Archive for September, 2016

September 28, 2016

Some news from France ,CXLII

This is mid week and already at the blog, lol! this is a virus of enormous proportion , when I started in 2010 I never thought it would be this fun, and it has been. Now here it’s cloudy with 20C or about 62F bit humid cool it feels but no rains, oh here is Vannes, Morbihan, Brittany, France.

I like to dwell on some things happening in France in general and Paris in particular.

at the Centre Pompidou, you have the exhibit “René Magritte, la Trahison des images” until Jan 23rd 2017.  More here in English : https://www.centrepompidou.fr/cpv/ressource.action?param.id=FR_R-5eb6563d265bc29ee4435e693f322ec&param.idSource=FR_E-45018ba5-54f4-43be-81c6-dd37eb7844d8

The pedestrian only Paris this year (past sept 26th but will be practice every year)  has been enlarge from 11h to 18h and 45% more space intra-muros that is inside Paris proper. Many activities and shops will be showcase along the routes. More here : http://capgeo.sig.paris.fr/apps/ParisSansVoiture/

Soul Train of old !!! remember the show, now the Mona Bismarck American Center comes back to the source with a program November 12 on films and presentations such as  Shabba Doo, and  Jean-Paul Goude. More here: http://www.monabismarck.org/events/soultrain?lang=f

You can see « Faust »  in the Théâtre du Châtelet, open door with performers with rock of Robert Wilson going on until tomorrow (sorry for late reporting); more here: http://chatelet-theatre.com/fr/event/faust-i-et-ii

Anybody tried the wine apps out there? well not a techie myself but plenty to choose from and more coming up. Wine Ring is one but do not score high with the experts. Delectable and Banquet, works in tandem and they score very high.  A tad below is Vivino, and bit further down Wine Searcher . Not good at all were Snooth, Drync, Corkz, Hello Vino, and Cellar Tracker. The newest one is Omnipair that according to the experts looks promising. I will be far from all of them, but hey you can read it here too ::) More at Bloomberg here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-26/the-best-wine-apps-for-choosing-buying-and-remembering-bottles

 

king Charles X rests since 1836 in the convent of  Kostanjevica, present day Slovenia. The last king of the Second Restauration ruling from 1824 to 1830 before taking exile.  There is a group trying to bring the rests back to his native France and to the Basilica of Saint Denis, Charles X, the last of the Bourbon kings ,but also his son  Louis de France and niece Marie-Thérèse (oldest daughter of king  Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette) to be alongside at Saint Denis royal necropolis.  Webpage in French here: http://www.leretourdecharlesx.fr/

The others that were brought back from  outside of France are those of emperor  Napoléon Ier, died in island of Saint-Hélène (south Atlantic) in  1821,to joined the  Invalides during an official ceremony in 1 840. Those of king  Louis-Philippe Ier, called the king of the French or « roi des Français » in 1 830 (under a constitutional monarchy), died in 1850 at Claremont (UK), and transferred to the chapel of Saint-Louis of Dreux in 1876.

You heard here on the CDG Express or the Charles-de-Gaulle Express. This is a straight line from Roissy CDG airport to the Gare de l’Est in Paris for 2023. It will have a price of about 24€ and get you in within 20 minutes. Now, the closest one is the RER B in about 50 minutes and 10€ but going thru some of the worse areas of outer Paris. The new CDG Express will use about 24 kms of the 32K route using as well the line K (Paris-Crépy-en-Valois line) and even the RER B in case of accidents. There is talk of a new tax to help pay for this of 1€ on the airplane tickets with work Schedule to start in 2018. The runway 2 of CDG is already doing preparatory work on it including an underground tunnel to host the CDG Express train. More in French at the  Le Parisien here : http://www.leparisien.fr/info-paris-ile-de-france-oise/transports/coup-d-accelerateur-pour-la-liaison-express-roissy-paris-26-09-2016-6152395.php

The survivor from the Colonial Exposition of 1878, the old aquarium of Trocadéro needed to closed in 1985. It opened again built underground in 2006.  This year it has 17000 fishes and 4 million liters of water to celebrate its 10th anniversary .Aquarium au jardin du Trocadéro,Admission is 19,90 € adults . Open every day from 10h to 19h. On Saturday October 1st each senior paying will give the chance to enter for free two persons between 1-59 yrs of age. More herehttp://www.cineaqua.com/index.php/en/

The concession for the Jardin d’Acclimatation has been extended for an additional 25 yrs to a group which includes 80% LVMH and 20% by Compagnie des Alpes (also handles Astérix). The gardens were opened by Napoléon III in 1860 and has 60 hectares along the Bois de Boulogne. 18 new attractions will be created including 9 free and 26 existing attractions will be renovated. The goal is to reach 2,5 million visitors per year. One of my family favorite parks in Paris for years…http://www.jardindacclimatation.fr/

The opera of the  Fantôme de l’Opéra  will now be shown in by before November at the Théâtre Mogador… This after a fire on last Sunday morning at the theater touching the main salon as well as the decorations.  More here : http://www.stage-entertainment.fr/theatre-Mogador

There will be a new exchange on the autoroute linking the A86 to the N118 at Vélizy. In this axe that will be in service by 2019 closing passing the shopping center centre commercial Vélizy 2  ,and will connected to the street rue du Général Valérie-André. Badly needed as when we lived nearby it was always traffic jams there so imagine now it’s worse. More here in French : http://fva-velizy.fr/un-nouvel-echangeur-sur-la86-en-2018-a-velizy/

How to get around Paris within 3 hrs away , well come to my department 56 Morbihan, Le Figaro says so! And more on Chartres, Reims, Orleans, Dijon ,Saint-Malo, La Grande-Motte, Cheverny,  Biarritz, Le Havre, Sophia-Antipolis(Biot), Dinard, Montgaudry, Marseille, Lyon, Pyla-sur-Mer, Strasbourg,Roquebrune-Cap-Martin,Pommard, La Rochelle, and Les Sables d’Olonne. Of course, all these in several weeks lol! Come to think as people ask what to see around Paris, well the whole of France ::)

And coming up is the Nuit Blanche or white night in France. From October 1 to the 2nd overnight that is 19h to 7h. The transformation is the theme this year and the place tops will be the berges de Seine or along the river Seine. The love theme of course will be here as there will be a walk starting from rue Lobau, just behind the Hôtel de Ville all the way to the island or ile Saint-Germain, at Issy-les-Moulineaux. Many institutions participate on this year themes such as the Musée du Quai Branly, Pavillon de l’Arsenal,  Petit Palais,  Théâtre du Châtelet, Monnaie de Paris, or the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts.

Other places to check it out and it is worth all of it, are (my favorite spots but not all of them) : FAÇADE DE LA CONCIERGERIE (see it best from quai de la Mégisserie), VOIE GEORGES-POMPIDOU (pont neuf or quai de la Mégisserie ), PARVIS DE L’HÔTEL DE VILLE, LE BHV MARAIS ,HÔTEL-DIEU (place du Parvis de Notre-Dame) ,PONT DES ARTS, PASSERELLE LÉOPOLD-SÉDAR-SENGHOR, PONT DES INVALIDES, GALERIES DES FRESQUES GARE DE LYON, PONT BIR-HAKEIM, ESPLANADE DU PALAIS DE TOKYO, 59 RUE DE RIVOLI , ÉGLISE SAINT-EUSTACHE ,ARCHIVES NATIONALES , BIBLIOTHÈQUE HISTORIQUE DE LA VILLE DE PARIS, ÉGLISE SAINT-MERRY , FONTAINE STRAVINSKY (place Igor Stravinsky) , COLLÈGE DES BERNARDINS (corner of the rue Saint-Jacques and rue de la Parcheminerie),  ÉGLISE SAINT-SÉVERIN ,PLACE SAINT-GERMAIN DES PRÉS, BASILIQUE SAINTE-CLOTILDE ,JARDIN DU PETIT PALAIS ,CHAPELLE EXPIATOIRE (29 rue Pasquier), PLACE PIGALLE , PLACE HENRI FRENAY, THÉÂTRE DUNOIS (108 rue du Chevaleret), LES DOCKS CITÉ DE LA MODE ET DU DESIGN ,PLACE DE LA FONTAINE ,SQUARE AUGUSTE RENOIR ,ÉGLISE NOTRE-DAME DE L’ASSOMPTION, and VILLA BELLEVILLE (23 rue Ramponeau). More on it here in English: http://quefaire.paris.fr/articles/428

and tourist office: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-show-exhibition/135251/nuit-blanche-a-paris

Enjoy it all;until next time Cheers!!! And tomorrow another day off lol!!!

September 15, 2016

There are wine notes, tastings and then there is Parker

Well it hit me saw an article on the last tastings rounds of a genius and prompted me to write this post. I love wines, I have been drinking it tasting it since birth, from my grandmother first at age 8 and then onwards to all the levels.

I tried them all, from obscure wine labels and lesser known countries such as Viñales from Cuba to the great ones of France and the Rothschilds. I used to work in a liquor store in Florida, and was in charge of the wine department ordering and replacing bottles, and attending the old fashioned income tax burning parties AND wine tastings.

From attending many wine tastings at different locations and have the privilege of meeting the best growers in the world from several countries most from France.  The pleasure of choosing France the mother of all wine tastings experts, knowledge, foundations. Where else would you see a French grape, or a French winemaker giving their expertise, or French investors on vineyards, or using French oak barrels for ageing, to using the same methods as in France, and then creating a wonderful bottle, à la French even if sometimes ego claims it to be better than the original French wine.

Now it hit me, Robert  Parker is retiring from wine tasting notes; oh mine. I was an original follower who signed up to his newsletters and purchase his books the moment it hit the bookstore; this was the genius of wine and especially French. What would Bordeaux becomes without him?

Robert Parker was a lawyer by profession born in  Monkton, Maryland, USA ;today he is 70 years old!!  He started writing his columns in the fame US magazine The Wine Advocate. He sold his empire to Singaporian investors many years ago.

Between April and June the most glorious of Bordeaux wines are presented to the tasters as each year , this time in 2016 Robert Parker is not there to taste the 2015 crop.  Bordeaux is orphan for the first time in many years; no more the 100 points scores.  I remember when the Château Pavie was given 100 and was helped to raised to premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint Emilion, at the same level as Ausone, Cheval-Blanc or Angélus!!!

The great French consultant and winemaker of many Michel Rolland said of Parker « Si vous n’aimiez pas les vins qu’aimait Parker, vous n’aimiez pas grand-chose de bon ! » OR If you do not like the wines that Parker liked, you did not love nothing good! He had the world at his feet when announce a wine; such as Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte when in 2011 re evaluating the 2009’s he took the note from 98 to 100 , in one night he push the the sales of this wine by 3X the world over!

He has left some followers such as Neal Martin in The Wine Advocate magazine; and then James Suckling with a great following and after his depart from The Wine Advocate another takes his place such as James Molesworth .

With the retirement of  Robert Parker ,others takes or tried to take his place such as Antonio Galloni (USA) and even the French team of Michel Bettane et Thierry Desseauve . Others such as Tim Atkin, Jancis Robinson in the UK, Jacques Perrin in Switzerland, Jacques Dupont in France or even Decanter magazine, the most international of magazines from UK. But any arrives of combing world opinion on wines as did Robert Parker.

Now , it is not the explosion as before of reading a 100 by Parker as before .Even is some merits such in the 2015 vintage such as Pontet-Canet , Pauillac, Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Haut-Bailly ,Pessac-Léognan, Pétrus,  Pomerol, Cheval-Blanc and Canon ,Saint-Émilion..etc.

Now, new horizons are happening in the expressway of Napa and Sonoma,  a boulevard of Bordeaux Crus opens up not only of the most prestigious labels but also of those of the Fronsadais or  côtes de Castillon , are founding their place in the Sun.

Saddened ,however, that Bordeaux has lost with the retirement of the guru, “the greatest Ambassador she‘s ever had”, an important trader of the place is difficult to turn the page. Bordeaux must forget Parker because it must. And regret because it‘s worth…Robert Parker.

The lessons are always remember , the memories of his newsletter full of love and energy will not be forgotten,this is my humble homage to a great wine guru of our time. Follow the wine, it is good for you and the soul. It is our blood.

Cheers and in Vino Veritas.

Robert Parker: https://www.robertparker.com/

inspirational  source Les Echos in French: https://www.lesechos.fr/2016/09/les-bordeaux-apres-la-revolution-parker-1231427

Hope it helps your appreciation of wines and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 12, 2016

And on my day off, it’s Birthday time!

Well we usually do not like birthdays too much, even if many are excited about it. It just means you are getting older and closer to your human time on Earth. Nevertheless , we seems to continue celebrating our Birthday.

My birthday hands says I am very honest with a natural presence and talk direct . I ma very kind and in tune with nature; I am very handyman and like to help people.  Great to get alone and down to earth partner. Always there when they need me. Well ,not bad, it looks good , I take it ::)

Wikipedia has it that there is a difference between birthday and birthdate: The former, other than February 29, occurs each year (e.g. June 12), while the latter is the exact date a person was born (e.g., June 12, 1993). I always said birthday lol!!

And I have a very important biblical name to celebrate the Saint’s day.  There is no mention of Birthdays in the Bible but only of a Pharaoh of Egypt..!  We came to know about birthdays from Ptolemy V onwards.

The New Testament gives one example of Birthday mentioned, that of apostate king Herod, one of the worst butchers who ever lived!!! scary indeed. The fact is, the Bible is totally SILENT on the date of the birth of every single servant of God, including Abraham, Noah, Moses, Samuel, David, the apostles, and most important of all, Jesus Christ Himself!!!

The World Book — Childcraft International says regarding “Holidays and Birthdays,” “For thousands of years people all over the world have thought of a birthday as a very special day. Long ago, people believed that on a birthday a person could be helped by good spirits, or hurt by evil spirits. So, when a person had a birthday, friends and relatives gathered to protect him or her. And that’s how birthday parties began.” The idea of putting candles on birthday cakes goes back to ancient Greece. The Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses. Among them was one called Artemis. Of course, this is all religiously inclined discussion….

The truth is we go back and forth celebrating birthdays as a happy moment we all wait to party.  Some of the famous names who has their birthday today are:

King Francis I of France ,Henry Hudson (English navigator for the Hudson River betweend NY and NJ USA); and many more here;  https://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays.php

We set out to have lunch in our humble simple country French restaurant Les Trois Soleils, in Plescop just outside Vannes. This is a workers lunch place and real local foods and customs. We love it for the friendly country service, the good food and the good family ambiance. There is a menu formule set of second dish and dessert or first dish and second dish for 11,50€ including drink of beer, wine, sodas or water. Or the full whammy of entrée (first dish), plat (second dish), dessert ,and drink (beer, wine, sodas, water) all for 13,30€ which we split as each tastes in the family. I had the full swing !!!

it is, also, the center of sports news in the area and you can know all the scores of football/soccer, rugby in all divisions from national and local teams on a board by the bar area.  There is no webpage of course, and the best outside source can find is this one from the sports association organization ANCV here : https://guide.ancv.com/detail/ptl?nid=1303914

On our way out , we stop by the nearby L’Etoile des Pains bakery to gathered our baguettes and a local bread call the baguette d’etoiles. Of course very local .

As we had gathered our wines at the Nicolas Vannes store (see previous post on the foires aux vins), we went for our boys to buy me a couple pairs of shoes in our favorite store for it, Besson Chaussures in Vannes.  Many local brands from leading shoe leather countries such as France, Italy, Portugal ,and Spain.

And going away I took a picture of our home  ,with lots of labor of love and euros it is coming alone nicely;next remodeled all the bathrooms (2) this week, plumber on call and time confirm lol!

Happy B-day to those celebrating today ,and have you all a great week ahead. Nice times here now 24C or about 77F and sunny; in Paris the news says cloudy and 89F or about 32C! Cheers

Plescop

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September 11, 2016

Foire aux vins or wine fairs are on in France!!!

This is the moment we wait to buy wines in quantity and good prices; these are the Foire aux Vins going on all over France now. It will be going on from end August to mid October 2016 depending on the store and the region. A wonderful time of the year indeed ::)

There are over 30 fairs of wine in France just between September and October 2016 in France, offering real bargains as we can vouch for it.  More here on fairs of any kind  I have it for wines in France in English: http://www.tradefairdates.com/Wine-Trade-Shows-Y363-S1.html

All the leading hypermarkets here like E Leclerc, Giant Casino, Carrefour, Intermarché, Monoprix and Auchan have fairs on similar dates. The Sommeliers expert advice is to look for years 2005,2010,and 2015 as best years. Be careful of low prices from industrial wine growers, search well for prices, and the medal wine bottles as commercially manipulated. IN brief, you need to know who you buy from, both in store and from producers. I always have counted on producers if they are good their years will be good ,sure buy. Be aware that even if this is a national event, each regions has its choices so need to move about to find the best as a whole. One great wine in Provence may not be available in Bretagne and vice versa.

Some good events coming up that I have participated in the past are the Fête des Vendage de Montmartre Paris ,October 5-9,2016. This is going on since 1934!!! the best in Paris, More official page here: http://www.fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com/

The other is the Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants , in porte de Versailles, Paris November 24-28 2016, a fantastic place from all over France. More info here: http://www2.vigneron-independant.com/38%C3%A8me-salon-des-vins-des-vignerons-ind%C3%A9pendants-paris

Salon des Vins d’Abbayes , is another jewel that this year has passed by but mark in your calendars for next year at Saint-Germain-des-Prés; Palais Abbatial 3 bis rue de l’Abbaye Paris 6éme. The wine began with the abbeys so come here to taste the ones still made today in them. You see others in France coming up here their official site that ,also, tells you about these wonderful abbeys such as see the site here: http://lesvinsdabbayes.com/visite-abbaye

The wines events are here : http://lesvinsdabbayes.com/evenements

Salon de la revue du vin de France is a magazine I have in my blogroll below posts and one that I have followed for many many years;the magazine and since their first event in Paris. They hold and event at the wonderful Palais de Brongniart or bourse every May with over 200 vignerons from all over France in a wonderful chic place.  Next one is the 11th edition on May 19-20 2017; more info here: http://salon.larvf.com/fr/

At the Carrousel du Louvre, November 25-26 2016 they will hold the Le Grand Tasting Under a great tasting team of France ,Bettane+Desseauve (they publish a wine guide )  ;over 300 producers and a cooking MasterChef class as well. More info here: https://www.grandtasting.com/

One newspaper I follow and best for comparisons is the Le Figaro . It provides available wines by region and store as well as prices so you are well arm when stepping into the stores. Is a must to read before going out shopping. It’s in French of course; The site not only gives you supermarkets but also specialize wine stores with a nice tri to look up prices and wine labels  régions etc; more here: http://avis-vin.lefigaro.fr/foire-aux-vins/prix

One smaller wine tasting I went for several years before moving to Bretagne is held by the Port de Suffren in Paris, at the Le Maxim’s boat own by Pierre Cardin; Saveurs et Vins , the next one will be November 18-20 2016, and we have made many friends we now follow all over France from the Loire to the Dordogne. More here in French: http://saveursetvins.lobstert.com/

And one that the organiser told me could not be held in July 2016 and waiting further for the 2017 but it has been fabulous in the Touraine-Amboise region of the loire, Centre region this is just north of Amboise.  Promenade Gourmande. A walk in the vineyards with local music, food and local wine tasting while while walking amongst the grapes. Of course, there are kiosks at 1 km intervals for you to eat and taste and keep walking, all fun to raise funds for the Lion International assoc of the Loire. More here: http://promenadegourmande.free.fr/

See a youtube video here of the 2015 event; https://youtu.be/tVGGjh01DDg

Other favorite stores of mine are Lavinia Paris (origin of Spain), Rue de la Madeleine by the Church same name. http://www.lavinia.fr/fr/pages/contactez-nous

Nicolas  (our top favorite) all over France and the main one in Paris same area of the Madeleine; http://www.nicolas.com/en/magasins/LA-MADELEINE/s/00002530.html

Millesima Bordeaux,: http://www.millesima.fr/

Denis Perret, Beaune: http://www.denisperret.fr/en/

We just came from visiting Nicolas Vannes where we load u a couple cases of wine to stock up ‘beefup’ our cellar at home. Very good wines at discounted prices, the way to go and Monday is my Birthday ::) so off from work and took Tuesday off too. La belle France is generous and we love it.

Enjoy the wines in moderation and keep up a tradition of centuries ,wine is good for you. France came down a bit on wine production last year at 42+ millions hl short of the 47 it did year before that. The quality so far is not good due to weather so  keep an eye out on the producers they wont get you wrong. The 2015 is very good thought.

In Vino Veritas ,enjoy your Sunday. Weather is cloudy cooler by 66F or 13C but no rain in our Bretagne. Need to put some photos so here are some personal ones on the roads of wines of France. Cheers!!

September 8, 2016

Some news from France , CXLI

We are getting there to another fine weekend of wonderful weather in the Morbihan Breton right around 20C or about 68F and nicely sunny. So now let’s see what is going on in my belle France.

And now we are having jungles in Paris, the city has agree to set up refugees camps by the Blvd Néry up to the Porte de la Chapelle starting early October. And only for men, go figure, as per Le Parisien newspaper. More in French here: http://www.leparisien.fr/paris-75018/paris-le-camp-de-migrants-ouvrira-a-la-porte-de-la-chapelle-06-09-2016-6098989.php

The Château de Fontainebleau is looking for donations to save about 46 works of arts . You can see the collection at the Galerie d’Art Aveline in front of the Palais de l’Elysée in Paris, they will be shown there until October 9th. These pièces were done at the Manufacture de Sévres. More here in French ; http://www.leparisien.fr/fontainebleau-77300/fontainebleau-le-chateau-cherche-des-mecenes-pour-s-offrir-un-tresor-07-09-2016-6101831.php

A big bar Ephémere is being setup at the blvd Richard Lenoir; on the corner of blvd Voltaire and Richard Lenoir what would later be a garden will be open until November .Open Mondays to Sundays from midday to 21h ,free admission More here:http://www.leparisien.fr/paris-75011/paris-un-bar-geant-ephemere-sur-la-friche-richard-lenoir-07-09-2016-6102013.php

The Paris Aquarium by the Trocadéro will host red fishes like those you keep in your house or back patio pond. More in the French page of the Aquarium here: http://www.cineaqua.com/index.php/fr/pensionnaire/bassin-caresses

The famous elite corp of chevaliers of the Cadre Noir de Saumur could move into the Château de Versailles;anyway that is what the court  of Accounts or revenue court said. The Institut français du cheval et de l’équitation, of which the Cadre Noir are attached is not making money so to bring in more revenue ,but the Château is not so much convince as they already have Bartàbas in the Grande Ecurie. Time will tell  all. It would be great and something added value to the city and if you need to know who are the Cadre Noir de Saumur, here is their official page in English: http://www.ifce.fr/en/cadre-noir/

Something on French liquors here folks some of the best in the world too. Have you try the Pineau de Charentes a liquor muted with the Cognac; where it is aged as much as 12 months. Here the drink is drank as an apéritif or apéro just before the meals. You can taste this and others at one of the best in Paris, A La Française, here: http://www.coquetelalafrancaise.com/

These liquors are even more known outside of France from London to New York, but gradually the French are taken then as happy hour, after work or apéros. Another great place to taste these and has no webpage is La Coq ,12 rue du Château d’Eau, 10éme Métro :  Jacques Bonsergent / Château d’Eau / République. Some others well known here are the Chartreuse, Suze, Picon, Dubonnet, Calvados, Armagnac, Saint-Raphaël, Noilly Prat, Bénédictine, Byrrh, and Absinthe.In the different régions of France you find,also, the Whisky, Vodka (Grey Goose, Pyla, Lactalium…); fruit liquors such as the Joseph Cartron, and Vedrenne or plant base as the Verveine du Velay from  Puy-en-Velay, in the heart of Auverge ,Haute-Loire since 1859. The rum from the islands such as Saint James or Rhum Trois Rivières; not to forget the Cognac such as the Louis XIII, and to know more about them nothing best then the BNIC, more here in English; http://www.cognac.fr/cognac/_en/4_pro/index.aspx?page=missions

Couple other good bars to try these liquors and more are the  Andy Wahloo bar, more here : http://andywahloo-bar.com/restaurant/paris/andy-wahloo/  ; and the Le Syndicat, here: http://www.syndicatcocktailclub.com/

And the MisterGoodBeer folks tells you where to get the cheapest beer in Paris!!! by metro stop !!! these are Parmentier, Cadet and Couronnes. The cheapest metro line is line 4 at 3,90€ and the most expensive is line 9 and 14 at 4,80€.  The most expensive at above 6€ are metro stop at Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette, Franklin Roosevelt, Sèvres-Babylone or  Ecole Militaire.  You can get some reasonable price beers by Miromesnil (4€), Rue du Bac (4€) or Louvre-Rivoli (4€).

For bowling go to Strike Beach at Bercy from September 5th to 30th Inside the hotel Pullman Paris Centre Bercy . It will be held from Monday to Friday from 11h to 22h, Sundays 11h to 16h ,the admission price is 5€ for a game of bowling or the Package Pastis & bowling 8€ . Pastis drink in various levels, the full address is at  1, rue de libourne 75012 Paris (Line 14 stop Cour Saint-Émilion). More from Le Figaro here: http://www.lefigaro.fr/lifestyle/2016/09/07/30001-20160907ARTFIG00153-un-nouveau-concept-de-bowling-outdoor-parisien-pour-faire-durer-l-ete.php

And down at Toulon, where the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup sailing event will have a stop at plage Mourillon , where you get front seat to see the five challengers including the French  Groupama captain by Franck Cammas, against the defending champion the American  Defender by Oracle.  This is this weekend Sept 9,10, 11h to 14h Friday and 14h30  to 16h Saturday and Sunday.More here: http://acws-toulon.americascup.com/en/home.html

How about having the best Chaussons aux Pommes in Paris. One of our favorite desserts here. The winner in Le Figaro contest was Ladurée, 16 Rue Royale, Laurent Duchéne, 2 rue de Wurtz, and Des Gâteaux et du Pains, 80 rue du Bac as the top 3.

Ladurée Paris

Laurent Duchéne

Des Gateaux et du Pains

Some places to visit and enjoy in Paris as we call the re entry or rentrée from normal vacation time in France are these

Gaumont Alésia, 73 avenue Général Leclerc more for the cinema here: http://www.cinemasgaumontpathe.com/cinemas/cinema-gaumont-alesia/

Librairie le Divan, after many years by Saint-Germain-des-Prés now in the 15éme arrondissement; 203 rue de la Convention, more here: http://www.librairie-ledivan.com/librairie.php

And this will be in Facebook by September 20th but the bar Le Bluebird. 12, rue Saint Bernard (11éme). It will have nights of Gin cocktails from 11 to 13€ in a Californian ambiance.

The  Parc de la Folie Saint-James 16 avenue de Madrid, Neuilly sur Seine has reopen after years of work 2 hectares and about 6000 plants nicely done ,it recall the 18C origins of anglo chinese gardens here.  The story in French from the city page here: http://www.neuillysurseine.fr/parc-saint-james

Away in the gardens of the Château de Chantilly (Domaine) you have this wonderful corner, L’Auberge du Jeu de Paume , 4 rue du Connétable, from the school of Guy Savoy, chic French, more here:   http://aubergedujeudepaumechantilly.fr/fr/

To honor the Montmartre of yesteryear, Le Bistrot de la Galette, 102 ter rue Lépic , from galettes to full meals classy French, more here :http://bistrotdelagalette.fr/

The famous Café de Flore reunited the artists of each generation such as Guillaume Apollanaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Robert Doisneau, Françoise Sagan, and Serge Gainsbourg. The Galerie Anne & Just Jaeckin shows an exposition to honor these periods in a mythical place. From September 22nd to December 2 2016; 19 rue Guénégaud, 6éme, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 13h to 19h. More here: http://www.jaeckin.fr/

At the Plaza Athénée,27 Avenue Montaigne(the Illusionist Stefan Leyshon  opens a series of mysterious dinners ( Secret dinings) on 16 dates to relive a sensorial experience with magic in 3D, mentalism and new technologies as well as a dinner; 295€ per person ;more here: http://www.dinersecret.com

“Carl Andre, Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010” , expo from October 18 to February 12 2017 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (16éme). One of the great minimalistic exponent of the art will put on display about 40 sculptures, poems, photos, works on paper and unclassable objects. More here: http://evene.lefigaro.fr/culture/agenda/carl-andre-sculpture-as-place-1958-2010-4605745.php

Manolo Valdez of Spain will come to the Place Vendôme until October 5th with the Marlborough Gallery with 6 monumental works inspired from the 20C from Matisse to Picasso. More here in English: http://www.en.manolovaldesplacevendome.com/

And the lingerie queen Chantal Thomas will invade the Crazy Horse ,12 Avenue George V with four portraits of belles showing the new collection from October 5th:more in French here: http://www.lecrazyhorseparis.com/chantal-thomass-raconte-son-crazy-defi/

The department store the Bon Marché is showcasing Paris of course until October 15.  You will see it on the Windows of the store all decorated with themes of Paris, nice. More here: http://www.lebonmarche.com/paris/

And the Musée d’Orsay is not left behind, the expo “Spectaculaire Second Empire” from September 27 to January 15 2017. More here in English: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/events/exhibitions/in-the-musee-dorsay/exhibitions-in-the-musee-dorsay/article/spectaculaire-second-empire-44074.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=254&cHash=53b669201f

And the Musée du Quai de Branly-Jasques Chirac, will have from October 4th the exposition; “The Color Line”.  It retraces 150 years of Afro American art history showing more than 200 works of artists like David Hammons, Jacob Lawrence, Aaron Douglas, Elizabeth Catlett, and Ellen Gallagher. More here in English: http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/exhibitions-and-events/at-the-museum/exhibitions/event-details/e/the-color-line-36687/

There you go something to make come back , Paris and France is waiting. Enjoy your end of week, mine is good going back to my Paris end of September !!!! Cheers

 

 

September 7, 2016

Some news from Spain, XXX

And why not Spain, already breaking records on weather as much as 44C in Granada and 41C in Madrid to visitors arrivals all over the country this year. Some interesting info here me think.

Spain has over 275000 bars restaurant-hotels and people asked the question why go to a bar? There is a study done by the beer brand Mahou San Miguel that shows some interesting facts.

People go to them for meeting with friends (88,9%), parties (88,4%) or lower the daily stress (86,6%) are the principal reasons. The ages old question that we go to connect with the opposite sex is not confirm as only 15,3% said they do , the highest response was in La Rioja region with 19,9% .

The motives for going are in no specific order: get together with friends, lower the daily stress, party for special occasions, meet colleagues from work, watch a football/soccer game, so do not have to cook, to do network or close business, to study or work with colleagues, to find the opposite one or connect to WiFi

The best out of it according to this study about 85% says the most important segment for the economy and to bring in tourists to Spain by (83,9%) especially in the region of Navarra (90%).

The survey tell us that they come to bars for its quality of food (70,3%) the good time and terraces (67,5%) are the ones most preferred by the tourists way ahead of variety of offers (58,8%),Fairs and routes of tapas as well as regional celebrations (58,1%), the quality price ratio (57,8%), the good service (57,7%) and where they serve free tapas (with a drink) (53,1%).

And what about the old question of tips ? You give it for good service (61,8%) or always no matter what (20,4%) or never no matter what (17,8 (%). There you go.

And how to drink that beer ! or Caña the best is to be really cold for about (47,8%), of Spaniards but higher in some regions such as Murcia, Canarias, Andalucía, Castilla-La Mancha ,and Extremadura. Of course, the women wants it colder than the men 52% vs 43,8% . However, for 25,6% of those in the survey the key is that the beer is well serve and 70% of them agreed in their regions is done well with Andalucia (82,5%), Madrid (80,4%), and Extremadura (77,3%) as the most satisfied.

And how to tell which beer goes with what meal . by general in Spain 62,6%. Can tell the variety and match with the food. However, about 36,2% has basic idea on how to do this. Here the best match is done by Asturias (46.3%), Andalucia (42%) and the less adapts are Extremadura (24.4%) and Balearic islands (23.9%).

Source/ http://www.mahou-sanmiguel.com/es-es/sala-de-prensa/notas-de-prensa/mahou-san-miguel-descubre-los-habitos-de-los-espanoles-en-hosteleria

And on something different you know the Vuelta de España cycling race is going on now. It went to places that I past by before by car :J You have Colombians leading the race with an English (born in South Africa) and the Spaniards Alberto Contador , Samuel Sanchez, and David De La Cruz in the top 10. The 18 stage will be in Valencia country tomorrow. Then down to Alicante and up to Madrid on the 21th stage to finish on the paseo del Prado. More here: http://www.lavuelta.com/la-vuelta/2016/us/overall-route.html#

The movie Julieta by Pedro Almodovar will represent Spain in the coming Oscars of February 26 2017. A story of women, see trailers and more here : http://www.sensacine.com/peliculas/pelicula-234404

Secrets of my Madrid, do you know that on Calle de Amaniel, 29. was the original Mahou beer company of Madrid brewery built in 1892-94.  The brewery was transferred to Paseo Imperial and , then further to the Ramirez de Prado on El Aguila beer  brewery ,and finally the building was in decay until rescue by the Comunidad de Madrid that renovated and now houses the Regional Archives. More on it here :  http://www.madrid.org/icaatom_pub/index.php/archivo-regional-de-la-comunidad-de-madrid-3;isdiah

Selena Gomez will be in concert at the Palacios de los Deportes in Madrid on November 14 it has been announced as well as others coming up like Laura Pausini on October 7th. More here: http://www.saborea-madrid.com/tapa/10861/selena-gomez-14-11-16/ and more on Selena here : http://selenagomezspain.com/

And always even if in Spanish the best guide for Entertainment in Madrid for yeeears, is La Guia del Ocio. Here it is folks: http://www.guiadelocio.com/Madrid

And do not missed the quaint Mercado de San Ildefonso in Calle Fuencarral , 57 ,barrio de Malasañas. 700 M2 and 18 stores to serve the typical Madrid ambiance, great. More of it here: http://www.mercadodesanildefonso.com/

And , do not forget to scroll down on my blog to the blogroll to see some of my favorite links on travel , sports, food ,and much more.  Showcasing the webpage of my good friend from Tenerife, who is an avid Walker and trekker of hte island mountains, canyons and forests. http://www.paulinoalonso.es/

Enjoy Spain, everything Under the sun; and of course Madrid is a must. Cheers

 

 

 

 

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September 3, 2016

Some news from France CXXXX

Well back in the routine in my lovely Morbihan Breton, and so back to the board for many activities coming up ni my belle France.

First the annual wonderful event on this year from September 17 -18 is Heritage days in France again, many buildings of historical value will be open when usually they are closed to the general public.  Not knowing the wide public’s taste, the best site to see all that is happening is in the student publication here and you can use the drop down Windows to choose the events; http://www.parisetudiant.com/etudiant/agenda/journees-du-patrimoine.html?ouv=premiere_ouverture

For instance the great department store BHV Marais will celebrate it’s 160 years with shops in the basement and exhibition on the history of the store on Saturday the 17th september from  10h to 19h ,free admission. http://www.bhv.fr/actus/160-ans-bhvmarais/

The mythical room Elysée Montmartre built in 1807 will opens its door after renovation on September 15th at blvd de Rochechouart. This is the birth of French cancan and will have 1000 seated seats and 1400 standing. http://www.elysee-montmartre.com/?q=en

And how about September 10 and 11 a Festival on sheeps and wool !!! , do we have diversity lol! at Bray sur Seine. more info  at email brebislaine@gmail.com or here : http://www.festivalbrebislaine.fr/index.php

At my beloved Versailles 2 Rue Jean Houdon you have the Royal Factory theater, only Five minutes from the palace up ave de Paris; wonderful for an alternative see in the royal town. http://royalefactory.fr/

Moving right alone to catch on the scene in France.

At the Porte Dauphiné, you see the renovated Pavillon Dauphiné, this is the old Chinese pavillion for the Universal Exposition of 1878.  It has 7 reception meetings rooms with private terraces giving to a nice garden capable of hosting 60 to 1000 persons and even double that for cocktails. Nice building indeed on the Paris skyline once again. More here from the traiteur in charge: http://www.saint-clair-le-traiteur.com/en/le-pavillon-dauphine

Less than a million tourist and occupancy down in Paris after the terrorists actions and the folks go away, do not understand why , Paris is Paris. This is as of July 2016 according to article in a Professional journal of tourist htat I followed. Nevertheless, the most coming are from UK, Spain, USA,Germany, and Italy in that order. http://pro.visitparisregion.com/chiffres-tourisme-paris-ile-de-france/frequentation-touristique-paris/Barometres-de-conjoncture/Aout-2016-Barometre-de-l-activite-touristique

Quai de Branly, a new Church this time Russian Orthodox takes shape. See the dome 5 in total already shaping up: http://www.leparisien.fr/paris-75007/a-midi-l-eglise-orthodoxe-du-quai-branly-aura-ses-cinq-bulbes-23-08-2016-6063633.php

The so call CDG Express to build a direct train line from CDG airport to the Gare de l’Est in Paris will cause a  potential raise of an euro in transports to help pay for it. This tax is to begin in 2017 unless revoked by the Council and will cover the cost of building the line by 2023 lol!!! The site on this construction in French is here: http://www.cdgexpress.com/presentation

One of my boys pleasures  was ,when living in Versailles go to the  Val-de-Seine aqua park at Verneuil-sur-Seine. It’s a wonderful park for all the family, that we found superb. From Paris to get there;  take the train at Gare Saint Lazare direction Mantes la Jolie but stop at the station in Verneuil-Vernouillet. Get out taken the secondary exit ,turn left along the lake of the park on the cycling path walking for about 35 minutes or you can take a taxi.:more here in French : http://valdeseine.iledeloisirs.fr/

Take a look at a less known castle that of Pierrefonds , the flag blason traces it back to 1309. The castle was built end of 14C by the duke Louis d’Orléans,and was demolished in the 17C. Napoléon III see in ruins and asked for its reconstruction to the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc , that made it into an ideal castle as it was in the middle ages. The flowers of lys on a blue background that we see in the flags of arms of France since the reign of king Louiw VII and the symbol of the French royals today. A wonderful property to visit, see more here: http://www.chateau-pierrefonds.fr/

After two years of work on renovation the national school of decoratives arts of Aubusson turns into the Cité internationale de la tapisserie, (international city of tapestries) and at the same time a museum and training center. The building is in a cross style of architecture with a nave of 7 meters, and strings of designs emblematic of the 16C Aubusson production, and many tapestries from the 20C signed by Lurçat, and his followers such as Le Corbusier or Braque. More in English here: http://www.cite-tapisserie.fr/en

The musée maison Victor Hugo of Paris is transforming into a house as in the times of the writer  and family until September 18. Wonderful stories, more here in English : http://www.maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr/en/expositions/les-hugo-une-famille-dartistes

There is a huge hangar converted into an arts gallery in Paris , this is the Reserve Malakoff.  To showcase the talents of those on the other side of the river Seine, about 50 street artists have done a work named Le Grand 8, visible here until October 30th. You get there from Paris,  La Réserve, 7 rue Paul Bert, 92240 Malakoff, metro line 13 plateau de Vanves up by rue Etienne Dolet.More in French here: http://www.expo-legrand8.com/

See Hergé on Grand, the great cartoonist(real name George Remi of Belgium)  no longer with us but his wonderful work continues on . For four months at the Grand Palais rediscover the adventures of Tintin and many more.  From September 28th to January 15 2017; admission will be 13€.  More info in English here: http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/herge

And see Indiana Jones at the Grand Rex ! pack two days on September 17 and 18 2016. Doors open at 15H and cost for the entire day each is 45€.  And for those born in 1981 yikes! you are offered a package of 35€ including t shirt, popcorn, poster, and soft drinks. More in French here: http://www.indianajonesgrandrex.com/

And not to go all out dry, you can stop at the La Cave à Bulles to taste about 150 different beers from 4€ each including French, Belges, and others Great deal this is at 45, rue Quincampoix (4éme).  Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10h-14h  and 16h-20h. Just what we call here the apéritif or apéro or app ::) more on the beers here do not be misled by the wines ::) http://www.bierealamain.fr/22/07/2014/la-cave-a-bulles/

The jardin de l’Observatoire (14C) has reopen its doors!!! From September 5th. open Mondays to Fridays from 16h15 to 19h, and you go in by 98 boulevard Arago. more from the city of Paris page : http://equipement.paris.fr/jardin-de-l-observatoire-de-paris-2520

More closer to my heart ,the Château de Versailles and the city of Arras (nord 62) will showcase an exposition on the life of Napoléon. It will be held at the museum or Musée des Beaux Arts of Arras between October 2017 and November 2018. In order to spread the works all over France, this initiative has already permitted about 400K visitors to the museum of Arras to see the expositions of « Roulez Carrosses »  ride the carriages and « Le château de Versailles en 100 chefs-d’œuvre » the castle of Versailles and its 100 main works. The museum at Arras is house a wonderful old abbey of  Saint Vaaste. See it plan it you read it here. http://www.musenor.com/en/Les-Musees/Arras-Musee-des-Beaux-Arts

Talks about opening gaming houses in Paris has the Casino d’Enghien-les-Bains a bit worry as it is nearby. This is the only town in the region of  Ile-de-France authorised to have a casino and profit from a spa thermale.  More on the casino here: https://www.casinosbarriere.com/fr/enghien-les-bains/infos-pratiques.html#  ;even thus you have some already for a long time ::) http://pokerccm.com/

The musée de la Nacre at Méru (Val d’Oise 60) is proposing creators of knitting work to come forth and showcase their talent for a prize.  You have  until September 30 to submit your works on a piece 20 x 20 cm, contacts : 51 rue Roger Salengro, 60110 Méru. http://musee-nacre.com/en/pratique

At Perpignan Visa pour l’image is the biggest photojournalism festival that gives credit to the profession. We will see the great reporting of Brent Stirton on the dismal luck of the elephants of Africa, Catalina Martin-Chico on the last nomads of Iran or Valerio Bispuri on the drug traffic in Argentina. This is ongoing until September 11th. More here: http://www.visapourlimage.com

At Rochefort, they are celebrating 350 years of the Arsenal. Created by king Louis XIV in 1666. I know was late on this one as it is happening now see if Rochefort tells you a story with historic recontructions , parades in costumes ,equestrian shows , baroque val dance,  picnic and many more. Jotted down for next year  ,it is wonderful. More here : http://www.350ans.ville-rochefort.fr

Until September 20th,the national tapestry of France is showcasing the “Le maître de la tapisserie” or the master of the tapestries. 50 years of his passing the Galerie des Gobelins du Mobilier National is given a big exposition on Jean Lurçat, painter, designer, ceramist, known as the renovator of the contemporary tapestry.  The expo is call in French « Au seul bruit du soleil » On until September  18.  by metro Gobelins line 13 at 42 Avenue des Gobelins. More info here ;http://www.mobiliernational.culture.gouv.fr/en/exhibitions/news

And right around my old place and even if usually closed in Summers, the new shows wll be on from September 17. Now going on the Académie équestre nationale de Versailles can be visited this weekend too  (bit late but if around and read this ..) with the show « La Voie de l’Ecuyer », created by the great one  Bartabas.  you can visit the stables and the gallery of carriages until Sunday  from 14h to 18h. More info here:  http://www.acadequestre.fr

The folks from Fooding organise the « Plats de résistance », a banquet on September 24th at the La Générale, in the 11éme  arrondissement or district of Paris. This is done with the cooperation of about 10 chefs who are active in this humanistic social event the public is invited. Some of the chefs are  Kamal Mouzawak  ,Lebanon, Jessamyn Rodriguez from New York, and  Aman Jaspal from India. The menus is offered to many present and a way to see how to live together all in our world. Reservation needs to be done here:  http://evenements.lefooding.com/2016/grand-fooding-san-pellegrino-plats-de-resistance/

Okeerokee, now enjoy your weekend. We benefit from the sales and did some shopping on furniture and bathroom we are completely remodeling and new fixtures lol! Lucky we have some good inexpensive plombers around here ::) Cheers!!!

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