Friday, 30 October 2015


Dear Readers

As announced two weeks ago, my blog, which is normally personal, 
has been public for a limited period.

I would like to THANK all of you who have subscribed to it or sent me emails or left me comments.  It gives me great pleasure to see the level of interest that you have all shown in my blog.  I greatly appreciate the words of encouragement that you have been kind enough to send me.

However, my blog will once again become visible by invitation only from midnight tomorrow (31st October 2015).  You can either subscribe to my blog before the deadline or send me an email asking me to issue an invitation to join my fast growing community of followers. 

In the meantime I wish you all a great Halloween!

Living with Ghosts: Eleven Extraordinary Tales by Prince Michael of Greece (1995)

For Halloween this year (31 October 2015), I thought I would suggest a book to make your hair stand on end. Sensitive souls beware!

"You the living, you understand us so little, we ghosts. Of course, you regret the death of loved ones, you cry, but only because you are missing them. We need you, your thoughts, your prayers, your intentions, the energy that you possess without knowing it. You can improve the condition of ghosts, these souls in waiting, who often are not at peace. Humble beings, devoid of knowledge, wisdom, wandering in the darkness of this world, you can help those who are on the other side of the crystal wall. Whenever you think of us, every time you pray for us, a rocket shoots into the sky and this light will come back to you, will assist and enlighten you."

From the gothic elegance of Powderham Castle in Devon to the ruins of the Chateau de Lagnes in Provence to the moated austerity of Schloss Schwarzenraben in Westphalia, Prince Michael of Greece has sought out eleven of the most celebrated haunted palaces and castles in Europe and describes them on the basis of his personal research and contact with their ghostly inhabitants. Who are the ghosts of these places? A serving woman, an Incan princess, a baroness whose lover was killed by her husband in a duel....

Author: Michael of Greece and Denmark was born on 7 January, 1939 in Rome, Italy. He is a member of the Greek royal family and a descendant of the Romanov and Orléans families. He is also a paternal first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is the author of several historical novels and biographies, as well as a contributing writer to the Architectural Digest.

My thoughts: I love this book which I read in 2001. I still remember the feeling of fear I had while reading it. I had goose bumps, not something that normally happens to me when reading dark books. This is a book based on true events, which cannot be explained by normal reasoning. Now, do I believe these ghost stories? Do I believe that Prince Michael communicates with ghosts? I really don't know. Usually, I believe in what I see and in my instinct. But if these stories are not true, then their author is a genius, with an incredible imagination.  Anyway, this book is divinely well written and scary. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the various haunted castles, manors and palaces, enriched with details of their history.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Pumpkin fritters for Halloween

Even if Halloween is not an important festival in our European culture, it is being celebrated more and more here. Thus, in honour of Halloween, I give you an original recipe using pumpkin. These fritters are generally cooked for Christmas in Portugal (Filhoses de Abóbora). I have tasted them many times, but a couple of weeks ago was the first time that I made them myself.  They were a TREMENDOUS success with all those who tasted them! They have an incomparable taste, not too sweet and not too greasy, quite airy…so yummy!
In addition to the ingredients, you will need patience and meticulousness to make this recipe, as it takes around three hours. If you follow these steps, your fritters will be a hit with adults and kids alike.

Ingredients for 30 fritters

750g pumpkin
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
The zest of 1 ½ oranges
40g sugar
5g baker's yeast
300g flour
1 dl orange juice
25 ml Aguardente (Portuguese eau-de-vie - I used Kirsch as a substitute)
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon powder (for dusting)
Sugar (for dusting)
Frying oil (I used sunflower oil)

1. Cut the pumpkin into medium cubes and place it in a saucepan of salted water. Cook for 30 minutes until it is tender. Place the pumpkin in a colander with a cloth and leave it to drain overnight.

2. The next day, dissolve the yeast in the orange juice. Place the pumpkin in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer with spiral wands. As you mix, add the orange zest, orange juice with baker's yeast, aguardente (kirsch), a pinch of salt, sugar, egg and egg yolk and flour. Mix well.

3. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it to stand in a warm place for 2 hours. If the dough is too soft, add more flour and mix well. The dough should be supple – neither too runny nor too thick.

4. Fry spoonfuls of dough into hot oil. Place the fritters on a plate with absorbent paper.

5. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle the fritters with the mixture and place on a serving plate (or a colander decorated with a paper doily, just as I did).

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Ballerina Girl

These shoes need no introduction! It is true that many women do not like them; they find them too simple or childish. But, as I care about my foot comfort, they have always been my first choice in terms of footwear. I like them in all colours and materials. Very stylish, they give that classy and romantic touch to any outfit. Thus, I thought they deserve a special mention. Hurrah!! Hurrah!!

Ballerinas: Parfois, Minelli, Limelight (x2), Elio e Leo, Navyboot, Arezzo and Bagatt

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Have you heard of Nibble Nose? Run quickly to the Coop!

Two months ago a friend sent me a text message with a very cute image: a mouse bearing the legend “Nibble Nose”. I asked him what it was, whereupon he answered me: "This is an English cheese, I'm at the Coop doing my grocery shopping..."

That is how I was introduced to a small, funny mouse, an icon of cheese to die for. Since then, I haven’t stopped tasting this delicious cheese; morning, noon and night. Yes, I’m crazy about these original new tastes: Caramelised Red Onion, Garlic and Chive, Smoked Cheddar...There are also other flavours: Chilli, Cranberry, Orange and Whisky.

As it is difficult to find, only in larger Coop supermarkets, my friend brought me a selection to complete my cheeseboard. Sadly, he thinks it is a fleeting offer and once sold out, we will no longer find it on sale. Ohhhhhh noooooooooo, I hope not! Let’s wait and see - I may have to make flying arrangements for my little Nibble Nose mouse!

Anyway, prices are CHF 5.90 for a small round weighing 200g. I found it cheap for traditionally crafted cheese made on a family farm (Lymn Bank Farm in Lincolnshire, England).

Nibble Nose Cheese Company
Lymn Bank East, Thorpe St Peter
Lincolnshire PE24 4PJ
United Kingdom
Phone:  +44 17 5488 0312

Monday, 26 October 2015

Wild Fruit Yogurt Cake

An acquaintance of mine sent me this recipe by email. I found it so fabulous that I made it straight away for a surprise birthday celebration for a good friend. It was a real delight, I assure you! The soft cake soaks up the strawberry juices, the whipped cream adds an airy richness, the berries give a little acidity and the mint brings freshness to everything. It is a perfect combination of flavours and should be eaten without moderation!

4 eggs
1 wild fruit yogurt with pieces
2 yogurt pots of sugar (or 3 if you like very sweet cakes)
1 yogurt pot of oil (sunflower)
3 yogurt pots of self-raising flour
150 g sliced strawberries
50 g blueberries

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Add the eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil and flour to a large bowl.
3. Mix well.
4. Add the sliced ​​strawberries and the blueberries towards the end and don’t mix much after doing so.
5. Place in a greased mould that has been sprinkled with flour.
6. Bake in the oven for about 40 mins.
7. Allow to cool in the mould.

250 ml cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
Berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries)
6 mint leaves

Whip the cream with a little sugar. When ready, pour over the cake and decorate with berries and mint.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Saudade Cocktail

As the holidays come to an end, we all experience, at one time or another, the feeling of Saudade. This is especially true if you are an expat, away from your loved ones and all the things that are special about your home town. But you are where you are now, so invite some friends, prepare this easy cocktail and enjoy the return to work. Saúde!

Ingredients for 1 person
5 cl of red wine (I preferred a rosé wine "Marquês de Pombal")
3 cl cherry syrup (I used Teisseire)
15 cl beer (I used Super Bock)

• Pour the wine and syrup directly into the glass and add the cold beer.
• Serve in a snifter beer glass (see the photograph)

My sweetheart and I were somewhat sceptical before trying this cocktail.  Having tasted it, we both decided that it was a winner!  I will let you into a little secret, we preferred our version of the cocktail made with rosé rather than red wine. You can buy all these ingredients from Coop supermarkets.

This cocktail was created in one of the Fado houses, it is not known by whom or when, to pay tribute to Saudade, a mysterious feeling specific to a single world culture! You could compare it to a mixture of several moods: melancholy, dreaminess, longing ... It is particular to people of Lusitanian origin (Portuguese, Brazilians...). The Lusitanians say that Saudade usually means that you miss something or someone.

Thursday, 22 October 2015


Welcome everyone!

"The Reader's Tales" is my Geneva lifestyle, book, recipe and travel blog.

I hope you enjoy your visit as much as it pleases me to compile this blog.

My blog is normally private and accessible by invitation only.  Exceptionally, you currently have the opportunity to subscribe to it and follow it, but you must do so before 31st October 2015.

With love from Switzerland!


SUBSCRIBE at the bottom left corner of the page.

You just have to enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email (Your email address will not be published).

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Bonjour à tous,

"The Reader's Tales" est mon blog de lifestyle à Genève, avec des recettes, des livres et des voyages.

J'espère que votre visite vous fournît le même plaisir que j’éprouve en le compilant.

Mon blog est normalement privé et seulement accessible sur invitation. A titre exceptionnel, vous avez actuellement l’opportunité d’y souscrire et de le suivre, mais il faut le faire d’ici le 31 octobre 2015.

Bon baisers de Suisse !


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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

100% natural hair mask

My hair is curly or, rather, wavy, I would say. The curls disappear the second day after washing and make way for a wave.

My hair is very thin and not voluminous. This makes blow-drying fast (10 minutes for almost dry hair). However, it is delicate: the roots are oily and the ends are dry. I have to take extra precautions with pool/sea water to ensure that it remains silky and shiny. 

Although I have a super homemade hair mask that I have been using for ages, I was looking for an alternative.

While preparing my Brussels escapade, I came across van Rosen’s blog, with plenty of hair beauty tips, hair products and much more.

Thus, I decided to follow her advice by trying her homemade mask. I bought the necessary products at GT World of Beauty. The prices were affordable: I only paid EUR 17.00 for these two products.

-  Kuza 100% natural Shea Butter 425g
-  Morimax 100% pure Argan Oil 150ml

GT World of Beauty - Ixelles
Chaussée de Wavre 28
1050 Ixelles, Bruxelles
Tél: +3225131440
(Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 20.00)
Gare du Midi station: Underground 2, direction Simonis Elisabeth, station Porte De Namur

Mask made with 100% natural products for hair care
Melt the solid Shea Butter in a microwave (+/-15 sec). Once the Shea butter is liquid, mix with the argan oil. Apply the mixture to the hair and allow the mixture to soak in for at least an hour.
My opinion: I loved it, my hair was soft, shiny and silky afterwards. I avoided applying it to the roots and let it soak for two hours. Here is the result…tada!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

An Intimate Address... Luangpakdee Brussels Spa

My fantastic stay in Brussels was clouded by back pain that stopped me from sleeping comfortably.

Thank heavens I came across Luangpakdee Thaï Spa. Halleluiah! I enjoyed two Thai oil massages by a very sweet, smiling and gifted Thai therapist that cured me. I am not exaggerating....Voltaren anti-inflammatory gel had not relieved my pain, but those two Thai massages put me back on my feet.

This spa is gorgeously decorated in a Thai style. The massage rooms are in the basement with statues and a stone water fountain surrounded by greenery, soft lighting and quiet, relaxing music. The smells of essential oils transport you to Asia for an hour: a kingdom of well-being at an affordable price.

Their excellent facilities and their sense of hospitality, striving to do the best for clients, will seduce you, whether you are a local or a traveller like us. Located only 5 minutes’ walk from the Grand Place, this is a great address that I strongly recommend to you.

Luangpakdee Spa
22 Rue Duquesnoy
1000 Bruxelles
Tél: +32 472 83 29 82
Open daily from 10:00 to 22:00

Monday, 19 October 2015

Chocolate Addict? Mary, Marcolini, Wittamer

I am not personally a chocolate addict (although I adore chocolate desserts), but everybody around me is. However, I could not help falling for the windows of the chocolate shops in Brussels, the most beautiful I've ever seen. They were works of art!

This post is dedicated to all chocolate addicts!!!  You know, those people who don't just eat a square of chocolate but devour an entire bar in a few minutes... Isn't that right, mum??? As you can see, I am the soul of discretion!! Here’s a special selection just for you, my darlings!

Chocolatier Mary
36 Galerie de la Reine
1000 Bruxelles

Pierre Marcolini - Chocolatier de Luxe
39 Place du Grand Sablon
1000 Bruxelles

La Maison Wittamer Chocolatier Pâtisseries
6-12-13 Place du Grand Sablon
1000 Bruxelles

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Street Art in Brussels

As you may know Brussels is famous for its association with cartoon book authors. During our stay, we were able to see some of the many comic strip murals displayed on the streets. Ready for my short guided tour?

1) Tintin by Hergé, rue de l'Etuve.

2) Axtérix et Obélix by Goscinny et Uderzo, rue de la Buanderie.

3) Lucky Luke by Morris, rue de la Buanderie.

4) Billy the Cat by Colman & Desberg, rue d'Ophem.

5) Cori le Mousaillon by Bob de Moor, rue des Fabriques.

6) Cubitus by Dupa, rue de Flandre.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Tourist, not mannish!

During our long weekend in Brussels I was only carrying hand luggage or, I should say, "light luggage".  I only took comfy trousers and a jumper, together with my two smart feminine outfits. These photos were taken a few minutes before each of our wonderful dinners at "Scheltema". I wanted to feel beautiful for those special evenings.

Reader's Look
Fushia dress: Globe
Black skirt: Adolfo Dominguez
Black silk blouse: Alberto Bini
Shoes: Bagatt
Ring: Julie Gloor
Necklace: Emmaüs, second hand shop/thrift store
Vintage bag: Bally

Scheltema became our canteen. Why look elsewhere when you have already found perfection? Delicious food lovingly prepared, the warm and friendly Pascal, our wonderful waiter, a man with a great sense of humour and old-fashioned service.  And let’s not forget the best dessert in Europe (according to Pascal): apple tart flambéed with Calvados. It has been a while since I was so surprised by such a dessert. As I don’t do food reviews, I apologise for not detailing the dishes. I couldn’t pass up the chance of taking photos of one of our splendid meals at Scheltema. Thank God, no one batted an eyelid as I took my camera to photograph our food. What weird behaviour!...

Scheltema Brasserie-Restaurant
7 Rue des Dominicains
1000 Bruxelles
Tél: +322 5122 084