April 17, 2014

Some news from France CXXXV

 

 

Wow so much going on, to start my team of my life, (if you read I used to play as benjamin alavin player) ,the Real Madrid just won the Kings’s Cup in Spain over rival culés de Barcelona 1X2 with goals from Di Maria and G Bale. So Champions for the 19th time of this competition. I am happy.

Then, temps in the 20C here lovely Bretagne, and sunny and big weekend coming nice Easter. And my house work continues I see the light at the end of the tunnel on my terrace and cellar.

Now for more, on la belle France, and Paris especially, there is a nice American owned resto there, cool,and not expensive. Verjus Wine Bar,located next to the jardin du palais royal at 52 rue de Richelieu.   For €15, you’ll get a beverage, one delicious sandwich (choose between Mr. Chang’s Buns, Bakesale Betty and Midnight Cuban), and a little dessert. And any local will tell you—nothing beats one of Verjus’s heavenly caramel brownies or cookies. Lunch is served at the bar between 12:30 and 2 p.m. every weekday, but get there early to nab a spot in the cozy space. More here http://verjusparis.com/

Another good one that I have already mentioned previously but did stop by this week on one of my business runs to Paris, La Caféothèque , also offers the largest selection of coffee in the city, and it’s especially cozy in the winter time. Sit by the window and watch the world go by, or spend the day reading in the corner. (52 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville; +33 1 53 01 83 84). more here http://www.lacafeotheque.com/

and how about movies, cinémas, well love them ,and had already told you about the renovated Louxor and the great Pagode, but here they are again with some more.

Cinéma du Panthéon: In the heart of the Latin Quarter, the Panthéon, opened in 1907, is the oldest functioning movie theater in Paris. It  promoted the French New Wave, while also being one of the first to show foreign films in their original language. A special highlight of the theater is its living room-esque “salon,” designed by on-screen legend Catherine Deneuve in 2006. (13 rue Victor-Cousin); more here http://www.whynotproductions.fr/pantheon/

Le Champo:  the Champo is a Parisian film institution. Established in 1938, it boasts a screening room with an unusual mirror-based “periscope” projection technology that allows for the projector and the screen to be housed in different floors of the building. In addition to being considered by François Truffaut as his “headquarters” and Claude Chabrol his “second university.” (51 rue des Écoles);more here, http://www.lechampo.com/

La Pagode: Of all the movie theaters in Paris, the Pagoda least resembles a cinema.  And it is nicer for it,one of my favorites like I said. The building was imported piece by piece from Japan and was initially used mainly for receptions. It was converted into a cinema in 1931 and became an important feature of the film landscape in the 1950s and 60s, with screenings of movies by Ingmar Bergman, Jean Cocteau, as well as the Nouvelle Vague’s Jacques Rozier and François Truffaut. Today it features art house international movies which can be discussed afterwards over tea in the lush Japanese garden. (57 bis, rue de Babylone), more here, http://www.etoile-cinemas.com/pagode/

Le Grand Rex: The Grandest of Parisian historic cinemas, this Art Deco palace features the largest screening room in Europe: la Grande Salle, with 2800 seats. It  has been drawing in crowds since it was completed in 1932. Inspired by American movie theatres of the time, its vast baroque interior includes a starry night sky adorning the 100-foot-high ceiling of the grande salle, along running fountains and reliefs evoking an old Mediterranean village. Its days darkened during the Occupation when the cinema was requisitioned by the German army and reserved exclusively for German soldiers. While the programming includes mainly blockbusters (and concerts), the cinema is still independently owned and just the sight of it takes cinephiles back to another era. (1 blvd. Poissonière); more here, http://www.legrandrex.com/

Le Studio 28: Dubbed “the cinema of masterpieces, the masterpiece of cinemas” by Jean Cocteau, Studio 28 opened in 1928 with Abel Gance’s “Napoléon” and by 1930, it was already making headlines. The cinema is today’s  perhaps best known for its cameo in the 2001 international success Amélie. (10 Rue Tholozé); more here, http://www.cinema-studio28.fr/

Le Louxor:  Inaugurated in 1921, its appearance lives up to its name; a neo-Egyptian façade highlighted by colorful mosaics with floral/exotic animal motifs greets filmgoers as they enter the renovated theater. At the time, it was one of the largest cinemas in the city with just over 1,000 seats. While it originally screened French and American movies, the 1970s saw the cinema turn toward Indian and Arab films in keeping with the population of the neighborhood.  It was bought by the city of Paris in 2003—and, reopened in April 2013, proof that the projection camera is not about to be shut off on the city’s film scene just yet. (10 Rue Tholozé); more info here http://www.cinemalouxor.fr/

Something from the old (railroad tracks of Vincennes) that was brought back and its a hit as everything touching Paris is, we have, you have the promenade Plantée; French for ”tree-lined walkway,”  is an elevated linear park in Paris’s 12th arrondissement. It starts just a few steps away from Opéra Bastille and stretches almost three miles to Bois de Vincennes. Though it’s known as a Parisian High Line of sorts, the Promenade was actually built first, in 1993—and until 2010 was the only elevated urban park in the world.  Parts of the Promenade boast expansive views; other parts such as the Viaduc des Arts feature shops selling local arts and crafts. more here, http://www.promenade-plantee.org/

And last, but not least don’t forget to go up in the tower, the tower I mean is Montparnasse my entry point to Paris nowdays. And, you have wonderful views of Paris ,including that other tower, the Eiffel tower. http://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/

Paris

April 16, 2014

Some news from France CXXXIIII

Ok so we are enjoying great sunshine, and today is the football/soccer match in Spain of Barcelona and Real Madrid, you know I am a Madridista. Then, I need to talk about things going on in the world of France…

vinyl records ,remember them, I do, ,heheehe, well they are back in force even in the fashion capital of France. Some places to check them out

La Source, 46, rue Albert-Thomas (10éme). Tél.: 09 83 38 04 88.

Toolbox Records, 30, rue Saint-Ambroise (11éme ). Tél.: 01 48 05 80 16. http://www.toolboxrecords.com/fr

Crocodisc , 40-42, rue des Écoles et 64, rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève (5éme). Tél.: 01 43 54 47 95.  http://www.crocodisc.com/

The restaurant Rossi comes alive with a sandwich trattoria style, Rossi & Co ,9, rue Mandar,  2éme. Tél.: 09 73 65 06 60.  open every day except Sundays . Métro: Sentier, Les Halles.  Now they have a page in Facebook, I don’t like to mix with them, but Rossi is a great place, so here it is, exceptionally for you. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rossi-Deli/1423062267905193

and do you know the line 14 of metro is going long ,just around areas where I shop for my Spanish specialties in Paris,(tip here somewhere!) ,  the line 14 will go to the Mairie de Saint-Ouen  by  2017,now Under construction and it will go by Pont Cardinet, just where cap hispania is and I parked by there my car.

If you want a store in Paris full of headgears and music lovers paradise then go to Casquade, 58 rue D’Argout, 2éme, open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11h30-14h30 and 15h30-20h. http://www.casquade.fr/

Crazy Horse is coming up with a new spectacle call Désirs, 12 avenue George V, Metro : George V and Alma-Marceau. http://www.lecrazyhorseparis.com/fr/

From 22 april to June 8 at Bobino ,you have the spectacle Tierra de Amor (Land of Love), find men and women who have left their land of origin, of Cuba and Santo Domingo, from the Caribbean to Africa… Their common passion for dance will unite them and transform their lives. Stories of love, exile and of crossed destinies, are told to latinos, African and contemporary rhythms: salsa, samba, tango, bolero, Cha Cha Cha, merengue, gwoka, reggaeton…see here http://www2.aparteweb.com/awprod/BOBI/AWCalendar.aspx?INS=BOBI&CAT=29

See at the musée Maillol at Paris, the expo the Treasures of Naples Italy or le Trésor de Naples, the jewels of San Gennaro. San Gennaro, saint January, died as a martyr of the Diocletian persecution, is the great patron saint of the city of Naples. His blood, collected in two bulbs, liquefies three times a year, on the same dates for centuries, a phenomenon that even today science can explain. more here in English, http://www.museemaillol.com/expositions/tresor-de-naples/english-informations/

And finally, Versailles, will have an exhibition marking the 100 years anniversary of  of World War I, see it all here in English, http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/other-events/the-palace-of-versailles-during-the-great-war

Enjoy your week, cheers.

April 12, 2014

Some news from Bretagne XVI

A wonderful sunny day in my area and home , so again took advantage and took our little ride with the family as usual.  The temps go up to 20C here today and you can see the folks out like summer is here even if not officially.

I set out this morning into the country near me, at Bieuzy Lanvaux, there are a wonderful Church of Saint Bieuzy , small typical looking chapel like so many in Brittany. This one is high on a hill overlooking the Loch plateau,and better park at the bottom and walk up as the Streets are very narrow and steep difficult for a turnaround.  A bit of history on this Church translated from the French, http://www.pluvigner.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-2-pid-180.html

Saint Bieuzy is also called saint Bihui. The legend says that the saint was struck in the skull with a knife because he did not want to interrupt his mass to cure of rabies the dogs of the Lord of Melrand. He wished to make a last visit to his friend saint Gildas and made a stop at Bieuzy-Lanvaux. The Chapel is built in the memory of its passageBuilt on a hillside, the Church dominates the village. The southern facade is from  1593 , year where the Church has been modified. The western façade was transformed when the chapel became the parish church, annex. On this occasion, a slightly protruding massif has been integrated as well as the Portal full-arch dated 1838. On the back wall of the choir is arranged a table of the Holy family. There are also two side niches of carved wood from the 17C, located in the choir. On the left the statue of saint Bieuzy is presented and right to throne a Madonna and child. Several other statues are present in the Church: those of Sainte Brigide, Notre-Dame de Lourdes, Saint Joseph and Saint Theresa. A statue can intrigue the visitor: that of a Holy Knight dressed in a coat and holding a shield but no sword. It could be Saint Michel.
We, also, visited briefly the Logis de Florange, one of the main banquet, wedding places here in the country, the pride of the area if you are holding a family gathering. It has a multitude of links for trips ,vacation, tourism in the area, here http://www.relaisdefloranges.fr/index.php?id_page=1,5  .Some of the room rentals can look like this the Castille, http://www.relaisdefloranges.fr/index.php?id_page=9,12  . So if we are getting ready for the summer and family visiting, this is the place we are thinking of doing it.
Last on this area , we went by the front of the Abbaye de Lanvaux, this is private, but full of history. When the local rebels ,the Chouans, gathered here with General Cadoudal (of Auray) , waiting for the immigrant breton to arrive from England by Quiberon, this is where they camp out. Unfortunately the landing was discovered , and the link up never happened, instead many immigrants 795 were sentence to the firing squad ,and today are buried in the Chartreuse of Auray.  A bit of history , other,  this  monastery is located near the old Castle of Lanvaux and the fief of the Barony,  the construction is set as in  July 1138AD!!!  By the Abbot Ruaud and Cistercian monks, with the support of the baron Alain de Lanvaux who donated to the monks of Bégard of a Manor House on the right bank of the river Loch. In the 18C a Abbey House is built near the convent. It  eventually installs a glassworks in 1824 and a smelter in 1827.  In  1824, was built at a small distance of the convent, a glassworks, which was replaced, three years later, by a foundryThe property of the convent and the neighbouring  propertys has passed, then by various hands. But the Park and the forest of Lanvaux, a capacity of 207 hectares, and the forest of the abbey, containing 45 hectares, remained the property of the State. Today in this harvest of tranquility and forest lies a gîte rural that you can rent out with a goût on the wines, http://www.vinogusto.com/fr/adresse/82515/gite-rural-abbaye-de-lanvaux

We past effortless thru the city center of Pluvigner as it is market or jour du marché, and got some goodies, and then a tour into deep country, passing by the town of Landaul and its nice Church or église Saint-Théleau in city center.  This parish Church of Landaul, having been demolished in 1862, the chapel Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours nearby, itself built around 1450, becomes parish church in May 1863. To give to the new Church a form of a cross , two chapels, one to the North, the other South of the nave are added. The original facade is preserved.

Here you absolutely need a car, you go into lieu-dits or section in the country that are attached to nearby towns but are on their own, with only tiny black panels telling you are enterings Kerlios or Kéronic etc. And it is here that I wanted to stop by living just 7-10 kms from them!  The first one encounter was the Château de Kéronic, a private residence sitting in a long one way road that at the end into the woods you come across the castle right at you!!  Beautiful property that is usually open on heritage days in September.  A bit of history, my hobby amateur but doing it for many years and volunteer and or friend of many here in France.  It is an imposing remake of the  15C / 17C reworked by  the family Harscouët Saint George circa 1860. It is still the property of this family, currently represented by the vicomte Christian de la TullayeThe lordship of Queronic or Keronic was Henry de Launay in 1427. In 1717 it passed by marriage to the Lenvos Carpenter, who kept the castle  until the Revolution. In the 19C, the Castle entered the family Harscouët Saint George, it is always in this family. The entrance to the cour d’honneur, several times restored, has a pond ; a private chapelis surrounded by  a large forest. The park of Keronic  was designed by Legendre in the 1880s, is remarkable with its land plants from Heather, rhododendrons, camellias and hydrangeas, as well as its exotic trees, sequioas, araucarias, etc… It is with a pond and a garden à la française. The castle can be seen from afar, from the grid, at the end a long aisle of beautiful trees, 2.5 km to the Northwest of Pluvigner, right of the D. 102 to Languidic. http://www.pluvigner.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-2-pid-165.html

We moved on to the other side of Pluvigner to visit another private property, the Château de Kerlois; This is even more difficult to find as there is no panel on the road D102 and we found it by pinpointing the lieu-dits on the map and figuring the grassy wooden entry off the road looks like a grand house was there. Well , it proved right as once going thru this narrow one way road, passing some rusted gate, we came across the beauty of this castle. Info you can find on the link above from Pluvigner city town hall.  A bit of history here too, of course. The castle dates mostly from the 17C (facade) but retains some elements of the 15C. At the beginning of this 15C, it then belonged to Eon of Kernigues, Squire of the Duke Jean V of Brittany. In 1607, the lordship of Kerlois was acquired by Olivier Le Gouvello, Lord of Keriolet. His son, Pierre de Keriolet, spent his childhood. The private chapel was built by the mother, in Thanksgiving for the conversion of her son in Loudun. In 1800, the castle is owned by the Bobinnec family. The seigneurie belonged in 1407 to Eon Kernigues, Squire of the Duke Jean v. It then passed to the Lestrin of Saint-Avé, the Keriolet Gouvello (Pierre Le Gouvello was born there. Converted he died in 1660), to M. de Moncan, to the the Ville-Gonan. The garden was planted of medicinal plants and a vegetable garden. It must be said that at the end of his life the man without faith nor law, housed a hospice at the rear of the Castle. The 17C marked the transformation of the Park in a French style garden. The 2 highlights of this park are camellias with over 15 varieties and remarkable charms,you can admire a beautiful cedar of the bicentennial Lebanon brought back by an ancestor of the current owner, who was Captain in the Royal Navy. Its chapel was restored in the 18C, as well as its beautiful stables. Acquired around 1800, by Armand de Bobinnec. The House is now the property of his descendants, the  family Bourjac.

We took around the woods trip ,and came back to Saint Goustan, the lovely port of Auray for a meal at one of our favorite spot and now friends ,the Créperie Saint-Sauveur. Again great galette La Madriléne, and La Lulu strawberry sorbet, before  I had the local Chouchen liquor of macerated honey and eau de vie from apples, its very old and traditional here, something like this, http://www.distillerie-warenghem.com/uk/melmor-chouchen/  , and of course a bottle of local cider brut, all for 22,75€ per person.

Finally, we gather some material for our house at Jardiland, the home,garden,  handyman deco store in Vannes , got some driveway stone for decoration, and getting quotes for many works on the tube for the rest of the year. http://www.jardiland.com/nos-magasins/jardiland-vannes.html

And time to rest, and think of what to do tomorrow ::) Have a great weekend !!!

 Bieuzy Lanvaux  Bieuzy Lanvaux  Bieuzy Lanvaux  Bieuzy Lanvaux  Bieuzy Lanvaux  Bieuzy Lanvaux  Bieuzy Lanvaux Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner Landaul  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner Auray Auray Auray Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

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April 5, 2014

My travels in the Morbihan ,part VI

We had a sunny Saturday and then it became cloudy but not before having my usual drive trip around my beautiful département 56, the Morbihan.

For those new to my blog, the Morbihan is part of the region of Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh(in breton), it was created  at the French revolution on March 4, 1790. It took part of the old province of Bretagne, compose of the bishop of Vannes, parts of it on the north and east, and west on the extremes of the Cornouaille on the South of the bishop of Saint-Brieuc, and the southwest of the bishop of Saint Malo, and the Northwest on the bishop of Nantes. The word Morbihan means Mor for sea and bihan for small in the breton language so therefore small sea (coming from the famous gulf of Morbihan). The region of course, has French as the official language, but also part of the local costumes is that in the South areas around Vannes, Breton is spoken by the elders ,taught in schools ,and all signs on the roads, etc are bilingual. ON the extreme north by Loudéac par example ,Gallo, a gallo roman language is also spoken, and the road signs are shown in both gallo and French.

The tourist office for the department is at http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/ and for the region of Brittany is here http://www.brittanytourism.com/

I set out in the morning with my father to help him with his errands, bank,lab for medical results, and stop by the colorful Vannes marché by the place du poids public and all along the adjacent Streets, halles aux poissons and up to the pl de la République. This is a wonderful market all visitors should plan to attend, merchant from all over the region comes here to sell their good healthy natural foods from vegetables to fruits, cheeses, chicken, beef,pork, paellas done on site, the local bakeries,butcheries and fish markets all open at the same time so it is a festive ambiance and great family time. Not to mention great buys of delicious local produce. We went for the cheeses and sausages this time, and some bottles of wines.

We are home relaxing on our shopping on our favorite stores, and having my sons enjoying the fruit of their first jobs and first shopping with them paying lol! Its Worth it. Have a great weekend y’all. Cheers.

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Saint Nolff  Plescop  Plescop  Plescop  Plescop  Plescop  Plescop

 

Came back , to pick up the rest of the family, and out to see home décorations, and building Equipment to enhance our garden. The terrace is coming along and looks great, tiles of stone will be lay on top, and concrete trails will be done along the house. More when its all done and compare the old and the new.

We became hungry doing all this so decide to take them to a new place. I always drive by it on my way to the office, and always think of stopping by but time constraints left me out all the time. Well today I finally hit the place, brasserie, pizzeria, bar Les Trois Soleils,  right off road D779 in the business park ZA de Tréhuines, Plescop, just outside city limits of Vannes. Tel +33 (0) 2 97 49 97 47.  This is a local place with many town activities posted on the community board Inside, no webpage but you should come if in the area. The service, friendly staff, nice local patrons, and the food well done with great prices, menu for 13€ , read this, entrée, plat, dessert, and quart of wine or beer, or water or lemonade with great selection. I had the chiffonnade des lardons, steak and fries, lemon tart, a quart bottle of red wine, for the 13 euros then coffee for 1,25€ awesome prices and great food.  They even have a cheaper menu at 10,50€; open Mondays to Saturdays from  7H30 to 20h, for the evenings and Sunday reservation is required; the bar is open Sunday evenings as well.

April 3, 2014

Some news from France CXXXIII

Another wonderful day in Brittany with temps in the upper teens and sunny,no rain. We are hoping for a very nice weekend. I am in the area for a change. Some of the latest from France are on:

The beers of Paris, yes we have some local beers too, some were gone and now back on, such as Gallia and Demory. The Gallias is brewed about 60 kms from Paris and the Demory is brewed in Germany with the hops from France. Some are from the district of Château Rouge, 28, rue de la Goutte-d’Or, 18éme. http://www.brasserielagouttedor.com/

Some bars do brewed their own in Paris such as French Beer Factory ,176, rue Montmartre, 2éme,   the pubs chain The Frog with five addresses in Paris, and O’Neil, 20, rue des Canettes, 6éme. La Volcelest, in my old Yvelines dept 78, My Beer Company in Hauts-de-Seine, dept 92, the Biére de l’Ourcq in Seine-et-Marne dept 77, the La Parisis in the Essonne ,dept 91 or the Biére du Vexin in Val-d’Oise, dept 95.  webpages to follow:

http://www.frenchbeerfactory.fr/

http://www.frogpubs.com/

http://www.oneilbar.fr/

http://www.brasseriechevreuse.com/volcelest.html

http://www.mybeercompany.fr/

http://bieredelourcq.fr/

http://www.brasserie-parisis.com/

http://www.biere-du-vexin.com/

And to along with a local beer ,why not a local fashion made here with local colors and designs, such as the following;

The Parisian label Gat Rimona unveiled two weeks ago a t-shirt displaying large characters,  American football shirt,  they are found at  104, rue Longchamp (16th). Brand Bazaar, 33, rue de Sèvres (6th); BIBA, 18, rue de Sèvres (7th). http://www.gatrimon.com/

To give himself an air more rabble, is better opt for a Paris Nord sweat. Models are labelled and packaged in the workshop-shop located  oddly, in the Marais. The company, 15, rue Charlot (3rd). http://www.Le-Bouclard.com; Isakin, 9, rue André-del-Sarte (18th) http://www.isakinparis.com

Precursor, of the Pigalle store landed in 2008 by editing its name, white on black clothing. The aura of the sector has done the rest. Rihanna has several sweatshirts. Pigalle, 7, rue Henry Monnier (9th).no web it has a facebook page, but I do not put facebook in my blog.

The nostalgic Brandon and Kelly will melt on the ‘Belleville Hills’ pastiche displayed by No/One printed in the workshop Amelot (11th). Studio Store, 57, rue de Charenton (12th). Also at Colette and Isakin. http://www.atelierstore.fr/  and http://www.colette.fr/

For travel incognito from the Porte de la Chapelle to the Place de la Concorde  metro line 12, we choose printing “river droite”. Attention: the passing to the “rive gauche” model is required past the ­Seine. http://manegeatrois.bigcartel.com/

Saint Laurent, Bardot and Gainsbourg, among other retro icons appear on the creations of Rue JacobAvailable soon in Heaven Dauphine, 40, rue Dauphine (6th). http://manegeatrois.bigcartel.com/

Photographer Theo Mouvras (of the Racket claw) prints his own images with a certain sense of telescoping: t-shirt “Place des Vosges” is illustrated with a decor of HLM.  high with the effigy of the Church Saint-Gervais  or the place des Victoires (2éme).Racket, 47, rue d’aboukir. http://www.racketparis.com

and if you are on the run like me many times in Paris for a quick sandwich of ham and butter à la française, you to go to the new gare Saint lazare, LAZARE. and if can indulge a bit more time head over to L’Avant Comptoir ,3 ,carrefour de l’Odéon, 6éme.

And to finish with something classic and way away from Paris, try to see this wonderful gardens, the jardins secrets de l’Abbaye Saint-André, on top of the mont Mont-Andaon,  in the town of  Villeneuve-lès-Avignon (the one next to Avignon) with a beautiful view over the Rhône river and valley,  mont Ventoux , and the  palais des Papes.It is open to the public now to November 1st, where nature and heritage comes together. more info here http://www.abbayesaintandre.fr/les-jardins/

Cheers and enjoy your week wherever you are.

March 29, 2014

Pleyben revisited for the chocolates and Easter.

Ok today we had a nice sunny day, and we took advantage to do a lot of errands all over.  There is work in the house as the masons are in doing our  open terrace,but we left them working lol!

The day was started by a pilgrimage trip to the historical and gastronomic little town of Pleyben, in the Finistére breton, we have been here before on my last post of october 11 ,2012. So many places to see , but this one is special so came back.  The tourist office handling this part of Brittany is at the main office for the region here ,http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-brittany/quintessential-brittany/pleyben-saint-thegonnec

We set out from home along the N165, to exit Pleyben road D765 Route Touristique, following easy signs for it we reach the city center in 1h30 time.

Once we got into town, we did a bit of stretching walk to go around the Chapelle de la Congregation, buy some baguettes at Boulangerie Loas,at the main square in town ,18 pl Charles de Gaulle. It was market day time so we indulge ourselves in doing our shopping of natural home country produce of terrines, pâtes, pork and veal meats, strawberries on the spot all at good prices and what we love about France the most, no industrial supermarket gimmicks just out with the farmer. Our main suppliers were the butcher , a couple of Giséle and Jean-Bernard Kergoat, who have their farm at “YUN MALGUEN” 29410 Plounéour-Ménez and do their work visiting several markets in the area. The other find was the cheese provider oh yes forgot to tell you we purchase goat cheese, crottin de chévre which my wife is doing tonite with toasted bread and honey! yummy. they are at the farm or ferme de Roc’h Conan same town as the butcher and do have a webpage , http://lafermederochconan.fr/  there are new cheeses coming up in April and we will be back.

We had eaten before at the Taverne La Blanche Hermine at 1 pl Charles de Gaulle opposite the calvary of Pleyben ,but now took photos of it; it is traditional breton cooking with a great breton ambiance. onion soup  or soupe aux oignons with some fricassée de boudin noir aux pommes et à l’andouille are delicious here. http://www.la-blanche-hermine.com/

However, trying to try everything as so far everything is delicious, we opted for a new one at the opposite end of the previous one, Créperie de l’Enclos, 51, Pl du Général de Gaulle,telephone +33 (0) 2 98 26 38 68.. It is a Gault & Millau 2 chefshats or toques, guide Pudlo (creperie of the year 2008) , Petit Futé, and Geo guide recipient awards. The owners serve us, led by Henri le Roux, and it was fantastic once again. The service, the ambiance very nice, the decoration with photos of the dishes from the menu is unique. The food was with a bottle of Rosé wine from Rocamadour, galettes Paysanne (ham, fresh cream, egg, tomatoes, and green lettuce), Rocamadour (goat cheese and miel), mine was Chichon (fry pork, espilette sauce, lettuce), Mandarine ( fresh goat cheese, bacon,chutney of mango and red onions) , then desserts were écossaise (chocolate and whiskey liquor), pêche melba, amandine (caramel, almonds flambée with Cointreau, and comportament bonheur ( peach, raspberry, mandarin , and caramel ice cream, coulis red fruits, and chantilly). Turn out to be about 20€ per person, good prices here. no webpage but you can read on them at Michelin, the place ::) http://restaurant.michelin.fr/restaurant/france/29190-pleyben/creperie-de-l-enclos/5gtish9

Of course, we took another peek at the Calvary of Pleyben suggest dating from the 1600′s and one of the top 3 in Brittany in preservation and decoration, the mayor’s office in French, http://www.mairiepleyben.fr/~tourisme/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29&Itemid=19

We,also, did went Inside the Church of Saint Germain de l’Auxerrois, which is part of the enclos or enclosure of the calvary  seen in the link above. The preservation is magnificent, and already discussed in my previous post on the town.

Finally, here , we visited our favorite regional chocolatier Michel Chatillon, right next to the Calvary. These are delicious home made chocolates with factory in the back which you can tour as well as tasting in the store. The store is packed full of wonders of the French and Breton gastronomy. These are what you come to France for , original, best quality, and made in France. I let you read thru it, but we love the Florentins, thin slices of chocolate brought to the court of the duchy of Brittany by Anne de Bretagne after conversing with Catherine de Médicis and her Florentian tastes. You,have the brick breton, and just wonderful chocolates, accessories , baskets, and nougats! Worth going there just for this. http://www.chatillon-chocolat.com/index.php?lng=gb

But our day was not over, we headed on this time the D785 road to connect closer to the N165 back to Vannes, where we needed to get some essential for the Young today like PS VIta game machines, and video games tapes, at FNAC and Micromania. Finally, getting some home Tools and gadgets for the house at Castorama Vannes.

http://www.fnac.com/Vannes/Fnac-Vannes/cl49/w-4

http://www.micromania.fr/magasin/100/vannes.html

http://magasins.castorama.fr/4211-castorama-vannes

and we arrive home a bit exhausted but happy and ready to attack this wonderful meal we are getting going, with great wines of Mme the Baronness Philippone de Rothschild of Bordeaux! Cheers and happy weekend.

Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben Pleyben

 

 

 

 

 

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March 25, 2014

More of Paris, do we ever stop !!!

Do we ever stop of seeing Paris? well never, its a movable feast, eternal city of lights. Every opportunity is a welcome mat to civilisation, fun, history, architecture and specially the arts and culture we so much drank from it on each trip.

I was again by Paris yesterday, like so many posts before, (you can go to research and find them all here in my blog), the city never ceased to amazed me. More so because of a good friend from Algeria was coming over with his family and at least I had the opportunity to say hello , that is Paris the sublime meeting point of the world, or as Bogart used to say in Casablance, We will always have Paris.

We had our drinks at La Terrasse resto on the place de l’école militaire, all there in the square is good and sublime.  http://www.laterrassedu7.com/

Of course, I came by TGV train from Auray to Montparnasse direct, as much as don’t like trains many times  I have no choice, I took the metro line 6 because it goes above ground on the way in ok. However, on the way back, I took the wonderful bus 92 from place de l’école militaire to gare de Montparnasse , much better ride and wonderful Paris scènes ,above ground. I still amazed at the number of visitors that insist on taking these trains, its like a tourist attraction lol!!! Then on the TGV from Montparnasse back home and  because of railroad tracks works after Rennes are Under repairs, I have the distinct pleasure of taking the SNCF buses or cars. from the Gare de Rennes to Auray  in 2 hours! nice ride as it was very late but boy going out of a train station to go to a bus station this late at night almost midnight was not my cup of tea even in the smallist station like Rennes. I arrive well at my car for the last 15 minutes trip home. The Paris buses, métros, tramways etc are in the ever popular http://www.ratp.fr, and the gare de Rennes is here http://www.gares-en-mouvement.com/en/frrns/accueil/

While in Paris, I had sublime 10 floor views of the city towards the Eiffel tower,and the Invalides Church. I walk around the Eiffel, and went around the école Militaire. Walking past Place Joffre you see of course still the Eiffel tower but also,a unique monument to Peace;http://www.murpourlapaix.org/site/mur.html

Walking Paris is always good, and I did around these areas, looking at old parking places I have used and restos such as the 7vin and cassenoix  that I have been,all brParis Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Rennes Parising memories of Paris, always good for the soul. Enjoy your week everyone/ Cheers.

 

 

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March 23, 2014

elections in France, 2014

Hi, today is sunny cool temps in the 9C or about 47F, Sunday is usually quiet time with families in France, and religious service  which in Brittany is still serious. However, today, it is the Municipales 2014 election, time to get out and vote to do your civic duty.

I am priviledge with my multi passports to vote in several countries when resident or by proxy; in France I have voted on every élections from municipals to nationals. First , I was registered in the Yvelines dept 78 when lived in Versailles. Once moving to this new region in 2011, I immediately thought out to register again in my new district. I did ,and got my voting card just a week ago.

So today was the big day, and my first voting experience in Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh.  First , a bit of a national scope. In France, the élections are low key, not as in some other countries like the USA where it has become a Hollywood contest. Here is all low key and politics are kept private.

First, your voting card does not mention your party or political leanings, and they are kept as private as your love ones. Political discussions are kept to the family or some very close friends. At work, we simply touch base on a general sense of direction but the détails of our thoughts are kept private too. In Spain, they are all out and it becomes very tense discussions. We like to argue there and take sides, typical of our many régions.

We are today face with 926 068 candidates for the 2014 municipales élections out of  44,8 millions registered voters including about 280 000 members of the EU living in France. All are call to vote in the first round of the municipales today, there will be a second round with the top vote getters on March 30th.  There will be elections in  36 700 towns and villages of France. The booths will be open from 8H to be closed by 18H, 19H or 20H depending on the size of the town.  Some far away confines of France such as New Caledonia or Nouvelle Calédonie, had begun Saturday at 22h, and from Sunday at 5h to 6h mornings it will the turn of  La Réunion and Mayotte.

Some entertainement aspects of the élections is the contestation or complaints that the election was not done correct, such as already is happening as I write at Corbeil-Essonnes (93) . There is the question of folks that voted that were not propertly identify to be eligible to vote lol!!! The principals figures already voted and the President of the French Republic did so today at 11h in his old mayor’s town of Tulle in the region of Corrèze . The canditates for the Paris post did so at 9h08 in the 14éme arrondissement and the 15éme arrondissement.

So far the election voters percentage is at 23,16% or slightly more than last years nationally. Where I am it was more so, no figures yet but the talk in the gym is that more people seems to be out. I voted by 12h midi here, and the Stream of folks was constant. I have a couple of pictures of the gym where the voting for my district took place and the office or bureau where I put myself in the private cabins to vote. You are advise to carry all voting docs with you as to not reveal the who you are voting for , and put in your Pocket those not in your favor ,and deposit in the urn the one you vote it for; lol!!! French discretion is at a must.

The day is still sunny and now we are preparing for the delicious meal the women of the house is doing, and then getting ready for me to go to Paris on business tomorrow by train from 5h a killer and then come back at midnight but hey got Tuesday as rest day RTT off with pay. Great, vive la différence!!! enjoy your Sunday.

Pluvigner Pluvigner

March 22, 2014

Some news from France CXXXII

We are continuing with good weather even thus today this morning we had a brief moment of hailstorm rains; then it stop and now sunny back up again, temps in 8C or about 48F. The work on the house is coming along, and I am ready for another trip to Paris.

In the meantime, this is the latest from la Belle France.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express , in service since 1982 will expands it routings  from May 2014 onwards. It will have itineraries to Brussels coming from  Venise, Vienna,and Budapest, with five new frequencies including one at night. The first trip leaving Venise towards Brussels will be the 17 May 2014. It will be offered at from 2 020 € per person in double cabin and complete meals except drinks. hot off the press from Les Echos not yet on the official site here  http://www.vsoe.com/web/vsoe/venice_simplon_orient_express.jsp?hll=1

Another first in Paris, and hear it here in the blog first, know what you eat. Eat good without necessarily eating organic. Know the producer almost almost. Responsible for eating. Eat natural. Eat committed.  This is exactly what thought Cédric Naudon – stitched design and gastronomy businessman – dreaming jeune rue.  Mouth tempting  shops which blueprints to places of culture, of exceptional products sold at the right price, a work highlighting artisans… Altogether 18 of the biggest names of design and architecture (Tom Dixon, Jasper Morrison, Paola Navone, Eugeni Quitllet…) will sign milling, covered, market bar to tapas, pastry, cheese, Korean street food, glacier or cinema around the rue du Vertbois in the 3rd arrondissement. A beautiful madness. Opening scheduled for late may, at best.

Near my old working grounds, you have the magnificent Le Salon sur l’eau, a veritable peniche boat with wonderful delights. The détails to get there are  at 5,quai Marcel Dassault, 92150 Suresnes, tel +34 (0) 1 41 38 93 73, open Mondays to Sundays lunch and dinner, with a nice Sunday  Brunch from 12h to 16h for 29€ per person ,and 19€ for those Under 12 yrs old. I give you three reasons to be there asap, Number 1: it is a vessel of 500 m2! Uncovered terrace is really fun when our friend Sun is there, otherwise we moved indoors with views on the water.  Number 2: you eat well. For the Sunday brunch (my favorite) You begin with a hot drink, a juice or a smoothy with fresh fruit then place buffet sweet and salty! Hot croissants, fruit or cottage cheese with grout and then salad. Gazpacho, guacamole, scrambled eggs, ham, chicken with Morels or even net bar, the choice is wide. It ends on a half-cooked chocolate or other sweet treats. Be sure to spend a little bit of  time to book reservation. The side restaurant, the menu is just as varied. We remember duck foie gras scallops to the griddle and the sweet dark chocolate.  Number 3: managers know how to party. During the week (weekend included), the boat is a restaurant lunch and dinner and it is not uncommon to see djs invade the boat around 11 pm. If you are hot, the evening can finish later! Don’t worry, the team has also thought of your darlings and offers entertainment during brunch, just for them. Great! more info here http://www.salonsurleau.fr/

Le Figaro did a story about the favorites dogs of Parisiens, they are all over here lol!!! The saying goes that if by 50 you don’t have or had a dog you are not Parisien at heart. So,therefore, I left because don’t have a dog (had it when a kid), and don’t intend to have one now, but here are the tops breeds for Parisiens. The chihuahua. you can see them at the t L’astrance for dinners. Favorite terrain: 16th (16éme arrondissement).  The bichon, tied with yorkshire. In residential neighborhoods to bourgeois tendency, it is customary to offer a Playmate to her offspring. Hundred times more affectionate than plush. Favorite terrain: 17th. The labrador. This dog of water and open spaces (in Paris, we prefer the sand color) pique a head every Sunday in the Lake Daumesnil. Favorite terrain: 12th. The jack russell. A dynamic race for dynamic city dweller. The darling of the thirtysomethings on the Pierre Hardy shoes. Favorite terrain: 4th. The ‘ akita-inu. This little dog to Wolf’s head has a rating of hell. Originally from Japan, he is paraded preferably by leash at rue Sainte-Anne . Favorite terrain: 2nd.

And ,of course, can’t get away for telling you something about the places they are most welcome according to the article. Danny Hills , 84, avenue Secrétan (XIXe). Tél.: 01 84 14 05 95; Le Cette, 7, rue Campagne-Première (XIVe). Tél.: 01 43 21 05 47. Café Trama 83, rue du Cherche-Midi (VIe). Tél.: 01 45 48 33 71. Café de L’Odéon, Place de l’Odéon (VIe). Tél.: 01 44 85 41 30 (Watch your steps around here on the sidewalks!) .Monsieur Bleu,20, avenue de New York (XVIe). Tél.: 01 47 20 90 47. Non Solo Pizza ,5, rue Mesnil (XVIe). Tél.: 01 47 04 69 03 ,Chinchin, 25, avenue de Reille (XIVe). Tél.: 01 45 89 25 06. and Café du Marché. 38, rue Cler (VIIe). Tél.: 01 47 05 51 27.

For trips in the park,when you arrive too late and they get up too soon, see these places , www.dogwalking.fr and www.holidog.com . For dogs sitting , but of course, a good one is www.dogsitter.fr  If you need to leave for extended time, try  Actuel Dogs (Vincennes). Tél.: 01 48 08 00 97. De 20 to 150 € per day according to the room and services ask. http://www.actueldogs.com/

And for a proper Paris outifitting worthy of a fashion capital ,then head for these places. Marie Poirier, 84, bd des Batignolles (XVIIe). Tél.: 01 45 22 22 50, and La niche du BHV Marais (the great dept store), 42, rue de la Verrerie (IVe). Tél.: 09 77 40 14 00.

To commemorate the 2000 years of his death, talking Emperor Augustus of the Roman Empire, the Grand Palais and the Musée du Louvre are doing some joint efforts. Now to July 13 2014 at the galeries nationales de Grand Palais, every day except tuesday May 1 and Tuesdays, from 10h-20h, wednesdays until 22h admission  13€,adults. Not in English yet but in French will do ::) http://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/evenement/moi-auguste-empereur-de-rome

I will leave you with my latest escapades into the culinary exquisite choices we have in France, and not just French. One of my colleagues at work here told me about a asian resto, and as my wife like that food, and I have been taking it on lately on my travels in Asia, we decided to try today. IT was a find, wonderful family very helpful Vietnameses, great service, the food is all home made on site, and good prices, prompt personalise service, and we left feeling like we have found a home in Vannes. The place La Saigonnaise, 2 Place de la Madeleine, Vannes, tel +33 (0) 2 97 68 49 80. They have take out service for 15% less than the menu carte prices. Indeed we went overboard with Chinese and Vietnamese beers, at 4€ each. then the menu for entrée, plat, and dessert for 17,90€ per person. An assortments of samoassas, nems, raviolis,papillottes with shrimp, cantonese rice, chinese fry noodles, with two distinct sauces, I had the bœuf au saté or beef satay sauce; great, and for desserts dame de saigon (coco,banana ice cream and chantilly cream with a vietnamese nougat on top). more here http://www.la-saigonnaise.com/ I will put the pictures of the restaurant in this post as no need to do one short for them alone.

Have a great end of weekend.  I will be in Paris Monday, business but meeting some old friends in the evening. Tomorrow is municipal élections here and I will vote for the first time in Brittany!!! http://www.pluvigner.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-2-pid-235.html  Cheers!

 Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes

 

 

 

March 16, 2014

It’s becoming routine, Bucharest again looks wonderful.

Ok so this was another trip to Bucharest Romania, this time it was just in Bucharest for four days. Great weather, sunny cool nice about 15-18C all week.

As usual I took the flight from Nantes airport; http://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/ , on Air France, to Paris (Roissy-en-France) CDG T2F, and there we change to T2E for the connection this time on TAROM, the national airline of Romania, for a nice flight in; Bucharest Henri Coanda, but actually in the city of Otopeni about 16,5 kms from the city http://www.bucharestairports.ro/index.php?lang=en

We took a taxi to the hotel, Taxi 2000, where you print a ticket from a machine on the way out from the terminal just before hitting the outside ,and it gives you the name of the taxi company and the number of the car, very nice ride, and for 6 euros!!!  some explanation on rates on taxis at the airport in  English, http://bucharestairports.ro/otp/index.php?cat=16&article=55  the taxi company is here where you can even pre book the taxi,but its only in Romanian ,http://www.taxi2000.ro/

There , I headed to the hotel, been there before and its excellent Crown Plaza Hotel, part of the Intercontinental hôtels group.  Each time has been great for me there, wonderful indoor heated pool, sauna, gym room, great Grand Café bar for drinks and news/sports TV, then the Le Brasserie restaurant very nice, the rooms are big and well stocked, the elevator works fine and fast, checkin and checkout is smooth, just another wonderful IHG property. http://www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/us/en/bucharest/buhrm/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-cp-_-ROEN-_-buhrm

Even thus, I had four days, it was well stockup with work, so very little time to go out, just some driving around with locals ;passing the by local Universities like the  Romano-American and the agriculture research ,and the Romexpo conference dome building around the World Trade center business park where we had lunch at the cafeteria every day. Except one lunch we ordered pizza from Jerry’s, quickly delivered and good. http://www.jerryspizza.ro/#2

http://www.romexpo.ro/home  ; Romexpo, the exhibition hall of Bucharest par excellence. http://www.ro-am.ro/ ; the Romanian-American university, nice place well located , and the agriculture university veterinary campus, great location too, and nice complex , http://en.usamv.ro/campus/veterinary-medicine-cotroceni-campus

I did get one special night to go out with friends, and had a wonderful dinner at a wonderful very traditional Romanian restaurant in the outskirst of Bucharest. Restaurant Vatra Neamului, Balostesti, past Otopeni the airport city, along the DN1 road. This is very much use as well for weddings and anniversaries by the locals, as it is very traditional Romanian in food and decoration. We had dinner in the poets’s  room as you have portraits of Romanian poets/writers going way back. Vatra Neamului, is a mix cuisine between ancient moldavian/romanian food, the food wich was served by our ancestors before us, and a trip to the time of Stefan the Great, Michael the Brave, and the unrivaled writer Mihai Eminescu. Wonderful find, enjoy it when you can. http://www.vatraneamului.ro/index.php

and the trip back at last, was great as usual, flying back on Tarom Airlines to Paris CDG and then AF to Nantes, where my car was waiting for the 1h30 trip back home along the N165. All very nice, smooth, and pleasant weather, can’t ask for more. Thanks again to my local friends for the great host. Until next time, do come and enjoy Bucharest and Romania. cheers

Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest

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