Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tout Sweet

 Biff's photo by Karen Wheeler
This morning while doing a search on Amazon for books on 'moving to France' I met up with Biff. He belongs to fabulously funny Brit author, Karen Wheeler,
 Who wrote laugh-outloud, Tout Sweet:Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France. BTW I've just added walking to my Paris-prep regime of swimming + stair-climbing, so being able to read my Kindle (with one eye on the ground for unforeseen circumstances) is a great joy. Granted my hoots of laughter are scaring off the neighborhood dogs but never mind.
Tout Sweet is the perfect read for anyone who dreams of chucking away their BlackBerry in favor of real blackberrying and downshifting to a romantic, alluring locale where new friendships–and new loves–are just some of the treasures to be found amongst life's simple pleasures.

 Since Biff and his brill owner live in a small village in Poitou-Charentes (central western France) I thought it a good excuse to take them on a fantasie noire trip back to Hotel du Petit Moulin which just happens to be on rue du Poitou (home turf you might say for them...).
 I can easily see Biff bouncing down these dotty stairs. Biff may or may not be a Portugese water dog but he's still adorbs and has his own blog at toutsweet dot net not to be missed.
 I see Biff lounging in this perfectly co-ordinated bedroom.

Or leafing through the oh so tres courrant fashion journals at the hotel.
 Or better yet parking himself in the faux book nook
 For a good read (not too many words for Biff) of Pascale Estellon's lovely Mon Priemier Livre D'Activities (also matching Biff's coat noir).
 Biff's mistress, Karen, former fashion editor for the London Mail on Sunday, could relax in the perfect noire lingerie outfit with matching gloves of course...

There is the option of one of Eres new summer checked bathing suits as well.
 One MUST match one's dog don't you think? It's de rigueur non?
The added filip of a 'Chantal Thomas' fringe goes into the fantasy mix
 Plus a good healthy spritz of Guerlain's newest La Petite Robe Noire is essential.
Why not a noire carte des affaires while we're at it?
I was surprised to find these in Paris.
What do you think?
Would you or wouldn't you?
The ultimate treat for Biff and his mistress - Pierre Herme noire macarons reglasse(licorice).
Enough of les noires fantasies...
Back to Karen Wheeler's tale of Tout Sweet, making her way renovating a run-down but tres charmante cottage in Western France seriously lacking in the most basic mod-cons.
'My future, as I had often smugly reflected, seemed assured: a sexy French husband, a second home in France, and bilingual enfants dressed in Bonpoint clothing'
All this goes down the drain when said Fr man takes a walk just before the wedding. The adventures up and down will have you spinning with laughter. Karen's a terrific writer. Well she's British. Go read a few pages on Amazon and see if you're not hooked. I was down-loading in the middle of 31st Avenue (isn't the Kindle wonderful?)
Cheers and happy reading PBers.


  1. Lucky Biff gets to lead the good life all around in Paris and in the French boonies
    Bravo for Biff!
    and merci for the book rec-looks like fun

  2. I am so happy you like like like your Kindle..Moi aussi as you know..

    You have tempted me to read that book Tout de suite..

    Who can forget Julia Robert's polka dot dress in Pretty Woman.. Granted.brown..but she wore it so well..
    I love the book jacket..a market bag is always charming to me..

    1. The 'Touch' Kindle is a delight though I've still much to learn on it.
      Thanks to your encouragement Monique I am walking and reading at least till I trip.

    2. Hahaha
      I just got it
      'tout a suite'
      Tout Sweet

  3. What a fun excursion!
    I wonder what Poitou is like in comparison
    the book looks enticing

  4. Awe, Biff! What a cutie-tail.
    Eat Cake

  5. Biff looks adorable, a real cutie !!

  6. you have never steered me wrong with book choices....she has a sequel to this as well...been out up here for a while now...

  7. Hi Carol!

    Thanks for posting some photos of Le Petit Moulin! I was living around the corner from there this past year and have been curious about the rooms.

    Of course the website shows photos of the best rooms, so it's nice to see some honest photos that are just as fabulous!

    1. Mille coquine,
      I made an appt to go shoot the rooms at La Petit Moulin in March and never made it. then I got lost and found it and got up my nerve, went in and asked if I could still shoot and do a story?
      No problem.
      They swiftly led me up to several rooms in several price ranges (starting at 195).
      I was swooning.
      The bathrooms are to-die-for of course.
      If I ever get a Fr visa or my book published I getting some zzzzs at La Petit Moulin!

  8. Dear Carol,

    THANK YOU so much for this wonderful blog post. Biff and I are hugely flattered and absolutely love the fantasy Parisian life that you have created for us. I too can see him running down those dotty stairs and resting his weary paws in that perfectly co-ordinated bedroom. The picture of a Biff lookalike in that chair is hilarious. It has made our week. Karen and Biff xx

    1. THANKS so much Karen for stopping by PB to say Allo
      And hugs to darling Biff.
      I had such a good read on the subway tonight with Tout Sweet I nearly missed my stop. I'm certain the person next to me was getting a kick out of too.
      Kindle offers communal reading.

  9. You made me smile. Merci! xxx

  10. Lucinda6:05 PM

    LOVED the sample.
    Going for the WHOLE thing
    What a fun read.
    Only the British do witty so well

  11. I loved the sample, too! Looks like fun...
    I love the pic of the dog - the first pic & the "fake" one :)

  12. someday I'll figure out PhotoShop Nikon.
    Or not :)

  13. I would hang up any one of my shoes for a New Life in Paris even if it's for a short stay!
    Having been there I dream of getting back!
    Sounds like a perfect summer read lounging and day dreaming on a summer day...if summer ever comes! Grrr..cold temps here.

  14. I always appreciate your book recommendations, thank you. A propos Literature with dogs: I'm reading Travels With Charley by Steinbeck & I so love it. Even though they are travels in the US in the 60's and not in la France, still, the writing is so wonderful. Cool the way you work macraons and pastry into most if not all of your posts!

    1. What a clever duck you are to notice.
      Macarons and pastry are the aeasthetic touch I can't resist.
      Plus I think I ate 3 macarons during posting to get into the spirit of things.

  15. RE: kindle - I have the kindle software on my iPad....but it lacks the search function... for iPad books: When I see a name and can't remember who it is, i highlight and search and it lists every occurrence of that name so I can see who it is. Does a real Kindle have that function?
    Re: this post - This is a record amount of black for you!

    1. I am not so savvy with the Kindle (why I'm upgraded to the 'Touch' - less thinking involved)
      You could try calling their Kindle support - VERY helpful and not automated.
      I have Kindle software on my laptop as well and that works fine too.
      There certainly is a lot of black in Paris. No two ways about it.
      Especially black + red/rouge et noire.

  16. oh this sounds like the perfect book for summer! And the best part there are three. :)

  17. Jacquelyn7:31 AM

    Merci for brightenin​g my work morning each week,

  18. I use the kindle on my ipad, too--great for trips, but I admit I'm old fashioned and like books, and dog-earing pages and taking notes in the margins. Cool that Karen saw your post!


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