Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tootbus Paris Christmas Lights Tour


You know I’m a big fan of visiting Paris at night. It’s always a good idea. When Bonnie said, “ join us for the Paris at night TOOTbus tour, “(20€) I was game. 

Then I saw they had a Paris Christmas tour (90 minutes-23€) and requested a ticket so I could tell you all about it😊 The meetup point is close to Opera.

We were greeted with a warming cup of hot chocolate. 
If you’re into doughnuts, Besties behind the bear in the window, offered bus tour attendees 3🍩 for the price of 2🍩 🤸‍♂️

A nice map was provided with our route. 

Plus our own ear phones to the perfect French songs background music The Tootbus Christmas playlist link is available here. Also included tidbits of historic info, like who knew the Louvre got its name from a place where dogs were kept to protect against wolves?

Being high up in a double-decker gives you a whole new perspective on Paris monuments like Place Vendôme

We passed the windows near rue de Rivoli and the Tuileries gardens Christmas marché with its flashy ferris wheel. Paris was crowded at 6pm on a Sunday night.

We went up and down the gloriously lit Champs-Elysées. So many Parisiennes out strolling.

Then over to luxe Avenue Montaigne for the haute couture shops, Dior, YSL, etc.

We were lucky to pass under Gustave’s Eiffel just as the twinkling lights ⭐️⭐️⭐️ came on. The highlight of the tour and definitely a ‘Bucket list’ experience. 

Heading back to Opera, 

The ordinary cars, at night, transform into a glowing red ruby necklace.

We passed Galeries Lafayette 

And Printemps windows. Coming home made me appreciate the little lights on trees🌲 near my house all the more. Paris loves ❤️ Christmas lights. I was a guest of TOOT bus. Can I recommend the Tootbus Christmas lights tour? Absolutely OUI! And going by myself was fine. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. Your support of Parisbreakfastis greatly appreciated and helps me put free Paris 🥐  content into your inbox each week. ❤️💋🐻😊

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Salon Créations & savoir-faire, Marie Claire Idées


Porte de Versailles has nothing to do with chateau de Versailles. This is good to know. It can sound a bit off-putting. It is the main convention center right in the heart of Paris, 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower, with 8 pavilions, hosting 120 trade shows yearly. And it is the largest exhibition center in France. I’ve visited many, many times (salon du Chocolat🍫, Salon du Agriculture🐄 etc.) yet never noticed these tile illustrations of what the old convention center looked like in 1900.

Its changed a bit since the old days…

Useful info how to get there.

I went to the annual DIY craft show, Salon Creations et Savoire-Faire last week.

Crafts are exceedingly popular in France.

As usual, colors and textures catch my eye first and foremost. I would love to add these embroidered ribbons from India into your Paris letters, 💌 but they are a bit on the pricy side when you need meters and meters of 🎀
I wish I knitted 🧶  

The colors 🎨! Divine non? 

Even if you don’t do crafts, these shows are sooo inspiring! Fab fabrics from La Petite Boutique d’Odile

There are of course, mini courses to learn a new craft from all the experts at the Salon.

I was deeply smitten with the giant magnifying glasses…

How did I resist these adorb buttons(?)

From Atelier Bonheur du Jour. Who doesn’t need a little happiness everyday?

Why do we love miniatures so much?

I was inspired to paint dozens of miniature cafe au lait bols as ‘bonus watercolors’ for the Paris letter subscriptionsYour support of Parisbreakfast is greatly appreciated and helps me put free Paris 🥐  content into your inbox each week. So tickled pink😊 I got a shout out from Emily on David Lebovitz 🤸‍♂️👏☺️

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Creating the November Noël letter


I usually do an Advent letter for November..but after several futile attempts, 

I gave up and went over to Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche for some inspiration and immersion. Yay! 🤸‍♂️Who doesn’t love❤️ Gingerbread men, women and kids? Granted you will not find them in Paris or all France for that matter. Here honey is the top note😬

I knew I would need a shoppers scene and took people shots outside the store.

Let the sketching ✏️ begin! I LOVE drawing people - the fun part.

Buying some so-called gingermen cookies (really just plain old iced cookies) was essential for complete immersion to take place. Eating them immediately also essential to get into the right spirit of things. Chomp, chomp

So kind of Bon Marché to sprinkle gingerbread all over their Noël catalog, which helped muchly, once I’d eaten my subject matter. Yum yum 

The upper portion of the picture was going to be an inside view of BM’s glorious multi-stairway.  FYI it is covered with icing, not snow. I had to go back for a 2nd look. Research…research.

Thanks to Bon Marché’s catalog edges I had a very nice red and white border readymade 👏👏👏

But how to connect the top half with the bottom half? Hmm…

Fortunately, on the Metro, I remembered the hanging gold glittery, stuff which included GINGERBREAD shapes! 🤸‍♂️

Voila 😊
Paris letter subscriber’s 💌are going into the mail 📮tomorrow. Or you can order a letter on Etsy. They are personalized.  
Bonne Dimanche PBers ❤️ 💋🐻 
And dear WA st. & Western Canadians stay safe 🙏
Below is Bon Marché’s top shopper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

La Fontaine de Mars, 75007


For years I’ve wanted to eat lunch at La Fontaine de Mars on rue Saint Dominique in the 7th.

Its a terrific example of your classic red checked tablecloth Paris bistro and the ‘Top’ to boot quality-wise. A president had a date night there… I stayed in an apartment around the corner, passed it often and dreamed a little… But going on your own sometimes is daunting. 

I looked over the menu online. Always a good idea. They have a reasonable daily plat du jour/daily special(23€). Bonnie said, when they stayed in the 7th, they would go at noon Sundays and get the chicken. 

Visiter Ann was staying in the 7th.  It didn’t take much arm-twisting to convince Anne we should go for Sunday lunch. La la la la la 🤸‍♂️

I made the reservation. So easy. They were so nice. They asked did we want to sit upstairs or downstairs. Downstairs (street level) I said. They really do prefer you make reservations ahead. Its not a museum. They need to know how many baguettes 🥖  to buy. 

French restaurants open for lunch 
at noon and close at 3pm. They will not let you in, even 1 minute before.  Its so much better to cooperate and play by their rules. Once you cross the threshold, you are in their domaine. 

Being there early means you have the place to yourself and can take a good look around. Take pictures. Nice old-fashioned soap 🧼 dispensers.

When I do go into places alone, usually I know exactly what I want to eat and tell the waiter before they even bring the menu. I want them to know I won’t be causing problems or taking up too much time. Ann noticed t
he couple (spoke English too) next to us made a bit of a fuss ordering. In the end, they got exactly what they saw we were eating - the plat de jour 😊 

On Sundays, Parisians usually arrive for lunch around 
one o’clock 🕐 They like to sleep in on the weekends.

There is a very pleasant convivial feeling to Fontaine de Mars
How was the chicken you ask? We both thought it was the best chicken 🍗  we’d ever eaten.

Thank you for all your wonderful Duvet advice. My iPad (so helpful aren’t they) popped up an ad and I bought it. Yay Hooray 🍾
 If you like this post please support it by buying my Paris letters and watercolors. And do pass on to someone who might enjoy it. Happy Mardi/Tuesday dear PBers! 🍷 🍷🍷🍷🐻