Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Tourist in Paris, Halsman exhibit

If you live in Paris, believe it or not
Every now and then you wish you were again a carefree tourist throwing caution to the wind.
I did that on Saturday. I went to see the Halsman photography exhibit. As exciting as the giant blowup posters in the Metro.
A few tips for tourists:
M. Asked me, "was it safe to take Paris buses?
YES! If this man isn't worried his puppy will be taken, you shouldn't either.
S. asked me where are the best croissants?
When you live in Paris you pretty much stop eating croissants and p'tit dejeuner as served in hotels and cafes. There are too many other goodies to waste your calories on.
Like Brioche de Rois during the month os Janvier.
I never tried the Provençal galette before but these are truly delicious. Inside, fleur d'orange delicately flavored brioche. Outside a crackly thin sugar coating with preserved fruit. Eric Kayser makes this mini version. I kept eating it Before I painted it...
The classic January galette des Rois is pretty much like eating a layered croissant made with the same puff pastry (another reason to save yourself).
I've been researching these. They are only available from Jan 1-31.
Gerard Mulot makes this divine version with pistachios and big Spanish almonds. Get it while you can. Forget those croissants.
For a year I have been ogling these adorable feves (favors placed inside the Galette des Rois). On Saturday, feeling a bit tourist-like I sailed into Angelina and paid an outrageous 27€ for these minis. The equally adorable feves sitting on top are from the very reasonable Picard - DIY individual galette des roi (4€ for 2 feves).
I took a quick look at Angelina's gold leaf galette (the price was hidden) and went on my way.
The trouble with indulging yourself with luxury items is you start thinking you deserve others. You have to be a tourist to slip so easily into this frame of mind. I've passed this seafood restaurant, VIN et MARÉE so many times yet never went in. A bit of chatting with the maitre d and I waltzed inside. The interiors are from the ocean liner, SS Normandie. Luxury indeed.
The formule dinner menu was not really very steep...
Naturally I went for all coquille Saint Jacques. They give you a lovely bowl of mussels in lemony sauce first 'on the house'.
My main, more scallops with leaks plus une verre of Quincy 'Domaine de Villalin'. When you're pretending to be a tourist you can get wine even though normally you don't touch a drop. It enhances the meal though I couldn't finish my glass...
Vin et Marée has a lovely counter outside of fresh fruits de mer at 165 rue Saint-Honoré so they're easy to spot and open 7 days a week.
I usually never notice at my Metro entrance (by Niki de Saint Phalle), when I'm tearing around. Was she referencing
The dome at Église Saint Roch also on rue Saint-Honore? A nice postprandial stopin after indulging all day as a pretend tourist.
Its good idea to look at the evening light at Concorde instead of rushing off home.
Sometimes I wish I was a tourist again...


  1. You make us grateful armchair tourists..I love the Angelina fèves Carol.Glad you got them, as priceless as Limoges;)So so sweet.

  2. Anonymous12:25 PM

    I love that you played "tourist". After all it was reading about all of your breakfasts in great spots and fun food adventures that helped me be a more informed tourist. All of your wonderful adventures I have read abbout in your fabulous BLOG give me great ideas for the next trip ... someday. Thank you for all the insights and vaulable information and links. And your great ART! I love the Maps that come with such sweet things in the envelope FROM PARIS!!! The maps are full of ideas of places to visit.Keep up the good work.You make it seem like its not work, but I am sure it is.Cheers! Fan from Rural Oregon

    1. Thank you OREGON!
      You just made my day ;))

  3. I will be there in early October, and though I'm a scairdy-cat from way back, I know it's worth facing my fears and taking the plunge. I was there in May 2014, and as we traversed Ile Saint-Louis, I kept my eyes on the lookout for you. I did find Christophe and his chickens (a charmer!).

  4. Love your blog! Since I'm a huge fan of Niki de St Phalle - I felt obligated to point out that she did not do the Place Colette Metro stop, it was Jean-Michel Othoniel:–_Musée_du_Louvre_(Paris_Métro)

    1. Thanks for the correction. It was a wild guess. It looked so like garden pieces of hers from the Grand Palais exhibit. Mille merci

  5. There is always so much more to learn about Paris. I've never seen a Brioche de Rois before! But they look so incredible. Now I want to try those as well as Galette des Rois... Those Angelina feves are completely adorable btw, I can well understand why you were tempted. Vin et Maree looks amazing too, that wall is incredible, and I love coquilles St Jacques. And yes the bus is indeed a fabulous way to get around Paris, although it take a little more homework than the Metro. Bonne année to you Carol.

  6. It's so true about the croissants. You fantasize about eating them up until your trip to Paris then you arrive and fuggedaboutit. Too many other delectable treats.

  7. Carol, first of all, I love the puppy in the bus window. It looks as if he has someone who truly loves him too.

    It was fun to see you give yourself a tourist Visa to enjoy parts of Paris that you as a local now might not visit or taste. I might follow your theme over in New York this year. Thanks for the encouragement.


    1. Come to PARIS instead.
      You keep threatening Frances!!!

    2. Could be this year, Carol. I promise to keep you informed. xo

  8. Umm...were your leeks leaking? :-(

  9. The feves from Angelina would make a great memento for any tourist to bring home. Very packable! Maybe Angelina should do a feve appropriate for every month of the year, i.e., a Valentine heart for February, a shamrock for March, a bunny rabbit for April (or a tiny umbrella), ....... I have twice loved being a tourist in Paris, but I'm not overly fond of the bad name we are frequently given. I try to mind my manners, but think it's difficult to pretend you're a Parisian when you're not. I did bring home a little memento of Angelina that was not edible. :-) Keep up the great posts which make us very hungry.

  10. In France and not drink wine? It's the only place we can sit and drink a whole bottle and not feel headachy and hung over. Even the house table wine is delicious. Your photos are always wonderful and your paintings are too.

    1. Janet, half a glass gives me a hangover..
      My dad was the same way ;(
      Trés triste indeed

  11. Great opening, the Halsman shots. Beautiful photos.
    The puppy on the bus is just right :) Nice shot.
    The food looks very good, but very sweet - I liked the jump to the Metro stops and Paris streets at night.
    You've lived there since 2012? Wow, that went by quickly! I remember the commutes from Queens :)

  12. Bonnie L9:37 AM

    OMG!! I would kill for those Angelina fèves (figuratively speaking of course!). You could make your fortune reselling them to your your price! ��

    Loved this post. You have the best of both worlds, Carol: resident that can play tourist whenever you want!

  13. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Bonne Année, Carol... from Clermont, Florida. How I miss Paris, but connect vicariously through your delightful posts, photographs and etchings.
    Bon Souir, Desiree

  14. I'm with Frances! Still threatening to come to Paris, but in the meantime, I have dedicated this year to visiting all the spots I clip articles about right here around town...tourist-y. So far it has been a lot of fun!

  15. Love the photos in this post, especially the dog looking out the window... I love seeing Paris through your eyes, makes me want to be there. :-) Thank You for sharing your experiences...

  16. I love your posts Carol! I just wanted to share with you that here in Portugal our galette des rois is always like the brioche version you showed. And I agree with you is so much better than the million puff pastry layers of the tradicional galette des rois.
    Kisses from Portugal
    Mariana :)


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