Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Carol Gillott ✍️ a Blog, ParisBreakfast-HuffPost Life


Paris pastries watercolor
Bonjour PBers! This is a repost tell-all interview from 2015 in HuffPost written by watercolor artist Susan Fogwell.
I’m Carol Gillott, an artist living in Paris. Every month I send out beautifully illustrated letters that capture the true Parisian experience. Sign up to receive these whimsical treasures in the mail.
Thanks for reading PB ❤️
☕️ If you’d like to support my work, you can buy me a KO-FI here  ☕️  ❤️ Thank you so much! 

Toy bear looksout window at skyline
There is only one blog I subscribe to and it's Paris Breakfasts by watercolor artist Carol Gillott. Gillott, a Francophile at heart, moved to Paris over a year 11 years ago, where she opens the door to her daily quintessential Parisian experience. 

Night time in Paris on the Seine
Each photo-laden post instantly transports readers to the City of Love and is accompanied by musings, sketches, watercolors & insider tips. 

Watercolor illustration of Paris macarons
macaron letter On Etsy
SF: Tell us about your photo/art-driven blog on Paris and your predilection for macarons?

CG: Paris Breakfasts was started in 2006 when the shelves started sagging with petit déjeune watercolors. Corey in Provence dared me to start a blog. My predilection for macarons has expanded considerably since living in Paris. 

Paris map watercolor of Paris classic desserts
Getting to know 12+ local Paris pastry specialties like Opera cake, Mille-feuille, chouquette, Paris-Brest, to name just a few is a huge undertaking. It requires research 🔬 plus heaps of resistance.

Artist studio view of watercolor in process
SF: How long have you been a watercolor artist?

CG: Since day 1. Whenever I could hold a crayon 🖍️ in my paw & wreck walls with abandon.

Watercolor illustration of choux pastries
SF: How many watercolors do you typically paint 🎨 per day?

CG: It’s nothing like that. I doodle ✍️ with pencil, paint & paper daily. It doesn't always happen. Like doing your daily scales 🎹 -- a must-do with no objective in mind works best. Free-flowing. 

Watercolor illustration of cats looking out the window at Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower Bastille Day With French Cats
SF: I read on your blog that you moved 3 times in one year in Paris. Which arrondissement are you in now? 

Watercolor illustrated map of Ile Saint Louis
Ile Saint Louis PARIS Letter
CG: I'm in the 4th arrondissement, on heavenly Ile Saint Louis, a dream I never imagined. Basically luck, pluck & a gift baguette 🥖 saved the day. When you don't have all the essential papers here or a proper job you're always winging it 🤞

Photo view of small Paris apartment
A lot of praying 🙏 is essential for finding a roof over your head in Paris. Plus good friends in the know. 

SF: Where is your favorite spot for people watching and sketching in Paris?

Watercolor illustrated map of Marché d’Aligre
marchés Bastille, d’Aligre Paris Letter
CG:People-watching at marchés Bastille, d’Aligre or Grenelle always on Sundays. But it's impossible to sketch there or even to just watch so I shoot 📸 & draw ✍️ later.

Watercolor illustration of breakfast scene at Cafe Saint Regis
Cafe Saint Regis Paris Letter
SF: Where is your favorite place in Paris for great inexpensive food?

CG: Going for breakfast at Cafe Saint always a good idea. Dinner is fun & lively too. I like Kodawari Ramen and Sapporo on rue Saint  Anne for a steaming bowl 🥣 of miso noodle soup, usually enough to take home for dinner. 

Watercolor illustrated journal page celebrating fête de Coquille Saint Jacques
Otherwise, I eat and browse the weekend fêtes monthly like Coquille fete in Montmartre in January or Perpignan fête in March at Sacre Coeur. I'd rather buy directly from farmers/ producteurs than sit in a restaurant. Too much faffing about.

Watercolor illustration map of food shops in Paris
le Grand Epicerie Paris Letter
SF: What are some of your favorite shops and markets?

CG: ❤️ people-watching at le Grand Epicerie. Or I wait for the Pari Fermier and Regional Producteur weekend marchés. The atmosphere and freshness of the produce is top 👍 You're buying from producteurs who grew the food and made it into chèvre, honey, walnut cake, eau de prune. 

SF: Where are some of your favorite Paris haunts?

CG: Best loved haunt is the man-made waterfall at la Butte Chaumont parc in the 19th, where I make all my Paris wishes. 

Interior watercolor illustration of Angelina with teddybears
Angelina Paris Letter
I love haunting the pastry counter at Angelina rue de Rivoli. They let you browse their exquisite pastries. It's not crowded like the tea salon & stress-free. Or go for breakfast at 7:30 🕢 when it’s empty in the tea salon.

Photo inside Galignani bookstore
Then I pop in next door at Librairie Galignani to browse art and fashion books. My Peggy Porchon book cover is front & center. I love just looking out my window now that I have a view of Paris. It's addictive.

Time Ex portable clock radio
SF: Do you speak French? 

CG: I took the requisite classes like everyone else but mainly learned by listening non-stop to French radio both here and in the U.S. Good Morning Business gets your ear👂 used to speedy French better then news at Le Française Facile, an app. Movies, TV game shows on Youtube and cooking shows with French subtitles are helpful. French people respond to me in Fr if I only say a few words. I wish they wouldn't. My comprehension isn’t as good as my accent. 

Watercolor painting of Chateau Vaux LE Vicomte
SF: Is there a must-go-to spot where you take guests visiting you from the states?

CG: I suggest going out of town to chateau Vaux le Vicomte near Melun (a 20 minute train ride + bus from Gare de Lyon) for a unique experience -- much less crowded than Versailles and just as elegant. Otherwise there are the secret passages tucked away all over town like Panoramas, Vivienne, Jouffroy.

Line Sketches from museum exhibit
 Which museum is your favorite?

CG: Musee des Arts Decoratifs always has terrific shows covering fashion, crafts etc. I love browsing their fab gift shop. I'll go to the Grand Palais for anything. The space is spectacular. 

Ardoise chalk menu board
SF: What are a few money-saving tips you can suggest to travelers visiting Paris?

CG: Shop & eat at marchés. Eat a  big breakfast & lunch (when you can get the formule). Snacks for dinner. 

Sketch journal page of weekend fête
Eating at any regional fêtes on the weekends is fun & cheap. A plate of charcuterie or cheese is usually 5€. Plus an essential glass of wine 🍷 Get a weekly carte Navigot (before Wednesday) instead of buying individual. Get a 5€ bus guide at any news kiosk. Buses #72, 80, 96 will give you views of toute Paris.

SF: And lastly, how long do you plan to live in Paris?

CG: Forever if they'll have me. I'm (still) happy as a clam in Paris

I hope you enjoyed ❤️ Susan Fogwell’s interview. Would you like to read more?

Woman reading an illustrated letter
Reading a gift Paris letter 💌
Looking for a birthday gift 🎁 or for traveler, a Francophile, a gift for Foodie. Send 📮 a PARIS LETTER 💌 from my shop

Photo of artisanal butter
Do you ❤️ beurre, butter 🧈  Are you in Paris Saturday at 10:30? Food expert par excellance, Caroline Mignot will be giving an Atelier du Beurre! I will be there painting butter colors - I won  🥰 a place 
I’m Carol Gillott, an artist living in Paris. Every month I send out beautifully illustrated letters that capture the true Parisian experience. Sign up to receive these whimsical treasures in the mail.
Thanks for reading PB ❤️
☕️ If you’d like to support my work, you can buy me a KO-FI here  ☕️  ❤️ Thank you so much! 
Iew of gardens at Chateau Vaux le Vicomte


  1. Sharon6:57 AM

    Wonderful post! My daughter is an American living in Paris and finds that though she speaks to the Parisiens in French they always answer her in English. She finds it frustrating because it makes it impossible for her to practice her language skills!

    1. Anonymous8:31 AM

      Speaking French is a tough 🌰 to crack…like a club not taking new members 🤷‍♀️

    2. Anonymous2:33 PM

      I think when talking to shop staff & waiters, they love to show off their English. Encounters with real people are more tolerant.

  2. What a lovely happy interview! And the bliss of living in Paris beautifully present. And I agree to it all wholeheartedly. Living facing the huge park Buttes Chaumont I am in utter heavenly paradise whatever the season.And the wonderful Ginkgo pâtisserie just around the corner!

    1. Anonymous7:42 AM

      Ginkgo Patisserie looks divine!
      They didn’t have that when I lived in the 19th.
      Do you go to the huge pool 🏊 Pailleron nearby - a lifesaver if you love pastisseries

  3. A refresher is always fun:) Never do I tire.

    1. Anonymous8:29 AM

      ❤️🥰 💋 Monique!

  4. Anonymous10:05 AM

    If you go to Vaux le Vicomte be sure to walk down to the golf cart rentals. I had such fun wandering the gardens at my own speed. I love this Chateau, inside and out.

    1. Anonymous10:27 AM

      That’s a brilliant idea. Do they let you Use the golfcarts? The grounds are enormous!

    2. Anonymous11:10 AM

      Ooops Rental golf carts. Tres bonne idee

  5. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Delightful AWC Catering

  6. What a fun post! Great tips for my next trip! Angelina’s for early breakfast is a great idea!

    1. Anonymous2:29 PM

      So glad you enjoyed it Cindy,
      No lines for breakies at Angelina. GO EARLY. Opens 8:00 am

  7. Bonnie L2:26 PM

    Wonderful post down Memory Lane, Carol. Your passion for Paris hasn’t waned at all over the years. Your tips and favs still hold true.

    I’m looking forward to hearing all about your experiences at Atelier du Beurre. Butter: my favorite food group! Enjoy…

    1. Anonymous2:30 PM

      Thanks Bonnie,
      I wish you could come with me…or I could save tastes for you 🧈

  8. Anonymous4:34 PM


  9. Anonymous4:35 PM

    I enjoyed this very much. Lots of info for travelers. Nice. Love the pictures. Lynne

  10. This is fun, Carol. I don't remember the original post so it's a delight -- and while I could have guessed at a few things I learned a lot that is new!

    1. Anonymous3:17 AM

      I’m so happy to hear Jeanie 🥰

    2. Anonymous3:18 AM

      I don’t think I ever posted it on PB Jeanie. Just a link…silly me 🥰

  11. This was a very fun post to read, merci!

    1. Anonymous3:17 AM

      Thank you Kirra ❤️

  12. Anonymous1:27 PM

    I read this way back when but enjoyed the memory refresh!!! You go girl!! Write that book!!! 😘

  13. I discovered your blogs quite a while ago while googling for information on the Patisserie Cador (long gone now), one of my favorite early Paris trips haunts. This posting brought back a lot of memories. Merci.

    1. Anonymous9:05 PM

      Patisserie Cador, wasn’t that an exquisite gem 👏
      A sad loss…like too many others…
      My post from 2007

  14. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Carol. My granddaughter will be in Paris june 12-18. Let’s meet for lunch. When and where? Bev and Anna Kjeldsen


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