L’été est arrivé

Summer is in full swing in Paris. Spring was lovely and full of many delightful things I should have written about, like fun trips, visitors, new restaurants, exhibitions, wine and life in general. But now summer is here, and as I sit on a warm, sunny terrace watching passers by, I can’t help but reflect on all the wonderful things about our life in Paris that I love and will miss. So from now until when we have to move to London at the end of summer, malheureusement, I’m going to try I be better about posting, and use it as an opportunity to recount some of my favorite adventures here and things I love about la vie Parisienne.

Sunny terraces on a summer day are certainly one.

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So many reasons to love France

I am way behind on my posts. In fact I have several lined up that due to a variety of technical difficulties (and possibly a bit of procrastination), are still not up. And as the posts pile up and I get further behind, its harder to post. Well, this one I just couldn’t resist. So I’m breaking my own rule, and this post is jumping the queue. 

There are so many things I love about living in France, and this article sums up seven of them. Things the French do best. I couldn’t agree more.

A night at the Opera

 

While my parents were visiting, we were lucky enough to get tickets to see La Clemenza di Tito at the Opera Garnier.  I had gone a couple of months before to get tickets and they were nearly sold old. The Opera Garnier is an absolutely stunning building. I’m sure the Opera Bastille is lovely too, but for me, this gorgeous piece of architecture wins hands down. We got there a bit early so we would have enough time to explore and have a glass of champagne before, bien sûr.

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We happened to be there on opening night with incredible orchestra seats. As it turns out I ended up sitting next to either the director or mis en scene. I’m not quite sure who he was, but everyone kept coming up to him and congratulating him during the intermission and at the end. I could see him quietly ‘conducting’ in his seat and mouthing all the words. It was quite wonderful to watch him. I hadn’t quite realized until after we were seated again just after intermission, that the empty seat in front of him was likely intentional. Slightly embarrassingly, by the time I noticed my parents had changed seats and my mom had moved to the previously empty seat in front of him, it was too late and the second Act had commenced. Luckily my mom is quite short and didn’t impede his view any! He seemed nice, and didn’t seem to mind – if he did, he certainly didn’t say anything.

It was really a magnificent production and the whole evening was wonderful. I’m not sure anything feels more magical then walking up those stunning steps to the opera and getting to see a wonderful performance there. My father, who typically sleeps through everything, stayed awake through the whole performance. That was a major achievement. I can’t wait to go back and see another opera there…and take some better photos!

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It’s that time of year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things around the holidays has always been  to go look at the Christmas windows in NY. I was lucky last year and got to see the windows in NY and in Paris. This year, we won’t be back in NY for the holidays, but I was thrilled to see the widows at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette were up last week when I went by. There is something magical about Christmas windows. This year the ones at Printemps were done by Prada, though I am particularly partial to the stunning ones last year by Dior. I love how the windows combine  fashion and a bit of Christmas magic. I don’t really need to say much, if you can go take a look. I’m going to try and see the ones at Le Bon Marché too before the season is over. Enjoy!

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A lot to be Thankful for

Its been a while since I have posted properly, but that is because I’ve been up to so many fun things and had my lovely parents visiting. I always enjoy when they visit since its a good excuse to make the time to do all the things I’ve been wanting to do. Amidst all of the Christmas shopping and fun things in Paris, we of course had to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was so much fun getting to cover Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even my birthday, all in a matter of days since we will we spending Christmas in Paris this year.

Despite the tradition in my family of having way too much food, I was determined to only have a day or so of leftovers – enough to not have to cook for a day or so after, but not so much that you wonder if you will ever want to look at turkey again. All in all, it was pretty successful. We had plenty of food so it still felt like Thanksgiving, but just a day or so worth of leftovers. Perfect. Even my pumpkin pecan muffins and pumpkin smoothies went down a treat in the morning and sustained us until it was time to eat. My mom and I spent the day in the kitchen and the men went in search of the best baguette in Paris. They were successful and brought home two past winners of the best baguette in Paris. While they were delicious, I’m not sure they adequately trumped our local boulangerie.

We began with oysters and champagne (in my opinion the best way to start any celebration), and so easy since Joe, my husband shucks oysters like a pro now. Since I am to please, and my father loves smoked salmon, next up was a lovely little amuse-bouche of smoked salmon, ricotta, and a dash of crème fraîche with a squeeze of lemon. Not typically being a fan of smoked salmon, the fresh smoked salmon we get from the market is wonderful, and was perfect with the ricotta and crème fraîche. Although the past few years I have stuck with butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving, this year I decided to change it up and went with a wild mushroom soup. Mushrooms are in season here now and there are so many gorgeous varieties to choose from at the market, that we chose a few and went from there. The soup, finished with a drizzle of cream and plenty of madeira went beautifully with the wine we chose from Jura. We selected it at a wine and food event we went to earlier in the week on a boat, and could not have selected more perfectly. Jura wines are very unique, almost like a dry sherry, and this one did not disappoint.

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The soup was followed by a fresh salad of fennel and orange. This also worked well with the Jura, and although not planned as such, served as a nice palate cleanser. Next up were the standards – turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, cosmopolitan cranberry sauce (my personal favorite, with vodka and Grand Marnier) and stuffing with sausage and parmigiana. This year I made a new addition (again, for my father), roasted brussels sprouts and apples with mustard. It may sound odd, but they were delicious.  A 2001 La Colonne from Cave Saint Brice (Bordeaux) was another delightful accompaniment to the rest of our meal. By this point we took a break on account of being so full, and skipped the cheese course I had planned. Our delicious meal was completed with pumpkin pie, and of course vanilla-pecan ice cream.Image

Even little Lily was treated to her own Thanksgiving feast. It was gone in 5 seconds flat!Image

I love cooking for holidays and there are so many delicious options. I think I spend far longer actually planning my menu then it takes to cook in the end!  Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and even New Years eve meals are already planned! I can’t wait!

Let there be wine!

I’m so excited because our wine for the holidays arrived last week! We will be having lots of guests in the next few months and so wine is imperative! Despite all of our recent buying trips, all of the wine in our cave is meant to sit for a few years at least. Hence, all the wine! We ordered two different wines from Cave Saint Brice, in Bordeaux – Medoc Grand Brice 2001 and Medoc La Colonne 2000. Both delicious, full reds and perfect for drinking now. Cave Saint Brice even threw in two magnums! What is not to love?

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