Monday, August 29, 2011

French Cafe Glasses

Originally I was going to paint just one cafe glass
OK this one - a typical Frenchie glass from the Brick cafe.

But then I felt ambitious. I'm addicted to cafe glasses
Anyone else out there love French cafe glass with a passion?
Confess PBers. And please do not complain about the bill for the Orangina. You're paying for ambience at cafe Le Select. And the little printed doily thing..grumble...grumble

Am I alone, compulsively taking of photos of cafe glass where ayre I go

The French adore their glass. They still make most of the wonderful utilitarian glass like Duralex from Picardie or La Rochere. Luiminarc is another pas cher FAB French glass I love. I chased all over looking for a little Luminarc glass pitcher I thought I saw at Angelina and found it at Sur La Table in New York - an insane way to spend your time in Paris no?

There is something inherently elegant to utilitarian French glassware - a plain carafe and water glass at Jean-Paul Hevin Bar Chocolat. If this guy doesn't have superb taste no one does

At La Bovida, Jill of Mad About Macarons spotted these mini verrines with a matching bent spoon. Mignon non?
Old fashioned waterglasses in brocante Portobello in the 6th make a lovely still life just waiting to be painted

Very plain glassed filled with Guy Martin's very fancy baba au rhum + marscapone + chestnuts
French girl, being French does not have your standard utilitarian glassware that I drool over constantly. We were eating blinis, smoked salmon, hummus, Greek olives and radishes FYI

In our hand-painted Spanish glasses we're drinking 'San Pe' or San Pellegrino. I do the dishes when I stay, so I live in dire fear of breaking one of her fragil little glasses.
"Hello French Girl, why couldn't you have those darling unbreakable cafe glasses I love so much much?"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The et Chocolat

Bonjour PBers from Irene City.

I thought I'd post today because:
A. There could be a power outage at any moment. What would you read on Monday?

B. NY Time's Elaine Sciolino of the divinely informative La Seduction emailed me this week seeking info on Paris' salons des thes. Don't miss her article ! Besides she gave PB a nice mention.
Big merci Elaine

Bet you think you're in a Paris tea shop.

Looking at banks...

And gorgeous banks of tea tins

WRONG! You're in a chocolate shop (Duo Trio on 88 rue de Rennes, La Bonbonnière de la Trinité in the 9ème, Les Bonbons).

Bet you think you're at a tea festival here.

Don't you love how the French make fun of themselves showing elegant frogs delicately sipping tea? Thank you NestleT.

Kusmi tea creates a maze of tins for sniffing
(clue: U R not at a tea tasting).

Chloe Doutre-Roussel, famous chocolate connoisseure now has her own tea. Chloe filled me in. Thé/tea is a gourmet's drink in Europe and has been for 5-10 years now. More gourmets are choosing tea over coffee. We're talking really good teas, not flavored teas. Coffee bean aromas are too strong for chocolate. You will not find coffee beans in a Parisian chocolate shop. et voila

That's why all these tea tastings at the Salon du Chocolat. If you're going to Paris this Fall don't miss it.
Plan accordingly - it's a chocolate lover and tea tasters ball.

Jugetsudo had this elegant booth at last year's chocolate salon.

Elaine mentions them in her article - why didn't I visit? I loved the design of their map enough to shoot it..

French Girl, like most French Girls, adores her tea. She insists I bring back fresh bags of Fortnum and Mason Breakfast tea from London to refill her precious tins on the shelf. And she's mad for her Japanese tetsubin cast iron tea pot.

 As soon as I got home I rushed down to the Bowery kitchen supply stores to buy one (they're way less expensive than in Paris). Naturally I have never used the darn thing :(
I told Elaine about Kusmi's adorable shopping bag. Whatever you do, DON'T put your Japanese teapot inside this bag or you'll be sporting a broken toe. My bag broke just outside customs at CDG :(

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Little Paris

Don't tell me when you're a guest.
At someone's house you don't check out their perfumes and cosmetics. Ha! Bet you do. And their books?
My Little Paris Naturalement when staying with French Girl I do the same. I was surprised to see two books I'd already bought to figure out the Frenchie ways - Parisian Chic and
My Little Paris My Little Paris!
My Little Paris Fr Girl (who could not possibly be more Frenchie) is buying books about what the ultimate Parisian does, wears, says, bla bla bla?
My Little ParisGranted WE all would love to be Frenchie.
My Little Paris We all would like to be delightfully Amelie or soigne Charlotte Gainsborg or tragique Isabel Adjani or
My Little Paris Or creme de la creme perfectly imperfect Ines de la Fressange. But SO DO FRENCH GIRLS.
They're just like us!
Who knew?

My Little Paris Yup, they want know how to wear a taffata bow in messy hair + designer sunglasses for that 'je ne sais quoi' look.
My Little Paris Or bows on their knee socks.

My Little Paris Like us, they hang out in front of patisserie vitrine/windows.
My Little Paris My Little Paris book is a must have. It's written with Parisians in mind, not us. It dishes all the dirt on where to thread your eyebrows, fix up your apart super-Parisian, have dinner in a one-table resturant, pretend to be a connoisseur, attend a crazy trial (yep you read right), dress like a VIP, rediscover forgotten veggies, turn your kids into little Picassos, laugh out loud, be a guinea pig for a future 3-star-chef etc.

My Little Paris I personally would kill to pedal in a pool on page 26 - sigh
My Little Paris And secret outlet stores on page 55 - let me at em.
My Little Paris

All highly secret info meant only for Parisians. You can get My Little Paris' newsletter delivered to your inbox. Circle the British flag at the top when you subscribe.
I'll be communing with mussels this weekend and shallot tart tatins. click here!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brick Cafe Astoria

Moules watercolor by Carol Gillott Last night I went out searching for my inner mussel. Luckily I live nearby the Brick Cafe Astoria.
Not only is Brick loaded with bistro-esque Frenchie touches.
But the Michelin guide saw fit to give them 1-star!
And they serve a mean moules/mussels marinere with THREE different sauces. Natch I went for traditional white wine with a touch of parsley and basil, since my illustration assignment calls for it.
It occured to me, why not grab a few shells, toss them in my bag for preparatory sketching later on at home.
Naturally just then the owner comes by, catches me red handed and asks,
"Is there anything WE can help you with?"
(Like stuffing your bag full of OUR mussel shells..ahem)
Oh s---!
I mumbled something unintellagable.
BTW this was so good I practically licked the plate. I may return for more research tonight. I should of grabbed a few shells with the mussels still in them. What was I thinking?
For some unknown reason I always end up at the rather so-so Belgian chain, Chez Leon's in Paris for their moules marineres - not nearly as good as The Brick except the for the Belgian mussels being tastier and more plentiful.
I do love their pitcher of water and glasses but is that reason enough?
Studying the construction of a mussel.
I got to thinking it looks a lot like a macaron. Non?
THANKS for all your GREAT suggestions yesterday PBers!!
Huff came up with a near perfect solution - the iPod Touch (4th generation - 8 gigs) I can get all the Paris Metro maps and more and. Well what do you think?
Cheers and may you be living on higher ground.