I have some exciting news to share with you all : I am officially a published author of a bestselling book! [This is a long post with lots of pictures, so I’d make a nice cup of tea and curl … Continue reading
This Sunday will be the first Sunday of the month. This means it’s a museum day! The beautiful musées de Paris* are free for everyone on Sundays, one of the many things I love about this city. Art and culture are available … Continue reading
It only happens twice a year.
What are les soldes? Only the biannual mega-sales here in la France. It’s a season, an event, a frenzy, and a happening. The best part is that all of the stores take part in it, so now is the time to come do your shopping in Paris. Think Black Friday, except that these sales last six weeks in the winter and six weeks in the summer. This winter season, the soldes run from January 9 to February 12, 2013.
Below is a little sampling of the ads you can see all around the city. Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marché: all of the grand magasins (big French department stores) have their own dramatic ads to tell the world that the soldes have indeed begun, which I personally adore. Demure, rock-and-roll, and diva-licious: they’re covering all the bases to get you to the stores.
Time to get shopping!
The French celebrate Three Kings Day, or La Fête Des Rois. The first Sunday of each new year is dedicated to this celebration, and one of the most important players in this day is the delicious galette des rois.
Traditionally a puff pastry with a frangipane stuffing (almond paste used in desserts), the galette is served to everyone in a very particular manner. The youngest person present goes under the table and decides how the slices are designated. Whoever finds the féve, the object placed inside the galette, is the queen or king of the day and, of course, gets to wear the crown that accompanies the galette.
This year’s galette was absolutely delicious, and the lovely Mieko was pronounced the queen of the day!
Inaugurated by the marvelous French actress Marion Cotillard, the Dior Parisian-inspired window displays for Printemps are the essence of French glamour.
Watch this incredible video on the creation of the dolls, their clothes, and the window scenes. You can also watch the grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting for this year’s window displays at the French department store Printemps, as well as a mini interview with Marion Cotillard.
64, bd Haussmann
75009 Paris – France
Tél. : 01 42 82 50 00
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” croons Andy Williams.
I love December. I love everything about it! The cold, the holiday spirit, the carols, the winter attire, the advent calendars, The Holiday, Love Actually, the mulled wine or Glühwein or vin chaud, or whatever you may call it, the beautiful trees, the bûche de Noël, the Champs-Élysées lights, the marchés de Noël, (now) the mincepies, the Christmas crackers, the posadas, and, of course, the decorations.
If you are in Paris for the holidays, you must add “go see window displays” to your Parisian to-do list. Let me clarify; these are absolutely NOT your ordinary window displays. When Dior and Louis Vuitton are involved, you don’t just get beauty, you get magic. And if Vogue raves about it, you know it’s good.
In this three-part blog series, PatriciaParisienne will take you on a tour of this year’s vitrines.
The department store’s theme “Christmas of the Century” (Noël du Siècle), along with its Disney Princess addition, makes this a fairy tale holiday all month. The gorgeous Louis Vuitton window displays will be available for your sight-seeing pleasure through January 1, 2013.
40, Bd Haussmann
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It’s officially December!
That means warm coats, scarves, cuddle weather, winter solstice, and – Advent calendars! I love that little daily piece of chocolate as a way to countdown to Christmas.
Advent calendars seem to be extremely popular in Europe! Every main chocolate brand has their own. Kinder, Milka, Lindt, and Cadbury – you can find their cute little designs everywhere. I was recently gifted the Cadbury one below by a lovely Englishman; it’s quality chocolate. I learned that there is a game that goes along with it; the person who correctly guesses the shape or design of the chocolate that day gets to eat it!
If you are looking for a truly French advent calendar, you only need to look no further than one of the best chocolatiers in the country: La Maison du Chocolat.
Nicolas Cloiseau, Master Chef of La Maison du Chocolat, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, has created some delightful and unique collections for this holiday season. The beautiful Advent Christmas tree is the most delicious way to build anticipation for the 25th.
Or you can choose a Christmas Star Coffret, for the day of, and pick from the following options:
Dark & spicy – Praline with crunchy slivers and Christmas spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg)
Dark & sparkling – Ganache sphere with Champagne Blanc de Blancs (100% chardonnay, very fruity)
Sweet & nutty – Almond paste from Provence with walnuts from the Périgord and honey from the Morvan forest
Dark & acidulous – Pure origin dark ganache from the Dominican Republic with full, round chocolate notes and crisp, acidulous flavours of candied fruits
Dark & fruity – Duo of ganaches with coconut and lime. White chocolate ganache with coconut, dark chocolate ganache with lime.
I would have to get all of them!
For mouth-watering and gorgeous decorations, bring home the Celestial Tree, the Christmas Star, or for the most French touch to your Christmas, the Constellation Bûche de Noël. Looking forward to seeing what will come home with me on my next trip to La Maison du Chocolat!
La Maison du Chocolat
Jetsetters have the best travel gear.
It is important to make traveling as simple and glitch-free as possible. For all of you airport fiends, I have found the perfect travel accessory for you, thanks to The Blonde Salad by Chiara Ferragni.
Trussardi’s Document Holder makes any trip easy. With tabbed pockets for tickets, passport, documents, currencies, boarding passes, and even an “other” section, Trussardi covers all of the travel bases. Absolute jetsetting perfection!
I wish I had one for my trip to England next weekend! I’d be sitting pretty, stress-free, at Charles de Gaulle. Another addition to the PatriciaParisienne Christmas Wish List!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Being away from the US, I was curious as to how the celebrations would fare this year. Where does one get cranberries, a turkey, pumpkin pie ingredients, gravy, and stuffing in this city?
Thankfully, (pun intended) you can get it all in Paris! Not without a few treks across entire metro lines and hitting the store Thanksgiving in the Marais (without which the full meal would not have been possible), but you can definitely find everything you need to pull off a successful Turkey Day meal. In fact, at the store Thanksgiving, one can get all sorts of American food products! (Reese’s peanut butter cups, included!) Oh, the way to get a turkey across the city is to place yourself in the back corners of the metro, where you can put it under your seat, or behind you on your seat, because that thing is heavyyy.
I was fortunate enough to have not one but TWO Thanksgivings this year! Both involved including friends from all over the world and introducing them to our fabulous eat-til-you-burst holiday. The best parts of the night were going around and saying what we were thankful for (which everyone loved! When an English friend heard what we were about to do, she said, “YES! I have always wanted to do this and I never thought I would get to!!!!!” Happy that this made her holiday!) and introducing European friends to my favorite dessert, pumpkin pie. I loved seeing the concerned and curious faces take their first bite of the pie and immediately smile and say, “Oh my goodness! THIS IS SO GOOD!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, pumpkin pie is amazing.
Of course, the experience of being able to celebrate this important American holiday while being almost 6000 miles away from home was truly the best part of this Thanksgiving. This year, I am thankful for: my family, of course, whose support and love is my biggest motivation to succeed and without whom my life in Paris would not be possible; my friends, old and new, who never cease to impress me, motivate me, make me proud, and make me laugh; my voice teacher and professors, who help and push me to achieve my goals; having met John, who every day makes me so incredibly happy; and last but certainly not least, Paris, which has shown me different sides of myself, has made me grow as a person with the new challenges and experiences that I see on a daily basis, and is the city that has introduced me to some of the most amazing people and things in the world.
As always, Paris, je t’aime.
It’s the third Thursday in November. This can only mean one thing: Beaujolais Nouveau is here!
Beaujolais Nouveau Day officially starts at midnight on the third Thursday of November in Beaujeu, near Lyon, home of the vintage. Barrels are rolled through the streets of the region, and the celebration lasts throughout the night.
French law prohibits the wine to be sold before the third Thursday of the month, which creates an exciting anticipation once the month of November comes around. So today, all around France, people will celebrate the arrival of the newest Beaujolais!
The 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau campaign this year revolves around the world of fashion, as they believe that this wine shares the qualities of “refinement and glamour” that fashion possesses.
Although, the French are not the only ones to drink this light, fruity red wine. Following the Parisians in Beaujolais consumption around the world are the Japanese, Americans, and Germans.
As tradition has it, on this festive day, restaurants, wine caves, bars, and wine stores will have signs out that say, “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” (The Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived!”) Can’t wait to celebrate!
For more info, check out these links:
For all cupcake lovers in France: there is a mecca of incredible cupcake bakers in Paris.
I found many of them at the Cupcake Camp Paris 2012 charity event and was lucky enough to try their baked goods! The event was a Halloween-themed fundraiser, where the best cupcake bakers in the city came together to make over 2000 cupcakes. Entry to the event was free, and all of the proceeds from the cupcake sales, raffle tickets, and other purchases went to Make-A-Wish France.
I was astonished at the fact that this incredible space existed near the Canal Saint Martin, let alone that you could rent it out for an event like this. The line to get in was massive; I counted about one hundred people down the block – and I arrived halfway through the two-hour event! There were countless varieties, styles, and flavors of cupcakes that were displayed at Le Comptoir Général.
Upon entering, I didn’t know where to begin; there was so much to see! We ended up going for a counter-clockwise approach to scope out our options, and then we went to find the witch that would sell us our tickets. (She was actually dressed up in a very convincing witch costume.) “Il faut trouver la sorcière!” the vendors would tell us.
After much thought and reflection, Kat decided on the speculoos cupcake, while I went with the spicy chocolate, Dia de los Muertos themed cupcake. Both were amazing! At the end of the event, there were still a few cupcakes left, so we got the “Bartender’s Chocolate Delight,” which was quite tasty.
Everyone left happy and full. A few lucky people went home with some of the amazing prizes and baskets that were raffled off, like an original Kasia Dietz bag. Click here for more pictures of Cupcake Camp Paris 2012. Can’t wait for next year’s event!
We were truly impressed with the number of cupcake companies here in Paris. Below are some of the sponsors and participants in this year’s Cupcake Camp.
Bryan Pirolli – Lola’s Cookies – Paris Insights – Fairy Cooker – Faismoicroquer.com – Cake, Cook and Co. – LaVieMaraisienne – The Kale Project – NOGLU – Mimi’s Cupcakes – Sugar Daze – Ô Chateau – Beauty Cakes – CAKE & BAKE accessories – Once Upon a Cake – Paris Pastry App ~ David Lebovitz – COlunching – Sweetly Cakes – Bleekcup’s – Context Travel – La Cuisine Paris – Cupcake Lovers in Paris – Wrist Flick – Carolive’s Cupcakes – Excuse My French
For those looking for a cool place to grab a drink with friends or for an amazing Sunday brunch in Paris, Le Comptoir General is the place to go. The beers are cheap, the location is incredible, plus the glass roof makes you feel like you’re outside enjoying summer in a beer garden. Allez-y!
80, quai de Jemmapes
Buddy Bear Exhibition ~ Champ de Mars (Eiffel Tower)
If you haven’t been able to make it to Berlin, you can come see the famous United Buddy Bears in Paris! Last Thursday on the Toussaint holiday (loved that surprise day off!), a lovely German friend of mine and I went over to Trocadero to see these gorgeous works of art.
Lined up along the Champs de Mars, the Buddy Bears add some most welcome accents of colors to the City of Lights. Each bear represents a different country, and the local artists came up with some brilliant ideas to showcase their country. All of the bears are visually stunning; some even went beyond the canvas and added unique accents.
The idea behind the bears is of peace. The United Buddy Bear website explains, “Under this motto, the UNITED BUDDY BEARS promote living together in peace and harmony on their global tour. Around 140 Buddy Bears (each 2 m tall) represent as many countries recognised by the United Nations.”
“What is life in Paris like?” is a question I get asked very often. Well, life is…life. It’s wonderful! It has its ups and downs, just like life in any other city in the world. “But you’re in PARIS! The City of Lights!” This is true. This I never take for granted. I attend the Sorbonne; my classes all take place in that historic, beautiful building. I walk by the Seine and the cathedral of Notre Dame on a daily basis. I see the Eiffel Tower every day when I go to the conservatory. I hear French around me every day. These details are not overlooked.
But everything truly sets in when I find myself in a café or restaurant that is so classically French or more specifically, classically Parisian. The red booths and chairs, the dark wooden tables, the smartly-dressed servers…and the steak-frites with a glass of wine. Here I am, post-lecture at the Sorbonne. I always walk down to take the métro at l’Hôtel de Ville. I say au revoir to the Sorbonne, cross over and think “hi!” to the twinkling Seine, wave to Notre Dame and her gargoyles, and continue on my way to the magnificent city hall.
Usually I head straight to the underground, but today was a different case. It has been a wonderful week. I’m finally feeling better after being sick for a few weeks, I had an incredibly sweet surprise yesterday that has left me smiling since and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, and on top of it all, positive and happy events keep popping up in my life. I was feeling giddy and on top of the world! As I passed the gargoyles, it suddenly hit me, as it often does, tout d’un coup – I live in Paris!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the incredibly historic city where so many renowned public figures and people have been, passed through, and taken place. And I live here! Me! My family is so incredibly supportive of my dreams and my passions that I now LIVE here! This realization had me almost skipping. I turned and saw a restaurant, Le Parvis Notre Dame, that I’ve been wanting to try for almost a year. I told myself, “Why not?? Today is the day!” And in I went.
It is a quiet Thursday night in the neighborhood, but there are still a few couples in the quaint restaurant. I know what I want; I’ve been craving it for days now. “Un steak-frites, s’il vous plaît!” “Avec un verre de vin rouge?” asks the server. “Oui, pourquoi pas?” I smile back. There it is, a fully French meal. A steak-frites with a glass of red wine is on its way.
My glass of Bordeaux arrives first. As I take my first sip, I am reminded that this is, indeed, my favorite wine. Shortly afterward, my meal is served. The presentation is typical, save for the cute little metal basket that the fries are in. The sauce smells incredible! I cut into the steak, and it is perfectly medium rare and a light pink, just the way I like it. The sauce is even better than it smells; in fact, it is the best sauce au poivre I have ever had! The meat is tender and savory, and the fries are golden. I was hoping there would be a side salad, and they did not disappoint. En plus, it had just the right amount of dressing (and I am quite picky when it comes to dressing). I had to tell myself to slow down and savor each bite. It was SO good! And with the smooth red wine to accompany the meal, I am in heaven. I believe I have truly found the perfect steak-frites here at Le Parvis.
Even the staff is lovely! Forget what you hear about the awful service in France. Here, they are kind and attentive – AND they smile!! Every person on the staff has come by and chatted with me, checked that my food was all right, and asked how my wine was. The manager is charming, and the server is very knowledgeable about their menu and wines. I was both serenaded and entertained during my stay! To experience both a truly French meal and the renowned French charm, stop by this restaurant and see for yourself.
Happily full and more than satisfied, I sit back and bask in the music of Patrick Bruel that plays on the radio. His light baritone rolls the r, à la Edith Piaf, and the music is so wonderfully French. A delicious meal, a nice glass of wine, and a relaxed ambiance – this is what life in Paris is like.
Yes, there are days when you are crammed in the metro, and others when you ask yourself what people actually do in their offices (if and when they are there). There are also those moments when you feel very alone and foreign and so far from your country. (I have dubbed it Home with a capital h.) But these moments like tonight, THIS is life in Paris. You share delicious meals and wine and cheese with people from all over the world, and you communicate in this beautiful, complex language. You spend time in cafés and brasseries and parks and salons de thé because most students’ apartments are ten meters squared or less – and there’s no way you could all squeeze in there at the same time. You grab a café allongé in the morning at your local stop. And once you come in often enough, you walk in, greet the barman and the morning employees, and suddenly your coffee arrives without your asking for it, without sugar and with a little glass of water on the side because he knows that’s the way you like it. You walk by the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Cœur, the Louvre on a daily basis, you throw on your scarf and breathe in the cold air, and you smile. Because you, my darling, are in Paris.
Le Parvis Notre Dame
3, rue d’Arcole
01 44 41 14 34