Valérie Trierweiler and her best-selling memoir

Agence France Presse

Agence France Presse

I read an article in the French press that said 1/3 of the forest in the Landes region of France has already been cut down to provide the paper for the 500,000 copies of Trierweiler’s book sold in France.  Ecologists are concerned that if the book continues to be printed, there will be no forest left.  To be honest, I find the subjects of deforestation and tree planting more interesting than the subject matter of Trierweiler’s book.

Madame Trierweiler’s book, Merci pour ce moment, is being translated into 11 languages.  To date, she will receive 1.4 million Euros in copyright revenue. 

To understand this publishing phenomenon – as well as the author herself – read the article published in today’s British newspaper, The Observer, which is the Sunday sister paper of The Guardian (link below).  The tawdriness of Hollande’s affair coupled with Trierweiler‘s vindictiveness provide me with no inspiration to read this book.

two superlative theatrical performances in December


Sara Baras : Voces, suite flamenca at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées from December 22nd to January 11th.

Sara Baras is returning to Paris and I’m excited.  I have already purchased my ticket.  I saw her spellbinding performance two years ago at the same theater. In short, Baras is magnificent!  The Baras Flamenco Group offers a shattering dramatic performance that is enhanced by skillful choreography and gypsy earthiness.  Buy tickets online now as they will be quickly sold out.


Inspired by the 1951 Vincente Minelli film that starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, a new world-premiere stage adaptation of An American In Paris, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, has arrived at the Théâtre du Châtelet, before moving onwards to the Palace Theatre in New York from April 12, 2015.

Featuring a book by Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig Lucas, the musical features scores by George and Ira Gershwin and is based on the Academy Award-winning 1951 film.

“An American in Paris”, from 22 November to 4 January at the Théâtre du Châtelet.


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Remember the Madeline books by Ludwig Bemelmans?

I took this photo last year and looking at it afterwards I was reminded of the first Madeline picture book (that I had as a young girl).  This photo was taken in the Jardin du Tuileries.  In the background is a wing of the Louvre museum.  If you squint your eyes and imagine, you can just see Miss Clavel and the twelve little girls walking in the distance.

In an old house in Paris

that was covered with vines,

Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.

They left the house at half past nine

In two straight lines,

In rain or shine.

pre-Christmas shopping on the rue Boissy d’Anglas – part 2

Paris Nov 11, 2014 016Paris Nov 11, 2014 020At the bottom of the rue Boissy d’Anglas (near the Place de la Concorde and to the left of the Hotel Crillon), is a shop called Ercuis & Raynaud that sells Limoges porcelain, decorative gifts and tableware.Paris Nov 11, 2014 045 Paris Nov 11, 2014 019 And right beside Ercuis is the Galerie Royale.  Step inside to see a few more shops.  If you go up the stairs and follow the passageway on your right, you’ll end up on the rue Royale on the other side.Paris Nov 11, 2014 038Paris Nov 11, 2014 041

On the rue Royale side is the Christofle boutique with its simple and elegantly-designed sterling silver jewellery, flatware, christening gifts and arts de la table.  Any item from Christofle would make the perfect gift.  I’ve been eyeing the iconic Andrée Putman sterling silver “Circle ring” for awhile now.  230 euros.  I think this would make a nice birthday-Christmas gift to myself.

Paris Nov 11, 2014 025 ring

Back on the rue Boissy d’Anglas, stroll up to the cross-road, the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and pop into the flagship Hermès store on the corner with its saddlery at the back. Walk in like you own the place, stride over to the perfume counter and spritz yourself (liberally) with your favourite perfume.  Mine is Amazone.  I’ve been wearing it for 20 years.

Paris Nov 11, 2014 053Continue walking north and beside the Anne Fontaine shop you’ll see Le Village Royal with its quiet courtyard, shops and restaurant.Paris Nov 11, 2014 060Paris Nov 11, 2014 066The appeal of this restaurant is the absence of street noise and traffic fumes.Paris Nov 11, 2014 068Paris Nov 11, 2014 064 Here’s the rue Royale on the other side running between the place de la Concorde and the place de la Madeleine. The much-loved Ladurée tea salon and famous macaroon shop is across the street.Paris Nov 11, 2014 070 Paris Nov 11, 2014 127

pre-Christmas shopping on the rue Boissy d’Anglas – part 1

Today was a civic holiday (Armistice Day) in France and unseasonably warm.  At around 1 o’clock I headed over to the 8th arrondissement. I had no idea it was so warm out. It was 17°C. The more I walked, the more layers of clothing I removed. How this woman could wear a mink coat is beyond me.  I thought this scene – taken on the boulevard Haussmann in front of Au Printemps department store – was hilarious.  They were stuffing their dog into a carry-bag.  Pauvre petit chien.

Paris Nov 11, 2014 124Paris Nov 11, 2014 123Yes, Christmas decorations are up already, can you believe it?  They seem so incongruous in the warm weather and, after all, it’s only November 11th.  What’s the rush?Paris Nov 11, 2014 120

Paris Nov 11, 2014 118Everyone was enjoying the sunshine while sitting on café and restaurant terraces. Incidentally, L’Ecluse is an excellent place for lunch or dinner. There are several dotted around the city. They serve only Bordeaux wines (with really good food).  Or you can just sit up at the wine bar and taste different Bordeaux wines by the glass.Paris Nov 11, 2014 095
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For those of you planning to Christmas shop or just window shop in Paris, here are some of my favourite places in the central 8th arrondissement – Paris Nov 11, 2014 069

Last year I did a post on the rue Boissy d’Anglas which runs from the Place de la Concorde (to the left of the Hotel Crillon) up to the boulevard des Malesherbes. I used to work on this street (at number 9) and I love this area. Yes, it’s expensive, but window-shopping is free.  The Christmas decorations on this street, lit up at night, are stunning.

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 Franco-Brazilian fashion designer, Anne Fontaine, makes exquisite blouses.

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A perfect gift store!  Alessi is a kitchen utensil company from Italy that sells everyday kitchen items from plastic and metal designed by famous designers.Paris Nov 11, 2014 081
Unless this place has changed management since I was there last year, I wouldn’t recommend this place.  I found it overly expensive and the waitstaff unfriendly.Paris Nov 11, 2014 075
If you want to splash some cash, here’s a reputable French restaurant located at number 41 rue Boissy d’Anglas. Expensive but seriously good. And good service.Paris Nov 11, 2014 088
Gorgeous sheets. I buy them here in the January sales.  In fact, most smart Parisian shoppers only buy during the January and June sales.Paris Nov 11, 2014 087
If only this road were always empty at 2 pm on a weekday.Paris Nov 11, 2014 077
Sadly, you see this all the time in France.  Far too many young French women smoke. It’s been said that they smoke to eat less and stay slim.  Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat fails to mention this in her book.Paris Nov 11, 2014 079

This is Part 1.  I’ll post Part 2 in a few days.  Thanks for reading!  à très bientôt.

a truly beautiful French blog (a slice of paradise)

I have stumbled across a blog whose photos and mission statement make my heart sing.  (Read the About Me narrative.) 

This blog sets the bar high.  Real high.  The photos are exquisite, as is everything else.  And the best part is you can actually visit this region of France and stay in their B&B.