Archive for September, 2010

Awaken to French Train Stations

Posted in Decoration & Design, French Travel, Paris with tags , , , , on September 20, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

Just a quick post today desole but I thought you all might enjoy my photo of one of the train stations in Paris.

It’s so beautiful with its art nouveau design and frilly wrought iron that it must be some enticement to travel? Just ask the four and a half million Parisiens who travel the three hundred stations to and from home each day.

What do you think? Fancy taking the metro with me somewhere across Paris?

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell


Awaken to French Champagne at Castellane.

Posted in French Affair, French Travel, North East France with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

Fancy a trip through the Champagne-Ardenne region of north east France all for the love of bubbles? Of course you do!

There are many Champagne Houses to choose from my friends around Epernay and Reims and you will often be indecisive as to which one to visit. I’ve seen many tourists and locals alike um and ahh about which House to tour.

There are so many Champagne Houses producing beautiful champagnes and intoxicating premium bubbles but there is only one for me. And that has to be Champagne de Castellane.

Head straight to 63 Avenue de Champagne, Epernay.

It’s not just the taste of Castellane which lures me. The underground tour at the Castellane Champagne House throughout the darkened tunnels or caves in Epernay is indeed very informative and gives you a great understanding of the history of the Champagne-Ardenne region as well as the bubbles!

Castellane’s English speaking tour guide is as preened and silky as a whimpet and looks as impressive as the labels on the collar of their bottles as we follow this impeccable Frenchman (well who wouldn’t?) through the underground tunnels which have been dug out for centuries.

The earthen walls, soft amber lighting and chilled temperature of the tunnels, alerted my french awakening to the very real possibility that we had been cast into Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’. Breaking the silence of the tunnels was the crescendo of very serious French oompa loompas driving miniature carts of rattling bottles until they disappeared into the silent darkened distance again. The whole place is surreal and wonderfully bizarre.

You will get to see the actual production process as well and the conveyor belt of beautiful champagne bottles dressing for a black tie affair with labels, collars, corks and crown caps!

Be captivated by the bottles which are older than you by a century…

or less?…

and the fact that one humble frenchman has the essential task of turning every champagne bottle by a mere fraction throughout history. Something interesting for the resume, non?

And lastly,there are the free tastings of the major Castellane’s French Chamapagne served to you by none other than our sweet tour guide.

The pop of the champagne is actually referred to as ” le soupir amoureux” which means a “loving whisper or a love sigh”.

Now that has to be good.

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

Awaken to French Women

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Books, French Women with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

It’s an undeniable fact that French women are lithe and slender in stature, would you agree? Over the years, my french awakening turned into sheer curiousity as to why this phenomena is true.

It’s initially quite strange to comprehend. French women (including many of my friends) have at their fingertips and regularly enjoy red wine with lunch and dinner, buttery sauces and dressings and of course their desserts of pastries, gateaux and creamy concoctions. Under normal circumstances these would undoubtedly expand the tummies and explode unsuspecting lipid deposits beneath any skin. But not the female French skin. Hmm…

According to the author Mireille Guiliano who wrote ‘ Why French Women Don’t Get Fat’…

There are a number of fool proof techniques/philosophy that French women employ in order to maintain their petite girl-like bodies…

1. French women eat for pleasure (not diet for misery).

2. Leek soup seems to hold magical powers.

3. Eat slowly and steadily.

4. Drink plenty of water.

5. Eat a variety of foods and increase more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

6. Use portion control.

7. Eat only at the table sitting down, not in front of the tv (a rule my mother still insists upon!)

8. Avoid the bread pre starter.

9. Make adult choices about what foods go into your mouth. Go for quality.

10. Try to find new interests and move your body more.

All these things make a lot of sense and one can’t deny that most French women look fantastic for any age. They must be doing something definately right even though they are surrounded by boulangeries and patisseries at every corner!

Mireille also shares with us a few french beauty secrets, including home made remedies to stay young and healthy, at:

‘Why French Women Don’t Get Fat’ is filled with thoughtful insights into French women, French foods, French eating and French recipes.

The only question I have, knowing now why they don’t get fat, is HOW DO FRENCH WOMEN BALANCE THEIR LIFE with work and family and kids and…

with less time in the day given the fact that three meals are generally consumed daily with a long lunch in between? Arhh the juggling act!

Any ideas?

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell