I love the hustle and bustle of Paris, but sometimes you need a little moment of relaxation. La Mosquée de Paris is just the place to do that. The mosque has a restaurant and patio, which is a little slice of exotic … Continue reading
In celebration of the Royal Baby Boy’s birth (Congratulations, Kate and Will!), today’s post is about the gorgeous royal castle of Fontainebleau. After the boat ride on the Seine, we drove over to Fontainebleau to visit the town and castle. … Continue reading
Has anyone else ever wondered what it is exactly that supermodels do? I always figured it went a little bit like this: they show up in amazing cars at fancy studios, get their makeup done by a world-renowned name, sit … Continue reading
A visit to the Marché d’Aligre is becoming a Sunday morning tradition. The quartier is full of “sympa” restaurants and shops, many of which have excellent reviews. A lover of food and restaurant discovering, I couldn’t wait to start trying them out! The first to get checked off the list was the Moroccan eatery Le Berbère.
We all ordered different couscous dishes, including the mixed grill, merguez, and meatballs. The variety of vegetables in the side dish was fantastic, and the broth was bursting with flavor. I’m a huge fan of merguez, and this one was bomb-dot-com good! Add a little harissa, and voila, our meal was complete.
Both the food and service at Le Berbère were top notch, and we had a great afternoon there. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area – and have a big appetite!
62 rue Crozatier
I had heard so much about Coutume Café that I finally decided to go and see what the fuss was all about. Now, I understand. The café reminds me of an American coffee shop with a French twist. The American side: … Continue reading
A coffee date with friends today turned into the discovery of a fabulous new Mexican restaurant, El Guacamole near the Canal Saint Martin. I’m not often in the 10th, but after today’s walk through the charming neighborhood, I will be exploring it more in the future. May I present to you El Guacamole.
Being from Southern California (and the daughter of Mexican parents), my standards for the cuisine are high. El Guacamole did very well. It’s not easy to get the authentic ingredients to cook certain traditional dishes, but I really enjoyed their cactus (nopal) taco. I loved the horchata, a traditional Mexican beverage made with rice and cinnamon.
I find it interesting to see how much tacos cost around the world. I found a pub in Royal Leamington Spa, England, that has tacos for £6, and another restaurant in Paris that has them for 6€…each. Priced at 3€50, these tacos are reasonably priced, and the tortillas were so good!
Lovely location, delicious food, and cosy atmosphere. See you at El Guacamole!
37, rue Yves Toudic
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!
This is a match made in fashion and gastronomy heaven!
One of my favorite brands, Citizens of Humanity, has created a monthly video series called “Just Like You.” Each video features a different, international personality discussing their respective passions, professions, personal stories, and thoughts on life. One of my favorite videos in the series spotlights French chef Hélène Darroze.
Though she is now the fourth generation of a family of chefs, Hélène Darroze first earned a business degree and joined Alain Ducasse’s team at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco – but in the office. Ducasse finally persuade her to return to the kitchen, and the rest is history. She returned to her family’s Michelin-starred restaurant, and then went on to open her own restaurant in Paris, where she won her first Michelin star in 2001, and then a second star in 2003. In 2008, she was named the new chef of The Connaught hotel in London after its nine month £70 million restoration and renovation program, where she earned them another two stars. On top of this all, other accolades include becoming a chevalier (knight) in the French Legion of Honor in 2012 and being the inspiration for the character Colette in Pixar’s 2007 film Ratatouille. Two cities, two restaurants, two children: she can do it all!
What is exceptional about Hélène Darroze’s cooking is her loyalty to her roots and the flavors of southwestern France, particularly from the Landes region where she was raised. Her culinary style has been dubbed “haute rustique,” as it combines the sophistication of French cuisine with traditional cooking methods and hearty ingredients. Darroze says she is very influenced by her heritage, where art de vivre cuisine and food is so important. This unique emphasis has no doubt contributed to her international success.
It’s no wonder that Citizens of Humanity selected such a dynamic and passionate person for their series. I fell in love with this clever combination to showcase their partnership, a jean oven mitt! And x marks the spot, or the Hélène Darroze restaurant in Paris. You can purchase the mitt online here.
All proceeds from the Hélène Darroze x Citizens of Humanity Oven Mitt will benefit Afghanistan Libre, an organization that provides assistance in constructing and running primary and secondary schools for girls.
Visit Hélène Darroze in Paris
4, rue d’Assas, 75006
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London
The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL
or at the Raff House in Moscow
Malaya Nikitskaya street, 25
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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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.”
Femininity Encompassed by Art: The Works of Dominique Fury
Thursday, September 28, 2012, marked the debut of the French artist Dominique Fury’s exhibit at Galerie Caplain-Matignon, a chic gallery in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Renowned for her use of untraditional canvases and materials, Fury’s works are captivating, stunning, and compelling pieces of art.
In an enlightening interview with the artist, PatriciaParisienne learned about her adventure into the art world. Originally a political science student, Fury realized halfway through her studies that she truly wasn’t cut out to be a student of politics. Her heart and passion were in the arts. She delved into the world of art and has never looked back. She has collaborated with many artists around the world, and her works have been exhibited at festivals and galleries around the world, including Kyoto, Shanghai, Brussels, Bogota, Istanbul, and, of course, all over France.
Regarding her artwork, Fury says (translated from French), “I have always been interested in collaborating with other artists…I have worked on several projects with other artists and especially enjoy working with a variety of materials…like the Americans, who would tell stories of a certain region with different materials. It really tells their story. For me, the starting materials are those that touch your skin, very beautiful gold materials that make a lacquer, that are sexy. Voila. At the beginning, when I would create my paintings, I didn’t want anyone to know that it was a woman who was painting them. So I called myself Fury. And Dominique Fury is a name [that can be male or female]. I would make these enormous paintings. I absolutely did not want anyone to know that it was a woman who was making them. It was more of a masculine work and quite harsh.”
In regards to her choice to become an artist, she states, “Finalement, on fait ce qu’on doit faire.” (“In the end, we do what we must do.”) Fury’s Electric Lady exhibit shows off this artist’s vast capacity to encompass femininity and human emotions and project them onto a canvas through various fabrics, textures, and materials. An absolute must-see if you’re in the City of Lights.
We are happy to have this artist back in Paris with us for a short time. Fury’s works will be on display until November 6, 2012.
Check out the exhibit at the Galerie Caplain-Matignon.
29, avenue Matignon
+33 (0)1 42 65 04 63
Looking for some Asian-fusion cuisine and deco in Paris?
The newly-renovated Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine is back! Though the design store and restaurant officially opens to the public on Saturday, September 22, at 10 a.m., the company celebrated their reopening and opened its doors Thursday night to a gorgeous crowd for a festive soiree.
The party began with a Chinese dragon dance from the AFDDLC, Association française de danse du dragon et danse du lion chinois (French Association of the Chinese Dragon Dance and Lion Dance). Very appropriate, as we are in the year of the dragon (yours truly being a dragon herself!), according to the Chinese calendar. Guests were absolutely captivated by the dragons!
The rest of the evening was just as impressive! On the ground level, the two bars served an assortment of Asian beers and drinks, as well as a variety of delicious teas. On the second and minus one floors, the guests were also treated to fantastic wines and champagne. It’s not a true French celebration without champagne!
The guest list had people from all walks of life and a variety of industries. At the opening party, we chatted with Stephanie Moisan, the designer of the stunning window displays (scenographer), as well as Héloïse Mérat, the commercial director of la Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine.
The event was a huge success, and the room was buzzing throughout the night with excitement and delight. Visit the Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine to spruce up your home or office decor, or to enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner.
170, boulevard Haussmann
+33 (0) 1 53 53 40 80