31 August 2019

28 August 2019

We are French


On shopping bag of a boutique that sells lingerie:

"We are French. We believe in being sexy independent fashionable and optimistic"

***

French women care about how they look. They care about their weight, their skin, their hair, what they eat, and how they present themselves. Not so much for others as for their own sense of bien-être. It's cultural. There are few self-help books and no Tony Robbinses. No "self-esteem industry" here; one gets on with life without having to brag, considered vulgar; a sure sign of insecurities. If anything, one's own accomplishments and possessions are downplayed and when it comes down to it, few care if they're liked, the heart of the endearing French Attitude. You won't hear, "It's what's inside that counts" because the outside is seen as almost always the reflection (and result) of what's knocking around on the inside: all of those small daily choices and decisions, spanning years, have a cumulative effect. Even women of modest means treat themselves to a special accessory or scent; mani-pedis and facials are part of life's routine, and in Paris, lingerie shops are as numerous as tabacs. One of my French nieces, a young college student at the time, excused herself early from a family lunch so as not to miss her weekly massage - a "necessity," she explained, despite living on a budget. While gym clubs and joggers abound, many find other ways to get in daily exercise, such as foregoing the elevator and taking the stairs, or walking instead of using métro, car or bus. Cities all over France have become bicycle friendly, and not just to reduce pollution. One role of the sacred vacances d'été is to shed the year's stress, and with August coming to a close and everyone sharing stories and photos of where they went and what they did, Paris is re-energized. BPJ

***
 
I give Talks on this and other French cultural topics. Contact me for more information.
  



27 August 2019

Back from Aubrac




Revisited this enchanted region in southern France [see my 5-part photo series from August 2018, 3 hours (or less) from Paris: Tasting Aubrac], this time with a focus on fine art photography.

Above: open spaces + sparse landscapes = minimalism

PARIS - RODEZ
Direct flights daily (1 hour 15 minutes) + car rental at airport
Driving from Paris: 6 hours via Clermont-Ferrand

26 August 2019

Liégeois


Originating in next-door Belgium, ice-cream and chantilly-rich Café Liégeois is a specialty at many local cafés and a mainstay year round.

23 August 2019

For every cheese


... there is a wine.

A tiny wine bar behind the Montmartre cemetery meticulously matches small plates of AOC / AOP cheeses with quality wines.

Below: selection of charcuteries from France and Spain

  
What we had:

- Cheese: aged cheddar, honey onion chutney, toasted pine nuts
Wine: Thokozani Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier 2018 - shown 

- Cheese: brébis from the Aveyron, fresh peach, chives, poppy seeds
Wine: Catherine & Pierre Breton Epaulé Jeté Vouvray blanc AOC

- Cheese: Gorgonzola DOP, crushed hazelnuts, dried apricots
Wine: Coteaux du Layon Les Terriades Prestige

***

Le Discret
3 rue Eugène Carrière 75018

22 August 2019

Dough bowls


Basket bowls at a boulangerie soon to be filled with fresh dough that will be set aside to rise.

20 August 2019

A spot of breakfast


Back at one of my favorite breakfast meeting spots in Paris.

Above: side table laden with fresh viennoiseries, rolls, butter, assorted preserves

Angelina
226 rue de Rivoli 75001

15 August 2019

Vacation en ville #2


A tranquil lake, an unexpected find in the sprawling Bois de Boulogne.

Above: canoes at the ready to rent by the hour

14 August 2019

Vacation en ville #1


Where is this?
Today and until Saturday I will be posting a photo a day of an idyllic location in Paris' own Bois de Boulogne.

(click to enlarge)

13 August 2019

Profiterole


A profiterole made with vanilla ice cream tops off lunch on the terrace.

Restaurant Le Vauban
7 Place Vauban 75007

12 August 2019

Lemon aid


A lemon tree adds a touch of fraîcheur to the interior at Eataly.

Eataly Paris
37 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie 75004

10 August 2019

Street of dreams


Narrow rue des Coutures Saint-Gervais, our home in Paris for years, runs alongside the Hôtel Salé, a.k.a. the Picasso Museum.

9 August 2019

Breakfast banquet



Joining friends visiting from Spain for an elegant brunch in courtyard of Hôtel George V.

Below: still warm viennoiseries, as good as they look


Four Seasons George V Hotel
31 Avenue George V 75008

6 August 2019

On a quai


“Though I have often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.”
Prologue, The Paris Wife, Paula McLain

5 August 2019

Tartine du jour



A light summer's day lunch: 
farm fresh goat cheese atop toasted pain de campagne, radishes, green onion, grilled cherry tomatoes, baby spinach leaves en salade

Au Sauvignon  
80 rue des Saints-Pères 75007

***

August newsletter
Nouveautés

3 August 2019

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur #6



With today's photos, the last of this week-long series, I return to the city of Nice. There's so much more, as this entire region will always hold special memories.

Above: early morning walks on the beach

Below: Nice's open-air market; lemons and leaves; in line for socca, local griddled chickpea flour olive oil pancakes; fountain at Place Massena near La Promenade des Anglais



PARIS - NICE
Direct flights daily (1 hour 30 minutes) + car rental at airport

- La gastronomie on the Côte d'Azur -
August newsletter

1 August 2019

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur #4




Mougins, not far from Saint Tropez and where Pablo Picasso chose to spend the last years of his life, is one of the prettiest villages of the Côte d'Azur. But for me, a mere mention of its name and I remember how many times, when in the region, we'd excitedly head to Roger Vergé's incomparable Michelin three-starred Moulin de Mougins. Considered one of France's greatest chefs, Vergé sadly passed away in 2015. It was there, with friends from London years ago, our three-hour lunch kicked off with deep-fried fish bones, piled high on a platter and served with a spicy aïoli, one of the most exquisitely simple ameuse-gueules we'd ever had.


Below: portrait of Picasso in town center