Some news from France, CCCXXXVII

And back to the wonderful some news from France series now in its 337th edition thanks to your loyal reading over the years since Nov 2010. Let me tell what are the latest and now the restos/bars are open! Welcome to France!! Bienvenue! or as we say in my neck of the woods Degemer mat!

The world changes ! After weeks of rumors, the Plaza Athénée formalized  the appointment of Jean Imbert as head of its kitchens, to take over from Alain Ducasse. And maybe attract a jet set clientele. Associated since last year with Pharell Williams in the ToShare restaurant of the Hotel White 1921 in Saint-Tropez, Jean Imbert is close to Marion Cotillard, Omar Sy, Madonna, Robert De Niro and Beyoncé.

The Four Seasons George V has reopened one of its three restaurants, the one Michelin star George, which offers Italian specialties. A revival with fanfare facilitated by the superb terrace of the palace and the notoriety of the chef. Since the start of the health crisis, Simone Zanoni has become a star on social networks. Gordon Ramsay’s ex-right-hand man is stopped in the street by passers-by asking for selfies. He even set up a family business of Italian products sold online, Casa Zanoni.

La Estancia (“the ranch”), which the young entrepreneur Nicolas Hesse has just opened in Paris. The butcher shop made in Argentina.  Between Argentina and France, the crossing is done by boat, at 0 ° C, and it lasts a month. Good thing, this is precisely the time you need to give these cuts of black angus beef to tenderize them. Before opening La Estancia, Nicolas Hesse met many cattle farmers, chose one with whom he even partnered. His family having some means, he is also preparing to acquire a local vineyard to serve his own wine in restaurants … or rather in his future restaurants, if he manages to duplicate his concept throughout France. La Estancia, 27, quai des Grands Augustins, 6éme webpage :

La Rochelle with the certainty of finding a haven in which to spend the night. At the “Villa Grand Voile”, open last summer, no need to overdo the marine decoration, the ocean being at the end of the street. Between a nod to a boat cabin and a tribute to bourgeois history, the 11 rooms are adorned with the chromatic spectrum of the blues of the ocean and the sky, the stormy grays and the pinks of maritime twilight. White on the beds and walls. From parquet to the ground. An azure square in the courtyard to dive into a pocket pool. Even in stormy weather, we sleep like an old sea bass in these comfortable rooms, in which an iodized and gourmet breakfast is served to the song of the seagulls. In his Michelin-starred restaurant, which bears his name, Christopher Coutanceau works like no other with the lobster that is eaten whole, the flesh cooked on a rock of pink salt, the shell transformed into chips, the coral in foam and the brain in vinaigrette. . In his marine bistro, “La Yole de Chris”, right next door, we can enjoy dishes that are just as salty but more affordable.  Villa Grand Voile 12, rue de la Cloche, 17000 La Rochelle. Webpage :

In a few years,the rosé wine, the little wine of summer, has changed a lot. And it challenged a lot of preconceptions. It comes from Provence. It is true that Provence is the leading producer of rosé wines of controlled designation of origin (AOC): 38% of them are labeled Côtes-de-Provence, Coteaux-d’Aix-en-Provence or Coteaux- Varois-en-Provence. But if we consider French rosé wines in general, whether they are AOC, with a protected geographical indication (IGP) or Vin de France, it is Languedoc which is the first producer with, in 2017, 2, 6 million hectoliters vinified. Out of a total of 5.5 million for the entire French vineyard. The main rosé production regions are Occitanie (alone, the IGP pays-d’oc accounted for 23% of the national volume in 2016), Provence (19% of the national volume), the Loire Valley and the Rhône valley. It’s best if it’s clear. Let us say rather that the French prefer it clear. FranceAgriMer and the Interprofessional Committee of Provence wines in 2018 designed a series of pie charts to classify the rosés consumed in various countries according to their color. In France, it is clear, 30% of them are very light, only 15% are very dark. But in Italy and Spain, the result is the opposite: respectively 13% and 11% of rosés opened are very clear, against 46% and 50% of bottles with a very dark shade. Where does such a difference come from? First of all, varieties of grapes and terroirs. Light grape varieties, such as Clairette Rose, Grenache Gris, Pinot Noir, produce pale rosés when Syrah, Carignan or Merlot quickly transmit their color. Grenache oir gives rosés with an orange hue, while Cinsault delivers a more yellow color. Also, the more acidic a variety, the brighter its color, predominantly frank pink. Finally, weather conditions cause changes. The drier and hotter the year, the more colorful the grapes and wines.

“Pastis is like breasts. One is not enough, and three is too much, “said Fernandel.!!  Before sipping the famous pastaga, drink the words of Guillaume Strebler, who works at the Distillerie de la Plaine, in the 6éme arrondissement of Marseille. His workshop to “assemble your pastis” allows you to discover the dry ingredients that go into the recipe, by touching, smelling and tasting anise, liquorice, fennel or star anise. We continue with the identification of macerates obtained from 45-degree alcohol and these same spices and aromatics, joined by mate, pepper and verbena as well as anise essential oil. The latter contributes to squinting, that opaque whitening obtained when water is poured into its pure pastis. All you have to do is compose your own recipe from the ready-to-use macerates, before leaving with your homemade bottle – that’s a lot more than three glasses! Webpage:

The arrival of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Moncler in the Champs-Elysées are still moving upmarket. Avenue des Champs-Elysées has nearly 90 shops. See more webpage:

Under the sun of Cergy-Pontoise (Val-d’Oise 95). It is this new city in the great Parisian suburbs that the Louis Vuitton house has invested to film its Cruise 22 fashion show, broadcast on the brand’s website on June 15, in the afternoon. It is more exactly around the Axe Majeur (see post), this monumental open-air work of art imagined around the Cergy-Pontoise leisure center from the 1980s, that Nicolas Ghesquière has chose to unveil its new cruise collection. Webpage in French:

A jewel of Art Nouveau, the cupola of Galeries Lafayette has regained its former glory. The magnificent century-old work of 1,400 square meters built in 1912 by Ferdinand Chanut, Jacques Grüber and Louis Majorelle, three renowned artists, has regained its luster thanks to long-term restoration work, which has undergone a boost thanks to confinement. Webpage:

At the Centre Pompidou center, after two years of work, the caterpillar is restarting! Beaubourg’s iconic exterior escalator has been completely replaced. It had been at a standstill since fall 2019. A colossal project, accompanied by an enlargement of the main entrance. By 2023, another major renovation will shut the museum down for nearly three years. Be there quick!! Webpage:

Free parking for scooters and motorcycles in Paris will soon end. The measure will be effective from 2022. It is now done: in 2022, prices will be 3€ per hour in the first 11 arrondissements (zone 1), and 2€ per hour in arrondissements 12 to 20 (zone 2). For this, 5,000 parking spaces will be created, and fines will increase from 50€ to 75€ in zone 1 and from 35€ to 50€  in zone 2. Paris is excluding itself once again!

At La Défense (dept 92), the Rose of Cherbourg ready to be reborn. Until then not very welcoming, this link between Puteaux and the business district will welcome, by 2022, a tower designed by Jean Nouvel, vast green spaces and a suspended footbridge directly inspired by the famous New York High Line. The circular boulevard interchange will be transformed into a suspended promenade inspired by the New York High Line. it will be partly covered by nine arbors. More info in English webpage:

The great return of the Fête des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) Canceled last year, the famous funfair will resume its usual summer quarters from July 2. The Fête des Loges, 368th, on the agenda, such as the official inauguration of Saturday July 3, the coronation of the Queen of Lodges on Monday 5, or the celebration of the Saint-Fiacre on Thursday 22, with its stroll in music and its mass organized on the track of the bumper cars. From Friday July 2 to Saturday August 15. From 15h. to 01h30. Monday to Thursday, from 15h. to 02h00. on Fridays, from 14h to  02h00. on Saturdays and from 14h. to 01h00. on Sundays and public holidays. Free entrance. Webpage:

In Marseille, room 604 of the New Hôtel Le Quai is the starting point for a sunny escape. A stone’s throw from La Canebière, the New Hotel Le Quai claims its discretion behind a 19C facade. Renovated and reopened in 2020 by Caroline and Camille, daughters of Georges Antoun, the president of the New Hotel group, the establishment, which was once a guesthouse, is dressed in wood. The large room on the ground in geometric designs entertains at breakfast time, while the minimalist reception counter welcomes at any time with reserved benevolence. On the floors (6, for 48 rooms), the felted corridors, with striped graphic carpets and raspberry walls, lead to the rooms whose atmosphere evokes the Provencal holiday homes of the 1970s. A newbie to be tested in historical Marseille. Webpage:

And yes my part of the world is unique and more and more are coming here to my Bretagne . There is a need to make rules for the avalanche before its too late. We are on the move! The calm before the storm in the village of Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer (Côtes-d’Armor 22), a charming peninsula on the banks of the Channel, the number of inhabitants goes from 906 to 10,000 to arrival of summer in which the town has 63% of secondary residents. There is a risk of becoming an open-air retirement home. Brittany has them on a good part of its coasts. In 2017, 13.3% of dwellings in the region were second homes. On the Morbihan coast, this rate climbs to 80% in villages like Arzon! (Presqu’ïle de Rhuys) .The Breton Democratic Union (UDB) party already with a proposal? Reserve the purchase of real estate in the most desirable areas for people who have lived for a year in the same community of towns. It is inspired by an abortive idea of the Corsican separatists, which provided for a period of five years of life on the territory to access the purchase on the island. To be continue….

For a different taste from America in Paris. We could count on Grindz of Hawaii to warm our hearts and make us travel! It must be said that this new neighborhood canteen with good vibes and a colorful atmosphere saved our lunch breaks thanks to its recipes full of flavors. On the menu, fresh, good and homemade! A second Hawaiian address will open very soon in the 8éme arrondissement! Grindz of Hawaii 29, rue Beaubourg 3éme. Open Monday to Saturday from 10h to 21h. webpage :

There you go folks, another wonderful belle France awaits us all!!! Be there or be square!!! We are on the move again!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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