Archive for ‘Paris’

June 26, 2017

Again the Tour de France 104th edition

And we are just around the corner of the next tour de France bicycle race.  The next will be the 104th Edition, and will be running from Saturday July 1st to Sunday July 23rd in 21 stages over 3540 kms.

The previous one I have in my blog was in 2015 when it passed just next to my employer near Vannes in the Morbihan Breton; more of it here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/07/13/tour-de-france-in-the-morbihan-bretagne/

Some of the teams already announced for this year’s edition are: (country abbrev in French)

AG2R La Mondiale: Jan Bakelants (BEL), Romain Bardet (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Mathias Frank (SUI), Ben Gastauer (LUX), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Pierre Latour (FRA), Oliver Naesen (BEL), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA)

BMC Racing Team: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche(IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Bora – Hansgrohe :Maciej Bodnar (POL), Emanuel Buchmann (ALL), Marcus Burghardt (ALL), Rafal Majka (POL), Jay McCarthy (AUS), Pawel Poljanski (POL), Juraj Sagan(SVQ), Peter Sagan (SVQ), Rudi Selig (ALL).

Cofidis: Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), Dimitri Claeys (BEL), Christophe Laporte (FRA), Cyril Lemoine (FRA), Luis Angel Maté (ESP), Daniel Navarro (ESP), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Julien Simon (FRA), Geoffrey Soupe (FRA).

Dimension Data: Edvald Boassen Hagen (NOR), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Bernhart Eisel (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (AFS), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Scott Thwaites (GBR), Jaco Venter (AFS).

Direct Energie: Thomas Boudat (FRA), Lilian Calmejane (FRA), Sylvain Chavanel (FRA), Yohann Gène (FRA), Adrien Petit (FRA), Perrig Quéméneur (FRA), Romain Sicard (FRA), Angelo Tulik (FRA), Thomas Voeckler (FRA).

Katusha-Alpecin: Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Tiago Machado (POR), Tony Martin (GER), Nils Politt (GER), Rick Zabel (GER).

Orica-Scott: Michael Albasini (SUI), Esteban Chaves (COL), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Daryl Impey (AFS), Jens Keulekeire (BEL), Roman Kreuziger (RTC), Simon Yates (GBR).

Sky: Chris Froome (GBR), Sergio Henao (COL), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Christian Knees (ALL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Mikel Landa (ESP), Mikel Nieve (ESP), Luke Rowe (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR).

Team Sunweb: Nikias Arndt (ALL), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (HOL), Michael Matthews (AUS), Simon Geschke (ALL), Ramon Sinkeldam (HOL), Laurens Ten Dam (HOL), Albert Timmer (HOL), Mike Teunissen (HOL).

Trek-Segafredo; André Cardoso (POR), Alberto Contador(ESP), John Degenkolb (ALL), Fabio Felline (ITA), Michael Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (ESP), Koen de Kort (HOL), Bauke MOLLEMA (HOL) , Jarlinson Pantano (COL).

UAE – Team Emirates: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Matteo Bono (ITA), Kristijan Durasek (CRO), Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR), Marco Marcato (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Louis Meintjes (AFS), Ben Swift (GBR), Diego Ulissi (ITA).

Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Frederik Backaert (BEL), Thomas Degand (BEL), Guillaume Martin (FRA), Marco Minaard (NED),Yoann Offredo (FRA), Andrea Pasqualon (ITA), Dion Smith (NZL), Guillaume Van Keirlsbuck (BEL), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL).

The official site to watch it live is here in English: http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2017/us/

Notice this year the race will begin in Dusseldorf Germany !! hey a town I have visited!!! Here was my post on the city: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/11/26/a-new-city-on-my-map-dusseldorf-germany/

It will ,also, past by Belgium and Luxembourg!

Then stage 7 from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges should be sublime, also, stage 10 Périgueux to Bergerac wow! Stages 11-12 around Pau! and Stage 16 Le Puy-en-Vélay to Romans-sur-Isére, and of course the finish in Paris.

Some schedules to watch on TV is here in English:

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-live-tv-guide-233516

And here is a video in 3D of the route of the 104th edition of the Tour de France!!

 

See on the roads folks, enjoy it and happy end of june 2017. Cheers

June 21, 2017

Some news from France CLVIIII

And I am back in milder weather at last. Today got up to 30C only…. and sunny. We had an open air picnic in our employer’s vast park (work in  a castle in ruins with a vast modern buildings in the forest).  So, it is time to tell you more about my belle France and especially eternal Paris.

Right off the bat, today is 36th Fête de la Musique or music festival all over France; its a tradition that is taken roots really fast.

Over in Paris; the biggest and all over, we used to have even in the metro riding lol! Now the nicest one me think is by the Palais Royal. Starting at 14h the orchestra of the school of Buissonnets of Rueil-Malmaison will kick off the day. 16-17h Vilorio a former singer and trompist of metal fusion that mixes in the pop, funk, and Latin. Then ,the group Midnight  Colors, with the Camerounaise Nelly W and the  pianist composer Arnaud Fournier around jazz and blues. Continuing at 18-19h you will see “KaraRocké” a karaoke version XXL with volunteers going on stage to take over the songs of rock, of various artists. By 20h the Belgian singer Coely with Rap, and hip-hop as well as soul and R’nB. At 21h the batterist Tony Allen of Nigeria one of the pioneers of the afrobeat mixing traditional Nigerian music with jazz, funk etc. He has worked with Charlotte Gainsbourg here in France already.  You will hear the 20syl of Nantes with the electronic touch and the American rapper Mr J Medeiros from 22h. Lastly, the duo AllttA will close out the night.  More in English here: http://traduction.culturecommunication.gouv.fr/url/Result.aspx?to=en&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffetedelamusique.culturecommunication.gouv.fr%2FActualites%2FDecouvrez-la-programmation-musicale-du-ministere-au-Palais-Royal

Moving over to my beloved Versailles , you will have electro music at the Place de l’Europe with the group Ostud & Soundmotion ,and the pop rock of the 50’s will be by the Place des Manéges. Several groups will be around town  such as by the Cathédrale Saint-Louis, Cour des Senteurs, Cour de la Grande Ecurie , and the jardin des Etangs Gobert. More in French here: http://www.jversailles.fr/article/article/fete-de-la-musique-la-progr/

And of course my nice Pluvigner, will have it by the  Place Saint-Michel  from 21h30 -23h tonite with the local group Dan Ar Draz and Clarisse Lavanant, and at the Place du Marché from 23h to 01h the presentation of the group YP’s with pop.rock music and later a huge Breton party or Fest-noz with the group Arvest to close the party. More in French here: http://www.pluvigner.fr/agenda/fete-de-la-musique/

Dealing also with delights and food, some of the best summer tables in Paris all tried by yours truly.

Balagan, 9 rue d’Alger (1st) Tel +33 (0) 1 40 20 72 14; everyday more here: http://www.balagan-paris.com/fr

Roberta, 5bis rue La Vieuville (18st) Tel +33 (0) 1 42 59 33 32 , everyday. more here.http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-roberta-3668.php

Polissons, 35 rue Ramey (18) tel +33 (0) 6 46 63 57 59 everyday except Sundays. more here: http://www.polissons-restaurant.fr/

Maison Maison, facing the 16 quai du Louvre (1st) no tel, open everyday. More here: http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-maison-maison-3671.php

The roofstop of Monsieur Mouche, port de la Conférence, pont de l’Alma (8th) ; more in Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/monsieurmoucheparis/

Racines des Prés, 1 rue de Gribeauval (7th) tel +33 (0) 1 45 48 14 16, everyday except Saturdays only lunch and Sundays all day. More here: http://www.racinesparis.com/racines2

Détour, 15 rue de la Tour-des-Dames (9th) tel +33 (0) 1 45 26 21 48 everyday except Sundays and Mondays. More here: http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-detour-3637.php

Crabe Royal 19 place de la Madeleine (8) tel +33 (0) 1 81 69 96 70; everyday except Sundays. More here: http://craberoyal.com/

Drugstore Publicis, 133 avenue des Champs-Elysées (8) tel +33 (0) 1 44 43 75 07; more here: https://restaurantledrugstore.com/fr/le-drugstore

Sea Bar Ostrea, 60 rue de l’Arbre-Sec (1st) tel +33 (0) 1 85 81 11 11  ;only evenings Closed Sundays and Mondays. More here: http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-sea-bar-ostrea-3627.php

A historic icon of Paris is ready to open on July 5th, on the Place de la Concorde, this is the Hotel de Crillon. An architecture marvel of the 18C done by the Ange-Jacques Gabriel a symbol of luxury French style is to open again after extensive renovations.  It will be managed by the group Rosewood Hotels and Resorts with Saudi ownerwhip; this the former residence of the counts of Crillon that was turned into a hotel or Hotel des Voyageurs in 1909. It will have 124 rooms vs 147 before with 33 suites, 10 suites Signature and done by the best in the business such as Karl Lagerfeld for the decorations. Aline d’Amman the artistic director will be invited with 3 decorators designers such as Tristan Auer, Chahan Minassian and Cyril Vergniol (previously collaborated with Alberto Pinto). It will have a hair saloon and brasserie a spa and pool done by the arts decoratif experts of Minassian. And the kitchen by Christopher Hache previously experiences at Briffard, Senderens, Frecho, etc. Hôtel de Crillon 10 place de la Concorde (8) tel +33 (0) 1 44 71 15 00. More here: https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-de-crillon

There is a new exposition at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, . until January 14, 2018. Inspirations, hommage by artists to great men of our times with their productions. From Darwin to Jackson Pollock appearing in L’ordre des Pierres (2007) Orson Welles and Michel-Ange in Par des temps incertains (2001) and many more to discover. Valerian et Laureline en mission pour la Cité. 30 avenue Corentin-Cariou (19) open every day except Mondays from 10h to 18h and Sundays from 10h to 19h. admission 9€-12€:more here: http://www.cite-sciences.fr/en/explore/temporary-exhibitions/valerian-et-laureline-en-mission-pour-la-cite/

Here all about it here Paris mayor is at it again!!! From tomorrow Thursday June 22nd there will be ticket to purchase for 3,80€ for all polluting modes of transport coming into Paris; this is by the regional govt more here: https://www.iledefrance.fr/fil-presidence/pic-pollution-forfait-anti-pollution-si-etat-ne-prend-pas-charge-gratuite-transports

Then, the city of Paris on October 1st 2017 Paris will be completely traffic free with only the boulevard périphérique , the  bois de Boulogne, and of  Vincennes open to traffic. More in French from the city here: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/environnement/a-paris-l-annuelle-journee-sans-voiture-le-1er-octobre-concernera-l-ensemble-de-la-capitale_2247043.html

Something wonderful in Seine-et-Marne, at Provins back again. The lights, the flamboyant decorations, the banners and flags resembling the middle ages are back June 24 and 25 weekend.  These are the médiévales de Provins. Costumes and spectacles from the period come to meet Dame Garance and her husband Enguerrand that will explain the fabrication of pigments on cloths. Saturday the evenings will be high in colors with a Bal, concert of medieval music and to close the 34th edition, an illumination at 22h and spectacle of fireworks at 22h30. The festivities will be Saturday from 10h to 22h30 and Sunday from 10h to 17h30. admission is 11€ and 15€ for the two days.More info at http://provins-medieval.com/fr/

And something to celebrate the coming to Versailles of the tsar  Peter the Great of Russia we have many things going on in my old dept 78 Yvelines. From the La Machine de Marly to Marly-le-Roi, the Datcha of Russian writer  Ivan Tourgueniev at Bougival, the Skit du Saint-Esprit at Mesnil-Saint-Denis where the hermitage founded by orthodox monks is one of the emblematic sites of Russia in the department . For this occasion there is an exposition at different sites such as Bougival, Versailles, Marly-le-Roi, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, Le Mesnil-Saint-Denis, and Rueil-Malmaison (dept Hauts-de-Seine 92)  to discover the great Russian personalities of the time from the tsar to artists, writers etc that have marked the history of Bougival , and the surrounding towns. More info at email: office-tourisme@ville-bougival.fr or tel +33 (0) 1 39 69 21 23.  More here and do print the pdf file communiqué de presse: http://www.tourisme-bougival.com/visiter-bougival/la-russie-en-yvelines/

Enjoy the end of week as always looking forward to that weekend.  Enjoy the music y’all, Cheers

PS. Do not want to wait to next post because this is wonderful and just going on in Paris; La Fête Foraine des Tuileries; right in the jardin des tuileries; going on now until August 27th. You have over 60 attractions with 20 carrousels of wooden horses, ice skating, crazy cars, phantom trains, shooting galleries, fishing, trampoline, toboggan, climbing, the great wheel is the most popular. It is open every day from 11h to 23h45 in the week and from 11h to 00h45 Fridays, Saturdays, and eves of Holidays. More in the Paris tourist office in English here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-show-exhibition/135470/fete-des-tuileries

 

 

 

 

June 18, 2017

Father’s Day in Bretagne/Brittany, something to celebrate!

Today,it’s that time again, Father’s Day in France. I am still very lucky to have mine alive at 82,not so lucky with my Mom who passed away in 2007 here in France.

The last time we celebrated Father’s day in 2015 and took him to the very nice Restaurant Le Gavroche in Vannes; I wrote about it here: https://paris1972.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=10838&action=edit

This year we have done the same and gone back to the same restaurant. Here is their webpage: http://www.legavroche-vannes.com/

Ratings are good here 3,5 out of 5 in Yelp(one of my recommended sites in my blogroll below main page) : https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-gavroche-vannes-2

The restaurant is in the neighborhood of Saint Patern at 17 Rue de la Fontaine,in Vannes. Taking the N165 expressway and go out at the Vannes Centre road D767; past the traffic circle of Pompidou and continue on Avenue Georges Pompidou , take slightly right to ge on avenue Jean Monnet on next traffic circle take left towards Rue Madame Lagarde which will become Boulevard de la Paix , here take a quick right into Rue de la Fontaine to the restaurant on your right hand side just before the Church of Saint Patern on your left. However, the best for parking is to continue onto Rue du Maréchal Leclerc and park along the ramparts of the old castle ruins facing the gardens of the Garonne.

The menu for 17,90€ included for me a fish soup for entrée, piece of butcher steak in pepper sauce, potatoes, pumpkin purée, dessert of the day a baba cake of coconut and passion fruit in caramel colis, all down with a bottle of La Gardiere 2016 St Nicolas de Bourgueil in the Loire, irish coffee, coca cola for my father and the house digestif blend of rum and vanilla liquor all for 22,95€ per person ,not bad. Happy Father’s Day.

I did started my day voting in my congressional or legislative second round election in my town of Pluvigner; very light again and expected a very low turnout. Usuallly dissatisfied with the political spectrum and the new president governing with 50% of voters…. Time will tell.

Back to Vannes, we did our usual walk and saw a wonderful Breton service at the Church of Saint Patern, the oldest in Vannes. Many beautiful wooden houses and the ramparts of Vannes with its wonderful Constable tower , Gate or Porte Prison, The regional govt building or prefecture gardens are lovely, and Garonne garden. Always a magical place to be even in 32C weather.

My father kept up walking and had a wonderful dinner, ate it all! very happy to get him out of the house and spent some time with him on our busy lives. He really enjoy it and was very happy with the outing so Father’s day done well.

We arrive home in the heat by 15h or 3PM and now relaxing waiting for another week of heat as temps are call to be in the early 30C here or near 90F for the rest of the week.

You have a wonderful Sunday and a great Father’s Day if celebrating it. Keep cool, and happy travels;Cheers.

ps. Enjoy the photos.

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

 

June 14, 2017

Some news from France CLVIII

Well here I am again and temps in the glorious 32C or about 90F sunny hot this is Summer already.  And already almost half way in June moving to vacation time next month and August, the big one lol!

Some info on attendance on the museums of our World, some paid and some free, the most visited according to this organisation TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index are:

June 8, 2017

Some news from France CLVII

Back to the routine of living in wonderful Morbihan , Brittany, France. Today we had cloudy day with some shots of sunshine and temps in the 60’sF or 14-19C thereabouts. Paris is hotter now at 81F or about 27C .

Giving some good news about what is happening in France and keeping eye on election in the UK with France legislatives election coming up Sunday June 11 with a second round in June 18, which is Father’s Day here!

Vinexpo in Bordeaux, the 19th edition will open June 18 as well , the greatest gathering of wine connoisseurs and amateurs etc the works.  Four days and 45000 professionals will be there. ALso, 2300 stands coming from 40 countries mostly from France, Italy,and Spain . And one of the novelties is the showcase of Bio wine with 150 producers! China will be here with 22 stands from two on the last edition coming strong.  The house of Möet Hennessy will be there with its 21 houses offering their full line of Champagne, spirits, and wines. More here: http://www.vinexpobordeaux.com/en/

The primeurs of wine from a region very dear to me, Médoc and more precisely St Julien all in Bordeaux. The 2016 are coming up superb according to article in Le Figaro newspaper. Some of the best producers are here with score from the journal staff: I would highlight those I like the most, of course, over the years I have tried them all ::)

Château Gloria 2016, 16.5/20; Red fruit nose, black berries, Zan, vanilla. Fresh juice, beautiful mash, tonic, soft tannins, gourmet wine.
Château Langoa-Barton 2016, 17/20; Nose of small notes prunes, bramble, violet. Ample mouth, tannins a little tight, beautiful elongation.
Château Saint-Pierre 2016, 17/20; Intense red fruits, red plum, small black berries. Fresh mouth, small, mature tip, free attack, ample tannin, long final.
Château Gruaud-LaRose 2016, 18/20; Black fruit nose, graphite tip. Fresh, fruity, supple and elegant tannins, fresh finale.
Château Talbot 2016, 18/20; Dense nose, black fruits, red plum. Ample mouth, beautiful acidity, ample tannin, elegant, final very long, wine digestible.
Château Brane-Ducru 2016, 18.5/20; Small black fruits, fresh fruit. Ample mouth, fresh, silky tannins, medium intense, graphite tip, beautiful stretch, nice wine.
Château Lagrange 2016, 18.5/20; Intense red fruits, bramble, Zan, Black cherry. Fresh, elegant mouth, lots of pep, soft tannins, beautiful material, superb elongation. Nice.
Château Léoville Barton 2016, 19/20: Nose of pretty red fruits, cherry, floral, deep. Ample mouth, beautiful attack, elegant tannins, superb finale. Very good success.
Château Léoville Poyferré 2016, 19.5/20; Very fresh red fruit nose, Zan, vanilla. Ample mouth, fruity, ample, greedy, very nice touch of mouth, elegant tannins and coated. Final Sapid. Very big wine.
Moving on away from the wonderful wine of France, the best YES!  I have other news to tell you
The SNCF  is going to renovate the gare du Nord, the biggest in Europe. It will have the first section of work in the period ending in 2018. If  things goes according to plan , there will be a second phase before the opening of the Olympic Games of  2024… if Paris gets the nod. There is a new way of working teaming up with private companies. If all goes well, there will be renovations like it on the stations of  Toulouse-Matabiau, Marseille Saint-Charles ,and the gare de Lyon in Paris. Source: Les Echos business journal
About telling you about those wonderful places where you can have a cup of coffee in a nice garden within a wonderful museum of Paris! These are some of my favorites:

Café Branly,  in the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, 37 quai Branly, (7eme). Tel +33 (0)  1 47 53 68 01. Average price of entrée-main meal or main meal and dessert is  35€. More here: http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/professionals/privatization-of-public-areas/cafe-branly/

Café Renoir,in the musée de Montmartre, a secret place that you will love to keep for yourself but I couldn’t .  At the foot of the house of the shop of  Suzanne Valadon, located at  12-14 rue Cortot,(18eme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 49 25 89 39. Lunch for about 14€. More here: http://en.visitparisregion.com/attractions-paris/nightlife/having-a-drink/cafe-renoir-at-the-musee-de-montmartre-326631.html

A temple of sculpture in the hôtel Biron  where Rodin came in 1908  for never leave. It has a wonderful garden with 3 hectares of garden in the French style and works of art of the master Rodin. You go from an alley to the amphitheater of bower in the basin that you can see the clouds ,rosary, and the great lawn ,also walk in the promenade with shades of trees by the wall of the fence. Here you have the Café du Musée ;Musée Rodin, 77 Rue de Varenne (7eme) Tel +33 (0) 1 45 55 84 39.  average price with entrée-main meal or main meal and dessert is 35€. More here: http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en/visit/plan-your-visit-paris/cafe-musee-rodin

In the museum , the café in the Petit Palais is our best. Le Jardin du Petit Palais  is a dream niche in the center of the dome on a long courtyard with beautiful exposition salons, given to an luxurious garden with palmiers, banana trees, maniocs trees bamboos on a basin bordered with mosaics . The ceilings painted in al fresco with rose granite columns and golden flees around it and a terra cotta floor just a Proustian charm.  Le Jardin du Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris. Avenue Winston Churchill, (8eme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 07 11 41.  menu of the day with main meal and dessert just 16,90€. More here: http://www.petitpalais.paris.fr/en/petit-palais/cafe-restaurant

You have the small coffee shop in the mansion of Ary Scheffer,  painter of history and portrait maker of amongst others  George Sand, Chopin, Ernest Renan, etc. It is a heaven of peace, a tea in this garden of the musée de la Vie romantique. Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, 16 rue Chaptal, (9eme), Tél. +33 (0) 1 55 31 95 67. Garden formula menu of tarte salée, dessert,and drink for 15,90€. More here: http://www.cafe-vie-romantique.com/

More on the Americans in Paris trail, the Mona Bismarck American Center  has a wonderful weekend to start the season of pop culture.  The place renamed the  « Summer House » for the occasion welcome the concerts in open air and film projections by the cinéma Christine 21.  Without forgetting the Texan BBQ , with bar and cocktails.  All this until September 2017.  https://www.summerhouse.fr/

The Forum des Halles  welcomes you for the second year of the Festival Rock en Seine to show you the event « Unexpected Festival», 3 days of discovery of rock and pop music such as Barbagallo et Peter Peter ,Friday, Findlay et Her Saturday, and the  Papooz Sunday. More here:  https://www.rockenseine.com/en/

The 14th meeting of the jardin des  Tuileries  has for theme the « La ville nature». You will discover ephemeral gardens created by expert gardeners with the idea to show in evidence the terraces and balconies all with over 100 shops exposing their trade. This is over with but a good idea to jotted down for next year.  More here and in English in pdf file; http://www.jardinsjardin.com/

Dedicated to SubSaharan AFrica and the Caribbean the musée Dapper  will closed its doors on June 18 unfortunately. This is the last day of the exhibition “Masterpieces of Africa” . You have about a week to admire it at 35 bis rue Paul-Valéry (16eme), its collection of remarkable art.  The foundation will remain on its work thru cultural events beyond its current walls especially in Senegal and the Caribbean. Enjoy while you can here: http://www.dapper.fr/en/index.php

An update on previous post on it; the last sections of the old railroad line around Paris long of 32 kms will be given back to the walkers and pedestrian traffic by 2020. This is on the 20eme south of the rue de la Mare, in the 14eme between the promenade Broussais  and the avenue du Général-Leclerc, in the 17eme along the boulevard Pereire ,and the rue Saussure ,and early by 2019, in the 12eme between the villa du Bel-Air ,and the rue des Meuniers. The petite ceinture is back! More in French here: https://www.paris.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/urbanisme-et-architecture/projets-urbains-et-architecturaux/la-petite-ceinture-2537

 

Well the local take is not so good on the new café on top of the Arch de la Défense but here it is for info; as not been back since it reopen. The food is not so good and very expensive with four radishes , salt butter etc they propose a menu with entrée-main meal and -dessert for  50€,! The opening was well waited for on the top June 1st after 8 years closed. The lunch at 110 meters high is an experience.  The main advantage when you reserve a table is the ticket to the top is included with the meal so you save 15€  ,which in itself is pretty expensive just to climb to the top terrace. There on top you come to see and enjoy ..the  Les Jardins de Joséphine . No webpage just call the restaurant for reservations at  restaurant Joséphine Chez Dumonet Tel +33 (0) 1.45.48.52.40.

 

Curly wigs and bodice dresses are back in the alleys of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (Seine-et-Marne). This coming Sunday, the time of a costumed day, “The Grand Siécle Experience” the home of Nicolas Fouquet, superintendent of Finance of Louis XIV, reconnects with the splendour of the Great century.  Courtiers, Marquises and gentlemen have an appointment in the garden of 33 hectares imagined by Andre Le Nôtre. Lace parasols, ribbon-decorated shoes, taffeta scarves … all the details count to win the best costume prize. Awarded at the end of the day, it will reward the most successful dresses in men, women and children, as well as the best fancy costume. At Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy (77) Sunday from 10h to 17h, admission 15,50€ to 17,50€ and only 11,50€ for those coming with costumes. You can rent one on site for 35€: more here: http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/the-grand-siecle-experience/
The coronation Mass and Mozart’s Requiem, you know? These two major works by Mozart Open the 37th Festival of Auvers this Friday, June 9. Until July 7, the events take place under the vaults of the Church of Notre-Dame of Auvers, dear to Van Gogh, or the Château de Méry-sur-Oise, a stone’s walk away; You will love Saturday Karine Deshayes, winner of several victories of classical music and Delphine Haiden. These two mezzo-sopranos have prepared a repertoire full of humour from the 19C and Mendelssohn’s songs to the operettas of Offenbach.  On Sunday, with his show “The Pianist with 50 fingers”, Pascal Amoyel will pay homage to the undisputed master of the instrument Georges Cziffra, guest of the festival just 30 years ago, just before his death. Among the inescapable: the great Mass in C of Mozart, on June 25th, relocated to the musical scene of the Ile Seguin in Boulogne (92) directed in Baroque version by the famous chef Laurence Equilbey. Finally, a great accustomed, Natalie Dessay, the immense singer who never takes herself seriously will perform for the closing of the Arias of Schubert, Debussy or Gonod. She will be in duet with pianist Philippe Cassard.  See the Festival of Auvers, Opus 37. Friday, Saturday Sunday and until 7 July. Complete on June 14th. at the Church of Auvers and Château de Méry-sur-Oise. Prices from 20€  to 95€.   Reservations at +33 (0) 1 30 36 77 77. more here : http://festival-auvers.com/en/

And last ,but not least in my beloved Versailles:Chez ReminiSens, located in the heart of  Versailles,  the lady Caroline Masselin wanted to create the ambiance of the court in the 17C and 18C at the time of a meal where the food served to the kings of France was appreciated accompany by baroque music such as  « Le Nôtre et les secrets des jardins », « Louis XV et ses liaisons dangereuses » or « Les scandales à la cour du Roi Soleil ». Many emblematic stories told at the table with playing actors that do all this without disturbing the guests. The lady was inspired by recipe books of the time like « Le cuisinier royal et bourgeois », edition of  1729. For the dinner spectacle you will pay between 100€  and 195€  menus.  However, for those not reaching these prices you can have a formule like the « Les petits soupers du régent », going from 12€ to 20€ ,which includes gourmand dishes that you accompany with a glass of Champagne or Rose water. All this located at  20, rue Baillet-Reviron. Tuesdays to Sundays from  19h30 to 23h. Information and reservation at +33 (0) 1.39.23.10.65 or Cell +33 (0) 6.71.67.02.86.  More here in pdf file and French: http://reminisens.fr/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/ReminiSens-Restaurant-Th%C3%A9%C3%A2tre_Plaquette.pdf

 

Easy to come to the above restaurant, just walk out of castle museum on your left hand side take avenue Saint Cloud (past the Grande Ecurie) turn right here; continue walking until Rue du Maréchale Foch passed the market at Notre Dame square, the street before the boulevard de la Reine on your left hand side turn into rue Baillet-Reviron, and the theater restaurant is on your left hand side on what was before the Table of Agadir resto.

Enjoy France as much as I do every day. Cheers!

 

 

May 20, 2017

Some news from France CLVI

Here to you all surprise ! right before Krakow, there was Paris well always Paris. Some sunny nice day in Paris indeed ,and some great news from the eternal city.

An American in Paris Kristin Frederick from California just started her third restaurant in the city. The GreenHouse, 22 rue Crespin-du-Gast 11eme; just after her previous two establishement Le Camion qui Fume, 168 rue Montmartre 2eme, and the Huabu ,67 rue du Faubourg-Poissonniére 9eme.  Great to have Paris an international city.

You should go and check out the Best barman in the world from a contest sponsored by Diageo after 10K participant, Jennifer Le Nechet of Café Moderne, 19 rue Keller 11eme open Tuesdays to Saturdays 15h and 19h in evenings.

Check out one of my favorite spots in Paris, Paname Brewing Company, 41bis quai de la Loire,19eme.Views on the bassin de la Villette, with big tables and cubes at end of rooms having five boutique beers to choose from in a loft culture style. http://www.panamebrewingcompany.com. The Galeries Lafayette is stepping out until December 31 2017. weekend in style every Sundays from 11h to 19H ;brunch from Angelina, Big Fernand, L’ice cube etc.

See the wonderful harbor or ports of Paris from a bit outside the city the port of Gennevilliers(dept 92). You can have boat rides here too by the tourist office of the dept at 62 route principale du port ,Gennevilliers, metro asniéres -gennvilliers-Les Courtilles line 13 or gare de Gennevilliers RER C. Or the Port de Cergy (dept 95) with beautiful wharfs on the river Seine where I have many lunches working in the area, you can do canoe-kayak pédalo, fishing, and accrobranche, 6 quai de la Tourelle, Cergy ,gare cergy-Préfecture RER A and Line L out of St Lazare. Tel +33 (0) 1 34 24 11 77.  And of course the one inside Paris (dept 75) Port de l’Arsenal ,  just with the Bastille looking at you linking the canal de Saint Martin to the river Seine; and 170 boats enjoy the pergolas and walk the wharfs ; this is at 53 blvd de la Bastille 12eme; metro quai de la Rapée line 5 or tel +33 (0) 143 41 39 32

Two interesting anecdotes, the pool or piscine Georges Valleray, host the 1924 Olympics where Johnny Weismuller won 3 golds in swimming and in water polo, before becoming Tarzan. The pool is one of the rare ones in the city that has a covered roof covering the 50 meters pool. Admission is 3€ location: 148 avenue Gambetta,20eme. http://www.piscine-valleray.fr

Also, the rare and interesting Salle d’Armes Coudurier. Opened in 1886, the oldest fencing club in Paris with keeping its authentic deco. The platforms of one meter wide by 10 meters long. It host many filming events and you can even try fencing in it from Mondays to Saturdays and from 17h to 21h. 6 rue Git-le-Coeur 6eme.www. salledarmescoudurier.org

If you want to buy baseball/softball equipment in Paris, go to the best Diamond Equipment for many years and have visited. You can find anything to play the sports here. A bit tiny  and loaded and if not there they can find it for you. See it at 75 blvd Soult, 12eme or http://www.diamsports.com

If you are in Paris for a while or expats and need help on housework,childcare,dog walking, household and computer repair or just watering the plants seek out Lulu les bons tuyaux , founded in 2005. Charges from 5€ to 20€ per half hour. See more at http://www.luludansmarue.org

Old reliable show at the théatre des Nouveautés, 24 blvd Poissonniére, 9eme see the show How to become Parisien in one hour, by Olivier Giraud.  tickets by calling +33 (0) 6 98 57 45 98 or http://www.oliviergiraud.com

Do you know Paris is vying for the 2024 Olympic Games?  Many sites already selecting for the organising committee trying to convince the Olympic Committee to   host the games competing with Los Angeles.  They have divided the venues into Zone Grand Paris ,those around Paris like the Stade de France,Le Bourget etc, Those in Zone Paris centre like the Champ-de-Mars, Tour Eiffel,Champs-Elysées, Grand Palais, Esplanade des Invalides, parc des princes, roland Garros, etc and those in other zones or stand alone venues such as Arena 92, Zénith Paris, Chateau de Versailles, etc. It will be big and messy if the games are here but also think good for the economy of the region.

And what better place to smell sports than at the Bois de Vincennes parks. It is 3 times Central Park in NYC and covers 10% of the city land; created by Napoléon III covering 7,8 kms of creeks natural and artificial,(3,9 sq miles)  English style in a 10 square kilometers  (4,8 sq miles) space.  It receives 11 million visitors per year! You have fishing, canoe-kayak, cricket etc in a space that hosted the 1900 Olympic Games!  On the municipal velodrome (La Cipale) built in 1896 and renovated in 2015 ready to host the next games….  You have the Théatre du Soleil founded here in 1970 by Ariane Mnouchkine in the old armament factory or cartoucherie!  The Tour de France bicycle race the winner was crowned here from 1968 to 1974 such champions as Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil etc. Here we have the Institut National du Sport or the national sports institute where past and future champions in sports comes out on 25 hectares of land . We cannot forget the nice and famous hippodrome de Vincennes horse racecourse opened in 1863 hosting still prestigious events such as the Grand Prix de France, and Grand Prix d’Amerique.  We all can indulge in the Cafe Casaques for afterworks (happy hours) from 19h to 23h . Not forget the Paris colonial expo of 1931 (where you can still see the pavillon Indochina with a replica of the temple of Angkor Vat) played out here and hosting more than 8 millions visitors you can still see the old Paris colonial expo of 1907 on the western extreme part of the park.  See the temples for Cameroon and Togo  now transformed into a pagoda, and hosting one fo the biggest center of Budha in Europe with a budha statue of 9 meters high ( 14 feet). Of course, cannot forget the Parc Floral or flower park and the Zoo. All magical all Paris

So you are here for shopping, well you are at the king or queen of all shopping extravaganza and the capital of fashion . One area you should come to and not just for eating is the Mouffetard.  You go right into my favorite the Carl Marletti (previous pastry chef of the Intercontinental Paris Hotel (today Westin and see my previous post on it) . the millefeuille where he was crowned the best in Paris are to kill for as well as the mont-blanc etc. 51 rue Censier, http://www.carlmarletti.com

The thêatre Mouffetard and old marionnette theater now a show of puppets masks etc in a 230 seat theater featuring two shows and admission of -8-18€ 73 rue Mouffetard, 5eme more at http://www.theatredelamarionnette.com  ;but also, La Tuile à Loup, 35 rue Daubenton since 1974 the lovely shop has promoted French craftmanship with a top notch selection of tableware, fabrics,pottery, ceramics and  much more.  they ,also ship abroad; more at http://www.latuilealoup.com  To have a drink visit the Cave La Bourgogne, 144 rue Mouffetard for a coffee, glass of burgundy or hearty steak with the Mouffetard market’s lively ambianc as a backdrop. nice.

Continue the tour of Mouffetard with visiting the La Maison des Trois Thés, 1 rue Saint-Médard the domain of master Tseng one of the world’s leading tea experts. Her team advises and guides you thru more than 1000 varieties of teas many aged in the premises.  Also, the Fromagerie Patrick Veron (cheese) at 105 rue Mouffetard, the last independant fromager in the street with over 40 years’s experience defending the raw milk cheeses (of course the best) An inmense selection of goat cheeses,which he ages on premises.

For a broader clothing and accessories selection see Chromatic, 67 and 92 rue Mouffetard since 1992 providing great designer jewerly and quality clothing on both sides of the street.  The library les Traversées (old librarie l’Arbre à Lettres) purchased by the employees and change name in 2013.  Don’t miss their readings and book signings at 2 rue Edouard-Quenu, http://www.lestraversees.com  ; For toys come to the L’Epée de Bois a world of wooden toys since 1945. All French made on wood cloths dolls, and mobiles. the place to find something inspiring for Children. 12 rue de L’Epée-de-Bois 5eme. This is Mouffetard unique!

For something uniquely French try the Henri Bardouin pastis. Winner of the agriculture salon of 2017. An aromatic blend of 65 plants and spices including fennel, thyme,green anis, rosemary, star anis, guinea pepper, cardamon, clove, and south american tonka bean! Can be mix with water as an aperitif as well as summer meals. more here:  www. pastishenribardouin.com

And talking about drinks what about the Les Vignerons Parisiens or parisians winemakers! they are bringing back the Parisian tradition of wine making and its newest winery. The entire winemaking process is on the premises, and you can discover the world of wine through visits, tastings and oenology courses held at the winery. 55 rue de Turbigo 3eme: more here: http://www.lesvignerons.paris

And something unique for those seeking camping cars and outdoor accommodations, see Gamping. It is a combination of offering rooms or chambres d’hôtes in private lots from cabins to plaine lodges etc. you can pick your place on the site app; It already has more than 8000 places in France and abroad from the sea , to mountains, or in the middle of the vineyards to share with the owners meals, walks ,tastings etc. See more about it here: https://www.gamping.fr/

Orlyval is celebrating 25 years !! with modern train wagons and additional signages on all its stations. Showing live time traffic on the RER B and Orlyval lines. The latest addition, the last navette leaves the airport at 23h35 (compare to 23h before) ;so you can take the last RER B to Paris in only 6 minutes! all about it in English here: https://www.orlyval.com/en

There is a new retro game area at CDG airport with 1980’s Video games on a new arcade at T2C, T3,and satellite 5 of T1; Featuring Pacman, Tetris,and Donkey Kong with a free game on each arcade. Retrogaming is the name; and by June two new areas will open at Terminal T2E hall K with 15 machines at your disposal. Passangers played 6 millions games in 2016! wow, it’s your turn!

And this is it for now folks until next time. My travels move me onwards to Brazil where I am now, soon by June more goodies in my blog. Stay healthy be good and keep on traveling Cheers!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 9, 2017

Some news from France CLV

So now we are back to work and waiting for my next trip on Friday next. Today was sunny with temps in 21C or about 70F sunny nice day to be well in France. Some news before my departure! And I was just notify by WordPress, that this is my “Congratulations on writing 1000 posts on Paris1972-Versailles2003!”

You know about the Dordogne in France? and the wonderful river that meanders about ,the Dordogne from its source in Sancy in the Puy-de-Dôme until its arrival into the Gironde.  Some tourist sites to start:

http://uk.france.fr/en/Dordogne

http://www.visit-dordogne-valley.co.uk/

It’s heaven to see the river Dordogne from the tops of the Castle of Beynac and walks the narrow streets of Beynac-et-Cazenac. Some numbers 1,5 million tourists come into the Valley of the Dordogne spending 32 millions Euros, the valley has about 400 000 hectares. http://www.france-beautiful-villages.org/en/beynac-et-cazenac

Some of the things to see here are:

Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac, long kilometers of promenades along millennium old trees settled into a stony park and its cliffs like the Belvédère at 130 meters high. Nice natural setting and one of the most sought after here. More here: http://marqueyssac.com/?lang=en

Of course, the Château de Beynac, from the 13C and 14C, fighting off the enemy from 150 meters high, and films done here including Jeanne d’Arc of Luc Besson. See the medieval times right in your face;unique, a must so visit. More here: http://chateau-beynac.com/?lang=en

Another dandy, the Château de Castelnaud, on the highs as well with a great panorama of the valley, built in the 12C. It has a nice arms and armory of medieval times, and the children can climb on the machines of shooting or catapults to recreate its offensive postures. More here: http://castelnaud.com/en/

Continue to the Château de Fayrac, on the lower end of the river and now own by a rich Texan (USA), and of course closed to the visit but a sight to see, even André Malraux lived here for several weeks in 1944 when he entered the French Resistance after his brothers were taken prisioners by the Nazis. The castle is in the town of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, which is itself one of the most beautiful villages/towns of France.  A bit on it in French: http://www.cestenfrance.fr/chateau-de-fayrac/

and the town page on Les Plus Beaux Villages de France here: http://www.france-beautiful-villages.org/en/castelnaud-la-chapelle-0

Continue on towards the more familiar Château des Milandes, of Josephine Baker lived here from 1937 to 1968 with her husband and 12 adopted children.  She created here in the park a world village and even had a theater, the castle was sold to pay her debts but today it is still a museum of her stayed here/ more here: http://www.milandes.com/gb/

The town itself of Beynac-et-Cazenac is another of the most beautiful villages of France; nestled in a rocky rock, one of the must stops when coming to the region or even passing as I have done several times. The city page in French here: http://www.beynac-et-cazenac.fr/Les-plans-de-situation.aspx

And the tourist office in English here: http://www.sarlat-tourisme.com/en/beynac-et-cazenac

We reach the end of the river Dordogne bend and arrive at La Roque-Gageac another beautiful village of France, and a must to stop by. Old town of the bishops of Sarlat, and was completely fortified with white rock facades and many narrow  medieval streets.Nice indeed.  The city page in French here: http://www.laroquegageac.fr/tourisme

The site of the most beautiful villages of France in English: http://www.france-beautiful-villages.org/en/la-roque-gageac

And the tourist office in English: http://www.sarlat-tourisme.com/en/la-roque-gageac

And the trip back to Paris, you will see the last studio of Eugene Delacroix, the house was founded by George Desvalliéres and Maurice Denis after the end of WWI at place de Furstenberg in the district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In 1932 the society of Friends of Delacroix made the effort to save the house and turn it into the museum. The museum became part of the National museum title and from 2004 part of the Louvre. The museum is just finished to be renovated, and allow to come intime with Delacroix, but also, Cezanne, Picasso, Gauguin, Bernard, etc. See their work in the exhibition “Maurice Denis et Eugene Delacroix, from the Studio to the Museum” . Until August 28 at the musée Delacroix. More here: http://www.musee-delacroix.fr/en/museum/studio-to-museum/from-the-studio-to-the-museum

And the best Baguette or bread of Paris has just been announce! And the winner is the Boulangerie Brun, 193, rue Tolbiac – 13eme. Open Mondays to Sundays from 7h to 20h, Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

And a new terrace with 1000 m2 name the Papa Cabane, Rue Paul Belmondo, just behind the AccorHotels arena in the 12eme. You will have good music, transats, baby-foot games Ping-Pong tables and a pétanque court. Opening May 11 2017 ,open every Thursdays in summer from 18h to 23h. For now a Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/lepapacabane/?ref=ts&fref=ts

 A new promenade will be coming on board in Paris soon. This one to add the ones reserve for the walkers and lovers of history in the heart of Paris. There are some already by the 12eme (rue Claude Decean) , 14eme (rue des Coulmiers), 15eme (lineal of 1,3 kms and space of 3,5 hectares), 16eme (between rue d’Auteuil, and chaussée de  La Muette), and the 18 eme (rue du Ruisseau). Next the runners, walkers visitors and locals alike will be able to run/walk the Petite Ceinture that was during the Second Empire ,the railroad tracks for goods and passengers bringing 39 millions travelers each year to Paris. It is schedule to be useable for  2018, and to open by the 20eme (open to the public by the rue de la Mare and rue Ménilmontant), 14 eme (between the promenade Broussais,and the avenue du Général-Leclerc  near the old train station of Orléans-Ceinture.) ,and on the 17eme (along the boulevard Pereire west of the place de Wagram and rue de Saussure). A special site in French dedicated to the Petite Ceinture here: https://www.petiteceinture.org/

And in French from the city of Paris: http://www.paris.fr/actualites/10-km-de-la-petite-ceinture-ouverts-d-ici-2020-4764

something from my area to keep an eye on are:

Festival des Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix, a crazy musical rendez-vous and now the biggest music festival in France (in terms of spectators). July 13 to 16 2016. More here in French: https://www.vieillescharrues.asso.fr/2017/

Closer to me come see the history and folkclore of Brittany in the Festival InterCeltique de Lorient, the annual Celtic musi and culture get together in August 4-13 2017. And this year the invited country is Scotland! More here: http://www.festival-interceltique.bzh/festival/

Next but not least, see the Festival du Bout du Monde (end of the world festival) a music festival that blends influences from many parts of the world in an amazing setting,the Crozon peninsula; from August 4-5 2017. More here: http://www.festivalduboutdumonde.com/

Ok so cut it short tonite, as will be away from this coming weekend to the last weekend of May so more or less from May 12 to May 28 2017; Poland and Brazil awaits me,and it will be good but tiring continuos trip stop and go. Hopefully will be my last before the big summer vacation break. Until then, be good, help out, smile, and live, life is beautiful but it is short. Cheers

 

 

May 3, 2017

Some news from France CLIIII

So ,therefore, we reach the half way mark of the work week. This one short as off Friday and Holiday Monday Victory 1945 day! Temps are cool in the teen C’s but sunny.

Some of the things happening in my belle France from various sources are back:

You want to follow of my the mythic of Paris , André Malraux , who save many art buildings and help made Paris a museum to the world that it is. He spent his early years at  53, rue Damrémont (18eme) ,where his parents lived, before followed his mother to Bondy in the east of Paris. At the 20’s Montparnasse by pass Montmartre and become the intellectual and artistic spot in the city. Upon his returned from Asia in 1926 he finds his friends at the restos Deux Magots, Flore, and the Brasserie Lipp on the other side in blvd Saint Germain. We see him dined with Saint-Exupéry , Drieu or Arland. He and his wife Clara (they were married on October 21 1921) lived at end 1932 on the  44, rue du Bac (7eme),  a short distance from his office and his editor , where he creates his new novel “ la Condition Humaine” ,and where on March 28 1933 his daughter Florence is born. He meets many personalities here from the literature, politics of France and abroad here. Destiny shows up on August 6 1945 when he meets Général de Gaulle at the war ministry on 14, rue Saint Dominique (6eme), seat of the Council President. The two men creates great chemistry right away, and 10 days later he entered the cabinet of Gen de Gaulle as adviser of culture, and on November 21 , 1945 becomes Minister of Information. Charles de Gaulle returns to power in 1958, and on June 1st, M. Malraux becomes the delegue minister to the presidential council in charge of information.  On January 8 1959, he becomes State Minister in charge of Cultural affairs in the government of  Michel Debré , and has office at 3, rue de Valois, where he stays 10 years. The famous law voted on August 4 1962 as the Loi Malraux (62-903) allows to protect the heritage of France in urban areas preserving their character and architectural unity like the Marais of Paris. He, also, saved against modernist opposition the Hotel Guénégaud (now musée de la Chasse et de la Nature) or the hunting and nature museum; from destruction; the only building built by François Mansart in the  Marais still intact. He died on November 23, 1976 and rest at the Panthéon since 1996 on the side of Jean Moulin. source; Le Figaro translated by me!

And one dear to me because been there and pickup friends coming here from there. The old guinguette Cabassud on pylons over the waters of the Ville-d’Avray.  The same ones that inspired the  impressionists painters and also, Alphonse Daudet and Boris Vian. If you rest your arms on the railings of the park surrounding the lake you see a house with blue roof where lived Corot. The best paintings from the lake now hangs in museums from Strasbourg to  Washington DC. Today you can come to see popular themes shown here on each Thursday per month like May 25th White night, (soirée Blanche). June 22nd ,the  les Paillotes  show you the crazy years around Jazz; July 13 eve of the National Day (Bastille) a bal musette plays with the air of the  Amants de Saint-Jean and the La Java bleue.  Finally, by September, you will have wine tastings of the new millésimes or year of French producers. Go to Les Etangs de Corot,  55, rue de Versailles, Ville-d’Avray (92).Tél. +33 (0) 1 41 15 37 00. Open Thursdays and Fridays  18h30 to midnight ; Saturdays from 12h to midnight; nd Sundays from  11h to 16h. More info here: http://www.etangs-corot.com/

Check this out for those using guides in Paris. About  80 of them are on strike from the company  City Wonders, based in Dublin , Ireland that employs these guide conferenciers as self employed in the big European capitals. The latest strike will be at the Arc du Carrousel du Louvre, to let the tourist and general public know of their situation. It is said that  City Wonders make work in the Louvre folks who have no professional license to be a guide, so cheaper for the company to hire. Buyer beware, Source.  Le Figaro

The great hotel de Crillon is getting closer to open with its total renovation, located at the Place de la Concorde; no photos are allowed now but the folks of Le Parisien newspaper were able to do this reporting I am translating.  the Salon des Ambassadeurs is done, an ultramodern bar is in this historic place , all historical corners of the hotel were renovated and restore to its famous glamour. In the Salon d’hiver, the ceilings a work of art has been restored completely, on the upper level the view is fantastic over the Place de la Concorde. The Salon des Aigles was a great technical knowhow to bring it to its former glory. In the basement, 90 meters long by 30 meters wide, two levels were done without having to move the façades built in 1758!  There is a pool! of 14 meters long, and on the kitchen almost all is done with 7 elevators to bring the meals quicker up. You just need to wait to fit in on its 81 rooms starting from 1 200€, or the 33 suites and 10 signature suites (where two were design by Karl Lagerfeld) at a price not yet reveal lol! This is Paris, more here: https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-de-crillon

And I have been here and one of my favorites,now a bit of history too. The library bookstore Gibert Jeune ? or Gibert Joseph ?  Two aparts libraries with a history that will become one soon according to the Livres Hebdo, a book journal here. Gibert Jeune was declared in bankrupt and now it seems will be united with its sister library.  The first library opened in 1888 at the  quai Saint-Michel by a professor named  Joseph Gibert, who became a bookstore keeper than librarian. Upon his death in 1915, his two sons took over. However, in 1929, there are différences amongst them and war starts with the company splitting in two  Gilbert Jeune and Gilbert Joseph. The eldest son opened at 60 boulevard Saint-Michel (Gibert Joseph, blue ribbon) , and the brother preserve the family name Under  Gibert Jeune (yellow ribbon).  There became over the years a reference for students where they can buy and sell their books and others like us that came for maps , travel, and history books. More here:

https://www.gibertjeune.fr/

https://www.gibertjoseph.com/

Watch out Ice Hockey players converge on Paris Bercy From this coming Friday to May 18, on the AccorHotels Arena (12eme) will host 30 games of the 81st world ice hockey championship. The rest of the games will be played in Koln, Germany. http://www.iihfworlds2017.com/en/

The accorhotels arena here: https://www.accorhotelsarena.com/en/sports-in-Paris/championnat-du-monde-de-hockey-sur-glace-2017-de-liihf

And a burger story in France from America and no its not the typical fast food names. Five Guys de France are opening next month their fourth property in France short distance from the Opéra Garnier. This is the same spot of my old favorite restaurants now bankrupts Chez Clément, almost across the street from Café de la Paix famous resto. They have a bigger property in the Champs-Elysées ,the biggest in the world, and always super busy. The chain was started by Jerry Murrel from Arlington, Virginia USA in 1986 and the name comes from his five sons who are involved in the business. The first restaurant was Five Guys de Bercy (Bercy Village) last August and they all the most profitable of the business with those of Dubai and New York times square.  And get this France consume 1,3 million burgers just behind the British in Europe…! I try to go to taste them at the Champs-Elysées but the lines were long….so we left. More here: https://www.fiveguys.fr/

The Paris football/soccer team PSG thinking of going to the chateau of Thiverval-Grignon property for their training center change their mind ,now it will be at the 74 hectares on Terres de Poncy at Poissy in the intersection of autoroutes  A13 and A14, to be open by the season 2019-2020.  More here in French : https://www.yvelines-infos.fr/le-psg-a-choisi-poissy/

There are exhibition of the master call « Picasso Primitif », in the museum of du Quai Branly, until July 25th.  More here: http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/exhibitions-and-events/at-the-museum/exhibitions/event-details/e/picasso-primitif-36915/.  And the museum or musée Picasso de Paris has an exposition entitled “ Olga Picasso “, a Russian dancer and first wife of the painter, shown until September 3rd. More info:  http://www.museepicassoparis.fr/en/olga-picasso-exhibition/

The Norwegian agency Snøhetta created an international art center at Lascaux 4 famous caves a complex of 11 500 m2  that house the center, a giant replica of the prehistoric site old of 20 000 years. Done on an exact replica of the cave and with a temperature of 13C (about 54F)  and a lighting to resemble the original light in the cave. It has 6 salons showing the whole history of prehistoric men, open since the end of 2016 but officially opened last March . More info here: http://www.lascaux.fr/en

The Fondation Cartier reopen its door after the renovation were done with a wonderful exposition entitled « Autophoto » , the automobile photograph from all angles since the early 20C by the great names, all until September 24th; more info here: https://www.fondationcartier.com/en/art-contemporain/26/exhibitions/2644/news/2779/autophoto/

And we are cutting time from next July 2017 coming and going from Brittany to Paris. this is the new line of LGV all the way to Brest. Time to discovered this town sang by the poet  Jacques Prévert , that is hosting the 40th anniversary of his death.  The where the fresh wind, artistic, and architecture, blows in his hidden heart… OF course , some increase in fares are in order too! The LGV will allow to bring Rennes to Paris in 1h25 from the current 2h04. The price increase will be from 4-6€. More info here: http://blog-tgvatlantique.sncf.com/feedbacks/149930-decouvrez-projets-horaires-2017-Bretagne

You can discovered the city of Brest (see my other post do search) and the best value are the Oceanopolis aquarium or the marine museum in the castle.  the oceanopolis has a new pavilion call Bretagne, see more here : http://www.oceanopolis.co.uk/

http://www.musee-marine.fr/brest

Some anecdotes of Brest: You have heard of the  « tonnerre de Brest »  lighting of Brest, it comes from the noise that was made with the canon shot to announce the attempt escape of a detainee in the harbor. You have heard of Jean Gabin, that made a film there “Remorques“,and asked that his ashes were disperse in town harbor that was done on November 18, 1976.  The American lieutenant James Reese (and his musicians of the 369th infantery regiment) who was the first one who played jazz in France to the public while the American troops landed in December 1917. 800 000 American soldiers landed at Brest during the First World War. The famous cake Paris-Brest ,created in 1910 by a pastry chef from Maisons-Laffitte (dept 78 Yvelines!!) in honor of the bicycle race linking the two cities ; that explains the form of the bike wheel.  The Quartz, the national scene of Brest, one of the most frequented in France.http://www.lequartz.com/

One recommendation for lodging, do the historical hotel of Brest, Le Continental. Art Déco and rooms from 68€. http://www.oceaniahotels.co.uk/h/hotel-le-continental-brest/presentation

or another favorite property the  Le Mercure Brest Centre Les Voyageurs, all new ,rooms from 70€.  More here: http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-A4A5-hotel-mercure-brest-centre-les-voyageurs/index.shtml

Other than those already given to eat ,in previous posts, the restaurant  Le Ruffé, of Thierry Beauvy and Jean-Michel Faijean has been recommended to me and will try all with local produce and meats in an modern décor.  Menu from 19€  More info here:  http://www.le-ruffe.com/

Enjoy France is all a movable feast ::) Cheers!

 

April 29, 2017

Some news from France CLIII

And I am back from a wonderful one week trip to Spain, but back in town is cold and cloudy and lots of rain announce for tomorrow. We are on a three day holiday due to May 1st been Labor Day here. Temps went up only to 17C or about 63F but right now it is 52F or 11C.

Let me tell you of an event mentioned before but it’s worth it if around Versailles, my dear old town. This is the Jumping international du Château de Versailles May 5-7. This is considered a 5 stars event ,the highest in its category. More here: http://jumping-chateauversailles.com/?lang=gb

The roots on horse riding go deep here since 1670, and the king Louis XIV had built the Grande and Petite Ecuries. It is here that Bàrtabas , the founder of the Académie équestre nationale du domaine de Versailles in 2003 . More here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables/national-equestrian-academy-estate-versailles

This event will have over 200 horses with the best 30 jockeys of the world including four French Olympic champions. A course with 1600 spectators will be done in the stables=ecuries, and the visitors will have access to the gallery of Coaches or La Galerie des Carrosses in the Grande Ecurie as well, superb; restored in 2016. You see carriages of Napoléon Ier, the funeral carriage of Louis XVIII, fantasy trainers, etc. More here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables/gallery-coaches

If need to missed this one( a pity), then , Do not forget in July ,the Longines Global Champions Tour de Chantilly, from July 13-16. More info here: http://jumping-chantilly.com/en

The vineyards and our wine is on the lookout, as these last few nights they have been hit by some frost and cold winds that were not expected. The most hit were Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Champagne, but, also all in general.

At Chablis ,water had to be pumped in to protect from deed freezing ,even with its risks. From eolians tactics to helicopters to heating elements in the fields all has been tried. At Chateau Corbin in Saint Emilion from 13 hectares 10 are totally destroyed!!! Even if the appellation Pomerol is the most affected. The effects are closer to those that happened in 1991. The temperatures going down to -4C  or 23F has affected Gaillac and Fronton where 80% of vineyards were frozen.  There are 20  000 hectares in the Languedoc that were destroyed. This the experts will tell you that in 2018 many will have nothing to offer us to drink!!!

In Champagne ,will have to dig to its reserves. Temperatures going down to 19F or 7C and about 20-25% of vineyards destroyed. In Cognac, 25K over 75K hectares were touch by this freezing 75% or more. Article read in the Le Figaro newspaper of April 29-30 2017.

A bit of history I like, that will enhance your visiting pleasures. Why not know the history is to engage in culture and understanding of the country, France. The traces of the last Bourbons kings is the latest article in Le Figaro magazine.

The article takes notice of the visit of Prince Louis Alphonse de Bourbon (legitimate king of France Louis XX) , last descendant of king Felipe V of Spain in turn grandson of king Louis XIV of France)  to Gorica, Slovania. The visit was to pay respect to the last king of France Charles X, who died in exile here, and whether to bring his body back to the Basilica of Saint Denis, north of Paris.

The current President of France, François Hollande had ordered repair the arrow tower of the basilica of Saint Denis in the north tower in a symbolic act. The question of bringing back the last kings of France is now a possibility.

king Charles X (brother of Louis XVI) ,also known as the Count of Artois,was overthrown in the 3 glorious days or trois glorieuses in 1830(also,known as the July revolution) , and died of colera on November 6 1836 in Gorizia ,the frontier of Frioul-Venetia Julienne and Slovenia. He lies in the Franciscan convent of Castagnavizza ,today call Kostanjevica in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. There, also , lies his son, Duke of Angoulême (short while king Louis XIX) his wife and cousin Mary Theresa of France, also ,called madame royale, the unfortunate daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette freed from the prison of Temple,and the grandchildren of Charles X, also, Henri V, count of Chambord, the last French Bourbon of the branch, and his wife Mary Theresa of Modena, and her sister, Louise of France; duchess of Parma.

The convent has gone thru some tough days that threaten to destroyed the coffins in it. The first was in 1914 facing the Austro-Hungarian empire and Italy ,when the convent was bombed and the coffins were saved due to Zita of  Austria, granddaughter of Louise of Parma, who transferred them to the convent of Capuchins in Vienna until 1932.  At the end of WWII,the monastery of Castagnavizza that is on a hill dominating Gorizia passed to the jurisdiction of Yugoslavia until the independence of Slovenia in 1991; where it change name to Kostanjevica,and kept by the Franciscans Monks in Nova Gorica.

Charles X is the only French king now lying in foreign soil, and there is an association trying to change that. The Association pour le Retour a Saint-Denis de Charles X: more here in French : http://www.leretourdecharlesx.fr/

Victor Hugo,had already asked for the return of the king where he wrote in French: “Moi, je n’affligerai pas plus, o Charles X, Ton cercueil maintenant que ton exil jadis! Repose, fils de France,en ta tombe exile! Dormez,sire! Il convient que cette ombre voile, que ce vieux Pasteur mort sans people et sans troupeaux, Roi Presque séculaire ait au moins le repos.”

Meaning, as close as can make it in English: I will distressed no more, O Charles X your coffin now in your radiant exile, rest son of France in your grave in exile! Sleep Sir, It is convenient that this covered shade,that this old  pastor dead without people or followers; king almost secular has at least a resting place.

The association just wants to reunite the brothers , Louis XVI,Louis XVIII,and Charles X in the Basilique de Saint Denis. For this,they have the backing and support of all the relatives of Charles X living today. That is the Princes Bourbon-Parma born from his granddaughter Louise of Bourbon, and the two daughters of the Duke of Berry (second son of Charles X assassinated in 1820) had with Amy Brown: Charlotte, princess of Faucigny-Lucinge ,and Louise, Baronnesa of Charette de la Contrie. At least 50 descendant has given the ok for the transfer. The only block is that on the Will and Last Testament of the Count of Chambord (Henri V) he asked not to be buried in France as well as his wife Mary Theresa of Modena. He refuse the tricolor flag of the French republic for keeping the white flag symbol of the monarchy in 1871.

The current pretender Louis Alphonse (Alfonso born in Madrid, and legitimate Louis XX king of France), does not want to separate the grandchildren from his grandfather.  The transfer can only be done with the blessing of the French Republic and with all the honors of a sovereign monarch according to Louis Alphonse.

He professed the European unity in this speech that I have translated to English. ” Your city can be proud of being that in Europe, has without a doubt been the most marked by the presence of the princes and princesses of my family, but to the physical presence need to add memory and remembrance that remain still so  powerful. Every year, many pilgrims come from France to visit the  places of exile; I like to see it as a beautiful symbol of our Europe, seeking always to better understand its roots and who find them, just by sharing common memories across borders”

You too can come here, (it is my goal in life) to see the Cathedral where the funerals of the last French Bourbon were held and the palace Coronini Cronberg where Charles X found refuge and finally died. The prince Louis Alphonse tells the mayor of Gorizia, your town welcomed my family seeking exile in desperation ; today you town stays loyal to the Bourbons, and you host me as you did them, if your town stays loyal to the Bourbons ,we will stay loyal to Gorizia , and my sons will come here too. He lays a crown of flowers to the tomb with 3 white lys flowers symbol of the monarchy all shown on local Slovene and Italian TV( not in France).

The palace is here: http://www.coronini.it/en/

The convent where Charles X and family are buried: http://www.samostan-kostanjevica.si/en/tombs-bourbons

The Cathedral were the funerals were held: http://www.turismofvg.it/Religious-monuments/Gorizia-Cathedral

Prince Louis Alphonse, duke of Anjou and Bourgogne, and confirm by the House of France as the heir legimitate as king Louis XX was accompanied on this trip by Stéphane Bern a well know TV commentator, historian and actor. He wrote the piece for Le Figaro magazine.

The other sovereign of France not buried in France is that of emperor Napoléon III.  He is buried at the Abbey Chapel of Farnborough in England. He lied there with his wife emperatrice Eugénie (of the Montijo of Spain), and their son Louis who died in 1879 in a battle with the Zulus in South Africa (he would have been Napoléon IV).

At the Benedictine abbey of Saint Michael founded in 1881 by the emperatrice Eugénie that lived at Farnborough Hill.  There are the tombs of Napoléon III (1873), Eugénie (1920) and Louis (1879). In the 150th anniversary of the unification of the Savoie and county of Nice, many people ask for the repatriation of the bodies to France.

In 2008 during the bicentennial of the birth of the emperor many came here, including a representation of the French Republic by way of its ambassador in UK. Up to this date, the descendant family have always opposed to the repatriation to France.  At least ,at Farnborough the Benedictine monks pray for the emperor, who will do that in Paris? said the Princess Napoléon (I have met her at the Institut de France in Paris, salon Victor Hugo) . Difficult to bring them all as the imperial prince is buried with English military uniform! and the Invalides could not be.

Other place that I know is the Church of Saint Augustin, that has been sought after for many years as a necropolis of the empire.  Napoléon III already have sought of doing a mausoleum Bonaparte here.  The Church is well aligned in the perspective of the baron Haussmann between the Church of the Madeleine (dedicated to the grande armée), and the place Wagram. Nevertheless, the pilgrims here will be less than at Farnborough.

So there you have my historical post on France , again there is lot to see here, a lot more than on travel guides. Enjoy your weekend, Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2017

The jewels of Paris, Intercontinental Hotels

I believe I have mentioned this briefly in my many posts on Paris since 2010 ::) However, I have not written a post on them alone. It could be a short post or long, the bottom line I have great memories of these hotels and would like to share it and have a post to remind me for a long time.

At my time, there were two properties Intercontinental Hotel or l’Inter (now the Westin Paris) on rue Castiglione near the Tuileries garden,  and the Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental and its wonderful Café de la Paix by the Opéra Garnier. Now,there is another one call the Marceau.

The newest one is at 64 Avenue Marceau, and the webpage is: http://www.ic-marceau.com/en/home/

So why I have good memories of it and always will remember them? Well , I used to worked in them, and was in charge of all intercontinental hotels including Cannes, and the Holiday Inn hotels in France own outright by the group Intercontinental Hotels Group. Two wonderful years bouncing from one to the other in an top management position in the Accounting dept.

I went thru wonderful Christmas parties for the employees, to welcoming and meeting some of the famous and known such as U2, Condoleezza Rice , Sec of state USA; Stéphane Bern , French actor, presenter and many many more. Working with the upper class of the French nobility including Princess Napoléon, to the marquis and dukes of France; and the famous brands who held many events in the hotels from Louis Vuitton, to Chanel, to the fabulous Fashion Weeks of Paris.

Funny stories from how to keep famous groups in the hotel because the money was late in arriving, to doing special invoicing for Louis Vuitton and Sanofi pharma group; to helping with the princesses and prince of the Middle East; and of course helping my colleagues from serving as English/French  translator for the film crew from South Korea (needed to spent a night in the hotel ,junior suite looking at the Eiffel tower!); and helping out the expat community on providing free host in the great salon (historical monuments of France) for charitable events (raising funds for the hurricane Katrina of New Orleans LA USA fame).

The Intercontinental Paris-Le Grand webpage is here:  https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/paris/parhb/hoteldetail#scmisc=nav_hoteldetail_ic

and it’s attach Café de la Paix is here: http://www.cafedelapaix.fr/en/

The ceilings of the Café de la Paix were done by Charles Garnier of the opera fame and many others, they are historical monument of France and the intricate work you see, has even more value than those in the hotels. You do not have to eat in to just past in and see the ceiling.

The Le Grand hotel at the corner of 2 rue Scribe,and 12 blvd des Capucines, has a wonderful bar with leather sofa seats and piano music to soothe your soul in Paris. It ,also, has a great I-Spa by Algotherm. La Verriére is a wonderful garden style bistro with a great glass cupola right in the middle of the hotel. It was built between 1861 and 1862 for the coming of the Universal Exposition of 1867. The palace hotel was opened in great pomp by the Emperatrice Eugénie as well as the Café de la Paix in May 1862 ( soon to have 155 yrs old). The salon a historical monument of France here is call Salon Opéra and on the side is facing the Opéra Garnier!

My offices were in the mezzanine section off the general public but we needed to walk into the public areas unassumed and enjoy the beauty ::)

The HQ handling all the hotels was at the Intercontinental Paris or affectionally called L’Inter. It was at the corner of the streets 3 rue de Castiglione and rue Rivoli. It opened in 1878 as the Hôtel Continental. It was built at the lot of the old Ministry of Finances burned in the uprisings of 1871 ; the Grand Dukes of Russia stayed here each time passing by Paris.  The hotel was renamed  the Inter-Continental Paris in the 1970’s then the The Westin Paris in 2005 ,and now call the The Westin Paris -Vendôme from  2010. The historical monument of France here is call Salon Napoléon.

It ,also has a Spa, Six Senses, and great bar ;these are Le First, and Le Terrace under the cupola in the garden center of the hotel; but my favorite and always around here was Le Tuileries Bar ,very cozy sofas and great drinks, taking you back to the 19C: more on it here: http://www.tuileriesbar.com/en/

The offices were again in the mezzanine area off the general public but we could walk all over, and I did as my job will take me to see the restaurants/bar personnel as well as the rooms. The walks between the l’Inter and Le Grand were sublime passing by the Place Vendôme into the Place de l’Opéra!!  Many of the colleagues working in non management positions are still there as well as some who have move up to management position now. A good bunch of people.

One other IHG property I was responsible for was in Cannes, the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in the Croisette! I visited there,and knew all the management staff;some came over to Paris later on. A rich history as well since 1913 as the Carlton Hotel catering to rich and noble Russians from the Grand Duke down. In 1922 the first league of United Nations was held here,and the film Festival of Cannes was done here in 1939.  The Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief was done here in 1954, and Grace Kelly Princess of Monaco had it as almost her personal residence. It became as we know it today in 1982 when the IHG took majority interest.

In all, in those early years of 2004-2006, I was, also, responsible for the Holiday Inn -pl de la République in Paris (now a Crown plaza hotel), and the Holiday Inn Disneyland ,who of course, I not only visited on business but also stayed with the family while going to Disneyland Paris(the hotel is now call the Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel).

Those days were good and the ambiance fantastic, I always stayed now in these hotels even in other visited abroad like the Intercontinental Castellana in Madrid, or the Athenatum in Athens Greece or the Intercontinental Dusseldorf in Germany. And many Holiday Inns all over.

As to why the journey was over, well as it happened in our world, I and all the management class was dismissed when our employment contract was held at the l’Inter and it was sold to a pension fund from Singapore ,who in turn gave the management to the Starwood chain, and they decided to change the name to the Westin along with dismissing the management personnel on a nice transaction deal in my belle France.  The package was nice, the leaving was hard ,even today I missed the ambiance, the friends, the place.

And now that you know from where I am coming from, well do stay there, eat there, drink there, is a Paris France institution and worth the detour for all. Cheers!Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris

 

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