Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chez Kate, Boulanger de la Tour, Cake au Citron

There's a terrific new boulangerie in our area, Boulanger de la Tour. It belongs to the famous restaurant,  la Tour d'Argent (just across the street) at 19, quai de la Tournelle, 75005
Just think. You can eat the same baguettes as guests at the restaurant are eating...
This lemon cake looked divine..sometimes refered to as 'le Week-end' since its the perfect gift to take for a visit to the country. When Jeffrey Bailey invited us to visit Chez Kate B and B in St.Maur we couldn't resist taking a gift cake.
St. Maur des Fosses is just a short15 minute ride on RER A from Nation.
A darling, cosy place to escape from the hubub of Paris yet still very close to the center.
Both Jeffrey (American) and his wife Catherine (French) are artists
So oodles of art decorates their B and B. Much more fun than a sterile hotel in paris.
Bear was delighted.
Catherine made us a trés French lunch - omlette with sautéd zuccini, onions, potatoes.
Four beaten eggs thrown on top, browned a bit and turn.
Served with beets, green apple, fennel and haricot vert salad.
At last the scrumptous cake! Very light. Much lighter than a pound cake and not too sweet. Perfection.
Ages ago I bought this interior preparatory sketch from Jeffrey. Givenchy's salon no less.
Lately I've been hanging out at the Paris Opera dreaming of painting the gold grandeur.
So with a little arm-twisting, Jeffrey gave me a mini lesson in painting gold effects. Much practice is required to tackle the Opera Garnier.
Catherine gives evening classes in her studio. Note all the champagne glasses on the shelf. I asked if that was for after class? Non, non. We drink champagne all through the class. OK!!
Living the 'Champange life' would be dining at  La Tour d'Argent now and then. You could also buy their baguettes across the street. Or have your very own cake au cirtron watercolor with Paris letters on ETSY. You'll find chez Kate B and B easily on Google.
 Bisous, bisous from Bear

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Paris Valentines Day Letter!

February Valentine letters went out in la poste today. Hooray!
I celebrated at La Maison du Chocolat...ahem
A nice surprise for Bear. Non? Doodly doodly do
I could have gone for these La Duchesse red minis but I can paint the heart-shaped box next year.
Heart-shaped bouquets at La Vie en Rose
Diptyque has a new limited edition perfume for you for Saint-Valentine.
They said it was litchie and...something or other. Pomplemousse?
Very fresh, citrusy and leger (light).
You'll be dancing on air...in your Paris Repettos.
Did you wear something red today?
Do French girls really wear this wild lingerie?
Marie Tournelle's vitrine was full of Valentine cards.
Everything is coming up roses. This February is the 3rd anniversaire of my letters from Paris. Everyone gets a little gift for supporting my Paris letters and watercolors on ETSY. A mini half-size chocolate map comes with the new Valentine letter. Thank you PBers!!
Happy Valentines Day. Bisous bisous from Bear too

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Mamy Therese Madeleinerie

I know. I've been MIA again, and I am still immersed in coquillage (scallops) but this time the famous baked little cakes of Monsieur Proust.
Last Thursday I was invited to an early morning tasting at madeleinerie, Mamy Therese, brand new to Paris from Nancy located on 19 rue Saint-Antoine, 75004.
An adorable shop just a hop and a skip from Hotel du Sully by the way.
I've lost count of all the flavors but many use Nancienne products like mirabelle and bergamot
Look, even the spatula has scallop edges! With all the madeleines i've downed this week I'll soon grow a few scalloped edges myself...
These little cakes have nothing to do with church at Place Madeleine in case you were wondering. They are named after the cook who first made them. At. Mamy Therese their creater is chef Benoit Molin.
You may have heard of the French expression, "la madeleine de Proust". It refers to any food that brings back childhood memories. In fact in an early draft of "Rembrances of Things Past" it was a bit of toast with a smear of honey. Fortunately an editor, in the third draft suggested the madeleine instead. Aren't we lucky. What a delicious little morsel.
These golden orange tablier are handsome.
We get a detailed dissertation on madeleine structure and composition. Much tasting is included.
Mamy Therese's colors match nicely with Champagne Veuve Clicquot
Not just madeleines either. I spied these gorgeous croque monsieurs  lurking on a tray.
They gifted us tasters with a dozen box of different flavored madeleines. I had every intention of handing them directly over to my landlord. Ha. The best laid plans of mice etc.
Naturally immediately after I headed over to La Grand Epicerie. I remembered they had madeleines shaped exactly like scallop shells.
I thought I could pop them in the shells and paint them but it was not to be. They did taste quite nice though.
Time for another DIY paint a madeleine session this week PBers.
Simply trace around your madeleine with a pencil. 
Then throw in some watercolor washes using Yellow Ochre, Burnt Siena, Burnt Umber plus a blue for shadow. I like to paint the shadow first. Et voila! 
I made tons of these this week as bonus watercolors if you subscribe.
If you'd like to receive some PARIS MAIL take a look in Etsy. I'm adding past individual Paris letters and maps everyday. Plus lots of fun photos if you'd just like a vicarious stroll around Paris. 
Simply scroll. Cheers.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Hotel de Sully, Appartement de la Duchesse, January Paris letter

If one is going to eat scallops for 5 days straight (after my haul at the Fete de St.-Jacques on Sunday) one is going to paint them. The watercolors are up on Etsy.
Here's an easy trick to painting beautiful scallop shells. A shell is required. Simply trace around the edge with a pencil and voila! You've got the basic shape down on your paper. Then color in.
The scallop shell adorns 17th and 18th centure architecture like mad. And rightly so. Its the perfect filler for a triangular shape like here.
Or on top of a portrait and gold-leafed = perfection and elegance.
Last Sunday I did the 90-minute tour (10€ in French only) of the apartment of la Duchesse Charlotte, Hotel de Sully. 62, rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 in the Marais. If you've gotten out at metro St.Paul you've passed Hotel de Sully and forgot to notice. Next time do enter the courtyard and walk through to Place de Vosges.
First we got an introductory historical background in the conference room.
My French not being up to snuff...I drew out the window...just like in grade school :)
On to la Duchesse Charlotte's boudoir.
I was dying to give her mattress a good squeeze...
Too many mornings I tear out to the post office with barely a glance in the mirror. Now if I had this dressing table...
La Duchesse was a mad collector of Chinoiserie.
Naturally I found lurking behind the Chinese vases the perfect golden scallop to paint. I was longing to move them a bit for a better view, but thought better of it.
Looki out the windows in the apartment - a divine view of the gardens. Place des Vosges is just beyond.
Downstairs in the Hotel de Sully bookshop I bought a nice English guide to catch up on all I'd missed.
The January Shakespeare and Co. Paris painted letter went this Monday!
Ta Da. Do consider subscribing to Paris breakfast letters and maps