Wild & the Moon in Paris
The other day I passed by this window on my way between two client meetings in Paris. Especially now that we're working on #urbanjunglebook I see plants everywhere. So I couldn't not go in here and take a look at all those plants. I was pleasantly surprised: this café and restaurant looks really nice: old moulures on the ceiling, a tiled white counter, hanging plants everywhere and a big table in the back where you can work in an urban jungle. I was so obsessed with all the plants, that I only realized Wild & the Moon actually serve raw and vegan food when I paid for my drinks at the counter.
Wild & the Moon is not just about the nice interior (which I loved) but about the food. In their own words: We go for wild, local, plant-based, ethically sourced, seasonal and pure. We use vegetables, fruits, herbs, roots, nuts and super food. And we like to serve them that way: cold-pressed, raw, intact, and prepared with love. No processed ingredients, no additives, no chemicals, no GMOs, no gluten, no dairy, no refined sugar.
Personally I'm not vegan or a raw food addict, but I like pure ingredients and food prepared with love. I promise that next time I'll be at Wild & the Moon I'll focus on the food instead of the plants ;)
I mean look at those ferns above! There are also mini Hypoestes plants on every table in all kinds of mix-matched plant pots.
A string of hearts (Ceropegia woodii) and a string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), casually hanging out in front of the window:
A very graphic display with the different Smoothies, vitality shots, le plat du jour and coffees:
Imagine this window display without the plants... impossible right?!
The hanging jungle in the back with ferns, rhipsalis, pothos, zigzag cactus, philodendron, above a large table where you can plug in your laptop and work :)
Wild & the Moon /// 55 Rue Charlot /// 75003 Paris /// +33 9 51 80 22 33
Open Tue - Fri: 8-19 and Sat - Sun: 9-19
Helsinki travel guide
Upon popular request: here is my mini guide of all the places I enjoyed in Helsinki, Finland, last month. I can't wait to go back to taste more Finnish pastries, to enjoy more saunas and visit more islands of the Archipellago. And meet more Finnish people, because that's what really impressed me in Helsinki: everyone was so relaxed, helpful and friendly.
Helsinki is not extremely big, the city center is very walkable and public transportation works like a charm. We used a regional week ticket which allows to travel from and to the airport, but also to Nuuksio national park and Suomenlinna. And of course you can take bus/tram/metro/train throughout the entire city and region. We also loved our Pelago bikes to get from one place to another.
Lokal /// Annankatu 9 /// "A concept store and home to Finnish art, design and craft". Art gallery, design shop and coffee corner.
Kauniste /// Fredrikinkatu 24 /// The perfect shop where you can stock up on designy Finnish teatowels, homeware textiles and interior products.
Marimekko Outlet store /// Kirvesmiehenkatu 7 /// Marimekko stores are everywhere in the city center, but to score a bargain, head to the Marimekko outlet store. Samples, previous collections, B products at 30%-50% off. There also a café (closed when we visited), a shop with the current collection and the actual Marimekko factory is there too (no factory tours at the moment though).
Papershop /// Fredrikinkatu 18 /// Heaven for postcard and paper addicts: Papershop is filled to the brim with notebooks, postcards and accessories
Nide Bookstore /// Fredrikinkatu 35 /// Yes you "need" all the (art/design/litterature) books at Nide!
Company x Salakaupa design shop (Secret Shop in Finnish) /// Laivurinkatu 10 /// A little shop with Finnish design secrets in Helsinki. Loved this set of 8 nesting dolls is called "The Life of a Snowman".
Arabia Center, factory and outlet /// Hämeentie 133 /// Factory, museum and outlet store with Arabia ceramics and products from Iittala, Fiskars and Hackman.
Sarjakuva Keskus /// Hämeentie 150 /// Comic book and graphic novel shop by Finnish artists. Flipping through the books (I'm not a comic reader/fan) helped me to better understand Finnish culture and design. There's always something quirky and unexpected.
EAT & DRINKS
Ipi Kulmakuppila /// Porthansgatan 13 /// Gorgeous café that was beautifully designed by Petra Majantie: a perfect mix of contemporary design, plants, good food and great people. Also a social workspace!
Tiedekulma Think Corner café /// Aleksanterinkatu 7 /// Part of Helsinki University, a meeting place for research and everyone who loves cake and good coffee. There's also a little shop with Finnish goodies.
Urban Jungle Bloggers #27
Botanical Zoom! It's quite hilarious how this month's Urban Jungle Bloggers topic fits my life at the moment: Igor and I are in the middle of working on #urbanjunglebook so it's pretty much all about botanicals. And it's all about the details too!
My very favorite plants are (big) cacti: they are tough and grow in the strangest shapes and deepest colors. I don't even mind about the spines I regularly have to Tweezerman from my fingers, they are part of the deal. So for this month's topic, I picked my favorite plants and got close, closer, the closest possible and this is what I saw: the difference between cactus plants and succulents! Did you know all cactus plants are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti? The difference is in the details: the aureoles, those small fluffy cotton-like lumps on the body of a cactus, as you can see in the photo above. Some succulents, like my cactus-look-a-like Euphorbia trigona, do have spines just like cactus plants, but they don't have aureoles. So they are actually succulents and not cacti:
Succulent (Euphorbia trigona) versus Cactus (Echinopsis macrogona):
By the way, a tip if you want to repot a cactus plant without covering your hands in painful spines or glochids (worse!): use a few layers of magazine paper to cover the plant. I've used seveveral kinds of gloves (and destroyed them because I couldn't remove the glochids (those short hairy sprickles some cactus have instead of spines), but magazine paper works better for me.
Don't you love the starry pattern on this cactus plant?
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series hosted by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date via Facebook or Instagram. Want to join? Find out how on our website and use #urbanjunglebloggers on twitter and instagram. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
► For more Botanical Zoom, check out the gallery!
Pastel Paradise in Tallinn
You may have noticed with all the blogposts that we immensely enjoyed Helsinki. But we didn't know that Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, was located at only 2 hours by ferry from Helsinki. And did you know that it's only 3 hours by train to Saint Petersburg?! We took the ferry to Tallinn without any expectations, but ended up in Pastel Paradise! The thin layer of snow and cloudy sky definitely emphasized the pastel vibe of the old town:
In the morning, we headed to the ferry harbour in Helsinki by tram (really: Helsinki public transportation is so smooth!), and boarded the Tallink Star ferry in no-time. We were seated in the front of the ship on the Sunset Deck with the best view:
Robert and I visited the on-board supermarket and shops, but most of our time was spent watching the Helsinki Archipellago and the Baltic Sea:
Before we realized we already reached Tallinn, the harbour in the front and the Old Town in the back:
We didn't have any plans in Tallinn other than to spend a day exploring, wandering the streets, do some shopping and visit a supermarket to check out the Estonian products. And that's what we did. We walked through the old town where everything was pastel colored:
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral:
The Parliament of Estonia:
And probably the most surprising building of Tallinn, an unidentified mint castle from 1925:
Loved this touch of yellow:
If you're in Tallinn, you may want to check out these cool (and good-looking!) places:
► Estonian Design House - a bit outside the city center: shop and café with the best Estonian design and handmade items
► Must Puudel café - eclectic and cosy café
► Modernne Eesti köök - Modern Estonian cuisine (also love their graphic identity!)
► August café - cosy café with nice coffee and vinyl turntables on the counter
Misty and cold Tallinn from above:
Full disclosure: Tallink Silja kindly offered our ferry trip from Helsinki to Tallinn and as usual: all photos and words are my own. We had a great daytrip and warmly recommend you to travel with Tallink. And an extra tip: we really enjoyed the Comfort-upgrade: you get access to the Comfort lounge, with free drinks & snacks and the best view of the boat. It made our daytrip extra comfy. Merci Tallink!
Lokal Helsinki 72% art 28% coffee
In the middle of Design District Helsinki you can find this Design gem called Lokal. They call themselves a "concept store and home to Finnish art, design and craft". Lokal is a mix of an art gallery, design shop and coffee corner, run by photographer Katja Hagelstam. She opened Lokal in 2012 to showcase the works of Finnish artists and designers, both upcoming young designers as well as more established artists. I loved it! And surprisingly: not a single plant in the entire space ;)
72 Art - 28% Coffee - 100% Finnish!
These handmade porcelain coffee and espresso cups were designed especially for Lokal by Nathalie Lahdenmäki:
The selection of art and products at Lokal is really nice and helped me to better understand the difference between Scandinavian Design and Finnish Design. All products and art pieces are purely Finnish, often handmade, with a strong focus on craftsmanship, or produced in small series.
Coffee, cake, cookies and chocolate are available in the back of the shop. The coffee is roasted by Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo.
This mint/green piece by Raija Malka was my very favorite. It's a big trapezium shape in one (very specific) color. Actually it forms a pair with the painting on the photo above, featuring the same trapezium shape that glows mint on the wall.
Lokal Helsinki /// Annankatu 9 /// 00120 Helsinki
Open tue-fri 11-18, sat 11-16, sun 12-16
Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden in Helsinki
When you want to take a break from the snow and cold in winter-y Helsinki you can either go to a sauna or visit the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. Actually I like both options equally, although the latter is a slightly more visibly pleasing activity ;)
In all the places that I travel to, I try to visit at least one botanical garden: they are my happy place. Lush greens, tall palm trees, gorgeous cactus plants... preferably in a 19th century greenhouse. Wandering through a greenhouse is particularly exciting when there's snow outside as you can see through the glasshouse windows on the left:
Growing towards the Nordic light:
A rather impressive Opuntia tree:
More fragile cacti behind the glass, like an Opuntia engelmannii (left), different kinds of Agaves and Aloë in the middle and an Opuntia leucotricha (right):
The Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden consists of 10 glass houses that houses a collection of 1300 plant species mainly originating from the same longitude as Finland. Outside is a 4ha garden with a network of paths that is still the same is in the 19th century. It guides you along even more plants, the herbarium's arboretum, a rock garden, a French formal garden and bee hives, all covered in snow when we visited.
Looking up in the humid greenhouse:
Most plants in the garden are labelled with their botanic name and origin. The yellow labels are for useful plants and the red labels indicate the endangered species:
The top of the 19th century Palm House of Kaisaniemi.
If you want to see more botanic gardens, check out my blog posts about the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil in Paris, the Jardí Botànic in Valencia or the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam.
Who wants to join me on those chairs?
Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden /// Unioninkatu 44 /// Helsinki /// +358 91 91 24 455
Open every Tuesday to Sunday 10-16 (Thursday 10-18) (summer 10-17)
Alvar Aalto Studio in Helsinki
Kabang! After a very nice bike trip from our apartment in the city center of Helsinki, we arrived in a residential neighborhood of the Finnish capital. There are no street signs that indicate where to find Alvar Aalto's studio, and seen from the street it hardly stands out. A handful of Japanese tourists wander in the neighborhood and when we ring the doorbell, a young woman tells us to wait until exactly 11:30 when the guided tour begins. We park our Pelago bikes and enjoy the sun and the frozen Baltic Sea.
At exactly 11:30 the woman welcomes us inside and with six Japanese people we are shown around Alvar Aalto's studio. The famous Finnish architect and designer (and sculptor, painter) designed the building at
"The principal space in the building is the curving studio which has a view opening onto the courtyard. Horizontal battens fixed to the high walls of the studio allowed drawings to be displayed there. The rear wall is covered with climbing plants reaching up to the high-level windows and prototypes of light fittings designed by Alvar Aalto are hung in front of the wall. The slanting bay window of the conference room with its rooflight creates the perfect conditions for examining models and drawings".
One of the (many!) eyecatchers in the room are the big trailing plants in the back. On the original photos from the 1960s the trailing plants are already there. It doesn't look like the exact same plant, but the aesthetic and trailing shapes are pretty much the same ♥
Plenty of classic Alvar Aalto stools 60 and beautiful cardboard boxes (now empty!) that were used to store architectural drawings:
The curve in the main room makes that you cannot see the entire room when you enter the space, there is room for mystery, in a very modest and humble way.
The first floor is dedicated to the real work. And yes, real work: because there's still a team of people working in the Alvar Aalto studio. The team of the Alvar Aalto Foundation works where designers and architects used to design buildings and furniture in previous decades. It's part museum with tools and prototypes of Alvar Aalto's projects, and part workspace. What a privilage to work in a studio like this!
Beautiful tools and light:
The famous layered plywood construction technique:
It's hard to be distracted by things outside when working in the studio upstairs: the windows are positioned very high:
Kabang! This is really a space that you should experience by yourself when you're in Helsinki. It's hard to catch the feeling and design in photos. Visiting Alvar Aalto's studio truly helped me to better understand the core values of Finnish design. The Alvar Aalto home is located at walking distance from the studio.
Alvar Aalto studio /// Tiilimäki 20 /// 00330 Helsinki, Finland
Opening hours (guided tours only) on the website.
@joelixjoelix on instagram