Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thank you Chanterelle, A Etoile d'Or, Gift 6-pack of Paris Maps

Thank you Chanterelle, for suggesting Tuesday, in the comments, I visit newly re-opened l'Etoile d'or.
Since 11/13 I've been mostly house-bound. Or venturing only a few blocks off Isle Saint Louis. Heading up to Montmartre was a big step out into the world, but well worth it.
And Thank you everyone for your kind and caring messages this week!
L'Etoile d'Or is maybe the best, dreamy place to visit when your heart needs lifting.
Chocolate heaven.
And Bernachon, (top Lyonnaise chocolatier) headquarters. Everything in the shop is top drawer. La crème de la crème of confisiers.
So many of the best French regional bonbons
Naturally Bear wanted a picture with owner, Denise Acabo.
Cases and cases of deliciousness.
And Denise herself reminds you of Alice in Wonderland, full of joy and delight.
If you're an Alice fan, and who isn't tune in to BBC 4 Extra - a 3-hour special of readings and all sorts of Lewis Carroll diversions available for 29 days.
Amazing Denise was darting around the shop opening boxes, pulling out hidden treasures, force-feeding me Noisettines du Medoc.
No complaints were heard.
I finally decided on
pistachio-filled milk chocolate bar and 2 exquisite mushrooms.
Today at Salons des Coqs d'Ors I visited the stand of chocolate mushroom maker, Fabrice Gillotte from Dijon. No, unfortunately, we are Not related. The mushroom tops are filled with liquid caramel au beurre sale, the stems,  almonds-hazelnut praline. Miam!
At l'Etoile d'Or my eyes seized on the ribbon counter. Maim miam!
                                  Photo from
I know I've been MIA (missing in action) this week while I tossed and turned dreaming up a holiday gift tag/certificate (among other things). You definitely need French ribbon for a gift card. Have you been to UltraMode Mercerie? A treasure haven of  buttons, thread and ribbons on 3-4 rue de Choiseul 75002
I ended up with raffia, twine and Japanese braid. The gift card idea took longer..
At last this morning an Eiffel tower emerged (4" x 6") and I printed it on my watercolor paper. It looks like the real thing.
It goes with a brand new gift pack of 6 Paris map letters shipped FLAT in a cardboard-backed envelope. 
You can find it in my Etsy shop right now. The card work as a gift certificate too.
Turn right as you leave l'Etoile d'Or on rue Fontaine and walk towards Metro Blanche and the Moulin Rouge. Glorious. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

About Bear and the November Sketch Letter

First of all THANK YOU for all your caring, concerned messages PBers! It means a lot.
But Louise wrote she was outraged I showed a stuffed bear when Paris was up in flames! I had to stop and think a bit...and look up 'Alter Ego'
A person's secondary or alternative personality
An intimate and trusted friend.
Bear is all of those. You may not know Bear. He was gifted to me in March, 2010 by Lola of Sonia Rykiel. We haven't been apart since.
Six years of traveling to and fro to France, and always the best companion.
We have a lot in common. We both would rather browse menus than eat inside.
Browsing cookie aisles is another shared pastime.
Bear doesn't eat pie/tarte crust either.
And we both love the Paddington movie
Bear is a working partner by the way. He earns his keep on Etsy.
In charge of product fulfillment and he makes sure every envelope has a stamp.
Last week Bear and I researched the November Sketch letter.
I wanted to draw classic Parisian café waiters. That entailed eating a lot of classic petit dejeuners last week. I can tell you the best deal is at Cafe Le Select. 9,80 for 'Sur le pouce'. Excellent hot chocolate + freshly pressed OJ + the crispiest croissant.
If you love Paris cafes you'll be very happy reading Le Select Crowd.
Filled with Rick Tulka's daily drawings and text by Noel Riley Fitch,  Perfection.
Le Select is at 99 Boulevard Montparnasse 75006
For the best apricot jam on the planet, Le Deux Magots is tops.
Their signature goodies downstairs are wonderful by the way.
If you want to sketch classic Parisian waiters
Go to Cafe Flore, even though their croissants are kind of mushy the waiters are top drawer.
The November sketch letters were mailed out early last week. Otherwise I don't know how I would have managed to do a thing...
Living on Isle Saint Louis, you are removed from the rest of Paris. And my TV doesn't work. I've been dependent on the NYTimes and other news sources. But there is no getting away from the constant sounds of sirens. In New York during 9/11 there was no escaping the disaster. The air was full of smoke and I saw the WTT go down from my rooftop. Sometimes being in the midst of a tragedy it's harder to fathom than those watching it from afar.
I do know I don't want to leave Paris. And I'm lucky to have Bear around.
A very cheering influence.
Elaine Sciolino is in New York right now. Thanks Andy and Diane for sending her talk on fresh Air on What it means to be French.
Another diversion - the BBC's excellent daily 1 hour dramatization of Proust's In Search Of Lost Time
Bear is listening even though its in English.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tonight in Paris

Finally went out at 6 pm (admittedly to look for some ice cream..). I remember thinking last night on my way to a glamorous do, how the Seine always provides such a spectacular light show. It still does, though we are very sad tonight.

Bear is OK

XXX Carolg

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Brunch with Coco Jobard

Last Sunday food stylist and cookbook author par excellence, Coco Jobard invited me to brunch (or 'bruncher' as the French like to say).
While Coco expertly scrambled the eggs (scrambled eggs?)
I tended the toast-maker. Coco bought this stunning (but in my opinion totally useless) toaster at BHV. Its two-sided and you're assured of burning both toast and your fingers. Still it looks attractive, like it escaped from a cowboy's campfire (with electricity?). Appearances count.
The appearance of Coco's plates are another matter.
There is not one dish or spoon in Coco's tiny apartment that is not wildly attractive.
Her tabletops are always delightful but she's a wonderful food stylist. Have you visited her site?
I mentioned I didn't know coleslaw was French?
"Nothing we're eating is French", I was reminded.
Doing 'bruncher' entails lots of American breakfast goodies. Note prominent maple syrup bottle (probably Canadian) decorating the table.
Were we supposed to dribble syrup on Coco's delish scones? Ooops forgot to show the clotted cream.
My breakfast plate with English grilled sausages and tomatoes. Heaven.
Coco has authored and food-styled every Pierre Herme cookbook so I was expecting a Fetish Ispahan extravaganza. Instead we had an Autumn extravaganza of seasonal fresh walnuts and figs and Basque cherry jam (at last something intrinsically FRENCH!).
I have a secret passion for these bird cage lamps from Challieres. Have you seen them at Conrans?
Coco has a new bird cage lamp. I was drooling.
*Note that dark corner by the window? 
That's where Coco and top, top dessert photographer, Laurent Fau style and setup all the photos for Pierre Herme's exquisite cookbooks and brochures in his patisseries. Hard to believe the magic created in that little corner. Pierre Herme often visits while Coco concocts recipes for the books.
More birds perched on the windowsill (permanently) get to watch the magic taking place. If only they could speak...
Herme's brand new Pierre Herme Macaron: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Patissier is just out in English. Do click again on the page for all the info. 60 stunning photographs styled by Coco and Laurent + Coco's recipes (with Pierre looking over her shoulder naturalment).
Cucumber and tangerine, wasabi cream and strawberry. Coco let me taste many samples. Miam Miam
The fabulous 'Jardins' flavors are included if you're a fan.
P.Herme's Latest endeavor - collaborating on perfumes with l'Occitane. Rhubarbe/grapefruit, honey/Mandarine, Jasmin immortal. They sound like macaron flavors.
Speaking of making magic (ahem) a PBer requested a letter gift certificate card. What do you think?
Thanks so much for buying Elaine's Only Street in Paris! Almost 50 books were sold and all maps have gone out. Enjoy!