Friday, October 31, 2008

Salon du Chocolat 2008

Jeanette asked to see Parisien architecture - et Voila!The crowds at Versailles have moved on to the Salon du Chocolat!
A real chocolate map to help orient you at the fair... We begin with Beautiful cacao beans bien sur.
Oui, this is where your chocolate comes from!
Brazil lets you can taste raw beans right out of the pod.
Mexico demonstrates the mole to make their version of hot chocolate (no milk included).
Switzerland stand brought a cow to aide their plea for milk chocolate. The cow does not look thrilled...
Multi-demos of the dipping of chocolate are everywhere...
May I try please?
The French child is introduced to wine at an early age...
 And fine tuning of chocolate tastebuds is cultivated. No M&Ms for these kids! I had a deprived childhood bien sur :(
Not ice cream, chocolate mousse flavors from Chapon.
 Look at these divine chocolate tablets from Jean-Charles Rochoux. 30 squares per bar - 1 square of perfection for each day of the month. If you have great restraint...
Many bouche at the Salon. Big mouthfuls of chocolateness = lunch.
 Talk about hunks of chocolate, as big as your head!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Musee Nissim de Camondo, Versailles

Yesterday I lost my favorite Parisian "drugstore" glasses.
Yesterday I left the apartment at 10 AM and got back at 11 PM and didn't get to post. Yesterday I was going to go to the Marche d'Aligre and the Salon du Chocolat.Instead I went to Musee Nissim de Camondo and Versailles
Musee Nissim de Camondo is a treasure house of fabulous antiques and not crowded. I loved the illustrated guide

Truly wonderful objets

Reflections in a car window

I'm enthralled with decorative door mantles/cartouches in the 8th enroute to the Metro to Versailles

I didn't get to Versailles till 3 PM when the crowds are supposed to be considerable less

The wait to buy a ticket was only 15 minutes. The guichet at the RER was ferme/closed. The machine would not take my credit card-no chip

The famed Hall of Mirrors

The contrast of Jeff Koon's shiny metalic sculptures in this environment is spectacular

The views out the windows - entrancing

I took the RER back and got off at Pont d'Alma to go to my sister's for dinner. After crossing the bridge and taking the obligatory photo of the Eiffel Tower I dropped my fav Fr drugstore glasses. I bought them in Paris 4 years ago

 1st stop Patisserie Carette at Trocadero to get revived. Then I realized the glasses were gone - total blur like this shot

My chocolat chaud was terrific. I couldn't read the menu or the bill. Maybe a good thing

An extraordinary fleurist near my sister's. I crossed the street and bought new glasses in the pharmacie, so I could see and take pictures. My sister suggested we go to a different restaurant than planned. We would take the Metro to Pont d'Alma
We got out and guess what? I saw something shiny on the ground where I'd taken the earlier photo. My lost GLASSES! Now I have 2 pair of drugstore glasses.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


My first Eiffel Tower upon landing at Orly this morning ON TIME!!!
No I did not take a taxi - I took the RER into Paris (8.64 euros) and got the best sleep on the train for about 35 minutes to Chatelet stop.
I changed to Line 1 and got out a stop early at St. PAUL to explore a bit...
I explored directly accross the street into this patisserie...
More yikes...
Even more!
I ended up getting this deliciously, unfinishable gouter / snack - a chevre/epinard tarte...
Next door was Au Nome de La Rose...YUM
And across the rue, Vaisellerie...these glasses were going for a song...
Nearby, the LACE CURTAINS of my dreams!
In the windows of this very good fish restaurant. Have you eaten here? I'm tempted by soupe de poisson.
Enfin I reach my Metro stop - Bastille.
The view from my window...
Now for more explorations and serious research!
A Demain!

Monday, October 27, 2008

8:15 PM

Just a few parting shots before I take off tonight at 8:15PM on AirFrance.This is a French mini airline meal from Rement.
I did get to vote on Friday and I admit to voting for Amelia Earhart. I'm looking forward to being in Paris for the election and will report all.
My trusty old suitcase refuses to die. It's instantly recognizable on the baggage carousel because it's covered in colorful UPS stickers. But it's had a make-over. Now there are pastry stickers to boot...Hmmm Maybe not an improvement but definitely even more recognizable.

I should have been packing yesterday, but I was reading Catherine Delor's gripping 18th-century French tale of Gabrielle de Monserrat's journey through hardships and betrayal by the three men in her life before she reaches at last impossible happiness bla bla bla - a great fun read. I'm be busy reading it in the airport and on the plane between watching the 5 French movies provided. I'm staying in the 12th arrondissement this trip - a switch from the 6th, but there are so many villages to discover in Paris and I'll be near the fab Marche d'Aligre... There will be plenty of visits to tea salons.
When I get home in 2 weeks, this mini French restaurant set from NRFB Queen should be waiting to help allay the mean old Jet Lag. I almost can't wait to come back?!