Though we travel the world to find the beautiful

we must carry it with us or we find it not

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 19, 2010

La Demoiselle de Magasin......

"La Demoiselle de Magasin"
by French artist James Tissot
1836 - 1902
"Shopping is a chance to happen on a treasure"

Wishing all my lovely Friends a Wonderful
Blessed Christmas~time
with much Peace, health and contentment
in the coming year.

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee !!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Saucissons & a glass of Rose

Lunch ~ A La maison ~ in Provence
is very simple, starting with a trip to the
local boucherie for
les saucissons & les saucisses

Then onto the market for salad vegs.
Beautiful zuchinnis, tomatoes & grapes
grown, picked and sold by
this happy family

fresh fruits ~ your choice

A nice bottle of "Chateau Unang" Rose
a crusty bread
and Voila!!

Bon appetite
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things.......

(Les tournesols)
Just a few of my favourite things from beautiful Paris
~ pretty fleuristes with flowers spilling out onto the pavement ~

Elegant architecture especially those opulent Grey mansard roofs
with little dormer windows.
(the little attic rooms at the very top were often used as maids quarters
can you imagine the view they would have, looking out over Paris)

Laduree on the corner of Rue Bonepart & Rue Jacob
macarons in every flavour presented in prettily decorated boxes
Pistache ~ framboise ~ chocolat
Did you know that they also sell a collection of lovely room sprays & atomisers.
in the photo above you can see them displayed
Delice (Green) Othelo (black) Paeva (violet) Armandine (white)
This is how they describe my favourite
~ Caprice~ (pink)
"Laduree imagines a sweet & soft perfume evoking a garden
full of roses in the heat of Summer
A pale & bewitching rose, both delicate & voluptuous
Caprice is a bunch of roses, dressing up our interiors
in it's delicate & romantic wake"
Now how could I resist!!

Gateaux of every description
Berries lightly frosted with confectioners sugar.
Flan de peche or flan de pomme.
everything presented with attention to detail.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pretty little park in Paris.....

Just across La Seine from Notre Dame Cathederal is this delightful
little Park "Square Rene Viviane" perfect for whiling away
a few hours . To your right their are lots of bouquinistes
spread out along the river ~ with an electic mix of old books
paintings & touristy bric-a-brac.
To your left it's only a few steps to that magical little book-shop
"Shakespeare & Co" stocked from floor to ceiling
with Books! Books! and more Books!

If you make a purchase from this store they stamp it with their official store stamp,
which says " Kilometre Zero Paris "
a reference to the point in front of nearby Notre Dame - from which all distances
in Paris are measured.

~ Beaucoup de Bouquinistes ~

this lovely painting by Edouard Cortes depicts the bouquinistes
in the early 1900's
He was known as "the parisian poet of painting"
because of his beautiful Parisian city-scapes.
I hope you like it!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lost on the 84 Bus.....

Have you ever been lost in Paris ?
On my last visit I decided to hop a bus, any bus in fact and enjoy the sights of the lovely left bank. The bus was a number 84 and it wasn't long before I realised I was on a local bus doing it's rounds as it headed across La Seine and commenced it's daily run out to the "Porte Champerret"

We passed by that notable "Maxims de Paris" where Brigette Bardot caused a scandal when she entered the restaurant barefoot !! I thought of the many famous faces who had been regular clients to this opulent eaterie ~ Aristotle Onasis, Maria Callis and The Duke & Dutchess of Windsor.

It's still very popular today but unfortunately I didn't catch a glimpse of it's current owner Pierre Cardin.
Further out we passed the elegant gates to that romantic park where Claude Monet painted his lovely canvas with the pink flowering shrub titled "Parc Monceau"

The park has 9 of these gold tipped, wrought iron gated entrances, designed by "Davidoud" The current watchman who lives above the rotunda at the North entrance, is a fifth generation watchman. What a lovely job and imagine being able to live right here at the park
We finally arrived at the turn-around where many suburbian Parisians were waiting to board the Number 84, with shopping baskets and little dogs in tow ~ I smiled to see that many of the shoppers greeted the bus driver with the usual kiss on both cheeks or sometimes 3 air kisses ~ very cute! They were obviously regulars on this route.

We then headed back in the direction of Paris Centre, each time we stopped their were many "Bonjours" and Kissy~kisses as people got on or off and recognised fellow commuters.
It was a wonderful experience to have taken this Bus ride because I caught a glimpse of the everyday Parisians going about their everyday tasks with little dogs in their baskets ever... so well behaved.
In all I think it would have taken about 2 hours from ~go to woa~ but I remember it with much fondness
& was very pleased to have been lost on Bus 84.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Baby Dior on Avenue Montaigne

Just down the Avenue from the "Dior Fashion Boutique"
is the pretty "Baby Dior"
it has the sweetest little diamonte slippers
with organza ties ~of course!!

Unfortunately I've caught the reflections of
Hotel Plaza Athenee from across the street
( no I didn't see chef Alain Ducasse stepping out)
but the thought crossed my mind as I looked at my photos
what a wonderful place to be between these
2 Iconic Parisian establishments.

Princess Grace opened this little boutique in 1967

The lovely French assistants were most helpful
as I attempted to blunder my way through
chosing baby bibs ( bavoirs pour bebes)
~ bleu et rose~
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brushstrokes of Rouge....

Pretty canopies of red
dot the alleyways of hilltop villages in
the lovely area of the Luberon.
Always used with discretion
like a brushstroke across a canvas.

Look how clean are these pavements?
the village cleaners arrive early each morning
and by the time I make my way to
the little boulangerie,
all is spotless.
My favourites at this boulangerie
were the petit chouquettes!
(pronounced shoo-kett)
little puff pastry pearls
sprinkled with coarse sugar

looking out from inside the walls of the old village
shutters~copper lamps~ fresh flowers
make an inviting scene
(note the rouge menu board)

(image by Janet Mendelsohn)

Paul Cezanne's Studio & Garden
with a goodly dash of rouge
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Monsieur Monet's Pink House...

Nothing pleases me more than to stroll around
Monet's beautiful rambling home & garden
at "Giverny" in Normandy.
Monet referred to this as
~ His greatest masterpiece ~

~ Self Portrait 26 years ~

image by Auriane Cauderlier

This large dining room is my favourite room
awash with the
prettiest buttery yellow
(don't you just love the chairs)
ornate Roccoco china cabinets
accented with pretty blue & white china
and the end wall decorated with
exquisite Japanese art works.

Through the door at the back you can see
into the blue & white kitchen
with every style and size of copper pot.
The guide told us that Monsieur Monet
loved his food !!

~ pretty little vignette ~
looking out
onto the beautiful garden,
ablaze with the colours of summer.

~ flowers were his brushstrokes ~
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Strolling Rue Montorgueil.......

Any-one for snails ??

Strolling my favourite foodie street
in Les Halles district
~Rue Montorgueil~

Oh! and L'homme
tres Parisian
walking with style
oh la la !

If !!! I could live right smack in the centre of
Beautiful Paris
I think I would choose an appartment
right here in this lane-way off Rue Montorgueil
1 minute walk to the very best
restaurants -bakeries- fromageries
and ( of course) out-door coffee shops
I could even try out my very best French like
Je voudrais un cafe creme - s'il vous plait
avec chantilly !!!
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Brandied or Glace... Cumquats or Oranges...

Two years ago I recieved a lovely Christmas gift from my
eldest daughter & her family.
A beautiful terracotta pot with potting mix
and a little cumquat tree

Today I am certainly reaping the reward of this prolific
fruiting tree ~ which as I type has about 60 golden
orange fruit hanging from it's branches
They look like baubles on a Christmas tree.

On a recent trip to our local Central market
I saw "Glace Cumquats" selling at A$60.- per Kilo
now that's expensive! so decided to try
my hand at replicating these little treasures & Voila!!

seeing I was on a roll I tried the same with
orange slices ~ they are divine!
I have been told that cut in half & dipped
in good quality chocolate is even better.

A decadent way to use them is placing atop
ice-cream ~ chocolate cake or
pretty as a picture glistening
on cheese & fruit platters.

Last Christmas I filled little jars with Brandied~Cumquats
This year pretty glace fruits.

the French word glace means
glazed or frosted
and these fruits certainly
have that lovely frosty look about them.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Pretty Shutters in Provence....

(double click on photos to enlarge)

Stolling through this sleepy
hill-top village in Provence
I was delighted to see the lovely splashes
of vibrant colours.


Shutters closed against the
scorching mid-day sun

~stone walls shawled with lovely greenery~

pale beige walls adorned with
the prettiest of scrolled lanterns

All framed by the magic
of skies so... intensely blue
they seemed to go on & on for-ever.

so tranquil so quiet
~just perfect~
j'aime beaucoup~ la belle Provence.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chanel on Avenue Montaigne.....

Strolling elegant Avenue Montaigne gives me such a buzz!
it's known as
~La Grande Dame~ of French Rues
I'm always looking out for famous faces
entering or exiting one of the many fashion houses
Christian Dior~ Chanel~ Valentino.
What a way to spend a day!!

Chanel had their windows decked out
in classic Black & White with lots of
beautiful bangles and beads

Oh! and not to mention
bags and scarves ~ Bien Sur~

across the way in the reflections, you can see
Versace with their pretty little cream
canopies over the doors & windows
~tres elegant~

One of the most impressive facades
belongs to this gorgeous shop ~Paul & Joe~
as I entered in through the lovely
wrought iron gates
& through ~une petite jardin~
I couldn't help but be overawed by the
beautiful entrance area
Delicate chandeliers~ antique mirrors
peach colouring so.. soft & pretty
One of the biggest jewellery robberies
of recent times
occured in this very street. Apparently the thieves
got away with over US $100 million !!
in diamond rings neclaces & luxury watches.
The investigators suspected it to be a theft
by the infamous Pink Panthers.
Sounds like something out of a movie.

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