Some news from France, CCCXXIX

And let me get back to my fav series on some news from my belle France. It is happening, the weather is still cool but sunny and even if still with restrictions until May 3rd, we have news many more will be open by mid May. I am afraid for the avalanche of people coming over once all is open, the thirst is huge out there! In the meantime, here are my latest rumblings.

Despite the uncertainty created by the virus’ variants, a meeting devoted to the deconfinement strategy was held this past Thursday evening, April 15 at the Elysee Palace (presidential) . Gabriel Attal, the government spokesperson revealed to Les Echos business journal , the first reopening measures. Certain cultural venues and certain terraces will reopen in mid-May. Nurseries and primary schools will be able to reopen on April 26, while high school and middle school students will resume on May 3. Its about time!

The traveling exhibition of the Rolling Stones sets down its suitcases at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille. “Unzipped”, the immersive exhibition dedicated to the rock band’s 60-year career, will be held from June 10 to September 5 2021, where it first performed in 1966. The event is called “Unzipped” , certainly in reference to the iconic Sticky Fingers pouch in 1971, opening on the fly of a pants. To celebrate its 60 years of career, the band to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, returns with great fanfare with this immersive exhibition in Marseille Nearly 400 objects from the Rolling Stones will be presented, including guitars by Richards and costumes by Jagger. The route will also end with an immersion in the group’s legendary concert in Havana, Cuba.

I told several times my region rocks, Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh and the Figaro newspaper is telling the world about it. Saint-Malo the corsair, Rennes the medieval, the coasts of pink granite or Emerald, the enchanted woods of Brocéliande. From north to south, Brittany offers tourists its grandiose natural and historical sites and breathtaking landscapes. On a territory with a strong identity, Côtes d’Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan reserve the most tumultuous worlds like the Pointe du Raz, and the most peaceful, like the Gulf of Morbihan. Weekend ideas, best activities for walks to the beaches, hotels, restaurants, etc etc.

From the desert mountains of Monts d’Arrée to the famous pink granite blocks of Ploumanac’h, passing through the Huelgoat forest and the Pointe du Raz, Brittany has lost count of its natural treasures. Cap Fréhel, on the Emerald Coast, is the second most visited natural site in Brittany, after Pointe du Raz. The Côte de Granit Rose stretches for about fifteen km between Perros-Guirec and Trébeurden. Alternating beautiful beaches and spectacular granite chaos dating back to 300 million years ago, this famous coastline is best explored on foot, taking the GR34 trail. And Ouessant Island , a supernatural setting, from the end of the world. Steep coasts, dizzying cliffs, offshore reefs, fierce winter storms. Inland, a gentle savagery arranged by the hand of man: Ouessant has five lighthouses with that of Créac’h is the most powerful in Europe!, a church, two chapels, 18 calvaries and a village.  The Monts d’Arrée in Finistère, mythical Druidic mountains. 500 million years old, this land of moors and rocky chaos is home to korrigans, hideous and facetious dwarves that we tame by treating them with courtesy. Dominating from its 381 meters the Youdig hill, the other gates of Hell, with that of Huelgoat, Mont Saint-Michel-de-Brasparts and its isolated chapel offer a superb view of this brown and red expanse, that the gorse punctuates in spring with touches of gold, and the heather with purple when autumn comes. Gorgeous all I am telling you!!

The Pont des Arts, to embrace Paris. The Pont des Arts remains, for all lovers of Paris, and of the left bank in particular, the obligatory point of passage to span the Seine. Whatever the color of the sky, spectacle and poetry are always there. The wooden footbridge, built under Napoleon Bonaparte, freed from its padlocks (yeah!!), now welcomes performers as well as strollers, always quick to immortalize the moment. And a wonderful moment it is!!

This emblematic place is, of course, frequented by a good number of tourists, but it is so Parisian too! The atmosphere pleases me, the welcome is always great and the family side is omnipresent. This café steeped in history and once frequented by great authors and novelists has now become a must-see, very current. Of course, I am talking about the mythical Café de Flore, 172, boulevard Saint-Germain. 6éme can’t wait to be back. Webpage:

I often make sure, in my walks, to pass in front of this building. I have managed to enter it discreetly and the studious atmosphere gives me real energy. I find a certain emotion emanating from this place. This place is the école des Beaux-Arts or School of Fine Arts, 14, rue Bonaparte 6éme. Webpage:

I have always been fascinated by this building, whose architecture I find grandiose and balanced. I find it hard to imagine the thousands of people running around the platforms of this old train station at the turn of the century! You might think at first that the place is cold, but I feel good there. I have to tell you, I even go there sometimes, just for a walk! And of course, each time I visit the museum, I take the opportunity to go up to the terrace, which offers a breathtaking view of Paris. Yes indeed magical Musée d’Orsay Museum, 1, rue de la Légion d’honneur 7éme. Webpage:

The Musée de la toile de Jouy is set to move in several years, an opportunity to set up partnerships with the universities in the area. It is in Jouy-en-Josas (Yvelines 78) , future Cité du textile or fabric city. Soon, it will be possible to live the canvas as it did then, and begin the digitization of the 10,000 patterns produced by Oberkampf at the end of the 18C! A nice off the beaten path trip in my beloved Yvelines 78. Webpage:

And at my other fav Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) there will be a more open festival to replace the Estival. The fall rendezvous for French-speaking songs is disappearing from the cultural program in favor of a new event that the city wishes to be more international. But the association which organized it for more than thirty years is not dissolving it will continue. Webpage:

The question is the Jardin du Luxembourg are better maintained than the gardens of the city of Paris? I say yes! Disgruntled Parisians say so too. They launched a petition to request the attachment of the two nearby municipal gardens to the “Luco” as locals call the Luxembourg garden, managed by the Senate. Separated from the Luxembourg Gardens (6éme) by rue Auguste-Comte, the two Parisian public gardens are at the heart of a petition demanding their integration into the bosom of the Senate, more virtuous in the management of its green spaces, according to the petitioners Yes and by car I always park by Auguste Comte!

The part of rue du Temple located between rue de la Verrerie and rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie will be permanently pedestrianized and vegetated. around the new “Hôtel-de-Ville” metro station, at the bottom of rue du Temple 4éme. The start of work is scheduled for January 2022. Get out on foot is the norm!

Seven hardwoods installed in large pots on the square look pale on this winter outing. This spectacle of desolation revives the controversy over the greening policy of the city hall of Paris. Seven trees planted in pots on the Place du Panthéon look so sad that passers-by imagine they are dead. Well Paris if you want to go green it has its costs too.

Pap Ndiaye, new director of the Palais de la Porte-Dorée in Paris. The 55-year-old historian awaits visitors at the Immigration Museum and Tropical Aquarium 12éme. He wants to make this former colonial monument a “must-see” in Paris. Webpage:

The French State is making funds available for securing and restoring Saint-Etienne Cathedral of Meaux. (Seine et Marne 77) . The French State representative in the Ile-de-France region visited the episcopal city, the gardens and the Bossuet museum in Meaux. And it has been confirmed . This money will be used to renovate the building, its surroundings and conduct a fire safety diagnosis.Great!!!

I offer my sites to have a breathtaking view of Paris and gain height on the panoramic terraces and discover Greater Paris at the same time! All within 10 km. As the roofs and terraces of the Pompidou Center, the Orsay Museum, the Arab World Institute or the Arc de Triomphe are closed for the moment, I have chosen some others; some been once and the first one several times! Views for the best panoramic spots in Paris for you. First, the Mont-Valérien is itself a magnificent place full of history. The terrace allows you to observe Paris, the Bois de Boulogne and the towers of La Défense, without vis-à-vis. Located in Hauts-de-Seine dept 92, you can get there by train from Saint Lazare station towards Suresnes, Mont-Valérien stop, lines L and U.

Another is located in Argenteuil, (Val d’Oise dept 95) the two Buttes d’Orgemont and des Châtaigners are worthy of your time. You have to climb 250 steps to access the first and 360 for the second. But the two vast roof terraces are particularly pleasant for a picnic perched in the open air with a view of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, La Défense… All the symbols of Paris and more await you as a reward! Access from Gare Saint Lazare dir: Argenteuil train station, Line J for the Butte d´Orgemont (with a 20-minute walk) and Sannois station, still line J, for the Butte des Châtaigners.

The wonderful Parc de Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92). It must be said that this park really offers a historical and natural journey that is worth the detour. The 460-hectare space is filled with small English-style parks, sculptures and fountains to stroll around in peace. The park also offers a panoramic view of Greater Paris. The most impressive for us is the one that is visible from the Lantern terrace or from the Belvédère, with a highest point at 160 meters altitude. Opt for the entrance to the park through the Breteuil pavilion for direct access to the Lanterne terrace. Access: Sèvres-Rive-Gauche train station, line N.

And last but not least, the Plateau Departmental Park in Champigny-sur-Marne (Val de Marne dept 94) This 18.6 hectare natural space is ideal for a short country walk while enjoying a panoramic view of Greater Paris: in the distance you can see the skyline of the buildings of the Defense , the view of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur is also very clear. You will recognize at first glance the vast wooded area of the Bois de Vincennes in the background. Access: RER A from Nation to Champigny, then bus 306, Parc Départemental stop/arrêt.

I had mentioned before and even a post in my blog on Louis de Funès but here is again the show at the Bercy Village .It is one of the favorite actors of the French that Bercy Village is honoring in 2021: Louis de Funès then invites himself in the shopping aisle until the end of May 2021. In this partially open place, since it houses stores considered essential at the moment, you will find around thirty movie posters by this fantastic artist. Thus, in the 4 passages that allow you to enter or leave the place, you will be able to see the posters of the most emblematic films such as The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, La Grande Vadrouille or even The Wing or the Thigh … All this to give you movie ideas to (re) see when you get home at 19h! Bercy Village,  Cour Saint Emilion 12éme exhibition until 31 May 2021. webpage:

At Le Bristol Hotel, a delicatessen with homemade products is open! You can’t say that bakeries, food shops and other neighborhood grocery stores are jostling in this part of rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A godsend for Le Bristol: since last December, the palace adjacent to the Élysée Palace has opened its own grocery store, “L’Épicerie des Ateliers” in a former gallery. A shop that was supposed to be ephemeral and only last for the end of the year holidays … but which found its regular clientele. In the grocery store, you can find “homemade” products directly from the Palace workshops: bread, chocolate etc etc should be heaven to be there when possible!! webpage:

And always innovating and now with cause of the curfew, it’s a a good way to do your shopping once the supermarkets are closed: fruit and vegetable distributors are opening 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there are baskets there. garnished with fresh and local products. The first, installed at Ermont-Eaubonne train station in the Val d´Oise dept 95, promises to be the first in a long series. The following should see the light of day in different parts of the region, first in Andrésy, Yvelines dept 78, and if the concept works, you will see it spread further. Convenience always !!! Quality to be tested. More info this webpage:

Gallia beer quintupled its production to conquer the province or countryside away from Paris. Heineken’s investment allows the Parisian beer to open a production site in Sucy-en-Brie (Val-de-Marne dept 94), with 40,000 hectoliters planned per year. Brewed until now in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis dept 93 ), it thus becomes the largest brewery in the region. This is dubbed the Parisian beer but not tried yet if I recall. Gallia webpage:

And finally, last but not least let me give a recipe of a popular sandwich we do it at home often too with the boys as it is easy to make. We have try this recipe and its good of course! Éric Fréchon, three-star chef at Épicure restaurant at Bristol Hotel Paris,( apero had there)  unveiled the recipe for his delicious and gourmet croque-monsieur.

Ingredients for 4 people: 75 cl of whole milk. 40 cl of liquid cream. 150 g of polenta semolina. 4 slices of Paris ham. 200 g emmental. 4 slices of sandwich bread. 4 knobs of butter. Salt/ pepper.

The recipe calls for Preheat the oven to 160 °Celsius. Meanwhile, cut 8 slices of Emmental and 8 slices of ham into squares of the same size (10×10 cm). In a saucepan, pour the milk until it boils, then slowly pour in the semolina while stirring. Gradually add the liquid cream and cook for 20 minutes, stirring so that the preparation does not stick to the bottom. Once cooked, spread the polenta in a baking sheet (1 cm thick) then leave to cool in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Once the consistency is firm, cut 12 squares of the same size (10×10 cm). On a baking sheet, arrange 4 squares of polenta, and top with a square of Emmental and a square of ham. Repeat the operation, ending with a square of polenta. Remove the crust from the white bread, and mix the crumb to obtain a very fine breadcrumbs. Then top the squares with bread crumbs and a knob of butter. Put in the oven and let warm for 5 minutes, then put each sandwich in the grill for 30 seconds to color them. Serve and enjoy with a cream of your choice. The chef’s advice, a parmesan or truffle cream! And voilà bon appétit!!

And there you go folks another dandy from dandy France! The world awaits the moment to come in so be prepare, it will be an avalanche! And of course, I will be there too. If Paris is eternal and the most beautiful city in the world by most, than you need to come more into the countryside and see my belle France, the most visited country in the world by UN-WTO standards (official).

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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