Archive for December, 2012

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  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

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

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

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

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,

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          the city is safe!!!

 and dont forget to use the tourist office, a load of information in them just for the asking. Paris at , the region of Paris, Versailles etc Ile de France, at  , tourism in Brittany my new area at  , and the seldom use tourist site for France with addresses of all tourist offices, at


Merry Christmas and Happy New Years !!!


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


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

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

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 ,  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,

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

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, 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,  discussion on the building by the French Senate  in French is here

The site of Napoleon, both, and in English a historical perspective in youTube,

Happy readings. Cheers!

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;

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!!!

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.

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

and Merry Christmas to all. Cheers



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

then the second one at porte de Versailles will be the salon Parisienne of the gourmet groceries , 9€  admission, more info here

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

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

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)

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

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

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

%d bloggers like this: