Friday, July 25, 2014

Glace Vanille 101

It's that time of year when we Must eat ice cream.
As soon as I got my walking sticks/becquille, I was outta here.
Off to get me some ice cream.
Chapon on 69, rue du Bac has esquimaux popsicles covered in their own chocolat noir.
I was after a good old fashioned cone. Chapon has an interesting square scoop by the way.
A few doors down at Le Gâteau et du Pain they now have ice cream!
Unfortunately they were not open ;(
Not far off is traditional Le Bac à Glaces so this is a good route to take if you're researching ice cream.
When Louise of Raids Patisserie announced a vanilla ice cream tasting I was in. We were to bring 2 small pots of any of the following brands:
Berthillon, Pascal Le Glacier, Raimo, Pozzetto, Martine Lambert, Le Bac à glaces, Sébastien Dégardin, Liberté / Benoît Castel, Hugo & Victor, Christian Constant, Glazed, La Tropicale.
Living around the corner from Berthillon I knew my assignment, but they do not provide lids for their cups so I went for a big block of vanille and prayed it would not melt in the steamy heat wave we're having in Paris.
There were 7 of us and 10 different vanilla ice creams to taste. !!!

No double dipping was allowed of course. We went through hundreds of little spoons.

Rules must be followed at Louise's tasting. First of all SILENCE. We need to concentrate so no chatter among participants. We are to judge aroma, mouth feel, consistency, appearance, whatever we deem important.
*= scandalous **= not so scandalous ***= pas mal or good ****= very good indeed *****=heaven on earth and the best of the bunch.

On my left, Julie, a perfume aficionado surely has good taste buds but who can read her fine French handwriting ? On my right, Miguel from Mexique, a baker at Frederic Lalos is also writing in French. Hmmm...

My notes/scrawl tell the tale. Louise will post the final results in detail soon though I can tell you the WINNER was Crème Glacee Absolu Vanille of Le Gateau et la Pain! 89, rue du Bac 75007

I picked up little meringues at Berthillon and brought along  some vanille de Madagascar to sniff. The meringues dipped in the melting vanilla ice cream was definitely 'heaven on earth'.

Is there anything better than melted vanilla ice cream soup? Not in my book. YUM

Our team leader, Louise lapping up a bit of vanilla soup.

Louise also has an in depth column in foodie magazine 750g where she analyses la creme de la creme of French desserts and includes a recipe of the winner. A Don't-Miss read.
What flavor ice cream will You be eating this weekend?
Do tell PBers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Berber Femmes de Moroc - Drees van Notan

Two fashion exhibits closely related in my opinion - The Berber women of Maroc I've been passing in the Metro now that I'm back on three feet and Drees.
With all your encouragement you have me sketching like a Banshi. Wonderful small show at the YSL-Pierre Berge Fondation.
Weaving, potter, jewelry, clothing of Berber women of Northern Morocco from the museum on YSL's Jardin Marjorelle in Marakech chosen from a collection of over 400 pieces. It's eas to see how these influenced St.Laurant's designs in a deep, pervasive way.
The exhibits at the Fondation are usually small but elegant and inspiring. Plus they have a terrific, affordable little gift shop upstairs - I always find something to delight.

A multi-media presentation of traditional clothes and adornment. beautiful objects—carpets, cloaks, woven belts, necklaces of amber and coral, silver brooches.

Berber women wore intensely decorative clothing
With a geometrical twist reminded me of Calissons d'Aix candies.
And layered effects just like the Haribo bonbon stand at Odeon.
Over at the musee arts Decoratif the Drees Van Notan exhibit (extended through Nov 2) has it's Moroccan and bonbon tendencies.
Lots of pattern on pattern, embroidery and sparkle thrown on top.
Rock influences and a whole slew of contemporary painters plus other fashion designers are on display at Decoratif.
Vivenne Westwood's famous 'Happy' hat for Pharrell Williams.
Dior's 1947 New Look will be forever, shown here again next to a Yves Klein blue nude.
Pinched-in waists
Were picked up and carried on when YSL took over the Dior Maison.
The forever bow/noed at the waist
YSL's 1979 swirly taffeta robe de soir is an homage to Diaghilev. References..references. 
More baubles and beads 

Cherry red dresses remind me of...the July Paris Sketch letter and eating cherries nonstop for a month to get in the mood.
Yesterday robsmelbatoast asked,
"Paris Letters? Do tell please!"
You can read all about it on Etsy. Meanwhile I'm playing with my new yellow La Poste truck. Someone is "going postal'!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Le 68 Guy Martin Tea Time

On Wednesday I took my Angel of Paris, OK one of many, Rosemary Flannery to tea
At the newish Le 68 Guy Martin at Guerlain 68, Champs-Elysees
While upstairs they're creating all kinds of beauty magique
Downstairs at Le 68 you can taste magique
The restaurant and tea area is fashioned in the style of fabulous 40s artist Christian Berard.
He painted the doors up on the second floor
Plus his fashion sketches are well represented at the 50s Galliera exhibit.
The dining salon is elegant
But first do stop for a look in the pastry case
To make a big study
Of what's on for the day.
Decisions do not come easy here
Miam Miam/yum yum
It was so hot out I got the terrific bubbly water you can only find in Paris' best restaurants, Chateldon.
Here Rosemary demonstrates how to drink it. Her divine shirt is from Anne Fonataine by the way. She got the Shalimar tea from the Guerlain perfumed tea menu.
Choices, choices.
I decided, being the dessert expert, we should share three pastries and a few caramels.
Rosemary's 'Petite robe noir' was the most intensely chocolatey dessert I've tasted in a long time. Again, as in most of the best Paris desserts, sugar was barely noticable.
My tarte citron was right up there with all the top prize winners in my opinion. Love the Italian meringue topping that is practically melted marshmallow.
You're surrounded by wonderful 50s artwork At Guerlain. A good place to come after visiting the 50s show at Palais Galliera and only one Metro station away on the No.9 to Franklin Roosevelt.
Post-tea you can buy a 50s arty postcards to send to a friend or yourself at Guerlain's own postbox and with Guerlain's own signature stamp for all of 3.50 euros and perfumed before sending out. Our tea cost all of 32 euros for the two of us. A terrific bargain in this town and a well-kept secret. No reservations are required for tea time at Le 68 Guy Martin, though lunch and dinner are packed. All around a delicious and arty experience. Do try it.