Friday, January 31, 2014

Candy School - Le Bonbon au Palais

I always learn something new when I visit candy store, La Bonbon au Palais at 19, rue Monge 75005 Metro Cardinal Lemoine, bus 47.
There's a good reason the shop is full of desks and grade school paraphrenalia.
So sharpen your pencils PBers
And get out your ardoises/mini blackboards to take some notes.
1st leçon is how to put marshmallows/guimauve into a glass jar. Very important lesson
I love to browse this shop. Memories of childhood excursions to candy shops in my neighborhood come back. I'm sure they said "Oh here's the browser again."
 This customer already knows the merchandise well. He's just patiently waiting for his snack.
On to class work. When I noticed the geological samples they reminded me of shards of rock-like candies I saw at Salon de l'Agriculture last March.
I was fascinated by their transparency and strong scent. Some are from pine trees/sapin and there was licorice/reglisse.  I filled my pockets with samples. They sat on my desk for ages till temptation beckoned.
Georges was happy to explain. These special candies are from the Hautes-Vosges.
They are not flavored but made from essential oils..from resins of the region including eucalyptus, honey, poppies, pine and licorice.
They serve a medicinal purpose. Each flavor is useful for a different ailment of the nose, throat, lungs and circulation.
You can get them crushed into smaller pieces as a tisane. Georges proceeded to demonstrate the various coughs, and other throaty maladies these can cure. He explained with the tisane, you must let it brew for 10 minutes. Then do an inhalation over the cup for 15 minute. This was demonstrated as well. Hard not to giggle but the lesson was learned. Georges, as usual popped a few stony nuggets into my pocket for future use along with a tea bag or two. By the way these little candy rocks have a refreshing taste and the maker has a bonbon museum I wouldn't mind visiting if I get to the Haut- Vosges. Otherwise you can find these at Le Bonbon au Palais in Paris.
Another important lesson to learn when you move if you have a guardienne in your building you Must bring her a candy gift. It's an essential, preferably chocolates and caramels - the reason for my visit.
Georges is the master of gift wrapping. First comes the crepe paper in the color of your choice.
Then the candies are popped into the bag.
An added plus a fan-shape of another color!
Enfin/at last the ribbon and a lolly-pop/sucette. My new guardienne was thrilled and so was I. La Bonbon is loads of fun to visit. Georges won't let you leave without a lesson or two and many tastes. Only in Paris.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Printemps Louvre

I go into Le Louvre Apple store all the time.
Adjacent to Apple is the new Printemps Louvre branch open about 10 days
An extended gallery of the Louvre showing 6 international artist's creations interpreting the handbag amongst the merchandise.
Fanciful harmless animals greet you at the door.
Maybe not so harmless..

The giant purse is perfect.
Wonder if you can sleep in it?
The pattern? Witty broken plastic chips. Trés plasticy.
A melting handbag. That's happened to me.
Bear inside my bag.
Happens all the time.
Fun animals everywhere.
And you can TAKE PICTURES! Are they thinking Louvre visitors are not going to put their iPhones/cameras away once they enter? Plenty of smiles all around from staff. Very nice.
Karl has cats onboard and Marc has catty iPhone covers.
There's even a mini park with bench to rest your Louvre-weary feet (instead of inside the Apple store). Can you bring your lunchbag too?
A classic Longchamps boutique is inside the store.
There are perfume and makeup boutiques too.  I didn't get up to the second floor.
Roget et Gallet has beautiful displays

You can depart le Louvre through the Richelieu wing and go out the portal that opens onto Palais Royal. *By the way you DO NOT NEED a ticket to enter this way (minus the crowds)...I was mistaken.
*PB POSTING may be spotty for a bit till I get my new wifi set up. Please stand by PBers ;)) Tanks.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Maison et Objet 2014

Bear and his friend haven't packed yet even though we're all moving TODAY!
We decided to check out the huge fabulous MAISON et OBJET show yesterday at the Villepinte Nord exhibition center to look for a few items for our new mouse hole.

There are 8 big halls to cover and over 3,000 exhibitors. No wonder people bring rolling suitcases for all the fab catalogs.

We mainly stayed in the Cook + Design hall #3 since we didn't wish to kill ourselves like last year's Maison et Objet.
We're definite about needing this Armani table ware for our new digs that's for sure
We already have a recessed shower in the wall but who wouldn't love a splendid bathtub in the middle of the room I ask you?
A handsome armchair and matching china from Gien France would hit the spot.
Perhaps placing the chair ON top of the table is a way better idea
Bibelots may be a no-no for lack of space from Ateliers C et S Davoy.
But we fell hard for everything from Spanish decor company Guardarte.
This greeny head is an essential.
Two faux 17th century busts will look nice in the hallway (if I had a hallway..ahem).
Everyone requires a peacock on the dining room table (if you happen to have a dining room. I don't).
From Swedish SIA a wall of faux flowers to bring the outside in.
A wall of Damann teas is perfect when guests drop by.
Hanging from the rafters (again if I had them) a slew of French copper pots.
Plus plenty of wine carafes for evening entertainment.
There are tastings, lectures and demos going on all the days of Maison Objet - a don't-miss in my opinion. In hall 3 I heard pastry chefs, Francois Perret of Hotel Shangri-La and Fabien Rouillard of Fauchon chat with marketing chef Karine Legoux of Angelina about 'Le tea time, petit luxe à (ré)enchanter'. Heard is the operative word here. Understood is another matter.
There are plenty of treats in hall 3 like these velvety jams from Sens et Savor.
Greenpan was serving Brazilian feojioda in their terrific ceramic non-stick pots and pans.
I will need a complete set of only orange Le Creuset ware non?
Even though none of the bears or myself drink coffee you have to have an espresso maker and it might as well be snazzy Italian Bugatti.
These bright crumpled cups from Revol will do nicely to serve it in.
With tableware from my fav, Sabre Paris. they have a shop to boot on rue St. Sulpice.
I would love to have daily deliveries of France's oldest artisanal limonade-maker Elixia.
If not I'll DIY with Sodastream. The French have redesigned it plus added flavoring cups. YUM Scarlette Johansen is their new spokesperson. No wonder she moved to France.
A live-in Monbano chocolate chef is another essential. The bears may have to move out sadly ;(
Making chocolate lollypops/sucettes all day long of course.
French women don't get fat
French women don't get facelifts
French women DO eat lollypops none-stop
By this time with all the added accoutrements in my new mouse hole (20 meters big) I'll be hanging from the rafters if I had them. Instead I plan to learn how to make a proper tarte tatin au pomme like I tasted at Maison et Objet. The fair is on through Tuesday. Do go if you can. And take the RER B for heavens sake not the navettes - just 15-20 minutes from Gare du Nord. Now I must go pack!