Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ciel Bleu

Paris is very much 'ciel bleu' /blue skies these days and the temperatures are right up there.

I thought I'd stroll over to Paris Plages - the summer 'beach' along the Seine created with real sand but no waves to get your feet wet.

I was surprised what fun it is! Near me at Pont Sully loads of Parisians are lolling on blue and white stripped mats on the grass and having picnics like mad.

By Hotel de Ville there are outdoor cafes, water fountains, ice cream stands, you name it.

Who could resist?

I had a cooling lemonade in the shade.

There's a Batobus stop right by the café. I decided what the heck. 

The Batobus hits 8 different Paris monuments on it's route along the Seine.

One of you asked if Parisians are wearing flip flops dans la rue? At the pool yes.

But in the street jamais. All manner of sandals are de rigueur.

Quite a few PBers sent me the link to Lindsey Tramuta's story in the Wall street Journal on the top 5 trending Paris pastries. Thank you! Naturally I felt obliged to taste the little sponge cakes at Japanese patisserie, Ciel 4, rue Monge 75005

Plenty of exotic flavors like Basilic and of course Thé vert matcha.

I peeked in the back fascinated by the mini angel food cake molds. Did your mom make this cake too?

At Ciel they offer a little lunch tray of sandwiches plus a passion fruit miniature sponge.

Are sponge cake and angel food the same thing? Inside is mango cream. Light and refreshing. Airy.

Outside Ciel has soft-serve ice cream - thé vert and fleur d'orange.

Who could resist? Not yours truly. I was going to do August's Paris Sketch Letter on ice cream but I decided against it. Someone has been eating too much ice cream! Oink Oink. Hope you're having a fun summer too PBers! Cheers Carolg

Friday, July 25, 2014

Glace Vanille 101

It's that time of year when we Must eat ice cream.

As soon as I got my walking sticks/becquille, I was outta here.

Off to get me some ice cream.

Chapon on 69, rue du Bac has esquimaux popsicles covered in their own chocolat noir.
I was after a good old fashioned cone. Chapon has an interesting square scoop by the way.

A few doors down at Le Gâteau et du Pain they now have ice cream!

Unfortunately they were not open ;(

Not far off is traditional Le Bac à Glaces so this is a good route to take if you're researching ice cream.

When Louise of Raids Patisserie announced a vanilla ice cream tasting I was in. We were to bring 2 small pots of any of the following brands:
Berthillon, Pascal Le Glacier, Raimo, Pozzetto, Martine Lambert, Le Bac à glaces, Sébastien Dégardin, Liberté / Benoît Castel, Hugo & Victor, Christian Constant, Glazed, La Tropicale.

Living around the corner from Berthillon I knew my assignment, but they do not provide lids for their cups so I went for a big block of vanille and prayed it would not melt in the steamy heat wave we're having in Paris.

There were 7 of us and 10 different vanilla ice creams to taste. !!!

No double dipping was allowed of course. We went through hundreds of little spoons.

Rules must be followed at Louise's tasting. First of all SILENCE. We need to concentrate so no chatter among participants. We are to judge aroma, mouth feel, consistency, appearance, whatever we deem important.
*= scandalous **= not so scandalous ***= pas mal or good ****= very good indeed *****=heaven on earth and the best of the bunch.

On my left, Julie, a perfume aficionado surely has good taste buds but who can read her fine French handwriting ? On my right, Miguel from Mexique, a baker at Frederic Lalos is also writing in French. Hmmm...

My notes/scrawl tell the tale. Louise will post the final results in detail soon though I can tell you the WINNER was Crème Glacee Absolu Vanille of Le Gateau et la Pain! 89, rue du Bac 75007

I picked up little meringues at Berthillon and brought along  some vanille de Madagascar to sniff. The meringues dipped in the melting vanilla ice cream was definitely 'heaven on earth'.

Is there anything better than melted vanilla ice cream soup? Not in my book. YUM

Our team leader, Louise lapping up a bit of vanilla soup.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Berber Femmes de Moroc - Drees van Notan

Two fashion exhibits closely related in my opinion - The Berber women of Maroc I've been passing in the Metro now that I'm back on three feet and Drees.
With all your encouragement you have me sketching like a Banshi. Wonderful small show at the YSL-Pierre Berge Fondation.
Weaving, potter, jewelry, clothing of Berber women of Northern Morocco from the museum on YSL's Jardin Marjorelle in Marakech chosen from a collection of over 400 pieces. It's eas to see how these influenced St.Laurant's designs in a deep, pervasive way.
The exhibits at the Fondation are usually small but elegant and inspiring. Plus they have a terrific, affordable little gift shop upstairs - I always find something to delight.

A multi-media presentation of traditional clothes and adornment. beautiful objects—carpets, cloaks, woven belts, necklaces of amber and coral, silver brooches.

Berber women wore intensely decorative clothing
With a geometrical twist reminded me of Calissons d'Aix candies.
And layered effects just like the Haribo bonbon stand at Odeon.
Over at the musee arts Decoratif the Drees Van Notan exhibit (extended through Nov 2) has it's Moroccan and bonbon tendencies.
Lots of pattern on pattern, embroidery and sparkle thrown on top.
Rock influences and a whole slew of contemporary painters plus other fashion designers are on display at Decoratif.
Vivenne Westwood's famous 'Happy' hat for Pharrell Williams.
Dior's 1947 New Look will be forever, shown here again next to a Yves Klein blue nude.
Pinched-in waists
Were picked up and carried on when YSL took over the Dior Maison.
The forever bow/noed at the waist
More baubles and beads 

Cherry red dresses remind me of...the July Paris Sketch letter and eating cherries nonstop for a month to get in the mood.
Yesterday robsmelbatoast asked,
"Paris Letters? Do tell please!"
You can read all about it on Etsy. Meanwhile I'm playing with my new yellow La Poste truck. Someone is "going postal'!