Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Amsterdam and the July Paris Letter

Last Wednesday morning, while madly trying to finish the July Paris Letter (I did not)I ran to catch the train to Urban Sketchers Amsterdam symposium.
What I ran into was a huge heatwave that messed up lots of my plans.
Here is your classic Dutch cat napping amongst the Edam. Did you know the Dutch are the tallest people in Europe?
Chalk it up to drinking tremendous amounts of melk. And kass/cheese. And ice cream. Evidently they are also very fond of  Pindakaas/ peanut butter. Be prepared to look up when you ask directions. You'll be doing this many times over. If you're shy go somewhere less confusing.
I found what I think is the best apple pie in Amsterdam. I know...its really a cake but if they insist on calling it pie, let them. You must try it. Or try several as I did to get a broader perspective. And a broader something else. I loved the home-made pie at Broodbar at the end of Koestraat close to Metro station Nieuw Markt. This pie is neither too moist nor too dry and the crust is like hardened crumble. True a sledgehammer would help cut the crust but one mustn't grumble.
I had the famous Patisserie Holtkamp pie at the Rijks museum restaurant and it didn't co
me close. By the way hanging out at the Rijks is a good idea. They have AC and stay open till 6. Def a fun, chic spot for watching the Dutch and easy to get to at Museumplein.
Here I discovered the joys of 'verse munt thee' or mint tea. What I thought was a mojito is one of Amsterdam's popular drinks if you're not imbibing Amstel or other beers. Simply a bunch of fresh mint jammed in a glass mug (I'm getting one tomorrow). Then pour hot water over it. Voila. Honey can be added. Terrifically refreshing and you don't have to go to the Netherlands to find the ingredients either.
I became obsessed with sketching and painting it. So much for my Urban Sketcher ambitions. Almost all trams seem stop there.
Hanging out in Amsterdam's very cool new metro stations is highly recommended in a heatwave. Imagine the Branly museum. Space is vast. New York MTA should visit. Escalators
 as long as city blocks.
And so breezy. I bought a 4-day transit card for around 24€ 
I moved the last 2 nights to the rather unusual Lloyd'sHotel near the docks. All the rooms are different. It was formerly a way station for emigrants going to America. Then a prison. My 1st room was prison-like. They upgraded me to this lovely room with AC.
The last morning I happily painted like a maniac. Only mint tea of course. The July Paris letter is done and will hit the post tomorrow. I'm sorry for the delay. July has been problematic with sciatic etc. The Paris map is coming SOON! Thanks for your patience PBers ❤️ And thanks for reading Parisbreakfasts. Feel free to share. If you'd like an Amsterdam mint tea watercolor or Paris letters let me know🥂🍾🍒. Love❤️ from Carolg ☕️ in Paris

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Ventimiglia, Italy

Two weeks ago on my last day in Cannes, I went to Ventimiglia, Italy for the weekly Friday market. Nothing like a piccolo taste of Italia before heading back to Paris same afternoon.
And the colors! The trip took 2 hours on the shuttle train from Cannes (13€ A/R).
First stop the covered market. Many small producers with their farm-grown products.
One seller had a bowl of eggs 50 centimes each. Course there were bigger specialty vender; butcher shops, hazelnut sellers,etc.
Temptation took me in La Bottega dell Olio (box #12). So many anchovies.
CHEESE. Lordie. I asked the French woman ahead of me if she was stocking up for a soirée? Non,non, just the weekly haul of Gorgonzola, Locatelli, Prada Padana, etc. She lived in 
MENTON, a mere 20-minute train ride away lucky duck.
Limoni. Sorry, but US perfect egg-shaped citrus are not lemons. Why take away the bumps? We can handle it.
This pile of limoni is right out of 17th century painting by 
BartolomeoBimbi.
Further end of the street await the outdoor venders with clothing etc. the white lacy shorts and tops you see Cannoise wearing can be bought here for 14€ (before bargaining).
Gelato is waiting every few steps in Ventimiglia. This is Italy.
My haul including red-stripped zipper bag (5€)to carry stuff home. A 
kilo of 10-month aged Grana Padana cost 10,99€ !!Not shown: a slice of ricotta cheese cake from same formagio. Small pizza, 2-dips of noisette/cafe gelato, a bowl of sliced watermelon. 2 hours is enough to do Ventimiglia. The train ride back took longer. Plus on the same day the 5 1/2 hours on the non-stop Grand Vitesse TGV back to Paris = about 10+ hrs non-stop sitting. Upshot? Last Friday I was hit with sciatica. The same day I got mild food poisoning (I lost 8 pounds in 4 days..since all returned). And because things come in 3s, my French bank called. They were canceling my credit card. Suspicious online fraud activity; 5€ for car service and 10€ for bike rental. How does my bank know I don't rent bikes or hire cars? They know me better than I do 😳 This is why I've been rather quiet of late. Don't worry. I'm drawing 🎨 standing up and on the mend. PLEASE do not email me. Put any comments on the blog svp 🙏🏻 Still Ventimiglia was worth it...almost. Stay COOL PBers.TMI.Thanks for reading Parisbreakfasts. Feel free to share. If you'd like a personalized cat 😺 watercolor or Paris letters let me know🥂🍾🍒. Love❤️ from Carolg in Paris


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Salon des champagnes et des Patisseries Fines

Sunday, Monday was a lovely repeat performance at the two-day Salon des Champagnes et des Patisseries Fine at Pavillon LedoyenTop pastry chef Nina Métayer demoed her version of a
cherry  cloufouti while everyone tasted flights from 27 Champagne houses.
This year was different. Entry was 10-15€
Children as always enter free. Those tiny tastebuds need training.
An exquisite lunch was available at a reasonable 15€. And you could buy fabulous desserts if you missed out on the mini demonstration samples.
I had a ringside seat next to the pastry station.
No dessert went untasted after my 4 days of abstention in Cannes.
This is not a chunk of coal but Yuzu ice cream 'enrobed' in dark chocolate chunks created by Ledoyen's fab pastry chef, Aurélien Rivoire.
Brut Rosé was the summer flavor of the day.
I admit to having half a glass of sparkling Delavenne, a house situated in Bouzy
 between Reims and Epernay. Did you know the US buys the largest quantities of 🍾Champagne? But the large brand names dominate? This is why attending a tasting can be so informing. Meeting and talking to the makers of small houses is a delight. And yes they speak English.
Did you know there are 2,000.000 bubbles/bulles in each glass of Champagne? And 60,000,000 bubbles in a bottle. No wonder the French love ❤️ bubbles so much.
I painted this stunning bottle from Joseph PerrierFilsetCo. Its an homage to the original owners' daughter, Josephine. Would you like your name or another personalized on the bottle? You can find it on Etsy. Please be like the French. Plan ahead. Book your vacance for early July next year. Come say hello at my painting station. This Sunday soirée is one of the best I've been to in Paris. I'll be waiting for you 😄 Thanks for reading Parisbreakfasts. Feel free to share. If you'd like a personalized🍾champagne watercolor or Paris letters let me know🥂🍾🍒. Love❤️ from Carolg 🥂 in Paris


Sunday, July 07, 2019

What to wear in Cannes

1st impression can be so wrong. Cannes is not about glitz. Simplicity is key. And keeping cool. White always works in any hot place.
White lacy tops are de riguer. I saw them in Ventimiglia in the Friday market for 14€.
An older gal in Sephora, a good place to spot local looks.
Bold prints, pure color. White. White. white.
Not too much Brittany stripes.
Big name brands don't cut it. In Paris wear a paperbag and carry a Chanel. You're OK. I haven't seen Chanel anything here.
Kay askd me what lipstick I was wearing? I was trying to copy gorgeous Nadia, vendeuse at Sonia Rykiel.Ha! Fat chance.Keeping cool is more important than 'names Sweetie darling'. Greg, my makeup artist in Sephora said the Cannoise are very laid back.
Decontracté the French call it. Relaxed. Wear a granny linen nightshirt. This one is Sonia so 350€ Ouch But plenty can be found in any flea for a whole lot less. Maybe why I feel so comfortable here. Not much makeup. A healthy glow.
definitely a lot of individuality.  
I ❤️ Love this nine-year old Cannoise  - tiny bun, orange pinafore, silver sandals. They 'get it' early.
I'm headed 'Back to Black'. I got the Riviera Bleus. Thanks for reading and sharing PB. If you'd like a
 watercolor or letters from Paris let me know🥂🍾🍒. Love❤️ from Carolg 😎 🌴missing Cannes 

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Champagne for breakfast / Carlton Cannes

Yes another Selfie. In Cannes your inner starlet comes out. I hope you're sitting down. Bucket list time.
Yesterday, 3 juillet I gave myself a late birthday presie. Not so petit-dejeuner at HOTEL CARLTON CANNES. I went for the fab breakfast buffet everyone raves about.
Oui, la prix is a tad steep but nothing compared to Paris' 'palace' hotels.
And way better IMHO. Here the juice of the day.
Carrot/mango/something or other. Who can remember these things. I forget how many stations there are. Too many to count.
My very kind guide gives me the grand tour.
The citron station, everything from wonderful MENTON.
A gazillion kinds of smoked salmon.
Endless jams, always of great interest to me though I had none. Not shown the fromage station - superb chevre from Mere Richard of Lyon. La creme de la creme in France. I ate that.
Jambon station not shown. Nor the Qatar station. Olive produits station? Oui.  
I did not touch a croissant. There are not so many patisseries in Cannes, unlike Paris where they're on every street corner. Les Cannoise watch their ligne. Indulgence means a new pair of shoes not tarte citron maybe?
I didn't eat so much though I did get the included glass of Champagne (I don't usually drink but sometimes you go with the flow) to accompany my very thick chocolat chaud. There are discrete signs suggesting you please not take-away all the tempting food from the restaurant. I did as I was told (even though there was a plastic freezer bag lurking inside my purse..ahem). Thanks for reading Parisbreakfasts. Feel free to share. If you'd like a 🍾champagne watercolor or letters from Paris let me know🥂🍾☕️ Much Love❤️ from Carolg 😎 in Cannes🌴