Saturday, September 28, 2013

Le Train Bleu

We are at Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon.  We have free Wifi and a camera and a cable so here I am posting as I am eating my boxed lunch.  We opted to eat in the bar adjoining the dining room.  The boxed lunch can be eaten in or taken out.  Isn't it amazing?  The cutlery and glass are real.  The lunch includes foie gras and compote, chicken and vegetables, a cheese course, bottled mineral water and a fantastic chocolate torte.  I cannot eat it all so am saving the cake and cheese course for the train.
This is a perfect end to a lovely trip to Paris.  The lunch is a little costly (27 euros) but it's generous, and fresh and delicious. I would do it again in a wink.

That's it for now.



Friday, September 27, 2013

Some Paris Picks

Lunch at the Musée d'Orsay restaurant was as beautiful
as the Musée d'Orsay...
Ladurée treat

Ladurée window

Librairie La Hune window, how cute is that?

View from Trocadero - one of V.'s favorite spots in Paris.
The man at the Chanel counter was so sweet, he loaded
my bag with goodies.
Lunch at the café Nemours on Place Colette was on my bucket list.

Galeries Lafayette - V. remembers visiting with his mom
as a child in the early 50s.

Daniel Buren installation at the Palais Royal.  I love it.
Colette lived at the Palais Royal.  I am reading her biography.
What a woman!
I had to buy tea at Mariage Freres.  It was sublime in every way!
V. and I walked between 8 to 14 hours every day.  My feet are sore but my heart is light and my soul is full to brimming with all the beauty Paris has to offer.  In fact, I'm a little overloaded at the moment.  Got to process all of this wonderfulness. I am blessed!

Euphoric Stella

TGV to Paris Pics

Charolais grazing

The TGV trip to Paris lasted 3.5 hours from Marseille.  It was smooth, quiet, comfortable and peaceful.  I didn't read, I just looked out the window and closed my eyes a bit.  France is such a beautiful country.  When we do Paris to Marseille tomorrow, I have to sit on the other side of the train...


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

They Didn't Get my Wallet

In all my years of travel, I have never been ripped off, never even felt the threat of being ripped off but tonight, my first night in Paris, my purse was sliced open by a knife while we were packed in the metro going to dinner.

Luckily, I held on to my bag very tightly all the time I was traveling and the thief did not get the chance to rip off anything in my purse.  Still, it was a real Longchamp, the fold-able, perfect travel bag. I am shocked but not really surprised.  At age 55, I have lost my travel virginity.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Les Rocailles de Jouvaud

Photo via

Tasted coffee and vanilla flavored today.  So delicious and so bad for you... all that sugar.  A former student of mine posted this on Facebook today:

I have just finished reading a book called "Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar" by Robert Lustig. Very interesting book going into great biochemical detail about the importance of keeping sugar consumption at a minimum and how bad it is for our health, even linked with diseases of various kinds. As it's added to practically every processed food out there it's impossible to avoid. And of course we're all addicted to it and love it, making it all the harder to reduce.

Anyone else conflicted about this?


Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Table is Set, Lunch is Ready

Photo via Corey Amaro at Tongue in Cheek
Had people over for lunch yesterday.  Our friends Corey and Yann, their friend Thierry and their first giveaway recipients: Teresa and Dave from Oklahoma (who brought the most beautiful bouquet featured in the picture).

On the menu:

Bubbly with olives and saucisson (Roquefort and Fig from our Tuesday morning market - merci Stephane!)
Gazpacho as per Barefoot Contessa
Parmesan risotto (also BC) and garlic shrimp
Salade verte as per Laura Calder, a perfect accompaniment for the cheese platter with figs (from our neighbor Manuel's tree)
White and yellow peaches with peach sorbet and raspberry coulis



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chateau de Berne

I was to buy a couple of French beds for the guest room.  They were painted wood, upholstered in gold velvet, had an elaborate headboard and footboard and side boards!  I was all set to go, taking a risk, had them held for me to pick up this morning. Then V. said he would double-check the measurements to make sure that they would fit our mattresses (I was prepared to buy the beds and new sommiers but NOT new mattresses which would then necessitate new sheets...).  Our mattresses are too long for the French beds!  No new/old beds for the guest room...

V. knew that he should distract me so we went for a drive to the Chateau de Berne, a winery about 40 minutes from where we live.  A drive in the country was just what I needed.

Do you know why they plant a rose bush at the end of a row?

The vendange is set for September 22

Cheeky sanglier

Sigh, I'm feeling all better now.

Healed Stella

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Before and After: Master bedroom

Before with the yucky closet
After with a delicious armoire and night table
Also note the absence of the salmon-colored trim
This little renovation was our most important 2013 project.  Our room still needs a full length mirror but that will be purchased at the brocante when I see the right one.

Next, we are painting all six of our French doors as they have begun to peel on the outside.  We also had a major crack in the kitchen ceiling repaired and have purchased new side-tables for the living area.

I have finally made the curtain for the bathroom which I will show you at a later date.  The fabric for this project was purchased two years ago at the brocante.

Our little home is really that, a home on a smaller scale.  We have all that we need and are very happily cocooning in the south of France.

A la prochaine!