Sunday, November 18, 2018

Imperial Chocolat Fontainebleau

I'm drawing in my hotel room in Clermont-Ferrand whilst at the 19th Rendez vous du Carnet du Voyage conference...remembrances of the fabulous 3-day IMPERIAL CHOCOLAT À CHATEAU FONTAINEBLEAU on Friday...Hurry up! You can still go today.
Friday was a tad misty, a tad gloomy but who cares when such beauty awaits inside the chateau (just 30 minutes from Paris c/o Gare de Lyon).
Forget the rush to Versailles
And the annoying crowds
And long lines.
Fontainebleau makes you feel like a princess (or prince) especially if you visit during the week.
Jaw-dropping splendid decorations
The current exhibit on..

Your reward after visiting the castle...a short walk through the courtyard et voila -Salon du Chocolat
Banks and banks of superb chocolate to taste
And buy
Some of tje best chocolate sculptures ever
Many created with Fontainebleau in mind like this stairway.
Perhaps the best chocolate box ever. Why didn't I get it?
Created by the one and only president of RELAIS DESSERTS, patissiere FREDERIC CASSEL. At the billetterie I said. I was the guest/invitée of Frederic and the ticket man said, "You know, I think he is the best pastry chef in France." I agreed. You must stop in on your way to visit the chateau.
Pastries made for kings and queens IMHO.
True I only got this viennoisserie because it was citron and something different. Utterly fab. Coming home to the Ile Saint Louis, crossing my bridges with an early departure for the RENDEZ-VOUS DU CARNET DE VOYAGE the next morning at 6am. I made it and bought THREE new sketchbooks I probably didn't need. See above picture.
Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you'd like to receive Parisbreakfast watercolors, letters 💌, and maps in your mailbox, check out my Etsy shop. 
HELLO from Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne ❤️

Friday, November 16, 2018

Paris Calendrier de l'Advent

While you all are tearing your hair out over which canned pumpkin filling to buy for Thanksgiving, Parisians are searching madly for the right Advent calendar to buy while they last in the month of November. When I bought that print at the map fair I had a potential ADVENT LETTER FOR NOVEMBER in mind. Time to do a bit of research...
You don't have to go far to find them. In the metro posters of 24 days of beer no less?!
The old fashioned Advent cards are aplenty. I think they're printed in Germany but I could be wrong. Quelle ordinaire.
Louvre's Carousel shopping mall is a good place to hunt. L'Occitane always has nice ones though usually with a more Provençal theme.
A charming Advent from COMTESS DU BARRY, though i wish it was filled with their tins of foie gras instead of chocolate.
PATISSERIE FREDERIC CASSEL OF FONTAINEBLEAU has two calendars on offer, both filled with his devine chocolate. Red seems the preferred color for these containers of  24-days of goodies. More on Fontainebleau later...
At the NATURE store in the Louvre  24 days of seedlings and DIY terrarium plantings. Most unusual
Along with French chocolatiers the cosmetic industry goes wild with designing Advent boxes. This one from JO MALONE goes for a mere 350€
Mini chocolate bars from MAXIM'S.
A reindeerish theme at upscale MAISON DU CHOCOLAT. Most of the time the contents are not as thrilling as the container IMHO.
I expected le LOUVRE to have their own calendar. They did not sadly. More mini chocolate bars from LE CHOCOLAT DES FRANÇAIS.
On to my November letter Advent design. I cleverly thought I'd use 'my' house (if only it were. I'm in a tiny 20 meter maid's room at the top in the back. Not complaining at all mind you!) but this building is honestly not very interesting to look at and has way more than the required 24 windows to draw :((
I picked out an old 17th century engraving instead. But it was way too complicated to draw!
Monthly tearing of hair time.
Right under my nose...watercolors of the Louvre I've done without a moan or complaint.
What's more, when I pulled out the give-away Louvre guide there was the perfect window fillers!
Ta Da! Your November Advent letter is in the mail as of yesterday! You will have to cut open the windows yourself I'm afraid. (And perhaps flatten out the crease under a pile of books for several months...ahem). Still I must say I'm rather pleased with the end result. What do you think?
Today is the 1st day of the 3-day SALON DU IMPERIAL CHOCOLAT AU CHATEAU DE FONTAINEBLEAU and I am going toute sweet. Complete report to follow. If you're in Paris you should go too. It will be an elegant affair with the top chocolatiers onsite .Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you'd like to receive Parisbreakfast watercolors, letters 💌 and mapin your mailbox 📮, look in my Etsy shop. 
BEAR 🐻❤️says Hi 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Made In France expo, MIF

Every November I get excited about the 3-day MADE IN FRANCE EXPO. I went yesterday.
Even with days of steady rain and gloom
Parisians showed up in troves to partake of all the new products and taste everything possible.
I headed to the gastronomie section. The COMTÉ cheese was heavenly. I had many tastes of aged Comté but the lengthy chats between vender and clients sent me on my way empty-handed.
No problem at the ISIGNY STE MERE stand.
This hunk of butter was made onsite. Just a bit of churning of cream + salt. Voila. Yum NYC was never like this.
I came home with lait cru Camembert and some Mimolette
Time to stock up on French lentille direct from the producteur of the Loire.
As many flavored mustards as jams!
Madeleines made by BISCUITERIE JEANNETTE since 1850. So many flavors. So many tastes.
There is always honey at French fairs.
Les sandwiches line...I didn't wait
OPINEL wooden-handled knives of reknown from the Savoie region. Originally the working man's knife their esteem has grown. Picasso used one as a sculpting tool.
An amusing range of made-to-order bowties
Witty bags amd carryalls from MARON BOUILLIE.
La creme de la creme of copper pots, MAUVIEL1830 offered breaks on their wares.
T-shirt representing the World cup winnong team.
I looked at all the shoes of course. I'm still hunting the right shoe...
So many unusual French products to discover every year. A Mont St. Michel light fixture from ATELIER SAINT EVROULT from Normandy
Paris may not have brilliant Fall folliage colors like New England and the East Coast, but there are plenty of monuments. Plenty of rain too. Pitter, patter on my window...Thank you for reading Parisbreakfast. If you'd like to receive Parisbreakfast watercolors, letters and mapin your mailbox 📮, look in my Etsy shop. 
Cheers Carolg and Bear 🐻