Though we travel the world to find the beautiful

we must carry it with us or we find it not

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beautiful Colours & Flavours of Provence......

~Soupe a l'oignon Francais and Tarte au Citron~

As you can tell I am totally in love with
the rich tapestry that makes up Provence.
here in Australia I get the same feeling
when stepping off the plane in northern Queensland.
That warmth that envelopes me and
puts a smile on my face
it's indescribable !!

~pretty little village of Eygalieres~

My very best memories are of the people~
the food and the beautiful deep rich colours
Sunflowers~ Lavenders
and village markets with their abundance
of fruits & vegetables in every colour

I have loved the pretty collages that other people
use from time to time on their posts
& so this is my first attempt
I hope you like it.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pretty sights in Monaco....

Lovely street lantern
in Monaco-Ville

elegant statues dotted the paths
which winds around the scenic cliff-face
of the old ville

pretty "Candy Van"
on the ~ Quai de Albert~

Looking down onto
one of the newest additions to Monaco
~Le Port de Fontvieille~

this is a restricted port where all the
berths are reserved.
Excellent accomodation for luxury yachts
and I was told that each berth has it's
own mailing address.
I'm sure this all comes at a price!!
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