Monday, August 29, 2011

French Cafe Glasses

Originally I was going to paint just one cafe glass
OK this one - a very typically 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 themselves thanks Gawd, 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?"


  1. I had vin chaud at a cafe near Notre Dame in a clear, thick glass pedestal mug with a handle. I've been looking for mugs like that ever since. 'Cause, you know, winters get cold in Minnesota. And we drink our wine hot.

  2. Yes. I've broken enough wine glasses. Greeks use the shorties for wine and I think it's a great idea.

  3. To go from French utilitarian to Diner utilitarian might be a bit of a stretch, but I've been "collecting" (stealing, actually) American Diner coffee mugs, forever. My collection reminds me of wonderful Friday nights at the local Diner, after a night of bowling, when I was a teen in S. Jersey.

  4. Cher M.Ternay,

    You are the reason most cafes do not put their logos on the glassware etc.


    or so I was told...

  5. Me too, I confess, I love french glasses, we have lots at home for wine, for water. My first cafe drink in Paris was Orangina, way back in the olden daysbefore it was available in the US and it came in a really round bottle. Lovely the glass affair!

  6. Hi, Carolg!! I love your painting!! My glasses (here, at home) are like that one, in the first image! Kisses and hugs!

  7. My thing about French cafe glasses is exactly the opposite to yours! I love that when you order a branded drink, whether it's beer, Orangina, whatever - it nearly always comes in the appropriate glass for the product. That just doesn't seem to happen here in the UK. I guess it's just good marketing by the drinks companies but it always makes me want to have the glass and I have to resist the temptation to 'adopt' it;-) Actually the very reason I stumbled upon your blog was because I was searching the internet to see if you could buy the Cafes Richard coffee cups that I covet so much and I came across one of your sketches!

  8. Carrie,

    You can find CAFES RICHARD cups here!
    I had tons of them at one time..
    No more :(

  9. Yes I found that site at the same time I came across yours, but the cost of postage here to the UK is nearly as much as the cups themselves :-( I love them but not almost $100 worth!! I plan on having a look in the Comptoirs Richard shop when we're back in Paris next spring. Love your sketches and paintings BTW. C x

  10. That top glass is like our everyday kitchen glasses. But that said, we have a million different kinds, as I'm a glasses/flatware/dishes fanatic. I painted some wine glasses with a design very similar to French Girl's glasses here, and I gave a set of them to Claudia one year, too. They were fun, but lots of work--you use glass paint, let it "set" for a full 24 hrs, and then bake them. God knows what carcinogens I inhaled doing those, but I love the way the glasses look, and they'll stay that way forever now!

  11. Carrie F -
    definitely go to Les Comptoirs
    You can buy just ONE cup not a set of 10
    who needs that?
    I love that store for it's variety
    So much fun!
    One on 48,rue cherche-midi and 145,Saint-Dominique in the 7th.

  12. Lucinda1:27 PM

    I love it when they serve wine in those little tooth glasses especially in the provinces..
    Fun post

  13. Hello Carol...yes, ofcourse I love French cafe glasses and one of the first things my husband and I registered for when we were getting married was a set of French cafe glasses... and tho' durable we are down now (after 10 years mind you) from 10 to 8, that's with three kiddos in the mix now too. Oh, last night I made a Tarte Tatin and thought of you.

  14. Agree. My first purchase for house in late 70s in DC were the Durand (& one other I forget) glasses I used in France as student. I love them. And they are very affordable.

  15. Dear Carol, your blog is amazing !!! Congrats !!

    Would it be possible to meet you for an interview on my blog Raids Pâtisseries ?

  16. grumble...grumble? AT LE SELECT?? Oh Carol, right to my heart.......

  17. When we were in Paris last year, it seemed that almost every bar/bistro/cafe was using the short little cutely stumpy glasses. My sister bought me some for my birthday and I love using them at home for wine or soda. I feel as if I am back there for a moment or two.

  18. And I love the painted glass--

    I can hear that spoon clinking around in it

  19. I'd be happy if I could just paint a glass:)Like you do.

  20. I love this blog! Seriously!

    I haven't given much thought to the glassware as of yet - when you live in a place it is easy to take certain things for granted - buy I DO know that I am passionate about Parisian Cafés. My French aunt, now 80 years old, lives in the 5ième in Paris and she is a great lover of the café. She even wanted to write a book about this fascinating subject. It's the culture, the people watching, the EVERYTHING I love.

    Thank you for this post; it has opened my eyes.


  21. I love the opening watercolor, really beautiful!
    I wouldn't know how to duplicate the color of glass!
    The food you had with French Girl sounds delicious.......

  22. Kerry6:50 PM

    I just wanted to report (in case you haven’t seen it) that in the Sept issue of Town & Country magazine, page 58 includes a one-page story about Ladurée will be opening a store in NYC soon—at 864 Madison Ave, between 70th and 71st streets.

    It’s a good article—you'll appreciate it—and they did not rip off one of your watercolors!


  23. Carol, as I read this post in our post-Hurricane Irene New York, I was sipping my iced coffee from a Duralex glass, one of six bought decades ago and still unchipped or broken.

    Viva la France!


  24. Hmm, I've never noticed myself having overly affectionate feelings for cafe glasses. I much prefer wine glasses! I've taken quite a few photos of glasses with white wine in them with something typically Parisian in the background. I love how the liquid turns the building, or whatever, upside down in the photo. The only cafe glass that I've wanted to photograph was when my husband ordered menthe a l'eau (water with mint syrup) because the color was so pretty. But I'll be sure to take a closer look at the cafe glasses when I'm out today.

  25. You do have the eye, Carol. Hadn't noticed that the French love their glasses - it's so true. As for La Bovida, want to go back and get these cute verrines with ze bendy spoons but the lady was so snooty, n'est-ce pas? Ouch - also had tea in the new opéra café yesterday. I SHOULD have complained but guess I was paying for the classical music. We need to have tea together again and complain next time ;-)


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