Last night in NY, ended up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn [artsy/funky/warehouse-y]… also why i got back late, was packing and doing some last minute design edits, and a bit more organizing on the top secret projects… and that is my excuse for the post lull, but i have a backed up list of things coming up this week! Anyhow, we start it off with the BARCADE. That’s right, a BAR thats an ARCADE… and not any arcade but an old school upright machine styled arcade with a great selection of beer, a red pool table, and my favorite touch, the chalk boards with the all time high scores on games like Tapper, Centipede, Dig Dug, Super Mario Bros and far more to bring out that kid in you again. Other reason why you need to check it out - their “from warehouse to barcde” transformation photos are mesmerizing.
While content should matter, there are and will always be those items by the checkout that grab you based on flashy colors. So here we have Cocktails by Jenn, these pre-packaged party packs of Cosmos, Appletinis, Blue Lagoons, and Lemon Drops offer that nice hostess gift/fun party contribution for a girly night. I’m assuming stronger than wine coolers or those mixed fizzy things, but seriously it’s not that hard to make your own of these, so its all about the packaging… and with the cute plastic hat box like casing and the charms dangling on the straps, why not give it a try. A bit oriented towards that Sex in the City like crowd, and the site does feel oftly LA Sample Sale-like… interesting concept.
Ever wonder what it would be like if graphic designers made food? Well here you go. The packaging and marketing of this crazy Lesser Evil Popcorn (found it at Whole Foods today) is brilliant, and extremely well thought out (down to the logo faces lining up on the tabs when you open the box). But best of all is really this pattern of graphics they designed which is on the foil/plastic wrap in the box, as well as a desktop wallpaper available on the site. The kettle corn wasn’t bad, but not spectacular, but its definitely worth checking out for the fab packaging. Perhaps i will need to try the cinammon, peanut butter/choc, choc, and bbq flavors as well. My favorite graphics - the Shark saying “High in Crunchability”, the “High in Moral Fiber”, the “Kernels not intended for individual sale” with barcode, the “American Popcorn Growers Association” logo is priceless, and the “Aim contents directly into mouth”… not to mention the best logo ever.
Stumbled upon these beautiful colorful boxes of what looked like it could well be poupouri or confetti, but it turns out to be the playful sweets of The Cocoa Room. Their tagline is “Cool Chocolate, No Drama”, personally, i’m not accustomed to chocolate being dramatic, but quite the opposite to most. None the less, i’m impressed by the packaging/design of these chocolates which come in a range of colors, and then mixed to create themed collections appropriate for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, and other color coded holidays. Take this “Green Eclectic Dragee Mix” for example, it is an assortment of pistachios, almonds, and sunflower seeds all of which are coated in chocolate followed by a colorful candy coated shell. They remind me of M&M’s, but the various sizes of the pieces with well chosen color palletes makes for a prettier playful selection.
Friend gave me some of this incredible Aztec Hot Chocolate from Marie Belle for my birthday, and the combination of gorgeous packaging (something about that vibrant robin’s egg blue and chocolate brown) and delicious chocolate mini drops that are irresistable. Upon visiting the website, i was also delighted to find the designer chocolates and fine china, with equally compelling illustrations and attention to detail. If the chocolates are even half as good as the imagery and hot chocolate, this might become a must stop next time i’m in NY.
Shade Elaine just pointed out that PG Tips are the first pyramid tea bags she remembers. And while browsing their site we found this cute little Grommit Mug… “Free with every special pack of PG Tips 160s - while stocks last. Who ‘nose’ what special surprise your canine chum has waiting for you next time you brew up.” Cute.
Revolution Tea has these incredible pyramid tea bags… not only unique and aesthetically pleasing to sight, taste, smell, but also good for the environment. This revolutionary tea bag is woven from 100% polylactic acid mono-filament yarn and is 100% biodegradable.
I also came across their Single Serving Boxes of their tea bags at a coffee stand, and it has a beautiful display case with all of these little 2”x1”x1” (approx?) boxes… very cute, purse sized, and their teas come in The Revolution Infuser Tea Bag™, which allows you a clear view of the whole leaf teas you
One more post on the demon theme (sorry guys, there’s something about devilish imagery that catches my eye, maybe its the red, and the wings and horns?)… Double Bastard Ale, has this rather gorgeous 3 Liter bottle of their Double Bastard Ale… complete with a nice stopper a LOCK, and its just a gorgeous bottle… for comparison i found a pic on google images for scale, and in the main picture, thats the 3L bottle next to a standard bottle.
Wine in a box we all know (and i must say you need to check out Target’s new line of wine in a box which also has purchasable accessories like neoprene covers for the box… and the packaging is graphically playful cardboard cubes)… But this is now Iron Wine (in a can). The description on the Malbec- Cabernet is “Thousands of years ago wine was stored in clay amphorae. Finally it has evolved to this unique blend that combines Argentina’s best grapes with the latest evolution in wine packaging. Flavors of cherry, blackberry, leather and cocoa abound… smooth and comfortable on the palate. Unabashedly modern.” Wow. not sure what to make of it, but curious enough to give it a try.
As far as experiences go, this one has made my night. I wandered next door to Whole Foods in search of hot chocolate (even swiss miss would have done at this point)… and could only find this stuff… “Old World Drinking Chocolate” Hmmmm ok well gave it a shot. As i popped open the canister and was faced with these incredibly cute chocolate shavings (imagine perfect pencil shavings)… in DARK CHOCOLATE… popped a few in my mouth. Delicious… melted some in a pot with milk… the apt smells incredible. You need some. It is too much fun, and gorgeous, and the whole sensation of the little shavings and the scents are just an incredible experience. Lake Champlain Chocolates, VT.
The skincare market evolves with such leaps of innovation in packaging and product it never ceases to amaze me. Remember when Sephora first started selling the insanely expensive well packaged powders you mix with water and drink? (Borba) Well those “wellness from the inside out” type of products have created 25$ packs of gummies now!
BORBA’s Skin Balance Confections contain a revolutionary, cultivated bio-vitamin complex that helps the skin regenerate its natural support system, as they help remove toxins and improve skin clarity.
Bizarre and fascinating evolution in what you can sell to people… or how you can stay healthy/young/beautiful.
Chocolate + Red Wine… Chocolate ON Red Wine = this? It feels too gimmicky. But it is starting to appeal to my inner cravings as well. Interesting idea Luxist came across… Yum? But not sure how i feel about pour-pour-CHISEL? The choc-cabernet is by Goosecross Cellars from Napa Valley, CA. Here’s Luxist’s cute bit on them:
Chocolate and wine together, absolutely, but in the same bottle? Goosecross Cellars, a small winery in Napa has a unique packaging idea. They take their Goosecross cabernet or merlot and then cover the entire bottle in milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. They deccorate the chocolate with designs, patterns and a label. Then they wrap it up in cellophane, bows and ribbons. The bottle costs $67. Pour a glass and then cut a bit off chocolate off the side—instant dessert.
Coppola+Lucas = 2003 Lucas Skywalker Ranch “Viandante del Cielo” Chardonnay. A wine made by the winemaking team at Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery for filmmaker/friend George Lucas, from fruit grown at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. p.s. it even got a 5 star review, and call me silly for half expecting some Star Wars reference on the label.
Chocolate, exotic brews, high tea in a divine little outdoor patio with great feng shui — minimalistic fountain, very green relaxed environment… Hidden on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, Jin Patisserie sounded good in the reviews (Angeleno, LA Times, Lucky, Daily Candy, NY Times to name a few…). It looked amazing in the pictures.
You HAVE to try it. Had high tea there today, tried to do lunch, but as i wandered through and saw the desserts and scones and chocolates, had to have sweets. Although open since Sept 2003, i have only now come to experience this secret spot of Kristy Choo, Singaporean native/air hostess turned dessert designer, in person. The highlight about afternoon tea is that you get a sampler of savories and sweets (highlight being the sweet being minis of many of the mouth watering desserts they offer). We also tried a pot of the RYOKUCHA MIDORI:
The tea drunk by the Samurai. Being low in theine and Rich in vitamins C and E, it is fortifying without over stimulating the nerves. An ideal tea for physical and intellectual exercise, it has a fine robust, fresh flavour.
I have been feeling rather physical and intellectually excercised today. But that might also be the scones and that chocolate pyramid dessert mini… Jin Patisserie
100% Chocolate basically says it all… The Japanese interior design group Wonderwall created this amazing space in Tokyo in collaboration with the Groovisions (remember those screensavers from nissan in the start of notcot?)…
The theme is “Chef’s Table in the Kitchen.” The entire establishment is rendered as a chocolate kitchen, with a table placed within to accommodate invited guests. Covering one of the walls are 56 different types of chocolate blocks, tastefully placed in glass showcases.
This exquisite boutique food experience looks like quite the indulgence for all your senses. Wallpaper discussed its role in the evolution of choclatiers, and the new trend moving towards innovation in packaging, presentation, and “product development”… catering to a more design-literate audience. With a combination of idiosyncratic flavors (green tea? gin and tonic?) and ceilings of enormous cubes of imitation chocolate… and Groovisions clean funky graphics… who can’t help but forget their woes for a few divine moments?
more images following… this post inspired by a need for some bliss, preferably in the form of quality dark chocolate mixed with playful classy visuals to tease my senses into oblivion.