In which we look at people on bikes, which is more or less how I spent my weekend.
I knew next to nothing about the UCI Road World Championship, and I still don't know much, but it was fun getting into the spirit of the thing. I'll spectate just about anything if you give me a bloody Mary and some snacks, but I actually really enjoyed watching the bike race.
What does this have to do with our usual programming? Absolutely nothing. But it rained a lot this weekend so I had a minute (or, twelve hours) to consider this important subject. And yes, this is the definitive list.
2009 Miniseries (Romola Garai)
Pros: Romola Garai plays Emma to perfection. Johnny Lee Miller is pretty cute. And who doesn't love Michael Gambon?
Cons: The scene where Emma is rude to Miss Bates (OK, she's constantly rude to her, but you know the scene I mean) makes me so uncomfortable I can't watch it. This isn't the movie's fault, since it's a pivotal scene in the novel, but I just needed you to know.
1996 Movie (Gwyneth Paltrow)
Pros: I know I just said that Romola Garai is a perfect Emma, but Gwyneth Paltrow actually is Emma. (For real. Case in point: Goop, which is a publication dedicated to snobby, unhelpful, yet somehow endearing advice. That's Emma Woodhouse's whole deal.) Plus this version has Alan Cumming, Toni Collette, and Sophie Thompson. All delightful.
Cons: Gwyneth's accent.
1996 TV Movie (Kate Beckinsale)
Pros: Meh. If you feel like watching Kate Beckinsale in a period movie, go watch Cold Comfort Farm.
Cons: Mark Strong as Mr Knightley really doesn't cut it.
Winner: It's a tie between the Gwyneth and Romola versions. Both have great casts and fantastic Miss Bates, who we all know is the heart of the story. If you have time, watch the miniseries. If not, watch the movie.
Honorable mention: Clueless. I've disqualified it for not being a period piece, but it would be the clear winner otherwise.
Yesterday was heavy on travel and light on laptop time, so I regret to report I don't have much to share except my morning view. Fortunately, others weren't so slack, so let's see what they're up to.
Earlier this week I shared some photos of Alessandra Branca's work, who was one of the designers for the Kips Bay showhouse, which I visited last time I was in New York. I'm still not over that Versailles photo by Robert Polidori. Turns out, he has a very cool Versailles series.
Once upon a time (my twenties), in a land far away (Baltimore), I used to make frequent trips to Richmond to visit my then-boyfriend-now-husband. They were heady days of dinner at The White Dog and drinks at Racine. We had a grand old time, even if Bon Appétit took no notice of those old favorites. Now, all of a sudden, it seems like everyone is taking notice of Richmond. Bon Appétit is calling up our local chefs, Tasting Table is writing up a city guide, and my out of town friends are planning food-centric visits. It seems like this town is finally getting its due.
Richmond is becoming a downright exciting city to live in. Not only do we have chefs willing to invest their time and energy here, we also have a community ready to support those chefs and their restaurants. So tonight, as I enjoy my very Virginian BLT (Hanover tomatoes and Duke's mayonnaise, natch), I'm also checking out the schedule of Fire, Flour & Fork and looking forward to attending this fall. Showing Richmond pride with good food and drink? It's our civc duty.
Normally I'd just give you a recipe and send you on your merry way, but the Old Fashioned is high maintenance and a bit cranky, and it demands a history lesson. It is the original cocktail, after all. A cocktail was first defined in 1806 as "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters." It was also apparently a breakfast drink. (Take that, coffee.) By the 1880's, cocktails had become more varied, and a bartender at the Pendennis Club in Kentucky, longing for the good old days of 1806, created the Old Fashioned, which was that original cocktail with bourbon as the spirit. Things went swimmingly until Prohibition, when the fine art of the cocktail was forgotten in favor of getting drunk on questionable booze. That led to this fantastically cranky article in the New York Times, signed simply by "Old Timer", bemoaning the current condition of the cocktail and again longing for the good old days:
Come on Brooklyn, I know you want to.
The Old Fashioned hit another hurdle when it became the sugary, fruit cocktail-filled drink that our grandparents ordered, and again more recently when a generation of Don Draper-wannabes tried to make it cool. Ugh.
I humbly submit that we don't try to make the Old Fashioned cool, and that we enjoy it for the cranky old thing that it is.
THE RYE OLD FASHIONED
1 sugar cube (brown sugar cubes or bitters-infused cubes are quite good as well)
A couple dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces Rye whiskey
A splash club soda
Cocktail cherry (optional)
Add sugar and bitters to a cocktail glass and muddle them together. Add ice, whiskey, and soda, and stir. Garnish with the twist and cherry.
And if you find the bar serving these for 15 cents, let me know.
We just got back from a long weekend at the Eastern Shore, so today is an ease in day. I'm just not quite ready to let go of the weekend of friends, beach, steamed crabs, and daiquiris. Instead, you should join me in procrastinating.
First, let's check out Southern Living's most recent issue, which includes a tour of their 2015 Idea House. And if you missed it, you can go back and read parts one and two of my visit there last month, and see plenty of photos of the Bundoran Farm house designed by Rosney Co. Architects and Bunny Williams. The house they designed did a great job of showcasing the Charlottesville landscape.
Next, for a different type of southern living, come be envious of Elizabeth Minchilli's dining adventures in Italy. Both her blog and instagram account are full of gorgeous Italian food and scenery. It makes me want to be her best friend (she's a kindred spirit in her love for anchovies) and also throw my phone across the room in a fit of jealousy. Why don't my neighbors leave freshly foraged truffles on my windowsill?
And lastly, let's travel back to Richmond, via Thailand. I finally made it to Sabai last week, and I am so digging their Thai street food and cool cocktail thing. Read more about it in Richmond Magazine, or head over there if you haven't already. And maybe invite me if you do, since any more food-related instagram envy could be disastrous to my phone.
With any luck, we can get through this whole not being at the beach thing together.
A sun hat to correct the years I spent scorching myself, and a spray tan from my girl Alison at Malibu Tans so I don't blind everyone on the beach.
A beach coverup. This men's oxford will do just fine.
Espadrilles for biking from the beach to Poe's (lather, rinse, repeat).
A light beach read.
Wedges. The fringier (it's a word) the better.
A mani. I'm kind of vibing the sheer polish from YSL as a break from the usual neon or pastel summer shades.
And this old place. I'm coming for you, Charleston.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
I'm easing into this week with my biggest mug of Blanchard's, a pistachio croissant, and Cannes. Let's go.
We start with Lupita, of course.
She is the best at bright, bold, and unfussy. Not really feeling the appliqués on this Gucci, but I can't be mad at it overall.
Meanwhile, Sienna Miller is wearing a perfectly nice mother-of-the-bride dress.
I adooooooore a formal shirt dress, although this one is kind of slouchy in a sad way.
(Speaking of shirt dresses, here's the time that Evan Rachel Wood made me forget that I don't like her.)
(And Emma Watson reminded me why I love her.)
Anyway, back to Cannes. And HBIC Parker Posey.
She is crushing it. Now fry like bacon.
Spring was out in full force this weekend, and I hope you all made the most of it. Yesterday I got a couple of the girls together for no particular reason (a goodbye brunch for a friend that's moving to Florida, but I'm in denial). I gave myself a bit of a break for this particular brunch, and let WPA Bakery and Perly's do most of the heavy lifting. All I had to do was throw together a salad, and bring every bright colored item I could think of out onto the patio. And I still ended up running 30 minutes late.
And the drinks, you ask? My friend Jess played bartender and made us champagne cocktails with homemade bitter-infused sugar cubes and a grapefruit twist. I'm hooked.
Edward came home just as we were starting and joined us for a bit. He was, ahem, tired from a boys' weekend at the river, and the carbs and cocktails were a welcome surprise.
Who wants to rewind to yesterday with me?
P.S. Isn't Richmond fun, Melissa? Shouldn't you stay?
Welcome! I'm Arielle, and this is Scotch & Nonsense. Whether you've come for the home projects, the recipes, or the cocktails, I'm thrilled you're here and I hope you'll stay a bit.