Archive for the Paris Shopping Category

Awaken to the Closure of Le Rouvray Fabric Shop, Paris

Posted in French fabrics, French Quilts, Paris, Paris Shopping, Therese Waddell's Quilts with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour friends!

For those of us who do some quilting, I have some sad news. It is with deep regret to inform you that the beautiful Paris fabric shop across from the foot of Notre Dame, ‘Le Rouvray’, which many of you have used, is now closed. After 45 years of patchwork and adventure in Paris, the lovely owner and co founder, Diane Obaldia passed away some time ago now and Le Rouvray has closed its doors for good.

Before her death, Diana wrote to me a expressing great interest in ‘My French Awakening’ and the article I did on her shop at: https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/awakening-to-le-rouvray-french-fabrics/

Good business deserves acclamation I’ve always thought and Le Rouvray was no exception. Diana was “touched and dazzled” by the article (which I felt was by no means brilliant) but beckoned “come have lunch with me” and that’s the kind of lady she was. No wonder her shop was filled with beautiful fabrics and beautiful service from quietly passionate people. Diana and her team made for a very successful business and above all, a business of friendship building. Well, that’s how I see it anyway.

I shall always regret not being able to share that meal with Diana Obaldia and hearing about her road to success and adventures in Paris. It would have made a much better story than the one I told.

What was your experience in Le Rouvray?

Best Wishes,

AuRevoir, Therese

copyright@2014Therese Waddell

 

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Awaken to Chocolatiers in France

Posted in Chocolate Shops in Paris, Food and Recipes, French Travel, Paris, Paris Shopping, Therese Waddell's Chocolate Art and Facebook Page with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2013 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour everyone,

One of the very best things to do in Paris is to go chocolate hunting. Like jewels in the crown, chocolatiers are dotted around the city of Light, breathing aroma and gorgeous chocolatey creations in a rich tradition of expertise.

When we were kids, treasure hunting for sweets in unexpected places was great fun. Some of us (you know who always cheated)  became really deft at discovery, but these days when the back drop is Paris and the prize is couverture chocolate, it makes the game so much better! I’ve hunted down and tasted some of the world’s best chocolates from the hands of the best chocolatiers in Paris. My French Awakening hopes you may find the list of chocolate shops in Paris helpful when you visit. It’s just the tip of the ice berg but it makes for a great day when sightseeing.

1. Patrick Roger- Number ONE on my list, residing at 108 Boulevard, Saint Germain and several others shops across Pars.(see his website below).

This bearded bad boy is totally unconventional from the rest of chocolatiers… an extraordinary chocolate sculptor, artisan and motorbike rider all in one! No wonder he has chocolate which is so earthy and herbal! He’s a creator of insanely different flavour combos and new taste sensations. Even OUTSIDE,  his shop windows alone will captivate you, with his over sized chocolate creatures. Apes, drinking Hippos and waddling hens  in glorious detail, reflecting his superb mastery of an age old craft bought to the contemporary platform with wild humour. Something rings in my own heart here.

Many of you don’t know but MY OWN passion is chocolate. Really. Working with chocolate is like nothing else. My French Awakening will give you a sneek peep of my chocolate sculpturing ….doing what I love (besides writing about France…)

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My new FACEBOOK PAGE  at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Belle-Epoque-Couture-Cakes-and-Chocolate/211250185696289  shows you more of my work and contact. I would really appreciate you LIKING the page and a very big thankyou to all those who have generously done so already and/or ordered a celebration cake with chocolate work. Your comments as well only make for better business. If you would like a spectacular cake for a special occasion contact me here or on my facebook page! I would love to make you something extroadinary!

But back to Patrick Roger….He really encourages the public to go out back of his shop and taste test to constantly keep in touch with today’s changing palette. His umbilical cord to the public is uncommonly tight even though he works unconventionally with great freedom and little constraints. There is no arrogance here which some other chocolatiers aerate.

My French Awakening refers to Patrick Roger as Le Willie Wonker du Chocolat for Patrick works outside the chocolate square. You must try his pralines if nothing else. They’ll tingle all your senses…and that’s why he’s my unquestionable  hero in the chocolate world.

Check out his world of eight Paris addresses at http://www.patrickroger.com/en/index.php and you’ll see what I mean. While you’re doing so, try this….

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The other chocolate shops in Paris on my list are not in any divine order but are WELL WORTH VISITING. It includes:-

2. Michael Chaudun- also a talented chocolate sculptor producing whimsical pieces at 149 Rue Université, 75007 Paris. A lovely  gentle soul who loves his work and you can tell when you walk in the shop. There’s a friendly warm air here dotted with plenty of oohs and arhhs as we spot replica European sausages hanging from the ceiling, stylish chocolate stilettos and faberge eggs amongst a classic repertoire of  glossy chocolates including his fabulous pave.

3. Jean Paul Hevin at 231 Rue St Honore. He’s been at it for a very long time and has taken out numerous conventional awards along the way, offering high end, precisional chocolate with some Asian inspired tastes. No wonder he’s opened up in Japan. Website at: http://www.jeanpaulhevin.com/en/

4. La Maison Du Chocolate at 225 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Here you’ll find wonderful, creamy ganaches. Website at: http://www.lamaisonduchocolat.com/en/#/home

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5. Pierre Herme – 39 Avenue de l’Opéra and 185 Rue de Vaugirard and 72 Rue Bonaparte, Paris at http://www.pierreherme.com

6. Michel Cluizel- originally from Normandy has his shop at 201 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris at http://www.cluizel.com/fr/

7. Godiva-237 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris.Found at  http://www.godivachocolates.eu/en/godiva-chocolatier-since-1926

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where executive chef (chemist to chocolatier), Thierry Muret makes gorgeous chocolates at Godiva.

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8. Christian Constant- author of two award winning books on Chocolate and a fine chocolate maker at: http://www.christianconstant.com/intro/

Of course there are many, many more. Now that you know my passion, what’s yours? 

What’s YOUR favourite chocolate shop in Paris?

AuRevoir,

Therese

Copyright@ Therese Waddell 2014

Awaken To Angelinas, Paris

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Patisserie, French Travel, Paris, Paris Shopping with tags , , , , , , , on June 17, 2013 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mon amis,

Yes, it’s been a while and as you know I’ve taken THAT trip to France…from Paris to Provence and I’M DYING TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT. But first, how have you been my dear friends? What’s happening in your lives? I’ve heard from many of you while I’ve been away and the wheels of life are turning in all directions but there’s one thing we always seem to have time for…and that’s France. That’s why we’re here really.

So I’m going to take you on another journey with me.

And it all began in Paris.

Sitting pretty under the arch which lines Rue de Rivoli, there resides a very old French establishment blushing royal purple and brown and trimmed with fine gold frills like some Grand Duchess. With her carriage outside,

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one would swear like a commoner that she was all too perfect and particular to encourage private audiences… but I would be wrong.

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The minute you brush pass her golden roped barriers outside and step ever so cautiously onto the red carpet welcome into Angelinas, you will be pleasantly surprised that you actually feel right at home here, despite her precious exterior.

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I was instantly welcomed with a warm, sweet hug of recently baked cakes and pastries and a cup of hot chocolate, rich and thick enough to cement even a broken heart.

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It felt just like a trip to my nans as a kid on our Sunday visits, that would prompt the same knee jerk reaction of releasing the fine bone china out of the cupboards and set her about in an aproned whimsy to check her batch of scones. Albeit, Angelinas- the Paris Shrine To Pastry And Flaky Sweetness and the meeting place for devout gourmands, is by chance a tad more detailed in its selection of cakes…

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With her embellished Rum Baba glaze over sponge…

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and sunshine yellow Tarte Citron popping with mathematically precision cloned marshmallows. Then there are Mont Blanc art pieces piped with meringue under a mound of vermicelli chestnut …

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I recall nan’s colour palette was a touch more conservative compared to Angelinas…

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and perhaps the interior of Angelina’s is not quite nan’s decor… Image

but the warmth and aroma and long conversations with angelic people who are kind and generous, knowledgeable and dedicated…

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will make you feel just as welcome.

Angelinas at 226 Rue de Rivoli, Paris, made me feel right at home and only the best holiday destinations do that. Why don’t you drop in to Angelinas? The Grand Duchess makes a perfect gesture for you in Paris.

She’ll always put the kettle on.

AuRevoir,

Best Wishes, Therese

copyright@ 2013 Therese Waddell

Awaken To French Ice Cream

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Travel, Paris, Paris Shopping with tags , , , , on August 7, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour to you,

I have only one pearl of wisdom for you beautiful people today.

The topic? French Ice Cream.

My advice? If I were you travelling through France, don’t leave the country without trying French Ice Cream. Like me, you won’t care if it’s Winter, wait and see…

French ice cream (or creme glace) according to my french awakening tastebuds, will excite and soothe at the same time. Made of egg yolks,  it’s truly distinct. Velvety cold and creamy on the tongue with a glorious frangrant hit of vanilla after the first few licks.

You MUST try French ice cream. For a couple of euros, ignore the cholesterol and take time to build some gustative memories!

The first ice cream recipe in France dates back to 1674. Nowadays, Berthillon ice cream is regarded as one of the best in France. The original ice creamery is still located on the Ille St Louis in Paris. (Take the metro to St Paul or Pont Marie). It continues to sell wonderful fruity flavours including apple, raspberry, pear, orange,strawberry, blackcurrant, mandarin, lychee, lemon, grapefruit, peach and so on. Their sorbets are equally diverse and fabulous. The same goes for the exceptional Tea Rooms next door which is run by Berthillon’s grand daughter.

The last time I was in line, rhubarb sorbet was very popular but I myself can’t go past plain vanille. It never disappoints! A testament to Raymond Berthillon’s expertise afterall he’s been making my vanilla ice cream every day for the last 57 years and continues to do so today at the magnificent age of 82! Wow! 57 years of ice cream making! What an achievement!

One day I should like to meet the father of my vanilla ice cream.

Don’t be discouraged by the long queue outside the shop. Great things take time! I promise you it will be worth it. Wonderful ice cream in Summer or in the depths of a Paris Winter.

The location to the shop may help you here: http://translate.google.com.au/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.berthillon.fr%2F

There are many other shops dotted across France which sell the Berthillon brand. If you don’t get to taste theirs, try any ice creamery, such as the one at the base of Mont Saint Michel. That’s where my photo was taken. And that’s where the gustative memories began.

Mmmm. I can taste it even now.

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

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copyright@2011 Therese Waddell

 

Awakening to French Takeaway

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Affair, French Travel, Paris Shopping with tags , , , on July 10, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour my friends,

I’ve always been in two minds about takeaway food. I guess I grew up in an organised world where very little was left to chance and meals were carefully planned. There was only one day we digressed from routine and that happened to be on a Friday evening where the theme of catholic abstinence from red meat meant that fish and chips was the only real alternative in an era where the sushi train hadn’t blown its whistle.

I can recall vividly the ink print from thickened newspaper in which the hand cut chips were wrapped and there was no light seasoning of parsley and garlic that some gourmet places offer today. The smell of heavy salt and tangy lemons which had been cut into large quarters (lemons like everything else was so big back then!) nestled happily amongst fresh, thickly battered fish. The smell alone was unforgettable. Friday night fish and chips sometimes went hand in hand with a block of Cadbury’s Caramello chocolate for dessert (well it HAD to be Caramello as the commercial went…) Who remembers this ad on telly?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtMv4N9rN8c

The Caramello Block was evenly distributed by someone reliable and fair while the entire family watched television together. They were glorious evenings spent together and no one relegated themselves to some wee corner of the house with their own high tech gadget speaking a different language.

On other days our kitchen savoured great cooking and healthy eating which meant no takeaway bringing too salty, too sugary, too fatty, MSG and other additive enriched food oozing inconspicuously in today’s takeaway institutions. I guess I never grew an appreciation for this type of  food especially those which offered gimmicky toys and collector plastics.

It was not until I travelled to France when I discovered that good takeaway (and heavenly at the same time) could be purchased cheaply and quickly, savoured as much as home cooked or restaurant food and be a miraculous alternative when travelling across France.

My french awakening has come to the conclusion that quality is paramount in French takeaway food but I want you to be the judge of that. Allow me to show you some dishes I’ve purchased, photographed and eaten all for the cause from French supermarkets in the suburbs of Paris and beyond.

Here we have a delicious seafood paella which was purchased straight out of a brewing caldron…

I’ve bought many varieties of delicious sizzling seafood and beef casseroles and cold meats from the back section of any fresh food supermarket not to mention fab cheeses and crackers and even dirt cheap wines for as little as 2 euro!

While travelling through France, don’t be hesitant in wandering through French supermarkets. You’ll be able to pick up substantial meals at a fraction of the cost of a takeaway meal back home- and definately more appetitising! Each day offers different hot foods. Each a surprise. Take it all for a fun picnic under the Eiffel Tower perhaps. You may recall https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/awaken-to-the-eiffel-tower/

In the warmer months, salads can be bought over the counter like my salmon salad for instance…

Walk around a typical French supermarket and here’s a sample of things you could purchase, like these finds for breakfast or morning tea… Quetsches are plums by the way and makes a lovely jam!

Aromatic French tea and coffee,baguettes, jams, mustards and other condiments are offered here and are expensive elsewhere. This means you can have your own little French breakfast (petit dejeuner) such as https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/awaken-to-jam-recipes-and-french-breakfasts/ and relive France in your kitchen back home.

The Carrefour Group of supermarkets in particular, support French producers of fruit and vegetables. It’s very easy to spot French products now with the use of  little red, white and blue flags to draw attention to their own products. Perhaps we should do the same thing here?

The kiddiwinks and the young at heart however may dart into this aisle for an introduction into cereals and chocolate treats for making hot chocolate for instance.

I bought home quite a few boxes of French drinking chocolate for the kids from this aisle! Go into the sweets aisle and you’ll be hard pressed to come out alive if you don’t buy them French nougat and chocolate!

Supermarkets have an oasis of French products for you to purchase at half the cost. You can pick up your gifts to take home to family and friends across the globe and they will LOVE you for it!

We bought truffle wine and foie gras here too for the foodie in the family. (Moi!)

The diary aisle will entice you with a fresh array of heavenly cakes and custard desserts if there is no patisserie open. These were delectable and cost 3.50 euro for both- one for me and one for the driver. I call them ‘Heaven In Motion”!

There are well established gourmet food halls in Paris as you already know at https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/awakening-to-paris-gourmet/

which is a cook or chef’s delight, but the humble supermarket can give you results economically and quickly. Ther’es something to be said in trying to be local (when you’re not).

And yes, I like takeaway food in France. Do you? What have you experienced?

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2011 Therese Waddell

Awaken to Chanel with a Chanel Quilt

Posted in Decoration & Design, French Quilts, French Travel, Paris Shopping, Therese Waddell's Quilts with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour everyone,

I hope you’re all well. Thought you might like to take a wee peep at one of my recently finished quilt designs. It was inspired by my first glimpse of the Chanel shop in Paris a long while ago. Remember https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/awakening-to-chanel/

The beautiful art of Chanel is so inspirational for me in many ways. With its classic simplicity in line and shape, inspiration took hold of my french awakening and I could think of no other title for my Chanel inspired quilt design than simply “Chanel”.  I can only hope that Coco would have been pleased in some small way. So here it is….

My Chanel Quilt pattern is definately one for the girls this time, especially those interested in fashion with a bag fetish! The colours are bright with a  contemporary youthful feel, which harks back to the words of Coco Chanel herself…

“I am not young but I feel young. The day I feel old, I will go to bed and stay there. J’aime la vie! I feel that to live is a wonderful thing.”


Quilters Alert:  Choose your favourite fabulous fabrics for this one- I’ve used vintage brights from my great aunt’s fabric stash!

This pattern and many more is available at my quilting website:

www.quiltingthejourney.com

The SALE price is $25 for those of you who would like to purchase the pattern.

Do enjoy and live wonderfully!

Best Wishes,

Au Revoir,Therese

copyright@2011 Therese Waddell

Awaken to Paris Cafes

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Affair, French Cafes, Paris, Paris Shopping with tags , , , on March 8, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour everyone,

It’s very simple. If you don’t want to pay big money in the City of Lights, there’s a whole host of inexpensive cafes, bars and tea rooms that you can enjoy just as much. If you’re out and about shopping and sightseeing this beautiful city, a simple sandwich or salade and coffee at any one of the smaller cafes may be all that it takes to rejuvenate the energies and propel you back into the pulse of Paris rhythm.

I propose ‘Doreen Cafe and Tea Room” at 12 Rue de Caumartin in the 9th arrondissment. This street has been around for a very long time. It was originally opened by  Antoine-Louis Lefebvre de Caumartin (Marquis of Saint Ange) in 1779.

My french awakening to ‘Doreen Cafe’ was initially surprising given that it is my mother’s name. The genetic pull was instant and I felt certain she would not only like seeing her name embellished on the glass of  the Parisien cafe window but also that “her establishment” offers a nice spot for a sweet rendezvous in Paris.

In busier hours, you may even have to share a table out on the terrace…

and who knows who you may rub shoulders against? Perhaps one day you’ll see my mother looking divinely elegant sipping tea.

Enjoy yourself there.

I know my mother would.

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese

copyright@2011Therese Waddell