Custard Tarts and Tiles too…

November 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

You haven’t been to Lisbon if you haven’t been to Belém… and more specifically… to the bakery and café, Antiga Confeiteira de Belém. The most sacred of pastries (invented before the 18th century by the Catholic Monks of the Jéronimos Monastery) and let’s face it… the best pastry you’ll every eat, the Portuguese Custard Tart (Pastel de Nata) is known to draw three long line-ups: one for sit-in, one for take-away and the third, a much more frenzied and disorganized variety, where patrons nudge their way to the coffee bar and down an espresso and in two or three bites, a warm, just-out-of-the oven tart, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Trust me… there is nothing more delectable.

And while you’re there, look around you… the interior is covered in 18th century, hand painted wall tiles. Inside and out, the tile art is seen all over Portugal. So another ‘must-visit’ if you’re interested in this beautiful art form is the D’orey & Cardoso antique tile store. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of history and art – and proprietors that are more than happy to share it with you. I’ve chosen a few of my favourite patterns from their website. But the best part…they ship to anywhere in the world!


Interiors: Heaven For Industrialists

August 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Died and gone to heaven. Me.

I love, love, LOVE the hex tile under the dining set and how it blends into the plank wood flooring… brilliant in every way.  Size. Colour. Application. LOVE.

Those wall mounted ‘stick men’ light fixtures, standing like soldiers in the hallway, a great way to make that wall a feature. Sometimes, all it takes is simplicity and repetition to make a statement.

The shower… oh boy… the shower. Those blackened tiles, deep and dark, offset by intricately patterned black and white floor tiles that extend out from the shower, underneath the vanity and freestanding blackened tub, melding it all together. So fabulous – did I mention ‘heaven’??

Sigh…Yet another beautiful interior by Paola Navone. Click here for more of me gushing about her work.

Out of blah, comes wha??? Tile Heaven!

March 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

I’m always (and forever) on the hunt for beautiful tiles. Sometimes it feels like I’ve seen all there is to see. A subway tile is just a rectangular tile. A penny round is just a small circular tile. Yawn…

But then… out of blah, comes wha??? These are special!

I stepped into Versatile (a tile distributor tucked away in one of Toronto’s many design districts) and was immediately transported to a designer’s dream. It was Tile Heaven: where beautiful tiles are hung in a gallery-like setting and where tile makers are celebrated and adored. And as they should be… these are pure art.

From marble to clay to glass, there’s a tile for every aesthetic. Dress your bathroom from head to toe. Line your countertops with a glazed, herringbone backsplash. Accent your entry hall with a striking floor medallion. The opportunities are limitless… as limitless as your imagination.

Got any favourites… I know I do!

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