other baddies.
If you want to buy Halloween snacks to take home, don’t despair. You’ll find plenty of items in gift stores all over Tokyo.
For these sweets, Snoopy transforms into a vampire, and peers out of a coffin.
At Don Quixote (the discount general store), you can find all sorts of inexpensive themed snacks during this season. I found anime biscuits and Halloween Pocky, as well as many others for under $5.
Japan rocks at packaging design. The Halloween mascots are always kawaii, with bright colors and simple shapes.
At Tables bakery, I was tempted to buy a Jack-o-lantern demitasse cupcake. There’s also one that looks like Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas.
How cute are these bite-sized purple pumpkin and ghost mini cupcakes?
In Harajuku, I swung by Nicolas House, a cafe with a bunny theme. All the custards and sundaes have rabbit ears and smiling faces. For the time being, there’e an orange pumpkin Bunnicula.
Nicolas House did a Miffy collaboration last year, decorating all the sweets to look like the Dutch character.
Even the savory dishes have a cute bunny theme.
Finally, I popped into the Kawaii Monster theme cafe in Harajuku. The restaurant is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu meets an acid trip: there’s a cyber mushroom disco inside, and a giant sofa that looks like a cat. Everything is rainbow-colored, even the food — such as primary colored pasta, served on an artist’s palette.
I didn’t go inside or eat a meal here, but you can get the gist of it from these photos of the exterior. Kawaii Monster Cafe is open all year round, so you can get a taste of the rainbow at any time.
I leave you with this anatomical dish on display at Okadaya (the Shinjuku craft store).
What do you think of the Halloween treats in Japan, and my newly pink hair color?
PS: If you’re looking for a Halloween costume, I’m selling many of my favorite cosplay outfits on my Depop shop! I’ve also put up more Japanese Goth and Lolita fashion for sale including Banana Fish, h.Naoto, Peace Now, and much more.
Come see all the listings here, then email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what interests you. I’ll do bundle discounts, and all items come with a photo and personal note. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Travel guide to visiting Lake Bled, Slovenia! Romantic castle & island near Ljubljana, Slovenian cuisine at Tito’s Palace.
I’ve been asked: as a travel blogger, do I get jaded about traveling? Does going to new countries become boring at some point?
The short answer is no. Every time I visit a destination, especially one I know little about, I end up finding unexpected gems.
This was exactly my experience at Lake Bled in Slovenia. Who knew that this unassuming country would have a lake and castle straight out of a fairytale?
Photos of Lake Bled are stunning enough, but the views are even more impressive in the flesh.
It’s the definition of picture perfect: a tiny island with a white church, in the center of an emerald lake. The isle surrounded by the lush green Julian Alps, and Medieval-era Bled Castle.
You’ll recall from my introduction post that Slovenia is a tiny country, which makes it easy to travel around. From the capital of Ljubljana, it’s less than an hour’s drive to Lake Bled.
That day, I wore my new blue tie-dye dress by Disturbia, the Goth and alternative fashion label that is one of my favorites.
My sheer Sailor Moon jacket is perfect for warm weather. I got it in Hong Kong, and love how the color is neutral, and the wands and crescent moons are subtle (but Sailor Moon fans will understand the references!)
Shop more fashion from Disturbia by clicking the pictures below
Bled Castle is the oldest in Slovenia, and one of the country’s proudest attractions. Since it’s easy to access Bled from Ljubljana (there are also buses and trains), many visitors take a day trip to the lake.
I walked around the towers of Bled Castle, imagining that I was a European princess. Inside, I saw the silver armor of knights, spooky bones and other relics from the Middle Ages.
There’s a crazy Medieval toilet in one room: the hole is a precarious drop down below, like the Vale’s Moon Door in Game of Thrones.
Bring your camera. There are outstanding views of Slovenia, from the castle windows and terrace.
It’s obvious why Lake Bled is a favorite destination for romantics. The location also leads into Triglav National Park, where you can take part in all types of outdoor adventures.
Time to explore the little island on Lake Bled. The traditional way to get here is by pletna, or a gondola with paddles.
As you can see, it takes a lot of muscle to row, row, row the boat!
The Church of the Assumption is the focal point of island. Excavations revealed a chapel that dates back to 9 AD, but the current one was built in 1698. Inside, there’s a “wishing bell”: you pull on a long rope, and it rings the bell at the top of the steeple.
Lake Bled is not one of Europe’s most known attractions, and this is a good thing. You’ll feel as if you stepped into the olden days, and the experience doesn’t feel commercialised.
The same well-muscled fellow took us back to the shores. He does hundreds of back-and-forth rows per day – what a workout!
I was glad to have the pletna to myself. We shot a 360 degree virtual reality video on the boat, which we will release soon.
I looked back, and the island faded into the distance. Many Slovenians get married here. According to local tradition, if a husband carries his new bride up the 99 steps to the church, then a happy marriage is guaranteed!
But even if he crashes and burns, romance is in the air, with pink flowers and picturesque frames like this.
Even though I didn’t do any rowing, I was ready for lunch. At Lake Bled, dining comes with a 5-star view.
Our guide Ales took us to Vila Bled, which used to be Tito’s palace. President Josip Broz Tito lived here, during Slovenia’s time in Yugoslavia. He was known as a “benevolent dictator”… perhaps the beauty of Lake Bled kept him from harsh ruling!
We walked through Tito’s decadent palace. One of the rooms had a giant Soviet-style mural, featuring hardy workers waving red star flags and sickles.
We sat down at a table in his courtyard — you can’t beat a view like this. My filmmakers and I started with fresh juices, asparagus soup, and a feta and vegetable souffle. Even the simple brown bread, dipped in Slovenia’s best olive oil, was beyond this world.
As I mentioned in my Portoroz post, there are lots of Mediterranean influences in the local cooking. This starter, a ravioli with parmesan, was executed with as much finesse as anything I’ve eaten in Italy.
If you’ve been following me on Snapchat (@lacarmina), I’m sure you were drooling at the food we ate that day. Trout is outstanding in Slovenia, and I ordered it multiple times during my journey. As you can see from the stamp above, Vila Bled’s version was moist and colorfully presented with fresh vegetables.
Everywhere we went, Slovenian food was outstanding. At Gostilna pri Mari in Piran, an older local couple brought out plate after plate of incredible seafood. We started with octopus and squid carpaccio, moving on to squid ink risotto and penne with cuttlefish, and an entire grilled seabass.
Although you rarely hear of Slovenian wines, the local varietals are as complex and delicious as the ones produced in neighboring Italy and Croatia. I’m holding one of their dry, white wines from the Littoral region.
From Bled, we drove to Vila Podvin in the village of Mošnje Radovljica. This was a bed and breakfast inn to remember: the owners are proud of their heritage, and display Slovenian crafts in the lobby. We relaxed in clean and quaint rooms, then went downstairs to the garden — to experience their award-winning Slovenian restaurant.
At Vila Podvin, the dishes are “New Slovene” masterworks by Chef Uroš Šteflin. He reawakens forgotten Slovenian recipes, with modern and creative techniques. We started with a unique soft boiled egg appetiser, followed by either lamb or trout in nuanced, naturally-flavored foam. One of the best meals of our entire trip.
We even woke up early for the breakfast at Vila Podvin, a mix of homemade thick yogurt, fruits, farm eggs and other European delicacies.
Like Elaine on Seinfeld, I don’t like to use the word “breathtaking”… but for Lake Bled, I’ll make a happy exception! Although my film team and I have been to many beautiful places around the world, this under-the-radar destination took our breath away… awayyy…
(All photos by Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann of Borderless Media).
I wave goodbye with the national flag of Slovenia. The coat of arms is a shield with the image of Mount Triglav, the country’s highest peak. Below are two wavy blue lines representing the Adriatic Sea and local rivers, and the colors go back to Medieval times — like the castle where I’m standing.
Had you heard of Lake Bled? Wouldn’t you like to visit?
PS: Shopbop is having a major sale right now – only til Oct 14th at midnight Pacific time! You can just enter code “MAINEVENT16″ for up to 30% off. My favorites are above: a leopard skull sweater, Goth skull print leggings, and this bat sweatshirt that is perfect for fall.
PPS: If you like what I’m wearing, shop more Nu Gothic fashion from the same brand (Disturbia) with a click below. And I’ve added new items to my online shop, including h.Naoto, Banana Fish, rocking horse Lolita shoes. Come see it here.
Eero Aarnio furniture exhibition in Helsinki, Finland! Moomin stores, Loyly sauna restaurant, Design Museo.
A dark, cute welcome from Helsinki, Finland! Land of death metal and modern interior design. I think I’ll fit in quite nicely, don’t you agree?
On my first day in Finlandia, I went to the Design District and saw a groovy Eero Aarnio exhibit (he’s the inventor of the Ball Chair). I stopped by the Moomin and Marimekko shops, and ended up at a restaurant/sauna overlooking the waters, sipping herbal gin and tonics.
But first, coffee… and the outfit of the day. The “Noir” sign behind me happened to match my look.
– I’m wearing a pentagram dress by Black Milk (who also make this Game of Thrones dress).
– My striped platform shoes are by Le Babe, who also makes these black pumps. My kawaii bag looks like a Totoro sprite, but it’s by Mini Cream in Hong Kong.
Click below for these clothes and more from Disturbia:
This kawaii character gives you a hint at my next destination… To find out where I’ll be, read on to the end of this post.
From our suite at Scandic Hotels, it was a easy walk to the major districts of Helsinki. I found a park with tall tombstones under grey skies. This city seems to be made for Goths!
The Finns are known for their modern interior design and architecture. My filmmakers and I had brunch at Block by Dylan, a perfect example of the hip, minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic that we saw all over the city.
We sat by the huge windows that overlook the harbor and Old Market Hall. I smiled at the graphic artwork that peeked out from the layered woodblock walls.
Block by Dylan serves breakfast, lunch and brunch buffet-style. This gave me a chance to try a bite of everything. I am still dreaming of the Finnish berries, tiny and rich in antioxidants, which I ate on top of mango quark. Nordic Europe’s dark breads and smoked salmon are also beyond compare.
The friendly manager surprised us fizzy glasses of gin and tonics. I’m holding one of the best (and prettiest) G&Ts you’ll ever get to try. The cocktail is made with Napue, a world-famous local gin infused with botanicals, and garnished with cranberries.
Our good mood got even better when we arived at DesignMuseo, Helsinki’s design museum. They’ve gathered the most extensive collection of Eero Aarnio works, and put them on display in a playful space. (The exhibit ends on til Sept 25, so I hope you’ll catch it if you’re in town.)
I’m a longtime fan of Eero Aarnio, a Finnish designer known for his mod furniture designs from the 1960s onward. Above, I’m sure you have seen his Puppy chair design.
To fit the “Swinging Sixties” feeling, DesignMuseo put his works on giant Roombas! These platforms spin around and move across the room, reacting to your movements. (You’ve got to see this in action, so here’s a video of me walking through the exhibit.)
Do you recognize the space-age Ball Chair above? It also comes in a swing version (which I later got to sit in).
Eero Aarnio became an international sensation with the release of the Ball chair, in the mid 1960s. I personally always wanted one of his Pony Chairs, which kind of looks like a bear.
Eero Aarnio broke conventions about how furniture should look and feel. His mod designs are all about curves, fun and imagination.
For the first time, I got to see his rare original sketches, and retro images such as this girl sitting in his Pastil Chair.
One of the rooms highlighted the production process, and how he molds materials into geometric forms. To this day, Eero Aarnio continues to create new designs from his studio, including toys and furniture for children.
(I’d go on a ride on his Pony Chair, any day!)
I walked through the other floors of the Design Museo: there was a feature on innovative interiors, and a permanent gallery of Scandinavian furniture and home objects throughout the years.
The gift shop is a must-see. Eero Aarnio brings his signature aesthetic to everything from licorice boxes to watering cans. (His furniture is available for sale worldwide; browse below to learn more.)
The museum is located in Helsinki’s Design District, which is a joy to explore. I encourage you to walk around and pop into the various local stores, to admire the avantgarde furniture.
And you can’t miss Marimekko, the famous Finnish designer with locations all over the city.
This large Marimekko store is in Esplanadi, a central esplanade and park.
Like Eero Aarnio, this Finnish home furnishings and fashion company made waves in the 1960s. Marimekko’s bright, simple designs — often featuring stripes and flowers — are recognizable worldwide.
But Finland’s cutest character… is beloved Moomin! Finnish illustrator/writer Tove Jansson created the Mumintroll, a white hippo-like creature that lives in the Moominvalley with equally adorable friends.
When I saw this pastel-colored store near Esplanadi, I couldn’t resist going in and giving Moomin a hug. I later visited the mascot’s store in the Forum shopping complex, and picked up some souvenirs.
The Moomin store in Helsinki’s Forum Mall has a wide selection of goods, guarded by the mischevious Mymble’s daughter.
Don’t worry — if you aren’t anywhere near Scandinavia, you can still get Mumintroll goods online. Check it out below:
We were in Finland in August, meaning that the sun didn’t set until 10pm!
This gave us plenty of time to relax over dinner at Löyly, a recently-opened restaurant and sauna. There’s a huge patio, giving an Viking view of the waters.
Saunas are big in Finland. It’s part of the culture and lifestyle: a way to unwind, with family and friends.
Loyly is an all-in-one destination, encased in this contemporary geometric wood structure. You can sweat it out in a traditional smoke or wood-burning sauna, and cool off by diving into the waters below. Then, head to the restaurant section for a hearty meal and drinks.
The cocktails once again specialize in gin and herbal mixtures. Loyly’s menu takes an environmentally-conscious approach: all the meats are local, and free-range or game. We tried the reindeer meatballs with lingonberry jam, and a creamy salmon soup: magnificent.
At Loyly, it’s easy to pretend you are a Viking, with these epic views from the terrace that stretches out over the sea.
What did you think of my “noir” adventures in Helsinki so far? (All photos by Borderless Media.)
Finally, here’s a peek-a-boo from my new Line Friends Brown bear lamp, by the Dutch designers MrMaria!
They also make the Miffy lamp that I own, as well as other cute animal and character lights (see the full collection on Mr Maria’s site).
As you know, I’m a long time fan of Brown, the poker-faced bear from the Line Friends app. (Remember when I visited the giant Brown in the Harajuku store?)
I can’t help but smile when I look at MrMaria’s latest lamp. They’re a playful design studio based in the Netherlands, specialising in modern, minimal and kawaii home decor. (It’s no surprise that I love their works.)
The small Brown lamp is perfect for my side table, and will match well with my XL Miffy Lamp.
As you can see, the perfectly round head and details are impeccable. This is top craftsmanship, with safe and warm dimmable LED lights, and options for international power connectors (so it can plug into any type of socket).
Brown comes in a large size as well. He’d look great in a child’s bedroom, or a minimal-modern apartment like mine.
Cheers to MrMaria for producing such delightful works, filled with heart and imagination! This new release is magnificent, and I can’t wait to see what they create next.
Line Friends originated in Japan… and you guessed it, that’s where I will be next! I’m so excited to travel all around Japan, with JRailPass. I have unlimited access to trains, so I’ll be in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, Koyasan (Buddhist temple retreat!) and Osaka.
If you’re in Tokyo on Saturday, Sept 24 — I invite you to party with me at Midnight Mess, Tokyo’s longest running Goth night! Mistress Maya throws the best Goth parties in the city — as you may remember from past blog posts. The crowd is wonderfully inclusive, and you’ll recognize a lot of familiar faces from this blog.
Dance with me to EBM, Gothic, Industrial music at Bar Shifty in Shibuya, from 10:30pm to dawn. Find out more about the “Nightmare before the 14th Anniversary” event here, and hope to see you at Midnight Mess on Sept 24!
Stay tuned to my social media @lacarmina to see my train travels in Japan!
And more from Hell-Sinki to come… steampunk bars and pirate cafes await…
(If you enjoyed the fashion and design in this post, you can shop it below.)