Monday, March 27, 2017

Dijon Tartelette Citron

I had every intention of showing you the glorious Medieval architecture of Dijon, where I went to draw buildings last weekend.
But the first day I became obsessed with the beautiful pastries.
They too have a lovely kind of abstract architecture if you can look at them without salivating.
Wonderful colors
And oh the geometry!
Right in the middle of this lush display an owl was watching me...
Baby owls (chouette) filled the front window instead of pastries?!
Here's an old postcard of the patisserie/boulangerie.
And today. Note the owl painted large on the doorway of Aux delices de la Chouette.
The boulangerie is just to the side of Dijon's church, Notre Dame and it's famous carved owl.
You're meant to rub the owl with your left hand for good luck (thank you Chantal for filling me in), but these tourists were using both hands for good measure.
That owl is the mascot of Dijon, seen everywhere in all forms, some edible. Note the snail.
Burgundy is famous for its garlicky, parslied snails so natch I had them the first day.
If your not into crustaceans you can have your snails in chocolate
Dijon's trusty owl is embedded into the sidewalks leading on a trail of historic monuments.
I'll get to them soon I promise.
Meantime, would you believe I bought this 3 stunners with every intention of painting them. Major ahem. Its true I only ate the fruit topping off them, except for the rectangular cassis moussy thing in the foreground. Irresistible. And cassis IS the local specialty. The March Paris pastry letter is up on Etsy should you feel hungry. If you enjoyed this post and want to support it, Subscribe to Paris letters and maps or forward to a friend. Cheers!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Saut Hermes 2017, Hermes Sevres-Babylon

Last Friday I went over to the Grand Palais. More pictures on my Instagram. Please follow..ahem
The preview for a big Rodin centenary was opening. And Saut Hermes 2017 in the nave.
So far I have not been able to get a press pass inside the equestrian jump show. Maybe next year.
Still its great fun to watch gorgeous horses parading in and out of the back door.
Love the look this horse gave me.
Grand Palais is in general a horsey place, trés a pro po.
There are tons of Saut Hermes videos on Youtube if you want a look inside at the jumping.
Those tails are fabulous no?
The riders are not bad looking either. If only I could whistle...
Les Paris flic passed by on horseback and gave me a half-smile when I took their picture too.
If you missed the annual March Saut Hermes you can still catch plenty of horse gear at the big Hermes Sevres-Babylon store.
A horse of a different color?
Is this really an alligator child's pull-toy? Qui sait.
Hermes' latest perfume is called of course 'Galop'. Only 1 L svp.
Horse gear print silk scarves are forever. I have one tucked away somewhere from eons ago...
The space was formerly a swimming pool so quite spacious for Paris
Those perfect Hermes orange cravatte boxes. Yum yum.
Speaking of Hermes orange, Bear and I are off to Dijon tomorrow, home of pain d'epice, also a lovely shade of orange. We're taking a drawing stage (course) dans le rue and inside the museum. Do you have any Dijon tips? Do tell svp. If you enjoyed this post and want to support it, buy Paris letters, maps and watercolors or forward to a friend. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Where's Bear? Mont Saint Michel

You guessed right. Bear and I escaped on Sunday to Mont Saint Michel for an overnight break.
We've been wanting to go all winter. After reading David Lebovitz' omelette experience that was it. We booked ASAP and took the train from gare Montparnasse to Dol-de-Bretagne, a tiny town 30 minutes bus ride away. The driver kept pointing out MSM as soon as it appeared on the horizon. Everyone was shooting and craining their necks for a look. We were in the front row so natch we had ringside views.
This is low season so the throngs were managable and we got a reasonably price at La Terrasse de la Mere Poulard.
La Mere Poulard is the first thing you see coming through the archway on Grande Rue.
I was starving and headed to lunch immediately. A big kitchen is open for all to come and gawp. You don't have to eat there but I was glad I did.
These guys are beating eggs up a storm, rat-a-tat-tat. They keep a distinct rhythm going while staying completely straight-faced.
Egg pans heat up in the fire. Gobs of butter are thrown in and poured from one pan to the next.
Et voila! If this is a 3-egg omelette then they are using ostrich eggs in my opinion. I've never tasted anything like it except maybe a fluffy soufflé. The plain 'traditional' omelette and mine with smoked salmon and roasted potatoes on the side are the same price - 34€
Post-lunch I was in no shape to climb up all those stone steps to the Abbey. I made it as far as the small church and then turned back.
No matter where you go views are spectacular on the island of Mont Saint Michel.
Its a small climb up to the ramparts surrounding the town and worth it.
Just look up and gasp.
Plenty of Normandy snacks to buy like caramels
And those divine butter cookies. la Mere Poulard has a nice shop in Paris at 19, boulevard d'Opera. I checked it out before going looking for I don't know exactly what, but I noticed prices were lower than in their MSM shop! More selection too. Qui sait?
Bear was getting hungry around evening so we stopped in a simple brasserie called Les Terrasses(?) along the ramparts. The mussels, called Bouchot, are the same you get in Paris from the bay around the Abbey. I thought they tasted much better onsite. 13€ for this filling marmite.
MSM is like Venice. Part of the fun is experiencing the medieval town once day-trippers go home.
I tried to capture a night shot but my iPad wasn't up to it. Simply spectacular to see.
Back in my room time to paint watercolors.
Mont Saint Michel is so iconic, you get carried away and feel you can paint it any color you like and I did, even dreamy purples. If you enjoyed this post and want to support it, buy Paris letters, maps and Mont Saint Michel watercolors (there are 8 watercolors up on Etsy) or forward to a friend. Cheers!