Michel DRUCKER- LIVE- une plaisir

Everyone who lives more than a few months in France, gets to know Michel DRUCKNER – the figures emblématiques du paysage audiovisuel français. He’s been in the showbiz since like forever- for more than 50 years- and he knows almost everybody who counts in this country. Well, this Mr DRUKNER put on a one man show with his stories and souvenirs with the people he has met in his over 50 years of career.

For two full hours he filled our hearts and minds with memories about French Presidents, actors, musicians, Celine Dion – my favourite 🙂 . He was the one who first invited and promoted Celine Dion in France. It was a blast of good feelings and good quality showbiz. Having in front of me a living legend of French Television was an incredible feeling of closeness with my new homeland. His Show: Seul … avec vous – it’s a reminder, in fact, that we are never alone if we know how to share.

Sharing is caring!

Bisous!

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Kilo BOF!

J’adore the word Vintage! It’s the latest marketing bling to sell and sell stuff that otherwise no one looks at them. I love so much vintage that it makes me sick. There are labels which marked their products with the V word and have had a a crescendo rising of their sells.

For a few years now, in Paris, there is this new shopping style from second hand shops called KILO shop. Their price is according to the weight of the item. You may think that it must be cheap. Because how much can a blouse could weight? Well, hold your horses … that’s the thing , the system of prices (cause there are different cathegories of products according to their quality) is so well put together that you can pay for a pair of jeans almost as much as for a new one. But, of course, these ones are vintage. Bleah!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against to second hand shops. To recycle clothes and therefore, save the planet! I am so against to these Kilo Shops which I found in Paris, because they were simply textile waste – garbage.The cloths were so used and overused that  i can’t believe they were asking money for them.

Anyhow, if you go in the Marais quartier we will find on the same street 3 of this kind of shops! THREE all next to each other. Incredibile! I got in in every one of them, of course, but I couldn’t stay too long because the infectious smell of vintage was making me…Bof!

Stay clean and dress smart!

Hasta luego!

La Maison Faubourg- the parfumed history of Paris

Last weekend I had the chance to discover once again another great puzzle of the great history of Paris :  La Maison du Parfum Faubourg.

To begin with, I have to be honest with you and admit that, in the essence, this museum is a great tool of marketing for the Maison du Parfum Faubourg which stayed during the decades as a great proof of French entreprenorship and ”know how”.  It has been recently opened in Paris (last year in December) and it was built with private funds and the help of the Syndicat français de la parfumerie. What can I say: a true addition to the golden patrimoine of Paris.

Situated on the 73rd  street of Faubourg, near the Garnier Opera House, the Maison of Parfume offers you a Free guided tour of an hour and half in English, French and Chinese I think some Arab too. When I got there, a group of ten of French speakers was on their way to start the tour. I was impressed by the well informed guide who pigmented her speech with different jokes and information that made her monologue really interesting and cathy. It’s impossible to get bored. She started with the beginnings of Egiptians who used their precious parfume and essential oils in their rituals to get more close to the gods and finished with our modern history where in a bottle of parfume you have only 20% to 24% of true essential parfume and 80% of the price is for marketing.

Afterwards, you find out that during Louis IV , they washed only 2 times a year so they used a lot of parfume because they were virtually stinking . So, the parfumed was in many cases with them all the time worn as a true jewelry showing also their social status. The guid told us that it was a kind of the beggining of bling bling 🙂

Even though the quality of the pictures isn’t that great, in the images you have the personal beauty kit of the ladies of the Court. The small jewelry boxes were held under their dresses and they had all their beauty stuff in it. Amazing!

The Mondial Capitale of Parfume is considered to be in the south of France in Grasse. And the Great invention of the Faubourg Maison is the aluminium botle which can keep the quality of a parfume intact up to 30 years. Unlike the common glass  bottle of parfume which can hold the parfum to only 2-3 years after open it. Attention of keeping your parfume in the bathroom cause the enemies of a parfume are: heat, light and humidity. The three of them we find mainly in the bathroom. So, that’s a good tip over there.

It was an amazing experience, which definitely convinced me to buy one of their Argan oils wich I have been using for a week now  it on my hair and I can definitely see the good effects more shiny and hidrated. Another important detail, is that their products we can only find in their usine shops in Grasse or Paris. So, the prices are more than decent, and it is really a true souvenir from Paris because you only find them here. The exclusivity is garanteed.

So, be nice to each other and smell nice!

 

 

The bad symphony of the boutiques

My new passion in this moment is to go in the boutiques of the museums of different “arty” establishments and see what you can take as a souvenir home. It  is not very original you might say. Yes, it is not. But I don’t see anyone react at the fact that almost 95% of the things that we see in different shops (I am talking only about the boutiques from the museums and different cultural institutions) is made from China. Of course, you say that almost everything we see in every ordinary store is made in China so no surprise there. Yes, but why in the shops where it should be promoted the originality, the quality and creativity of the true artists…??? Anyhow, all this to tell you that lately I have been to the boutique from Garnier Opera House. The National Opera of Paris is well known as a asthonishing building which you can also visit without going to a show for only 5 or 10 euros. There are visited tours only to visit the Opera.

The products that I have seen for sale were really dissapointing 😦

You have clothing if you wanna disaguise yourself like in Il Barbiere di Sevigliia  or be chique at the office with a bow tie for only 75€!!!

Next we have decorations made in China, at exorbitant prices. And something that wanted to look like art. Anyone, ballerina, someone?

Anyhow, what can you choose? What can you bring with you back home for your family, friends who love Paris and love Opera? Hmm…. tricky question isn’t it?

My conseil: Save up and go to a concert and make a lot of pictures so that the souvenirs will be really great.

Cheer up, La vita e bella!

Stories with a good taste

Every once in a while, the community of each city here, in France, celebrates their long tradition of handmade and artizanat. An ocassion for the good taste and quality to come out and say: ”hey, no machine and no technological performance can replace the dedication and talent of a human being”. At these kind of events you can see artizans from all different domaines: from housebuilders and shoemakers to boulangers and body painters. They all have a certain thing in commun: their passion for what they do, and their determination to continue the tradition from their family or community. It’s priceless.

The folowing images are very powerful for the eyes of a gourmand and food lover  – like me- 🙂

As you can see from the first picture, this is a new kind of fondue cheese that I’ve never seen before: they put a heater above the cheese, they melt it and then they make your sandwich  – delicious!

The pastry section is absolutely the craziest one! They have all kinds of brioche, tartes or cookies that make you mouth watering immediately. Just a petite advise: taste everything only with your eyes!

These Tourteau Fromager, the ones you see above, need a special presentation because the black crust that you see is not chocolate, as I thought :). It’s burnt! Its a tarte with cheese, very interesting as taste, the burnt you cand eat it or leave it aside. Very French! The brioche long as a TGV were very appétissant too. 

Here, there are not the usual chocolate macarons. I present you the new macarons with basilic and cheese. I didn’t have the curiosity to taste them, but it seems that the salty macaron is e the new thing right now. If you like sweet and salty combined go for it.

Finally, to end this small culinary exposition, I present you my discovery of the week : The BIGOUDEN! A kind of cake, FAT as a saucison,  with butter and … oh, I don’t even want to remember… But was of course was super-extra-delicious!

Well, that’s all folks, I hope it wasn’t too overwhelming for you.

Keep Calm and eat healthy!

Bisous!

Many are the ways of God…

You all know the Basilique Sacre Coeur, situated in Montmartre,  one of the most important religious sites from Paris. Every time I went there, the ambiance at the footstepts of the basilique was full of joy and relaxation. Has become one of the places in Paris, where whenever you go you know you will find full of people, parisians and tourists, artists and singers ready to offer you a very pleasant evening. And very cheap, for Paris.

Every time I go there, I like to go into the church too and say a little prayer.  Unfortunately, last time I went they installed a kind of machines for tourists to have their 5 cents smashed and processed with the image of the church. Why?

 

Who had this divine idea to make money out of these hidous machines in the church? Next to an altar to have 3 or 4 machines with lights and features of a casino in Vegas. I understand Paris is the city of lights but,please, leave the churches alone. The fuss around them really gets you out from the spiritual mood that a church usually puts you in.

God bless you all and come to Paris!

The GRAND Medieval festival of the Grand Fougeray

I believe that one of the greatest pleasures in life is travelling. I get excited every time I think of a journey, I plan one or I am on the road. There is something magic of finding a destination and organising a trip that you know you will remember all your life. At least this is one of the purposes, the trip to be so great that you will remember all your life.

Here, in France, when it comes to organising a trip I have one good ally beside me : groupon.fr. It is a website of good deals well known in other European countries too. Not only does it have appetisant offers of the hotel and restaurant included but you find out about places that no google maps is capable of delivering to you. I found such good hotels with gastronomique restaurants so cheap in places so isolated that I have never been dissapointed. In fact, now, every time I look for a new destination, I see to find a small village in the suroundings of a grand ville where the quality of the services is impecable.

One of the surprises of this summer was the Hotel Restaurant and SPA Le Palis from the Grand Fougeray, a small but small town in Bretagne that every summer hosts a Medieval Festival to honor its history and traditions.

 

No one knows exactly for how long this festival is been going on, if you ask the locals its been for ever. You can see them traditionally dressed and youngsters who come at the medieval event all dressed up from that epoque. For me, was really impressive to see couples dressed in rythim with the occassion. Pretty cool!

Furthermore, what I liked the most were the different workshops, talks or shows about the activities and customs of those times. Honestly, I don’t know much about the medieval times, what I remember is ”Xena, the worrior princess”. To my ashame is really the sole example I can give to examplify my poor poor culture about the medieval times. We had a show put on with medieval music, we assisted at a class of the first medieval university from France, there were so many activities that at some point we just prefered to take a break and just look at the different local merchandisers and admire their handmade products.

What is really enjoyable at these kind of events is the apetite that everyone has to have fun. Moreover, you feel like in a big family, because everything is organised by the locals with the locals, so they welcome you as if they know you forever. They aren’t embarassed to make fun of themselves and they only care to make the best of their time.

All in all was a truly beautiful experience, to see the unity of a village in putting together such an event, the variety of the activities to deconnect from the daily worries and the coolness of the youngsters that don’t fall in the trap of our techonological modern days and dress up and get curious about the previous times was just amazing to admire.

Vive Le Grand, Vive Le Fougeray!

 

I just love …

… living in the country side. You have nature, fresh air, bla bla, you don’t have any mobile signal so you find easily excuses when you’re not in the mood to be reached, yey, yey!. Sometimes, the internet connection is slowly as a tortue (you have to learn some French on this blog 🙂 that rhymes with torture.But, I don’t complain, don’t complain…

But, what I LOVE the most at being in the country side is that it gives you the joy of seeing the changing of seasons. It’s just wonderful! Starting with the colours of trees, and the smell of earth and the gifts that offer is just amazing! For example, yesterday, after my daily jogging walk in the forest I was rewarded with the most delicious blackberies …

Even though the weather is still very hot and you have the impression that fall has still a long way to install itself, but being in the country side you see the changng of seasons so much closer and deeper.

 

 

To smell and feel these precious gifts of earth it’s just amazing. And don’t take as the cheap talk of how we all love nature. Take it as an advice the before you look at the watch to see how late it is take a first look at the sky and we will see that the time will stop for a little bit.

 

Etratat – a state of mind

If you come to Normandie, the first place people will recommend is Etratat. And it is not because of the beach (it’s full of rocks) or for the blue sea (ce n’est pas la côte d’azur either) but it’s for the incredibil ambiance and mood that the coast can offer overthere.

And still if this is not convincing to you, just keep in mind that Monet and many other impressionists found their inspiration in this small village and tried to capture it in their works.

 

The foto on the left is taken by me and the one on the right is the painting of Monet found in his house in Giverny. Breathtaking!

I had the chance to go in Etratat in summer and in spring off season. In summer, is uselles to say that was full. Etratat is really a small village with a few houses, motels and restaurants, everything is really touristical. When I went in spring, we had a picnic on the beach. The wind was really strong and the sea very agressive. There was almost anyone around and we had the impression that the beach was only for us. Very romantic, I know 🙂

Here are some other shots from our weekend in summer:

There is a small church on a hill, and it fells so natural :

God bless you and go to Etratat!