Monthly Archives: March 2012

POSTCARD: Gran Via, Madrid

As some of you may know, I live in Madrid, Spain and I love it. I actually really love traveling and finding out interesting facts about all the cities I go to, or have gone to. So, I decided to add another section to my blog…The Postcard section. Although I have not been traveling so much lately, I want to try and give you some cool facts about cool cities as often as I can! So here is my first postcard from Madrid, Spain, my current home and an interesting story about one of its most prominent traditions. Tapas.

The tapas tradition has become very cool and very fashionable around Spain. I know I love the idea! Not only here, but many restaurants in other cities have adapted the idea of serving free food along with an ordered drink. Ever wonder how this tradition came to pass?? It all started in Spain.

Royal Tapas with Sand

From Hidden Madrid: Madrid’s Oddities and Curiosities Written by: Mark and Peter Besas

(An amaaazing book full of interesting stories on Madrid)

 
To talk about Madrid and not mention “tapas”  would be a sacrilege. You will find that in almost any bar, when ordering an alcoholic drink, the bartender will, at no extra charge, place an appetizer on a small plate next to the drink. These tapas range from olives to potato chips to a wedge of  tortilla española  (Spanish omelette),  to jamón serrano (cured ham). Locals will sometimes skip dinner altogether and instead make rounds of various bars consuming a variety of tapas. Every Madrileño and foreigner has his or her own favourite tapa bars around the city.

There are many stories as to how this tradition came to pass. The following is the most widely-accepted story.

In the 13th century, during the reign of Alfonso X, known as “The Wise,” came down with an illness. His doctor advised him to drink sips of wine accompanied by small bits of food between meals. The treatment went well and he soon recovered. The King realized that the advice was excellent and that he shouldn’t be the only one to follow the doctor’s recommendation. So he passed a law that required all taverns in Castile to serve gratis a small portion of food with all the wine that they sold. It was actually a very sensible law because at the time, Spain agricultural, and it was normal for most workers to take a mid-day break from work to have a drink. Being poor, they would abstain from food and often return under the influence of alcohol. The new law attempted to allay this problem since having a small snack would prevent them from drinking on an empty stomach.

As for the term tapa, it apparently dates back to a trip taken by King Alfonso XIII in the early 20th century. The king was traveling to Cadiz with his entourage and stopped to rest and have a drink at a beach tavern called El Ventorillo del Chato (which still exists today!). Alfonso ordered a glass of sherry, but as he was about to take a sip, a strong gust of wind swept a cloud of sand from the beach. The waiter, quick to react, placed a slice of cured ham over the king’s glass. Alfonso, not understanding, asked what the waiter what he was doing. The waiter said, “Tapa” which literally means, “cover” and he used the ham to cover the glass of sherry from the sand. The King was so amused that he ordered his next sherry to be accompanied with a tapa, and so did his entourage. And so the term was coined.

We confess that we’ve always wondered what that first slice of ham with sand on it tasted like.

…my favourite tapas bar? El Tigre…If you are in Spain, or ever come to visit,

it definitely should be a stop on your list!

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MUSIC: “How do I play this thing again??”

The result of four friends, wine and an infinite playlist!

Here are the links to songs on my playlist! There are sooo many more I’d like to put on here, but all in due time!  Enjoy!

Let me know YOUR favourites and guilty pleasures!

FAVOURITE SONGS ROUND:

Not the Doctor – Alanis Morrisette       Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman     Change the World – Eric Clapton Benny and the Jets – Elton John

OLD SCHOOL ROUND:

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison       Knock Three Times – Tony Orlando    Tiny Bubbles – Don Ho        Hello, I Love you – The Doors       Tiny Dancer – Elton John

GUILTY PLEASURES (Hilarious round)

The Sign – Ace of Bace     Bombastic – Shaggy       I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor       Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

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LOOKBOOK: “Beach/Snow/Beach/Snow”

Let’s take a look at musician, dreamer and my favourite space cadet, Elena Rohmoser’s personal style.

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FASHION / LIFESTYLE: Are you a Betty or a Veronica?

It’s the age old question!

I’d like to think I am a little bit of both! One thing is for sure, I would not fight with my best friend over a guy who can never choose between us! For about 5 decades nonetheless!

I am the biggest fan of Archie Comics. It was my first exposure to illustration!

How about you? What makes you a Betty? What makes you a Ronnie?

I got my inspiration from this old pin up from a Betty and Veronica comic! Click here!

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FASHION: What if the world was flat?

Yes, you may cringe at the thought! But what if there were NO HIGH HEELS?

If this tragedy were to ever occur, this is what my basic shoe closet would contain

Top left to bottom right: TOMS , LANVIN, REPETTO, CHANEL, PRETTY BALLERINAS, TORY BURCH

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LOOKBOOK: Maria says goodbye to fur…for now

Good friend and stylist Maria Velasco says goodbye to her fur vest to welcome in the Spring! Take a look at her unique style! My favourites: The shades and the necklace!

Click on this to have a little background music!

Maria by Blondie

To see photos of these looks and find out where to get all Maria’s items on her blog! biTTersw33t

P.S. I love the word “edgy” today I’ve noticed!

I would love to feature all YOUR looks!

Send them to me at Lsillustrated@gmail.com and get L.S. Illustrated!

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NEWS / FASHION: The Hunger Games Avant Garde

My little contribution to the Hunger Games frenzy!

INSPIRATIONS:

HAIR: Marie Antoinette SKIRT: Sarah Backlund FIGURE / SILHOUETTE: Ivana Pilja

GET INSPIRED:

NOWNESS VIDEOS…….GARETH PUGH……CAPITOL COUTURE

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LIFESTYLE: Taking it easy — Little cafes are all around

This morning I woke up pretty early, well earlier than usual. Since I am in one of the prettiest cities in Europe (Madrid) I decided to go grab a coffee and croissant at the little cafe downstairs to do some work. So here I am with my laptop, people watching…kind of. I am inside –the weather is chilly this morning.

This is what I love so much about Europe. The best coffee can be found at a cafe downstairs.

Here is a little sketch I did inspired by a little cafe I visited on my first trip to Paris.

If you fancy a little background music, here is a little tune that I love!  

 Sympathique by Pink Martini

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NEWS: My portfolio is up!

 Check it out! I’ve also added it to my menu on the top left of this page!

Okay it wasn’t HUGE news but it feels like I’ve added a little red lipstick to my blog!

A little red lipstick goes a long way *wink*

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ACCESSORIES: Play with colour

There is nothing I love more than seeing an all white canvas with bursts of colour. I saw this all white + colour look featured on The Sartorialist and I instantly fell in love with it. There is so much to play with here. I will definitely sport it once the summer starts kicking in.

Here are a couple of ways to play with your coloured accessories!

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