Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Champagne & jewels of Victoire de Castellane

Lots of bouchons/corks were popping on Sunday when Les Bleus won the world cup. There are signs around Paris thanking the team, MERCI LES BLEUS! And digital signs thanking each team member by name. Yet the leadup to the big game was a bit like a dress rehearsal. There was uncertainty as to whether they would make the big win.
The week before the champagne salon, I made the rounds of some of the salon's patissiers. Sort of a sketching rehearsal. It seemed a trek out to the 17th to KL Patisserie 78, avenue de Villiers.
Well worth it. Kevin Lacote's pastries are delectable. A mini version of the raspberry-grapefruit dome showed up at the salon. They suggested I try the Kara Maca - Caramel with madademia nuts.
So good, I ate it in the metro station. Irresistable and beautifully boxed to not move an inch on the route home.
Philippe Conticini uses a specially textured paper to keep his pastries from bouger enroute to home.
I love ❤️ Conticini's chouquette creme pistache. So much I went back for another next day. It looked trés petit next to my painted 'Mt. Everest' version.
Chef Nina Metayer from Cafe Pouchkine made this meringue Pavlova filled with raspberries and red  currants. Pavlovas are IN this summer PBers.
While munching my Pavlova in their outdoor cafe at Madeleine I spotted a big poster announcing a 3-day exhibit of Dior jewelry at musee d'Art Moderne. I ran there next day.
The artistry of fine jewelry and fine patisserie is not unrelated. Precious, rare ingredients match precious gems, though one luxury is definitely more affordable. Many Paris patisseries look similar to fine jewelry stores though I'm happy to see less and less black interiors.
Only 30 visitors were allowed in at one time to the free exhibit. Many men in black (security guards) guided us through.
Just three rooms, very dark, to set off a Pandora's treasure of 222 sublime jewels designed by Victoire de Castellane.
I would have loved to sketch onsite but there was no time.
As we left each room, attendants came and cleaned the glass for the next group. A spectacular very brief exhibit. If I had not seen the sign (and taken a picture of it) I would have missed it altogether.
Quite a while back I got to stay for a week on my own at Veuve Clicquot newly refurbished manor house in the vineyards at Verzy.
At the time I didn't know I was doing a dress rehearsal to paint Champagne later on.

Every morning someone came and laid out croissants 🥐 jam and ☕️ coffee for me. And I was told to help myself to anything in the fridge. 
There was nothing else inside the fridge other than big Veuve Cliquot champagne jeroboams.
This week I've been painting the one bottle of Champagne I own over and over. It can be hard coming down from Mount Olympus ... And I've been painting up a storm of Paris cherries for the latest Paris map. Thank you for reading Parisbreakfast. If you enjoyed this post, forward to a friend. Subscribe to Paris maps or letters in your mailbox + French souvenirs at ETSY.
I wish you un Bel Été


  1. Woo woo
    Great post!

  2. Carolyn I2:21 AM

    I love the look of that guacamole/pistache sandwich!

    1. The taste of the 'quac-burger' was even better.
      Unfortunately my scale is not so thrilled... :((

  3. You are spot on about the similarities between pastries and jewelry. And chocolates, too. I remember going into the Pierre Marcolini shop at the Grand Sablon in Brussels--it was like a jewelry store, all black, with the chocolates in artfully lit glass cases around the shop.

    1. Yes Marcolini was of the old school black interiors along with Jean-Paul Hevin and Pierre Herme. Hermé and Marcolini have, thank goodness lightened up their interiors.
      Hevin is sticking with black. I don't believe the mainly female customers appreciate shopping in an all-black interior..a mood depressent IMHO. Just sayin'

  4. That bracelet and your take on it..wouaou!
    LOVE the champagne vignettes always..You were born for champagne and pastries..and cherries..and colors.:)

    1. Hahaha Yes my first drink on planet earth was a flute of Champagne Monique !

  5. That jewelry is gorgeous & I'm not a jewelry person. I like your water color of the Veuve Cliquot more than the real thing. I won't even mention the pastries as they are over the top.

    1. I'm not a jewelry person either Sukie, but in Paris when these short exhibits happen its best to go see what's what. I have No regrets at all.
      The problem was to get the jaw off the ground. Most of the visitors were not likely to buy such glorious finery either. Everyone was in AWE for sure!
      Simply A-MAZING.

  6. Carol, Merci! Thank you for reminding me to eat more dessert and drink more Champagne as well as eat more cherries while they are in season! What a wonderful post .Your paintings are so very fabulous. Your take on that jewelry show is so amazing, thanks for sharing. It looks like you are in for a glittering summer. Cheers from rural Oregon!

      Definitely a week of OTT imbibing and pastry eating.
      Where is the rehab for this? Shall I open one?
      Baguette and water on offer.
      Plus watercolor lessons..? 🎨🎨🎨

  7. I love your champagne bottles Carol! What a great jewelry exhibition too, I agree your painting is lovely.

    They are very dainty looking pavlovas, here we have larger ones covered in fruit (I can actually make good pavlova). It is delicious! Would love to try this one with fruit on the inside.

    What an amazing week you must have had in champagne! Enjoy the cherries.

    1. 8 (EIGHT PASTRIES!) in 2 days is NOT going to happen again IMHO. So much for dress rehearsals :))
      I would LOVE to taste an Australian Pavlova. The French Have to change things and give it a twist which is fine but could an Australian patisserie Please open in Paris?
      Australian coffee shops have done very well ❤️🙏🏻

  8. Reading your blog and seeing some of the sights you see is truly a breath of fresh air for a moment. Thank you, Carol!

  9. Lynn C3:09 AM

    This was so much fun. The pastries looked Devine and the water colors were picture perfect. Jewelry was gorgeous. I would have too busy eating all the pastries instead of painting them. Lol

  10. Kathleen H3:12 AM

    LOVED ALL YOUR ART AND PHOTOS!! The desserts to die for! What is the secret that the French aren't fat when they eat these gorgeous (but HIGH calorie) desserts! Americans fat due to (1) not enough exercise and (2) too much fast food...

  11. Love the little painted landscapes. The jewelry, it is delicious, oh là là to look at with no harmful side effects like gaining weight.


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