I spy with my little eye... a Drink on top of the World.

A Drink on top of the World. I am talking about the At.mosphere Lounge of course. 
Getting into At.mosphere is quite a challenge. First of all, the booking: I asked for a table around 7.30pm. "Miss we don't have any table before 8.30pm", as often in Dubai, the Staff forgets to give you an alternative solution, so I simply asked for the Bar, common sense is the new black, again and always. Then I received a confirmation of my the booking on my mobile, good logistics. I will pass on the disastrous taxi drive to get there, no it is not the Dubai Mall entrance, no it's not Soukh Al Bahar either, not the Armani Hotel, at last we found the At.mosphere entrance, just follow the signs and you'll be fine (for once!). Once you finally find the right entrance, there are two gates to cross, someone will ask you if you have a reservation and will check the number of that reservation so if you are meeting Friends there, forwarding them the details is a good idea. 
After getting into the Burj, do not claim victory yet: there is an other gate, with a (not so smiley) hostess who will ask for your ID, and believe me, I saw three charming ladies stuck down the Burj because they had forgotten it (because they don't tell you they will check your ID, when I suggested they add it on the website, I was answered quite sharply "Miss every Bar or Lounge in Dubai will ask for your ID anyway."... not so smiley). 
When I started breathing again and remembered I was not a criminal and I was not doing anything illegal (frankly, all this security checks are oppressive... I understand that they should check every person that enters the building because once you're up there, you're kind of trapped and if anything happens it's their responsibility, but if they could do it with a Smile, it wouldn't feel like a revival of Ghost Protocol), I was already in the elevator. 123 floors, no stop, impressive.
When you get out of the elevator, surprisingly, you have to go down one floor to reach the Lounge, where you are welcomed by three charming Ladies who will finally walk you to your table. As expected when I called then, they had lots of free tables at 7.30pm, they just didn't have availability near the windows. They didn't even realise I wasn't asking for that, so they nearly lost a Client because I thought they had no availability at all. But once you are there, the view is amazing, the service is very good, nice and smiley, the Drinks and Snacks are good, and the Music is not too loud so you can actually hear each other, which is not always the case in Dubai.
All in all a very good experience, one definitively has to earn it but it's worth the Fight. Next time I will  simply warn my Guests about the level of security involved in a simple drink at At.mosphere.

At.mosphere Lounge
Burj Khalifa
Opening hours: from 12pm until 2am

Dress code:
for Gentlemen: formal, dinner jackets with smart jeans, and closed shoes, UAE national dress
for Ladies: semi formal, cocktail dress

For further details, have a look at the website here.

I spy with my little eye... a Pop Up Thriftshopping Event.

Little tip for the Dubai Ladies: My Ex Wardrobe is back for another season! For those who don't know about it yet, the Event was created by three British Sisters who were and still are fond of fashion. Teagan, Sian and Bekki love their clothes, but they realised, like a lot of us, that unfortunately their wardrobes were not expendable, and that selling a few items could be a good way to make space and finance new purchases. Knowing my love for thriftshopping, this initiative is a treat! And what better way to begin the Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 Season?
Over the months, they developed new partnerships with make-up artists, hairdressers and organic products companies, it is a unique pop-up event, and on top of that, I can confirm that they are full of energy and good humour! Come and join us at the Rivington Grill, First Floor, at Madinat, on Tuesday 4th september from 7pm until 10pm.

For more information, visit the Facebook page of the event here.
And to learn more about My Ex-Wardrobe, have a look at their page here.

And to finish the Albi visit on a stylish Touch, two 1920's Drawings, courtesy of the local Fashion Museum. Time for Winter Collections indeed!

A little bit more of those fashion Wonders... So good to get, even a tiny bit, of the Old Continent Fashion!

Fashion is everywhere if you know how to look for it. I found a little Gem in Albi: a little Museum of Fashion, created by a passionnate Native of the Region who collected Clothes from the 1820's till the 1970's, and wanted to share them. The exhibition is situated in a tiny private mansion in a small back street of the City, the walls were painted dark blue, probably to hid the Clothes from daylight and protect their Colours. There is no order whatsoever in the way the Pieces are axhibited (which is quite surprising), it's kind of a big joyful mess, but the Clothes or so beautiful it works. The exhibition is very small but somptuous and will stop in December 2012 but it seems like the people of Albi were very fond of the Idea and a few families donated Family Clothes so the Museum will open again next Spring with a bigger Collection. I am looking forward to it!
Today I am showing you the Dresses, tomorrow I will show you the Accessories.

Musee de la Mode, Exhibition "De Cap en Pied"
Opening Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9.30am to 11.30am and from 2.30pm to 5.30pm
17, rue de la Souque, 81000 Albi
Tel: +33 5 63 43 15 70
Email: contact@musee-mode.com
Tribute to Disney's adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland" (Lewis Carroll) and Smile of the Day at the turning of an Alley in Cordes-sur-Ciel... Doesn't this Painter look like he is "painting the Roses red?":

A little reminder...

Talking about walking, if you happen to be in the Region, there's (one of many) a beautiful medieval Village to visit called "Cordes sur Ciel", litteraly "Ropes on sky", it's perched high up on a Hill with nothing around, rather impressiv. The walk around town does not take more than two hours, it's pretty quick, easy, and eating an ice-cream while watching the Tarn region all around is a Delight.

To learn more about Cordes-sur-Ciel, click here.

Sunday Sound

"Oui je suis d'Paris" - Mistinguett - 1936

A little bit more of Albi: Sweets and Pastries! Difficult to resist but I found a way to avoid gaining 10 pounds everytime I visit: I take pictures of that glorious Food instead of eating it. That and walking... a lot of walking, because no matter how much I try to avoid it, good Food and Wines always happen to appear on my parents table, and I thank them for that!

Sweet France, Motherland. I am definitively not one of those expats who long for their Motherland. I am happy where I am, I made a choice and I have no second thoughts, furthermore, I am happy to come back as a tourist in France. I can actually see it as people all over the world see it: full of Culture and History. So here I am, in the South of France, enjoying the reliable Weather and Pool. The family House is in Albi, a medieval City an hour away from Toulouse, let me give you a Tour.

 To learn a little bit more about Albi, click here.
London, Glyndebourne, and now, back to France!
The Paris Review  issued this partial inventory of Flaubert's personnal effects (that were found in his house when he died), so very French:

As Catalogued by M. Lemoel on May 20, 1880, Twelve Days after the Writer's Death.
In the bedroom on the first floor:
panama hat
top hat
red silk cravat
5 pairs of gloves
19 shirts
2 dressing gowns
5 waistcoasts
7 walking sticks
tobacco jar
two pairs of boots

In the dining room:
35 champagne glasses
48 porcelain dinner plates
a painting representing Napoléon I
a pocket watch in a gold case engraved with initials ‘GF’
a gold watch chain
a gold signet ring with square stone
a silver spoon and two forks marked ‘N flaubert’
5 oyster-knives with black handles and silver blades

In the study on the first floor:
Engraving in oakwood frame representing The temptation of Saint Antoine by Callot
Marble clock with bronze figurines, maker’s name ‘Destigny’ engraved on dial
Photographic reproduction of painting entitled Visions
Array consisting of lances, javelins, arrows, mandolin, Basque drum, axe, oriental pipe, cardboard Chinese statuette
Large round table in mahogany
Green woolen tablecloth
One tiger skin, one lynx skin, one bear skin, white
Penholder in the shape of dragon
Bronze inkwell
Three paperknives, one with initials ‘GF’
Two Egyptian lanterns
Unfinished manuscript of work entitled Bouvard et Pécuchet
Creuzer, Religions of Antiquity in 11 vols
Works of Saint Theresa in Migne edition
Works of Walter Scott in 32 vols.
(In the drawer of one of the small bookcases is found the sum of 2515 francs, which sum is deposited with Maitre Bidault to cover funeral expenses, burial charges, and other debts.)

Joanna Neborsky is a maker of jittery ink drawings and retro-fried collage. She lives in Brooklyn. You can buy a copy of this poster here.

This article is reblogged from the The Paris Review, original article here.
While in Sussex and between two Operas, we visited the countryside, and cooked for Friends. Pimm's, Cucumber Sandwiches, French Quiche Lorraines, home-made Guacamole, Cookies and Children shows... Amazing evening with Artists, good Food, lost somewhere in Sussex, timeless.

and finally... a few shots of that long dress that saved my first evening there. Thank you Glyndebourne!

For those who are in the sandpit, the XVA is providing some entertainment tomorrow evening with their famous Movie Night. Tomorrow they will be showing "Rebel without a cause", a 1955 Classic film with James Dean - the original boy-meets-girl storyline with some 50's glamour to spice things up!

For more info, check out the Facebook event here.
A little bit more of Glyndebourne.

Now that you got a glimpse of Glyndebourne, let me explain why I loved it so much, and why I am so thankful to my arty friends for inviting me to this special event. In Paris, the dress code is casual chic, in Dubai, it's often casual bling, in London I would say casual quirky, well in Glyndebourne, the dress code is chic. Just chic. The first evening I was there, I got dressed for the Ravel Double Bill, a cute little flower knee-length dress. Got out of my room, bumped into the singer of the House: "Is this what you are wearing?", oups, looks like I underestimated Glyndebourne, long dress it is then. As I said, Glyndeborne is chic, just chic.
Driving there is a delight, the countryside is truly beautiful, it's wild and green, no wonder writers were inspired by the UK. When you get there, you discover a Castel and a lovely Field filled with smart people. Gentlemen in Suits and Bow Ties, sometimes even Suspenders, Ladies in long Dresses, Boys in Suits and Girls in vaporous Dresses, their long hair flowing... It's gorgeous. Everybody's setting their pic nics, having a bubbly drink before the Opera. It feels like jumping into Mary Poppins World, it's timeless.
After a Drink in the Sun, the smart crowd heads to the Opera. The first show or the first part of the Show lasts let's say an hour, then the audience gets a whole hour and a half to enjoy an outdoors Dinner. A real intermission does make a real difference in the way I enjoyed the Shows I was lucky to attend. I usually find it hard to stay focused for two or three hours in a row, this time, I am fully involved from beginning till the end. It probably has a lot to do with the quality of the Singers, Mise en Scene and choice of the pieces, but a real pause also definitively helped. And just sitting in that Field, watching the people come and go is aestheticaly amazing.

Hint of Beautiful. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.