Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Maison Lacloche, l'Ecole Van Cleef Arpels

I was feeling audacious last night and tried my luck painting one of the most stunning pieces of JEWELRY I've ever seen in the jaw-dropping exhibition at L'ECOLE VAN CLEEF ARPELS.

I'm simply going to quote off their website the background story, but if you're in Paris between now and December 20th GO SEE THIS. 
Two and one half years of research.
Reaching out to collectors, merchants, auction experts and museums all around the world. 
This chronological exhibition evokes the two main periods in the history of the Maison, that of the Lacloche Frères and Jacques Lacloche. 
Through jewelry, clocks, vanity cases, archival documents, come and discover the extraordinary retrospective of the Maison Lacloche
One of Paris’ celebrated jewelry houses from the Belle Époque period to the 1960s. 
The Maison Lacloche was founded in 1892 by four brothers of Belgian origin. In October 1901, the daily newspaper Le Figaro announced with great pomp the opening of a branch of Lacloche Frères on the rue de la Paix, one of the French capital’s most prestigious thoroughfares. It was located at number 15 while its competitor Cartier was at number 13.
The Maison Lacloche also attracted the attention of the press during the famous International Exhibition of 1925 that was held in Paris over a six-month period. A lengthy treasure hunt has allowed us to bring together the jewels that Lacloche Frères displayed on their stand during this legendary event. These were found at various locations all around the world in both public and private collections. Visitors can admire a remarkable selection of bracelets, brooches, clocks, and boxes that dazzle by their elegance and their refined artisanship. 
For three decades, the creations signed by Lacloche Frères were especially appreciated by royalty and adorned Hollywood stars and aristocratic figures, including the Duchess of Westminster. -However, despite the commercial success and renown, the business eventually floundered. Fernand Lacloche, alone at the helm, and especially his sons, were addicted to gambling. They squandered such a fortune on the green baize of casino tables that the family business was liquidated in 1931.-The adventure, however, did not stop there. Jacques Lacloche, the son of one of the four brothers, had been employed in the family business since the age of 18 and started a jewelry business under his own name. He began by renting a showcase at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes.

In 1938, he opened a shop on the Place Vendôme in Paris, then another on the Croisette in Cannes. He ran a successful enterprise for thirty years. -Increasingly passionate about contemporary art, he eventually abandoned the world of jewelry to found a design gallery, in 1967.From October 23 to December 20, at L’ÉCOLE VAN CLEEF ARPELS. 31 rue Danielle Casanova, 75001 Paris. Free admission / Monday-Saturday / 12pm-7pm When you read this I will be in recovery from 'browsing' chocolate jewels at LA SALON DU CHOCOLAT 🍫opening tonight. Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Subscribe and get letters 💌 sent from Paris every month 📮in my Etsy shop. With love ❤️Paris Xxx🍫🐻🍫

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Soufflés at Le Recamier

On the last day of PBer Carolyn's Paris trip we met again for lunch. She picked LE RECAMIER. 
I visited Le Recamier a couple of years ago guest of some very kind blog readers. Like an idiot, I thought I'd keep vegetarian and ordered an omelette. Meanwhile my hosts were gobbling up stunning soufflés, speciality of the maison. Meanwhile the waiter thought I'd ordered a 'bavette' (a cut of French steak). No omelette. I ate it and it was lovely. This visit I knew exactly what to order. SOUFFLÉS! 
Carolyn got the chevre (cheese) soufflę. Carolyn is the only person I know who looks good eating while having her picture taken - a rare talent.
We decided the vinaigrette on our salads may be the best We've ever tasted. The waiter revealed it was olive oil, hazelnut oil and lemon. C'est tout. I ran and bought some huile de noisette. Fingers crossed I can figure it out🤞🏼
I ordered the escargot. Not as pretty but out of this world delicious if you're fond of French snails.
Our neighbors had mini starter soufflés.
Behind me on the veranda someone was having this fab sliced-truffled haricot vert salad on top of artichoke hearts? Le Recamier is ne of those places where you want to see what everyone else is eating. Its theater.
We shared a dessert soufflé - Madagascar vanille with red fruit couli.  
I was certain painting
 watercolor soufflés would be easy peasy. Not. After many doodles and much trial and error, 4 days later I figured it out I think. You tell me. LE RECAMIER is a charming place for lunch on 4, rue Recamier, 75007. Just do not order an omelette. Thanks for reading and sharing Paris breakfasts. Subscribe and get letters 💌 sent from Paris every month 📮From Paris with love ❤️ Xxx🥂🐻

Monday, October 21, 2019

Chocolat Foucher 200th anniversary

I discovered Chocolat Foucher the first time in 2008.
Then again In 2012 And many times since. But this fabulous, authentic French chocolate shop  has been around since 1819.
Last Thursday there was a  big 200th anniversary celebration. Champagne and banks of dark and milk chocolate were served. All you could eat.🥂🍫🥂🍫
Plus a new book on Foucher's history. Just inhale. I mostly abstained just nibbling the walnuts off the top of the bonbons (sinful I know but I've gone Keto).
Love their chocolate by the way. They are le vrai chose/the real thing. The essence of French chocolates.
And their chocolate boxes and graphics are exquisite using charming designs by artists chosen by Caroline Foucher from the 1900's. The best gifts you could ever bring home. Where the Nespresso shop now stands on Rue du Bac, used to be where they roasted their cocoa beans. Beans-to-bar. Now its done outside Paris.
On leaving they generously gave us their beautiful new book (found in the 2 shops at Opera and rue du Bac) and a box of chocolates.
Course early next morning I wanted to inspect the box.
Let the tasting begin! I like to cut thin slices off each bonbon. Inhale. Enjoy slowly.
As someone who likes to complete things as quicky as possible this is what was left by 8 am. Bonjour Chocolates for breakfast! Does it get any better? Do visit 
FOUCHER at 134 rue du Bac if you want to step back in time and become 'a kid in a candy store' in Paris. Thanks for reading PB and please share with a friend. Receive Paris letters, maps, and watercolors in your own mailbox📮. Xxx from Paris 🐻🍫

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Marie-Antoinette, métamorphoses d’une image, La Conciergerie

The good news is the October Paris subscription letter is in the post 📮🥂. True it does have 3 folds this time, not the usual 1. The bad news is...if you want your Marie-Antoinette accordion letter to look like this, you'll have to get out nail scissors and start cutting. A little DIY. Or just stand it up, as is on the mantle if you have one.
The past 2 weeks have been wasted stewing over a possible October apple letter from Paris. Much apple tarte was eaten. It didn't help. On Monday I read of a new MARIE-ANTOINETTE EXHIBIT opening at La Conciergerie the next day. Quelle relief. Those pommes got dumped.
The prison is where Marie-Antoinette spent her last 6 weeks before being guillotined age 38 on 16 October, 1793.
Its on Ile de Cité, not far from me but I haven't visited since I was 18. Tuesday morning I was there opening time. *Its always a good idea, in Paris, to see something new as fast as you can, before word out and the long lines form. I'm pretty sure this will be a busy exhibit.
It begins with her imprisonment. M-A's hair is said to have turned white overnight, true or untrue I don't know. The exhibit is terrifically interactive with audio. And famous film clips in a mini movie theater.
Great for kids. I'm happy to say the exhibit is in both French/English equally. Hooray. There is tons of historic info, documents, her last letters, books written about her etc. But the main focus is on her image's influence over time as a celebrity in her day. And the  heroine she became post-death. She was, of course demonized during the French revolution.
How to present her in the October letter? A montage of images?
We know her well as the young Austrian archduchess thanks to Sophia Coppola's film.
Then as the young queen painted by Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun. Later as la bonne maman. And enfin, as a prisoner of la Conciergerie.
Her image is represented n Japanese manga,  Miss Piggy. Laduree has milked her style to the 9s in its packaging. Its all there and great fun.
The gift shop is terrific too. If you need a gift for a Marie-Antoinette fanatic consider getting them a letter subscription. Why not? Thanks for reading and sharing Paris breakfasts. Subscription letters 💌maps and watercolors  🎨are in my Etsy shopFrom Paris with love ❤️ Xxx🥂🐻

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cristal Room, Baccarat 75016

Your family is coming to town. They want to take you to lunch. You would rather not go back to the same ole, but excellent Kitchen Galerie bis. And you need a restaurant mid-Paris. Sometimes location helps you find a  hidden gem. One look at the CRISTAL ROOM, Baccarat and it was easy. Bucket list ALERT! The colors are smashing and its inside a museum of the world's most superb glass.
A few years back I visited the BACCARAT exhibit at Petit Palais. I certainly never expected to be eating lunch amidst that glorious glass.
Some of the tables are in the display room with stunning cases of glass.
Perfume bottle designs.
Decorative pieces, dinner w
are. A guided tour is included with lunch.
In the 20's the mansion belonged to Viscountess Marie-Laure de Noailles, supporter and patron saint of many Paris artists; Cocteau, Poulenc, Dali, Man Ray, Balthus to name a few.
The interiors have since been renovated by Phillipe Stark.
Are you wondering what we ate? My sister had the formule (entree + plat 29€) and I chose off the menu (25€). All was perfection. No desserts, especially after last week's deep immersion for the Kouign-amann map. They brought us mini brownies but I abstained. I'm ready to go Keto after that indulgence.
A trip to the loo is always a good idea in these elegant joints. Definitely a don't miss at the Cristal Room. Do book ahead for sure. 
Thank you for reading and sharing Paris breakfasts. Subscription letters 💌maps and watercolors  🎨are in my Etsy shopFrom Paris with love ❤️ Xxx🥂🐻