Sunday, December 29, 2019

Le Dome, Montparnasse

If you're lucky enough to know some darling PBers who invite you to dinner on New Year’s Eve at LE DOME MONTPARNASSE go. Say yes vite. I admit I hesitated - too much homework, the metro isn't working, I'll be a 3rd wheel, bla bla bla. Fortunately I came to my senses. Besides December 26th in 2012 is the date I arrived in Paris and I'm still here.  It’s my Paris-Anniversary! 🥂
A good reason to celebrate, raise a glass 🥂and remember life is good and people are kind. 
What a lovely evening at one of Paris' swell, classic old brasseries (it opened in 1898). 
We had 'The works'. Champagne 🍾 first. 

We shared a plateau of oysters 🦪  The Dome’s seafood is reknown. They have their own fish store

Food writer Patricia Wells said, "I could dine at Le Dôme once a week, feasting on platters of briny oysters and their incomparable sole meunière." Bonnie had the incomparable sole, her favorite. 

Rob and I had the incomparable coquille St Jacques, on a bed of buttery leeks. 

We all shared Rob's dessert. One of the lightest, best 'Millefeuille Napoleon parfumé au rhum (barely evident) et la vanille' I've tasted. Our waiter suggested we get it instead of the chocolate buche de Noél. Listen 👂 to your waiter. 

By the way the service is 'old school'. Elegant yet friendly and attentive without being stuffy. And 🙏🏻 no one asked us 'how are you enjoying your meal?' in the midst of eating.  If you have a birthday or anniversary of any kind coming up, start saving and celebrate it at LE DOME in Paris. Bear was there, but he...umm stayed inside my bag. Have an Absolutely Fabulous NEW YEARS EVE 🥂🍾dear PBers. And Thank you so much for keeping us in Paris to share another year with you ❤️ XXX Carol and 🐻

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Ritz Chalet de Noël - Chef Francois Perret

Wednesday I took Bear to THE HOTEL RITZ' new Chalet de Noël at Place Vendôme. Get there by 5 January.

We got the'So Ritzy' formule - a hot chocolate + pastry (an apfelstrudel 15€). Bear gobbled it up instantly. 

Meet the genius behind this Ritzy creation, FRANÇOIS PERRET just awarded Meilleur Patissier du Monde in October. Plus he has published his first pastry book, Instants Sucres,

I introduced you to Chef Perret in 2014 making pastry magic  at HOTEL SHANGRI-LA 

And next in 2016 when Perret moved to The Ritz and opened the divine Salon Proust.  
If lines are long at the Chalet 

Casually waltz inside the hotel, whilst humming, 'Putting on the Ritz'. You can order the same yummy fare at the bar.. 

FYI The Ritz staff takes kindly to interlopers and browsers unlike some other 5-star Palace hotels

Head to the concept gift shop in the back of the hotel so you can  meander the hallways.

Enroute step outside into the beautifully-lit courtyard. 

If you need holiday fancy dress there's plenty in the shop. 

You may be lucky and catch François signing his new book. Check François' instagram for shop signings and his latest creations. His book will be out in the US in April 2020. Stay tuned - next up Paris Christmas windows.
Thanks for reading PB. 
Xxx❤️Bear 🐻 is eating cabbage soup for a bit instead of pastries.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

More Christmas in Paris

I ventured up to the Marais on Sunday. The streets were teaming with CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS. No one else was hibernating evidently.
Major 'leché vitrine'/window licking at chocolatier A LA MERE DE FAMILLE.
Inside staff were wearing sequined antlers.
A sparkly window at chocolatier JADIS ET GOURMANDE, rue des Archives.
Finally I wended my way to 
BHV, on rue de Rivoli looking super sparkly.
Little Bo Peep in pink was trying to pet the Alsacian reindeer.
BHV has wooden chalets out front selling classic ALSACIAN honey pain d'epice. And another for gingerbread fans minus the honey. You can get foie gras on toast points as well.
Across the street its snowing on Hotel de Ville.
The Marchę de Noël in front has vin chaude/hot spiced wine 4 ways - blanc, rouge, punch and OJ for tea-totalers. I got a pretty good hotdog from another log cabin. Last but not least TWO merry-go-rounds and enough kiddies to keep both turning all night. Stay tuned - next stop rue Saint-Honoré.
Thank you for reading PB. Gift yourself and friends Parisbreakfast letters, maps and watercolors in my Etsy shop. Xxx❤️Bear 🐻 is done hibernating. 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Le Bon Marché Paris - Noël 2019

Yesterday I finally stopped hibernatng and dragged myself out of the studio to go sketch Christmas shoppers at BON MARCHE for the next Russian Tea Room menu. 

Their theme this year is 'Rois des Forets' (king of the forests). 

Lighted, hanging Christmas trees are just glorious. 

But shoppers are wearing all-black including the illustrations in Bon March's catalog by wonderful NY artist, AMBER VITTORIA. Black tights, leggings + high black boots, black bags with black coats and long hair required. 

I was not dressed appropriately - the only person in jeans 😳 Leçon learned. Luckily I found the single chair in Bon Marche, sat down and sketched the black-garbed parade for future reference. 
If your dog is black bring it to Bon Marché. Otherwise forgetaboutit. 
Its not all monochrome inside. There are plenty of colorful products instore. 
If you buy a HERMÉS perfume 

You will be gifted a charming watercolor which you can easily re-gift. 

Louis Vuitton has rainbow-colored displays. 
A great relief from the all-noir dressed shoppers. 
In next door Grand Epicerie you can buy a lolly-pop style waffle with multi-colored toppings like framboise confiture, Chantilly or chocolate sauce. Watch a VIDEO of the 2019 Noël windows, put on some black and head on over. They are open on Sunday till 8pm. Thank you for reading PB. Gift yourself and friends Parisbreakfast letters, maps and watercolors in my Etsy shop. Xxx❤️Bear 🐻 is going swimming 🏊‍♀️ today by hook or by crook. Enough hibernating! 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Map of Paris - Paris Christmas Windows

'Some enchanting evening you will meet a' Snowman, reindeer and cardinals. Paris Christmas windows seemed an obvious December map idea. 
Department store BHV in the Marais is celebrating Noel in Alsace. I wonder how many reindeer are running around STRASBOURG? No matter. Reindeer = Christmas. 

Along with the absence of Paris squirrels, there are no red cardinals. Yet I'm surrounded by cardinals. I take metro CARDINAL LEMOINE (when its running) and pass le Petit Cardinal cafe and Cafe Cardinal almost daily so thanks to my subconscious the December letters are full of red birds. 
G.THUILLIER, a nativity shop at Place St. Sulpice is a must-see at Christmas. 
DIPTYQUE the perfume shop at 34 bd St Germain has delightful and surprising windows all year round.
My favorite Paris windows this year are at GALERIES LAFAYETTE with a bee hive theme.
A very royal queen bee surrounded by lush flowers.

The colors and design are spectacular.
And not so commercial.
Buzzing bees hover inside the store in the atrium around a huge flowered tree. Its breath-taking.
That tree became my Eiffel tower on December's map.

Chocolatier LA MERE DE FAMILLE shops never disappoint both inside and out. Nor do their playful chocolates. 
FYI the Metros are not yet running. Buses are intermittent. The post office is open 🙏🏻 The Batobus on the Seine IS running. And the tempurature is 39 feels like 31. Thanks for reading PB. Gift yourself and friends Parisbreakfast letters, maps and watercolors in my Etsy shop. Bear 🐻 is under an umbrella. Its raining out ❤️Xxx