Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rouge Tomate

I often passed by restaurant Rouge Tomate on East 60th street in New York planning to stop in sometime.

In Paris the color rouge tomate bumps into me everyday.

Justine Red carries bags and accessories matching perfectly with a mignon red V-W.

Your tomato red carriage waits you while you shop at Zadig et Voltaire on rue Saint Sulpice in the chichi 6th. Boy could I have used one of those yesterday...

Someone else is waiting patiently, his champagne bucket full, his tomato red bandana tied just so. Hey he's Parisian and just 10 months old - a very big sweet puppy.

I hope I make it to the Lucio Fontana exhibit before it closes.

Parisian kids love tomato red, preferably with strawberry sprinkles at Sargent Major on rue de Seine.

Your doudou needs a red shirt if you shop at Agnes B.

At Marche Maubert Mutualité heritage tomatoes are rampant.

Hand pick out the varieties and colors you want.

My haul cost about 2€. Now my NY friend Allie says I must only eat GREEN tomatoes. More antioxidants than the red tomatoes. Who knew?

I tried salade de tomate variéiee at La Rotisserie de la Tour. They're famous for their grilled chicken natch and part of the La Tour d'Argent group.

At marché Maubert pick up plenty of tomato red polka-dot dresses for not much more than the tomates on offer. Wear what you eat!

Or doll up as a bottle of pop in Coke's famous red. Wild no?

Patisserie Pierre Hermé has bright red in the window.

Inside his classic Ispahan is available all summer long. No vacation for this beauty.

What caught Bear's eye was PH's fabbie tomato red 'freezer bag'(sac isotherme)! A mere 12 euros.

It goes perfectly with the Decathlon watch Rosemary gave me after I drooled on it (around 10€). Good thing it's waterproof.

PH's freezer bag, the watch and red nails polished my outfit for afternoon tea at The Mandarin Oriental. The bag has a ziplock top, is waterproof, so ideal for delivering Paris Sketch Letters to La PosteRenewing your subscription. You can still get a cherry or tomato bonus watercolor. Why not?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mandarin Oriental Paris

Another afternoon tea, another tarte citron...ho hum indeed.

This time at the absolutely divine Mandarin Oriental Paris . 251, rue Saint Honoré 75001

The hotel opened 3 years ago in Paris, one of 10 Mandarin Oriental hotels throughout the world. Their symbol is always the Asian Fan. This one specially created by Chanel's embroidery maison Lesage.

The butterfly is the symbol for the Paris hotel and can be found delicately placed throughout the hotel. It's a treasure hunt to find them.

Butterflies decorating various and sundry. Their sumptuous bouquets are by Baptiste Fleurs.

Deep magenta purple is the signature color theme throughout. All the main areas were created by Sybille de Margerie of SM design - an homage to the eternal feminin.

As you enter you're facing a serenely quiet courtyard - the heart of the hotel. Parisians love their terrasses and this a special one. Easy to pretend you are not in the center of a major city of the world when you sit here..serenity now.

Everywhere flowers tie areas together and lead you to the next space. Simply lush.

To the very modern Bar 8 designed by Patrick Jouin, designer of Christophe Michalak's Choux d'Enfer near the Eiffel Tower.

The 8, a magic Asian number and an infinity symbol.

Nearby one of France's top, top chefs,Thierry Marx has his own  innovative, exclusive restaurant, Sur Measure - seating only 40 guests each night.

The avant garde interior is designed by Patrick Jouin, the space sculpted with almost couture-like draperies. Many fashion houses are in the vicinity. What fashionistas wouldn't love the Mandarin Oriental with it's sleek, elegant design.

We go up to see a room - more 'Blade Runner' than 'Marie-Antoinette'. Fabulous!

An atmospheric Dita von Teese portrait by artist-photographer Ali Mahdavi graces the entrance of one suite.

French artists work adorns walls, elevators, everywhere - here a Man Ray negative blown up huge.

The bedroom is lush yet so comfortable.

The bathroom...what can one say? This hotel is fabulous. I'd stay here in an instant.

Time for our afternoon tea in the Camélia restaurant.

We decide to eat in the serene, green courtyard

Time for an iced mint fizzy spritzer bien sur.

The special tea menu is served only on weekends by the way.(45 euros)

My afternoon tea companion, Swedish blogger Solli Kanini joins me in wonder. The attention to the smallest details at the Mandarin Oriental. We're in awe. We were guests of the hotel.

Tea is served uniquely in 3 golden stacked bento boxes. Subtle Asian touches are everywhere.

Much like a Japanese kaiseki meal, each bite is petite, exquisite, elegant. To finish, a pastry from Pierre Mathieu's cake shop in the hotel. Solli has a fresh peach tarte and you know what I have. We left walking on air. Heaven. This is a don't miss experience PBers. I'd love to go back for a cocktail and I don't even drink.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tomato Trouble - Paris Sketch Letter


Some months the Paris Sketch letter ideas come easy, almost effortless. July's cherry airmail letter art was inspired by a paper napkin I found on rue I'Ile St.-Louis.

Artwork by Henri Avelot
This month the creative juices were struggling.
365 Creative Dresses said in response to my moaning,
"That's very interesting to hear about the sketches. I assume since you are really an artist it just sort of flows out of the brush with nary a thought".
Ha. If only it were so.

August's inspiration came from a tomato watercolor pinned on my wall.

Plus Paris' marchés are awash in tomates ancienne of every size, shape and color.

Impossible not to think tomatoes in Paris in August.

French Girl sent me photos of her dad's tomatoes in Limoux.
PAINT THEM! she commanded.

Here's a peek at the mad pursuit of the creative process:
I started imagining tomatoes as a sea of air balloons floating over Paris. I watched a lot of NM balloon festival videos to get into the spirit.

Michele's balcony provided inspiration.

Vivian Swift reminded me I needed to do a 'Juliette' balcony like shown in her book, Le Road Trip.

Sky writing for the August title like the planes zooming overhead on Bastille Day.

This Metro poster made me think I should get a few tomato plants and start watering...

I went to Marché President Wilson to take photos of famed vegetable marchand Joel Thibaut. I knew I wanted him in the watercolor.

First sketches. So many elements to figure out...

Of course I went overboard with too many tomato balloons.
Back to the drawing board for another re-do. August's sketch letter finally came together with just the right amount of tomato balloons...I think.
If you want to see the finished artwork please visit Etsy.
Or wait for yours to arrive in the mail. Meanwhile my local post office are hanging the letters on the wall. Who wouldn't be tickled pink? I hope to paper the post office walls with Paris sketch letters!