Monday, January 26, 2009


PetalBelle Hot Chocolate, original watercolor, sold 5" x 7"
I've been trying to visit "Frenchie" cafes every week in New York...
In this case PetalBelle is decidedly Belgian in Soho at 158 Sullivan Street...
Still you can almost see Belgium from France so... And all the accoutraments are very frenchie to me...
I love the menu writing on the pastry case...

PetalBelle's specialty is the "Liege" waffle or gauffres a rather cakey waffle sold on every street corner back in Liege...
I loved these display still lifes....

So paintable...

There were some French-speaking customers nearby...

Still more perfect still life material....

Floor and chairs and tables get the PB "Frenchie" seal of approval...ahem
Atmosphere is EVERYTHING, though the lighting could be gentler in my opinion...

My order - Hot chocolate and the Liege gauffre...

You must bring a book to a place like this...

I brought the perfect book - Judith Jone's THE TENTH MUSE
Go on Amazon and read a few pages and you'll be hooked too. Particularly since they feature Judith's exciting youth spent in Paris...
But it's really about the evolution of taste in America (Judith edited Julia Childs, James Beard, Marion Cunningham and many great American cookbook authors). Mainly the Tenth Muse made me think about my own sense of taste...I must be more experimental!


  1. I like this name PetalBelle and I looooooooooove the Belgian waffles! Miam miam!

  2. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Oh waffles and Danish, things don't get much better than that.

  3. I could cozy up to one of those marble-topped bistro tables. What a beautifully, comforting spot to have a cappuccino and a pastry!

  4. Nothing like a cup of hot chocolate! Delicious! What a divine cafe!

  5. I could feel at home in this place. It has a lot of charm. Thanks for the virtual breakfast. Looks yummy.

  6. I have spent whole hour at your blog and I haven't seen the all of it but I'm already in love with your watercolors.I love France too but I've never been to NY, sooner or later...
    I'll be in Paris next June and I'll take with me all the adresses. Really gorgeous. Thank you Rosanna

  7. What a woman! You go out in all weathers just to brings us such delights back.
    I have started posting pics of the finished cottage extension AT LAST!!! Take a look.

  8. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Paris in New York...or rather Liege..ahem
    S'all good


  9. Brr. Pass some of that hot chocolate over here. it got a little chilly and damp again...Brunch time I think. What a neat find in Soho.

  10. Lovely post, Carol! I'll have to look up that book. I always loved reading things by folks like MFK Fisher, and folks who cook. And trying new foods? Now you're singing to the choir or whatever that expression is. Love your painting, Carol--you captured that one beautifully!

  11. Ahhh nothing like visiting Paris (through NYC) and finding a good read at the same time - Thanks for this delightful post.

  12. Hi Carol...

    Marvelous post!!! Everything looked delish and your photos were great! Take care, Leesa

  13. I agree about the lighting but what a great find and a good idea. You can't go wrong with those waffles either. MMMMMM!

  14. Anonymous10:10 PM

    your hot chocolate looked fantastic and so real, l could almost taste the froth in a spoon as that's the best bit.
    As l can't get French pastries l buy Belgium pastries and buns, like the strip pastry ones were it goes round and round and it has currants in but most here have apricot reserve in them..
    My best French meal ever is what l had in Scotland most lunch times and it was French onion soup with crutons and a French stick with fresh egg salad in it, l can taste it as if its in my mouth now and all l am drinking is coke lol
    Jill xx

  15. I felt like I was in a beautiful dream while looking at your photos on this post. The small tiles on the floor, the marble tables, the cafe chairs...If only I could have that entire room replicated in my house. Of course with more romantic lighting!

  16. Anonymous10:16 PM

    gorgeous as ever--I must stop by and enjoy--a good place to bring a friend--yum
    Merci Carol.

  17. Sue of "A Brush with Color" has already said what I wanted to say, so I only add that I wished somebody was there to make me a cup of hot chocolate and a waffle like the ones you photographed. I can smell them all the way over here, in my little dark chamber.

  18. You have the BEST places in NYC... SIGH... nothing like these FAB places near moi... more SIGHs!

  19. i love these posts!!! i am going to paris for work in march nd need some new places to go! (Alas i will only have dinners free...)
    also...have you tried ceci-cela on Spring St in Soho? so cute--"downtown frenchified" and delicious lemon tartelettes!

  20. Wow! This post is so yummy I can taste it!
    Beautiful shots too...


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