Lilicoptère; a helicopter designed for a queen

Lilicoptère, a helicopter designed for a queen; at least that is what Lisbon-based artist Joana Vasconcelos claims Marie Antoinette the iconic yet ill-fated queen of France would travel in, were she alive today. The Bell 47 helicopter is very ostentatious (and very pink) decorated with ostrich feathers and rhinestones while the interiors have intricate woodwork, swarovski and gold with custom upholstery embroidered with Marie Antoinette’s initials. The sculptural installation was part of the artist’s 2012 solo exhibition at the Palace of Versailles.

Lilicoptère by Joana Vasconcelos

Lilicoptère by Joana Vasconcelos

Lilicoptère by Joana Vasconcelos

Lilicoptère by Joana Vasconcelos

Though the Lilicoptère is definitely luxurious and looks made fit for a queen, what is with the Pink? I find white and gold or even deeper shades like purple and deep red more luxurious, unless I am missing out on something and Marie Antoinette favoured pink. Anyway, what do you think? Would you like to travel in this Lilicoptère? And if you were to design it, what colour would you chose?

Magic of France continues

Since we were talking of French interiors and Style a few days back, it is only logical that we continue the topic by incuding a bit of French arts and Crafts. This comes to us in the form of project Fort Royal. The Fort Royal project is a way in which the most respected craftsmen in the world can express themselves.It offers enthusiasts and experts – individuals, architects, interior decorators or institutions – unique access to exceptional works of craftsmanship.

In today’s economic climate, where competition for low-cost production has brought about an outburst of outsourcing and counterfeiting, French expertise and excellence are greatly under threat. As a consequence, a large number of companies in this field are finding themselves in difficulty. Access to the markets would ensure their continuity, but these companies lack the means to enter into these markets and the procedures to transmit their knowledge, due to a shortage of qualified and attentive business buyers.As such, certain gems from our arts and crafts are disappearing.The Fort Royal project aims to maintain and preserve these gems of French creativity. It allows them to exist and to expand by enhancing their management, by introducing them into a number of new outlets and by training new skilled workers and craftsmen. All this is necessary in order to continue to be able to offer the genuine quality of the original rather than the copy.

Fort Royal is committed to fulfilling high expectations, to authenticity and to innvation combined with tradition. It promotes the use of the finest materials crafted with perfect traditional techniques in order to produce durable, timeless works.With so many gems of French heritage to preserve, to bring forward into modernity and to showcase worldwide, Fort Royal aims to unite the commercial and management resources of craftsmen in order to enhance their savoir-faire. Together, it is possible to uphold this excellence on French soil, whilst also branching out to towards new international horizons. www.fort-royal.com

Review- Rara Avis

Hello all, as much as I love to travel and would fly down at every chance I get sometimes it gets a bit difficult for me to do so. Which is what I was whining about to my lovely friend Gayatri from Delhi, and much to my delight she has agreed to help me out once in a while with the reviews from Delhi. Yaay! So people meet Gayatri, she visited this quaint French restaurant Rara Avis, which I was talking about a few days back and has come back to us with her honest opinion. Rara Avis as the name suggests is a unique and uncommon concept French restaurant, one of the very few you find out here. And she makes it sound so yummy, I can’t wait to go down to Delhi and try it out. So here it is 🙂

Into the French Kitchen – By Gayatri Ojha

Rara Avis Rara Avis is everything French and a bit more. Although, it has a very unassuming staircase entrance, the moment you walk into the restaurant, you get a very cosy and homely feel. Laurent and Jerome its French owners, have gotten together after years of experience in the food business to bring to Delhi diners a chance to enjoy traditional French food. The place spells vintage-adorned by interesting curios collected by owners during their many travels across Europe. Even the furniture is brought back from France to give the place a real old-world touch. For me personally, the ambience of the restaurant can make or break the mood. Set over two levels, the top is a beautiful bistro like terrace with garden chairs and a live grill, perfect for a romantic candle-lit date or for just catching up with your pals. When one thinks of French food, you visualize a big plate with a small portion of an immensely intricately presented dish. Rara Avis is not about that charade. Like Jerome says, they want to bring traditional and superior quality French cuisine to Delhi just the way it would be made in a large family home back in France. I think this whole idea is very romantic.

Take for instance my starter Croutes Aux Morilles; it’s a baked dish with a beautiful combination of warm morels mushrooms, red wine and cheese over puff pastry. Led by a rich creamy taste, it has just the right aftertaste of these mushrooms, which are found in Kashmir. The morels are abundant in April-May in the forest of Franche-Comté in France. For the meat lovers, I highly recommend Terrine de Jerome which is a Rabbit meat Pâté which you can enjoy best with a glass of red wine.

For the main course, we tried Tartiflette and Steak Tartare. While the former is a Potato and melted reblochon kueche, the latter does well to satisfy beef lovers. We rounded our French food journey with a Café Gourmand, which gives you the choice of Espresso or Cappuccino with four mini desserts, perfect for those who want a bit of everything. I must say that the menu is highly exhaustive giving you ample choice for a hearty meal. It covers all that you can have if you were to stay in France for couple of weeks. What’s really unique about Rara is that both Jerome and Laurent engage with the diners in a real homely fashion. And Jerome is always running back and forth from the kitchen ensuring that your French food experience is nothing but pure bliss. I must say that Rara Avis lives up to its name, bringing something unique to lovers of good food. It’s truly superb!

Overall Rating Food: 4.5/5 Overall Rating Ambience: 4/5
Approximate damage on your pocket (excluding Alcohol): 1800-2000 INR

Thanks for that Gayatri. Ok, and as is tradition on this site, I also asked Gayatri to request the chef to give us recipes for two of the dishes that they tried and would like to recommend users to try at home, so here they are

Croutes aux morilles (3pax)
Ingredients                                                       

  • 9 slices of bread
  • 60g dry morels
  • 10g butter, 10g garlic, salt, pepper
  • 40 ml sweet wine madeire
  • 200 ml cooking cream

Method

  • Put morels in hot water for 1 hour
  • After that you cut morels by 2 and roast them in butter with garlic, salt and pepper
  • add sweet wine and cream and cook 30mn
  • roast the slices of bread both side in butter, put 3 in each plate and cover with your morels sauce

Terrine de Jerome
Ingredients

  • 500g rabbit meat          
  • 100g leaver
  • 400g bacon
  • salt, pepper,
  • 30 ml brandy
  • 1 onion
  • 20g garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 soup spoon corn flour

Method

  • Make keema with all ingredients
  • add one egg
  • corn flour
  • brandy
  • put in 1 terrine tray
  • cook in oven for 2 hours 180 degre
  • keep in fridge one night before serve