31 July 2019

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur #3


We kept returning to Vence, another hilly village filled with galleries, excellent small restaurants and cafés, and ambiance galore. 



Below: a guacomole starter followed by fresh codfish atop herbed risotto; gargantuan sharing planche mixte



(Angela are you reading this?)

30 July 2019

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur #2


Exploring the corners of hilltop village Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

Below: a cobbled climb; cloudy and cool at the top; apèro at Le Tilleul



29 July 2019

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur #1


First, we made sure we had a beautiful and comfortable base.**

Joined by an Italian-American opera singer friend staying in nearby Italy, we lucked out with the weather: refreshing mornings and evenings and warm sun-splashed days.

Below: our maison d'hôte tucked into surrounding hills with distant views of Nice and the sea; poolside breakfasts




 
** all addresses in forthcoming August newsletter

27 July 2019

Nice was nice


But there was more.

Part of our summer was a blissful few days on the French Riviera.

Monday
3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur

26 July 2019

Some like it hot



Beat the heat in The City of Love and hole up à deux for a sizzling night (or two - why not?) at one of the capital's many air-conditioned hotels. Indoor swimming pool, cocktail bar and spa services a plus.

Above: afternoon room service

 ***

The heat is on. Again. But you won't hear that refrain on everyone's lips these days, "Il fait chaud!", coming from me. In comparison to summers I've known in Arizona, New York, the South of France (chez French in-laws), Morocco and parts of (¡Hace calor!) Spain - and how about those five weeks in India? - Paris' brief canicules seem amusingly tame.

It helps that our apartment is an airy artist's loft in always-slightly-cooler Montmartre in an historic building that stays nicely cool in summer (and cozily warm in winter), and looks out onto a leafy interior courtyard of shady trees - meaning we hardly need to turn on a fan, much less AC.

Some tips: stock up on bottled water and drink lots, take showers, avoid coffee, tea, any physical exertion and public transportation (use Uber or taxis: G7s have AC and an app; English option +331 41 27 66 99). Keep out of direct sun and, if possible, copy cats i.e. nap during the hottest hours. Come evening, reward yourself with a cold drink. For quick relief, the city's many chocolate shops as well as larger movie theaters have great AC. Even quicker: dash into one of those supermarket chain stores - Champion, G20, Franprix... - so cold that cashiers are wearing sweaters. BPJ

***

Fans: ventilateurs
 Air conditioners: climatiseurs

Where to find them:
Darty, Castorama, Conforama, BHV, Bricorama, Mr. Bricolage, Leroy Merlin


24 July 2019

Castle cool


Keeping cool at artist-photographer friend's enchanting château in upper Normandy, just 2 1/2 hours from Paris.

Above: the castle and its 16th century fireplace; some of her work; gnarly ancient tree on vast grounds

Below: lunch in a tiny port village nearby; icy local cidre taken later in castle sitting room; partial view of dining room

23 July 2019

Good morning pastry


A new crop of breakfast pastries is muscling out traditional croissants au beurre and pains au chocolat.

Above: a buttery kouign amann made with cinnamon, hazelnuts, and peanuts

20 July 2019

L'art de vivre


L'art de vivre is a quintessentially French concept. It’s a love of life’s small things and quiet pursuit of beauty, in mind as well as body. It’s embracing the pleasure of everyday gestures, whether having a cup of tea or selecting stationery to write a thank you note.

***

L'Art de Vivre is one of my most requested Talks (along with Eating French: Why French Women Won't Get Fat), and I cherish every one of you who has enjoyed exchanging ideas and forging lasting friendships.
Looking forward to la rentrée! BPJ

***

- A special thanks to actress Linda Gray, beautiful in every sense of the word -

19 July 2019

Une vie romantique



Tucked away behind Place Pigalle, the gardens of the Musée de la Vie Romantique are perfect for a relaxed afternoon of tea and pastries. 

Below: inside the museum



La Musée de la Vie Romantique
16 rue Chaptal 75009

18 July 2019

On its own


In Italy pasta is usually a starter not main course, but this foie-gras-filled ravioli with a truffle cream sauce would be an exception.

Where to find it
August newsletter

16 July 2019

Casual chic


Love this place; its chic black and red interior has barely changed since I wrote it up for USA Today, except that Joël Robuchon is no longer with us.

Above: reserve your seat at one of the counters and keep an eye on the action 

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
5 rue de Montalembert 75007

15 July 2019

Le 14 juillet


Private party with unbelievable views of last night's Bastille Day fireworks high from a friend's magnificent Montmartre terrace.

Merci à toute la bande

13 July 2019

A Paris sunset


Forever-changing sunsets over Paris rooftops.

***

What to know when buying a vacation or 2nd home in Paris:
pros / (possible) cons, taxes, hidden charges...
August newsletter

12 July 2019

A dinner for 8


Fabulous evening with seven beautiful successful women, all old friends converging from New York, Geneva and Paris, excited to be together at the same time in Paris.

Below: classic dessert moelleux au chocolat following a sumptuous dinner in the shadow of Napoleon's Tomb



Merci à 
Restaurant Le Vauban
7 Place Vauban 75007

and Paula

11 July 2019

Marché mania


Beautiful markets, beautiful meals: fresh, seasonal local produce make food shopping in Paris a pleasure.

***

Markets open all summer
August newsletter

10 July 2019

Chimney cakes


Street food from Czechia with sweet or savory fillings.
Excellent coffee.

Alma The Chimney Cake Factory
59 Boulevard Beaumarchais 75003