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 and byways of hilltop village Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

Below: a cobbled climb; cloudy and cool at the top; apéro 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, cool mornings


27 July 2019

Nice was nice

But there was more.

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

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 (dry), New York (humid), the South of France chez my French in-laws, Morocco and parts of (¡Ay, que calor!) Spain - and how about those five weeks in India? - Paris' brief canicules seem amusingly tame. It helps that our airy apartment, an artist's loft in always-slightly-cooler Montmartre, is in a well-insulated historic building that looks onto an interior courtyard of shade trees - meaning there's little need for AC or even a fan.

A few tips for keeping your cool: stock up on bottled water and drink lots. Take showers, avoid coffee, tea, physical exertion and public transportation (better: Uber, taxi: 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 hottest hours. Come evening, reward yourself with a cool 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, Carrefour, Franprix... - so cold that sometimes the cashiers are wearing sweaters. - BPJ


Fans - ventilateurs
  Space air conditioners - climatiseurs at:

Darty, Castorama, Conforama, BHV, Bricorama, Mr. Bricolage, Leroy Merlin

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, quelle surprise, peanuts

22 July 2019

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 taking pleasure in ordinary gestures, whether preparing a cup of tea or selecting the perfect stationery. - BPJ


Adapted from:

L'Art de Vivre


- With a special thanks to Linda Gray, beautiful in every sense of the word -
I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art. - Actress Helena Bonham Carter

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, as in the U.S. But this foie-gras-filled ravioli with a white 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 sadly, Joël Robuchon is no longer with us.

Above: reserve a seat at one of the counters to keep an eye on the action 

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
5 rue de Montalembert 75007
 From “Where To Eat: Some of the hottest spots" - USA Today Paris City Guide
by Barbara Pasquet James
Legendary chef Joël Robuchon had gone gently into retirement but he’s back, with an exciting new concept, new restaurant – well, new everything. Chefs dress in black, not white; the staff's in red; the ambience is casual, tip-top and totally smoke-free (note: written pre-2008 no-smoking-inside-restaurants law). Robuchon, considered to be the finest French chef of the twentieth century who, in 1996, had passed the torch to his successor, Alain Ducasse, comes out of the kitchen and wanders from table to counter. Is everyone happy? They’re ecstatic. Be prepared for a combination of tapas-influenced dishes with a Japanese look and style. In fact, there is now a twin of the Paris version in Tokyo. Reasonable prices, to-die-for food. Open seven days; reservations absolutely essential; L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, 5, rue de Montalembert, 75007, Métro Rue de Bac, (331) 42 22 56 56. - Update 6/2021: Pricey

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 gorgeous, fun, successful women, all old friends converging from New York, Geneva and Paris, excited to be together at the same time in Paris.

Below: classic moelleux au chocolat a simple finale to a sumptuous dinner in the shadow of Napoleon's Tomb

Restaurant Vauban
7 Place Vauban 75007
Un grand merci à toute l'équipe
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

9 July 2019

Museum menagerie

Jaw-dropping Grande Galerie de l'Évolution inside Paris' Museum of Natural History.

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
(Jardin des Plantes)
57 rue Cuvier 75005 

8 July 2019

5 July 2019

Paris in heat

 An early visit to the Saint-Ouen flea market is followed by a light casual sharing lunch in AC.

Above: pitcher of icy citronnade maison; spread of foie gras, roast farm chicken, burrata-on-pesto, Spanish ham, radishes, frites maison

Ma Cocotte
Marché Paul Bert  
106 rue des Rosiers 93400 Saint-Ouen

Chef de cuisine: Norbert Tarayre
Design: Philippe Starck

- Ditch the canicule for these cool places to beat the heat -
July newsletter
Merci Family Hopkins