Sunday, December 31, 2006

Biscuits Fossier

Maison Fossier Biscuits
Fossier Champagne Biscuits, watercolor,

Besides Champagne and chocolate Bouchons, Reims is famous for their pink biscuits.
Maison Fossier has been making them since 1756! It's their 250th anniversary and they're just down the street from the chocolate Bouchon shop on 25, cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet.
Made for dipping in champagne or wine and for cooking, the divine biscuit is unique. A pink crunchy biscuit, a delicate meringue which melts in the mouth, a light macaron. You can even make a Charlotte with them.
They says their biscuits are "pink for sweetness, powdered for nobility and crunchy for pleasure".
Fossier made a house of pink biscuits for their anniversary celebration.
Another example of splendid architecture is Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral.  Don't miss Reims and Bonne Annee 2007!
Remember Reims rhymes with "chance" if you hit the "n" lightly.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bouchons de Champagne...

Bouchons de Champagne
Bouchons de Champagne, original watercolor, 9" x 11 1/2"
Have you ever saved a champagne cork (bouchon de Champagne)? I saved one from a birthday celebration in Paris with my favorite and only 2nd cousin, Kristine, who lives in Pigalle.
In Reims, Champagne's home, you can buy dark chocolate "bouchons" filled with Marc that burst in your mouth when you crunch on them!
Marc de Champagne is a brandy produced by distilling the grape skins, seeds and stalks, left from the pressing process in the first stages of Champagne production.
I have one of these please.. La Petite Friande, is a chocolatier on Reims' main boulevard, 15, cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet, not far from Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral. They specialize in these yummy candies since 1951. Their bouchons come in all shapes and sizes.
YUM ! You can get the Marc inside a bunch of of dark chocolate grapes.
Buckets of Champagne would be nice too... I like these little buckets of Bouchons.
is a beautiful wine town to visit and an easy 90 minutes from Paris by train. Reims is the hardest French city to pronounce. It almost rhymes with "chance" if you hit the "n" lightly. Atmospheric Café du Palais is THE place to drink your champagne. Local winemakers have been coming here for lunch since 1930 on 14, place Myron-Herrick.
Cheers and Bonne Annee 2007!

Merci, Roselyne for the lovely déjeuner

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mariage Frères 2...

Mariage Freres silver tea scoop
Tea at Mariage Freres 2, original watercolor,
Brought back by special request and because I overslept and heck..Mariage Freres is a trip!

Yes, that's my reflection in the tea pot stealing a shot... This is what I ordered in the tea salon: One Matcha Green tea financier and one citron macaron.
The orange book lists the 500 teas you can order and a load of tea history, which you're in no condition to absorb. You're too overwhelmed by the glory of just being in Mariage Freres.

so many teas to chose from... You wander out of the salon and naturally turn into the shop in a semi-blitzed state of mind. The shop is a little bit small and a little bit dark and a little bit crowded with other blitzed-out tea drinkers.How to resist these colors? You've just come out of an opium den so to speak, so you're ready to buy anything and everything and it's all delicious looking AND the aromas! 

And they understand your state of mind. The sales staff could not be more patient and understanding, unlike most Parisien shops. I couldn't resist the silver tea spoon and a tin of The a l'Opera (green tea flavored with fruits and spices). I needed them for still life purposes of course.

A contemporary craquelé tea pot The vitrine (windows) at Mariage Freres are so chic and so colorful! Not quite what you'd expect from the premier tea importers of France since 1854.
The story goes that in the early '80s two foreign students were exploring the Marais and "discovered" the old shop. Marthe Mariage (the last living family member) and her employee were inside sewing up cloth teabags for their catering customers amidst old tea chests. A bond was formed and together they evolved the "French art of tea" to it's present form and aren't we glad they did! Even the l'addition (bill) is elegant at Mariage Freres.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mariage Frères

Mariage Freres Tea at Mariage Freres, original watercolor, 9" x 12"
As I mentioned yesterday, Mariage Freres salon de thé
is next door to Cuisinophilie at 30, rue du Bourg-Tibourg.

the skylight lite tea salon... The tea salon is straight through and no photography is allowed = why the fuzzy picture. Make a sharp left up the narrow winding stairway, you'll find yourself in Le Musée du Thé.

Green Celadon tea things... No one bothers to go up these eerie, creeking steps to the tea museum. Not even the staff come around.

 It's a bit dusty and I didn't see many explanatory labels. I was the only visitor.

There's a treasure chest of antique tea paraphrenalia -
all manner of tea canisters, tea pots (some shaped like elephants), old labels, etc.
stashed up there.

Art Déco tea pots It's an adventure, especially since downstairs is jammed packed in both the shop and the tea salon.

There are no tea leaves in the pot. It's an infusion kept just the right temperature Doodling IS ALLOWED in the salon plus I stole a few shots.
The waiters dressed in white suits and race around the giant palm planters. There's a skylight too that gives you the feeling you might be in colonial Singapore or Thailand.
Be sure to visit the museum upstairs next time you go.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Cuisinophilie, Blue Milk Jug

Cuisinophilie, original watercolor, 9" x 12"
I found my blue milk jug in a closet-size shop next to Mariage Freres.

This pot à lait was in the window waiting for me.

If you inhaled in your rush to get tea at Mariage Freres,
you'd completely miss this charming shop.

Cuisinophilie is at 25, rue Bourg Tibourg.

Anne Siquier specializes in antique kitchenware and especially BLUE kitchenware.

Here's a lovely blue and white vieux moulins a café/coffee grinder. Lots of blue in this picture too!Cuisinophilie est ferme le dimanche et le lundi, mais aussi parfois à l’improviste.
(Cuisinophilie is closed on Sundays and Mondays but also sometimes when they feel like it..)

Be sure to look in when you go to tea at Mariages Freres

Monday, December 25, 2006

Breakfast At Tiffany's...

Diamonds in the snow...dear Holly Golightly had it right.

What better place to spend Christmas morning - in a snowy woods

And wine glasses full of diamonds and ice would be nice...

A swan in the snowy woods wearing a diamond broach...

Holly admiring Tiffany's ice, before there were lattes and Starbucks..
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Anita's Gingerbread!

For Anita This is the time of year to expect surprises. Still you're surprised when it happens.From Anita I was thinking on the way home from the pool I need some gingerbread for my next post...then I can do a watercolor to go with it. The postperson rang my bell. Et Voilà!A Victorian Gingerbread house ! This gorgeous gingerbread house is in Bergdorf's Xmas windows. Anita of Desserts First wrote beautifully about making gingerbread and I started to drool. I't's my favorite thing. I met Anita first through her Paris pictures on Flickr. I used to gaze at them endlessly before I had a blog to distract me.YUM Then I got up the nerve and emailed her some of my café watercolors. She was very encouraging and suggested I start a blog.. This armoir is full of GINGERBREAD! Anita is now a pastry chef at Bittersweet, the chocolate cafe in San Francisco and Oakland. Please take a look at Anita's beautiful blog - her photos are out of this world! and there are recipes to match. This post is for you Anita. THANK YOU for the gingerbread and other goodies ! :)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bergdorf's Falling In Love Again...

Several of New York Bergdorf Goodman's Xmas windows are an homage to Marlene Dietrich and all the sultry chanteuses of the world IMO. They don't spell it out but..

Just look at these glamour pusses..

And listen to Marlene sing Falling in Love Again while you look...

Falling in love again, never wanted to

What am I to do, I can't help it

Love's always been my game, play it how I may

I was made that way, I can't help it

Men cluster to me like moths around a flame

And if their wings burn I know I'm not to blame

Falling in love again, never wanted to

What am I to do I can't help it...