Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Hasn't everyone saved a champagne cork (bouchon de Champagne) at one time or another?
I saved one from a birthday celebration in Paris with my favorite and only 2nd cousin, Kristine, who lives in Pigalle.
In Reims, Champagne's home, you can buy dark chocolate "bouchons" filled with Marc that burst in your mouth when you crunch on them!
Marc de Champagne is a brandy produced by distilling the grape skins, seeds and stalks, left from the pressing process in the first stages of Champagne production.
La Petite Friande, is a chocolatier on Reims' main boulevard, 15, cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet, not far from Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral.
They specialize in these yummy candies since 1951. Their bouchons come in all shapes and sizes.
Reims is a beautiful wine town to visit and an easy 90 minutes from Paris by train. Reims is the hardest French city to pronounce. It almost rhymes with "chance" if you hit the "n" lightly...
Cheers and Bonne Annee 2007!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Brought back by special request and because I overslept and heck..Mariage Freres is a trip!
The orange book lists the 500 teas you can order and a load of tea history, which you're in no condition to absorb. You're too overwhelmed by the glory of just being in Mariage Freres...
You wander out of the salon and naturally turn into the shop in a semi-blitzed state of mind. The shop is a little bit small and a little bit dark and a little bit crowded with other blitzed-out tea drinkers.
You've just come out of an opium den so to speak, so you're ready to buy anything and everything and it's all delicious looking AND the aromas!
And they understand your state of mind. The sales staff could not be more patient and understanding, unlike most Parisien shops. I couldn't resist the silver tea spoon and a tin of The a l'Opera (green tea flavored with fruits and spices). I needed them for still life purposes of course...
The vitrine (windows) at Mariage Freres are so chic and so colorful! Not quite what you'd expect from the premier tea importers of France since 1854.
The story goes that in the early '80s two foreign students were exploring the Marais and "discovered" the old shop. Marthe Mariage (the last living family member) and her employee were inside sewing up cloth teabags for their catering customers amidst old tea chests. A bond was formed and together they evolved the "French art of tea" to it's present form and aren't we glad they did!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
As I mentioned yesterday, Mariage Freres salon de thé
is next door to Cuisinophilie at 30, rue du Bourg-Tibourg.The tea salon is straight through and no photography is allowed = why the fuzzy picture.
If you make a sharp left up the narrow winding stairway, you'll find yourself in Le Musée du Thé.
Not even the staff come around...
all manner of tea canisters, tea pots (some shaped like elephants), old labels, etc.Doodling IS ALLOWED in the salon plus I stole a few shots.
The waiters are dressed completely in white and race around the giant palm planters. There's a skylight too that gives you the feeling you might be in colonial Singapore or Thailand.
Be sure to visit the museum upstairs next time you go :)
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I found my blue milk jug in a closet-size shop right next to Mariage Freres.
This pot a lait was sitting in the window waiting for me...
If you inhaled in your rush to get tea at Mariage Freres,
Cuisinophilie is at 25, rue Bourg Tibourg.
Anne Siquier specializes in antique kitchenware...and especially BLUE kitchenware.
Here's a lovely blue and white vieux moulins a café (coffee grinder).
I'ts hard to imagine French women as housewives somehow - lots of blue in this picture too!Cuisinophilie est ferme le dimanche et le lundi, mais aussi parfois à l’improviste.
Be sure to look in when you go to tea at Mariages Freres
Monday, December 25, 2006
A swan in the snowy woods wearing a diamond broach...
Holly admiring Tiffany's ice, before there were lattes and Starbucks..
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I was thinking on the way home from the pool I need some gingerbread for my next post...then I can do a watercolor to go with it. The postperson rang my bell. Et Voilà!
This gorgeous gingerbread house is in Bergdorf's Xmas windows. Anita of Desserts First wrote beautifully about making gingerbread and I started to drool. I't's my favorite thing.
I met Anita first through her Paris pictures on Flickr. I used to gaze at them endlessly before I had a blog to distract me...
Then I got up the nerve and emailed her some of my café watercolors. She was very encouraging and suggested I start a blog.. Anita is now a pastry chef at Bittersweet, the chocolate cafe in San Francisco and Oakland.
Please take a look at Anita's beautiful blog - her photos are out of this world! and there are recipes to match.
This post is for you Anita. THANK YOU for the gingerbread and other goodies ! :)
Saturday, December 23, 2006
And listen to Marlene sing Falling in Love Again while you look...
What am I to do, I can't help it
Love's always been my game, play it how I may
I was made that way, I can't help it
And if their wings burn I know I'm not to blame
What am I to do I can't help it...