Archive for December, 2013

December 30, 2013

Some news from France CXXI

ok so this is short and sassy, just to wish all my readers ,friends,and family the very best in 2014. Without fanfare but an honest wish to provide you with all you are seeking in this world, health especially so we can continue to go for glory,gold and the pursue of happiness

 

So therefore, Happy New Year 2014 to all.

 

Feliz Año Nuevo 2014 a todos

 

Bonne Année 2014 à tous

Feliz Ano Novo a todos.

 

This one is for you all. And thanks again for following my most precious hobby of traveling around this beautiful country and the world. More in 2014.

And from my favorite city to you, Cheers

Versailles Versailles Versailles

December 29, 2013

Rennes ,the entry into the Breton world.

Ok so still taken advantage of my time off at end of year to get around my new Brittany. Today took time out as the weather was going to be nice,and visited the entry into the Breton world , Rennes. The city is located in the department 35, or Ille-et-Vilaine.

In the middle ages, the city was surrounded by a wall fortress of 1200 meters,until the 15C, even as far as the 16C the most relevent aspect of the city is the Cathedral  In 1561 the Breton parlement is enclave here, after the 18C the city begins to grow outside its old walls. During WWII the city suffers great bombings especially during 1944.  The city is divided from 1983 into neighborhoods sort of like the arrondissement of Paris.  These count 12 such as the Centre, Thabor-Saint Hélier, Bourg-L’évêque, Saint Martin, Maurepas-Patton-Bellangerais, Jeanne d’Arc-Longs-Champs-Beaulieu, Francisco Ferrer-Landry-Poterie, Sud-Gare, Cleunay-Arsenal-Redon, Villejean-Beauregard, Le Blosne ,and Bréquigny. From a tourist point of view I mark in black the pertinent ones.

The tourist office in English is at http://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/home.aspx and the city mayor’s office is at http://metropole.rennes.fr/pratique/infos-demarches/deplacements-stationnement-voirie/utiliser-les-transports-star/ which is in French but left it at the transportation window.

You need to see the Cathedral Saint Pierre, still in the city centere, the Basilica of Saint-Sauveur de Rennes celebrates our Lady of Miracles and virtues, protector of the city of Rennes. The  Place Sainte-Anne  houses the convent of the Jacobins. The former Gothic Chapel of the hospital Saint-Yves, located rue Saint-Yves, is now converted into a museum on the evolution of Rennes, and houses the tourist office of Rennes. Located on the highest point of Rennes, the Church abbey Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine was used as the provisional seat of the bishopric of Rennes. Former Abbey Church, it kept all its buildings, its cloister and garden of the monks: the current  Parc Thabor. The tower and the transept of the ancient benedictine Abbey of Saint-Melaine are from the 11C. It has Gothic arches of the 14C and capped  by a spire with a gilded Virgin on top.

Good to walk around its center or centre area, lovely wooden house, maison en bois, adorned all the Streets,and you can come into the halles Martenot, built from 1868 to 1871 by Jean-Baptiste Martenot, who welcome the marché des Lices market every Saturday morning. The Central market halles covered in 1922, were  then converted partly in contemporary art gallery. Not to missed the Marché de Hoche, at place Hoche, where there is a book exchange, food market ,and arts creation market at different days of the week.  Books every day, food Thursdays afternoon after 15h to 20h, and art creation every Saturdays from 9h to 18h.

On my favorite hotel in the city when come on business trips,the Mercure,  old location of the old newspaper  the Ouest-Éclair,then later the current Ouest France(now in a different location), the facade in red and rose brick is now restore by the hotel and the entry is  done by a marquise in metal style Art Nouveau. See the wonderful parlement of Brittany building done in 1720 ,burned in a fire and rebuilt in 1994.  Right by the Hôtel de Ville, you will see the theater of the city  inaugurated in 1836; it was designed to take the idea of the curved part of the town hall to draw a convex building.  At the same time, the Palais du commerce, located on the place de la République, is built from 1885 to 1911. This building is currently used by the Post Office, and with a big esplanade with full of stores including the grand Galeries Lafayette.

Don’t forget to walk Rue Saint Michel, or popularly called the Rue du soif, or street of thirst, as it is loaded with bars, restos and big university crowds; we went by it but continue to rue Saint Malo,and once hungry, we found a gem that will return next weekend. This is the restaurant Back to the 60’s, yes in English, from the 60’s deco, and music from the period from Elvis Presley to Buddy Holly, Rick Valens, and Chubby Checker, wow, and the food American style with American products, we had our Mountain Dew soda, and had big burgers, the beer they have Bud, we had Foster’s (Australian), and milkshakes of coconuts, and cheesecake on different fruit to kill for them. We even brought home some mountain dew as take out are allowed, great place.  Here is the webpage http://www.restaurant-backtothe60s.com/

We went to different churches other than above, like the Church of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelles,and the Church of Saint Martin in the property of the private lycée or high school St Martin, Church Toussaints, and the old hôpital Sainte-Anne there since 1340a, and attached to the hôtel-Dieu in 1557.

Definitively a city to spent a full two days on it, and we just skip the surface with so much to see, and so little time lol!!! We will be back. Enjoy the city of Rennes and some chosen photos. Happy New Year 2014 to all my readers.

 Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes  Rennes

 

 

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December 27, 2013

A new place in the Finistére, Douarnenez

On my road warrior trips in my region, I took the opportunity to visit further areas from me and from Locronan with plenty of time, decided to visit this beach town in the Finistére, Douarnenez.

The town of Douarnenez, still keep the reputation of a sardines fishing port, even if it has diminish over the years. The great brand Connêtable is still there. It is a fishing port dotted with beaches , a pleasure marina by Tréboul and Port-Rhu.

We took the ride using the road D7 and hit it right on straight over a beautiful view by the beach of Kervel with its wooden cabins on the sand.We continue on the city center and stop by the Church of Saint-Herlé, a beautiful Church in the center of town. There is, also, the wonderful Church of Sacré-Coeur just on the rue Ernest Renan out of town.

In by the harbor or port area, you have the wonderful Port-musée, with real boats on display showing you the boating history of the town as well expos, and videos. right across from the harbor entrance and the pleasure marina of Port-Rhu. http://www.port-musee.org/

The idea of having beach areas, fishing and pleasure port, and a museum makes an interesting point to seek in better weather, and the folks are very friendly. We stop for lunch here at Restaurant Pizzeria Da Franco, at 18, Place Edouard Vaillant, and the Italian natives family was very welcoming and the pizzas deliciosas! with a  liter of real red Italian chianti wine! all for 15€ per person including expresso coffee.  They offer pizzas, pasta, salads, desserts, ice creams, and beef plates with a formule and plat du jour, they ,also, have a branch in Brest. In Douarnenez they are just opposite the square to the tourist office. No webpage but leave you with a pizza searcher resto in France, http://www.casa-pizza.com/annuaire-pizzerias/pizzeria-da-franco-9150.php

We wandered around and cross the passerelle to go to Port Rhu and Tréboul areas, easy walking exercise and nice town, we like it and we will be back. The tourist office for the town is here http://www.douarnenez-tourisme.com/  ,and city mayor’s office in the transports section is here http://www.mairie-douarnenez.fr/index.php/cadre-de-vie/transports-urbains.html

Enjoy the Finistére,Brittany ,and Douarnenez.

Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez Douarnenez

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December 26, 2013

Locronan of Finistére, Brittany.

A day after the hectic Christmas we decided to go out, I went with the Young men in the family on a car ride into Finistére, about 1h30 from our house is Locronan. This is a famous town here, only about 800 inhabitants but famous for its Grande Tromédie (second sunday of July) a religious and historical procession of 12 kms.

We came in the off season for a taste of the town, been able to walk it freely , and then come back for the big events with plans, the chance of living nearby… The tourist office is here  http://www.locronan-tourisme.com/ the town city hall webpage is here http://www.villedelocronan.fr/

The city has recognition as one of the most beautiful towns of France , http://www.france-beautiful-villages.org/en/locronan as well as one of the small cities of character or heritage in Brittany, http://www.cites-art.com/les-petites-cites-de-caractere-r/visiter-les-petites-cites/locronan

We went by car taken advantage that the weather was clearing in the afternoon, actually all day was a bit cloudy but no rain. Taken the expressway N165 (no tolls) you go to exit D770 and then take the panels saying Locronan on the D39 then D63 to Locronan. Easy.

We arrive a bit late as a boat trailer driven by a 4×4 overturn on the N165 and we were delayed by 30 minutes! Finally arriving into the parking lots just on the outskirt of town .Actually the parking is almost right in the center of town, short 3 mins walk and you are in from of the magnificent Church of Saint Renan, from a roman Church built in the year 1031AD, nothing is left, the one now dates from 1420-1480AD.

It is huge in treasures, from statues of saints, St Barbe,Ste Marguerite, saint Herbot,Saint Maurice,Saint Fiacre,St Therese de Lisieux,Saint Yves, saint Apolline, etc etc, all over, an altar in golden sculpture ,the tomb of St Ronan, the Chair done at Quimper, and a nativity scene just for the season, was great, I am terrible at detail description, but the link and the photos will help understand it is a must visit here.

The town is completively kept in the medieval stage from beautiful stone buildings to cobblestone Streets, and artists performing painting,sculptures, tissues, ceramics, intricate detail knittings; stores with Breton cookies, beeers,ciders, whisky etc, to delightful wonderful crêperies and a wonderful logis hotel Le Prieuré right at the entrance in front of the parking.

You will have easily for half a day just to see the Church and lunch, more if go into the stores, we decided that it was off season and we saw enough of what we came, leave room to come back in the season and see the people. We continue our journey to another city, next post. In all another wonderful cité town to see and have fun with history in the Finistére, dept 29 of Brittany, France. Cheers.

 Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan

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December 25, 2013

Some news from France CXX

Its weird to write right on Christmas Day, but we were early waiting for all to be awake and see the gifts from Papa Noêl Under the tree, yes we still follow traditions in my house. Merry Christmas to all who celebrated and whatever its your day with the good side.

The tree is lit and the boxes are full, and I am looking at them now and the gang just Wake up its 10h30 lol!!! and later on we will have the left overs from last night and more Champagne !

Now for the news from my belle France:

Fondation Cartier – Paris 19éme, will have a showcase of America Latina 1960-2013 until April 6 2014. they are open every day except Mondays from 11H to 20h, and on Tuesdays they are open until 22h, tel +33 (0) 1 42 18 56 50. http://fondation.cartier.com/#/en/art-contemporain/26/exhibitions/44/now-on/920/america-latina-1960-2013/

and where to celebrate the New Year in Paris, questions comes up again and again from friends and readers alike, so here again my selection, bear in mind ,its my selection on those that I have tried over the years.

Do it at the Villette, Happy end à La Villette Enchantée. 211 avenue Jean Jaurès,19. From  23h30 to  07h. admission is 10€ (in advance), or  15€ (on site). 100% électro from the go go, with the special London invitation of  Fort Romeau, the  DJ Zaltan (Antinote),and the  Parisien Acid Wolf Band of the label  Taapion.

Tous la frite au Point Ephémére. 200 quai de Valmy, 10.From  22h to 06h. admission 18€ (in advance), 20€ (on site).  Here you have the works, with the resident DJ’s  Jean-Poulpe Pieuvre & Marionette, Thierry Theolier  from the Syndicat du Hype, DJ LA from Paris from Red House record, Morgan Pa from Newtrack, DJ Mannekenpis, DJ Tantôt, DJ Wallou, DJ Moultafrite and their guests) will make you dance all night and morning on two dance floors. To make a pause, there will be a space  chill out, four bars, a covered and heated terrace, hot gaufres, Belgian beers, and of course the french fries.  Finally,don’t forget to come in with your best outfit masquarade.

NYE au Wanderlust. 32 quai d’Austerlitz, 13. From 22h to 06h. admission 15€ (in advance).  Special invitation to the  «godfather» of the New York house  Kenny «Dope» Gonzalez. this New yorker organise block parties from 1985, member of the  duo Masters At Work, creator of the label  Kay-Dee ,and  4 times nominated for a Grammy Awards.  He will be join by the  Boston Bun of the label Ed Banger,  Glenn Dale, from Arnaud l’Aquarium (resident DJ ) ,and  Sven Love. After midnight ,the restaurant will have a special menu at  50€ (with prior reservation including the admission), it will transfrom into a dancing hall with two sound systems and two themes.

Le réveillon des annés 80 at the Bus Palladium. 6 rue Fontaine, 9. From 22h to 06h. admission  49€ (in advance with 3 drinks), 59€ (in advance with  10 drinks). party the new year to the sound of the 80’s music . In the program, a cocktail of songs from the generation flashy done by DJ Jeff De Schilton (Do You 80/Generation 80-90). Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, Mickael Jackson, Wham, U2, Tears For Fears, Kylie Minogue,The Cure, Queen, Rita Mitsouko, Étienne Daho, Mylène Farmer, Lio, at the beginning of the evening , Téléphone, Indochine, and a surprise.

Did I told you the Zoo de Vincennes will reopen in April 2014? YES; the mythical zoo is back and better than ever for what I saw driving by it last week. light greenhouse of 4.000 square meters of dozens of birds in freedom, lazy on lianas, where the visitor gets deep with the smell and wetness of thousands of tropical plants. Reconstituted steppes. A vivarium and a last cry giraferie. And, of course, more than a thousand animals – 170 species – from the most classic to the most exotic. Landscaping prowess, ode to biodiversity, the Vincennes zoo (now renamed Parc zoologique de Paris). No longer has much to do with the Wildlife Park that has populated the imaginations of generations of small Parisians. The ever-present Grand rock overlooking the new five biozones is still there. Giraffes, lemurs and baboons will resume service. webpage new too, http://parczoologiquedeparis.fr/

Revolution in the parfums business,  the British group Designer Parfums founded by a family of Indian origins, the  Mehta,has purchase parfums  Jean Patou in July 2011 from Procter & Gamble.  Now they are on the move to give this brand that once rival that of Chanel the luster it had, so JP is back.

Some of the better known art galleries outside of the Paris region, has great showing coming up, such as

Joel Shapiro, Saint Etienne, musée d’art moderne de Saint Etienne métropole,  http://www.mam-st-etienne.fr/index.php?rubrique=32&exposition_id=247

Motopoetique , the motocycle in motion in the Arts, Feb 21 to April 20 2014? at the musée d’art contemporain de Lyon ;http://www.mac-lyon.com/mac/sections/fr/expositions/2014/motopoetique/motopoetique/

George de la tour,passage Sainte Croix, at the musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, until February 8 2014, http://www.museedesbeauxarts.nantes.fr/cache/bypass/Accueil/Expositions/AVoir?containerId=73468

expo Michael Smith , une archeologie de l’humanité, from 4-30 march  2014, musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/michael-e-smith

And I leave with these, as the gifts are opened, and I got my, a CD of Florent Pagny, my best singer of France! ,a leather belt with artsful letters, and a nice winter coat short from my favorite Armand Thiery!!! I am set for 2014, bring it on !!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Paris

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December 22, 2013

Back to the fairy tail of Rochefort en Terre.

I am off from work until Jan 2 2014!!YES! and trying to find ways to get speed up on my house and ideas to get out for the Holiday season is not easy. We went back to mythical quaint , Rochefort-en-Terre in my Morbihan dept 56. Last article on them was back on May 12,2012! Times flies when so much to see.

this is a reminder on the tourist page for this town, http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.com/  and here they are in the site of the most beautiful towns of France, http://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/fr/rochefort-en-terre-0  , and they are ,also, in one of the best flower towns of France designation with four flowers!, here  http://www.villes-et-villages-fleuris.com/21938-rochefort_en_terre-47.html , and if that all don’t convince you of what I am telling you, they are also, in the designation the towns of character and arts of Brittany, right here they are sublime, http://www.cites-art.com/les-petites-cites-de-caractere-r/visiter-les-petites-cites/rochefort-en-terre

The idea is that here an American from Baltimore came once,Alfred Klots  started the painting revolution, brought in more painters and created a school, they passed away ,not able to past the heritage ,the city purchase the castle and now its an Arts center in town, drawing folks year around the story ,http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.com/decouvrir/musees-ecomuses-morbihan-56?tif_r=4de3e247-2ee9-434c-a972-4bf10948c8c3&Parc-du-Chateau-de-Rochefort-en-Terre

We come just for lunch at Café Breton, in the old town, classed one of the crêperies of character and tradition in Brittany, it is there since the 16C, http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.com/manger/creperie-questembert-rochefort-en-terre-56?tif_r=f797e7bd-d9ad-4668-a0d6-0c0765a6cb1a&Creperie-Le-Cafe-Breton , here are the others in the Morbihan, we have already been to several and they are all very quaint, traditionally Breton, and nice, http://www.morbihan.com/loisirs-morbihan/restaurants/creperies-gourmandes.aspx

The town Church from the 12C is a jewel not to missed, Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye, more special in Christmas time. We came this time for the marché de Noêl or Christmas market, where the whole town is lit up with lights of Christmas, and the businesses stays open past the hour. Beautiful and just when my camera ran out of flash !! therefore missed the night shots….until next time.

You can still see some of them,and the funny Santa mailbox all ready to send those late minute gifts; the business of the Kaleo, dragon arts, rucher with pain d’épice and honey, all wonderful at this wonderful time. Time to tell you all.

MERRY CHRISTMAS , JOYEUX NOEL, NEDELEG LAOUEN, FELIZ NAVIDAD, FELIZ NATAL; may you all have a wonderful fairy time with yours wherever they are, and remember ,it is not just one day but eternal. Cheers.

Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre

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December 14, 2013

Quimper, the city by the Odet.

Well searching for those Christmas markets or marché de Noêl in my region, we came back to visit Quimper (last post Feb 2013).

It is a vibrant city, always lively, folks out even on cold days like today, and great hub of transport from bus to train to easy car parking by the quais at the Odet. 6 hours parking for 3 euros not bad.

This is their tourist office webpage http://www.quimper-tourisme.com/en.html it is easily visible from the parking on the other side of the river Odet across from city center. Place de la libération along allée de lokmaria.

We came here for the Christmas market and were disappointed that it was only a carrousel, one stand selling chichis or churros  ,and croustillons lovely delicious rounds of flour  dip batter hot and just for the day , we try them and very good. Then ,the there was a nice size ice skating ring where the youngsters were having fun all day long…… And that’s it.

However, what we saw as always is a vibrant busy shopping city full of folks from all over the region and some from UK noticeables. The Streets were full of shoppers, and the restos bars full as well. And this is nice.

We revisited the Cathedrale Saint Corentin, which is along Worth coming here, huge, lovely, architecture wonders, we went Inside of course, and around the back as I go thru the chapel just behind it, there were getting ready for the festivities tomorrow of Saint Corentin; the chapel is not a major work as needed rénovations but a lof of the faithful was there anyway. The place was been clean, flowers put in vases, and lots of volunteers. I spoked with an elderly lady very nice and very enthusiastic of her festivities tomorrow. The faith is big here.

We took lots of walks which what we like to do and know the city better, into the Halles St François the covered market, the chocolates of Georges larnicol , Quimper is grand, lovely confections of a Christmas santa all in chocolates for 32€ we grab! http://www.chocolaterielarnicol.fr/content/12-nos-magasins

We stop by our favorite local souvenir shop, L’Art de Cornouaille;right at place St Corentin; wonderful kitchen towels for our home. and we grab!  http://adc-quimper.fr/

We went for a dozen macarons of the best in the area, Les Macarons de Philomène, consider the first macaroniers of France !!! at nice quaint old rue Kéréon, http://www.macaron-quimper.com/

There was a small outdoor market going on by Place Terre au Duc, just to the right of pl Corentin, but nothing took our fancy there, and we did check the nice store Eurodif, department store local store. At rue du roi Gradlon off pl corentin, nice if you like to take a look; http://www.eurodif.com/magasins.html

We went to our favorite fashion place Armand Thiery, but in town there is a women section only and the men’s store is a shopping leclerc outside of town ;route de Brest near the expressway N165; so we decided to skip to our local one in Vannes to do the shopping there,and shopping we did huge, for Christmas and for everybody…::)

However, before leaving in between we had our lunch; as we had try several restos already we decided to go for a new one,and boy/girl  did we hit a jackpot. This is absolutely why we are in France, traditional service, decoration and friendly. It is tucked in an old street 4 rue du guéodet, in between the Cathedral and the hotel de ville; Les Cariatides is just wonderful. The old house has a bar on street level,and the dining on the first level, quaint with chimneys and old Breton trinkets all over. The kitchen is here and we had a great server who was not needed to ask anything, all was there. The food was serve in intervals as we like it nothing rush; we had our apéritifs with chivas whisky, martini reds, porto red, and kir breton, then went to the meal, from steaks nicely done with home made fries! to our delicious well done house burger maison and home made fries. Salads of hot goat cheese, chévre chaud was good too. All wash down with our favorite restaurant bottle of Rioja Spain bodegas Navajas of Navarrete, (just for the blood test); simply great at 15€ the bottle. red wine of course. All that tops by desserts of créme brulée, and panacottas, end with expresso coffee all for 110€ or 22€ per person a real bargain really Worth the price many times over. We WILL RETURN. no webpage Telephone No +33 (0) 2 98 95 15 14 and email at cariatides29@yahoo.fr

We came straight back to Vannes after finishing the city of  Quimper tour, and had our purchase at Armand Thiery, centre commercial kerlann, rue Théophraste Renaudot. http://www.armandthiery.fr/fr/magasins.cfm

Now all we need is find the food for Noêl!!! Christmas. We are doing a combination of wife cooking desserts,and a traiteur in nearby Grand Champ will do the rest; this is it so you know what I mean ::) http://www.guylesommer.fr/

Cheers and Merry Christmas to all, wishing that the New year will fulfils all your life’s baskets. Joyeux Noël à tous mes lecteurs et que la nouvelle année remplit complètement le panier de votre vie

Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper Quimper

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December 8, 2013

It’s that time for Champagne!!!

We are approaching the end of the year 2013. Célébrations are already happening,and Christmas, Hanukah , and other are ongoing and coming. New Year’s is the best time to drink Champagne for many, although for me its any special occasion of the year. Today , I am celebrating my twin boys going to their first job and away from home, they will be back on weekends as it is near in the same area department Morbihan.

I guess I am getting old too, but in a nice way. We are all very happy, and what better way then to celebrate with Champagne, Martel of Epernay brut rose Victoire, in celebration of the victory of WWI that the house selected the best,and we are celebrating a victory too!

This is the portal representing the region, http://www.champagne.fr/en/homepage ,and one for the big brands too ,http://www.maisons-champagne.com/en/

We all have the story on how it became , thanks to a king Henri IV and a monk Dom Pérignon, and the region is irrigated by the big river Marne; with 3 main grapes, pinot noir, pinot meunier ,and chardonnay. The region is divided into 3 zones, the montagne de Reims in the dept of the Marne, the Vallée de la Marne,covering the department of Aisne (2), Marne (51) and Seine-et-Marne (77); and the Côte des blancs (marne). It is a protected brand name worldwide. Only those coming from here should be call Champagne.

I like to tell you the main names, to look out for in any part of the world you might be now or to year’s end. The créme de la créme of Champagne.

Charles Heidseick, Reims, 03 26 84 43 00

Bollinger, Ay 03 26 53 33 66

Boizel, Epernay 03 26 55 21 51

Billecart-Salmon, Mareuil-sur-Ay 03 26 52 60 22

Ruinart, Reims, 03 26 77 51 51

Gosset, Ay,  03 26 56 99 56

Taittinger, Reims, 03 26 85 45 35

Piper-Heidsieck, Reims 03 26 84 43 00

Canard-Duchêne, Ludes 03 26 61 10 96

Drappier, Urville, 04 68 51 10 89

Delamotte, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, 03 26 57 51 65

Lanson, Reims, 03 26 78 50 50

Veuve Clicquot, Reims, 03 26 89 54 40

Pommery, Reims, 03 26 61 62 56

Jacquart, Reims, 03 26 07 88 40

Bruno Paillard, Reims, 03 26 36 20 22

Duval-Leroy, Vertus, 03 26 52 10 75

Deutz, Ay, 03 26 56 94 00

Malard, Ay, 03 26 32 40 11

Vranken, Reims, 03 26 61 62 63

De Saint Gall, Avize, 03 26 57 94 22

Pol Roger, Epernay, 03 26 59 58 00

Louis Roederer, Reims, 03 26 40 42 11

Krug, Reims, 03 26 84 44 20

Thiénot, Taissy, 03 26 77 50 10

Moêt & Chandon, Epernay 03 26 51 22 00

Lênoble, Damery, 03 26 58 42 60

Philipponnat, Mareuil-sur-Ay, 03 26 56 93 00

Pierre Mignon, Le Breuil, 03 26 59 22 03

Laurent Perrier, Tours-sur-Marne, 03 26 58 91 22

Lanson, Reims, 03 26 78 50 89

G.H. Mumm, Reims, 03 26 49 59 69

Henriot, Reims, 03 26 89 53 00

Perrier-Jouêt, Epernay, 03 26 53 38 00

Joseph Perrier, Châlons-en-Champagne, 03 26 68 29 51

Nicolas Feuillatte, Choully, 03 26 59 55 50

Barons de Rothschild, Reims, 03 26 85 80 92

Besserat de Bellefon, Epernay, 03 26 78 52 16

GH Martel, Reims, 03 26 82 70 67

Above are the names I have tried over the years, with the town where they are base, and their direct telephone numbers (from abroad add the 33 and skip the first 0), the webpages are easily found in the internet.

Enjoy the season to be merrier in your homes. Cheers.

Reims

 

 

 

 

December 7, 2013

Christmas shopping in Nantes!

Well after some errands today with the family, we decided to try the shopping center I always pass by but never got to visited.  This is at Saint-Herblain a town near Nantes.

As we finish near lunch time here, and hours are a ritual, not sure if going to the shopping center or not, we try a new place to eat locally in Vannes as well. So , it was like first try day all along lol!

We went to Pontivy for a work shop for our sons that began their working life at Theix and Crac’h in the Morbihan department in January 2014. The school help place them so it was great considering today’s economies anywhere.

After we came to the carrefour shopping center in Vannes where the brasserie pizzeria La Compagnie, was always bypass and always full. We finally try it.  The service was fast and friendly ,and the prices very friendly 75€ for five with beers. However, for me the pizzas could  have been better.  We then, headed to Nantes. The resto webpage http://www.la-compagnie56.com/

This is the shopping center Atlantis, right off the n444 on your way to the Nantes Atlantique airport. The mall or shopping center is huge atypical for the French ,this one is of international quality. Words cannot describe it.

The parking is a laberinth of lanes and all electronically managed for parking spaces, so once on the  main road lane, you see the lights red xxx no space or in green they flash the number of places available: great!!! We finally parked by the entrance to the IKEA store, one of the anchors with Leclerc hypermarché, Decathlon, etc.

We came off the N165 to the exit to the  direction N444 nantes atlantique airport, exit 1 is the easiest  just before crossing the bridge of St Nazaire over the harbor. follow signs for Atlantis and its easy. Parking you should have patient because even if a huge place and huge parking , it is very very popular place. From the peripherique road N844 you can get off at exits 32,33,and 34. Many hôtels are nearby as well as the events hall Zenith

You can come on public transport from Nantes on the tramway line 1 or buses No 73, 84, and 93.   This is TAN the transport site of the agglo of Nantes, https://www.tan.fr/

You have kids care, and playgrounds, banks, and 151 stores with 31 restaurants! the ones at the very top are very nice indeed , good for a second try, such as Jo le Boucher, and Le Comptoir. You have micromania video games store a must in my family, and great stores like H&M , Jules, Foot Locker, etc, a huge hypermarket in Leclerc, and bowling center and cinema, and many more ,the site will tell you nicely done webpage too, http://www.atlantis-nantes.com/plan-d-acces.html

This section can tell you the layout of where the stores are, and the names of those there; http://www.atlantis-nantes.com/plan-d-atlantis/les-boutiques-de-la-galerie/

In the shopping center sprawling space you find the Zenith , concerts events expo center.  This is the webpage on how to get there, http://www.zenith-nantesmetropole.com/acceder-au-zenith.html , and this is the scoop on the Nantes tourist link http://en.nantes-tourisme.com/lieu/zenith-nantes-metropole-7567.html

Right there is also, the ONYX, done architecturally by Jean Nouvel, with many cultural activities too. webpage http://www.onyx-culturel.org/

Enjoy Nantes. Cheers

Vannes Vannes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes  Nantes

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December 6, 2013

Some news from France CXVIIII

well passing by Paris alerted me to tell you some new things going on there, and my favorite places when lived nearby and worked in the city.

The new things first, LA Belle Iloise, that great Breton institution has open in Paris! 7, rue de l’Ancienne-Comédie ,open everyday from 9h30 to 20h30, webpage http://www.labelleiloise.fr/fr/nos-boutiques/paris.htm

Angelina rive gauche, the famous chocolat chaud is coming to the left bank, at 108, rue du Bac, open everyday except Sundays morning. http://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/#/page-180/

The famous restauranteur now has a pâtisserie as well call Gâteaux Thoumieux, at  79, rue Saint-Dominique; open everyday except sundays afternoons and Tuesdays.http://www.thoumieux.fr/#/fr/nous-trouver

Disneyland Paris has a big Christmas as usual, even for a park its one of the best in the area. 46€ tickets for the event. http://us.news.disneylandparis.com/seasons/a-fairytale-christmas.xhtml

Histories of Parisien lifestyles: Hérmes; is now Under the sixth generation of family who owns it. Next February 2014 it will be Axel Dumas time to take the helm.  And do you know that Air France business class the cuisine is well French, tops. The winner of the Bocuse d’or 2013 is in charge of the kitchen, Thibaut Ruggieri; and now it has a new menu!! Delicious!

The Fair Lady is coming to the Théatre du Châtelet from December 5 to  January 1st 2014. Splendid,  http://chatelet-theatre.com/2013-2014/my-fair-lady-fr

How about going to see the insolite, the unknown of Paris. For those that always ask me what is there to see in Paris new ,unique and not too many tourists ::)

See the musée de la lettre et des manuscrits, http://www.museedeslettres.fr/public/index.php?lng=en_US  ; the musée de la magie, http://www.museedelamagie.com/  , and musée Dupuytren, at the Sorbonne, http://www.upmc.fr/fr/culture/patrimoine/patrimoine_scientifique/musee_dupuytren.html

Visit the Buddhist Panthéon near the Arc de Triomphe, 16 avenue d’Iéna, where you can see the over 250 works taken back in 1876 by Emile Guimet, where his museum is just next door. http://www.guimet.fr/fr/collections/visite-virtuelle/443-pantheon-bouddhique

Take a walk alone the Petite Alsace,  that bring back memories that before 1860 and the Haussmann landscape change ,Paris was divided into 11 towns.   A quiet place but you can walk it. Done in 1912 with about 40 houses, plonging to the petite Russie at district Durval in the Buttes aux Cailles of the 13éme arrondissement.

You can visit the old hôtel de Soissons built in the 16C by Catherine de Médicis; it is not much left but a tower, next to the bourse de Paris in the gardens of the halles, you see the column tower; it is now a place of pilgrimage for those who believe in reincarnation. As the prediction by Nostrademus, that the queen built it to serve as observation tower for the reincarnated… See the plaque Under the pont neuf about the burning there of the grand master of the order of Templars , Jacques de Molay, or the hear the psychics at the cementary Pére lachaise from the tomb of Allan Kardec, father of the spirituarism in France. To finish this eery trip, stop by the librarie de l’Inconnu, 84 rue du Cherche-Midi where you will find treasures of the sorcery, alchimist,and the kabbale.

Paris has many churches, but go to the one call Church of Saint Christophe de Javel built in 1926 in a working class district and beautiful enough for all to come see it. It has cross of Christ in wood, with frescoes of cyclists, aviators, and automobilists.  28 rue de la convention ,webpage http://www.scjavel.net/spip/

Do you remember the old Paris stores? how about magasins Prisunic… 136-138 rue de Rennes, 75006. Done in 1906, it is today the FNAC store at Montparnasse since 1974. how about the palais du Trocadéro? , well at the hill of Chaillot, following the universal expo of 1878 a palace was built in a néo-moorish style, a new one was built at the place in 1932 for the other universal exposition in Paris.  The tower on each side you see now, were really a dome in the middle , now it is flat. At the gare de la bastille or train station done in September 1859 ,it was closed when the RER A open, in 1969. From 1984 it is now the opéra Bastille!

In 1923 before the well known cafe Le Select opens, the place was call the Dingo Bar at 10 rue Delambre; here Americans used to come way back such as Erza Pound,Henry Miller, John Dos Santos,Ernest Hemingway met Francis Scott Fitzgerald!!!

Visit the auction house of Drouot, founded in 1852 , comes out with a sale of old toys  from the 1980’s and Grendizer gadgets. http://www.drouot.com/

don’t forget to have a glass at the Gaîté Lyrique, it is a former theater done in 1862; a shrine of digital transformation with exhibitions.  However, at night it becomes a trendy nightspot,hosting concerts and parties with rock and electro crowds. Beautiful baroque frescoes with a boho chic crowd to tow. 3bis rue Papin, 75003; webpage http://www.gaite-lyrique.net/

Enjoy the weekend!

 

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