Sunday, August 22, 2010

Polish Pottery Run #2!

Welcome to Boleslawiec, Poland... home of the beautiful Polish Pottery!

and welcome to the Blue Beetroot hotel!


Spur of the moment (and the last weekend before school begins), I joined three friends on a quick adventure to the Polish Pottery Festival in Boleslawiec, Poland! We were lucky enough to get the last room in the Blue Beetroot hotel- a fabulous stay with a country-home feel- it was equipped with an excellent staff, high-end acommodation, and tasty meals!

After a good night sleep, our first stop Saturday morning was at Andy's ceramics- highly suggested by our hotel staff! With many wonderful designs and delicate ceramic patterns I walked out of here with a coveted, egg plate, 2 egg cups (a new and British way to enjoy soft-boiled eggs), new coffee mugs (and not just for myself....), and a few wine toppers... the photo below shows our trunk  after just one stop! 

After Andy's we spent the majority of our day at the Polish Pottery Festival in the town center. 

The square was bustling with local pottery shops selling their hand-painted pottery, hand-made special crafts and the streets were lined with antique and other street vendors. Below are just a few images of the many treasures to be found on this sunshine day in Poland...

Ceramic flowers... 

Outdoor planters...

...and more antiques! 

It was all really old and very interesting stuff. I bought an antique coffee grinder which I will put on my kitchen shelf as decor... (photos of my coffee grinder available soon!)

We also located some interesting food at the festival... a flat, thick-cut, grilled bread with sausage, onions, and topped with pickles- a large amount of pickles to be honest! 
Actually quite tasty... and easily washed down with a cold glass of polish beer!

After many hours wandering the festival, lots of shopping, and stopping for a bite to eat we quickly unloaded our second round of bags into the car before the parade began... stop #2 for the day and the boot is nearly full! 

The parade was titled Gliniada... not sure what that translates to but the sub-title translated reads,"we all come from the same clay." Those are beautiful words... Below are photos of the parade participants dressed in a variety of costume but all sporting the same color clay to symbolize the significance of "being made from the same clay"!



... and there was this incredible drummer who was pulled around on a trailer... everyone was dancing in the streets and having a great time- together! 

I have been to this Polish town before- last November, when the weather was cooler and the town, despite the pottery shooppers seemed rather empty. But this weekend, I experienced the life of this little town first hand! It was fascinating to be a part of such a diverse cultural celebration. This small Polish town was not onu full of talent and creativity, but also diversity- it was a celebration of life... it was the essence of coming together- of culture and community- and it was magical!
"we are all made of the same clay"... - Love, Nikki 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life on a Spanish Holiday...

Welcome to Casa Lottie in Garrucha, Spain...
where the front porch has been full of laughter,

fun and friendship, 

and of course, plenty of good food! 

For the past 10 days, I spent time swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, sunning on the beach or by the pool, eating amazing meals created with an abundance of fresh seafood, and taking plenty of siestas all in the company of good friends. With a 2 night stop over in Madrid on our way home to Prague, not only did we get in loads of shopping but we continued to eat our way through our Spanish holiday. 
This blog entry is focused on the food we shared...
enjoy and cheers!

La comida de Casa Lottie
Almejas pequenas con mantequllia de ajo 
(Small clams with garlic butter)

Vegetarian dinner on the roof top terrace at Casa Lottie!

Calabaza caramelizada con cebollas dulces y berenjena con champinons y cebollas y ensalada verde.
(Butternut squash with caramelized sweet onions.)
(Aubergine/Eggplant with onions and mushrooms.) 
(And Mixed Green Salad) created by Nikki & Anne

Dinner on the seafront in Garrucha!
Navajas y Calamares con limon
(Razor Clams and Calamari with lemon)

 Ensalada verde con esparragos al vapor y judias verdes y mezcla de mariscos en mantequilla ajo y berenjena con queso de cabra
(Green salad with steamed asparagus and green beans.) 
(Mixed seafood in garlic butter.) By Nikki (Eggplant with goat cheese.) By Anne

Ensalada verde con langostinos grandes y albahaca y queso ravioli.
(Mixed, green salad with large prawns.) (Basil and cheese ravioli.)
Created by Nikki & Anne 
(Thanks to Lynne for cleaning the prawns!)

On our last morning in Garrucha, we used up the contents of our fridge to create a spectacular breakfast! Muy Bien!
Pan frances, tocino, melon fresco y te con leche!
(French toast, bacon, fresh melon, and tea with milk!) 

Welcome to Madrid... 
Plaza de Oriente

Tapas en Madrid es bien!
Calamari, chorizo, fried cheese, tortilla de patata, olives, bread...

 and a sweet, refreshing pitcher of Sangria! 

At Casa Lucas tapas bar our second night in Madrid.

Fried calamari mixed with garlic oil and squid-ink mousse. 

Sweet vegetables and baby prawns wrapped in thick, black pasta with a cream sauce. 

Me gusta comida de Espana!
(I like Spanish food.)

Nos gusta la Casa Lucas bar de tapas y el vino dulce!
(We like the tapas bar Casa Lucas and the sweet wine.)

Me gusta mis amigas! 
(I like my friends.)

Me gusta Madrid! 
(I like Madrid...)

Hasta Luego ... see you later!