The classic joys I always come back to
I’ve always been drawn to the classic staples: colours that never go out of season, tasteful treats, or those flavours that define our childhoods and that we can never resist. As much fun as new and exciting trends are to play with, they’re often just a flash in the pan, while the true classics never let you down. Just like Maria von Trapp in the evergreen Sound of Music, I also have a list of favourite things, although I only sing about them in the shower… and sometimes in the kitchen.
In the words of Coco Chanel, “I only drink champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not”. Nothing sets the scene quite like a bottle of bubbles, and whether you’re indulging in a mimosa with your breakfast or popping a bottle as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, a glass of champagne or sparkling wine will never go out of style. Something that I’ve also come to embrace in recent years is the Piscine, which is basically just champagne on ice – super popular all along the Riviera over the summer months.
There’s something about this sweetheart of the wonderful land of sweet treats that never feels out of place. I’ve played with all kinds of flavour combinations over the years – both sweet and savoury. In fact, the braaibroodjie macaron has become one of those JAN signatures. But nothing beats a classic when it’s done well. One of my favourite Parisian rituals is to visit Ladurée at least once (even though you can find them all over France), for no other reason than for their macarons. The closest I’ve ever come to that experience in South Africa is when I discovered Marnella Art du Macaron. I just love their flavours, which range from Turkish delight to the classic hertzoggie. And I find their colours just so appetising.
It’s a real obsession of mine. Nothing is as versatile or as timeless as crisp linen, whether it’s a button-down linen shirt in summer, a tablecloth or a soft curtain. Linen is casual and sophisticated, lightweight and breathable. A few years ago, when Jackie Burger and I hosted a Salon 58 event, we both chose a fabric that we felt best represented our personalities. I chose linen, of course, and Jackie chose silk. The combination was just magic.
Something that may seem a bit out of place in the world of modern fashion, hat boxes are actually incredibly versatile and can be a chic addition to your personal décor, a table centrepiece or even as an inspired means of serving or packaging food. This chic packaging idea also makes a box of macarons a great gifting option for a nostalgic heart like mine – or any other gifts for that matter. The sight of a hat box never fails to tempt me to open it, just to see what’s hidden inside.
A neutral colour palette
Nothing sets the tone quite like a well-chosen colour palette (no pun intended). While it’s fun to experiment with pops of vibrant colour, a clean, neutral colour scheme is always a failsafe foundation for any setting, and frames whatever you decide to do within that space. I’m especially drawn to the crisp colour white, which has become characteristic of MARIA – the elegant dining space across the street from JAN in Nice – but also of the Innovation Studio kitchen and Boscia House at Klein JAN. You can also offset white with creams, shades of beige and a splash of grey.