Archive for January, 2015

January 29, 2015

Bucharest is coming along just fine!

I had a quick trip again here, and again on a cold rainy , drizzle days in Bucharest the feeling was good. A vibrant youthful, active city and pack all over even the hotel was packed. I flew my usual run Nantes, CDG T2, Otopeni Bucharest airport known also as Henri Coanda on AF both ways.http://www.bucharestairports.ro/en I took the shuttle ride for 20 euros nice new car English speaking driver good conversation about the city ins and out..This was pre arranged through the hotel. The trip was both in and out . I stayed at the Ramada Plaza hotel, about 6 kms from the old city center but nice places to go around there too and the hotel is full of amenities, TV international channels, heated indoor pool, massages, gym room, business center. A great restaurant Le Parc and a nice bistro bar Red Pepper and the bar with large counter Anais. http://www.ramadaplazabucharest.ro/en/bar-restaurants The city is undergoing modernisation with a new underground road to the airport into the city center, and additional metro /subway/tube lines such as M4 Under construction.  Tourism on Bucharest is here http://romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html While eating other than at the Le Parc hotel resto, I went out with friends to first dinner at the Caru cu Bere beer restaurant with old world decoration near the National Bank building of Romania. The building is neo gothic located at Stavropoleos street across from Calea Victoriel street the famous city center of Bucharest.  The National Bank here was built in 1884-1890 at the location of the largest inn in Bucharest the, Serban Voda Inn, and you still see traces of it Under a small pedestrian area behind the bank covered in glass. Here we had traditional Romanian food with sausages, hams, pork meats, and nice home grown beer. http://www.carucubere.ro/ Next for lunch the following day we went to the City 18 Lounge on top 18th floor of the Millenium building. It has a 15 meters long bar, and tables all around with wonderful views of the city and the lake Herastrau. Open Mondays to Fridays from 12 noon  until 4PM (16h) is lunch, then 4-6PM is closed and opens again at 6pm (18H), Saturday and Sunday no menu direct from carte. Here we had a leek soup, and then pork spare ribs in a romanian sauce with Calsberg beer. Great business and romantic place packed with locals and visitors alike. The views alone are Worth coming here. http://www.18lounge.ro/ There is more in the horizon, of these quick escapades all over and we began planning our long summer vacation. Enjoy Bucharest for now. Cheers Paris Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest

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January 11, 2015

My Travels in the Morbihan XVII

I had the opportunity once again to travel in my Morbihan on several fronts to realise how Lucky I am to be able to live here. The Morbihan once again is Breton language for small sea or in French petite mer; Mor=sea bihan=small. tourism site http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/

My day started by going to Carnac and to our surprise winter had come and most was close. We then past by Plouharnel and past by the gorgeous abbey of Kergonan, before continuing to our favorite Quiberon.

Some of the things we saw in Carnac was the casino Barriére , http://www.lucienbarriere.com/fr/Casino/Carnac/accueil.html  ,and we past by a hotel Best Western Celtique that looks great to spent some time just about 150 meters from the Grande Plage de Carnac. http://en.hotel-celtique.com/  The tourist office of Carnac , http://www.ot-carnac.fr/

The abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan at Plouharnel ;it all started in 1897  when  10 monks who came from Solesmes, under the guidance of dom Paulin Joumier (1854-1917), are welcomed at Kergonan . In 1901 the religious buildings are not allowed and the monks leave for Belgium, the property is turn into a school; in 1914 the community becomes autonomous; and the monks come back from exile in 1920.  In 1942, the monastery, close to the « Atlantic Wall » of WWII, and  is commandeered by the Nazis. The monks seek refuge in the Chartreuse of Auray. By 1943, the community settles at the castle of  Nétumières, near Vitré.By  1946, the monks come back from exile. In 1968 the construction of the abbey Church is began. You need to come here by car along the D768/781 to Quiberon and in summer you can take the train tire bouchon from Auray with a stop at Plouharnel.Direction Quiberon. http://www.kergonan.org/EN/welcome.aspx

adjacent there is the abbey benedictine of Saint Michel , at the end of WWI it was house by US troops; a link with the above at same site; http://saintmicheldekergonan.org/  ,and this is the tourist office of Plouharnel, http://www.plouharnel.com/

We arrive at Quiberon and quickly for food lol! the biscutierie de Quiberon is one nice small delightful store. Tourist office of Quiberon, http://en.quiberon.com/

Here you find the link for the biscuiterie de Quiberon, http://en.quiberon.com/practical/shops-and-services/323741-biscuiterie-de-quiberon , and so wonderful we had our hot coffee and lotto ticket at the Café Hoche, taken over from brasserie de 3 masts, here, http://www.quibactiv.fr/commerces/le-cafe-hoche/

Some of the nice places to support and enjoy your visit here which we always enjoy inmensibly is the Hotel Albatros, http://www.hotel-albatros-quiberon.com/ and the Hotel des Druides, http://www.hotel-des-druides.com/ ; great for those thinking of staying here.

And we finally got our apéro drinks and sausages here at the new and friendly L’Esplanade Café , where the owner had previously try a stint as chef in Marco Island , Florida USA.  Great beers Goudale and sausages and screen TV to have a great time. http://www.quibactiv.fr/commerces/lesplanade-cafe/

We past by the La Trinitaine local cannery store of fish seafood and biscuits local products , our overall favorite in the region. http://www.latrinitaine.com/magasins/quiberon/  ,and we went on to this time past by one of our favorite the restaurant L’Huitriére, seafood and of course oysters par excellence, locally good, http://www.restaurantlhuitriere.fr/  ,and the quaint typical island style fun for food and drink and location near the Grande Plage is the La Cabana, another of our favorite hangouts here, http://www.quibactiv.fr/commerces/la-cabana/

The wonderful chic gourmand Villa Margot with view on the grande plage and entrance on rue port maria. http://www.villamargot.fr/ ; the wonderful Gare Maritime for the cruises on the gulf island UNESCO world heritage site. http://en.quiberon.com/discover/islands-and-golfe-du-Morbihan

A new beach discovered of the several here, we past by it but we went in on a curious ride on the plage de les Sables Blancs on the road to Quiberon in the peninsula at the town of Plouharnel, great for the camping cars lovers, http://www.plouharnel.fr/camping/les-sables-blancs-Plouharnel.html

And ,finally coming home we had dinner in our town of pluvigner at Le Scampi, the award winning pizza  maker of father and son 2014 first and second in the West of France competition. And Petit Futé travel magazine best, http://lescampi.ipizzaphone.fr/

Of course the pictures will speak for itself and hope you read the link and know more about this wonderful area just 35-40 minutes by car to Quiberon ,closer to the others, South of me. Cheers

 Carnac  Carnac Plouharnel  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon Plouharnel  Quiberon Pluvigner

 

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January 8, 2015

Some news from France XCVII

On a grey windy cool day of winter I write to you about new things opening up culturally at Paris and elsewhere when possible.

La Philharmonie de Paris.   8 days before its opening in the new building at La Villette  221 avenue Jean-Jaurés  (19éme) done by architect Jean Nouvel ,all in aluminum as its already call the centre Pompidou of music and still not done ok, opens January 15,but a first here, http://www.sgbfrance.fr/nos_references?view=1998

 Musée Gustave Moreau.  After a year of work this nice museum open with the 6 rooms in street level that are now back to the original look. You will see part of the collection of moldings that was not shown since  2002, as well as a cabinet of graphic arts. This is at 14 rue de la Rochefoucauld (9éme) opens January 22nd. http://www.musee-moreau.fr/

Musée Auguste Comte. This is the last house of the philosopher one of the original thinkers of Sociology; you visit only the wednesday afternoons or by appointment. Open January 23rd;  it is at 10 rue Monsieur-le-Prince (6éme). http://www.augustecomte.org/

 Musée Bourdelle.  The actor of Héraklès archer will showcase its creations, sculpture or painted in the middle of furniture taken from flea markets. It is open with the renovation of the shop of this man who was the trainer of Rodin , and later of  Matisse, Maillol ,and Giacometti. It is at 16-18 rue Antoine-Bourdelle, (15éme), open this month. http://www.paris.fr/pratique/paris-pratique/p9627

La coupole du Panthéon. or the dome of the Panthéon is already 37 meters high on scaffolds and will soon be taken off, stay tune. http://pantheon.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

Château de Versailles.  the work done by architect Dominique Perrault will soon be open at the castle. This is the entrance that will be completely redone by spring next.  Then, you will enter by the  pavillon Dufour ,and the pavillon Gabriel, on each side of the  Cour royale.  You will go thru a gallery decorated by the architect,and on the first floor (2nd US) there will be a salon de thé . Probably done after March 2015. http://www.chateauversailles.fr/les-actualites-du-domaine/evenements/evenements/autres-evenements/amenagement-du-pavillon-dufour/dufour/projet-architectural-de-dominique-perrault-1

Médiathèque.  Before summer, the old hospital of  Saint-Lazare will be transform into the  Médiathèque Françoise-Sagan  to house the important collection of youth literature of the funds of  L’Heure Joyeuse, previously closed in 2004. It is at 8 rue Léon-Schwartzenberg (10éme) and open from next May 2015. https://mediathequeducarresaintlazare.wordpress.com/

Cinéma. the old cinema Gaumont des Gobelins will be replace by end of first trimester of 2015 by the Les Fauvettes, a hall where the programs will be on great restore films. It is at 58 avenue des Gobelins (13éme) and should be done by next summer 2015. http://www.cinemasgaumontpathe.com/cinemas/cinema-gaumont-gobelins/

 Musée de l’homme.  this is a wonderful museum long time closed with collections of pre historic objects and anthropology, and the new collection will show the new man of the future, and a collection of 120 mommies!!. It is at 17, place du Trocadéro (16éme). Opening Schedule for October 17 2015. http://www.mnhn.fr/fr

 Petite ceinture.  the train station gare de Saint-Ouen  will be renovated to become the Hasard Ludique, a cultural center. Here they will have Concerts, spectacles ,and practical shops of artistics orientation and a bistrot. It is located at 128 avenue de Saint-Ouen (18éme), opening in next Fall 2015.  http://lehasardludique.paris/

Hip-hop et compagnie(s).  The second floor (3rd US) of the future Canopée des Halles will welcome a new antenna of the house of practical artistics arts or in French MPAA.  They will have 6 salons to practice music, dance, and theater. The La Place, a cultural center dedicated to  hip-hop with lessons, concerts, spectacles, discussions , expos…etc will see the day in 2015. It will be at the Forum des Halles (1éme). http://www.parisleshalles.fr/le-projet/la-canopee-0027?prehome=0

Musée Henner.  It is in a mansion of the 19C this shop apartment is a typical home of the artist. Renovation of the salon with columns and its winter garden with a new glass verriére and a Café.  Great paintings here too. It is located at 43 avenue de Villiers (17éme) and expected open by November 2015.  http://www.musee-henner.fr/

And on the music scene, the Les Bains will open.  It was a famous club of the  1980’s.  The owner of the building , Jean-Pierre Marois, has an ambitious plan of turning it into a 5 stars hotel with 39 rooms with a restaurant by Young chef Michael Riess. It will have an artsy look and  style chic à la française, all design by Denis Montel.  In the basement, the club will hold mini  rock’n’roll. This is at 7 rue du Bourg-L’Abbé (3éme). opening by March 2015. http://www.lesbains-paris.com/

and something chic and romantic a new hotel  ,the Hotel La Parizienne33, bd du Montparnasse (6éme),opening by end January 2015.  http://www.hotel-laparizienne.com/fr/

encore, to finish with a taste of the times, the galette des rois or king’s cake is a tradition this month around epiphany here. My favorite when there or passing by in Paris is Fauchon. .24/26 Place de la Madeleine, where i walked by every day to work!!! Tel +33 01 70 39 38 00. They have one good for 4 persons for  30€. Get it while they last !!! coconut and pineapple a gourmand delight,  http://www.fauchon.com/fr/galette-ananas.html

Thanks for Le Figaro for these wonderful news from my Paris. And now heading into the weekend ! Happy Friday or TGIF ::)

January 3, 2015

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton V

Well why not start my 2015 blogging year with my home grounds!!! Pluvigner is a nice laidback country town where everybody know each other and they we are beginning to know each other, first year passed ::)

If you want to know what i mean by country then check our mayor’s office site here

http://www.pluvigner.fr/

and the tourist site for the area in which we have an annex office at the side of the mayor’s office wow!! is here http://auray-tourism.com/home/our-towns-and-villages/pluvigner.aspx

Today was nice went up as high as 15C or about 59F temp and with a thin light rain grey skies and typical winter day. We decided to go out and eat out.

We pick our wonderful in town castle of Rimaison who we had walk and peek on it but never Inside, this time not only Inside but we ate there lunch at the Créperie de Rimaison; the place is a castle in ruins that was transfer all here in about 1960, and now its own by a family from Vannes for the last 10 years and the créperie restaurant is open for 3 years. Very friendly ,nice, good food and good country pleasant folks, plus you eat in a castle !!!

You can walk thru the front but we came by car ho ho ho! and went on the back side on rue de Landaul, parking Inside the castle. You then walk to the creperie, as the castle part of it is where the owner lives, and the other is the event rental areas, and the chapel where you can book dinner events.

The creperie part is on the left side as you walk in from the parking, with a glass veranda. All is done with taste decoration of stuffed grass animals and old antique items deco on the veranda glass with ornaments, and great host we talk and talk and got some local tips as well for work around the house lol!!!

The service is done on demand from a nice menu, of the typical Breton galettes and crêpes and some original ones like the Edimbourg. The tables are of wood on thick wood legs and all in a light cream color on the walls Inside but we ate in the veranda on a light rainy day but not cold so we enjoy the castle patio.

We had the following
Ripaille du Terroir galette, andouille is a local breton sausage, ham, smoked bacon, cheese raclette, white onions, and pickles.
Potager du Roy, cooked tomatoes, leeks, onions, and mushrooms
Mousquetaires (2), enementhal cheese, goat cheese with honey, camembert and roquefort cheeses
Bretonne, andouille de Guémere, a local breton sausage but top quality from the town of Guémere , cooked apples, sauce moutarde =mustard.

The desserts
L’Agenaise (2), cream of prunes, vanilla ice cream scoop, flambée de cognac
l’Orangerie (2), confit of orange, hot chocolate, cooked orange peels, flambée de grand marnier
Duc d’Edimbourg, confit of orange, flambée fo whisky.

Two bottles of cider one brut with the meal and one doux or sweet with the desserts, and expresso coffee for all. Came out to 118,30 or 23.66€ per person (about 28.40 USDollars today).

A wonderful experience, that we follow up with a nearby visit to the bakery across the street for some baguettes to take back  ,Boulangerie Delumeau. We then, went on to buy some garden Tools at our nearby Gamm Vert comptoir on same road ave de la gare, and got our shovel and knifes,and brick pavement cleaning solvents. We ,then visit a nursery on the other side of the expressway N165 call the Pépinière de Penhouët at the route la butte du Roc in the town of Ploêren. Here we pick up 6 trees to decorate our garden that will get next wednesday breton stones décorations 6,2 tons of it for a complete new look!!!

So, therefore, we are all welcome and enjoy my Bretagne/Breizh and Pluvigner or Pleuwigner in Breton language. Enjoy and best wishes for 2015.

Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Ploeren

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