Sunday, January 31, 2010

Antiquing in Paris with Melanie

I am loving this recent post  'Antiquing in Paris' by LE PETIT CABINET DE CURIOSITES.  I want to buy it all! If you haven't met Melanie, stop by her blog and check out her wonderful collection. If you happen to live in France near Aubagne you can visit her family shop at 19,21 avenue des goums.
Happy Shopping!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Spontaneous Pleasures

A special treat for me recently was this beautifully perfumed soap from Fragonard. We came across the shop while strolling along the Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. A small treat but one that will continue to delight for many months to come. Rose, vanilla, freesia, honeysuckle, lavender, orange blossom and apricot scented with clementine are the fragarances of the moment. I am thrilled and delighted with my spontaneous purchase!

I hope your weekend is filled with spontaneous pleasures!
Best wishes 
Jeanne :)

Top and bottom images postcards purchased in Paris
Soaps via Fragonard

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Love is in the air in Paris

The city of love is preparing itself for Valentine's Day. 
Pink and red are the colours in Paris 
at the moment and it is everywhere.

Have you planned for your sweetheart (s) yet?
Now is the time to plan something extra special!

Image of heart from a card purchased in Paris
All other images taken by me in and around Paris

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sharing in the Joys of Hearth and Home

I have been reading wonderful blogs of late from so many gifted and talented men and women who take pleasure in the many joys of hearth and home. Some are pulling their houses apart to bring in the new, others are astounding us with their sense of style and design, many are sharing their crafting talents which never cease to amaze me, others are offering us the very best of their tried and true recipes, we never have to look far for beautiful writing and photography to inspire us, our gardens will be a visual delight come spring thru all the gardening tips and we never have to look far to know that their are others who share in the rewards and yes, sometimes headaches of just have to scroll down any blog list to see all these talented men and women. I think we are lucky to have so many wonderful people to share our interests with. I find it all truly inspiring and just want to share that thought and thank you!

Image via postcard purchased in Paris

Looking at the Louvre

My last visit to Paris was in 1978. I was the same age as my daughter (19) but have to say my trip had a different focus. I was not with my mother but with 50 other American students and we had one thing on our mind as we travelled around Europe and I have the photos to prove it. There is one photo of baby bottles filled with wine...need I say more?? Many years on I have a different agenda (one should hope so) which makes this visit to Paris so exciting. Fortunately for me my daughter enjoys art history and had a list of paintings she was keen to see at the Louvre. I did not mention my expectations at the same age when I visited Paris all those years ago. Off we went and as you would expect it was just spectacular. We just spent a few hours...leaving more for our next visit.

I love this photo, it is so intriguing....everything a museum should be.

The shapes and contrasts to this entrance are wonderful.

My angel wings again...just had to take it.

Apologies as  I had photographed the description of the paintings but in my editing I manage to mix them all up. There are over 35,000 pieces of art in the Louvre, imagine if that happened to them! I only have six!

I am always in awe of the grace, form and colour in these rich!

God bless her...her work was equally as beautiful.

I could mother always told me that my nose was a sign
of french aristocracy and I have used that line ever since!

I seem to be drawn to windows at museums...wondering how it must have been.

Yes, I know, I think I took more exterior photos than interior. I was in that kind of mood.
Something about those grey skies.

I was imagining tapping this fellow on the shoulder.

Our morning at the Louvre was a success on all fronts. We can only look forward to more the next time. I also wondered what the view would be like from the windows on the other side :)
 From there we moved on to Saint Chapelle and Notre Dame.
But more on that later.....

Images taken by me at 
Musee du Louvre
January 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thinking of Julia

I spent most of my time in Paris thinking of Julia Childs and humming the theme song to the movie Julie and Julia.

Thru most of the weekend, our table looked pretty much as the picture above. I actually only intended to sample a few sweets and ended up sampling much much more! The only place I had in mind to eat was Laduree and Angelina's on the rue de Rivoli. Both were highly recommended and we had breakfast in both and were delighted. Mr. H. suggested we just go to Paris, relax, enjoy the people, the cafes and take our time. I looked at him incredulously because I had my list and could not imagine how I would cover it in two full days. Men!  But then....we arrived and there was one cafe after another and those pretty little blackboards filled with delicious sounding things just called out to us. Fortunately for me, my daughter CE was just as intrigued and excited as I to try it all.

How could we not?
Here are the highlights of my absolute favourite dishes
Foie Gras and a little pot of warm carmelised onions to accompany the dish
French Onion Soup with cheese broiled to perfection and fresh sourdough bread
Chateaubriand with Foie Gras emulsion served with baby potatoes sauteed in garlic and butter
Beef Bourguignon that just melted in your mouth
There is more but I will stop there. It is only 9:45 am and this is making me hungry!  And what did we do after all of this? We walked and walked and walked and climbed stairs to take away the guilt. Lucky for us it worked, and we went back for more! We stayed in a hotel along the rue de Rivoli and took a long stroll thru the Jardin des Tuileries.

The last photo is my favourite of the trip.
You can read more at my photo blog,
PS..more to follow tomorrow :)

Images from Julie and Julia via Google
Images of food via postcards purchased in Paris
Images of Jardine des Tuileries taken by me

Monday, January 25, 2010

Enchante Laduree

I think it will take a week of posts to fully report on our weekend in Paris. Jeanne Marie and Christine Elise did in deed have a wonderful time and are eager for more. We made a few notes for our next trip with the first being that we should have a better grasp of some of the key french words. I was so nervous that I would say por favour instead of si vous plait that I forgot about things like exit, left, right, tickets and good evening. My mother always taught me to politely say hello, please and good-bye and that is how I prepared...and that is it! It made for a bit of confusion when we arrived at the train station at Gare du Nord and I quickly thought 'merde'.  Mr H. had suggested we just pop in a taxi. The queue for the taxis was beyond belief and given that I did not know anything beyond bon jour, si vous plait and au revoir and I could see that reading signs was not going to be a help either. What was Sortie again??
My quick thinking daughter suggested we take the Metro...which we did... an hour later.  FYI...much faster to go to the ticket booth...(I now know what billet means) and push the english translation button to purchase two one way tickets to your destination. Do not wait in line with other non-french speaking tourists holding maps. Lesson learned, never travel to another country assuming an english translation will be posted next to everything! Enough of our early was smooth riding from there.

I will dedicate this post to Meredith at Count It All Joy and Stephanie at La Dolce Vita who both suggested that we go to Laduree to try their famous macarons. I must confess their were times when I thought this would be an impossible task..especially when faced with this scene at 5:00 pm on Saturday.

Je voudrais..des aspirines.
I had a headache..
Never mind...we will persevere...we do live in Britain. Lucky for us Laduree was one of the only places open on a Sunday and we happen to be staying right around the corner.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel because by this time I really really really wanted one of the macarons! How lucky were we??? Sunday morning 10:30 am, after a 20 minute queue outside we were in like flint.  I dragged Christine Elise in behind me and I asked for the lovely table in the corner. Wonderful! Nothing like a sense of accomplishment! We stayed for breakfast and had it all....the sampler of patisseries, the jams, the butter (heaven), two cafes, a big bowl of fresh fruit, fresh squeezed orange juice and a taste of Christine's french toast made with brioche...melted in your mouth! Of course, the piece de la resistance was the chocolate and strawberry macarons at the end. Tres magnifique! Never mind the price (53 euros) we felt like we died and had gone to heaven and if my stomach could have wept with joy it would have.
So to Meredith and Stephanie I thank you. If you had not have mentioned it, we would not have experienced it and that would have been a sad, sad thing indeed!


Images taken by me
21 Rue Bonaparte

75006 Paris, France

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weekend in Paris

And we are off! Mother and Daughter #1 start bright and early in the morning to catch the Eurostar from London to Paris for a long weekend. We are so so excited!

What shall we do?

Well Mother would like to reenact a few scenes from 'Julie and Julia'...
we do remember how much she loved butter!

I wonder if I could manage to try every one of these in three days??

We will be staying on Rue de Rivoli and are ready to hit the ground running!

Thank goodness for my new Musto winter coat...perfect timing as it is snowing in Paris.

Oh yes, whilst sampling at the local patisserie I hope to pop into Hermes...I just love everything about that store and long to own the perfect Hermes scarf.

My daughter, Christine Elise, is keen to shop

Her mother (moi), Jeanne Marie, is keen as well! We will be thinking of 
Daughter #2, Claire Louise, as mother looks forward to another 
Mother and Daughter trip to Paris later in the year :)

Wishing one and all a wonderful weekend!

Jeanne Marie and Christine Elise
PS..she is 19 but I couldn't resist, this button is to cute!

Images via Google
Second to last image from Paris Breakfasts

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