Archive for December, 2012

December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL, PROSPERO AñO NUEVO A TODOS, BONNE ANNéE à TOUS!!!!

well just arrive from a wonderful trip to Brussels and its almost 21H or 9pm here in Auray Morbihan Brittany France!!! rainy all way and all week but we didn’t feel it lol!!!

Just want to write a post without a picture to say thank you all for following my humble blog and wishing you the best for 2013 to you and yours.

And wait until i get those photos loaded for more posts from Brussels.

Cheers

A+

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noêl, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Natal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The season to be merrier and wish you I wish you a Merry Merry Christmas to all my readers, and quiet family who read my blog. So I forgot in Breton its said, Nedeleg Laouen .

I seach town for some goodies, and went to pick up the food. This year, we continue with the real northern pine tree but we change this time and ordered the entire meal from aperitif , main dishes to desserts out.

We have a nice traiteur in town and we splurge for the best of France, couple with my matching Bordeaux wine and the muscat de rivesaltes ,muscat de Noêl white with 2010 Lalande Borie of St Julien, Médoc and Patache d’Aux médoc also of 2009. Aperitifs or aperos were various rum, vodka, whisky, and assorted liquiors as well as creme de cassis with amuse bûche galore from meats to salmon to sausages.

Now I am told the duck glazed is almost done for the main meal so I must go or I will get in trouble with the kitchen gang….oh yes the duck à l’orange stuffed with foie gras ,yummy, then a tray of five cheeses from brie de Meaux (of course), to goat cheese in ashes from St Maur de Touraine and Poitou without ashes, Cantal, and Brebis cheese from the Pyrénees, ,and we end up with bûche de Noêl pistachio with framboises one and the other a pears glazé with mousse of pears wow, follow by expresso coffee and more chatting now until midnight.

Another Christmas eve is done with,and the gifts are all waiting under the Christmas tree for tomorrow morning. Then we will pack up and be ready to go to Belgium on the 26th, we will be back in time to spend the New Year at home with more goodies to tell then and Belgium by car is always sublime.

Cheers y’all and again have a wonderful Merrry Merry Christmas. Meilleurs Voeux!!!

Auray Auray Auray Auray Auray Brech Auray

December 20, 2012

Some news from France LXXXXIII

Nice day one more and I am off on end of year vacation until Jan 2 2013. Where i will be is a secret until I come back ok.

I just had a bottle of muscat de rivesaltes muscat de Noêl from Domaine Brial had at my favorite store Nicolas in Vannes. There is the tradition in the Roussillon that was part of the kingdom of Mallorca, the catalan areas that started in the 14C, the first muscat from the harvest of the year was about this month and it was call the muscat de Noêl or Christmas muscat. It was full of fruits, passion fruit and grapefruits all in one, very sweet , great.

yesterday the Chateau de Versailles open to folks working for the French red cross,(croix rouge) a special day for them on their hard work. the ceremony was done in the Galerie des Batailles or battle room with a performance from the theater troopers. This was made possible by the Fondation of the Française de Jeux or lottery organism in France. Very nice gesture,and worth mentioning.

Boomer, 16 new speed radars are on in Paris, for speed ticketing and can be expensive at much as losing your license… the majority are red light radars or 11 of the 16, and can cost you 135€ plus four  points off your license (max of 12 points).

Here this out, the perfums of France. Promise Consulting Inc., a marketing and surveys company together with Huffingtonpost.fr  have done for the f ourth time a survey between woman on which perfums they prefer (listen up you dudes ,guys out there) . The study was done with samples from  1082 persons from 18 yrs old and more between November 28 and December 15  2012. And with the rare exception of  Guerlain, the oldest perfumer house dating from  1828, and  Lancôme, cosmetics since  1935, the rest comes from high fashion houses/ This is the ranking,

1/ J’adore de DIOR

2/ Miss Dior de DIOR

3/ Chanel N°5

4/ Nina de Nina Ricci

5/ Flower de Kenzo

6/ Parisienne d’Yves Saint-Laurent

7/ La petite robe noire de Guerlain

8/ Trésor de Lancôme

9/ Le premier parfum de Lolita Lempicka

10/ L’air de Nina Ricci

born in 1919, CHANEL n°5  shows up almost a century but only in 3rd place, we find in first place  DIOR J’adore. One of the best sellers since 1999 in Europe. From here we find the advertising counts as present of Charlize Theron explains their success. Finally, LANCOME Trésor  is still here since 1990 thanjs to ads by  Isabella Rossellini, Inès Sastre ,and today Kate Winslet.

Great things in wine country, my favorite in the whole world of Bordeaux of course. All others try to imitate same grapes, same advisors, same barrils,same methods, but the land tells it all. 12M euros by the UE help to build the Cité des Civilisations du Vin. The project will begin construction by the first trimester of 2013 for a final opening in 2015.  A project to show off the magic of wine, mythological, mythical, sacre, from Egyptians, Greek,and Romans rites, and the vinyards and wine present  in the old testament and as a symbol of the Catholic lithurgy!!!  It will have a space of  14 000 m2, and a permanent exhibition area of  4 250 m2 ,and  750 m2 dedicated to temporary exhibitions with an admission price estimated to be between  5 and 20 €. webpage http://www.centreculturelduvin.com/accueil.html

The  Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux, the organism that represent the Bordeaux wines estimates that from August 2011 to July 31  2012,  5,55 millions hectoliters of wine of bordeaux were commercialise for a value of  4,3 billions euros, with  an increase in sales in France of 2% and export 10% compare to the previous year. In Value, the UK is in first place with 420 millions euros,second is China with 354 millions €, and then Hong-Kong 295
millions €. webpage https://www.bordeauxprof.com/default.asp?e=1

One last one the Dîner de Noël  December 24 and meal of the 25, will be grand at the .Restaurant le Montparnasse 1900 at 59, bd du Montparnasse, webpage http://www.montparnasse-1900.com/

and  for immediate boarding the super réveillon-croisière de Noël 2012  on the  Seine aboard the boat Capitaine Fracasse,at  Île au Cygnes
Pont de Bir-Hakeim – for 99 € inclus half a bottle of Bordeaux Château Guillot (menu of  89 €  for children under 10. webpage http://www.lecapitainefracasse.com/
 

UPDATE; public transport in Paris will be free from Dec 31 5Pm to Jan 1 2013 12pm midday. the site in French tells you all, http://www.mestransportslanuitdu31.com/

Also, increase security during the Christmas to New Year season in Paris and Versailles. Until Jan 15 2013 there will be  4700 police and gendarmes on the roads of Paris, with the tourist sites especially cover for your safety such as Opéra, Grands Boulevards, Champs-Elysées, Trocadéro, Montmartre, Saint-Germain etc with a special internet site to help the merchants react to these eventualities at  http://cespplussur.interieur.gouv.fr/          the city is safe!!!

 and dont forget to use the tourist office, a load of information in them just for the asking. Paris at http://en.parisinfo.com/ , the region of Paris, Versailles etc Ile de France, at http://www.new-paris-ile-de-france.co.uk/  , tourism in Brittany my new area at http://www.brittanytourism.com/  , and the seldom use tourist site for France with addresses of all tourist offices, at http://www.tourisme.fr/

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years !!!

Paris

December 16, 2012

Some news from Bretagne XI

Rainy grey and windy day again, but we are by now like the Bretons, we go out no matter what,and make the best of it. This is the season to be merry anyway.Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noêl, Feliz Navidad,and Feliz Natal to all my friends, readers,and family.

We venture out anyway, and we got compensated as the rain stopped.  We went straight to our favorite store Armand Thiery in Vannes, this is a store that has excellent casual and business attire for mens and next to it is Toscane, their women division with the same concept. The service is always friendly and helpful. The clothing are the latest hit on the market taken from the great designers and then do in their own name as AT, Toscane,Studio, Executive and L’Uomo (men in italian) . The store is at parc de Kerlann  Rue Théophraste Renaudot, where all my favorite stores are. webpage here http://www.armandthiery.fr/e_commerce/magasins.cfm

We went over to our electronics favorite and one of the standard bearer in France, that is FNAC; here you can buy anything you fancy in music, movies,videos, videogames,books,telephone,TV,computer,the works, the service is always friendly as today my son was searching for some retractable headphones and he got two employees coming over to help him decide with all information on them; he chose JVC model. The store is at the parc de Kerlann, rue Théophraste Renaudot as well with webpage see info pratiques ,http://www.fnac.com/Vannes/Fnac-Vannes/cl49/w-4?Origin=EF_GOOGLE_FNAC_&ef_id=r3lPqRIsDnwAAFPh:20121216111122:s

The gang continue its devastating punch and papa paying like a zombie to go over to Le Grande Récré, this is a toys, games, children plays store, as the search for Lego games was on!!! It has to be a specific game none other allowed, so here we found one, yuppiiee! but they other was not available. The store is at the same area and really within meters of each other on the same street, Rue Théophraste Renaudot . You have two floors of toys here and its rare not to find one unless its Christmas season lol! webpage http://www.lagranderecre.fr/magasins_france_resultat-79.html

Not to be outdone, we continue about 50 meters over to the other toys,games, children plays store Joue Club, here is two floors of toys too, and they have found many things here such as beyblades, now the other Lego was found hooray!!! all happy now and papa keeps paying do:oh…… The webpage is at http://www.joueclub.fr/AffichageMagasins.aspx

As we were close to the big hypermarché Carrefour, just about 300 meters ,we decide to finish with some groceries;;; this is a commercial shopping center anchor by Carrefour but with 55 other stores too, and the area outside is full of a shopping paradise on foot. The main address given for them is le fourchêne, route d’Auray; however, we always go in on the roundabout circle coming out from Rue Théophraste Renaudot into the parking lot first floor. At Carrefour, you can get groceries and the whole works for the house, its a hypermarché or hypermarket, open until 21h ; the webpage is at http://www.carrefour.fr/magasin/vannes

For the other 55 stores there you can see the lineup here at Galerie commercial Carrefour, http://www.galerie-vannes.com/ there is even an SNCF train boutique inside to purchase your train tickets, bakeries, chocolate stores, micromania videogames, mens and womens clothing and shoes, a brasserie and cafeteria casino. parking is free on two levels; and they are open until 20h.

Then it was time to be hungry with the car full of goodies, and no rain; so we headed back to the free parking we had by the city hall building or hotel de ville, as we had eaten there before, but this time we try a new one that we saw very quaintly lit, this is the La Crémaillére, 6 rue Lesage, Vannes. Its a pizzeria,créperie resto right behind the hotel de ville. The place is completely done in wood from floors to ceilings and counters, tables just like an old world tavern. Excellent service as even the owner came out to greet us. We had four 50ml (big) heineken beers, a panache , pizzas Vesuvio with merguez sausages and chorizos, paysanne with potatoes ,eggs, cream, and bacon, then a savoyarde with cheese raclette , ham,potatoes, galettes bolognaise with shredded beef, cafe gourmand with sweets in small pots, banana split,peche melba, chocolate liégeois, biguine (mango and passion fruit ice creams), all for five was 103.55€ with big portions and delicious; we will be back. The resto has no webpage, telephone contact is +33 (0) 2 97 47 09 66 .

Now we are all set for Christmas, and just after it, we are heading for Brussels for the rest of the year lol!!! moules frites et biéres la vie est belle ::) Cheers

vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes vannes Vannes Vannes

 

 

December 15, 2012

Some news from France LXXXXII

It has been a gray windy rainy day from yesterday to now mid day here, it seems like hurricane season has move up north to France. Granted not the same wind strenghts but the rest is the same lol!!! I am in my house, thinking how to get out, planning….

In the meantime, here are some new stuff like to share with my readers and family. Orly airport that one folks call Paris, but actually is in the city of Orly in dept 94 Val de Marne, is going thru a metamorphosis of many changes to improve it to real international standards.  The site in French is here http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/fr-FR/Passagers/Services/actualites-des-services/metamorphose-paris-orly.htm

Basically,

The idea of renovations from now to 2018 is to eventually make just one terminal (now there are two with four hallways). The two terminals call Sud(south) and Ouest(west), will have a welcome hall increase to 80 000 m2, or the equivalent of 160 football fields ! From now to 2015, when the new international terminal at Sud or south terminal will be done, you will have a new departure gate hall of 20 000 m2 that will be built east of the airport terminals today bringing to a total of 100 000 m2 the space for passengers. I just went by there and its awesome airy more space ,nicer stores and restos quicker service, grand ,its Paris.

There are two terminasl

You can connect between terminals for free every 4-8 minutes at Orly Ouest porte A niveau level departure and Orly Sud porte or gate K free airport of paris buses from Terminal Ouest Gate D arrival levels, and Orly Sud gate G.

At Orly Sud you have video games near Bert’s and on halls A and B, informatioin points at porte D niveau O, and tourist office by ground level or rez de chaussée near porte or gate L. Internet access with wifi spots on public access and departure areas n halls A and B You have train SNCF offices at central counter ground floor near Porte G, and RATP paris transports office by counters at doors or portes J and K.

Coming and going to Orly is by RER B plus Orlyval, correspondance at Antony for both terminals, to come into Paris take it at sortie K exit K at Orly Sud, and sortie A at departures from Orly Ouest. going to Chatelet Paris.

REC C + train correspondance at Pont de Rungis than navette bus to terminals. To Paris you take the bus navette at porte G to take the RER C platform 1 at orly sud and arrivals platform B exit H at orly ouest.

Bus, orlybus from place Denfert-Rochereau outside the RER station to terminals and to Paris from buses leave from exit G platform 4 orly sud and arrival level exit D platform B to orly ouest.6h to 23h30

taxis Alpha taxi, Taxis bleus, taxis G7,and Taxis 7000.

by car take the autoroute A6 by porte d’Orléans A6a or porte de Gentilly A6b then A106 to orly about 15 kms. To leave Orly autoroute A106/A6 direction Paris, porte d’Orléans A6a or porte d’Italie A6b.

To link up with airport CDG, take the RER B to Antony then Orlyval to Orly. check it out at www.ratp.fr

Due to construction renovations at the Eiffel tower, there is no more the 58 restaurant, so they have created a temp Lounge Eiffel place, that is very nice too, herere is more info on this

New restaurant area in first floor of the tower, 58 meters up from bottom and lunch for 25€ and dinner menu for 81€. This is in time to renovate the restaurant 58, it will open a Lounge Eiffel, it will open December 22nd and will be there until next May.Those that come to eat here will have a reduce ticket to go up the tower from 8,50 will be reduce to 4,50€! and a special counter to serve your tickets right inside the lounge (hear it all first from gwened)
for more info see this webpage
http://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/

We are getting ready for a big celebration next year, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris will celebrate its 850th birthday lol!!! Amazing, there will be lots of celebrations to mark this event,so if planning to see it next year plan well ahead and be prepare for crowds, but again, it will be all worth it. Do it.

There is a special webpage dedicated to this event and it call Notre Dame de Paris 2013, the webpage with all relevant information is here ,http://www.notredamedeparis2013.com/  The year will official begins preparations on December 12 2012. So come over it will be as grand as ever…

The site for pilgrimages in France call Pelerin also has great information on this event, and a nice vimeo video, see it here in French, http://www.pelerin.info/Photo-video/Diaporama-sonore/Les-coulisses-du-photoreportage-sur-la-cathedrale-Notre-Dame-de-Paris-vue-du-ciel

If you want to ice skate in Paris for the end of year festivities plenty of nice places, such as the Grand Palais, From December 13 to January 6 , admission is skates included is 6€  up to  12 yrs old, 12€ adults, free for under  3 yrs,and from Mondays to Sundays from  10h; more info here http://www.legrandpalaisdesglaces.com/

The front of the Hôtel de Ville  in Paris will have the usual one from December 21 to March 17, free admission and 5€ to rent the skate shoes. Days Mondays to Fridays from 12h to 22H, and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9h to 22h.

Starting now , the Champs-Élysées will have several installations especially over the garden there will be a road of ice skate facilities, with 3 fields from the little ones to the adults. It will last until January 6, Mondays to Fridays 11h to 23h and Saturdays, Sundays from 11h to midnight. Free admission.

Last as someone mentioned the new museum opening in Lens of the Louvre, and there is another planned for Abu Dhabi, I like to remind you that in my blogroll below I have the Tuileries.org, a group of folks from the descendants of the kings/queens ,emperors and ex Presidents of France to common folks like you and I, are trying to rebuilt from scratch and identical at a a estimated cost of 350M euros the Palais des Tuileries. I have written on it here, and this is a reminder of the great idea. This is the official webpage for the project, http://www.tuileries.org/  discussion on the building by the French Senate  in French is here http://www.senat.fr/questions/base/2008/qSEQ080604809.html

The site of Napoleon, both, http://www.napoleon.org/fr/search.asp?q=tuileries and in English a historical perspective in youTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lis3Q9MA6RE

Happy readings. Cheers

Paris Paris

December 14, 2012

A trip to Portugal, Lisbon and the countryside of Bairrada

I just had a short trip to Portugal , really it needs more time, and every time in the past several years I have been for short trips, and this year ended on the same. Really it needs more time.

The folks are friendly, the sights are gorgeous ,and the prices are good. I went on a twirling trip as usual from Nantes by AF, to Paris Orly West, wow its been a while there but it has change a lot from the 1990’s when i used to use it. Then flew on Vueling to Lisbon, drove with friends to Bairrada region small town near Porto, then flew from Porto on TAP to Orly and then AF back home. IN the course, help a friend who lost his flight due to weather (foggy kind) change to Nantes so I drove him off to Lorient small airport to get his car. In all arrive home today at 1h30 yes that is 1:30 am lol!!!

The airports de paris has a website to know all entertaining stuff webpage www.paris-lifestyle.fr  and of course the official airport site is http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr

I had lunch at the L’Astrolabe, a fast food serve on the tables, good service, airport food, and prices.

Once arriving at Lisbon, all came back,been there before, it was a breeze. This is the official site ANA, for the airports there, http://www.ana.pt/en-US/Aeroportos/lisboa/Lisboa/Pages/HomeLisboa.aspx A taxi was waiting for me to take me to the hotel, Radisson Blu Ave Marechal Craveiro Lopes,390<; This was a nice modern hotel, and near the main expressway out to and from the city. http://www.radissonblu.com/hotel-lisbon  service here was tops.

I went down to the Malhoas bar,and watch the football/soccer games from Spain and France they were showing!!! heavens!!! The resto was very nice as Bordalo Pinheiro, very good service ,and prices, and the food was delicious. The taxi from there to the center of the city cost less than 10€ so very convenience as well as from to airport.

From there we went by car to a small town near Porto. The ride took about 1h10 and I was put in a nice hotel Curia Palace; webpage http://www.almeidahotels.com/nm_quemsomos.php?id=18&menu1=6  There was grand, belle epoque style with almost empty hotel and full restaurant just for me.

It was turn to come back  to France, and again very short. I will be back ………………………………………………………………………….

Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon lisbon Paris PAris Paris Porto porto Porto porto porto porto

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December 9, 2012

Traveling in the Morbihan, La Gacilly and Guer.

Here I am again with my travels in France and beyond, this time its close to home about 60 kms from my house in my department of Morbihan (breton for small sea or French petite mer) , breton Mor =sea bihan=small. Just for the language lesson to start.

My other half been telling me about La Gacilly because it is the headquarters of a popular French cosmetics perfumes brand call Yves Rocher. This was a grey cool day and the main places were close,but as we are constant travelers we will touch base with a place feel the warms and if warranted we are back there again for in depth visits.

First, we headed for La Gacilly. You have here the beforementined Yves Rocher labs, the site of the Festival International de la photographie (photo festival), as well as a large section of métiers d’arts or artist districts of many professions. Their houses are done with stone call pierre bleue de la Gacilly or blue stone of La Gacilly, with a presbyteerian church from the 17C, and old library from the 19C(that was the old mayor’s office), and many pisturesques streets along rue St Vincent and rue la fayette with woodend houses. The tourist office webpage  http://www.paysdelagacilly.com/  where you will find an English lady resident of 12 years in the area who can welcome you of course in English.

La Gacilly has the river Aff, passing thru city center and a great place to do kayak/canoe which enthusiasts were doing even in the cold weather as well as a nice rental boats small marina to let you ride on the river.  This is their blog for these activities there http://canoe-kayak-lagacilly.over-blog.com/  this one you can rent from the nearby Saint Vincent sur Oust or from La Gacilly, http://www.canoe-apachbihan.com/situation.html For the rental of boats right there by the bridge you can use these folks http://www.day-boats.com/  and see my photos .

The church under renovation is from the 17C of neo greek style sitting right just outside the inner core of the city by the covered market on rue Antoine Monteil. Right in front of it, there is a monument to the fallen of WWI,and across it is the Halles or covered market with fruits,veggies, meats, fish etc and a nice Brasserie des Halles resto next to it which we did not try this time but looks good.

The Festival of photography is held from june to september and need to check the dates at official site here www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.com The mediathéque or library dating from the 17C in what it was before the city hall or mayor’s office is a nice tree crawl building, by Place du général de Gaulle.

The arts of artists display is very rich as what is the Métiers d’Art and La Passarelle down steps down streets of quaint blue stone construction, the many are listed in the tourist office site http://www.paysdelagacilly.com/Pages/les_incontournables/artisans.htm ,the Passarelle is by the bridge over the river Aff, and is call in French Le bout du pont, the unique webpage is here http://lapasserelle-lagacilly.fr/site/

Yves Rocher has an entire complex over the same bridge where there is a unique big store with all the gamme of products, the vegetarium cafe, atelier de cosmetique or cosmetics shop, a jardin botanique or botanical garden, hotel with spa La Grée des Landes, wepbage unique http://www.lagreedeslandes.com/fr/index.php  This is yves rocher main site in French with the hq store info http://www.yves-rocher.fr/control/epm/france/fr/moncdb/at/europe/france/bretagne/la-gacilly/la-gacilly-vegetarium

Several nice merchants such as MK wine cellars, at rue Montauban, wine, cheese and local products at au terroir saint sauveur,  http://www.auterroirsaintsauveur.fr/ by the bridge the family favorite store for Breton cookies, and deco La Trinitaine ,by the bridge Le bout du Pont, http://www.latrinitaine.com/magasins/la-gacilly/

and of course, we did stop for food here, and we choose the Créperie Mouchoir du Poche 7, rue lafayette (literally the pocket hankerchief), named as one of the cultural representation of the art in Bretagne, créperie gourmande and qualité tourisme. Off season closed Mondays and Wednesdays (like now) July and August open every day from 12h to 18h , and then from  19h to 22h, open Sundays afternoon all year. no web but the tourist office mentioned it . we made the right choice http://www.paysdelagacilly.com/Pages/les_restaurants/creperies.htm  we had galette sindar with filet mignon, potatoes, and salad ,an apero of druite, cider, pommeau eau de vie with calvado, and blackcurrant or creme de cassis, coffee, a bottle of kerizan cider, banana splits and similar menus for the rest of the family for 99€ for five persons.

After this we move on to the nearby town of Guer, the official tourist office here webpage is http://broceliande.guer-coetquidan-tourisme.com/

Here we just touch base walking the town, so I list the ones not seen first, there is interesting things to see in detail as the nearby at Monteneuf village the right stand stones, or  mégalithique des Pierres Droites, http://broceliande.guer-coetquidan-tourisme.com/spip.php?article14 Prieuré St Etienne, the oldest in the Morbihan (no time to see today but we will be back as I told you…)http://broceliande.guer-coetquidan-tourisme.com/spip.php?article15  near village of Bellevue the museum or Musée du Souvenir des Ecoles de St-Cyr Coëtquidan ,this one of the oldest military acadamies in France, and here it is house the cavalry of old, and the museum trace the military history of these schools in the conflicts of France throughtout its history, http://www.st-cyr.terre.defense.gouv.fr/, and the  Château de La Ville-Huë, http://www.chateaudelavillehue.com/

What we did do is walk the quaint streets of Guer, pl de la gare, the pl de l’hippodrome with its nice horse race track, and the wonderful church of St Gurval, there was a church here since the 9C when it was mentioned of the arrival of St Gurval as ermite in the 7C give its name. The actual church is built from 1807 to 1847,in the form of a Latin cross, with new renovations done in 1870. It is a wonderful church, and when we came in, there were practicing on the organ with beautiful singing voices, should be a nice spectacle. The official site of the church is here http://www.paroissesdeguer.new.fr/ and for nice pictures in addition to mine the Morbihan tourist office has them here http://www.morbihan.com/eglise-saint-gurval/guer/tabid/7430/offreid/ec49ee69-1593-442f-8890-7fba957a7ca4/detail-visites.aspx

Definitively I live in an area that has a huge amount of sites to visit (not to say all of France lol!) as I tell my reader and those that partake with me in travel sites, it will take a lifetime to see it all and maybe even that not enough time. This is France a movable feast indeed.  Now, I wont leave without telling you how to get to these cities, well here the car is king (just like in the USA::)) and we do use it a lot. However,from to Guer  there is a bus connection one from Rennes and the other from Pontivy , they leave you about 2 kms from city center that you can walk to Guer or take a taxi. Taxi Lemaux au 02 97 22 16 66. The bus schedules are here in pdf files http://broceliande.guer-coetquidan-tourisme.com/IMG/pdf/tarif_au_1er_aout.pdf and http://broceliande.guer-coetquidan-tourisme.com/IMG/pdf/fichehorairesdecembre2012ptv.pdf  for further info the bus company that handles these runs is here http://www.keolis-armor.fr/services-horaires/ligne-pontivy-rennes.html#achat

For la Gacilly its a bit more complicated, not that for Guer isn’t it, here the bus you can contract out is Linevia, http://www.linevia.fr/  or you can take the train TER from Vannes to stop Redon, and then take the bus line 12 to la Gacilly, takes about an hours time. The site in Brittany for public transport help is here http://www.breizhgo.com/

Enjoy Brittany its lovely indeed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Joyeux Noêl et Bonne Année.

Guer Guer Guer Guer Guer Guer Guer Guer Guer la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly la Gacilly

December 8, 2012

Christmas and New Year in France

This is a wonderful period anywhere we are. Mine for the last 10 years have been held in the Paris/Versailles region with exception years in Madrid, Trier(Germany), and now Auray in the morbihan breton. I figure will give a list of my favorites over the years using the sites I recommend below on my blog, sites that I have use and participate as well over the years.

The Christmas dinner or the menu de Noêl is a wonderful family dinner that many can recreate in many restaurant all over France just with a special menu for the occassion.  Here we eat oysters, salmon, rooster, leg of ham, roast pork as the main dish, depending on the region; with the famous Bûche de Noêl dessert , or Christmas yule log as best translation can find in English.

Some of the places to be part of it publicly in Paris are

Les Ombres, 27 Quai  Branly (inside the musée  Branly) http://www.lesombres-restaurant.com/

Sans Gênes Batignolles,  112 rue Legendre, 17éme http://www.sansgene.fr/sg-bat-main.php

Chez Françoise, Esplanade des Invalides  Aérogare Air France, Rue Robert Esnault-Pelterie, 75007, http://chezfrancoise.com/

Cuba Compagnie Cafe,48 blvd Beaumarchais, http://www.cubacompagnie.com/

Restaurant La Gare,19 Chaussée de la Muette  75016 http://restaurantlagare.com/

and many others to many to write them here but Paris at Christmas is sublime.

Then, of course, there is New Years: wow, this is tops, cant match anywhere. The Revéillon at New Morning club is fantastic, 7-9, Rue des Petites Ecuries – 75010, http://www.newmorning.com/

For a New Year’s meal in addition to those above, I had like the Blue Elephant thai food par excellent in Paris. at 43-45 Rue de la Roquette Paris 11éme with webpage http://www.blueelephant.com/

For a more rockiing New Year you can come to the Le Wagg, 62 Rue Mazarine (St Germain des Prés area of the 75006. This is where the Jim Morrison and Serge Gainsburg came and went and where at least once in your life you should come too. webpage http://www.wagg.fr/

One of all time favorite that I write in cityvox in French, is the 1979 club (or one thousand nine hundred seventy nine lol!) ; located in the center of Paris between the  Louvre  and the lively district of Etienne Marcel at 49 Rue Berger – 75001,  it will surprise you with the look of a big apartment a la queen  with a dance floor with posters of the 70’s, library seats with tight spaces for been close to the other, nice piano room, and VIP room in pure leather. Here you will hear pop and rock of today and yesterday from the 70’s on today. Webpage http://milleneufcentsoixantedixneuf.fr/

And of course why not talk about my beloved Versailles, where the great ice skating ring will again be there by the Hotel de Ville (this time for the first time without us ;;;) when in school is in, open from November 23 to January 6 2013 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays,and Fridays from 14H to 19H and on wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10h-12h and 14h- 19h. During school vacation it will be open every day from  10h-12h and 14h-20h.

The world famous and very well kept secret of the Osmothéque , perfums of old and forever ,even keeping those of Marie Antoinette will have a program of the History of the perfumery from antiquity to our days.  You will be guided by expert osmothécaires parfumeurs to discover those already gone scents of Houbigant, Coty, Poiret, Guerlain, and others times are  the wednesday December 19 from  14h00 to 16h30 cost is 15€ for adults and only those over 12 years old will be admitted, with younger fees of 10€

There will be many events from chocolate making to theater playing at monpensier, and the town is fully light up for the season, magical indeed. The district or neighborhoods will be the events of Noël aux Carrés Saint-Louis (cathedral St Louis side) Dec  15 and 16 from  10h to 19h,  the merchants will have a real Christmas market or marché de Noël  with oysters, food and entertainement.

– Noël  in the district of  Notre-Dame (the market, collegiale notre dame area, mine lol!!) events at  place Charost , December 15 and 22, musical entertainment outdoors by the rue de la Paroisse on Dec  22 and 24 .  Noël in the district of  Montreuil : music of Noêl by rue de Montreuil with customs dresses and snow man as well as Noêl arriving in carriage on the 22 December.

For the serious side of Christmas it will be a Christmas Mass held at Eglise Notre-Dame (the collegiale) Dec 24 at 18h, 20h, 22h. Dec 25 at  10h30, 18h30. Inside the chateau at the Chapelle Royale, Dec 24 at 22h ,and at the Cathédrale Saint-Louis, Dec 24 at 19h, 22h15  awaiting and mass at  23h, and December 25 at 11h.

Many hotels and restaurant will have special prices during this period, like the Pullman hotel will have pay for two nights and get the third one at 50% ,and the Ibis will have a fix rate of 59€. My favorites restaurants such as Au chien qui fume,  will have a special menu like here at the tourist office of Versailleshttp://www.versailles-tourisme.com/fileadmin/mes_documents/images/Se%20Restaurer/menu-saint-sylvestre-chien-qui-fume.pdf

In my new area the festivities are less, at Auray , at the historical chapelle St Esprit ,Place du Four Mollet,  they will be a Christmas market or Marché de Noêl , actually the 11th year they hold it. Friday December 14 from  10h -19h, Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16 from  10h -19h. Many artisans artist will show their work with gourmet ,food,and gifts displays for the season. We will check it out.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years 2013 everyone !!!!

December 7, 2012

Some news from France LXXXXI

Here I am again lol!!! well cold here but nice, I hear delays at Roissy CDG due to the snow there, its snowing in Europe even up to Brussels I know earlier than usual for us ,see the weather ,nobody knows anything about it. Just come and enjoy it anyhow

I have a new geek to report to you, a wonderful new place highly recommended by my folks back in Paris, its opening today!!! (you read here hot off the press)  and I know the chef from his other place there.  The PENICHE L’IMPROVISTE, its a boat folks; Place Paul Delouvrier, facing quai de l’Oise, 75019 Paris of course. By chef Jean-François GUY who also do Nuances in my beloved Versailles. He does cooking like mama used to make them home grown and fresh produce, a colored cuisine very inventive going from the Greece to Africa, to Martinique and the south of France.  And ,also, great jazz display of music . You get here probably by metro even if I do the car, but the closest are Line 7 : Corentin Cariou and Line 5 : Ourcq; here is the webpage with more info, enjoy it; http://www.improviste.fr/content/cote-cuisine

Here are from Le Parisien Paris area newspaper some nice photos of the snow going on now around there while we stay away and briskily cold but no snow lol!!!http://www.leparisien.fr/diaporama/en-images-paris-cdg-le-plan-neige-active-07-12-2012-2388261.php

The tallest Christmas tree in Europe, all 35 meters of it, is up at the Pl de la Concorde, Paris ,where else ho ho ho !!!  I will put the photo compliment free of Le Parisien newspaper…

Last night was great going with my boys all 19,19,and 20,5 into the local Vins et Biéres bar here in Auray, nice to drank some cold beers with the boys, and great sausages like taureau,noisettes,etc and beers like Duff’s from the Simpson’s fame ,Paulaner, Memminger, Bitburger, la mort subite,etc this is a unique place where you can taste and then buy; the webpage is under maintenance but they are all over and open for business, my store is at 9 rue d’irlande in the porte d’océane commercial shopping zone off the N165 exit carnac and quiberon but go direction Auray. http://www.vandb.fr/auray

Lots of full season at the Opéra of the Chateau de Versailles,sublime, an event not to missed when in the area, like I said and repeat, Versailles its a lot more than a castle.  Look at the wonderful line up, you can change to English abover right, webpage http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/

and Merry Christmas to all. Cheers

Paris Auray

 

December 4, 2012

Some news from France LXXXX

Here I am in the month that makes all possible, its the season’s and its great. My real pine tree is up ,and the first gifts are purchased, now planning the feast with a dining in traiteurs or pension folks that makes the meals for us, desserts included. I have plans to visit Brussels after Christmas. So all is coming along fine for 2013.

A street configuration coming back to Paris after 1951. From pl de la République to  Opéra the circulation will be both ways yeaaaaah!!! it will have the  Grands Boulevards with its traffic patterns as it was before 1951 and it begins tomorrow. It will have a cyclable lane as well for the vélos. Wonderful news for the car lovers like me….

Wine Spectator just came out with its list of Top 50 wines for 2012. I used to read this magazine, and I found it bias towards California wines, the writing is on the wall as the top 10 ranking I will put here.

1   Shafer Relentless Napa Valley 2008

Château de St.-Cosme Gigondas 2010

3 Two HandsShiraz Barossa Valley Bella’s Garden 2010

4 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010

5 Château Guiraud Sauternes 2009

6  Château Léoville Barton St.-Julien 2009

7  SheaPinotNoirWillametteValleyShea Vineyard Estate 2009

8  BeringerCabernetSauvignonKnightsValleyReserve 2009

9   Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino 2007

10  Achával-Ferrer Malbec Mendoza Finca Bella Vista 2010

In all the French have 21 of the top 50 wines so not bad knowing that this rating is done for American wine tastes only.

The tastes of France my dear friends will be held soon actually from December 7 to 10 at Espace Champeret and from Dec 14-16 at Porte de Versailles in Paris. The first one will be on the Parisien market days  with 350 master of their craft showcasing the best of France,  9€ admission, more info here in French http://www.salon-saveurs.com/Commun/Les-actualites-du-salon-des-saveurs-des-plaisirs-gourmands-L-evenemment-gastronomique-parisien/Le-marche-des-gourmets-parisiens-salon-de-la-gastronomie-ingredients

then the second one at porte de Versailles will be the salon Parisienne of the gourmet groceries , 9€  admission, more info here http://www.salon-saveurs.com/Commun/Les-actualites-du-salon-des-saveurs-des-plaisirs-gourmands-L-evenemment-gastronomique-parisien/Le-salon-parisien-de-l-epicerie-fine-cadeaux-gourmands-Noel-gourmands-ateliers-culinaires

Then you have what I have reported here before ,the Louvre museum will open a branch in Lens, north of France to expand the spaces for showing and gather more income from visitors from the north of Europe. Also ,to help one of the most impoverished area of France with 16% unemployement.  Some of the painting and art work that will be expose on the Louvre of the north will be “La Liberté guidant le peuple” (1831) de Delacroix, and “La Madeleine à
la veilleuse” de Georges de La Tour. The museum is done of aluminum done by the Japanese firm  Sanaa, and its place on a well at  9-9 bis de Lens, an old mine of charcoal, it will have five buildings that the public will be able to discover from December 12 2012, they have an area of  28.000 m2 of which 7.000 m2 of exposition space.

Go to taste wines and good food at Home Wine, A l’Heure du Vin,  46, rue Saint-Anne – 75002 ;  You  have a set menu of  37€  for 1h30 of tastings where you will try Five wines and accompagnons for good food alongside.  webpage at http://www.alheureduvin.com/

Some things to do leading up to Christmas in Paris, take a flying lesson at Flight Experience on board a Boeing 737 800 at 21, quai d’Austerlitz (13éme). 169 €/30 min. webpage at http://www.flightexperience.fr/

The store to end all your bike problems where all is repair with class and you get to ride in style ;Bicycle store, at  17, bd du Temple (3éme) http://www.bicyclestore.fr/accueil

And do try the eau de cologne with a twist the 21C version with violettes, beans of tonka, and bergamote, named  «Sous le toit de Paris», this one you can find it at the  coupole of Galeries Lafayette. Or direct at Atelier Cologne   c/o Marie-Antoinette, 5 rue d’Ormesson (4éme)e),for 42 €. webpage http://www.ateliercologne.com/store/

and last but not least this one was on a business luncheon, it is very expensive but the top of French gastronomy. Lasserre, 17, avenue Franklin-Roosevelt,  (8éme). Tél.: +33 01 43 59 02 13.  Carte: 200 €. Menu lunch: 80 €.  History says that after André Malraux came back from a visit to the USA, and speaking with US Pres Nixon, the American told him that his food will not taste like at Lasserre but will try to come close, André Malraux came back and told the chef, since then his table is to the left as you enter the resto at no 26. Some others who have come by here are Salvador Dali,  Roger Pierre et Jean-Marc Thibault , the comedians, Brigitte Bardot , Frédéric Dard, Albert Uderzo,Catherine Deneuve, Sylvia Kristel  (while Emmanuelle movie was showing in the theaters), Jacques Chirac, Lionel Jospin ,George Marchais , and Roger Moore (007 Bond). webpage at http://www.restaurant-lasserre.com/fr/index.php

Enjoy Paris and all of France, cheers and Happy Holidays to all!!!

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