Friday, 8 December 2017

Bernini, Rome,and miscellaneous

In London, we call the financial district 
- the Wall Street of London - the City.

It gets technical.

Because the city of London is just where all the banks are so technically 
I don't live in the 'city of London'.

They had a live band playing background music.

But I went there even though I don't work in the financial industry because my friends and I went to the Ned Hotel for afternoon tea.

There are plenty of pictures on Instagram.

It is the Soho House for all those people who can't be members at all the other Soho Houses because Soho House has a rule they don't like to take bankers as members.
The hotel used to be a bank and this is the huge vault in the basement that has yet another bar.
I would recommend the hotel for a drink as it is HUGE!
It is like an old train station.

I went to Rome for a few days as one of my best friends who lives in L.A. was there so I tagged along.

I went to the Palazzo Pamphiji which is the Roman equivalent to a grand British country estate.
Except it is bang in the middle of Rome.

I thought it looked like the corridors of the Vatican - just emptier.
Then it made sense because the house was 
bought /built / acquired ( all three ) by this pope below.

For those who like art will recognise him as one of those miserable looking guys in Velazquez or the Borgias.

Nearly 500 years of pedigree but they still had plastic on the seating.

But then again, there is always a family member that blows the money right?

But they had a lovely Christmas tree in what used to be their ballroom.
This ballroom was nice enough but not a standout for a grand European house.
But what made it stand apart was that the original electric system was technically still working and they some electric historians took some of the wiring to preserve it and study how it still worked after more than a century. 
The house was really not in great shape and almost forgotten in the minds of visitors as it is walking distance away from the Colosseum and the Forum.
I have been to Rome many times but this was my first visit to this palace.
The present generation still lives there though and has the best parking spot in Rome.

As usual I ate my way through the place where I am.

I had one of the richest versions of Carbonara ever.
I go a little crazy with pasta and I tend to order pasta for the pasta course and the main course.
I don't even pretend to be a local.
And then I order cappuccino after lunch!
The waiters in Rome did a lot of head shaking around me.

Rome has one of the best delis ever.
I also found a bathroom that I want to copy if I ever need to remodel my bathroom.
Went to the special Bernini exhibition at the Villa Borghese.
If you go - make sure you pre book tickets because it is normally booked out certain days.
Good stuff.
I am not Robert Hughes ok?
Once again, the relationship between art and setting was glorious.

This building near my hotel was apparently some Swedish cultural institute.
But I thought it looked more like a brothel that could have featured in the movie - Le Grande Belleza.
You know what I love most about Rome thought?

Its trees.
I think hotel suggestions are useless in Rome because one rarely spends time in the hotel in such a city but please do at least go to the Hotel Eden for a drink because it has some of the best views ever of the city.
I showed you V V Rouleaux's shopfront at night but here it is during the day.
How good is that?
How is Mercury retrograde going for you?
I thought I got lucky because I got invited to a Manolo Blahnik shoe sale and I thought I would get this pair of sandals but they couldn't find the other side.
But it is okay because I have plenty of cute shoes that I never wear anyway.

In other news, I cut someone off who is always lurking on my social media while not following me and says it is boring to just have coffee with me and says we should do something exciting instead and insists we meet up when she is in town.

Do you have one of those people you haven't cut off yet but would like to?

Is there a word of digital social media frenemy/but we weren't ever that great friends anyway but why do you take such an interest in me and ghost me all the time type of person?

Anyway, it feels good.

Back to food.
As much as I love Italian food, I can't handle the lack of variety in Italy.
So the minute I got off the plane I went to have dim sum.
This is a cafe that was outdoors and we froze our butts off to sip tea here because we all thought it was so beautiful.
I also went to visit my friend's family at their beach house one night and despite the sun it was so cold that I am still not thawed out from going to there.

I am not that into the whole men in uniform thing.
But these look better than Batman with those capes.

Pace yourselves people during this crazy time otherwise you will be exhausted for new year! x


  1. Hello Naomi, You truly have a whirlwind existence. I don't know which of these images to pick out, but that vault door was amazing--I just don't like the thought of its closing behind me!

    1. I actually don't do that much the rest of the time Jim! That vault door was about a meter thick too.

  2. Hello Naomi,

    Golly, you have been a busy bee, traveling and eating your way through the continent. I laughed when I read "I order cappuccino after lunch". I always scold my husband for doing the same thing (as though he cares!), but he goes ahead anyway and loves his caps at all times of the day.

    I cannot believe anyone would find a coffee date with you "boring". I can personally attest to one of the funnest, and certainly the longest, coffee dates I've ever had was spent in your delightful company. A true jabber-fest if ever there was one! I'm only saddened I won't be in London for Christmas this year for a repeat performance. And, talking of traveling, isn't it high-time you flew out West dear lady?

    1. I am a pasta fiend so I just order pasta all the time - i would order pasta for dessert but get full. I stop coffee at 3 otherwise I can't sleep. Oh CD- you are being kind! When do you think you will be back? I know you decided against the house but that doesn't mean you can visit!! But yes I would love to but jet lag is killing me - I still haven't recovered from the Seoul time difference...

    2. Well then, there's always goals for 2018. I can see it in lights now "Naomi Does SF". The entire CD household eagerly awaits your arrival in our fair city whenever jet lag subsides.

      Ah, that house, thanks for the reminder, sigh!! Don't worry, visits to my beautiful London will not disappear for me, that's for sure. Will, of course, make sure to give you lots of notice to clear your schedule so we can carry on where we left off last December.

    3. I will be here with loads of choices for you to go and visit and eat and drink too!!

  3. Naomi I love the way you travel and I think you find the best food! I don't get this frenemy of yours, sounds odd. There should be a name for that type of social media frenemy but I don't have it.
    I guess social media brings the good and bad out of the woodwork!
    How long is this Mercury retrograde going to go on? I know you're the one to ask. xx

    1. I just went for it this year but next year I think I am going to slow down. It is getting a little tiring and am feeling kind of unsettled packing and unpacking... I do think there must be a specific word because I see this phenomenon quite a lot actually on others. MR is finished by Xmas!!! phew. xx

  4. OK, I really loved this post as you made me laugh with your observations, plus the photos of Rome were 5 stars. When in Rome, we also try to eat breakfast, which is also a no no it seems (and sitting down!) So yes to cappucino after breakfast, pasta for every course, and gelato several times a day.
    The Vatican is hands down my favourite museum in the world (not that I've been to all, but it is pretty spectactular both in setting and contents), so that palazzo looks right up my alley. You've done so much travel this year!! I'm a little envious at your ability to pack up and dash off for short trips. But Europe is pretty good for being able to do that without having to fly for 8 hours!! x

    1. Italian breakfasts are so lacking - in fact I think England does do the best breakfasts and I hate standing for a coffee too. You would like the palazzo bc it is neglected by tourists too as they just pass this to go somewhere more ancient. Europe is great for traveling and that is why I stay! x

  5. I never liked Rome until my 4th visit with my husband and then I fell in love! I think it's because he wasn't fussed about having to "do" all the touristy things so we really just relaxed and explored. Away from the tourist traps, found some amazing restaurants and gelatarias. You really have to know where to go though as so many average places for food. I think the Borghese Gallery is one of the few places that just blows me away every time. Bernini was beyond genius. So lovely to visit the Palazzo like you did as escape the crowds....I decided I'm done with the Vatican unless I get a completely private tour out of hours. There is a point where art cannot be appreciated due to simply too many people.

    I would so love to visit London again and visit that amazing bar! You are definitely blessed with so many interesting places in your doorstep!

    Thanks for sharing your travels. And sorry to hear about the odd "friend". As I get older I've realised people's bad behavuour is a reflection of their own inner unhappiness and not a judgement on me. Life it too short to keep toxicity close by.

    1. I did a early morning tour once ( not this trip) - there are also options of late night of the Vatican. It is worth the money bc you don't queue for tickets and you go before opening - only catch is that there are also a handful of other private tour operators - but it is still rather empty compared to during the day. When I went we were in the sistine chapel with some VIP people and the lights got turned on for them so we piggy banked. Plus depending on the tour company - they give you a extra of a private chapel here and there that is never open. So make sure you go with a local roman operator. Only thing I did was the palace - which is on that main road and the bernini exhibit which was by my hotel. you are right - rome is for wandering around and absorbing but there is that heavy burden of visiting the big names right? Yes I feel so much better decluttering people especially when in this day and age it is hard to even see your real friends right?

  6. I've not been to Rome for years. However when I do, I will drop you a line so you can tag along with me, you'd be such great company.
    Have you been to south/central America?
    You can come with me there too.


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