Some news from France, CCCXXXV

And back at you with some news from France in my condense style already in my 335th post. Thanks for reading me over these years, it has been a blast together I am sure. We are opening up to the world and my favorite bars are now open so looking forward for a great Summer. Already book for Disneyland Paris with the boys, Dad and the dog !!! Let me tell you what is going on that I like.

Let me start by telling some of the most beautiful gardens in France in my opinion and many others.

The Domaine de Trévarez with its multicolored groves and a pink castle. For those visiting the Trévarez estate, in central Finistère dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, a change of scenery is guaranteed. All in brick, the building was built between 1893 and 1907 by James Marie Antoine Monjaret de Kerjégu, French diplomat. In 1944, the building then went into slow decline. Abandoned, the domain bought by the General Council of Finistère was gradually brought back to life. Today, its park combines multiple atmospheres, between its camellias – to be seen between November and March , its hundred-year-old rhododendrons and its azaleas  from April to May, followed by the heads of hydrangeas until October. Bring good shoes: the area covers 85 hectares! Domaine de Trévarez, Route de Laz, Saint-Goazec (see post) The Finistére dept 29 on the Domaine de Trévarez Webpage: https://www.cdp29.fr/fr/presentation-trevarez-le-domaine-de-trevarez

The Château de Saint-Jean de Beauregard in Essonne dept 91 of the Ïle de France region, in the Salmouille valley, the castle of Saint-Jean-de Beauregard blossoms between forest and fields. Still inhabited, this 17C chateau has the particularity of presenting a French-style vegetable walled garden of two hectares. Composed of four squares themselves subdivided into four squares, it mixes squares of vegetables and flowers and is decorated in its center with a round basin which recalls the symbolic importance of water in ancient gardens. The outskirts are bordered by fruit trees (old-fashioned trellises, palmettes, cords), greenhouses. In spring, hellebores, bulbs and flowering orchards follow a period of hollow  flowers in winter. Then between May and June come the dazzling clematis, iris, peonies and roses. Summer sees the emergence of annuals and the herb garden, while October heralds asters, cardoons and fruit. And garden enthusiasts can also take advantage of the two Fêtes des Plantes (May 28-30, 2021 and September 24-26, 2021), on the theme of long-flowering plants to discover rare or forgotten productions such as square peas and apples.of earth horn of gatte or vitelotte! Wonderful Château de Saint Jean de Beauregard, rue du Château, Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard. The castle webpage : http://www.chateaudesaintjeandebeauregard.com/preparez-votre-visite/individuels/

The Château de Marqueyssac like an air of Italy, a stone’s throw from Sarlat, in the heart of Périgord. A surprising atmosphere awaits you on the heights: the gardens of the estate of the Château de Marqueyssac. Their particularity: thousands of hand-pruned, hundred-year-old box trees, all round or airy! An arboreal madness that we owe to Julien de Cerval, passionate about Italy, where he discovered around 1850 the art of gardens. Neither one nor two, he undertook to install in 1861 cyclamen of Naples, umbrella pines, cypresses, box trees … Restored by Kléber Roussillon in the years 1997, the 22-hectare park is now one of the jewels from the Dordogne valley. Stunning views over the Dordogne valley and the villages, delicate or delicate curves, small winding alleys, labyrinth, 6 km of walk punctuated by the cries of peacocks await you! Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac in Vézac. The castle webpage: https://www.marqueyssac.com/

The beautiful Château de Villandry. It’s an open-air, French-style decor. Built for Jean le Breton, the Minister of Finance of king François 1er, the Renaissance castle of Villandry owes a proud candle to a couple of American-Spanish enthusiasts, Joachim Carvallo and his wife Ann Coleman, extremely wealthy daughter of a giant in the steel industry. At the start of the 20C, they razed the old English garden and began to reorganize it into different gardens, in the Renaissance spirit. We are in 1906. Today, it is these fabulous gardens that make the visit a success. Divided into four parts, they reflect the aesthetic principle of Joachim Carvallo. The decorative vegetable garden is all about this: here the blue of the leek meets the red of the beet, and the green of the carrot tops, all delicately edged with boxwood. Other visual pleasures: the labyrinth, the gardens of the Herbs, Water and Ornament  divided into green rooms dedicated to love. So many wonders to admire by taking the height and climbing on the belvedere or the windows of the castle. The view is breathtaking. Château de Villandry, 3 rue Principale in Villandry. The castle webpage: https://www.chateauvillandry.fr/

The Château de Chenonceau gardens was described by the writer Gustave Flaubert as a place “peaceful and gentle, elegant and robust. Its calm is not boring and its melancholy is not bitterness”. Everything is in fact peace of mind in Chenonceau . Its arches spanning the bed of the Cher river, and its turrets make this white castle in Indre-et-Loire dept 37 of the Centre Val de Loire region ,one of the most beautiful in France. Built by Thomas Bohier and his wife Katherine Briçonnet in 1513, improved by Diane de Poitiers, enlarged under Catherine de Médicis who added the famous arches, the “château des Dames”  or Ladies’ Castle ,now belongs to the Menier family (creator of chocolate wafers). the gardens delight all the senses. Their harmony rests the walker, from the long avenue of plane trees to the French formal gardens of Catherine de Medici or Diane. Do not miss the maze of yews and the flowered vegetable garden with 400 rose bushes. The castle grounds are also part of the present thanks to the Russell Page garden , named after the great British landscape painter. Developed in 2018 by botanical director Nicholas Tomlan from drawings designed in the 1950s, this walled garden welcomes young and old visitors who will be surprised to see some sheep by François-Xavier Lalanne. Chenonceau castle, in Chenonceaux town. The castle webpage: https://www.chenonceau.com/

The “Bathing Plan” launched in 2018 targets the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to clean up the Seine river  in Paris. The City and its partners want to speed up the compliance of household sewage connections. And could perpetuate these new bathing places after the sports competition. Bathing in the depolluted Seine by 2024? Tourists and Parisians remain skeptical about the cleanliness of the river. Me too, it’s a huge investment that even if tried will take more time.

Talking about bathing, the Paris Plages 2021 has big news at the Trocadéro, with a huge site dedicated to basketball, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and … fashion. More from Paris tourist office; https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-show-exhibition/135161/paris-plages

The Le Parisien newspaper recently took  a dip into fiscal news and brought out a list of top Ile-de-France region towns with the wealthiest households ,which no surprise to me are all located in the west of Paris. Just over 880,000 tax households benefited in 2019 from a reference tax income (RFR) of more than 100,000 euros, or 2% of tax households in France. Yes the beat goes on…. In Ile-de-France, they number nearly 329,000. They are first found in Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche (Yvelines 78) and Neuilly-sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine 92). The many private mansions of Neuilly-sur-Seine have long borne witness to the ease of the city’s taxpayers…..  With its two million plus inhabitants, Paris alone has 118,327 of these very well-off households, many of which are concentrated in the 7éme, 8éme and 16éme arrondissements. Then come Hauts-de-Seine dept 92 with: 74,749. At the other end with a similar population, 1.6 million inhabitants Seine-Saint-Denis dept 93  has only 9,729 equally well-off households. In Yvelines dept 78, the westernmost department of Ile-de-France, one of the largest too, a large part of the 48,409 wealthiest households are concentrated within a radius of 20 km, around Saint-Nom- la-Bretèche, Vaucresson and Le Vésinet. Languished on the slope of the fruit hills of Chambourcy, the discreet village of Feucherolles thus has 340 households declaring this comfortable threshold of 100,000 euros per year, for 3,000 inhabitants! and 1,425 households liable to tax or one in four. The 7 tops towns  are: Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche(78) 661 tax households having declared 100,000 euros of RFR in 2019, or 27.4% of taxable households in the town. Neuilly-sur-Seine (92) 8617, or 25.1% Feucherolles (78) 340, or 23.9% Fourqueux  (78)  461, or 23.7% Paris 7éme arrondissement 7236, or 23.3% L’Etang-la-Ville (78) 532 , i.e. 23% Paris 8éme arrondissement 5,336, or 22.8%, and  Le Vésinet (78)1875, or 22.6%. I knew this…and you see even Versailles is not on the top list nice value!

The largest cancer research center in France, the Marie-Curie Institute is 100 years old! The famous institute in the Panthéon district (5éme) celebrated its centenary this past Thursday. Take a look behind the scenes at an establishment unlike any other, where 3,000 researchers and caregivers take care of cancer patients, 10,000 of whom are treated each year. Thank you Marie Curie and glad to be part of the donors. Webpage for info only: https://institut-curie.org/

Ok not a travel related but yikes need to have it as it was our favorite butcher in Versailles!! A native of Versailles, Joel Lombert just received the Lamb of Gold award this past Friday, an award usually given at the Salon de l’Agriculture, which recognizes the work of the best producers of the year. The butcher of the Carré à la Farine, on the Place du Marché Notre-Dame. Yes congrats Joel!

The Foire aux fromages et aux vins de Compiègne (Dept 60 Oise) or the Compiègne cheese and wine fair, a taste of normality on its 32nd edition. they are always a blast and know more of the best of France. More from the city of Compiégne:  https://www.agglo-compiegne.fr/marche-fromages-vins-2021

The favorite monument of the French is making a comeback on France 3 television on the occasion of the 38th European Heritage Days. Stéphane Bern invites you to take a trip on the roads of France to discover the prodigious wealth of the cultural, architectural and historical heritage of our country, France.  Of course, my favorite areas of living in France voted for Carnac and Rambouillet. You can vote here: https://www.francetelevisions.fr/et-vous/participer-a-une-emission/le-monument-prefere-des-francais-2915

Two centuries after king Louis XVI, people come to be vaccinated at the Orangerie of Versailles. Ahhh !!! I am going to be in Vannes in June 8th 2021 but so much would love to be vaccinated there!

And techno will have us look like star wars soon would it improve the congestions and pollution? Two autonomous electric shuttles will come into service at the ArianeGroup (European Space Agency rocket builder) site, which employs 2,700 people in Les Mureaux (78) . By 2023, the goal is also to connect the establishment to the Mureaux and Verneuil-sur-Seine train stations. Webpage with video: https://www.yvelines-infos.fr/navetty-des-navettes-100-autonomes-dans-les-yvelines/

After four years of renovation, the Musée de l’histoire de Paris, which occupies two splendid mansions in the Marais, will reopen today May 29 2021.The opportunity to rediscover his collections in spectacular settings. Closed since 2016, the Musée Carnavalet, is ready to welcome the public today!!, after a long renovation. the oldest museum in Paris, where the history of Paris has been written since 1880, from the Neolithic to the present day. Official webpage: https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/musee-carnavalet

Ok so  Fontainebleau, to go, again!. This green treasure receives more than ten million visits per year. But on 25,000 hectares! And it is enough to move away a little from the paths or the car parks to find what you are looking for and a quiet corner. The forest of Fontainebleau, in Seine-et-Marne,(dept 77) opens its branches to them with 25,000 hectares of oaks, Scots pines, beeches ,etc. And this green treasure is within reach of roads, since the forest is crossed by the A6 highway, national roads and the Transilien public transport. Not too far from the castle another world indeed fun! More on the Fountainebleau tourist office: https://www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/en/the-forest/the-forest-2/

On October 9, 2021 , if you like running and beer!  you can combine your two passions in a whole new kind of racing: Beerun. And it’s happening on the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 side, in Joué-sur-Erdre near Nantes.  There will be two beer points (beer tasting points) on the 6 km course, four on the 13 km and six on the 18 km. Be careful, these will not be mugs, but 12 cl tasting glasses! And the beers will all be craft beers from microbreweries in the region. The race is inspired in particular by the Beers Lover’s Marathon de Belgique or the Marathon du Médoc where you can taste great wines. More on their Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/Beerun44-106677231116127

Ok another top 10 list never my liking but it comes from le Bonbon journal not bad. The top 10 of the most beautiful metro stations in Paris, and I agree even if rather walk above ground.

We have the Franklin D. Roosevelt station (lines 1 and 9). We take in the view with a magnificent decor in gold and black colors, both on the side of line 1 and line 9 … a super classy station!

The Louvre-Rivoli station (line 1). Stopping just at the foot of the Louvre, this station is a veritable mini-museum since the cultural installations of 2016 with its nine reproductions of sculptures from Antiquity exhibited on the quays.

The Arts et Métiers station (line 11). We dive into a fantastic universe that makes us travel aboard a submarine. A mix of references to Jules Verne’s Nautilus (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1870), with its portholes and copper plates, and to the nearby Museum of Arts and Crafts, with its cogs on the ceiling.

The Pont-Neuf – La Monnaie station (line 7). Money does not fall from the sky, no … But on the other hand, you can find all kinds of huge pieces on display on the walls of the Pont-Neuf station. You can also admire a small collection of pieces on display under windows on the platforms, some of which bear the likeness of Harry Potter.

The  Concorde station (line 12). Small historical point by discovering the walls of the Concorde station: one sees small blue letters anchored on the tiling of the station. No, this is not a giant crossword, but it is actually the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789. When working in Paris and not walking this one took the most!

The Bastille station (line 1). Return to the past at Bastille station, where we relive the highlights that marked the history of France with the immense ceramic fresco displayed on the walls of the station. Obviously, the storming of the Bastille is honored there on this 180-meter work.

The Gare de Lyon station (line 14). No no, we didn’t land right in the middle of a lost garden, far from Paris … but in a metro station. Arriving on the side of line 1, we are immersed in the heart of an exotic green garden and the station is ultra bright.

The Cluny – La Sorbonne station (line 10). An artistic touch in this station which brings together the signatures, made in mosaics, of famous students graduating from the Sorbonne such as Rimbaud or George Sand… And, this, just above our heads!

The Madeleine station (line 12 and 14). At Madeleine station, you can find a huge 40m2 hen that lays golden eggs, colorful, designed by a Russian artist .

The Bir-Hakeim station (line 6).A little nugget. This station hides a work of glass letting in light, both day and night. As a bonus, line 6, unlike most other lines, is not underground all the way through and passes through the Bir-Hakeim bridge … overlooking a magnificent view of the Eiffle tower (iron lady). When visiting Paris from the Morbihan breton, this one used the most.

 And an interesting trend going on for several years here especially around Paris (where else?) . Soul food, the culinary heritage of African Americans, permeates Paris. Chicken waffles, Mac and cheese, Cornbread, etc. The iconic dishes of African Americans have established themselves in the United States. Supported by iconic dishes such as fried chicken (fried chicken thighs seasoned with a mixture of Cajun spices), Mac and cheese (these macaroni au gratin in the oven with melted cheese) or Cornbread (a baked cornbread pan borrowed from the Amerindians), the cuisine of Afro- Americans has come to establish itself as one of the main markers of North American culinary culture. Comforting cuisine, steeped in history and feelings, which now finds an echo in France as more and more restaurants, such as Gumbo Yaya, Mama Jackson or New Soul Food even claim to have this affiliation. For me cornbreads! At Mama Jackson 12 Rue Claude Tillier, 12éme.

The Alain Baraton’s recipe from Le Monde newspaper.  The head gardener of the great park of Versailles delivers a recipe concocted by his wife. This plate combines prawns and fresh vegetables from the garden.

The ingredients for 2 people are: 4 green asparagus, 6 radishes, 300 grams of fresh peas, 200 grams of fresh beans, a few sprigs of chives, 1 tbsp. to taste of mustard, 1 tbsp. to taste of sherry vinegar, 3 tbsp. To taste of olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 clove of garlic, ¼ of a bunch of parsley, and 8 prawns.

The preparation: open the beans and peas. Peel the stems of the asparagus. Steam everything, al dente. Cut the asparagus into sections, keep the heads whole, remove the skin from the beans.  Dice the radishes or thin slices. Chop the chives. Prepare the dressing by whisking the mustard, vinegar, then salt, pepper and finally olive oil. Toss the peas, broad beans, asparagus, radish and chives with the vinaigrette. open the prawns, remove the casing. Prepare a minced parsley, garlic, salt, pepper. Cook the prawns very quickly in a drizzle of hot olive oil, incorporating the parsley at the end. Serve immediately, accompanying spring vegetables.ok a good start to summer coming up!!!

And there you go folks another round of some news from France! Hope you enjoy it reading as me writing it. We are moving on, la vie est belle! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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