29 June 2020

Caramel wonder

It's buttery. It's flaky. It's infused with salted butter caramel and there's nothing else like it. Anywhere.

Where is it?

July newsletter

Merci Renée

27 June 2020

A week in Provence #7


One of the most delightful market outings imaginable was the Sunday morning marché at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The market runs along the river, with no shortage of cafés and restaurants.

Above: fragrant herbes de Provoence and lavender; regional olive oils and vinegars

Below: leisurely start each day with breakfasts of home-made confitures and cakes, fresh orange juice, coffee, fruit; still hot-from-the-oven artisanal croissants with chocolate filling; arriving for dinner in Lacoste to sweeping views with village of Bonnieux in the background 

26 June 2020

A week in Provence #6

For much of this road trip before heading out each morning we'd map where a village market would be on that particular day, getting us up and out early.

Above: stalls at the compact Thursday morning market in the village of Ménerbes, home to British author Peter Mayle of "A Year In Provence" fame

Below: the obligatory stop-to-refresh in nearby Lourmarin followed by a summery lunch


As friends and I recall when we get together and exchange stories from what we call our "Cadaqués days," a time of adventure, misadventure and intrigue, there was the time I'd been invited by "Captain" Peter Moore and Catherine, his Swiss wife, to their home for lunch. The sprawling house was an architectural wonder on the tip of a sort of peninsula surrounded by security cameras and stunning views of the Mediterranean. Inside, the walls dripped with paintings and, incredibly, enormous wall tapestries by Salvador Dalí, something I'd not realized existed. An effervescent Irishman, Peter had served in the British Royal Navy prior to becoming Dalí's personal secretary and business manager, accompanying the maestro all over the world for years, and was to become embroiled in an international art forgery scandal. But on this idyllic day it was just me, daughter Danielle (quite small back then), Peter, Catherine, and their guest and dear friend, Lyle Stuart, publisher of a controversial children's book by a certain Peter Mayle called, "Where Did I Come From?" Just before we left, Lyle, enchanted with Danielle, disappeared for a moment and soon emerged with a copy of the book, which he duly signed and dedicated then and there, a cherished gift and memento of that wonderful afternoon now buried somewhere among piles of books in our Montmartre home.
Meanwhile Peter Mayle, who I never did get the chance to meet, was working on "A Year In Provence," published not that long after, in 1989. the year of Dalí's death. In 2018 he was to pass away in his beloved Provence. - BPJ

25 June 2020

A week in Provence #5

One of the surprises on this getaway was the vibrant red (ocre) rock surrounding the perched village of Roussillon, reminiscent of landscapes native to Colorado and Arizona.

Above: red cliffs encountered exploring the village and taking a turn onto a side street for ice cream

Below: view of Roussillon through lavender; a boulder upon our approach; red clay from the region was used to construct the village

24 June 2020

A week in Provence #4

Lavande? Le sais tu? Je suis amoureuse de toi, ta beaute, ta fragilité.
C'est la magie envoûtante de la provence. -
Monique S.

We drove through the countryside to wafts of lavender, would turn a bend, and fields and fields were spread before us.

23 June 2020

A week in Provence #3

Roaming the charming streets of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence with its shops, galleries, cafés and quiet fountain squares.

Below: dessert Paris Brest - Provence style

22 June 2020

A week in Provence #2

The week began with lunch.

Below: door in a hilltop village; pre-lunch apéro of kirs made with local crème de cassis 

20 June 2020

A week in Provence

We just returned from the most glorious week of meandering and feasting through the ruggedly enchanting region of Provence. With perfect weather on our side - not to mention lavender in bloom, village markets and few tourists - it was the perfect time to get away from Paris.

Above: on the road; private home nestled in a vineyard

Below: poolside barbecue and couscous on our last night
(click to enlarge)

Monday: A week in Provence

18 June 2020

Deux églises

Atop Montmartre, two churches:
Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, and behind, the cupola of the Basilica of Sacré Coeur.

16 June 2020

Fashion masks

What appeared to be bikini tops from a distance turned out to be masks.

Below: the mask as essential accessoire; masks to match

15 June 2020

Outside in

Today Paris cafés and restaurants are (finally) able to welcome clients inside.

Above: tables and chairs were allotted more sidewalk space than usual

13 June 2020

June bug

A windowful of coccinelles - "les bêtes à bon Dieu" - in the 11th arrondissement.


Sighting a ladybug is said to bring good luck. One story goes that in medieval France just as an innocent man was about to be beheaded, one landed on his neck, and his life was spared. - BPJ

11 June 2020

A corner terrace

A tranquil corner café with a terrace in the sun.

La Source
49 Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg 75006

10 June 2020


Shakespeare and Company. bookstore and café, has re-opened.

Be sure and check out Aussie Oliver Gee's book, "Paris On Air," as breezy as biking through Paris on a crisp June morning.

9 June 2020


In a now classic French film a young woman decides to discreetly help the unhappy, the infirm, the elderly living alone in Montmartre, and change their lives for the better.

 From Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

 Above: Amélie's métro station

8 June 2020

Fêting les mères

Above: the most beautiful bouquet; a light apéro before a more filling main course, below, that was dubbed, "confit-ment de canard" (aux olives) accompanied by frites cooked in (what else?) duck fat


Yesterday, just before lunchtime, it seemed that almost everyone was wielding a bouquet. Stopping for an after-market coffee at our usual spot before heading home we must have counted at least a dozen from our terrace table and couldn't help but notice that roses, reserved mostly for Valentine's Day, were few and far between. However blooms of almost every sort imaginable were everywhere, imparting a sense of hopefulness and renewal, as Paris seems to be getting back to its old self. - BPJ