Apartment Tour #2


I just did a big clean-up- pulled out the fridge and scrubbed behind it, laundered our pillows and duvet and mattress coverings and aired everything out. Now feels as good a time as any for an updated apartment tour. After all that cleaning, I didn't feel like steaming the sheets or vacuuming before taking these photos, so you get an idea of our apartment in its natural state.

To-do list for next year: 
Get proper frames for our prints
Find a big, cat friendly tree for the kitchen (we saw a nice crabapple in the Marais, I wish it wasn't toxic)
Figure out where to hang Daniela Cappacioli's wire sculptures; alternately, knit some jellyfish to hang around the apartment


Household additions this year (some, not all, of the links below are affiliate links, so if you click on them, I receive a commission):

  • Four handmade Valeria Polsinelli sake cups
  • This Cuisinart compact fryer- my husband's treat for himself. I haven't used it yet but I love his homemade fries
  • A Bosch Power Silence vacuum cleaner. My husband replaced ours while I was away. I'm not sure why. Probably mostly because he wanted a German vacuum cleaner.
  • Redecker Eddington bottle brush
  • Wooden soap dish
  • Cat carrier from my mom
  • Gluten-free cutting board. I keep it hidden under the sink so people don't contaminate it like the last one- gluten contamination is the reason we can't rent our place out anymore.
  • Polyester and cardboard cat tree *sigh*. Kar and Toffel were too big for the old one and they love sleeping in the banana leaf cubbies. When the polyester wears out, I'll replace the plush with linen coverings.
  • Two teacups and mortar and pestle, a gift from Joe and Ashley


Nkuku wire shelves (in the kitchen)
Ikea couch, dining room set, and kitchen towels (used as napkins)
Flour sack towels
Arne Jacobsen for Georg Jensen cutlery
Weck jars
Habitat bath sheets, bed and coffee table
Kartell Componibili
Eames rocker
Zwilling Henckels knives and bamboo cutting board
Happypet cat tree
Bamboo pet feeder
Paolo Galetto and me&him&you prints, vintage map of Thailand, personal photos, sketch by a Montreuillois artist (not pictured) on walls

I only listed items I get questions about. If you're wondering about the source for anything else just ask!

Paris to Go

Gluten-Free, Vegan London

This weekend we went to London to watch The X Factor in real time. It broke my heart to leave Kar and Toffel, but I love the sheer expansiveness and conveniences of my husband's former city. Suddenly, we remembered what it's like to be in a place where it's not totally normal to wait two hours for food to arrive, train stations don't smell like pee, and cheddar cheese is widely available. The only disappointing thing was I always look forward to seeing Londoners' zany, colorful outfits, but for some reason, everyone dressed in navy, grey, and black this time. The sole pops of color we saw were pom-poms on knit beanies covering blue or pink dyed hair.

I'm not cool, so I don't have any hipster photos or recommendations, just a few sustainable / gluten-free / vegan favorites.


A brand like this- based at Somerset House, collaborations with Christopher Raeburn and Paris Essex- usually means inattentive, aloof staff. In fact, they are as friendly and approachable as their inclusive take on design. Instead of manufacturing clothes destined straight for the landfill, customers initiate the made-to-order process, personalizing their own clothing, knitted by one of several lovingly named machines (the one pictured here is Helga). Each Unmade label is printed on recycled fabric with a barcode allowing you to trace the origins of each garment, from ethically sourced merino wool to spinners and suppliers. The unisex pieces are so thick, soft, and well-crafted, you can even wear them inside out.

Matcha lattes

If pumpkin spice lattes are Selena Gomez, matcha lattes are Meryl Streep, and not many places make the latter in Paris (exceptions being Café Kitsuné and Café Pinson, which are both annoying). In Covent Garden, TY Seven Dials is a reliable spot for a nice, bitter-yet-smooth matcha latte- I love the zero-waste teas and reverse osmosis water filter. Likewise, vegan and gluten-free Good Life Eatery makes a delicious one, as does Tombo, where you can also enjoy matcha soft serve.



This is as basic as Ugg boots and pumpkin spice lattes, but for the first time this weekend, I visited Selfridges Food Hall. From gluten-free vegan Borough 22 donuts to gluten-free matcha cakes, bulgogi jerky, and GF wood-fired pizzas, describing the stunning array of celiac-beloved delights without reverting to trite platitudes is impossible. I was excited to see Lola's retro flashing neon lights, which bore the promise of cupcake milkshakes. Unfortunately, their red velvet wheat-free cupcake is wack. Eating one is like opening a Delvaux box and finding a Coach wristlet inside.  

Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Tate

The air-hardened clay cows by Stephanie Quayle, Richard Wilson's oil room, and Nopchai Ungkavatanapong's rice cookers are worth Instagramming, as is Tracey Emin's bed installation, returned to its former home, the Tate.

Shoreditch: Redchurch Street and Club Row

Everybody loves Labour and Wait and Barber & Parlour, but you can also try on ethically sourced woolens at Guðrun&Guðrun; Instagram succulents at That Flower Shop; sample gluten-free Korean fried chicken at Bird; and get a haircut at the Bike Shed. The only hotels I know people like here are Hoxton and Shoreditch rooms. One of my husband's friends called Ace Hotel "a scam."

Notting Hill

This was my first time visiting Portobello Road- I didn't like it. It reminds me of that section of Porte de Clignancourt, right after the bridge, where people sell knock-off Comme des Garçons Play t-shirts, "Stan Spiths," and simulacrum of Frozen merchandise. On the other hand, I love the neighborhood's cute mews and found the gluten-free market vegetable burger at Honest delightful. Soon the area will be home to London's first zero waste restaurant: Tiny Leaf.


Other Recommendations

  • Wild Food Cafe Raw whole foods vegan restaurant www.wildfoodcafe.com
  • Nama Raw vegan oasis in Notting Hill with amazing cheesecake www.namafoods.com
  • Yorica Vegan, gluten free sweet treats like cookies, brownies, and ice cream www.yorica.com
  • Tibits Vegan afternoon tea www.tibits.ch/en.html
  • Cookies and Scream Vegan, gluten free bakery www.cookiesandscream.com
  • Ronchini Gallery Minimalist, spatialist, conceptualist gallery | www.ronchinigallery.com
  • Vanilla Black Vegan friendly Michelin starred vegetarian restaurant www.vanillablack.co.uk
  • Libreria | Existential, lo-fi bookshop (with whiskey tastings) straight out of Borges | libreria.io
  • Ai Wei Wei | Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts | www.royalacademy.org.uk
  • Just Fab Vintage double decker bus serving vegan gluten-free Italian | www.just-fab.org
  • Ruby's | Vegan gluten-free donuts | www.rubysoflondon.com
  • Cupcakes and Shhht  | Vegan gluten-free cupcakes | www.cupcakesandshhht.com
  • 26 Grains | Scandinavian-style porridge café | www.26grains.com
  • Pappa Ciccia | Gluten-free pizza | www.pappaciccia.com
  • Cabana | GF Brazilian bbq | www.cabana-brasil.com
  • Kin | GF Asian street food on Leather Lane |  www.kinstreetfood.com 
  • Arepa and Co. |  Gluten-free Argentinian |  www.arepaandco.com
  • Beyond Bread |  Gluten-free bakery |  www.beyondbread.co.uk
  • Ceviche | GF Peruvian with vegan options |  www.cevicheuk.com
  • Tanner & Co. | Brunch spot in an old tannery tannerandco.co.uk
  • Romeo's | Classic gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free bakery | www.romeossugarfreebakery.com
  • Bahn Mi Bay |  Bahn Mi baguettes and gluten-free bo bun |  www.bahnmibay.co.uk
  • Department of Coffee and Social Affairs | I forget why I put this here | departmentofcoffee.com
  • St. Pancras Clock Tower | Best place to stay in London IMO | www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/501171

One hotel I think is nice for gluten-free vegans is La Suite West, which is almost David Lynch-esque in its darkness, and serves raw chocolate chili fudge cake smothered in peanut butter sauce 24 hours a day.

Paris to Go

Borough 22 Vegan and Gluten-Free Donuts, London

Photos, GF Sesh via Ryan Panchoo

A dedicated husband, father, and volunteer, Ryan Panchoo is turning into a legend in celiac circles (they exist) for his certified gluten, dairy, soy, and egg-free baked donuts. What started as an experiment in free-from baking turned into the mega-popular Borough 22, a mail-order donut delivery service with stockists like Selfridges' Food Hall and The Plumstead Pantry. Ryan somehow manages to create recipes, bake, deliver, and run everything on top of a full-time day job! He writes,

"I started baking back in 2010. I chose 'free from' goods because my wife has multiple allergies and my children were both dairy intolerant from a very young age, so it made sense to come up with one treat they all could enjoy.

When we looked, there was nothing out there that they really, really enjoyed. They always seemed to have to settle for something half decent or go without. This motivated me to find something suitable for them that didn't cost the earth and tasted amazing. After all, why should they have to compromise?

I started with brownies and discovered an excellent recipe, which I adapted to make gluten and dairy free. That lead to more research, where I discovered doughnuts. I had no idea how insanely popular they would be, though. They are very photogenic and are probably in many coeliac' top five foods that they miss (Ariana's note: Yes. It goes doughnuts, fried mozzarella sticks, Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits, quesadillas, and ice cream cones, which I can get gluten-free at Grom but don't always have the patience to wait in line for).

I never planned to make a business out of it. It just sort of grew organically. It has been a steep learning curve, but with only social media marketing, I am now selling in several stores- including Selfridges, which is a massive deal for me."

You can order or learn more about Borough 22 on their websiteFacebook, and InstagramSelfridges had the sugar, salted caramel, raspberry pistachio, vanilla, and Nutella flavors this weekend. I went before 10 AM yesterday and they were more than half gone... so show up early! 

Paris to Go


I'm going to regret putting these pictures up, but here's the sharp shoulder sweater Alisa knitted. My mom, who has always been ahead of her time, asked for one like this as a teenager. It's heavier than expected, a warm, soft mix of sustainably sourced, undyed merino wool and alpaca. I don't do casual well- I'm bad at styling, and the separates I find in stores don't excite me. Next year I'll work on my off-duty wardrobe, which I want to try and make as much as possible.

My first project will be mittens, a scarf, and a hat, if Paris ever gets cold enough to wear them. I'm fed up with machine knits at the moment. After pricing natural wools around the 13ème and Anvers (too bad we can't get recycled Reunion Yarn here), it seems best to unravel an old sweater à la A Wool Story. I used to sew simple dresses and things; they didn't look nice, but I hope I can improve in time for summer. 

Maybe the secret to finding satisfactory pullovers and other "basics" is to look for statement pieces. My definition is probably different from most people's, but anything with interesting and well-crafted details, however subtle, is intriguing- like the structure and pleated sleeves of this sweater, or the stitched cuffs on a good pair of jeans. Lately, I find myself drawn to progressively more outrageous shapes and designs. I want things that aren't easily placed, things unidentifiable.

Anyway, I know I said to save on knitwear in this post. This was worth it to me, because I know where it comes from, from the sheep to the spinners to the woman who spent hours painstakingly casting and counting each intricate row. Nobody subsidized the cost of this garment with their lives, their health, or their environment. This isn't to say everybody has to go back to handmade. Realistically, clothing is low on many people's priority list. But secondhand, even my beloved The Real Real, wasn't working for me, so I wanted to try supporting a talented ethical designer- and ended up getting something I truly love! Other ethical / sustainable knitwear I'm fascinated with:

The Rare Creature

In other words, nothing you didn't know already. I'm so basic! If you're not familiar with the last brand, their work reminds me of the textile sculptor Tadek Beutlich’s creations. You can find handmade I Love Mr. Mittens ready-to-wear at Gang of Earlybirds in Paris.

Paris to Go

Gâté Sans Gluten


My favorite evening haunt in Saint-Germain-des-Prés? Not Ralph's, La Palette, or Café de Flore, which are overrun with the kinds of AUP students who camped overnight for Balmain x H&M and are counting the days until the Gilmore Girls revival. It's Gâté, the chic, stylish tearoom with the George Nelson ball clock and sleek Bertoia chairs. All the pretty French pâtisserie I enviously eyed in shop windows- Paris-Brest, onde de choc- I finally got to try here. Meanwhile, my friends enjoyed quiche, pastries, and a pot of Dammann Frères, never guessing it was dedicated gluten-free.

While digging into a rich religieuse au café, I peppered the owner, Emmanuel Grenier, with questions. His wife was diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago, he explained. Along with a Swedish architect and two other partners, they constructed the modern and refined Gâté. A calming blue interior and minimalist string shelves are welcome departures from the rococo, Louis XV style dominating Paris tearooms. Gâté recruited Sébastien Lenglet, a young pâtissier who worked with Meilleur Ouvrier de France winners, to bring gorgeous gluten-free creations to the Left Bank. "I gave him a bunch of rice flour and told him to have fun," Grenier said. The strategy worked- they were already named one of Paris' must-visit salons de thé by Grazia.

Gâté is really cozy, friendly, and unpretentious, a good spot to catch up on your latest issues of Niépi and Elle Decor. The food- including savory dishes, like soup, fresh bread, and lentil salad- is delicious, creative, and well-priced, with just the perfect amount of texture and flavor. I could write another In Search of Lost Time about their chocolat chaud and tartelette violette alone. Grenier is extremely nice too. I never felt judged for eating desserts two at a time. In fact, once when I ordered a single bûche, he queried, "Only one?" and when I finished, asked if I was full after :) To which I replied, "C'est jolie," because after three years of living here, with a French husband and many friends who only speak French, I still can't string together a proper sentence socially. USA! For better pictures and a complete interview of the Gâté Sans Gluten team, click here.


11 Rue Dupuytren
Métro: Odéon
Instagram: @gatesansgluten

Paris to Go