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Faster than a

popsicle melts... If you asked my grandma to answer any question of timing— how many days until my birthday party, when are we going shoe shopping or even, when’s dinner—the answer was unfailingly, “Child, it’ll be here faster than a popsicle melts.” I thought about that expression several times in the months leading up to Dabble’s launch. It occurred to me as I hung up my headphones after laying down a country tune at Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studios and again as we enjoyed our gourmet popsicles from Las Paletas during that same trip (page 86). I thought about it on a rainy day in Prague as I held the umbrella for photographer Simon Burn (page 116) and one last time as we toasted the accomplishment of taking Dabble live. In truth, the experiences we’ve had leading up to Dabble have flown by just as quickly as Grandma predicted. Thank you for taking time to enjoy our first issue of Dabble. While it’s a real page-turner, we think its practical content, stunning photography and the lovely people you’ll meet within its pages will leave a lasting impression.

Kimberley Seldon

Editor in Chief

Lena Diaz, Kimberley Seldon and Nyla Free enjoying gourmet popsicles from Las Paletas in Nashville.

Follow me... t f

@kimberleyseldon www.facebook.com/KimberleySeldon

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Kimberley Seldon Editor in Chief

Simon Burn Creative Director and Principal Photographer

Cheryl Horne Managing Editor

Sophie Vander Travel and Market Editor

Victoria Drainville Associate Editor

Lena Diaz Graphic Designer

Bob Seldon Captain Crisis

Design Contributors Lisa Canning, Christine Da Costa, Nyla Free, Sharon Laxon, Nicholas Rosaci, Yvonne Vanderkooy

Travel Contributors Kathy Buckworth, Heather Greenwood Davis, Stephanie Gray, Beth Halstead, Anne Taylor Hartzell, Jennifer Weatherhead

Food Contributors Theresa Albert, Dee Brun, Corey Burgan, Jameson Fink, David Laudenback, Fiona Van Alstyne

Design & Styling Team www.kimberleyseldon.com Erin Mercer, Kathy Seale, Bret Tinson, Linda Jennings

Marketing & Social Media Tim Das, Aysun Kuck

Advertising Inquiries aysun@dabblemag.com Owned and Published by Kimberley Seldon Productions Inc. Cheryl Horne, Director cheryl@kimberleyseldon.com 909 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Z6 101 California Ave, Santa Monica, California 90403

www.dabblemag.com info@dabblemag.com While every effort has been made to ensure that advertisements and articles appear correctly, Dabble Magazine and Kimberley Seldon Productions inc. cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by the contents of this publication. All material is intended for information purposes only. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of its publisher or editor. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

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y er ev in sue is 14 Dabble Here, Dabble There, Dabble Dabble Everywhere 16

Dabble Digs


Making of Dabble

178 Get Social 180 Just a Dab

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TRAVEL BY DESIGN 118 Prague Follow Kimberley Seldon through the city’s highlights in design, architecture, food, shopping and yes... even beer.

design 28

Take 3 Hallway Overhaul


Industry Profile Diane von Furstenberg


DIY Guy Faux-Panelled Walls


Reality Check Choosing Tile


What We Love About Sophie Paterson


Infusion Lori Andrews

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Simple Pleasures Nashville


Swimming Pools and Movie Stars Erinn Valencich

58 40 Winks In Wonderland David Carter



A Total Trip Out of the Box Office

106 Travel Geek Pack More Trips into Your Budget


108 Best Places For Art Lovers


115 Room with a View Desert Rocks

86 Dabble Does... Nashville

116 Exposure Bad Weather— A Photographer’s Friend

110 Snapshot The Many Faces of Ethiopia

Road Raves Life in the Slow Lane

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FEATURES 156 A Day With Chef Kerry Sear 162 Eat Like a... Cuban

152 A Taste Of... Coffee 160 There’s an App for That 168 From Scratch Sushi 171 Dinner Date Win Her Back 172 Entertain Me Poker Party 176 Sindulgence Bikini Muffins

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Mar 31 CityLine: Kimberley Seldon Appearance Kimberley hangs with Samantha Pynn and host Tracy Moore as guest design expert on CityTV’s CityLine. www.cityline.ca

Dabble’s Editor-in-Chief Kimberley Seldon has a busy schedule... just try and keep up!

Jun 6–12

Design Express: Prague, Vienna & Budapest Join Kimberley Seldon for the travel experience of a lifetime. Explore Central Europe's unique architecture, design, art, culture and food. Bring a friend or make new ones. $5,495 double occupancy see website for complete details


Mar 24

You‘re invited Dabble’s Toronto Launch Party Join us for a celebration of design, travel and food. Enjoy exclusive shopping deals, great giveaways and fun surprises. Meet our talented contributors and step inside the pages of Dabble. Make sure you’ve subscribed to Dabble to receive your exclusive invitation.

Apr 301 -May

10th Annual Designer Market More than a home show—it’s a shopping event. Satisfy all your shopping and decorating needs in one convenient location. Forty exclusive vendors share fabulous finds and great deals. $5 at the door Distillery District 55 Mill St., Toronto, Ontario www.kimberleyseldon.com

Dabble Contributors on the go...

Mar 3 Tweetstock IV: Spring Forward Travel contributor Kathy Buckworth is on stage at the ultimate social media event. (Brantford, ON) www.tweetstock.ca

Mar 31 BoobFest Through cocktails and shopping, food contributor Dee Brun raises eyebrows and money to end breast cancer. (Kitchener, ON) www.boobfest.ca March/April 2011 dabble 15

Travel and Market Editor Sophie Vander unearths Dabble-worthy products for the design, travel and food enthusiast in you.



Mumbai Collection Complete The notNeutral City Plate Collection 5, celebrates four hotbed destinations for innovation, architecture and design­­—Chicago, Paris, Montreal and Mumbai. Collection 5 City Plates, US$190 set of 4, notNeutral www.notneutral.com

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n ig Des Multi Faceted Hang one, or hang ‘em all. These gemfaced pendants are sure to put a shine on your kitchen or bath. Multi Faceted Pendant, US$950, Studio Bel Vetro www.studiobelvetro.com

Foiled Again An ancient tile pattern is revitalized in punchy pink, black and white. Pow. Take that, sofa. Quatrefoil with Orchid Appliqué on Eggshell Linen Throw Pillow, US$165, Clayton Gray Home www.claytongrayhome.com

Well Spotted Aussie darling Rachel Castle’s artwork takes shape on vintage linen with felt, linen and paper dots. Baby Spot Big, AU$660 www.castleandthings.com.au

Race Ya She may finally let you bring your garage obsession indoors, if it’s as well designed as these laminated plywood race track forms. Think of it as speedy wall art. Race Tracks of the World, from US$199, Griot’s Garage www.griotsgarage.com

Perfect Match Cool steel meets tufted chic and they wed. Design love. Bombay Lounge Chair, CA$1,195 Elte www.elte.com

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l ve Tra Lazy Days Sleep in it, picnic on it or snuggle under it. Nap time never looked so good. Nap Bag, US$1600 by special order, Commune www.communedesign.com Full of Possibilities One for coins, one for lipstick and one for a gift. That’s fair enough. These goat skin leather zip cases are just waiting to be filled. Large Flat Case, US$48, Graphic Image www.graphicimage.com

Tread Softly Switch out your heels for these extra soft leather travel shoes for in-flight comfort. SWAP by Audley, CA$109, G. Gilbert www.taigan.com

City Crush Hi-tech paper, that’s 100% waterproof and crack resistant means no more spousal arguments about how to refold the map. Crumpled City Maps, $US19, Palomar www.palomarweb.com

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Food PHOTO BY: Anne Graham

Community Charcuterie Growing up in an artists’ commune in northern Alberta, designer Geoffrey Lilge was destined to create pieces whittled from nature. Enter the charcuterie board. Hole Slab X-Large in Walnut, CA$250. Geoffrey Lilge www.geoffreylilge.com

Did you know? Look what we dug up… Join the Adopt an Olive Tree program through Jason Gibb and Cathy Rogers of Nudo who make small-batch olive oil from artisanal producers in Italy. You’ll receive produce from your own tree for a full year. Sufficient reason to dance nudo if you ask us. Nudo Adopt an Olive Tree, US$109, Nudo www.nudo-italia.com

Party Flavour Drop one of these blossoming beauties, an edible hibiscus flower, into you next glass of bubbly and listen for the oohs and ahhs. Spring wedding anyone? Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup, US$11 jar of 8, www.wildhibiscus.com

‘Made in Italy’ may mean that pricey olive oil was only bottled there?

Carrot Carrier The handmade all natural tote makes a trip to the market a stylish affair. Orange Animals Tote, CA$48, Jenna Rose Handmade www.etsy.com March/April 2011 dabble 21

of ng ki ma The Meet team Dabble. Our contributors are writers, travelers, photographers, chefs, artists and designers. Experts, every one. With paint brushes in hand, we asked them to help us create the signage for our new office space...now we have to buy them new clothes.

Food Contributors

ABOVE Food Contributors Theresa Albert, Dee Brun,

Corey Burgan (pictured), David Laudenback, Fiona Van Alystyne, Jameson Fink (not pictured)

LEFT Design Contributors Christine DaCosta, Nicholas

Rosaci, Nyla Free (pictured), Lisa Canning, Sharon Laxon and Yvonne Vanderkooy (not pictured)

BELOW Stylists Linda Jennings, Bret Tinson, Kathy Seale, Erin Mercer


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Design Contributors

Production Team

As it turns out, building a magazine is a bit like building a home. It’s a collaborative effort. Specialists are needed—whole teams of professionals who act independently to create a cohesive entity. Sometimes the work is messy. But oh, the results are divine.

Travel Contributors Editor-in-chief Kimberley Seldon

TOP RIGHT Production Team Simon Burn, Cheryl Horne,

Kimberley Seldon, Victoria Drainville, Lena Diaz (pictured), Sophie Vander (not pictured).

ABOVE Travel Contributors Kathy Buckworth, Heather Greenwood

Davis, Beth Halstead (pictured), Anne Taylor Hartzell, Jennifer Weatherhead, Stephanie Gray (not pictured)

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Erin Mercer

Lisa Canning

Something you don’t know about Erin? “I often wake up in the middle of the night thinking about design. I keep a pencil and sketch pad handy for late night ah-ha moments.”

Something you don't know about Lisa? “I have a lot of spirit. So much so, I was the mascot at my high school and a competitive cheerleader in university. Goooooo Dabble.”

I dabble in… refreshing pre-loved furniture, photography and cooking.

I dabble in... finding the perfect red lipstick, making great coffee, writing letters and curating my wardrobe.

Erin is thrilled to be an interior designer with Kimberley Seldon Design Group. In addition to managing projects and working with the design team, she collaborates with Kimberley to produce sets for Home Day on CityLine.

Lisa Canning is an interior stylist in Toronto specializing in chic, contemporary, personalized interiors with a focus on condos and kids. She was over-the-moon when Dabble selected her as a design contributor.

Nicholas Rosaci

Principle designer for Radiant Design Group, Nicholas creates chic, confident spaces that bridge modern and traditional. Nicholas believes every space should inspire you to live better, greener and of course, more fabulously.

Meet our

design contributors

www.kimberleyseldon.com @erindabbles

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www.lisacanning.ca @lisa_canning

Something you don’t know about Nicholas? “I’m secretly obsessed with Whitney Houston. I like to think I can hit all those high notes much to the dismay of my neighbours. Maybe it’s not so secret?” I dabble in… fearlessness. Glue gunning my way­—one sequin, jube jube and chic step at a time. www.rad3sixty.com @nicholasrosaci

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A daily thoroughfare should be anything but everyday. Turn an often ignored hallway into a purposeful beauty with one of these three creative solutions.

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Design Tip

Change white lamp shades to black to create a more dramatic, formal look.

Cubist Console

This handsome console table is an ideal width for the niche in this long hallway, and it provides a spot to throw your keys at day’s end. Stretching from side to side, its driftwood grey colour is a lovely complement to the rugged stone floor. A large, cubist style painting titled “Mujer con Pez” (Woman with Fish) strikes a dramatic pose between the black shaded sconces.   Console, Boo Boo & Lefty; vintage globe, L'Atelier


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English Manor

When storage is at a premium, take advantage of available floor and wall space. To capture vertical storage, position a tall bookshelf or étagère (similar to a bookshelf, an étagère is an open shelving unit meant for display) against the hallway wall. Now, decorative objects such as the antique wooden boxes, leather books, and personal mementos are in clear view.


Design Tip

An étagère’s open back allows wall colour to become part of the display.

ABOVE Ètagére, Elte OPPOSITE Artwork, Art Interiors

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Gallery Style Art Wall

A series of mismatched stools becomes part of the dynamic art display on a bare hallway wall. To create a similar grouping, measure available wall space, considering fixed features such as sconces or light switches. Cut a piece of butcher’s paper to the required size and lay it on the floor. Position artwork in a pleasing composition, making sure outside edges line up with butcher’s paper edges and leaving 1"–3" gaps between pieces. Next, using a ruler, determine exact placement of nail holes and mark spots on the paper. Finally, tape butcher’s paper onto wall and put nails through marked holes. Tear paper away and hang artwork.

Design Tip Combine objects d’art with framed pieces for added interest.


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y tr us Indfile Diane von Furstenberg Pro WORDS BY CHRISTINE DA COSTA

DvF Style Tip

Experiment by mixing and matching different patterns; incorporate unexpected shapes and always add a touch of animal print. 32 dabble March/April 2011


Born in Belgium, she married a prince, made the cover of TIME, inspired lyrics for a Dolly Parton song and changed the face of fashion forever with the creation of a simple jersey wrap dress. And perhaps her only real competition for fashion icon of the world status is a fictional Carrie Bradshaw. For more than four decades Diane von Furstenberg personifies effortless chic to women around the world. Dabble’s Design Contributor Christine Da Costa asked the legend about her new line of tabletop, bedding and decorative accessories. DAB: Diane, congratulations on the recent launch of DVF Home Collection. How does this latest venture reflect your personal design philosophy? DVF: It’s all about achieving a harmonious relationship between colour, texture, proportion, scale and pattern. My inspiration is the 20th century, women, the nature that surrounds me, my contemporary art, as well as vintage and current fashion prints from the DVF runway collections.

“I dabble in photography.” DAB: What is the biggest style mistake people make in their homes? DVF: Your home is an extension of who you are—play with colour and pattern and don’t be afraid to showcase your personality and lifestyle.

Animal Print Chargers From left to right, Cheetah, Animal and Zebra

DAB: You mentioned that contemporary art inspires you? DVF: Yes, the Miro flower motif in my tabletop and bedding collection is inspired by the surrealistic art of Joan Miró. DAB: Beyond colour, how do you create impact at home? DVF: I simply love geometric silhouettes and love to use different shapes in all of my designs, fashion or home. DAB: We hear your DVF wrap dress inspired your duvet collection. Which of your six prints is your favourite? DVF: I can’t choose only one—they’re all my favourites. DAB: What’s the fastest way to add vibrancy in bedroom design? DVF: Beautiful linens make the bedroom look good, which makes you feel good—your bedroom should look how you want to feel. A boldly patterned duvet invigorates for a fresh, welcoming and uplifting feel.

Miro Pebble cup and saucer, and pillow sham


swimming s ar st e vi & mo


Making a comeback in swanky town USA takes more than desire. Hard work, vision, re-direction and a bit of luck are required to bring waning potential back into the spotlight. Dabble chatted with interior designer Erinn Valencich who recently faced such a challenge transforming a traditional home in the tony Trousdale Estates neighbourhood of Beverly Hills.

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A repetition of organic materials—wood, stucco, stone—creates flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.

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ABOVE The stucco exterior is enlivened by a series of grid patterns —on the garage doors, at the front door, and in the concrete pads of the driveway. RIGHT In a city where everyone’s a star, Erinn knows what it takes to make a dramatic entrance. The Asian inspired fretwork of the front door is the result of a sketch she penned while out to dinner with friends.

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“I envisioned an urban oasis with large windows leading to outdoor rooms,” says the designer. “We started with a beautiful footprint and expansive views. I added floor to ceiling glass walls and additional ceiling height, growing rooms from 9 to12 feet.”

The difficulty with contemporary design is its tendency to be cold. Erinn created a warm, modern feeling by incorporating sleek wood features in the window surrounds, on the floors and in the landscaping. With a base of warmth established, she was able to clad the living room fireplace in stucco and insert a chrome U-channel to create the massive grid, mimicking exterior materials, without fear the feature would read as “cold”.

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Introducing the soft, gray oak (a repeated element from the living room floors) warms the high gloss surfaces of the spacious kitchen. Casual seating provided by sleek bar stools tucks discreetly beneath statuary Calcutta gold marble countertops. Erinn pays particular attention to the backsplash when she’s designing kitchens. “A typical mirrored backsplash might have created uncomfortable shine with so much sunlight,” says the designer. “Instead, I chose the Offset Mirror Mosaic from Ann Sacks to add sparkle without glare. I love the way it shimmers in the evening.”

The sun-drenched family room and kitchen enjoy poolside views and easy access to the outdoor barbecue. Erinn insists on an open floor plan for homes where entertaining happens frequently. March/April 2011 dabble 39


The master bedroom is something of a departure from the rest of the house. Here, dark wood floors and the royal blue suede headboard create a cozier, more dramatic setting. Floor-toceiling bookshelves conceal a central pocket door that leads to the ensuite. “It’s almost like walking through a tunnel,” the designer enthuses, “which is very cool.”

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Honeyed wood and white lacquer cabinets combine with champagne coloured mosaic tiles in the master ensuite. The room’s most dramatic feature is the private garden seen beyond the glass shower wall.

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An avid gardener, Erinn uses succulents in boxed concrete beds to provide structure to contemporary gardens. Japanese maple trees (seen in the back corner) add complementary colour to large expanses of green.

vy v Sa e bl Dab


pattern makes a statement * Sleek in contemporary settings. Graphic lines provide order and can be introduced as architectural detail. contrast adds drama. A * High combination of light wood floors and dark window surrounds produces head-turning results. diverse textures for * Combine impact. The rough, matte stucco and smooth, concrete stepping stones are complemented and softened by shrubery and trees.

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Simple Pleasures


With sunshine pouring through the windows, reflecting onto cushy white upholstery and pristine walls, there’s nary a trace of the formerly dark rooms the Ingram family moved into several years ago. Craving a backdrop for living rather than a “show house”, Culley, a self-taught design enthusiast, set about creating a peaceful sanctuary for her family of four.

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Surrounded by pristine white and warm woods, Culley Ingram strikes a contemplative pose in her restful Nashville living room.

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Culley humbly chalks her design abilities up to genetics, slowing as she speaks of beloved grandparents: “They were world travellers who had an ability to appreciate an object’s inherent beauty. My grandmother taught me to look for potential in objects both humble and grand, while my grandfather taught me to enjoy the hunt and respect the process of creating a home.” Undaunted by raw possibilities, Culley sees blank spaces on walls and in rooms as “opportunities.” This chair, for example, was found at Antiques at the Factory and the busy mother of two fell in love with the artisanship behind its elegant shape. The oil painting is by Danielle Rahe Fox, an artist from the Ingrams’ hometown of Santa Cruz, California. Family, as displayed in the homegrown gallery rising above the main floor staircase, is a priority for Culley and her husband, songwriter and music producer Jason Ingram. Daughters Blythe and Nola are much in evidence throughout the home.

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Blythe, age eight and Nola, age four gleefully anticipate the moment mom finishes icing the red velvet cupcakes. March/April 2011 dabble 51


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Simply furnished, the master bedroom gives way to a large deck, ideal for family barbecues and summer sunning. Culley painted existing grass cloth covered walls a crisp white, preferring the subtle texture to flat drywall.

Culley’s fave es design stor Epiphany contemporary and antique furniture and accessories

Dealer’s Choice where Culley bought her living room chandelier

Iron Gate new and vintage offerings

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ABOVE A collection of guitars and a

mandolin, gifted by a dear friend, strike a pleasing chord. on display. Jason’s home office, just steps from the family kitchen, is an actual recording studio.

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The graphic black and white canvas is a portrait of Culley by artist friend M. A. Wood.

Learn more about Nashville on page 86

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y u G Y DI

Faux-Panelled Walls “Sure, walls are supposed to be flat, but dull? Not on my watch!” says DIY Guy, Nicholas Rosaci. With paint, tape and moxie these walls are transformed.



To create the faux panel, paint the full wall in chosen base paint colour using the 9½" paint roller. You can skip this step by using existing wall colour to act as the faux panel stripe detail colour.



Allow base paint to colour dry (2-4 hours) then apply 1" wide painter’s tape in the faux panel pattern. Keep lines crisp and neat using a metal ruler and a standard level as a guide. To create the pattern, visually divide the wall into three vertical sections. Reserve two-thirds for the upper panel and the remaining one-third as the lower section. This pleasing proportion provides an illusion of added height to walls. Extend the pattern over the full wall height, leaving a 2" reveal below ceiling or crown moulding and a 2" reveal above baseboards. A 6" square at each corner creates the detail.


SEAL PAINTER’S TAPE Once your faux panels are created with painter’s tape, secure the edges of the tape firmly with the edge of a metal ruler and remove any inconsistent tape edges with a utility knife. To eliminate smears or drips, apply a second coat of the base paint colour over the painter’s tape with a brush or a small roller. Allow to dry (2–4 hours).


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Next, paint the entire wall the top colour using a paint roller. Allow to dry (2–4 hours).



Once wall is thoroughly dry (2–4 hours), carefully remove painter’s tape to reveal faux panel design.


Add artwork—make sure it fits within the new faux panelling.


MATERIALS REQUIRED Base paint colour for faux panels Top paint colour for full walls* Two 9½" paint rollers for smooth or semismooth walls A painter’s brush or a small 3" paint roller to seal masking tape Pencil Long metal ruler Utility knife Small level 1" painter’s tape * For walls, use flat, eggshell or satin (the higher the sheen, the more durable). For baseboards and trim, use semi-gloss.

Benjamin Moore’s Dior Gray 2133-40 (base colour for faux panel stripe) and Pigeon Gray 213350 (top wall colour)

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40 WiNKS


“Behind every gorgeous model, there’s a camera ready setting.” David Carter

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London interior designer David Carter envisioned his historic Queen Anne townhouse as a sort of Wonderland for his eclectic taste and artistic circle of friends. Industry insiders, models, actors, and photographers were so taken with the quirky-bold design and offbeat eccentricity, they begged for an invitation to spend the night. Quickly, the word spread and an offer to “stay at David’s” when visiting London became a coveted prize. Finally, in response to regular requests to film, photograph and lodge in the magical setting, David launched 40 WiNKS, a happy marriage between private home, hip London film set and boutique hotel. To call it a bed and breakfast won’t do at all. It’s more like an eccentric uncle has left you the keys to his hip London pad and having the run of the place is titillating.

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David is crazy about mad white mirrors designed by fellow eccentric Oriel Harwood.

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It’s not impossible to imagine David with a Mad Hatter’s top hat and grinning cat comfortably ensconced on the faux bear daybed in his dark green “Opium Den.”

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At 40 WiNKS the aesthetic playfully leans toward wild abandon, but it is tempered with a keen eye for detail and devilish desire for decadent opulence.

No ordinary place to stay, 40 WiNKS forgoes TVs in the bedroom in favour of Wi-Fi access, an iPod player and the freedom to use the main rooms of the house. Reservations for 40 WiNKS’ two bedrooms are generally booked months in advance so, if you want a chance to stay in this magical world, make sure you book early. David Carter made Architectural Digest’s list of the 70 most influential designers in the world. He’s currently working on a hotel in Vienna. For more information about 40 WiNKS, visit: www.40winks.org

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Think you’d like to step into the shoes of a professional designer? Join Dabble design contributor Nyla Free for a Reality Check.


TILE Step-by-step guide to a designer’s process PHOTOGRAPHY BY LORI ANDREWS

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It starts with a plan Having exhausted its purpose for 30 years, clients asked Nyla to transform their master ensuite into a simple, light-filled space. With a preference for neutral colour firmly established she looked for an opportunity to introduce pattern and depth into the spacious room. Tile seemed an ideal candidate for the task.



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Like most of the designer’s tasks, choosing tile looks simple. Find something you love, order it, install it, done. Yeah. Not so much. Instead, here’s what really goes into a decision to select, install and enjoy tile.

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Step 1: Initial Measure

Have a professional measure the raw area for tiling. Once you decide on actual tiles and patterns, dimensions must be reconfirmed. With floors, make sure to match surface depth to adjacent areas to avoid an awkward threshold.

The playful side chair with its sculptural back introduces a splash of colour in the neutral space. The oil painting is by Calgary artist, Kate Schutz.

Step 2: Consider Placement

Since tile can be pricey, it’s critical to make selections with actual square footage and budget in mind. Tiling the shower requires more material than a backsplash. Can you splurge on the one if you save on the other? The floor is a great canvas for pattern. In addition, I selected a countertop of granite and coordinating tiles for the shower floor and walls.

Step 3: Size Matters

With so much choice, selecting size-appropriate tile can be confusing. While 12" x 24" tiles are widely popular, they may be too large for a powder room or main bathroom that’s a typical 5" x 8" size. Small 1" x 1" mosaics work well on shower floors, as part of a backsplash, or within a border as a feature in the centre of the floor.

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Step 4: Select Feature Tile

Step 11: Confirm Correct Tile

Often a splurge, the feature tile provides an element to make other selections around, becoming a primary focus in the overall scheme. I selected a Murano glass mosaic tile as a feature within the shower and backsplash.

Once tile arrives, confirm it’s the correct stock. With surprising frequency, errors occur and you do not want to install the wrong product. Confirm and reconfirm.

Step 12: Reconfirm Layout

Yes, confirm layout details again. Do not assume the installer remembers details you reviewed a few weeks—or even days ago.

Step 5: Select Remaining Tile

To keep the budget on track, choose a more economical stone like Crema Marfil for the largest areas.

Step 6: Check stock

Determine a tile’s availability early. A tile can be “in stock” in Indiana but require four weeks to arrive in your supplier’s showroom. Or if “in stock” in Italy, you can renovate the whole house before that tile is likely to arrive. A long backorder may mean reselection and back to Step 5.

Step 7: Plan on Paper

With selections made, it’s time to lay out the pattern on paper, to scale. Consider where cuts occur and where one material meets another, ensuring a seamless installation. Your tile professional can help you do this.

Makore Kitchens and Fine Renovations

Step 8: Meet Installer

Schedule a site meeting with a professional installer to verify required quantities and confirm placement of tiles.

Step 9: Order Tile

It’s finally time to place an order and reconfirm stock and availability—yes, again.

Step 10: Grout options

When selecting grout keep thickness and colour in mind. On delicate tiles the thickness might be less than 1/8" whereas larger limestone tiles may look better with ¼" thickness. In most cases, you’ll want to choose a grout colour that most closely matches the tile.

Step 13: Progress check

Designers make regularly scheduled site checks on behalf of clients to ensure there are no mistakes. Catching an error early is critical to the well-being of any project.

Step 14: Inspect and Enjoy

Review areas where tile is joined and make sure any grout remaining on the face of tiles has been removed.


Great deals are found in discontinued areas of tile stores. Keep expensive tiles in smaller, feature areas. Big box stores have a good selection of affordable tile, often in stock. Get more style from an inexpensive tile by installing it in an interesting pattern.

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What we love about



PHOTO BY: Lauren Mitton


Like any great designer, Sophie Paterson’s talents are chameleon, changing shape to reflect each client’s specific needs and style. In this London bedroom, she strikes a casual pose against grass cloth covered walls, stopping for a brief moment to ensure all details are perfect. March/April 2011 dabble 73

PHOTO BY: Patrick Butler Madden


Strong shapes are a Sophie Paterson signature, as evidenced by the tailored walnut-clad kitchen. The stainless steel range hood nearly disappears into the mirrored backsplash, a choice that amplifies available sunlight from an adjacent window. The cantilevered shelves keep cooking herbs close at hand without cluttering countertop surfaces.

PHOTO BY: Lauren Mitton

“Investing in classic furniture shapes such as the Parsons inspired console table,” says Sophie, “offers my clients the greatest flexibility; allowing for inevitable lifestyle changes.”

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PHOTO BY: Lauren Mitton

Subtle shades of purple work beautifully with the taupe and grey upholstery fabrics, adding a feminine balance to more masculine furniture such as the steamer trunk with brass fittings and the tripod lamp.

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PHOTO BY: Lauren Mitton


For more information about Sophie, visit: www.sophiepatersoninteriors.com

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PHOTO BY: Patrick Butler Madden

Flattering light is critical to a project’s ultimate success. Table lamps provide low level lighting and an intimate glow, ideal for conversation areas and bedrooms.



Dabble’s design contributor Lisa Canning finds inspiration through Lori Andrews‘photography


Regale Blue

Loyal Blue

Ash Violet

Passionate Purple

Mulberry Silk


Renwick Golden Oak

Melting snow brings hope of spring—and a fresh reveal of home accents to unearth and explore. All paint swatches Sherwin Williams www.sherwinwilliams.com


Earthy sisal puts textured comfort underfoot.


Punch up a neutral sofa with graphic plaid.


Violet infuses the bedroom with freshness.

Sophie Vander A job that combines travel and shopping? Yes. As Travel Editor Sophie inspires readers to explore the most amazing places on earth, discovering extraordinary details that make a trip worthwhile. As Market Editor she uncovers beauty to bring home, gadgets to make travel more comfortable and food sensations to die for.

Jennifer Weatherhead & Stephanie Gray Jennifer and Stephanie, co-founders of Pretty Chic Travel tour the globe and share their fantastic finds—be it out-of-theway boutiques, must-see art exhibits or stylish hotels. Both with editorial backgrounds, they are thrilled to offer up their take on the world of travel.

Anne Taylor Hartzell With more than 15 years’ experience building technology and travel brands, Anne is a family travel expert, gadget geek, trained storyteller, and founder and executive editor of Hip Travel Mama, a luxury family travel blog.

Meet our

travel contributors Photo: Anne Graham

Photo: Justin Harrington

Photo: Judith Fernstrom Photography

Something you don’t know about Sophie? “As a child I was convinced I was going to be a fighter pilot. I think my mother might be glad I became an editor instead!”

Something you don't know about Jennifer? “Even though I can't swim, I do many waterrelated activities when I travel—sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, tubing—so swimming lessons are in my future!”

Something you don’t know about Anne? “I developed the first website for the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce after the handover in 1997.”

I dabble in… encaustic painting, fabric design, shoe collecting, and one day I’d like to make cheese. www.dabblemag.com @sophiedabbles

I dabble in... photography. Something you don't know about Stephanie? “Although I've travelled to many amazing places, my favourite place on earth is my family's cottage in Muskoka, Ontario.” I dabble in…poetry. www.prettychictravel.ca @pc_travel

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I dabble in… cooking and discovering new up and coming wineries. www.hiptravelmama.com @hiptravelmama

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Life in the slow lane


As I write this piece I’m sitting in a covered outdoor space at the back of my stone bungalow on the island of Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadines. It’s raining. Not exactly the setting I would normally describe to readers looking for a warm weather getaway after a cold North American winter. But this rain is different. At home all I would be thinking about is running for cover from the rain; here I’m only half-heartedly fighting the urge to run into it. I’ve spent seven days away from the hectic pace of everyday life. Imagine a place where the tick of a clock doesn’t define when you’re

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Heather Greenwood Davis is on a journey—a year of discovering the world with her young family. First stop is Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadine Islands where lesson number one is to slow down.

My private cobblestone bungalow is far from neighbours, but just steps to the familiar feeling of sand between my toes.

hungry, your job doesn’t determine where you have to be when, and guilt seems to have no place or position. The result? I’ve slowed.

Overlooking the sea, the hotel is far away from it all. The yoga pavilion for those seeking even more introspection.

I blame the island. I’ve been to St. Vincent many times. My husband was born here and his family still resides among its hills and valleys. It is not a wealthy place but it is a beautiful one. Fertile and green, the island’s agriculture provides a bounty of ripe mangoes, just add-a-straw coconuts and bananas by the March/April 2011 dabble 81


Island breezes and natural stone keep guests cool in the chic bungalows.

The resort’s chef presents the day's fresh catch.

bushel. Trucks carrying sugar cane to market and men with wheelbarrows filled with freshly caught snapper are as common as the over-decorated minibuses and the brightly suited office workers headed into town. But on this visit, I stepped off the shores of the mainland and found myself in a whole new version of perfection. The Grenadine Islands hang like a necklace between St. Vincent and Grenada and offer a laid back luxury you won’t necessarily find in more popular Caribbean destinations. Here islands are small enough to charm and just off the beaten path enough to offer you respite.

Chauffeur-driven Mokes are the only way to get around.

From the celebrity laden Bequia to the Gilligan’s Island-like Palm Island, each of the pearls in this necklace has its own spirit and, at stop after stop, I fall for each of them. But it’s Petit St. Vincent that steals my heart. The roundabout way we arrived had something to do with it. After flying into Barbados, transferring by plane to St. Vincent, hopping a puddle jumper to Union Island and then boarding a catamaran for a

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TRAVEL will likely greet you at the dock with her three yellow labs (John Adams, Chibby and Minnie) and then disappear so you can claim the island as your own. You may catch fleeting glances of families from France, Italy, Spain, Japan and North America during your visit, but you’re unlikely to spend your days mingling. Privacy is treasured on the island.

Hide away on the secluded beach on the island’s west end, or have lunch delivered.

A detox from all of the things that keep life moving at a frenetic pace, and it is surprisingly easy to get used to.

day long sail past Mayreau and the Tobago Cays we have arrived. The journey only adding to the feeling that we are as far away as we can be from the world we know. It’s just about the farthest you can go in the Grenadines—and it feels like it. And when we’re met by a Moke motorcade— the powder blue tiny cars that look more like Flinstonian transportation than island getaway chic—at the shore, our hosts holding out cold, umbrella drinks as a welcome, I’m immediately smitten with Petit St. Vincent Resort. But there are rules here. It’s the first and most recited that threatens my bliss. No Internet. None. No WiFi. No dial up. No cell phones or TV either. It is a detox from all of the things that keep life moving at a frenetic pace and it is surprisingly easy to get used to. The entire island is one resort and in between the green hills and white sand beaches you’ll find 22 elite cottages staffed by 35 people. Built by the late Haze Richardson, a former military pilot, the resort is still managed by his wife, Lynn, who

And soon I find myself accepting the timehonoured way of communication in Petit St. Vincent: Flagpole. Standing just outside my cottage I can signal, depending on which flag is raised, whether I need assistance, am ready to eat or simply want to be left alone. Raise the yellow and someone will come to your service within 10 minutes, raise the red and even a previously requested delivery will be halted to afford you total privacy. Need a drink? Slip a note into the bamboo chute. The server will ring a bell, wait for your okay and then bring it in to you. Or use the pole to request a Moke ride over to the secluded west end of the island where you can lounge on a hammock and gaze out at the turquoise sea, wandering over to the “hav-abanana” basket if you get hungry. Those seeking more action can try the two-mile fitness trail, play on the tennis courts or borrow the water-sports' equipment and take to the beach. The island feels like you’re staying with friends, thanks to staff who’ve been here for years—some since the hotel’s development in the late 1960s. And when, during the weekly cocktail reception at Lynn’s home, you have a chance to look out over it all with a glass of wine in hand as the sun sets, it only cements that feeling. Back in my cobblestone cottage it strikes me, as it only seems to have time to do while I’m in places like this, that life is good. Free from the annoying ringtones and buzzing and constant threat of email, I succumb to the sound of the wind through the trees, the sway of my hammock and the indescribable joy of raindrops falling just outside the porch where I'm sitting. March/April 2011 dabble 83



Experience the villa gardens of Mona Lisa's summer home in Tuscany.

out of the box office

Follow Dabble travel contributor Kathy Buckworth outside the box office and into blockbuster movie locations.

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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Alexander Farm, Matamata, New Zealand

Lord of the Rings fans gladly make the pilgrimage to Matamata on the North Island of New Zealand to experience firsthand the film series’ fantastical setting. During guided tours of The Shire, which is an actual working sheep and cattle farm, film enthusiasts see the set of The Hobbit prequel, due out in 2012. Hungry Hobbits ought to visit The Shire’s Rest café for a light lunch overlooking the rolling green hills, which look so unreal they must indeed be just like J.R.R. Tolkien imagined.

Much Ado About Nothing Vignamaggio, Tuscany, Italy

The charming pink Tuscan villa received international recognition as the backdrop to Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 Much Ado About Nothing. However, its earlier history is even more fascinating, as Vignamaggio is the childhood home of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous model, Mona Lisa. One of Tuscany's oldest wine estates, the villa is located between Siena and Florence in the Chianti region. Today, visitors arrive for the intriguing “wine therapy” or to overnight, perhaps sleeping in the very room in which Da Vinci slept.

The Sound of Music

Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont

If you've dreamed of skipping across rolling hills with Maria and stormy nights find you singing "These are a Few of my Favorite Things" then add a stay with the real von Trapp family to your bucket list. The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, is nowhere near the Alps, and Sam von Trapp, grandson of Maria and the Baron explains why. ABOVE The enigmatic Mona Lisa

spent summers with her family at Villa Vignamaggio in Chianti, Italy.

ABOVE RIGHT The Lord of the Rings movie set, in Matamata, New Zealand. LEFT Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont.

“When the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938 the family escaped via train to Italy­—not by hiking over the Swiss Alps with their suitcases as the movie suggests,” says von Trapp. “They eventually settled in Vermont after travelling to the US to perform.” Guided tours, often led by actual family members, clear up other The Sound of Music inconsistencies. “We have an apple tree which the movie cast dedicated in June 2008,” says von Trapp, as he laughingly adds, “We call the movie kids the non-Trapps.” March/April 2011 dabble 85

With its unique mix of small town charm and big city excitement, Nashville won the hearts (and eyes, ears, and taste buds) of our three Dabble travellers. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SIMON BURN

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Service with a smile at trendy Burger Up.

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e all have preconceptions of a city based on its place in history, its politics, the vast generalisation of its people, its traditions and pastimes, food and landscape. Our first Dabble Does destination is one of those places that is rife with clichés and presumptions. Nashville, Tennessee, USA—home of country twang, the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, southern cookin’ and Miley Cyrus. Music City. Cashville. Nash Vegas. The Buckle of the Bible Belt. The list of sobriquets goes on. So when our three contributors—Nyla Free (design), Lena Diaz (food) and Eric Parker (travel)—scoured the city to uncover its riches, its wealth and diversity surprised them. The eclectic mix of design and art turned Nyla into a shopaholic. Lena’s hunt for the city’s best fried chicken became a discovery of a cuisine tied to its roots but with flavours of the future. And Eric’s love of music opened our ears to a city offering more than just country.

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Recording artists, Cindy Brouwer and Jeremy Bose from St. Lola in the Fields take a playful break outside Nolensville’s Three French Hens. March/April 2011 dabble 89


DESIGN IN THE MIX From the urban vibe downtown to vintage on the city’s fringe, interior designer and Dabble Design Contributor Nyla Free is astounded by choice in Nashville.


Knobstoppers & Cake Vintage Table & Home




Social Graces

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Make your way to the intersection of 8th and Douglas Avenues for a fine selection of design shops. Epiphany is a favourite for European charm. Visit Pre-toPost for its eclectic mix of kitsch and vintage, Classic Modern for groovy retro and the Cane-Ery for antiques in varying stages of rejuvenation.


Trendy Hillsboro Village is a destination for noshing (expect line-ups at Pancake Pantry and Fido) and shopping. Start at Social Graces where cool stationery and gifts are beyond tempting. Work your way down the block towards Pangaea for Spanish influenced accessories and end at Retropolitan with its contemporary furniture and fab pillows. Hungry? Stop for frozen yogurt at Sweet Cece’s. Nyla made her biggest purchases at Wonders on Woodland, bringing home spaghetti lights from the 1950s and a 1940s' vase. Next door, Art & Invention Gallery is an artisan treasure trove.



A former laundry warehouse in trendy Edgehill is home to Nest, with its upcountry chic furniture and accessories. Wander through adjacent shops and make sure to stop for lunch at the colourful Taco Mamacita. (Margaritas are 2-for-1 on Wednesdays.)

5 Three French Hens is named for the trio of friends who set up shop together.

Set in a rambling roadside farmhouse,

Occasional chairs, guest towels, bulletin boards and vintage jewellery make a visit well worth the 30-minute drive to Nolensville.

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Contemporary furniture, affordable artwork and eye-catching pillows are Retropolitan staples. 92 dabble March/April 2011


With clichéd images of wicker rockers swimming in my head, I was surprised to discover that, in fact, Nashville is a dynamic city with an urban vibe. Yes, urban. Funky, art house style restaurants, coffee shops and design stores are dotted throughout historic neighbourhoods and once-deserted warehouse sites. The design scene is not only on trend; the furnishings selection is vast and all encompassing. Converted churches filled with antiques, loft settings with Danish modern pieces and industrial garages filled with trendy accessories provide a wealth of design inspiration. This confirmed city slicker can’t wait to come back to Nashville.

Nyla’s perfect



No typical hamburger joint, Burger Up sports industrial chic décor, with mismatched cutlery and dishcloth napkins. Stylish plaid-wearing servers greet you with a smile while you mingle with locals in a community dining atmosphere. Try the fried pickles. Divine.


Stand in the well-dressed lobby and watch case-carrying musicians check in at the übercool Hutton Hotel. Rooms are comfortably sleek with gracious rain head showers and a hopping Nespresso machine on every floor.


Visit art galleries like Ovvio Arte, The Arts Company and Gallery One. The oil painting seen here is by Veta Cicolello, owner Ovvio Arte.


Take a drive to neighbouring Franklin, 30 minutes away, where the countryside reveals humble churches, antebellum homes and amiable design shops like The Iron Gate, Rebecca’s Furniture and Design and Franklin Antique Mall.


Vintage dishes, linen tea towels, graphic memo boards and a stunning selection of upscale handcrafts make Knobstoppers & Cake Vintage Table & Home a must visit.

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RIGHT Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens and pinto beans make up this meat and 3 plate from Arnold’s. LEFT It’s worth the hunt to find

the inconspicuous Mas Tacos. (We had to circle the whole block twice to spot it). The simple chalkboard menu offers up the city’s best tacos.

Redefining Dining Nashville’s southern fare is getting a makeover, as Lena Diaz’s taste buds discovered.





Set in the residential neighbourhood of historic Germantown is City House, with a menu that marries Italian ingredients to traditional southern cooking. Try the chocolate pecan pie—a light shell with a chocolate, rum and pecan filling topped with coffee, caramel gelato. Hello heaven. Fun fact: Most cocktails are named after staff pets.


You’d never guess, with its unassuming cafeteria style setting and yellow painted cinder block walls, that Arnold’s is nearly as much an institution as the Grand Ole Opry. Come on in, grab a plastic tray and slide it towards your choice of meat and three (a Nashville tradition of 1 meat dish + 3 side dishes). Side dishes include collard greens, pinto beans, mashed potatoes and cornbread muffins to die for. Bring your stretchy pants. Dinner at Margot is an herb-infused occasion where every dish from first to last leaves a fine impression. Start with an appetizer of Parmigiano Reggiano and Capriole goat cheese served with mostarda (candied fruit cooked in a spicy mustard flavoured syrup) and fresh focaccia bread—a great prelude to the daily house-made pastas.


Nashville’s iconic Loveless Café started as a pit stop in the early 1950s and, thankfully, neither the décor nor the home cookin’ has evolved. Biscuits served in a heap, waffles piled high with pecans and maple syrup—you wouldn’t want it any other way. The gift shop is a hoot—pick up a “Praise the Lard and pass the Biscuits” tee shirt or some of their famous homemade jam.



On warm days, there’s nothing better than a gourmet popsicle from Las Paletas. Try the tamarind if you dare, or opt for an easy favourite like chocolate coconut.

Order a veggie lover’s taco of fried avocado with red onions, red cabbage, spicy dill sauce and cilantro at Mas Tacos. And add a cold Aqua Fresca (pineapple, cilantro and lime water) served over ice. Delicioso.

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Beyond traditional southern cuisine, which is every bit as comforting (read: fattening) as you’d imagine, there’s a real movement toward locally grown food. The dining vibe is relaxed and so friendly visitors easily feel right at home striking up conversations with neighbouring diners—some even sharing an appetizer.

Lena’s perfect



Locals claim Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is the best and I can’t disagree. A Nashville specialty, hot chicken is battered in buttermilk and cayenne pepper and then pan fried. Better have a beer beside you—when we say hot, we mean hot.


Order a Dark & Stormy (Rum, Lime, Cruzan Black Strap and Ginger Syrup) at prohibitionstyle bar, The Patterson House. To avoid weekend lineups arrive early.


If you can, try and spot the ever-moving Grilled Cheeserie Truck. Once you find it, let me know. I searched for days and never got to try the Brie, buttermilk cheddar, egg and bacon sandwich a friend said is to die for.


Get to a honky-tonk where you’ll find freeflowing beer and Tennessee whiskey as well as the best live country music in the state. You might even spot a Nashville celeb like Reba McEntire or Tim McGraw.

Buy ABOVE The permanently parked

Volkswagen van houses the quirky I Dream of Weenies, a lunch stop tradition.

Get your hands on some locally produced Olive & Sinclair dark chocolate, available at most coffee shops. Try the Mexican style Cinn-Chily.

OPPOSITE Sunday means brunch,

but you better come early to get a table at popular Marché.

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Music City As a little kid Eric Parker dreamed of Nashville. Five years ago he made the city home, and its music has been pumping through his veins ever since.

Buck McCoy takes the stage at Legends Corner on honkytonk lined Broadway. OPPOSITE: Eric takes a seat

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at the soundboard at Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studios.








Celebrities draw fans to Nashville, but the real magic happens when the songwriters themselves take the stage. Catch a show at the Bluebird Café or take in a Hall of Fame Songwriter Session. In the spring, there’s the weeklong Tin Pan South Songwriter’s Festival, March 29-April 2. No trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to Broadway, the well-known strip lined with boisterous honky-tonks. Robert’s Western World features live music that handsomely bridges the gap between outlaw and hillbilly. Tootsies and Legends Corner are equally popular.

Eric’s Playlist

Nashville’s music scene is smokin’ hot. Click here for Eric’s Playlist, created exclusively for Dabble readers.

Sarah Buxton – ‘For Real’ from Sarah Buxton and the Pajama Sessions St. Lola in the Fields – ‘Hold Me’ from High Atop the Houses and the Towns Lori McKenna –’Buy This Town’ from Lorraine Keith Urban – ‘Luxury of Knowing’ from Get Closer George Strait – ‘Easy as You Go’ from Twang Miranda Lambert – ‘House that Built Me’ from Revolution SHeDAISY – ‘Don't Worry About A Thing’ from The Best of SHeDAISY

Auditorium 3 Ryman The 120-year-old “Mother Church of

Country Music” has hosted its share of famous crooners―from BB King to R.E.M. Recently, the Ryman appeared on screen in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Country Strong.


Grand Ole Opry


Historic RCA Studio B

Once heard only over the radio waves, and rocketing singers and songwriters to fame over its 85 years on air, the Opry is best enjoyed live. Big name acts like Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts perform on this well-loved stage before packed audiences who get a chance to see and hear the world’s longest running radio program. Part of the Country Music Hall of Fame, tour one of the world’s most important and oldest recording studios, helping define the Nashville sound and giving rise to artists like Dolly Parton and Elvis.

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Singer and songwriter, Sarah Buxton’s Stupid Boy made it to #3 on the country charts in 2007 as sung by Keith Urban. BELOW Decades of Nashville music history on neon-lit Broadway.

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Nashville is a city of musicians and the streets, porches, garages and bars pulse with their efforts. Look closely, your waiter at the local burger joint has talent that likely matches anyone on the radio; in fact he may be on the radio himself. Although Nashville was built on country music (and it attracts the finest talent in the world), it isn’t the only sound you’ll hear. Alternative folk, southern rock and gospel are abundantly present as well. Trust me when I say that, even as a visitor, the music will get hold of you. Go with it.

Eric’s perfect



Enjoy a late morning coffee at popular brew-tiques like Crema. Celebrities blend in unassumingly­—Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman like to hang out at Frothy Monkey and Taylor Swift is a Fido fan.


Union Station, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, is a luxuriously restored 19th century railway station with soaring ceilings and Tiffany-esque stained glass windows. The setting makes you want to dress in your Sunday best.


Visit Nashville for the 2011 CMA Music Festival, June 9-12. It’s the ultimate country music experience. Get there any way you can.


The first African American college, Fisk houses an impressive permanent collection in the Fisk University Galleries. In addition to Cezanne, Picasso, O’Keefe and Stieglitz you’ll find important African American artists like Aaron Douglas, whose murals adorn Cravath Hall walls.


The letterpress posters at Hatch Show Print are nearly as famous as the acts they’ve been advertising since 1879.

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Pack more trips into your budget Travel news, insider info and new gadgets from Anne Taylor Hartzell. I admit, I am a travel geek. When I’m not on the road, I’m researching on the internet, salivating over images of incredible places to stay. Like most people, my dream destinations lurk beyond my budget, but there are flash-sale, members-only and online auction sites like Jetsetter, Vacationist and Off & Away that offer deep discounts on luxury hotels and experiences geared toward sophisticated travellers.

Check more trips off the bucket list

Hacienda Petac Resort, Mexico. Courtesy of Jetsetter

Sites like Jetsetter and Vacationist take some of the pressure off by offering members limited-time, exclusive discounts at some of the world's finest hotels. Jetsetter, which features 15 to 30 vacations a week at prices up to 50 percent off, recently launched Jetsetter 24/7, where members can book with more than 200 hand-selected, verified hotels every day of the year. It pays to be flexible and book fast, as the big deals don’t last long. Jetsetter CEO, Drew Patterson, shared his vision on Jetsetter’s future: “There is not one website that helps sophisticated travellers decide where to go on vacation, provides suggestions for what to do and where to stay, and then helps them book. This is where I see our niche.”

Travel like a rock star

Dabble Travel Invitation

to win luxury hotel suites at up to 99 percent off, offers users access to suites typically reserved for celebrities and the über-rich. To compete, buy a pack of bids, wait for the auction to start and then play. If you're the top bidder when time runs out, you win that suite stay. If you lose, you can apply what you spent on bids to book one of more than 100,000 hotels. “We know if our customers bid on a property, they don’t just look and leave. They get inspired to travel and have a stronger propensity to book that hotel even if they don’t win,” said Doug Aley, CEO of Off & Away.

Warning: bidding takes time and can be addictive, but the properties Off & Away features are exceptional and the chance to travel like a superstar is worth the effort. Access your exclusive Dabble Jetsetter invitation here: www.Jetsetter.com/register/promo/

Off & Away, a unique bid-to-win auction site where travellers compete

* dabble Enter your exclusive invitation code “DabbleTravel” at www.Vacationist.com/join to join. * Vacationist Off & Away www.OffAndAway.com is open to anyone who * wants to play.

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ME Cancun Resort from Off & Away


Gadgets on Dabble's radar

Travel gadget watch

Nomad Brush,

What travel gadgets hit the road with you?


Debuting this month,

Must-have tech gadgets from travel’s top execs.

paint like a pro on your iPad with Nomad Brush. It looks almost identical to an actual paintbrush and is the first of its kind, $24. Fit bit www.fitbit.com This little beauty contains a 3D motion sensor that tracks


New App

Just for Tonight

Doug Aley, CEO Off & Away

the sleep you get, so you another pool-side cocktail,

Sam Shank, CEO HotelTonight My iPhone apps are my new favourite gadgets. One of my favourites is the free iTimeLapsePro. With a tripod, capture the sunrise wherever you travel and remember it when you return home. Glif Tripod for iPhone 4, $20.

the calories you burn and know if you can splurge on

Glif Tripod for iPhone

I never travel without my Beats headphones and Kindle.

Beats Headphones, $149.95. Kindle, $139.

Dabble's Travel Geek, Anne Taylor Hartzell

I never leave for a trip without my iPad. Its 10 hour battery life keeps me working, and entertains kids on long flights. ZAGG’s case with keyboard makes writing on your lap a dream.

ZAGG iPad Case with keyboard, $99, won MacWorld 2011 best in show.

For the last minute traveller, the HotelTonight


mobile app is live. Every day at noon HotelTonight

Beats Tour In-Ear Headphones

features suite deals for that night­­—one hip, one elegant and one basic. Travellers book without contacting the hotel. CEO, Sam Shank sums up their edge: “Our teams of photographers take realistic photos of things you care about. When you are checking in late, you want to see if the bars are filled with people, what the room looks like at night, so you see the vibe of the place before you book.”

ZAGG iPad case with keyboard

Basel, Switzerland Basel’s Old Town The annual Art Basel (June 15-19) hosts 300 galleries from around the world, eager to showcase their modern masters and new talents to the more than 62,000 visitors— collectors, curators and enthusiasts. Beyond the fair, Basel’s Old Town has much to offer. Fondation Beyeler is an art dealer’s privatecollection-turned-public-foundation with works by Picasso, Giacometti and van Gogh. Kunstmuseum Base holds the largest and most significant art collection in Switzerland spanning the 15th century to the present.

ART LOVERS … for s ce la p Best

Dabble’s resident location scouts Jennifer Weatherhead and Stephanie Gray share top spots for art appreciation. Brooklyn, New York

No doubt The Met and MoMa are top of mind when it comes to art museums in the Big Apple. However, by branching out across the bridge to Brooklyn you’ll find a diverse art scene, ranging from large museums to local artists’ co-ops. The biggest of the bunch is the Brooklyn Museum which houses 1.5 million pieces from the ancient world to the contemporary. Opening March 4, the museum’s Great Hall will be transformed into an interactive architectural installation by Situ Studio. Just to the west is Zora Space, a café-meetsgallery showcasing a broad range of artists in a cooler than cool setting.

Paris 3rd Arrondissement A neighbourhood that deserves focus in a city built for art lovers is the 3rd Arrondissement, also known as the Upper Marais. The twisting streets of this trendy neighbourhood are dotted with museums. Musée des Arts et Métiers is home to an eclectic mix of scientific gadgets and instruments. There are some independent galleries like Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin whose namesake has an uncanny knack of seeing the magic in emerging artists, and is credited with discovering the likes of Damien Hurst. Don’t miss Daniel Firman until April 30. Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac specializes in European and North American art and features Robert Longo's religion inspired towering charcoal drawings (March 22-April 23). Untitled (Barbara in a Burka), by Robert Longo Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris/Salzburg.


Berlin's Brunnenstrasse Berlin’s current It spot, Brunnenstrasse, was once a rough and tumble street before the rise of its 2007 artistic movement when dozens of galleries, tiny cafés (the best croissants at Rée Kaffee) and trendy restaurants opened. New galleries pop up on a regular basis, like the bold works featured at Martin Mertens. Eclectic art lovers will enjoy Galerie Peter Herrmann where the focus is an African theme, while those who like an urban edge should take a look at West Berlin Gallery which specializes in street art and illustration. Catch the tortured graphic imagery of Sebastien Feraut (aka Niark1) (March 3-April 16).

ABOVE Niark1, Lost. Courtesy of West Berlin Gallery. RIGHT Jiro Osuga, Vending Machine. Flowers Galleries, London.

London's Shoreditch Booming with hipsters, designers, musicians, up-and-coming artists and new galleries, London’s Shoreditch is a hub of creativity. Lovers of celebrity artists like Anselm Kiefer (March 11-April 9) should stop by White Cube in Hoxton Square. One of the original 1980s’ East End spaces, Flowers Galleries, stays true to the flourishing neighbourhood by showcasing developing artists and photographers. We are loving their current Jiro Osuga show of Tokyo musings until March 26. Idea Generation is a working gallery and art PR company that specializes in pop culture like ex Pink Floyd member turned photographer Syd Barrett (March 18-April 10).

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ia op hi Et The many faces of


...a proud and colourful culture that pulses in the music and dance, vibrates in the vivid dress, and captivates through intoxicating foods.

The sacred entrance to a Lake Tana monastery is adorned with hand painted angels.

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A decorative artist by trade and traveller by nature. Dabble’s Beth Halstead set out to explore Ethiopia and found a misunderstood country and its heartwarming people. When I mentioned I was heading to Ethiopia for my next adventure the replies were in one of two camps: "How fantastic," or, "Why in the world would you want to go there?" Unfortunately many think of Ethiopia only in terms of famine, drought and desert. Truth is, much of Ethiopia is fertile land and it boasts a proud and colourful culture that pulses in the music and dance, vibrates in the vivid dress, and captivates through intoxicating foods. I was already excited about going to Ethiopia—but it was so much more than I imagined. I got my first real taste of Ethiopia in the town of Lalibela, famed for its 11 rock-hewn churches. Tourists looking for soaring steeples may miss or even stumble inside these 13th century churches which were excavated out of the hills and set below ground— their exact position dictated by angels to King Lalibela and his followers, so the story goes. After a lingering visit enjoying the sanctuary of the humble churches, our guide invited us to a colourfully painted bar where locals unwind while sipping their famed tej (honey wine fermented with gesho, a local shrub). The rustic furnishings, which consisted of carved wooden benches with goatskin seats and concrete floors, vibrated to the thumping beat of musicians, singers, dancers and waiters who negotiated their trays through the small space heaving with a lively crowd. Once seated, the tej (presented in a flask-like vessel known as a birille) was quickly served to all who were game. I happened to like the taste (finding it reminiscent of the 1980s’ famed Fuzzy Navel) but most found this spirit fell under the category of “acquired taste”. I must have appeared enthusiastic by clapping along to the sounds of the masenko (a stringed instrument) because it wasn't long before a young Ethiopian man pulled me onto the tiny dance floor for a lesson in moving my shoulders, neck and head into uncharted territories.

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Prayer drums and hand painted biblical scenes infuse this sacred space with colour and texture.


The gentle gelada baboons were curious about Beth's presence. Thatched grass and rocks found while clearing the farmer’s field make a humble home. Fasilidas's Castle (c. 1640) is a combination of Portuguese, Axumite and Indian architecture.

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TRAVEL Ethiopians' well-mastered dance moves are not unlike some type of bird mating ritual seen on The Discovery Channel. Hip, leg and arm movements make up the smallest parts of this equation while chest, shoulders, neck and head bob, pop and gyrate in every direction, sometimes at incredible speeds in mirror-like fashion with a dance partner. I can't be sure if it was the tej or the dancing but when I awoke the next morning it felt as though my head had been replaced by a watermelon. Our tour of the north took us in a large loop starting in the capital of Addis Ababa. We made our way through highlights such as Lalibela, Gonder, the Simien Mountains and Bah Adar on Lake Tana (from which we travelled to the islands famed for their simple, peaceful but well decorated monasteries), Debre Marquos and back to Addis all by bus. The physically demanding part of our trip was in the Simien Mountains but well worth it for, in the first hour of hiking, we were rewarded with a group of over 400 gelada baboons which are endemic to the country. I was able to slowly approach them until I was lying just three feet away. Once-in-a-lifetime, though clichĂŠd, is the only way to describe this incredible experience. I even hesitate to share it with Dabble readers for fear it will disappear if it becomes too desirable an opportunity for tourists. Traveling by bus onto Bahir Dar, Debre Marquos, and returning to Addis afforded oft-changing views of the diverse landscape, from flatlands to mountainous lush villages, but also an opportunity to see Ethiopian homes and locals going about their everyday. Over centuries, travelling kings and queens as well as various occupying forces (Portuguese, Arabic, Egyptian, and Italian) have architecturally influenced the churches, palaces and other historic buildings of grandeur. Ethiopian homes on the other hand are a basic four-walls-with-a-roof construction most often consisting of a eucalyptus

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Coffee is an integral part of Ethiopia’s

history. A traditional coffee ceremony is a sign of respect and friendship. begin, grass is spread on the floor, 1 Toinviting the outdoors inside. the host perches on a stool, 2 Next, roasting coffee beans in a pan over the fire. She carries the beans from guest to guest allowing each one to inhale and enjoy the smoke. are then ground and made into 3 Beans a coffee that is served with mounds of sugar. It is believed that the third cup is auspicious and carries a special blessing. accompaniment offered during * Athisfrequent celebration is popcorn, served in hand woven baskets or wooden bowls.

wood frame with a mud and grass mixture. smoothed over the top. As a decorative artist, I noticed that ceilings were frequently decorated as well, using an assortment of readily available materials. My favourite applications included eucalyptus branches stripped of their bark, advertising posters, fabric and, in more elaborate establishments, panels of plaster relief, carved wood, and even hand painted goat skins illuminated from behind. I was reminded what a significant impact treating that fifth wall makes.

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ABOVE Boys and men marching to church in festive costume for the

Ethiopian Epiphany. I wish I had a soundtrack to add as the singing was hauntingly beautiful.

LEFT Injera with vegetarian stews offered on Fridays and religious

holidays, is served in hand woven baskets on a traditional embroidered tablecloth.

Beth’s letter to Ethiopia Ethiopia's food and drink are as colourful as its people. Fresh mango, papaya, avocado and pineapple juices are presented in tall glasses; a rainbow-like treat. The staple food of Ethiopia,―a large pancake-like bread called injera,―is like a painter's palette waiting to be adorned with colour. Using your injera as a scoop, you dive into heaping mounds of stew typically consisting of Ethiopian curry, prepared meats, chickpea purée, carrots, cabbage, collard greens, lentil curry, beetroot, and dry cooked meats, often lamb. As I leave Ethiopia I am thankful to bring home more than just dust on my shoes. I will always remember the gentle, friendly people who, despite the lack of typical Western comforts like hot showers and reliable electricity, are happy in their simple abundance. Their vitality made its way into the soul of this visitor. 114 dabble March/April 2011

Thank you, Ethiopia... ...for inquisitive, joyful children who ran from tending sheep, separating barley and school groups just to wave, smile and say hello. • I’m reminded that I can choose to meet difference with curiosity or fear. ... for allowing me a window into your simple rural lives, watching the backbreaking hauling of water or wood, or the hours sitting in the fields watching the day go by. • I’m reminded of the comfortable standard of living I enjoy. ... for welcoming me with open arms. • I’m reminded that, even in a busy city, a stranger can be approached with compassion and an open heart.


th wi m oo R view a

Desert Rocks

Capturing spectacular views of changing desert colour, these three oases are Dabble’s rocky resort picks from around the globe.

WHO: Enchantment Resort

WHO: Longitude 131˚

WHO: Six Senses Zighy Bay

WHERE: Boynton Canyon,

WHERE: Uluru-Kata Tjuta

WHERE: Musandam Peninsula,

Sedona, Arizona

WHAT: Every adobe suite offers

National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

breathtaking scenery of ancient rock formations that glow like fire under the Arizona sun. Take yourself to the rooftop deck for a stellar show of a zillion stars, or call to your partner across the azure pool and listen to the echoes bounce through the canyon.

WHAT: A luxury wilderness resort

HOW MUCH: Rooms from

AU$1,353 per night (minimum two nights), all inclusive.

US$350 to US$1,525.

Oman, United Arab Emirates

WHAT: While the sea views from

becomes a spiritual experience as you watch the sun rise and set over the most famous of desert rocks, Ayers Rock (Uluru). Dine at Table 131˚ under the stars with a personal constellation guide. It’s heavenly.

the rooms are indeed fabulous, and the vista from atop your own private mountain for lunch is breathtaking, the hands down winner for best panorama happens when you are paragliding into the resort. See it for yourself here.

HOW MUCH: Private tents

HOW MUCH: The popular Pool

Villa from US$900 per night, up to US$15,000 for the Private Reserve. March/April 2011 dabble 115

n io cat lo n O gue in Pra

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Bad weather – a photographer’s friend The week I was shooting in Prague, it was overcast and rained nearly every day. Hardly ideal circumstances, however, attending fog and mist worked to my advantage when it came to shooting evening photos. These same elements, which ruin daytime scenic shots, offer huge potential to photographers at night. Providing there is wellilluminated architecture (as there is in Prague) a low mist actually brightens the sky and brings shapely buildings into sharp focus. Check out the identical scene (below) as photographed on a clear night—not nearly as effective. MAIN Low mist and rainy weather illuminate the sky, providing contrast that enhances the final image. INSET In this image, the clear

night sky provides no contrast to illuminated buildings and the photo falls flat.

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Follow Kimberley Seldon through the city’s highlights in design, architecture, food, shopping, culture and yes… even beer. WORDS BY KIMBERLEY SELDON PHOTOGRAPHS BY SIMON BURN March/April 2011 dabble 119


PREVIOUS PAGE Holding court in Malรก

Strana square is one of Central Europe's finest examples of High Baroque architecture, St. Nicholas Cathedral.

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THIS SPREAD Crossing the Vltava

River and providing a vital link between Prague's Old Town and Lesser Town is the 12th century Charles Bridge.


I married into a desire to know Prague, my husband’s dad being a native of Pilsen. Yup. That’s where pilsner comes from. And Czechs are as passionate about beer as the French are about cheese, or Canadians are about hockey. But there’s more to Prague than great beer. Its dynamic history reads like a Grimm’s fairytale complete with evil domination, religious suppression and revolution. Yet its setting on the Bohemian shores of Vltava River appears more Disney than Grimm. And its citizens? Let’s just say they are rapidly emerging from the shadow of communism, claiming a vibrant, new vision for their ancient homeland.

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One City – Five Districts


Touring the capital city is relatively simple, even for the English speaking tourist. Prague is compactly divided into five distinct areas, making it possible (though not advisable) to navigate the entire city in a single day.


Malá Strana     



Staré Město        


Nové Město       







IT’S A SIGN 142 BEER PRESSURE 144 1-2-3 DAYS IN PRAGUE 148 March/April 2011 dabble 123





Dabble Savvy

A full day pass to Prague Castle is pricey but it provides access to many of the castle buildings. To save funds and avoid crowds, visit before 9am or after 6pm when architecture and gardens can be enjoyed for free. Purchase individual tickets to desired buildings.

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It’s unlikely you’ll need directions to Prague’s towering Castle District. Make your way to the well-marked Charles Bridge and follow the upward stare of fellow tourists. A complex of buildings, Prague Castle dates to the 9th century and includes museums, palaces, restaurants and, at its apex, the gothic cathedral of St. Vitus. An easy 30 minute walk takes you to Hradcany Square Hradcanske namesti and the top of the castle complex. Sweltering hot day? Grab a cab from your hotel and start at the top.

Once at the top, orient yourself towards the Palace of the President with its behemoth Baroque stone statues of Fighting Giants, and observe the dutifully present uniformed guards. March/April 2011 dabble 125


Prague Castle’s Ticket-worthy Attractions St. Vitus Cathedral

Katedrála sv. Vita While the architecture doesn’t disappoint, the exterior’s most distinguishing feature is a mosaic depiction of the Last Judgment, fashioned of Bohemian glass and produced with the help of Venetian artisans. On sunny days, the exterior display is rivalled only by interior views of the stained glass and rose windows. Catholics are allowed free entry to the chapel in order to pray.

Design Lesson * Sgraffito is an Italian method of building up patterns using plaster of contrasting colour. 126 dabble March/April 2011

Schwartzenberg Palace

Schwartzenberghy Palác A rare and impressive collection of Baroque Bohemian art is behind the sgraffito* clad walls of this well-preserved Renaissance palace. Despite the unfamiliar artists’ names, the paintings and sculptures are masterful. And to be fair, had history been different, we’d likely know these artists as well as we know the names Titian, Ruebens and Rodin.    


Books and Beer Sternberg Palace

Šternberský Palác A charming yellow façade welcomes art enthusiasts to a portion of the National Gallery’s collection of old masters. El Greco, Goya, Tiepolo and Rembrandt are just a few of the familiar names waiting inside. As a bonus, the art lover is free to enjoy these masters without the crowds you’d find at the Uffizi in Florence or the Louvre in Paris.

Dabble Savvy

A short walk from Schwartzenberg Palace is the Strahov Monastery. While it’s still an operating basilica, the real attractions here are more earthly—books and beer. The gawk-worthy Theological Library dates from the 17th century and contains more than 200,000 volumes housed in an elaborately stuccoed and ceilinged room. Check opening times—like many Prague Castle attractions, the Theological Library is closed from 11:45am –1pm.

On the premises there’s a quiet, grassy garden which makes for an ideal picnic spot. A small café and snack bar are adjacent.

Lobkowicz Palace

Lobkowiczký Palác Boston native William Lobkowicz inherited the title Prince, but he’s earned a reputation in Prague as a keen historian, having spent the past 20 years restoring his family’s fame and fortune to the general public. For five centuries the name Lobkowicz was synonymous with wealth and power. However, in recent history those fortunes were taken from them twice, first by the Nazis and, soon after, by the Communists. Rent the audio guide for your tour as it’s narrated by William Lobkowicz and his father. Collection highlights include paintings by Velázquez and Brueghel the Elder, as well as hand written sheets of music from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. A must.


Strahov Monastic Brewery serves simple Czech fare and, according to beer snobs, a heavenly brew. Take a seat on the patio or in the newly renovated restaurant.  


The Library gift shop has lovely crystal paperweights and fine stationery to take home.



LESSER TOWN Malรก Strana

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If green space appeals, pack a picnic and wander through Lesser Town. Several locations are ideally suited to idle wanderings and picnics. Wallenstein Gardens

Valdstejnska zahrada Built to rival Prague Castle, Wallenstein Palace is currently home to the Senate of the Czech Republic. The Baroque style palace and adjacent gardens offer a pleasant distraction for those who enjoy a moderate walk (approximately 40 minutes from Old Town).  

John Lennon Peace Wall

A peaceful riot of graffiti adorns the artful wall, inaugurated by anti-communists at the death of the well-loved Beatle in 1980. Grab a Sharpie and leave your mark or pose for a campy photo.

Shop Kampa Island

Kampa Island

Na Kampě Sparkling waterways give this area its nickname as the “Venice of Prague”. In its peaceful setting between the Vltava River and Devil’s Stream, the public benches and wide shade trees of Kampa Island are a welcome respite on hot days. Modern art enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to funky Museum Kampa.

Vrtbovska Garden

Vrtbovská zahrada Behind this tough-to-spot admission gate is an exquisite Baroque garden with graceful stepped terraces, decorated banisters, and handsome statuary positioned within tailored flowerbeds and hedges. I happened upon a wedding one day and was warmly invited by the celebrating guests to join in.

Neruda Street Nerudova It’s somewhat steep and likely crawling with tourists, but who wants to shop alone? Neruda offerings include Czech garnets, crystal, Christmas ornaments and beer steins.


If your taste buds are overwhelmed by hearty Czech fare, stop for lunch at Cukrkávalimonáda Caffé (Lázenská 7). The imposing name translates to “coffee sugar lemonade”. Perfect for salads, omelettes, grilled chicken and tempting ˇ desserts like palacinky (Czech crêpes).


The Augustine (Letenská 12) was created from seven buildings, including a 13th century monastery. It garners praise for its chic design, award-winning food and ideal location.

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OLD TOWN Staré Město

The 12th century Charles Bridge, a link between Old Town and Lesser Town, is so popular there are occasionally people-to-people pileups from one end to the other. For that reason, it’s best enjoyed at sunrise when you’re sure to meet canvas- or camera-wielding artists at work. Arguably the city’s most famous attraction is the much-touted Astronomical Clock Tower. Crowds gather at the top of each hour in anticipation of its rotating rings, moving figures and chiming bells. Though the finale may underwhelm you, the artistry—and the fact that it’s survived Prague’s violent history—makes it worthy of attention.

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Dabble Savvy

365 traditional Czech names are carved onto the outer ring of the lower face. Czech natives celebrate their Name Day with small gifts such as chocolates or flowers. Â Astronomical Clock Tower March/April 2011 dabble 131


ABOVE Featuring prominently in Old Town Square is the bronze

Art Nouveau fountain, a memorial to protestant reformer, Jan Hus. In the background, the shell-pink Kinsky Palace where Czech native Franz Kafka attended prep school.

BELOW While people watching often takes precedence over

ˇ sightseeing in Prague’s busy main square, Staromestské Námestí is home to a number of worthy sites. The imposing Gothic construction of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn (Tyn Church) with its not-quite-identical towers dominates Prague’s Old Town Square.

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Hit the shops in nearby Ungelt Square which has a branch of contemporary glassware store Material as well as Botanicus, a Czech institution for lotions and potions. Nearby Dlouhá Street is one of my favourite shopping destinations. Check out my 1-2-3 Days in Prague for a detailed itinerary (see page 148).


Toasty warm, this traditional Slovakian treat (trdelnik) is dusted with cinnamon, sugar and nuts. Look for open stalls or bakeries selling this perfect late afternoon pick-me-up.


Four Seasons (Veleslavínova 2A). If perfection is desired, look no further than this renowned chain where the setting, service and amenities are unsurpassed. Book an evening meal at Allegro to enjoy riverside views and the award-winning cuisine.

ABOVE Passersby are tempted by the cinamon sweetness

of trdelnik, a traditional pastry made daily in bakeries across the city.

RIGHT Kimberley takes time out from filming to pose before

heading out with CityTV’s CityLine cameraman Patrick Reynolds on the unusual seven-seater bike.

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NEW TOWN Nové Město

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Architecture enthusiasts are sure to enjoy a trip to Prague, where they’ll find Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Classical, Art Nouveau, Cubist and Communist style buildings on display. New Town is ideal location to start the tour. Cubism

I realise the word unique is grossly overused, but how else to describe a style of architecture that can be found in only one place on earth? In the 20th century, Czech architects and designers expanded the lessons of Picasso and Braque into architecture and decorative arts. While academia is divided on whether or not this style actually exists, we can contemplate its merits at the House of the ˇ ˚ u Cerné Black Madonna Dum matky boží. Originally constructed as a department store in 1912, its namesake statue is still firmly affixed behind the golden grill at the corner of this New Town destination. Municipal House


At tea time head to the splendidly restored Grand Café Orient (Ovocný trh 19) to get a feel for 1912 Prague. Or, visit Municipal House Café for a light lunch in an exquisite Art Nouveau setting.


Decorative arts enthusiasts go ga-ga over the tableware, books, furniture and writing papers on display (and in the gift shop) at the Kubistz Museum, located inside the House of the Black Madonna.


The city's only Moser store, creating the finest Czech crystal since 1857 is their ˇ ˇ 12). A must visit. flagship (Na Prikope

Art Nouveau

Follow the signs to Republic Square Námestí ˇ Republiky and the magnificent Art Nouveau ˚ is easy to Municipal House Obecní dum spot. The landmark building, dating from1905, is capped by a distinctive half-domed roof and intricate mosaics. Inside, there are murals from Prague’s most famous painters including Alfons Mucha whose style is instantly recognisable.

ble Savvy DabWhile there is a dedicated Alfons Mucha Museum, it’s out of the way and strictly for those who love his work. Instead, wander into the public areas of Municipal House to see the Art Nouveau painter’s legacy.

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Behind its lyrical green façade is the smallest of the city’s opera houses. With only 600 seats, albeit clad in luxurious blue velvet, The Estates Theatre is a symbol of Prague’s artistic heritage. This New Town theatre is most famous as the venue where Mozart first performed his “Don Giovanni” in 1787.


Wenceslas Square

If you’ve been to Paris you are familiar with shopping passages that house stores and restaurants. Lucerna Pasáž is a popular Czech passage but most of the shops still have a communist-era feel to ˚ them. In contrast, Pasáž Slovanský Dum (Na Príkope ˇ ˇ 22), has a branch of the Belgian design shop Flamant Store, clothing stores such as Mexx and Tommy Hilfiger, and a movie theatre with English subtitles. Sit in the wine bar and soak up the urban contemporary vibe while nibbling ˚ contentedly at KOGO’s Slovanský Dum ˇ ˇ 22). Or, descend into location (Na Príkope the cellared depths of Klub Architektu (Betlemske Namesti 5a) for hearty Czech fare at great prices.

ˇ Václavské námestí A sweeping avenue developed in the 14th century, Wenceslas Square is rarely deserted, but an easy stroll nets a vast selection of shops and restaurants to enjoy. At its apex is the National Museum, seen just behind the statue of Duke Wenceslas on horseback. (It seems the Christmas carol gave him a boost in title.)

Dabble Savvy

Czech natives are fiercely proud of young martyr Jan Palach who, on January 19, 1969 lit himself afire in Wenceslas Square in a 20-years-too-early attempt to liberate (then) Czechoslovakia from Soviet oppression. The actual liberation, known as the Velvet Revolution, happened in 1989.

Prague’s Performing Arts Attending a concert in Prague is a memorable experience. There are dozens of locations where you can enjoy orchestras, ensembles, theatre and comedy. Performances change frequently so read the literature available at each location.

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TRAVEL BY DESIGN The Estates Theatre

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Jewish Quarter Josefov

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History is inescapable in Prague, its citizens having emerged from communism some 22 years ago. And World War II, though it’s somewhat more distant on the calendar, is vividly remembered in the well-preserved Jewish Quarter. It’s chilling to consider as you wander this sacred territory that it owes its preservation to Hitler, who wanted the ghetto preserved as a museum to an extinct race. Old New Synagogue

Europe’s oldest active synagogue may get its unusual name from the fact that it was originally built in the 12th century and called the Great or New Synagogue. Later, as new synagogues arose, it became known as the Old New Synagogue.

Pinkas Synagogue

After WWII, Pinkas Synagogue was turned into a memorial to the 80,000 Jews of Bohemia and Moravia murdered by the Nazis, their names inscribed on the walls. Perhaps most haunting is an upstairs exhibit of children’s drawings from Terezín, a transit camp where prisoners were held before shipment to extermination camps.

Pinkas Synagogue


Between Jewish Quarter and Old Town Square lies Prague’s most exclusive ˇ shopping street, Parížská. Big names like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Burberry dominate the tree-lined street.


Be prepared to sit in the basement if you ask for the no smoking section at ˇ 8). Instead, opt Kolkovna (V Kolkovne for a street-side table with a view of the Spanish Synagogue.


Old Jewish Cemetery

The oldest tombstone dates from the year 1439. The cemetery today contains some 12,000 tombstones though the actual number buried here is far greater. When you tour, note the small stones (not flowers) on top of markers, sometimes holding a paper with a wish or prayer on it.

LEFT On the face of the Jewish

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Quarter’s Old Town Hall is a Hebrew clock that runs counter clockwise, mimicking the Hebrew language which reads left to right.

OPPOSITE Prague’s most

exclusive shopping street, Parížská. ˇ


Dabble Savvy

Jewish Quarter buildings are closed to tourists on Saturday to observe the Sabbath.

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It’s a Sign 142 dabble March/April 2011


“Can you pick me up? Walk to the Swan House and take a right at Ram Tavern. Keep walking until you see the Two Suns and turn left. I’m at the house of the Three Violins.” In the Middle Ages, reading and literacy remained the privilege of wealthy, educated males. Distinctive signs advertised the location of homes and businesses. Here are some of my favourites.

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Beer pressure


At one popular joint known humbly as The Pub I encountered my first experience with “Beer Pressure”. The Pub has a large screen TV that tracks consumption at each table, against other pubs throughout the country. The bartender and other diners (let’s be honest, they were drinkers not diners) encouraged me (by way of derisive shouts and stares) to drink more beer and not allow our pub to look weak. I caved.



To suggest Czechs are obsessed with beer (pivo) is akin to saying a human being is obsessed with breathing—it’s an instinct.

Popular Pubs

U Zeleného Stromu (Belémské námesti ˇ 6) If it’s a warm day, head to the outdoor garden patio. U Medvídku˚ (Na Perstýne ˇ ˇ 7) There's a brewery and a small gift shop with kitschy beer merchandise like pilsner lotion. It also has an outdoor patio where you can enjoy a plate of sausages, mustard and sauerkraut for about $7, including beer. U Vejvodu (Jilská 4) A popular Old Town destination.

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ABOVE A remnant of recently

departed communism, the building sign advertises a deli.

OPPOSITE The sgraffito clad House

of the Minute in Old Town once housed Prague's most famous native son, Franz Kafka.

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1-2-3 days in Prague


Once you’ve exhausted your comfortable walking shoes, take the reins of a horse drawn carriage and explore Old Town and New Town with a private guide.


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Day 1

MORNING While you’re fresh, head to the top of the city and begin your day at Prague Castle. There are a dozen noteworthy buildings and sites. Kimberley’s favourites are listed on page 126. NOON Nearing lunch time? Head to the Strahov Monastic Brewery. Afterwards, take time to enjoy the Theological Library and gift shop.

AFTERNOON When it’s time to head back down the hill, take a stroll along popular Neruda Street. You may want to take a short detour to see John Lennon’s Peace Wall if you are not going to spend additional time in Lesser Town during your stay.    EVENING Make a reservation at Hergetova Cihelná (Cihelná 2b) where the riverside seating and passing boats provide a moving dinner show.   

Day 2

MORNING Start early in the Jewish Quarter as it’s easy to spend a full day touring exhibits. A half day’s recommended highlights are listed on page 138.

NOON Stop for a quick lunch at King Solomon Restaurant (Široká 7/37) which touts itself as ‘Madonna’s very own kosher bakery’ and then ˇ continue strolling down Parížská where, with cash in hand, you may be able to do more than window shop.   AFTERNOON Rent a bike from Praha Bike Tours and Rental for an afternoon tour around the city’s sites. Afterwards, stop at a local pub, like U Vejvodu, for a hard-earned pilsner. EVENING You simply must take in a concert to fully appreciate Prague’s immersion in the classical arts. Kimberley’s picks? The more intimate venues of Lichtenstein Palace, home of the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts, or the Neo-Classical Estates Theatre.

Day 3


MORNING After so much sightseeing you may be ready for a leisurely day of shopping. The term bohemian is synonymous with individual style and that’s what you’ll find on Dlouhá Street.  Start with a visit to Coffee Fellows (20 Dlouhá). Great coffee and decadent pastries should fortify you for the day ahead.  Here are Kimberley’s fave shops (the number refers to the street address): 16 Urban Survival

Candles, lotions, Missoni throws, and pricey contemporary furniture

24 Ma Maison

A little French flavour

32 Nobis Life

Modern furniture and bedding

33 Lokál

A hip spot for lunch and part of a slow food movement catching on in Prague

36 Apropos

Colourful housewares such as cutlery, napkins and baskets that remind me of Londoner Cath Kidson’s shop

37 Antik v Dlouhé

Vintage lighting, collectible trains, cars, jewellery and paintings

38 Papirnictvi

Stationery and art supplies

Still have energy to shop? While Palladium ˇ Republiky 1) is a huge indoor mall (námestí with more than 200 stores, the real fun is shopping Prague’s lively streets—Na Prikope, ˇ ˇ U Prasné brány and Mostecká. EVENING After a day on your feet, book passage on the Jazz Boat which docks near Cechuv Bridge on the Old Town side. Enjoy a peaceful cruise up the Vltava River with live music to serenade you.

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Fiona Van Alstyne

Fiona is a food and travel writer who inspires others to eat and travel broadly and authentically. Born in Europe, Fiona now lives in Seattle but keeps a packed suitcase on standby for spontaneous culinary adventures. Her website Editble Society has been featured in Saveur Magazine’s ”Best of the Web” and “Sites We Love”.

Jameson Fink

David Laudenback

Something you don't know about Jameson? “I’d rather be drinking Champagne and eating popcorn right now. Plus, I love Sour Patch Kids.”

Something you don’t know about David? “I have a hobby I keep secret from my red-blooded buddies. I like to read cookbooks.”

After dabbling in the food and wine industry in Chicago, Jameson Fink moved to Seattle in 2004 to pursue his passion for wine. Currently he is the European Wine Buyer and Social Media Director for Esquin Wine Merchants and also consults for MadWine.

David’s work life consists of producing experiential food and wine tasting lounges that travel to big cities for large scale events. For adventure, he loves the adrenaline rush of surfing, kayaking and outrigger canoeing. But nothing gives him a thrill like cooking for his wife.

Meet our

food contributors

Something you don’t know about Fiona? “I’m a trained pianist and I used to play in a band.” I dabble in… photography, sailing and Italian. www.ediblesociety.com @ediblesociety

I dabble in… v-neck sweater acquisition, self-deprecation, and tacos. www.esquin.com @winewithjameson

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I dabble in… surfing, kayaking and cooking exquisite dinners for my wife. www.wineexhibit.com

food March/April 2011 dabble 151


Mexican-style coffee 152 dabble March/April 2011

(Café de Olla


Planning your next adventure? Dabble’s traveling foodie Fiona Van Alstyne says, “Look no further than the bottom of your cup to find destination inspiration. We ditched our lattes for four offbeat favourites from around the globe.” Mexico Warm, sweet and spicy, a steaming cup of Café de Olla is a perfect kick start to your day. Traditionally prepared in a clay pot (the Olla), I prefer to serve this spiced coffee in a big cappuccino bowl. Café de Olla (cah-FAY day OY-ah) is sweetened with little cones of rich, dark unrefined sugar called piloncillo which give a delicious burnt-sugar taste to the coffee, and are easily found in Mexican grocers or online at www.mexgrocer.com

Café de Olla 4 cups water

½ cup grated piloncillo (or dark brown sugar) 4 cinnamon sticks ⅔ cup coarse ground dark roast coffee 3 cloves ¼ tsp anise seed (optional)


After a long day exploring the colourful and dizzying streets of Saigon, visitors regain their cool with a tall glass of iced Café Sua Da (cah-fay soo dah). Made with rich and creamy condensed milk, which doesn’t spoil in the tropical heat, this sweet and refreshing brew is a Vietnamese classic. Use a strong French roast, or coffee and chicory blend like Café Du Monde, to get the authentic bold and slightly bitter flavour.

Café Sua Da 2-3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk (Longevity brand is authentic) 2 tbsp medium coarse ground French roast coffee or Café du Monde 1 cup boiling water 1 large glass of ice for serving Special Equipment • Vietnamese coffee press (ca phe phin) or French press Place condensed milk in bottom of glass. Place coffee into base of Vietnamese coffee press and screw lid on tightly. Position the press on top of the glass containing condensed milk. Pour boiling water into press and let coffee drip for about 5 minutes. (Alternately, brew coffee using a French Press and pour over condensed milk.) Stir coffee and condensed milk together. Pour into tall glass filled with ice and drink with a straw. Serve with: A fresh cream puff or mochi (soft rice cake).

Special Equipment • Fine sieve • Cheesecloth or French press for filtering Place water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in heavy bottomed pan. Stir over a medium high heat until sugar is dissolved, and bring to a boil. Stir in coffee and remove from heat. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain through fine sieve or cheesecloth or pour into French press and push plunger down to filter. Pour into mugs and serve. Sprinkle with anise seed if desired. Note: This is quite a sweet coffee, so reduce the amount of sugar if you usually drink your coffee unsweetened. Serve with: Churros or pan dulce (Mexican sweet rolls).

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Turkish coffee (or Kah’wah) is thick, intense and all about the foamy layer that sits atop its rich, chocolate coloured depths. Made in long-handled pots originally designed to brew coffee over the hot desert sand, the hint of cardamom brings a suggestion of the Middle East to this bold brew. Since Turkish coffee is not filtered, be careful not to drink the grounds in the bottom of your cup, which are traditionally turned out into a saucer and used to tell fortunes.

Kah’wah – Turkish Coffee 1 cup water

1 tbsp medium roast coffee, extra fine grind ⅛ tsp ground cardamom or 1 cardamom pod 1-2 tbsp sugar to taste Special Equipment • Turkish coffee pot (a cezve or ibrik) • Demitasse cups to serve

Combine all ingredients in Turkish coffee pot or a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Watching carefully to avoid boiling over, bring coffee to a simmer over medium heat. Remove pan from heat when surface is covered with foam. Using a large spoon, scoop up foam and divide between serving cups. Place coffee back on heat and reheat until surface is covered with foam again. Repeat this process for a third time to create more foam. Pour remaining coffee slowly into cups to avoid breaking foam, and leave grounds in pan. Let coffee sit for one minute until grounds settle. Discard cardamom pod if using. Serve at once. Serve with: A little pillow of Turkish delight and a tall glass of water.


Ask your barista to grind beans for Turkish coffee

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Austria is well known for its Sachertorte and Strudel, but next time you visit this dessert lover's country be sure to try the Marillenknoedel. These delicate dumplings are made by wrapping sweet, ripe apricots in soft lemon and vanilla dough before coating them in crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs and dusting with powdered sugar. Try one and we promise you will forget you ever came for the chocolate cake.

Austria No doubt Austrian empress Maria Theresia swooned over this creamy orange-scented coffee named in her honour. Whether you are writing the next Great American novel, reading Kafka on your iPad or simply watching the world go by, a steaming cup of Maria Theresia is appropriately indulgent and certain to take the chill off crisp, spring days. Not an orange fan? Substitute rum for the Cointreau to make a Fiaker.

Maria Theresia ¼ cup heavy cream

Special Equipment: • Fine sieve • Cheesecloth or French press for filtering

½ tsp powdered sugar ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Cover and chill.

boiling water to warm glass

Fill glass with boiling water and allow to stand for about 1 minute. Discard water. Place liqueur and sugar into bottom of serving glass and stir.

3 shots freshly brewed espresso 2 tsp sugar 3 tbsp Cointreau or rum 1 orange, zested 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, grated

Pour espresso over liqueur and top with a generous swirl of freshly whipped cream. Garnish with orange peel and grated chocolate. Note: Brewed espresso can be substituted with 3 ounces strong dark coffee. Serve with: A generous square of your favourite dark chocolate.

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The French know fashion. New Yorkers know attitude. And, it’s fair to say, no one knows the culinary capabilities of the Pacific Northwest quite like Chef Kerry Sear. Kerry merged his culinary experiences in Seattle with time spent cooking abroad to create a market-driven menu for ART Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel where he’s the executive chef. With a passion for design, Chef Sear has been known to sketch out his culinary creations beforehand with a brush on canvas. Lending ART his design expertise, he influenced everything from menu selection to the hues of wood on the walls and tables.

A dayChef with

Kerry Sear PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUUVU HOANG 156 dabble March/April 2011


breakfast Apple French Toast 4 whole Granny Smith apples, In a saucepan, add apples, brown sugar, butter and (cored, peeled and sliced) water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the apples are soft. ¼ cup brown sugar ¼ cup butter ¼ cup water 4 slices Brioche bread

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the milk, cinnamon, applesauce, sugar, and eggs together. Soak the Brioche bread slices in the milk mixture.

1 cup applesauce

Heat a medium sauté pan to medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of butter. Add the brioche bread and brown on both sides. Place bread on plate. Spoon the warm apple compote mixture on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

3 whole eggs

Serves: 4

1 cup milk ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ cup sugar

powdered sugar

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Baked beecher’s cheese sandwich, applesauce and apple fries 8 slices thick white bread

Preheat oven to 375°F.

8 ½ inch slices of Beecher’s Flagship cheese

In small saucepan, add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Cook until soft. Blend in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate to cool.

4 tbsp softened butter

In a food processor, blend the apple chips until they reach a powder consistency.

1 cup panko bread crumbs 4 whole Washington apples (peeled, cored, and sliced) ¼ tsp cinnamon 1 pinch nutmeg ½ cup brown sugar

Cut Russet potatoes into wedges. Lay on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are crispy and cooked through. When they come out of the oven, sprinkle with apple powder. Spread the softened butter on all slices of bread. Place the cheese slices between two with buttered side facing out, then coat the sandwich in panko bread crumbs.

1 cup dried apple chips

Heat an oven-safe sauté pan with butter. Place the sandwich in the sauté pan and brown on both sides. Place sauté pan in the oven at 350 degrees until cheese is melted.

2 Russet potatoes, peeled

Serve sandwich with cold applesauce and fries. Serves: 4

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Salmon stuffed baked potato and apple cider peas 4 4oz fillets of salmon (skin off ) 4 Russet potatoes 4 tbsp butter ½ cup apple cider 2 cups peas salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap Russet potatoes in foil and place in oven for approximately 40 minutes or until done. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a medium sautÊ pan, sear salmon on both sides. With a knife, partially cut the cooked Russet potato down the middle, lengthwise. Scoop out a little of the potato inside. Place the salmon fillet inside the potato and cover the salmon with the potato that was scooped out. Pat with 1 tablespoon of butter on each potato. Reform the potato into shape. Place potato in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until salmon is cooked to desired temperature. Heat the apple cider in a small saucepan. Add peas. Cook until peas are done. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, take the potato out of the oven, cut in half to show salmon and serve with peas. Serves: 4


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There’s an app for that... WORDS BY JAMESON FINK

Long before iPad, burgeoning party throwers spent hours poring over sticky-thumbed cookbooks in search of the perfect bite to feed wine drinking guests. Since every party starts with an appetizer, we asked Dabble wine expert Jameson Fink to share some inspired pairings.


Individual cheese plates hold a tasty assortment of meat, cheese, dried fruit and jam; allowing guests to easily hold an appetizer while mingling. Look for small wooden boards at the dollar store.

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Swiss/Gouda with Dried Apricots and Apricot Jam A cheese board with an assortment of dried fruit, preserves and firm, milder cheeses such as Swiss and Gouda makes an ideal appetizer. Make it magic by pairing with a German Riesling, which has a zippy character that cuts through dairy and brings a touch of sweetness along for the ride. Jameson's Pick: 2009 Leitz Dragonstone

Portabella Mushrooms The earthiness of mushrooms cries out for Pinot Noir. Look for a bottling from Oregon to produce a fine match. Jameson's Pick: 2009 Evesham Wood

Sliced Turkey and Chicken Think dry French rosĂŠ is just a summertime porch-pounder? Au contraire. A slice of a rustic loaf of bread, dab on some garlicky aioli, and top with sliced chicken or turkey to achieve rosĂŠ nirvana. Jameson's Pick 2010 Commanderie de Peyrassol

Asparagus Say boo to that old saw that asparagus is 'difficult' to pair with wine. A crisp, grassy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is easy to get along with. Jameson's Pick: 2009 Spy Valley March/April 2011 dabble 161

It’s the fresh and simple ingredients that make eating like a Cuban so pleasurable.

My grandpa (abuela) carefully selects produce for family meals.

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eat like a

Dabble’s designer and foodie Lena Diaz recalls the people and cuisine that made growing up in Cuba unique. WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LENA DIAZ

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Ah Cuba—the land of crystalclear beaches, amicable natives, sultry music and si, comida deliciosa. That’s Spanish for delicious food.

Arroz con frijoles negro Recipe on next page

I grew up in Cuba and learned from a young age that food means more than sustenance or satisfaction. Meals are the very fabric of family. My most vivid memories revolve around the large dinner table in our salmon-coloured dining room.

Arroz con pollo Rice cooked with chicken and seasonings; similar to paellas

Pollo asado Oregano and garlic chicken, fried, then cooked in a pressure cooker

My grandma (abuela) lovingly prepared the family dishes on her 1950’s gas stove with salsa music streaming from the tiny transistor radio. Though meals were served “family style” there was nothing casual about the ceremony of eating.

Yuca con mojo

Cassava boiled and drizzled with garlic, salt and lemon, sautéed in oil

Papa rellena Mashed potato ball stuffed with seasoned ground meat, breaded and deep fried

We were expected to be at the table on time or suffer a scolding from Grandpa (abuelo). Twenty years later, I return to Cuba and my


Tamales Puréed corn, seasoned and cooked in banana leaves, sometimes with meat inside

grandma’s kitchen where we prepare her signature dishes and catch up on gossip. Grandpa and I take early morning strolls to the open-air markets where a few pennies (pesos) net juicy papayas, and ripe avocados (aguacate maduro).

CUBAN “PALADARES” As prepared or packaged meals are practically nonexistent in Cuba, most natives are seasoned cooks. Visitors to Cuba love dining at a “paladar”, a privatelyrun restaurant where the matron prepares meals and serves them in her dining room. Because they’re not government-run, they are rarely advertised in tourist guides. A typical meal, priced at just a few dollars might consist of rice topped with flavourful black beans and a side of well seasoned pulled pork. Delicioso!


No Cuban meal is complete without café. As a morning beverage café con leche (coffee with powdered milk) is enjoyed by young and old alike who dunk their crusty white bread in the warm drink. Later in the day, espresso sweetened with a heaping teaspoon of sugar is ordered following siesta.

The Cuban Sandwich

Simple and satisfying, the Cuban Sandwich was a staple with cigar workers commuting between Cuba and the Florida Keys in the 1870s. It’s still a popular lunch choice. To make your own, pile: • crusty bread • ham • white cheese • pickles • mustard Press in a hot iron or grill in toaster oven.


I love to watch my abuela sort patiently through the rice—a task that seems to occupy hours a day.

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Abuela’s recipes “Frijoles negro” (black beans) 3 cups dried black beans 1 med onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp oregano salt to taste splash of olive oil Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover the beans. Place washed beans in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 1½ hours or until beans are tender. Meanwhile, in a pan sauté onion and garlic in a little oil. After a few minutes add oregano and salt. When beans have softened, add the onion and garlic mixture and keep cooking on low heat for another 20 minutes or until beans reach a stew-like consistency. When ready to serve add a little olive oil. Serve over white rice (arroz). TIP: To cut cooking time in half use a pressure cooker, an essential utensil in the Cuban kitchen.

“Pescado sobre uso” (fish in tomato sauce) 4 white fish fillets (cod, sole) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 lemon salt to taste For sauce: 1 med onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bay leaf 1½ cups crushed tomatoes splash of cooking oil salt & hot sauce to taste Mix juice of 1 lemon with minced garlic, salt and marinate fish for 30 minutes (up to a full day).

A side of “tostones” (fried plantains)

Peel and cut green plantains into 1 inch slices. Fry them in hot vegetable oil for a couple of minutes. Take them out and with a side of a knife lightly squish them to ½ inch. Drop the slices in the hot oil again and fry for another few minutes until golden. Season to taste.

To make sauce, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaf and hot sauce. Cook on low-medium heat. In the meantime, fry the fish fillets in hot cooking oil for a few minutes on each side. When golden, add to the tomato sauce and cook on low heat until sauce thickens. Season to taste. March/April 2011 dabble 167

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Rice and roll with Dabble’s resident chef, Corey Burgan. It’s Sushi time.

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FROM SCRATCH INGREDIENTS 1⅓ cups of short grain rice 2½ cups of water 4 nori sheets (seaweed wraps) selection of fresh vegetables and fish

Serves 1–2 people Preparation Time 20–25 min.


Cut vegetables into thin slices (Julienne) Slice fish into thin slices


Combine water and rice in a large pot. Bring to a boil, turn heat off and cover with a lid. When all liquid is absorbed remove rice. When all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, place it on a cooling tray in the fridge until the rice is tolerable to touch. Lay down a bamboo sushi roller mat that is two inches wider than your nori sheet. Fill a small bowl with fresh water to dip your fingers in before removing the rice from the cooling tray (this will allow you to spread the rice without it sticking to your fingers). Place the rice onto the nori sheet and spread it evenly across, leaving one inch around each edge. Place your vegetables along the edge that is closest to you. Take the two corners of the mat that are closest to you and slowly bring the nori up over itself and the rice, rolling it tightly with the mat as a guide, but do not allow the mat to roll into the rice. Keep pushing the mat away from you so that nori forms a roll and the mat is removed. Cut the excess inch of nori off each end of the roll using a very sharp knife. Cut the roll into even pieces, approximately one inch in thickness. Each roll makes 6–8 pieces.


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Wet your knife before slicing the sushi; it will cut easier and the rice won’t stick.

te da r ne Din



Guys, are you in the doghouse again? Listen up as Dabble Food Contributor David Laudenback shares his foolproof method for getting the Mrs. to forgive and forget. The Challenge: You messed up again. Who cares if you left the toilet seat up, forgot an important anniversary, or failed to pick up the dry cleaning? She’s less than pleased and that’s what matters. The Solution: Get cooking. Win her back with colourful Rice Stuffed Peppers and a nice bottle of Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Guy Wisdom: No matter what the mistake, the faster you can atone for it, the sooner you’ll be succsexfully making up.

Rice Stuffed Peppers 1⅓ cups of Basmati rice 2½ cups of water 12 mini peppers (all colours, tops off, cleaned whole) 1 cup carrots, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1 cup onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely 5 tbsp vegetable oil 1 sprig of thyme salt and pepper 2 cups of shredded Gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large sauce pot add 2 tablespoons of the oil, sauté the onions, carrots and celery on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until onions are transparent. Add the last 3 tablespoons of oil and then the rice. Mix with wooden spoon until all rice is covered with oil. Add in the water. Bring to a boil, turn heat off and cover with lid. When all liquid is absorbed, remove rice. Once all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, set aside to cool until comfortable to touch. Spread the peppers on a tray and spoon in rice to the top of each pepper. Add cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve all 12 on a single platter and place in the centre of your table for a beautiful display.

a points ExtrHave the table

set, a scented candle burning and the wine chilling when she comes through the door.

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Gangsters & Gals


“Anytime you throw a party the stakes are high,” says Dabble’s Cocktail Deeva, Dee Brun, “so leave nothing to chance.” Follow these easy house rules to ensure your poker night is a winner. Does he have an Ace up his sleeve? Who knows… but there’s something slightly dangerous about poker— the cards, the booze and the sexy smooth bluffing that goes on when money (or pride) is at stake.

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FOOD House Rule #1: Casino colours are a sure bet Capture a Rat Pack Vegas vibe with casino colours black, white, and red. Inviting guests to dress the part builds pre-party excitement.

House Rule #2: High stakes setting Create an authentic play surface by wrapping velvet or felt around a standard table. Tack fabric edges beneath tabletop.


House Rule #3: You Got to Know when to Feed ‘em Trason Fernandes looks ready to satisfy that bad boy hunger with a pulled pork slider, served on a bed of potato chips.

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Big Blind Bellini 2 oz Hpnotiq* 2 oz pineapple juice 1 oz Champagne or sparkling wine 1 cup crushed ice

Mix Hpnotiq, pineapple juice and ice in blender until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with Champagne or sparkling wine. *Hpnotiq is a blend of vodka, cognac, and tropical fruit juices.

House Rule #7: Poker Playlist Rock the house with Deeva’s Poker Night playlist: Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra Good News – Matt Dusk Fever – Michael Buble Poker Face – Lady Gaga The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

House Rule #4: All in Keep invitations on theme. Make your own or order from Tiny Prints. www.tinyprints.com

House Rule #5: Pick your Poison A manly scotch for him and a tall, sexy martini glass for her. The Big Blind Bellini is a standout in casino neon blue.

House Rule #6: Cheat Sheet Frame a list of winning poker hands, so novice guests feel comfortable with game rules.

House Rule #8: Coasters Use mismatched playing cards as coasters.


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Thankfully these muffins aren’t made from bikinis, but they’re skinny enough to make sure you won’t bust out of yours. Any time you can squeeze a vegetable or fruit into a treat, you are staying ahead of the curve (get it?) with more nutrients and fibre. Feel free to substitute grated carrots for the zucchini, as both contain precious vitamin A that nourishes the skin and plumps the lips.

INGREDIENTS 3 eggs 1⅔ cups organic cane sugar ½ cup grape seed oil ¼ cup butter, softened ¼ cup almond butter 1½ tsp vanilla 1½ cups all-purpose organic flour 1½ cups whole wheat organic flour 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 tsp nutmeg 5 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (divided)

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INSTRUCTIONS In bowl, beat eggs with hand whisk or electric beaters until light. Gradually add sugar, oil and butter, followed by almond butter and vanilla. In separate bowl, use a fork to mix together all-purpose and wholewheat flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add only 3 cups of zucchini (reserve remaining 2 cups). Add to sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Spread remaining 2 cups zucchini onto a baking sheet to dry in oven for 10 minutes before baking muffins. Set aside to cool. Spoon into non-stick muffin cups until three-quarters full. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes for mini muffins, 15 to 20 for full size muffins. Carefully pile dried, grated zucchini onto muffins and allow to cool before removing from muffin pan.


Muffins Serves 24 Preparation Time 30 min Preheat Temperature 350째F

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Hostess with the Mostess From invite to clean up and a party in between, add Hostess with the Mostess to your “likes” if you’re a party thrower. www.facebook.com/hwtmfan

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Monday at 11:30 am EST, join one of twitter’s liveliest debates and don’t forget the hashtag #DesignTV. Lifestyle expert Amy Dragoo @abcddesigns and interior designer Jonathan Legate @jonathanlegate choose hot topics that interest design enthusiasts. Where can you go with baby in tow? Just ask @hvbabywilltrvl. She’s definitely in the know.

How could you not love a blog that celebrates National Carrot Cake Day? Check out @savvyhost Foodies’ Night In (#fni) every Monday.

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Profile for Dabble  Mag

Issue 1 - MarApr'11  

Each issue of Dabble Magazine brings you inspiring design from around the world, immerses you in cities ripe for discovery, gives you a tast...

Issue 1 - MarApr'11  

Each issue of Dabble Magazine brings you inspiring design from around the world, immerses you in cities ripe for discovery, gives you a tast...

Profile for dabblemag