Friday, September 17, 2021

Our day in Grasse


Yesterday we went to Grasse, perfume center for France and the world.

Drizzle or sunny, its a very pretty town

You expect to see fields of flowers everywhere. 

Not the case, or we did not know where they were hiding…

More likely tons of perfume and beauty products on offer.

Yet full of those particularly lush typique
Provençal colors.

An epicerie I loved (no perfumes) O Gourmandises du Moulin, makes the most delicious old fashioned cookies, candies, syrups in unusual flavors. I bought Corsican almond biscotti and chocolate-covered almonds that look exactly like olives 🫒 

A view of old Grasse. I wish we’d had time to visit their factory 5 minutes away.

Of course the main perfume company in Grasse is Fragonard.

Their shop offers so many desirable goodies. We loved their fabulously designed carryall bags(10€) (Carolyn bought 4, me only 1, but I coveted many more).

A bit of a secret - hidden inside their shop is a door to an amazing Provençal costume museum upstairs. 

You must request to see it. Then they open the secret door. I will post more on this. Sumptuous fabrics and china. I bought the book…so, so beautiful.

There are lovely parks to explore. The nearby Cafe de la Musée had lovely desserts 🍨 . Ask Carolyn. I just watched 😊 A visit to the enormous, informative Musée International De la Parfumerie must be another post. 

Back in Cannes (we took the bus R-T for 1,50€) we finally ate a pizza from a wood-burning stove we passed every night.

Small dog 🐕  of the day…there are so many in Cannes. Then a lovely walk along the Croisette to the tune of the tide breaking. This afternoon Paris is waiting. Not ready to leave the Riviera 🌴😢 Thank you for reading Parisbreakfast.  Receive Parisbreakfast letters, mapand watercolors in your mailbox. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

A day in Nice


If you want to know where to eat in a town, look for the big marché and pick any place nearby. How wrong can you go? 

Yesterday in Cannes, we had p’tit dej near Marché Torville and ate exactly what you can eat in toute France and most of the world these days.

I am definitely going back for these tomates confites inside the market (48€ a kilo !) They gave us a taste. I must figure out how to make them (garlic, herbes, olive oil etc.) Any clues most welcome.

Next stop Nice, a 30 minute shuttle train ride from Cannes with a very helpful tourist office just in front.

We got all-day transport passes(5€) and took a tram to the old town/veille ville. So much color at le Cours Selaya(the marché).

Look! Our fav Luxembourg chairs just sitting outside!

Wall murals are everywhere on the Riviera.

My favorite shop in Nice, Nicolas Alizari. This time I got anchovy tapenade and their beautiful logo shopping bag(5€).

You must, must try delicious Nicoise Socca at the marché best eaten hot off the griddle.

An homage to Belmondo on the Place.

I asked the fruit lady where we should eat, since the marché is lined with so many restaurants. She waved her hand away implying “forget about all these places and go to Le Safari…its straight ahead”. We did.

One of our best meals so far. We just had 2 starters each(10€ each dish) This salad of raw, marinated artichoke + Parmesan + perfectly ripe tomatoes was heavenly. The service and atmosphere lively and fun.we didn’t bother with dinner later.

Inside they had old pictures of the Nice marché

Every road in the old town leads to la plage/beach.

A ‘private’ beach where you must pay to enter.

These women reminded me…

Of this famous Hokusai print of tourists gazing at Mount Fugi…We are all tourists aren’t we😊

The Matisse museum is the perfect colorful dessert after lunch (Bus 5 to Arenes). This perfume ad sums up the lush Riviera for me😊 Is your bag 🧳 packed?🌴

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Bear is away


Bear 🐻has escaped to Cannes for 3 days for a late summer vacance!🤸🏾‍♀️🤸🏾‍♀️🤸🏾‍♀️The 5 hr direct TGV train was a snap. And not too full which was nice.

I am back again at Hotel Athenée (nothing to do with the Paris Plaza Athenée at all). Instead of the Marilyn room this time I have the Audrey room🤸🏾‍♀️😊

We wandered a bit on rue Antibes..the street for plebeian shopping…remember Repetto, the ballerina shop. Does anyone wear those anymore 👟?

 Ladurée has a cute outdoor cafe in their special pale sea foam green. These chairs look tempting to paint 🎨...should I?

Shops along the Croisette are the traditional  big-name deluxe for visiting celebs.

We took the tourist petit train (1hour-12€) 

Up to the Old Town/veille ville for a 10 minute spectacular stop.

And then around town(always a good idea to do the tourist train 1st thing). The guide knew who stayed at which luxury hotel..major important info bien sur. 

It was an extremely bumpy ride(not recommended if you just had hip replacement - have an ambulance waiting) but fun and accompanying Madonna music and commentary was a plus. 

After we walked around a bit (I am with Carolyn from WA) looking for a divine place for tomorrow’s breakfast. Last visit I went to the
Carlton but sadly they are unser renovation 😕

Then dinner at hotel-recommended Cafe Hoche on rue Hoche. Green tomatoes with buratta + pesto. And a ginormous plate of linguine a la vongolo that instantly ruined all the hard regime work of the past few weeks. Back to Audrey green apples 🍏 for me. Fortunately patisserie shops are few and far between in Cannes👏👏🤸🏾‍♀️ Today we are off to Nice or Grasse or Villa Kerylos. Or…your suggestions are most welcome🙏 I got for the trip appropriate Hollywood style Holly Golightly (from Jimmy Fairly) sunglasses + my etsy ‘Audrey’ hoop earrings. Bear and I are back on Friday to realité 💋💋Bisou, bisou Darlings 🐻🥂🍾

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Florae exhibition - Van Cleef & Arpels, Nina's Paris


On Friday PBer Carolyn and I went to see the just-opened Van Cleef and Arpels Florae exhibit (free, but you must reserve).

Its on at #19, Place Vendome, to the right of the Ritz.

Once inside, you’re invited to take a stroll through a labyrinth garden of mirrors and glass cases.

The jewelry from Van Cleef and Arpels are set off by tall video panels that fade in and out. 

Van Cleef has a long tradition of flower-patterned jewelry design.

The contrast of flowery jewels and closeups of brilliantly colored flower photography creates an immersive experience not unlike the Van Gogh exhibits. Only thematic music was missing.

Even the rugs are flower-patterned. Fortunately there are bi-linual guides to explain details and help you find the exit. Its dark inside. 

The photographic artwork is by the astonishing Japanese artist Mika Ninagawa. If you’re in the UK, she has a beautiful exhibit at the Oxford Ashmoleon museum

Walk across Place Vendome and you will see more of Ninagawa’s flowers.

In the Van Cleef and Arpels shop windows at #20-22, setting off their famous Alhambra jewelry. 

I was inspired to paint some ‘Alhambra’ necklaces in my shop if you are so inclined. 

Should you be, by now in the mood for a heist movie (no jewels involved) you can watch ‘How To Steal A Million’ with Audrey and Peter (lurking in the background).

Instead we went to nearby Nina’s Marie-Antoinette the for a cuppa to recover from seeing so much beauty in one afternoon. The exhibit is on till November 14. Remember to reserve ❤️
              🌸Bonne/bon Dimanche dear PBers🌸