Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

June 30, 2022

The Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs of Versailles!

And back again to update this wonderful post of a venerable monument of my dear Versailles.  The de facto Capital of France! The royal and imperial city of France, my home for 9 glorious years! I like to take you into another off the beaten path site in my beloved city. If you move out of the castle and come to know the city a bit more, you will learn not only French history but World history as well. I like to enlighten you into know a bit more on the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs.

The Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs is located at 22 Avenue de Paris. It remained famous in the history of France for having welcomed the Assembly of the Notables of 1787, that of 1788 and above all the General Estates of 1789, the last that the former regime had experienced. It is an integral part of the history of France, and a must to visit even if today has other functions, read on…

versailles-hotel-des-menus-plaisirs-du-roi-ent-mar13

A bit of history I like

This hotel was built on orders of king Louis XV around 1745, in order to house the decoration workshops and the equipment of the games related to the festivities of the King and the Court called “Menus-plaisirs”. It will include sports accessories (especially for jeu de paume play), theater sets, musical instruments.etc.. There are also workshops for models, costumes, paintings and other sculptures, In 1759, the hotel also contains a physics office installed by Abbé Nollet for the instruction of the children of France, starting with the future Louis XVI. The architectural ensemble then revolves around two buildings located at different levels. The lower court opens on No. 22, avenue de Paris, while the High Court is located by No. 19 rue des Etats Géneraux. It was at the site of the latter court that a provisional room hosted a meeting of notables in 1787, then end 1788. On the inside, the sovereign is then installed under a canopy, located in front of the covered staircase which currently provides communication between the two courtyards. The three orders (nobles laymen ,and clerby) are seated separately in the stands arranged in horseshoes, while high grandstands greet the public.

It was in this room that the abolition of privileges was voted in 1789 and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was made. The Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs includes the election of Maximilian Robespierre as president of the District Court. The judges of the Criminal court settled there in 1792, waiting for the former bailiwick to be transformed into a house of justice. Thereafter, the hotel serves as a food store for the army, although many theater props are still kept on reserve, which also stirs up the lust of directors of Parisian halls who regularly come to used (take) them.

Versailles menus-plaisirs-courtyard music conservatoire mar13

The Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs was transformed into a barracks for the volunteers of the Gendarmerie (police) Corps, it became a center of distribution of bread for the troops before being finally sold to a certain Dubusc in 1800. However, the prefect ordered the cancellation of the sale a year later, but already the damage is done: In the meantime, the buyer has unfortunately already demolished a large part of the historic premises including the famous room of the General Estates! . The hotel would then become a cavalry barracks, then be abandoned for more than a century until the city of Versailles installed its technical services in 1942. The State will restore these places as part of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the French revolution in 1989.

Versailles menus-plaisirs music conservatoire mar13

Under the restoration, it was tried to return to its first assignment, but without regaining the glow of the pre-revolution festivities. After the revolution of 1830, the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs became a conservatory of music under the name of Royal School of Music and Declamation. Since 1996, part of the hotel is now home to the Baroque music Center of Versailles. The remains of the Hall of the General Estates remain in the high courtyard used for the recess of the students of the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles. The pavements of the ground expose the layout of the hall, with the Royal Tribune at the bottom, the grandstands for the nobility and the clergy on the sides, the Great Tribune for the third-state in front which can be seen today.

versailles hotel des menus plaisirs inside jul15

The official Baroque music center on the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs of Versailleshttps://cmbv.fr/fr

The official Château de Versailles on the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs : https://en.chateauversailles.fr/centre-musique-baroque-versailles#the-centre-de-musique-baroque-de-versailles-a-unique-institution

There you go folks, Indeed a must for the lovers of architecture and history of France and the world really a must to see. Just come out of the palace on avenue de Paris and walk up the Hôtel Menus Plaisirs is on the right hand side of the street and just a few minutes easily accessable. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

June 26, 2022

Curiosities of France !! Part III

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of France !! Part III

These are pictures before my blogging effort and even before coming to live in France! Hope you enjoy these marvels of my belle France!!!

It all began in the States General room of the Château de Blois on December 23, 1588. Henri de Guise, Duke of Guise had an appointment with King Henri III who called him into his study. Deeply hating the Protestants, who murdered his father in 1563, he was one of the instigators of the Saint-Barthélemy massacre. Head of the Holy Union (1584), he aspired to govern to reduce the political influence of Protestants. Henri III brings together the Estates General in Blois to thwart him and lays a trap for him. The Duc de Guise is assassinated by the king’s personal guard in the royal apartments. The next day, his brother the Cardinal of Lorraine was imprisoned and executed in turn. That is me in the pic of course ::)

Blois castle room duke de guise portrait assasin et PF

The official Château de Blois :https://en.chateaudeblois.fr/

The Rue d’Alsace-Lorraine marks the boundary between the districts of Capitole and Carmes, to the west, and Saint-Étienne and Saint-Georges, to the east, all in Sector 1 – Center. This is one of Toulouse’s main thoroughfares. Also one of the city’s main shopping streets. It is also one of the main Haussmann arteries of the Ville Rose. The Rue d’Alsace-Lorraine stretches for one km in a straight line facing due north. It arises from the extension of the rue du Languedoc at the height of the entrance to the Hôtel de Ciron-Fumel, At the height of the Musée des Augustins it receives on its right side the rue de Metz and borders the eastern flank of the square Esquirol; it then becomes pedestrian. It gives birth on its right side to rue Antonin-Mercié and receives rue Genty-Magre on the opposite side. It crosses rue du Fourbastard perpendicularly, before receiving rue Baour-Lormian on its left side; it crosses rue de la Pomme before giving birth on the right to rue du Lieutenant-Colonel-Pélissier and then to rue Lapeyrouse. At Square Charles-de-Gaulle, which it borders on its eastern flank, it crosses Rue du Poids-de-l’Huile and Rue Lafayette, All this glorious paragraph is to tell you that we love walking it and shopping here, and one memorable spot now close is the Virgin Megastore that was at 28 Rue d’Alsace Lorraine that my boys love it each time in the city, One of my boys in the pic below, A site Toulouse Boutiques to find stores in the rue Alsace Lorraine : https://toulouseboutiques.com/boutiques-rue-alsace-lorraine-toulouse/

Toulouse rue alsace lorraine to virgin megastore closed XF

Covering an area of 130 hectares and extending beyond the drop in the Cascades basin, the park of Fontainebleau castle once marked the limits of the royal domain to the east. From the village of Avon, it was crossed by the main access road to the castle. Its current configuration, the organization of the network of star-shaped alleys and waterfalls, results from the creation of the canal under Henri IV, 2,000 m long and 40 m wide, Initially planted with more than sixty thousand trees where the rows of white poplars, oaks and fruit trees, this “closed park” and its canal were the pride of the king, who followed the construction site, monitoring the progress of the work. In 1609, it took more than a week to fill it and, from autumn, the king sailed there with his Dauphin.

Fontainebleau garden to back of castle

Fontainebleau garden by ave de maintenon

The official Château de Fontainebleau and its gardens and park :https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/en/explore-the-castle-and-gardens/discover-the-courtyards-and-gardens/

The cour Royale or Royal court is located in front of the Palace of Versailles, in an alignment of 3 courtyards, before the Cour de Marbre and behind the Cour d’Honneur from which it is separated by the Grille Royale or Royal gate. It is flanked to the north by the Gabriel Wing and to the south by the Dufour Pavilion. The Cour de Marbre is a courtyard of the Palace of Versailles paved with black and white marble, located in the recess of the old castle, at the foot of the King’s chamber. Separated by five steps from the cour Royale.

Versailles cour royale to cour marbre

The official Palace of Versailles on descriptions of placeshttps://bienvenue.chateauversailles.fr/en/palace/welcome

Located on the road D186 arriving from Le Chesnay (Roquencourt), Porte Saint Antoine provides access to all Domaine’s park, and was our favorite entry point, The Allée Saint-Antoine begins to the south in front of the Grand Canal and ends approximately 1,350 meters to the north on the Boulevard Saint-Antoine, where the triumphal arch of Porte Saint-Antoine is located. Walking it you are much closer the Hameau of Marie Antoinette and the Trianons.

Versailles from porte st antoine on allee st antoine by the hameau of M A

The official Palace of Versailles on practical infohttps://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate

The Plage Centrale or central beach of Carcans Plage is the closest beach to the seaside center a few streets away. This large sandy beach is a continuation of the southern beach but it is supervised in summer. Access to the beach is quite simple via a path in the dunes. There is no parking for this beach, you have to use the one on the south beach.

Carcans plage dune from beach to town

The official Médoc Atlantique tourist office on Carcans plagehttps://www.medoc-atlantique.co.uk/14-towns-with-1001-possibilities/holidays-in-carcans-maubuisson/

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to my belle France. The wonders of France, the most visited country in the world (UN WTO). I say that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog

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

June 18, 2022

Some news from France ,CCCLVII

It’s time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLVII is no 357::) And I thank you. The weather is now more as pure heat with high of 33C or 91F chez moi, only that from Sunday the temps will drop drastically again to around 20C. Enjoy my belle France !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

On the Galeries Lafayette terrace, the panoramic view gives the impression of being on top of the world. The Opera and the chimneys of Paris serve as a backdrop to the La Scène French Touch festival organized by the department store. From July 5 to 10 2022 . At Haussmann on the 9éme arrondissement. Webpage: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en/

The Quai Branly museum offers a refreshing break with its Jardin d’été or summer garden. Many activities take place in its vast green space It is protected from the street by a glass palisade. Games, writing workshops, readings, gardening, walks or even quizzes, everything has the theme of nature, the environment and the living. Among the major events in the program, the Hip-Hop Collections festival dedicated to hip-hop culture and non-European music is launched on July 3 From July 3 to August 28 2022 at the Quai Branly museum (7éme). Webpage: https://quaibranly.fr/en/exhibitions-and-events/at-the-museum/shows-festivals-and-events/festivals-and-events/event-details/e/jardin-dete-2022-39412/

L’Escale Royale offers nights in suites moored in Port Ilon in the Yvelines (78) After just over an hour’s journey from the capital: surprise to be immersed in this rural universe. This still grows on arrival at Port-Ilon, a marina where the suite where you come to spend the night is moored, between barges, yachts and river cruise ships. Like a 100-hectare lake opening onto the Seine, the Ilon, in Saint-Martin-la-Garenne in the Yvelines, hides an unsuspected beauty. Entirely bordered by trees, it is classified Natura 2000 for its great ornithological richness in particular. An exceptional setting for the floating houses of the Escale Royal. Webpage: https://www.lescaleroyale.fr/

With ever more shops and restaurants, the Forum des Halles is completing its transformation. The old wing located between Place Carrée and Porte du Louvre is getting a facelift and will house 23 brands and restaurants over more than 8,000 m2. Passersby will be able to take the renovated driveway from July 19, 2022. webpage: https://fr.westfield.com/forumdeshalles/access

L’Arena de la porte de la Chapelle or the Porte de la Chapelle Arena will be delivered in the summer of 2023 to host the Olympic Games the following year. The building will be the pillar of the renewal of the district. It will host shops, restaurants but also school activities and local sports associations. More on Paris2024 webpage: https://www.paris2024.org/fr/site/arena-la-chapelle/

Well folks, again, the Fête de la Musique! will be held next June 21 2022. What good memories, aren’t they? This year, the one that marks the (official) beginning of summer, celebrates its 40th anniversary. Free concerts, highlighting of amateur groups, festive wanderings in the streets… All levels and all genres come together in harmony for an evening. Official Ministry of Culture of France ; https://fetedelamusique.culture.gouv.fr/

Radio France is preparing, as usual, a great program for the Fête de la Musique. France Inter at the Olympia, FIP at the Arènes de Lutèce, France Musique at Studio 104, Viva l’Orchestra at the Auditorium… The whole of Paris will be covered by the coolest French radio. The little extra? This year, the establishment of a “Char Radio France” will wander the streets of Paris. This house and disco-sounding truck will leave the turntables to Young Pulsa to set the mood for the whole city. From the Pont Grenelle, to the Maison de la Radio et de la Musique, via the Institute of the Arab World… webpage: https://www.maisondelaradioetdelamusique.fr/radio-france-fete-la-musique

The Ministry of Culture also has an exceptional evening in store for us. At the Domaine national du Palais-Royal, a series of concerts that will show us the musical universe from A to Z. Sopico, Julien Clerc, Anne Paceo, DakhaBrakha, Temenik Electric… A music festival as we like it, in the heart of Paris. Make the music again! Ministry of Culture – Music Festival, Domaine du Palais-Royal, 8 Rue de Montpensier, 1éme arrondissement of Paris. Doors open at 17h30. webpage: https://shotgun.live/fr/events/40-ans-de-fetes-de-la-musique-refaites-de-la-musique

Where to swim near Paris, let me give a couple spots that are nice as per moi

L’île de loisirs de Jablines or the leisure island of Jablines: the closest of the least close, this superb place is located 42 km from Paris. Lots of activities are possible there: there is an equestrian center, and two white sand beaches. You can also practice hiking and of course: swimming! It takes about forty minutes by car to get there from the city. A very nice place to swim close to Paris! Rue du Bac Base Loisirs , Jablines, Seine et Marne 77. webpage: https://jablines-annet.iledeloisirs.fr/acces-ile-de-loisirs-de-jablines-annet.html

Les Étangs de Hollande, the royal spot for swimming near Paris, Very close to the forest of Rambouillet, in the natural park of the Haute Vallée des Chèvreuses, are the artificial ponds of Holland. Originally they were created to supply the fountains of the Palace of Versailles, today they are absolutely perfect for swimming near Paris. The ponds are 55 kilometers from Paris. Route des Etangs de Hollande – 78, Les Bréviaires, The natural park of the Haute Vallée des Chévreuses on the ponds: https://www.parc-naturel-chevreuse.fr/destination-parc/etangs-de-hollande 

Ile aux loisirs de Bois-Le-Roi , the most family-friendly, This place 50 km from Paris is very pretty, and also very popular with families. Very close to Fontainebleau, this place offers lots of different ways to have fun: picnics, swimming, sunbathing, and even horse riding… The beach is super pretty and the trees caress the surface of the clear water: a great spot where escape from the city and where to swim near Paris. Rue de Fournezy, Bois-Le-Roi, Seine et Marne 77, webpage: http://bois-le-roi.iledeloisirs.fr/presentation/

Meaux Plage ,the most natural , and sentimental for me, It is the ideal place to get your fill of nature: so much so that some animals also show up there to quench their thirst or warm up in the sun if you are lucky. You can play a game of mini-golf there, jump on trampolines to let off steam or even a good football match with family or friends to relieve the pressure of the week. A great spot to relax, exercise and swim near Paris. (54 km to be precise. 2 Chemin de la Marine, Meaux, Seine et Marne 77. webpage:https://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/346

And if you want something to do with the ocean, there are 4 beaches less than 2h30 from Paris by train!

Le Crotoy. As soon as you arrive at Noyelles-sur-mer train station, hop on the Baie de Somme railway for a real trip back in time. There are not 1 but 4 beaches that you have to discover in Le Crotoy. 2h30 from Gare du Nord, My fav Plages TV on Crotoy beaches: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/le-crotoy-80550

Deauville, the prettiest. Often considered the 21st arrondissement of Paris, Deauville is for you. As a couple or with the family, enjoy the 643 meter long beach! the racecourse is also very nice. To end the day in style, head to the casino. 2 hours from Gare Saint-Lazare. Plages TV webpage: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/deauville-14800

Dieppe, for the sporty (and the lazy) you can try to reach the beaches of Dieppe by bike… from Paris! And yes it is possible! You will pass by “L’Avenue Verte”, or green avenue a very pleasant walk which crosses landscapes as magnificent as each other If you do not like sand, you will appreciate the magnificent pebble beach of Dieppe. 2h15 from Gare Saint Lazare . Plages TV webpage: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/dieppe-76200

Cabourg, the most relaxing. A sort of little Deauville, with fewer people and less expensive, it does exist, it’s Cabourg! There are the same activities: casino, racetrack, beaches and umbrellas. We especially take advantage of the superb Marcel Proust promenade to breathe the sea air, stretch our legs, or, for the most motivated, do our morning jog. 2h15 from Gare Saint-Lazare. Plages TV webpage: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/cabourg-14390

The Oscar Hotel building is in the pure modernist style of Auguste Perret, the architect who rebuilt the city after WWII. A return to the 1950s even in the decoration of the rooms, including n°8, with a view of Le Volcan by Oscar Niemeyer (see post). Seen from Place Niemeyer, the Oscar Hotel blends into the gray of Le Havre. The product of the reconstruction the architect Auguste Perret, charged after WWII by the French government with the reconstruction ex nihilo of the 150 hectares of the city center, destroyed by the bombings of 1944. From the reception, the memory machine starts. transform this modest family hotel in the spirit of the 1950s and rename it after the modular furniture manufacturer Oscar, in vogue at the time. This wooden counter edged with blue Formica, this fringed velvet sofa, this large television set… The decor, furiously vintage, takes guests back a few decades. In the breakfast corner, served in dishes found at Emmaüs, magazines evoke the election of President René Coty or the dresses of Jackie Kennedy. A staircase serves the 14 rooms spread over two levels and remained “in their own juice” webpage: https://www.oscarhotel.fr/

For our greatest pleasure, some public transport lines are air-conditioned (at last) and we will not hesitate to take advantage of it. Note that the RATP distinguishes between three types of ventilation: refrigerated ventilation (air conditioning), forced mechanical ventilation (the outside air is sucked in and diffused inside) and natural ventilation (opening of windows and drafts). These are:

Air-conditioned lines: In the metro: Lines 1,2,5,9,14. In the RER: RER A, part of the RER B trains, a third of the RER C. In the tram: All lines of the tram except T1. On the bus: 1,198 buses are air-conditioned out of 4,886. Lines in forced mechanical ventilation: In the metro: Lines 4,7, 7bis, 8, 13. In the RER: Part of the RER B trains. Lines with natural ventilation: In the metro: Lines 3, 3bis, 6, 10, 11 and 12. Now you know in hot weather what to take best ok

For years, an ice cream parlor dominated the Parisian scene, famous for the quality, the taste, and the natural raw materials it used: Berthillon. Since 1954, on Île Saint-Louis, the house has continued to spin its ice cream and sorbets every day. But in recent years, the level of artisans has continued to climb. Fabien Foenix, the nugget of Paris. Installed for 40 years, this artisan ice cream maker offers 70 flavors of ice cream and sorbets and 15 frozen desserts including the fabulous pot of nougatine with can be garnished with the flavors of your choice to order. We love homemade cones to enjoy with a cocoa sorbet, fresh mint or mojito. We can also be tempted by the plum ice cream and the memorable Rothschild soufflé with Grand Marnier. The official Fabien Foenix webpage: https://www.glacier-foenix.com/

And for the record, the official Berthillon webpage: https://berthillon.fr/

Restaurant Salvaje in Paris: remake of the superprods of the 2000s, On the one hand, an ageless house in search of youth; on the other, one of these little superprods like the year 2000 was leaving the surroundings of the Champs-Élysées full of them. They were called Barfly, Buddha Bar, (memories here! )Man Ray, Nobu, released impossible rooms of cardboard, waitresses all in legs, decibels per pack, tracking shots of bar and prices heavy as show. On the plate, it was fun to tangle the spindles while cooking fusion and, take out the chopsticks, a pretext from Japan already offered the round back of sushi, perfect not to disturb the lipsticks and the peremptory gentlemen. From those years and on the side of Monceau, we are frankly not far with this first copy of a Spanish chain. Restaurant Salvaje (wild) inside the Hotel du Collectionneur, 51 Rue de Courcelles, 8éme. Webpage:https://paris.salvaje.world/

The Parisian institution (and mine see post) ,Au Petit Riche is modernizing with a wine bar and a terrace. It is thus to wonder if a certain Paris is not starting to seriously get tired of these dragonfly tables which chirp on the plates as in the garden. To wonder just as well if this same certain Paris has had enough of these dinette decorations where the walls bring in the belly while the benches kick ass. The fact remains that, in recent months, the veterans of the nostalgic bistro have brought back their strawberries, their encaustic rooms, their century of memory by promising a little new on the side of the sauce boat. Indeed recommended. Webpage: https://www.restaurant-aupetitriche.com/en/

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summer rather quickly with the first wave of heat 93F or 35C, and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

June 14, 2022

Some news from France ,CCCLVI

It’s time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLVI is no 356::) And I thank you. The weather is now more as summer wants to take over already in my belle France !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Legislative elections in France 2022, The participation in the first round amounts to 18.43% at noon June 12 , down from 2017, For several years, the overall participation in legislative elections has continued to crumble, falling from 64.42% in 2002 60.44% in 2007, 57.22% in 2012 and 48.7% in 2017. This year voters are called to the polls on June 12 and then June 19, It is half as long as for the presidential election last April. But in reality, it is this presidential election that is an exception. For all other elections, legislative but also municipal or regional, only one week separates the two passages in the voting booth. In a presidential election, on the other hand, the second round takes place “the fourteenth day following (the first round)”, is it stated in Article 7 of the Constitution. This clarification was made in 1962, and no deadline was mentioned in the initial version of 1958. In 60 years, this rule has never known an exception. But where does this special status come from? The explanation for this extended deadline relates to the fact that the two finalist candidates need to gather and even broaden their political base, but also to meet as many French people as possible. The longer show continues with the same actors…..

Hear all about folks, strikes are back ! Threat of strike at Paris airports for the first weekend of July 2022, Already mobilized this past Thursday, the employees of the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly platforms have decided to relaunch new actions from July 2. The CGT, FO, CFDT, CFTC, Sud, Unsa and Solidaires unions are calling for a new strike on Saturday July 2 at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport (Val-d’Oise 95). In Orly (Val-de-Marne 94), an identical movement is planned. All airport staff are concerned by the call ,To deal with the health crisis, employees had to accept salary cuts of around 18% by eliminating bonuses and allowances. There had been big strikes last year and those who did not sign this amendment, 180 people, were dismissed, recalls a CGT official for ADP in Orly. 1,150 people also left as part of a collective contractual break. Oh yes the covid has not ended here…!

Originally, about forty trees had to be cut to build a ticketing area and two lockers on each side of the Iron Lady with toilets, snacks, and souvenir shops. The goal ? Better manage the flow of the 20 million visitors who come to admire the Eiffel Tower each year. And the major of Paris thinks eco right lol ! But this project has been called into question… Planted at the end of rue de Buenos-Aires in the 3éme arrondissement, a plane tree planted for more than 200 years is the oldest tree in the Champ-de-Mars. The bicentennial would be the only survivor of the two rows of trees that then took root in this place. For weeks, the association of Pierre Lamalattie and others have been fighting precisely to protect this plane tree and other trees that they believe are threatened by the site renovation project carried out by the City of Paris. The City then halved the number of planned cuts. Before Emmanuel Grégoire announced in early May that no tree would ultimately be cut or impacted. The associations have, for their part, an appointment with the City of Paris at the beginning of July to make a new point on the file. To be continued…Good for the real ecolos !

Forget the impersonal highway areas; on the holiday route, it’s time for real stopovers in one of the 73 villages étapes( stopover villages ) in France. A stopover village, what is it? It is a town located less than 5 km from a highway or a national road, but not always a village, sometimes a small town of less than 5,000 inhabitants. The stopover villages (which can be found in the guide Villages étapes of the Routard, Hachette, 160 pages, 9.90 euros FR) must offer shops and activities capable of welcoming travelers with dignity. There are currently 73, in 9 regions, 31 departments and on 36 roads. Had tried a couple but for my road warrior trips, still prefer the aires d’autoroute or rest stops, has it all and quick in and out, However, admit some of these villages étapes can be a nice find indeed, More info webpage : https://www.village-etape.fr/en/

The Hauts-de-Seine department 92 becomes an official partner of the Tour de France for three years. It’s a return to basics for the 92. From this Tour 2022 (July 1 to 24), an arch will be placed at kilometer 92 of each stage, and a contest will be launched on social networks to bet on the first rider to finish crossing this kilometer point. The winner drawn will be invited to a stage. The boss of the Tour, Christian Prudhomme, returned to the long history that links the cities of Hauts-de-Seine to the event, in particular the arrival of the 1st Tour, in Ville-d’Avray in 1903, or the big start de Boulogne-Billancourt in 1986, and therefore this famous kilometer 92. This arrival of the Hauts-de-Seine in the family of the partners of the Tour is therefore a form of homecoming. See it its wonderful webpage : https://www.letour.fr/fr/parcours-general

A total fiasco !! After the erased images of the Stade de France, are those of the metro. The RATP says this Friday to Parisien-Aujourd’hui en France newspaper that the video surveillance recordings of the day and the evening of May 28, the day of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid (we won Hala Madrid!!), have been automatically deleted 72 hours after. And this without the justice making a requisition to obtain a copy of these images which could have helped to better understand the course of a chaotic evening. The SNCF, which manages the part of the RER B north of the Gare du Nord and therefore in Saint-Denis, as well as the RER D, had initially indicated that these sequences had also been deleted at the end of the same period. In the evening, the company finally explained to Parisien-Aujourd’hui in France that “the automatic deletion of the images was blocked and the images were kept, as authorized by the legislation for a period of 30 days”. The French Senate continues its hearings next week. The inter-ministerial delegate to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Michel Cadot, author of a report published on Friday which points to a series of “failures” at the origin of this fiasco, representatives of the SNCF and the RATP will be heard on Tuesday. To be continue but better get going for 2024 !!

The “so British” houses of the villa Léandre transport Montmartre to London, The villa Léandre, a 69 meters cul-de-sac overlooking avenue Junot, in the 18éme arrondissement of Paris, so much does the site give the impression of being in this typical London district. Thus, on the even numbered side, there are houses with these tiny flower gardens, bow windows and slate roofs. On the odd side, they are small red or white brick buildings. And it is not only in architecture that the site resembles the English capital. In terms of prices too, between 12,000 and 20,000 euros per square meter. There you go a nice window walk by in eternal Paris,,,Paris tourist office webpage : https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/93079/Avenue-Junot-et-villa-Leandre

A study published by YouGov for the Obs newspaper on April 29, 2019 revealed that one in three French people believe in ghosts. (not me,,,) No wonder then that old legends persist. In Île-de-France region, many sites still have the reputation of being haunted, from the most famous such as the catacombs or the Paris Opera, to abandoned houses. In the heart of Paris, rue de Bièvre (5éme my old meeting point), where François Mitterrand lived, a dark legend persists. In this pretty little street, there is an empty space, not built for decades. In “Rue des Maléfices”, the poet and resistance fighter Jacques Yonnet evokes the history of this house that no longer exists. He says that in the past, there was an old inn run by a couple. One day, a gypsy came in, he wanted to draw the cards from the innkeeper’s wife who, jealous, chased him away. The gypsy then returned for several days in a row and cast a spell on the husband. His dog died a few days later. He suffered from a kind of leprosy, and his wife disappeared. The house, eaten away by a fungus, was reduced to nothing in 1943. Since then, the plot has remained empty, a tree has grown there and the wall has been replaced by railings. Let’s take the road to Pigalle, still in Paris. There is this house in the neo-Gothic style at no. 1, avenue Frochot (9éme). According to the guide to unusual visits organized by Sous les Pavés, created by Guillaume Bertrand, a specialist in the legendary Parisian, this “evil house” is haunted by the spirit of a maid who was murdered there on the stairs. early 20C. Successive owners would have been victims of his torments. Like Sylvie Vartan, ( a singer) who had acquired the house in the 1970s but never moved in. The Manoir Pavlovich, which is located somewhere in Seine-et-Marne dept 77, has been abandoned for about ten years. Its address remains secret because the risks of collapse are real there. This house built in 1863 would have been cursed by its former owner. She would have lived there alone, abandoned by her husband following a road accident which had severely disfigured her. A curse would then have fallen on all the other couples who tried to invest the mansion.

In Germigny-l’Évêque, an exotic Indonesian-style garden. Batu Taman is used for filming and hosts an ephemeral restaurant for the summer season. Once through the doors, welcomed by two Indonesian statues, the visitor has the impression of finding himself in another world, an exotic Garden of Eden. On 1.2 ha, dozens of eucalyptus, banana trees, yuccas, bamboo from which one would almost expect to see an elephant appear. However, we are in Seine-et-Marne (77), in Germigny-l’Évêque, ten km from Meaux. Welcome to Batu Taman! Webpage : https://www.batu-taman.fr/

For a month, the local Jérémie Villet spent his nights in the area to photograph the local fauna. Every day in June, a new snapshot is posted on Facebook and Instagram. A poetic way to discover the foxes, deer and birds that inhabit the royal city out of sight. According to the photographer, the couple of swans in the basin do not let any other animal approach their territory, The experience he had this spring in the domain of the Palace of Versailles (Yvelines 78) marked him. This 30-year-old photographer, a specialist in wildlife which he usually observes in the snow, is the author of the exhibition “Versailles sauvage”, of which a new snapshot is revealed every day on the establishment’s public social networks. (Facebook and Instagram), until June 25. More info palace of Versailles : https://en.chateauversailles.fr/node/821/wild-versailles-jeremie-villet

To discover the secrets of the Cheops pyramid, the l’Institut du monde arabe (Arab World Institute) invites you on an immersive virtual reality expedition. An incredible 45-minute course, tested for you. More info at the institute webpage : https://www.imarabe.org/en/expositions/l-horizon-de-kheops

The Maison Louis Vuitton publishes a beautiful work that pays tribute to those who, within its workshops and its factories, perpetuate an exceptional know-how. The words of the English historian Nicholas Foulkes placed in the introduction then guide the gaze and the imagination from workshops to factories. A world tour in 400 pages, and almost as many images taken all over France and around the globe, to highlight the factories, craftsmen and the mysteries that surround the making of Louis Vuitton luxury products. On each page of the book, from the ultramodern ranch of Rochambeau, in Texas, to Place Vendôme or Pont-Neuf, via Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Vendôme, Ducey, Drôme, Geneva, Veneto, the atmosphere is youthful, serene mood; the gestures, sure, precise, controlled, seem to punctuate the hours and give all their meaning to the days. Louis Vuitton Manufactures, Assouline Editions, 400 pages,95 Euros in France. Louis Vuitton webpage :https://fr.louisvuitton.com/fra-fr/produits/livre-louis-vuitton-manufactures-version-francaise-nvprod3440045v/R08872

After Giverny, the city of Argenteuil opens the doors of the house inhabited by Claude Monet to the public. From September 17, 2022, come and discover the works and the house of the famous painter. On the program: a journey combining painting, scenography and digital devices. It was in this pink house with green shutters, typical of the 19C, that Claude Monet and his family settled from 1874 to 1878. During these four years, Monet began to paint and would never stop. Argenteuil became a real source of inspiration where he painted 259 paintings, more than 150 of which were about the city of Argenteuil. The Seine, Île Marante, the walk along the river… everything is a sign of motive and influence for Monet. On two floors, the narrative films of the route allow us to understand the link between the artist and the city, at a pivotal moment in its industrial history. The visit reaches its climax in the restitution of the cabin of Claude Monet’s boat-studio. It is the room where one immerses oneself in the lair of the painter to see, touch, smell and feel the pictorial movement that is Impressionism. La Maison Impressionniste Claude Monet or (the Impressionist House Claude Monet), The city of Argenteuil on the Monet house : https://www.argenteuil.fr/fr/la-maison-impressionniste-claude-monet

Architectures en boîte à la Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, As playful as it is educational, the Architectures in a Box exhibition looks back on the history of construction games through workshops. To better understand the history of these small objects from the institution’s archives, the Cité de l’Architecture has invited two guests of honor for a weekend of colorful carte blanche on Saturday 25 June and Sunday June 26: Aurélien Débat, author, illustrator and designer of games and toys, and Mai Li Bernard, illustrator and author of comic strips, will be present to imagine original cabins, by your side Architectures en boîte à la Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, 1, Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, (16éme), Until September 19, 2022, Cité webpage : https://www.citedelarchitecture.fr/fr/exposition/architectures-en-boite-0

The Cité des sciences et de l’industrie invites the public to question our society, which is increasingly transformed by the process of industrialization. Between contemplative and immersive experiences, the exhibition Industrial Evolution examines our reality in depth by putting visitors face to face with situations of yesteryear. A way to better understand the current changes at the heart of our daily life and their impacts on human life to better emancipate ourselves from them. Évolutions industrielles Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, 30, avenue Corentin Cariou (19éme), From June 14, 2022 to March 5, 2023 webpage : https://www.cite-sciences.fr/fr/vous-etes/professionnels/presse-et-medias/expositions-temporaires

The National Museum of Asian Arts – Guimet lifts the veil throughout the summer on the art of ceramics in Japan by highlighting, exclusively, the work of women. Eclipsed for centuries for the benefit of men, female artists will have to wait until the end of WWII to reveal their talent and train with the great masters who handle this ancestral material like no one else. If this exhibition testifies to a great revival of interest in ceramics in our society, it above all takes a fascinating look at this meticulous art which now combines traditional art with more contemporary techniques. Toucher le feu. Femmes céramistes au Japon, Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet , 6 place d’Iéna (16éme) Until October 3 2022 , Every day from 10h to 18h,except Tuesdays, webpage : https://www.guimet.fr/event/toucher-le-feu/

In the heart of the Château de Chantilly, the designer Albrecht Dürer is honored ! In total, more than 200 works from the BNF and the Condé Museum testify to his genius and paint a rich and complete portrait of one of the greatest artists of all time who, among other things, revolutionized the art of engraving. during the Renaissance. In the idyllic setting of the castle park, Albrecht Dürer brings to life alongside his peers, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Andrea Mantegna or Lucas Cranach in a Europe in full effervescence. The opportunity to discover the most beautiful creations of the artist such as his Sea Monster, his Annunciation, his Melancholy or his Saint Jerome in his cell. Albrecht Dürer: Engraving and Renaissance, Château de Chantilly, Salle du Jeu de Paume, Chantilly Until October 2, 2022 Webpage : https://chateaudechantilly.fr/en/evenement/albrecht-durer-print-and-renaissance/

The LGBTI+ bookstore Violette and Co will be reborn, The emblematic Parisian bookstore, specializing in feminist and lesbian writing, was saved thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. It hopes to reopen in the Fall at 102, rue de Charonne, in the 11éme arrondissement, Violette and Co was born in 2004 from a combination of circumstances. The founding couple wanted to embark on a new professional life. They decided to open the first feminist and lesbian bookstore in France. After deciding on the name in reference to the 20C lesbian novelist Violette Leduc, they settled by serendipity in the neighborhood where she lived. For now their Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/violetteandco.librairie/

The M6 ​​Group and Stéphane Rotenberg in collaboration with the Bistrots Pas Parisiens are preparing to launch the first Top Chef bistro from Friday 8 July 2022. You can find the dishes of the emblematic chefs of the show, all inspired by the atmosphere of Top Chef! In Suresnes (Hauts de Seine 92), on the banks of the Seine, the first Top Chef bistro will open its doors! Between sets and props from the “real” set of Top Chef, culinary workshops and shows, but also a reproduction of one of the show’s legendary events, you’ll feel like you’ve passed through your screen and have immersed in the world of one of the most famous cooking shows! And for the impatient little ones who can’t wait and want to take advantage of this new experience as soon as it opens, reservations are open exclusively on TheFork (see bottom of my blog main page) from June 15, Bistrot Top Chef Suresnes ,Opening on Fridays July 8, 2022, Site not reveal yet,,,but I will bet is along the D7 Quai Galliani !!

Update! In Villenave-d’Ornon, a few kms south of Bordeaux, archaeologists from Inrap (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research) are trying throughout the summer to unravel the mysteries of an extremely rare wreck, buried since 1300 years under an old arm of the Garonne river, According to the first dating of wood and ceramic pieces, the 12-meter long boat would have transported goods, probably agricultural, on the river and as far as the Atlantic coast between the years 680 and 720. At the time, the city of Bordeaux, under the control of the Merovingians, was part of an independent Duchy of Aquitaine. It was plundered in 732 by the emir Abd al-Raman, then besieged a century later by the Vikings. But the origin of the ship, whose excavations started in 2019, remains a mystery. Until the beginning of September, a team of 10 archaeologists will try to dismantle the 200 to 300 ribs (transverse beams) which structure the hull, via hundreds of pegs, to determine the architectural tradition of the boat, its real height, its capacity to tonnage, or even the techniques used at the time to make it watertight. To find its precise geographical origin, an archaeo-dendometer dispatched to the site analyzes the wood of the parts of the boat already dismantled , oak, Scots pine, chestnut ,etc to draw up its growth curve, via its rings, before comparing it to reference chronologies on forests compiled at European level. Ceramic boxes, animal bones and a wooden spoon will also be analyzed. The site will be open to the public next Saturday June 18 during the European Archeology Days.

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summer and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

June 11, 2022

The wonderful Le Boeuf à la Mode of Versailles !!!

In the my saga of Versailles told many times in my blog so no need to repeat again, just read on. I had written a post early on in my blogging on Restaurants of Versailles which turn out to be pretty popular! However, there is one restaurant we went a lot and more than the others,  that I like to emphasized in my blog. The one of lesser history but even better in my opinion. I like to tell you about the Le Boeuf à la Mode of Versailles !!!

Another less historical street but in my opinion a more family ambiance to eat out was and still is since 1999 Le Boeuf à la Mode on tranquil picturesque Rue au Pain around the Notre Dame market and behind the Carré aux Herbes pavillion (see posts).

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This is the Le Boeuf à la Mode, 4 Rue au Pain, of Versailles. A sublime cozy romantic, French traditional restaurant of old I like to seek and keep.  Very near tha palace on the marché Notre Dame area tuck away in rue au pain ,but well known.  You wont go wrong here for an evening in Versailles!

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This cosy brasserie of the 1930’s style with authentic décor serves traditional cuisine and beautiful quality. The establishment obtained the Master Restaurateur label in January 2013, and offers a menu that evolves according to the market and especially of the seasons. I repeat , you won’t go wrong here! France, and Versailles at its best!

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Despite its name, the menu offers a variety of dishes, from beef to fish to chicken and vegetables. In addition to the printed menu, the chalkboard lists daily specials, which take advantage of the market offerings.  We prefer to sit upstairs, in a charming old-world room that also gave us a view down to the bustling activity of the market.

A bit on Rue au pain which is on the south side of the Place du Marché Notre Dame. Some of the old section was before the rue des Fripiers. A baker’s street before , there is only one left today. Other remarkable buildings are at no 16, the Hôtellerie À l’enseigne de l’Écu de France in 1673 and at no 20, the Auberge à l’enseigne du Royal Vert galant in 1860.

The official Le Boeuf à la Modehttps://www.leboeufalamode-versailles.com/en/

The RestaurantGuru reviews on Le Boeuf à la Modehttps://restaurantguru.com/Le-Boeuf-a-la-Mode-Versailles

There you go folks, another dandy memorable spot in my dear Versailles. So many family memories and even visiting friends brought here over the years, Le Boeuf à la Mode is unique, sublime , memories forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and do explore beautiful Versailles !!

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

June 11, 2022

The old Kanter/Colbert of Versailles !!!

In the my saga of Versailles told many times in my blog so no need to repeat again, just read on. I had written a post early in my blogging life on Restaurants of Versailles which turn out to be pretty popular! However, there is one restaurant we went a lot that I like to update and tell you about it just for the memories as it has closed too. The one of great history and good food, I like to tell you about the old Le Pavillon Colbert ,and former Maitre Kanter of Versailles.

We came here first as the Tavern of Maître Kanter, a chain of Alsacien type style restaurants. It was located at 5 Rue Colbert , a small side street left of the Château de Versailles in the Notre Dame district (my former).  In the old Colbert Hotel that Louis XIV built to his chief minister, the former residence of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the decor of the tavern is faithful to the tradition of the sign: purple, wood, mirrors, fountain and abundant shellfish pond. The location of this establishment makes you dream: to the right of the castle, near the Place d’Armes, the storefront dazzles the passers by its lights and its presence in this small counter-alley of the rue Colbert. This little street, cozy with great views over the parvis , and the great Choucroutes Lol!

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In the light of the Sun King, facing the sumptuous Chateau de Versailles, the Marquis de Villacerf opened the doors of his mansion and invites you to his table. Madam, Sir, welcome to the Le Pavillon Colbert or Colbert Pavilion. This 17C mansion owes its existence to the benevolence of Louis XIV who donated the site to his state councillor, Edouard Colbert de Villacerf. The latter built a pavilion, which he named Hôtel de Villacerf. Later Colbert Hotel and now Hotel de France!

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A place full of history since 1690. The lounges of the Hôtel de France combine: The Salon des Glaces (Ice salon) , which will enchant you with its warm colours, chandeliers and parquet of the period, the Salon Napoleon III, ideal for your sub-commissions or a private meal, the pretty Salon des Glaces or the salon Colbert. These salon are ready for rental for any occasion as the hotel also closed. All due to the pandemic and economics. 

For info, some of the other remarkable buildings on the Rue Colbert (known for short of Jean-Baptiste Colbert) are no. 1: Hotel de Grammont until 1809, at n ° 5: Hotel de Villacerf, property at the end of the 19C of Prince Roland Bonaparte (and now hotel de France and restaurant Pavillon Colbert), at N ° 7: Former hotel of Choiseul, then of Villeroy, which housed in 1870-71 the Prussian minister of War and its services. And No. 13: Current EDF, (electricity co of France) location of the former hotel of Aumont under the former regime , and home of Charles-Frédéric Nepveu, architect of the château under Louis-Philippe, at the end of his life.

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As this is a very famous area and very frequented by my family, with many trips to the tavern and later a couple times at the Pavillon I like to tell you a bit of history I like on Mr Colbert.

Mr Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a pupil of the Jesuits in Reims by 1634,  Clerk of a Notary as chaplain, then of a prosecutor , Commissioner of the troops in Nivernais by 1640, the Regiment of Tavanes by 1641, Clerk of Sublet de Noyer, Secretary of War, protected by Michel Le Tellier ( Brother-in-law of Saint-Pouange) by 1643, his special clerk by 1645, and patented councillor of State then Intendant of Cardinal Mazarin, Marquis of Seignelay by 1657 in the county of Auxerre, purchased in favor of his eldest son, Châteauneuf-sur-Cher and Blainville, Count of  Creully by 1682), Baron de Sceaux, Linières, Ormoy, etc., Lord of Torcy, Minister & Secretary of State of the King’s house from 1668, Marine & Commerce, from 1669, Intendant by 1662 and Comptroller-General of the King’s Finances, superintendent of Buildings, Arts & factories and purchases of France by 1664, Commander & Grand-treasurer of the orders of the King, Academician by 1667, he (inherits a fortune confiscated on an uncle Pussort passed to the enemy in 1647. Married in 1648 Marie Charron ,daughter of Jean-Jacques Charron , Lord of Menars, Grand-Bailiff of Blois, captain of the hunts of the county of Blois, and of Marie Begon. Together they had nine children.

 Mr. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Comptroller General of the Finances of Louis XIV was responsible for the development of trade, industry, the Royal Navy, the planning of Paris and the growth of sciences. In constant relationship with the king, he remains one of his best trusted men. As in charge of buildings,  he, also took care of Paris with the layout of numerous squares and the Tuileries garden. Attached to the sciences, Colbert was at the origin of the creation of the Academy of Sciences in 1666, as well as of the Observatoire de Paris the following year. Colbert will never be disgraced. He is one of the few men whose Louis XIV will always be sure.

His name gave the Colbertism, economic theory which implies dirigisme state and protectionism.  Responsible for the management of the finances of the state, Colbert writes in October 1659 a brief on alleged mismanagements of the superintendent of Finance Nicolas Fouquet, (see post Vaux le Vicomte) pointing out that less than 50% of the taxes collected would reach the king!. On September 5, 1661, the superintendent Fouquet, fallen in disgrace following the analyses of Colbert, was arrested in Nantes by D’Artagnan (famous muskeeteer-see post). Following this arrest, king Louis XIV abolished the office of Superintendent of Finance and decided to exercise it himself with the help of a council created on 15 September 1661 , called the Royal Council of Finance. He died in 1683 and was buried at Saint-Eustache Church (see post) in Paris. And where his legs are kept, while the remainder of his remains was transferred to the catacombs of Paris in 1787.  So a great historical street as well isn’t it! And we love it by there.

There you go folks, another dandy in my dear Versailles! We love it by here and walked it many times more. Hope you enjoy the post and do explore beautiful Versailles !! This is one of those memorable posts that even if the places are no longer there, will always remained in our hearts.Of course, no webpages.

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

June 9, 2022

Wines news of France XXIII !!

And the days are getting warmer, it seems like Summer is around the corner yeah!! Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Spring was/is nice but looking forward to Summer without the canicule if you know what I mean! We have done quite a bit of work around the house, and still some more until September , Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

After the announcement of the withdrawal of Château Ausone, Château Cheval Blanc and Château Angélus, it is the turn of Château La Gaffelière, Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B, to leave the classification of which it has been part since its creation in 1955. Unlike the classification of 1855, which is almost immutable, that of Saint-Émilion wines, dating from 1955, is in turmoil. In addition, said many, the rating system put in place for tasting contradicts all the ratings given to the châteaux by critics in recent years. A remark that resonates with the criticisms aimed at the tasting panel set up by the commission to taste the wines. Some were suffocated when they discovered that Bureau Veritas, selected as the organization in charge of the tasting and analysis of applications, was looking for independent professional tasters by posting advertisements on the Vitijob site, a site for job advertisements for all the wine sector, or on the website of the Union de la sommellerie française. For many castles, this recruitment process remains difficult to understand. In the vineyard, everyone knows the 30 professional tasters capable of correctly evaluating the Saint-Émilion wines by having a vision of the last 20 vintages, that is to say a real expertise. And the controversy continues folks, and no end in sight. Too bad for the Saint Emilion wines.

In a wine tourism guide which will be published by Éditions Flammarion on June 15, 40 Grands Crus Classés of the Médoc and Sauternes open their doors to 170 years of history. The reflection of an epic that began during the Universal Exhibition organized in Paris by Napoleon III, on the occasion of which the Bordeaux châteaux presented the fine flower of the French wine region. This initiative will result in a ranking of the most sought-after grands crus, divided into five divisions. While many of the castles featured in it have already published illustrated books retracing their history, here they are for the first time brought together in a travel-size guide that smacks of desacralization. This is followed by an invitation to travel over nearly 250 pages, which begins with a laudatory preface by Stéphane Bern, in which he praises the extraordinary historical, architectural, natural, gastronomic and intangible heritage of the Bordeaux vineyards. With a format inviting you to slip it into your bag, its beautiful book iconography and a fold-out map recalling the time when you used IGN maps to trace your route on the eve of going on vacation, this book also appears as the brilliant result of more than twenty years of editorial complicity with Flammarion, the favorite house of a certain number of châteaux, to which they already owe the publication of a work published in 2005 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the famous classification, which has passed more than 100,000 copies worldwide. The book call Bordeaux Route 1855, Editions Flammarion, 256 pages, 26 euros in France. Info webpage: https://editions.flammarion.com/bordeaux-route-1855/9782080283528

The general meeting of the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc last June 1,2022 was an opportunity to unveil new commitments. In sight: the next ranking, in 2025! Remember that 30 million bottles are sold each year! One of the outward signs of this new roadmap is the creation of the first Festival des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc. Good Wines Only, that’s its name, will be launched during the music festival in Bordeaux. The aim is to have an expression in Paris by 2024! (Olympics) Finally, the Crus Bourgeois continue to dig the furrow of sustainable viticulture. After integrating the environmental criterion into the classification, all members of the Crus Bourgeois, 250 properties spread over seven appellations (Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis, Margaux, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe) will have to commit to HVE criteria 3. (High Environmental Value (HVE) certification). More on the Crus Bourgeois: https://www.crus-bourgeois.com/les-crus-bourgeois-aujourdhui/

The Château Cantenac Brown Cru Classé de Margaux called on the American artist David Popa to create an ephemeral fresco visible only from the sky “an earthly fresco”. The spray bottles are filled with natural paint, made from chalk, wine lees, green clay, black earth, the same materials used by the first artists of humanity to make the cave paintings in their caves there. This is a painting of several tens of square meters which represents two open hands carrying a bunch of grapes. Superb and completely invisible from the ground floor. Even if the discovery of the fresco is done on screen, the emotion is real. The family is creative. Son of a graffiti artist of Romanian origin married to a Frenchwoman, grandson of ballet dancers, who attended a New York art school, David Popa combines in his work ancestral techniques, cutting-edge technologies and a deep desire for nature. The Château Cantenac Brown bought at the end of 2019 by the Le Lous family, the estate is currently under construction. Both levels of the Tudor-style castle are renovated from top to bottom. Right next door, a building that housed around fifty rooms and a swimming pool will be transformed into a vat room. For the sake of eco-responsibility, the walls have not been knocked down but will integrate the next building. Everyone is surprised to discover these buildings from the 1990s supported by dozens of props, like the remains of Pompeii. Soon, these walls will become those of the vat room, after being lined with compressed earth or earthen briquettes in order to naturally guarantee a constant temperature of 15°C all year round, without artificial air conditioning. The cooled air will come from Canadian wells dug into the ground. The work should be completed before the 2023 harvest. Amazing worth the detour eventually. Webpage: https://www.cantenacbrown.com/

After two years of absence, the Hellfest festival, in the heart of the Muscadet appellation, is back even stronger by organizing two editions in a row. For those who will be part of this double part, the Hellfest organizes various wine tourism activities. The largest extreme music festival in Europe. Every year since 2006, tens of thousands of fans have gathered to revel in Hard Rock, metal and all the derivatives of these musical genres with, on the program of the various editions Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Metallica, Scorpions, Deep Purple, ZZTop…etc. In short, all that is best. But now, after the cancellation of the last two editions due to Covid, the organization has decided to make up for some of the lost time by organizing two festivals in one, the first part taking place from June 17 to 19, and the second from June 23 to 26, 2022. What to do during the 4 days off? Wine tourism, of course! Because the particularity of this event is to take place in Clisson, (see posts) near Nantes, in the heart of the Muscadet appellation area. The festival and local winegrowers have also, from the outset, forged an unprecedented partnership allowing spectators to taste local wines during the various concerts. Metal and Muscadet lovers will therefore be able, between the two editions, to explore the vineyard for 4 days to deepen their knowledge as part of an operation called Hell’Tour. On the program, the discovery of estates and the vineyard on foot, by minivan, by small train, by bike… embellished with tasting, it goes without saying, visits to castles (Clisson, Goulaine, Tiffauges – where the famous Bluebeard lived ), distilleries… (see posts) The programme, set up in partnership between Hellfest, the tourist office and the Nantes wine federation. A good way to discover the richness of Muscadet wines, from the simplest to the most complex, including muscadets on lees and the various vintages, of which Clisson is one of the standard-bearers. Webpage: https://www.levignobledenantes-tourisme.com/

Nicely hidden here, how about the Bordeaux en primeur 2021? What are our favorite dry white wines at low prices in 2021? Some of favorites and still going strong over the years were/are: Chateau Olivier, Pessac-Leognan. Chateau Talbot – Chateau Talbot Caillou Blanc, Bordeaux. Château Cantenac Brown – Alto, Bordeaux, and Chateau Latour-Martillac ,Pessac-Leognan. Note their red has other appellation names.

And , I had them before knew it but now its official appellation ! The announcement came through a decree published in May in the Official Journal: the Pinot Noir from Kirchberg in Barr and Hengst in Wintzenheim obtained the controlled designation of origin “Alsace grand cru”. It’s official, Alsace now also has its great red wines. The Alsatian vineyard has 51 plots classified as “grand cru”, appellations until now reserved for the Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer grape varieties from these terroirs meeting strict criteria and production rules The first mentions of Pinot Noir Grand cru will be able to appear on labels in 2023. The wines of Alsace webpage: https://www.vinsalsace.com/en/tastes-and-colours/grapes-varieties/light-or-full-bodied/pinot-noir-dalsace-rouge/

The WST (Wine & Spirit Tourism International Trade Fair) is coming to Reims in March 2023 with the ambition of welcoming 300 exhibitors. More info official webpage: https://wst-internationalfair.com/

Something I enjoy a lot, and will tell you a bit more of it. Whether it is called squid, Calamares (in Spain), Chipiron (in the Basque Country), Supion (in the Midi of France) or Encornet, it is indeed the same thing: a marine mollusc of the order decapods, with a fusiform body dressed in dark membranes and surmounted by a globular head. However, the animal is one of the stars of our holiday plates, accommodated in a thousand and one ways: in salads, in donuts, with garlic, lemon, stuffed (à la sétoise), fried (à la Marseille), sautéed (à la basquaise), American style, en su tinta (in a sauce made with the contents of its ink pouch Spanish ). Also fried in a sandwich delicious!!. The Spaniards invite it in their paellas and zarzuelas; and the Japanese even dare it in sashimi, that is to say raw! The preparation of the mollusk is immutable: you have to remove the film that covers the body, then the feather-shaped bone, cut the bottom of the head to remove the beak and the eyes, empty the soft parts, and recover the pocket ink if you’re going to use it for sauce. If this is not the case, it is better to ask the fishmonger to gut the animal. The secret is to cook the animal over very high heat and very briefly. The choice of wines will depend on the preparation: iodized enough to join the squid, fruity enough to face the aromatics that enhance the taste. From this point of view, Mediterranean wines are essential. And that can be from many countries but especially from France and Spain. Enjoy it!

The movie “Champagne!” Coming out yesterday Wednesday,June 8 2022. The Nicolas Vannier’s film takes place in Champagne with Elsa Zylberstein, a winegrower in organic conversion, as its central character. Elsa Zylberstein plays a winegrower in Champagne, who invites her fifty-year-old friends to come and celebrate the bachelor party of Patrick, played by Stéphane de Groodt, the last bachelor of the band. The future wife, who arrives unexpectedly, sows trouble in this troop which has known each other for thirty years. This smiling film highlights the values of friendship with a cast that makes you dream: Elsa Zylberstein, François Xavier Demaison, Stéphane de Groodt, Eric Elmosnino, Sylvie Testud, Valérie Karsenti, Stéfi Celma, etc. Nice bubbly romantic funny movie to watch indeed ! Allôciné webpage and preview: https://www.allocine.fr/film/fichefilm_gen_cfilm=290417.html

And now a worthy cause, very nice indeed. A wine tour of France by bike is the somewhat crazy project of Yann Dufouleur, agent and wine merchant, to finance the relaxation area designed by the artist Robert Einbeck for the patients of Professor Pascal Leprince‘s service in La Salpêtrière Hospital. Top start on June 20 on the forecourt of Reims Cathedral! Robert Einbeck designed the “Serenity” project, a virtual reality room immersing patients in an environment of color and light that should lead them “to the most complete relaxation” and participate directly in their therapy. Intended for patients at the Salpêtrière Hospital, this installation requires funding. has therefore imagined carrying out a solo, on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, a wine tour of France by bicycle, crossing all the high places of wine heritage in three weeks (Le Phare de Verzenay, the Hospices de Beaune, Le Pic Saint Loups , the City of Bordeaux wines…), i.e. a loop of 3000 kilometres. At each stage, he will meet a winemaker who will choose a special cuvée from his production in large format, which will then be decorated by the artist Robert Einbeck. All the bottles repatriated by Dyvin will be exhibited in Paris and then marketed at an auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Robert Einbeck’s Friends association. Yann Dufouleur also hopes in the long term that the “Serenity” program can be adopted in other hospitals and in particular the CHU of Reims. (CHU= Centre Hôpitaliere Universitaire). More info and source Terredevins webpage: https://www.terredevins.com/actualites/le-tour-de-france-viticole-de-yann-dufouleur

And last, but not least. The Oenologists of France, experts in wine and tasting, are at the initiative of Vinalies, the international benchmark for wine competitions. The Vinalies Internationales and the Vinalies Mondial du Rosé distinguish the best wines in the world by category. The Vinalies Internationales and Vinalies Mondial du Rosé competitions are among the most rigorous and are organized according to an extremely demanding scheme. Such as wines tasted and evaluated only by professionals: French and international oenologists, tasters and wine professionals recognized in their country (36 nationalities represented in 2022). Impartiality of judgments. The wines are tasted blind and presented in homogeneous series. There is no question of judging a brand or an appellation, only the quality takes precedence.Anonymization of samples throughout the tasting chain. A rate of medal-winning wines strictly less than or equal to 30% in accordance with the international standard of the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine). Writing detailed tasting comments on the wines tasted and awarded. Each international competition awards the following medals:
Grand Gold: score of 93 to 100/100
Gold: score 89 to 92/100
Silver: score of 85 to 88/100
The best scores of the Grand Or medals are awarded a Palme, rewarding the best wine in each category.
The Vinalies Internationales list the best wines in the world according to their category: white, red, rosé, sweet (+12g/l), sparkling, spirits, ciders and fruit wines. In 2022, 36 countries were represented. Webpage: https://www.vinalies-internationales.com/fr/resultats/palmares

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

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

June 7, 2022

Notre Dame market of Versailles, part II

Now let me bring you back to my beloved Versailles, so much written on it and so many visitors if only to the palace/museum. However, as always tells you, shh! There is a lot more to see than the castle/palace/museum there. Easy transport from that other famous city nearby, you have no excuses.  Versailles is it! I found pictures in my vault not yet in my blog so decided to do a part II on the Notre Dame Market of Versailles ! This is right in the historical neighborhood of Notre Dame, my former home in IDF !! , a wholesome place!

Versailles market Notre Dame to rue du mal foch 2010

I have told you a lot on its history on part I previous post so will just tell you a bit on the market with the new pictures on this one, Hope you enjoy as I !

Versailles market notre dame mars12

Every morning, this place of conviviality and exchange, elected in 2018 “most beautiful market in Ile-de-France”, is teeming with traders and visitors. Indeed we were there every Saturday and sometimes on Tuesdays and it was very memorable shopping with the family, recommended ! The covered halls, two centuries old, are divided into four squares which arrange the foodstuffs in different specialties and where there are many local producers.Food and non-food markets alternate to maintain the exceptional character of this place since king Louis XIV ordered it open in the 17C ! The pavilions were destroyed in 1841, as they were considered unsanitary, and replaced by the current covered halls, rebuilt by Le Poittevin.

Versailles market ND fr rue de la paroisse dec18

The stands of clothing and leather goods vendors as well as the second-hand goods dealers outside gives life to the Place du Marché Notre Dame square and make this square a place of sociability for Versailles residents and tourists from all over the world. A stone’s throw away, the cobbled streets are home to shops and pedestrian walkways. The restaurants and cafes around the market will offer you a pleasant break in the heart of the magnificent city of the Sun King, Versailles !!!

Versailles market ND rue Ducis dec18

It is open all year, every day, except Mondays. The covered market or carré Notre-Dame open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7h to 19h30. Sunday from 7h. to 14h. The open market Notre-Dame opens Tuesday, Friday and Sunday morning from 7h to 14h.

Versailles carre a la maree mkt nd dec18

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Versailles carre aux herbes mkt nd dec18

The city of Versailles on the Notre Dame market :https://www.versailles.fr/mairie/panneau-touristique/quartier-notre-dame-marche-notre-dame/

The Versailles tourist office on the Notre Dame market: https://www.versailles-tourisme.com/marche-notre-dame.html

The youtube video of the Notre Dame Market is very nice ,credit : TV78 La Châine des Yvelines:

There you go folks, now covered all the angles of a great shopping day in royal magical beautiful Versailles! And shopping here with all these monumental buildings is a must and a great uplifting experience especially if like me you are into architecture and history. Do come and enjoy to the marché Notre Dame de Versailles !!

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

May 28, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLV

And its time as time flies to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLV is no 355::) And I thank you. The weather is now more steady as summer wants to take over already in my belle France !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

On the occasion of the Champions League final, fan zones, devices and festivities came to settle in , already ready to welcome Liverpool and Real Madrid fans. So a little advice to Parisians: leave the city quickly because it promises to be hectic !!! This Saturday, more than 10,000 English and Spanish supporters are expected in Paris to attend this major event planned at the Stade de France which will oppose Liverpool and Real Madrid , If 44,000 tickets have been reserved for supporters of both clubs, there should be even more of them staying in Paris for a weekend so get ready! In Paris, it is on the Parvis de lHôtel de Ville that you will have to go. On the program: a mini-football field, photo booths, shooting and dribbling activities as well as a freestyle football demonstration area. As for Saint-Denis, it is on Place Victor Hugo and Place Jean Jaurès that you will have to go from 10h until kick-off at 21h, Apart from a giant 12 meters high trophy, a precision ball shooting range and a giant foot-dart target will be made available. A ball tennis court, a 1v1 arena and photo animations are also planned , A specific security device will be deployed around the Stade de France where security officers will carry out the usual pat-downs on an extended perimeter, going up to one km around the gates of the stadium. There will also be a circulation perimeter subject to authorization which will be set up around the Stade de France with effective checkpoints from 12h and until the end of the match, The sale of alcohol will be authorized, until three hours before the start of the meeting, i.e. 18H, Due to strikes at the RATP will interfere in this Champions League final. After the RER B, the RATP unions have called for a strike on the RER A for the day on Saturday which risks disrupting journeys to and from the Stade de France on the RER B. It will be shown on French national TV channel TF1 21h,,,,!

A TGV that will connect Paris and Berlin in seven hours. SNCF and Deutsche Bahn intend to launch a direct TGV between Paris and Berlin at the end of 2023 , There should initially be one round trip per day via Frankfurt, operated in partnership between SNCF and Deutsche Bahn with ICEs , Since their launch, the TGV Paris-Milan or even Paris-Barcelona have been a huge success, so why not Paris-Berlin? In addition, a night train connection between the two capitals to be operated by Austrian Railways ÖBB, in cooperation with SNCF and Deutsche Bahn, also from the end of 2023. Europe is coming closer,,,

Paris-Deauville, the Autoroute de Normandie or A13 toll gates soon to be removed, no more traffic jams? I hope !! Sanef announces the withdrawal of tolls. But beware, it will not be free. From 2024, the toll barriers should disappear on the A13. Instead, gates will be installed, This is what the motorway company of Sanef (Company of the motorways of the North and East of France) promises on the A13, from 2024, with its motorway in “free flow” . Facilitated by the law on mobility, this project provides for the removal of all physical tolls between Paris and Caen. I will need to check it out indeed !

Canal de l’Ourcq: the port of Pantin scheduled to open in spring 2023 ! The port of 45 rings will be built here, along the old General Stores which goes from the Bassin de la Villette (19éme) to Meaux (Seine-et-Marne dept 77), The wishes to have a new marina, in addition to the two it already has in Paris, that of the Arsenal in the 12éme and the nautical stopover of La Villette in the 19éme.

The residents of the Canal Saint-Martin denounce a development of the quays “tinkered”, For two years, the quays of Jemmapes and Valmy have been pedestrianised. But the project launched by the City Town Hall of Paris has not been completed, according to local residents. They denounce a “lack of facilities and signs” for passers-by, as well as an “anarchy” in the circulation of bicycles. All yes less cars more of everything else, and no coordination, that is Paris today folks, Good luck !

Free-wheeling bicycles and scooters, feeling of insecurity… Pedestrianization in Paris is not won. The mayor of the 9éme arrondissement is calling for at least a new decree so that the cohabitation between passers-by and bicycle vehicles goes better. The other morning, a person going to the Pont Alexandre-III bridge from the Petit Palais, when two scooters ran into him as walking !. If the person hadn’t stopped, don’t know what would have happened to him, The person still can’t believe the speed at which the two mini-racing cars were arriving straight at him. Yeah, more dare devils on the sidewalks, streets and still no coordination by the mayor of Paris !! Good luck,,,,

By the frequented ,rue La Fayette has had enough of construction sites this street straddling the 9éme and 10éme arrondissements. At the intersection with rue Châteaudun, motorists, delivery trucks and other buses share a single lane on the roadway due to road works, Well less roads more congestions and if you add work, good luck in Paris.

The renovation of the planks of the Passerelle des Arts (6éme) should begin at the end of the year 2022. It will take 8 months of work to finish it, So bear in mind crossing the Seine river !

After a vast restoration project, the Richelieu site, the historic address of the National Library of France (BNF), only has a few weeks left to complete the removal of 20 million documents, books, photos, maps and works of art. It is impossible to count the number of books as there are so many. But they know that have to move 42 linear km of collections !. With the extra services, they hope that everything will be finished on June 24th 2022,,,. The Oval Room, 18 meters high under the ceiling, built in 1897, has had its mosaics restored and its glass roof redone as well.

Every year since 1982, this popular meeting retraces 2000 years of the history of Meaux and the Meldois (the local people celtic tribe). A human adventure and a technical challenge. “Folles Époques” will be played nine times from Saturday June 4, 2022 , It tells the story ranging from the Middle Ages to the end of the Industrial Revolution and the armistice of November 11, 1918 of events in Meaux, City of Meaux webpage: https://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme/le-spectacle-historique.html

The Château de Fontainebleau is embarking on catering… for its visitors! A restaurant and a café have opened their doors there and not only to visitors since they can be accessed without going through the ticket office. The restaurant which opened in the heart of the Maison des Siècles allows you to taste original verrines in front of the pond on which the kings and queens had fun in the boat. The best tables, placed between the Etang aux Carpes and the Lenôtre parterres of the Château de Fontainebleau, offer an enchanting setting for a meal in the heart of the Maison des Siècles. Les Petites Bouches de l’Empereur, offered by the Monument Café chain, Castle webpage : https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/en/restauration-au-chateau/

Puy du Fou, Parc Astérix, Futuroscope… the amusement parks are full and smile again after the Covid, Since their reopening, for the most part in mid-April, the attendance figures are often higher than those of 2019, pre-Covid year, from 15 to 30% higher ! La Mer de sable d’Ermenonville (Oise 60) got off to a good start with an increase of +28% between April 8 and May 8. Yes all is coming back, and it feels like well summer !

Come and discover Bercy Beaucoup !, the new cultural garden which invests a wasteland of 8,000 square meters south of the 12éme arrondissement “Bercy Beaucoup” was inaugurated this past Saturday May 21, 2022 for an opening weekend which directly announced the color with many animations. We can then enjoy a multitude of emerging and creative activities around the workshops, offices and gardens of this green space. a rich and varied program, including concerts, conferences and shows. Bercy Beaucoup ,facing 20 boulevard Poniatowski 12éme of Paris.

Founded a thousand years ago, the Notre-Dame-du-Fort Church in Etampes saw the Virgin at its window , The Virgin is said to have briefly appeared to the sick in the past. This year, they celebrate the millennium of the foundation of the collegiate by King Robert the Pious, not its construction this date of 1022 finds its origin in the introduction of a collection of charters written in Latin at the end of the 19C, it is writes that in 1022, King Robert Le Pieux founded two churches in Étampes; King Robert Le Pieux went to Italy to find the bones of three persecuted little children, Cant, Cantien and Cantienne who had their heads cut off. Legend has it that at the place of their persecution, a fountain of milk appeared. We find this story on the painting which is exposed above the relics, inside Notre-Dame-du-Fort, where their clothes are transformed into milk, Worth the detour me think, City of Etampes webpage : https://www.mairie-etampes.fr/agenda/le-millenaire-notre-dame-du-fort/

An orca in difficulty in the Seine river between Rouen and Le Havre will be attracted to the sea using sound stimuli, announced this Friday the prefecture of Seine-Maritime which favors “a gentle method of intervention” , Preview for the first time on May 16 between Honfleur and Le Havre, near the Pont de Normandie, the killer whale very probably arrived already weakened towards the Seine estuary, as indicated by Gérard Mauger, vice-president of the GECC, an association based in Cherbourg commissioned by the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) for the study and preservation of marine mammals in the Channel. To be watch,,,,

The prize for the best pizza in Europe remains in Paris. Coming first in the ranking of the transalpine guide 50 Top Pizza, the Neapolitan Guiseppe Cutraro once again won the prize for the best pizza in Europe, outside Italy. It is in the 20éme arrondissement, rue Saint-Blaise that the pizzeria Peppe is constantly a hit. In the ranking Peppe Pizzeria is followed by Fratelli Figurato in Madrid and 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo in London. 3 other addresses located in Île-de-France region, also appear in the ranking, the new 400° Laboratorio in the 11éme, Guillaume Grasso in the 15éme, and IMperfetto in Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92). Webpage: https://www.peppeparis.fr/

The former boss of the Louvre museum, Jean-Luc Martinez, was indicted this past Wednesday May 25 2022 for money laundering and complicity in organized fraud and placed under judicial supervision in an investigation into antiquities trafficking , Two of his collaborators, the head of the Egyptian antiquities department, and an Egyptologist were taken into police custody on Monday by police officers from the Central Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Cultural Property (OCBC). The two specialists were released without prosecution at this stage, according to a judicial source. The three men are suspected of having taken part in the trafficking of works, among which is a stele of Tutankhamun. The case dates back to 2016. That year, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, a branch of the Parisian museum, acquired several Egyptian antiquities, for several tens of millions of euros, indicates Le Canard enchaîné newsjournal,

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summer and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

May 27, 2022

Wines news of France XXII !!

And the days are getting cooler again , well is like a roller coaster ride ups and downs in my neck of the woods, Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Spring is in full swing, and looking forward to Summer ! We have done quite a bit of work around the house,and still some more until September , Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

Created by a few owners wishing to discover new commercial horizons, the Union des grands crus de Bordeaux is today a war machine in the service of wines. It was decided to create the Union of Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) by reviving an old association which brought together properties from Barsac, Sauternes, Graves and Médoc, forgetting in passing the right bank. This group of pioneers then brought together, among others, in addition to the Château Haut-Brion, Château d’Yquem and Château Figeac , as the pioneers, Then, other came such as Alexis Lichine & Cie, Groupe Bernard, which notably owns the Domaine de Chevalier in Léognan, and the Château Branaire-Ducru, Given the success of these tastings in Bordeaux, the union decided to export the concept first to Paris, then to London, and Brussels , At the same time, the union saw the number of its members reach 130 properties. The Union is a very beautiful signature and a way of recognizing wine in Bordeaux, The Bordelais is the first AOC vineyard in France with more than 100,000 hectares cultivated and 600 million bottles produced per year ! Voilà !! webpage : https://www.ugcb.net/en/home

A vintage full of challenges in Bordeaux, 2021 will have been the way for some châteaux to stand out, with cuvées better rated than in 2020. A heterogeneous vintage, and therefore exciting. This is what we could remember from 2021, a trying year for the Bordeaux vineyards, after an absolutely remarkable 2018-2019-2020 trio, If no appellation has been spared, we find within each excellent wines, with side of the reds a freshness with sweet reminiscences of the 1980s and 1990s, and whites which seduced us by their freshness and their purity, Indeed seek them out while the price is still right,,,, Some of my favorites over the years and direct with MR,,,are

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion “The most intensely energetic wine of the vintage”, Pessac-Léognan
Château Latour “A cashmere texture” Pauillac
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou “Caressing like silk” Saint-Julien
Château Lafite Rothschild “A unique and indefinable character” Pauillac
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron “A beautiful fullness in the mouth” Pauillac
Château Léoville Las Cases “Limpidity and nubile suppleness” Saint-Julien
Château Margaux “A more fresh, succulent and racy style than usual” Margaux
Château Margaux – White Pavilion “A Delicious Creamy” Bordeaux
Château Mouton-Rothschild “Exceptional clarity and limpidity” Pauillac (MR)
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande “A wine imbued with great serenity” Pauillac
Château Brane-Cantenac “The harmonious sweetness of the maternal voice” Margaux
Château Palmer “Floral, juicy, seductive” Margaux
Château Trotanoy “A beautiful controlled explosion of fruit” Pomerol
Château Cos D’Estournel “A treat on the palate” Saint-Estèphe
Château Léoville Poyferré “The silhouette of a distinguished man” Saint-Julien
Château Cantenac Brown “A sumptuous balance” Margaux
Château Grand Puy Lacoste “Muscular and Powerful” Pauillac
Château Clerc Milon “A poised and elegant palate” Pauillac (MR)

Based on figures from Customs, and the support of the statistics department of the CIVB (Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux wines), the Union of Bordeaux Grands Crus observes export sales data for wines from more than 22.50 euros per bottle (750 ml) – (ex-professional price, Bordeaux merchant). Last year, exports of grands crus from Bordeaux, in this price segment, amounted to 1.366 billion euros (in value), which is a record. The previous one dated from 2012, with 1.201 billion. This corresponds to 16.249 million bottles (in volume), also a record. Asia, with 43% of sales, is progressing, but has been less dynamic than the United States and Europe in recent years. Europe, with 37% of sales, is rebounding. America: 17% of sales, which are showing strong structural growth. Main destinations in 2021. Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau) represents 30% of exports by value, United States They represent 15% ,United Kingdom 14.5% , Switzerland 9% , Germany 4% ,Japan 3% , Belgium 2.8% , Singapore 2.4% ,Taiwan 2% ,and South Korea 1.75%, All speed ahead !! En Vino Veritas !!

Let me tell you about a success story in spirits which we have enjoyed as apéritifs and mixing with the boys, This is the Maison Ferrand, producer of Cognac, precursor of gin in France, also distills rum in Jamaica and Barbados. And they aged a few barrels aboard a barge on the Seine Paris. Spirits are on the rise, and the trajectories of some companies in the sector seem as dazzling as a shot of gniaule for breakfast. Thus, those who loved Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson or the adventures of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean can plunge their eyes closed into the story of Alexandre Gabriel, a contemporary hero. for having contributed to the constitution of the Oxford guide to spirits and cocktails. It is the precursor of the French-style Citadelle gin. At the same time, the category is waking up in the United Kingdom with Plymouth, which is repopularizing this aging spirit. During the confinement, his wife, Debbie, a rather urban American, left the Parisian apartment to join him in Cognaç country. Maison Ferrand also produces rum, in Jamaica and Barbados , They have settled in Jamaica, in the village of Wai-a-Bit, Barbados has also become a research site for Maison Ferrand , The boat on the Seine, well is a Freycinet barge moored at Issy-les-Moulineaux (92), in the arm of the Seine which runs along the Saint-Germain island. A 38.5 meter boat recovered in its juice in Brittany, restored and transformed into a floating aging cellar. He raises cognacs and rums there in the beneficial humidity and the rolling of the boat. Apart from that, Maison Ferrand remains a venerable cognac brand specializing in grand champagne. The house has created 10 Generations, a 100% grand champagne. It has acquired the Château de Bonbonnet, a beautiful 18C castle, in the town of Ars (16), webpage : https://maisonferrand.com/en/maison-ferrand/

Now this is an art of cooking and we love it at this time where we can do barbecues in the patio, The pairing is always part of the art of eating and drinking here in my belle France ; so therefore, what wines for grilled sardines? First a bit about the sardines : if they approach the banks of the coasts of the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and English Channel in spring and summer to spawn and lay eggs, the sardine spends the winter in very cold waters, between 500 and 600 meters deep. And then protects itself with a thick layer of fat. But “good” fat, rich in omega 3 excellent for the human heart and its vessels. The sardine is mainly intended to be grilled whole on a barbecue. But the operation generates strong odors that are particularly unpleasant for the neighborhood,,,. Simply rub the fish with bay leaves first, then pour a few drops of vinegar flavored with thyme and rosemary onto the embers. It will be necessary to wash it down with sunny wines, white, rosé or red, but always assertive enough to stand up to this exuberant dish. The white, we have tried the sauvignon blanc or chardonnay base from the Loire or Bordeaux, A Condrieu, with its beautiful volume and its floral bouquet, will come to soften the salty aspect of the sardines For a rosé, we will stay in the same appellations, To find a red, it is possible to travel in time with Loire Cab Franc or the historical Berlingou ( a grape gift of the duke of Burgundy to his cousin the duke of Brittany in 1460!) Bon appétit!

And my fav event which will love to be there, still planning will have to be with the nice memorable wines of Bergerac & Duras as well as the products of Périgord , They invite us all on Thursday, June 9, 2022 aboard the Péniche Louisiane Belle 12éme Paris Metro line 1 and 4: Gare de Lyon / RER A and D: Gare de Lyon. Embark on the discovery of the Périgord Attitude! Come (re)discover the artisan winegrowers of the 10 AOPs of the Bergerac & Duras vineyard, during a great tasting. At their side, 7 sectors of Périgord come to present their local products for delicious gourmet pairings: Duck / Foie Gras from Périgord, Lamb from Périgord, Walnuts from Périgord, Chestnuts from Périgord ; all Perigord ! Wow ! webpage for info on boat : https://lesitedespeniches.fr/privatisation-le-louisiane-belle-paris-12eme/

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

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

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