Bastille Day

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Here are a few photos from Bastille Day last week. After jumping on a couple of Velibs, we cycled down to the 5th to lunch at one of my favourite burger joints, Loulou. We wandered the streets of Saint Germaine, as it's not an area I often get down to, being south of the river an' all. As it was with my London days, I'm a north of the river girl, or Right Bank as it's called in Paris. We walked all the way to Coutume Café, where we stopped for one of Rachel's irresistible cheesecakes and iced lattes. 

Having a packed a blanket, just in case - we then headed over to Champ de Mars to check out the crowd situation in front of the Eiffel Tower. At 5pm it was already heaving, but we managed to find a small spot so decided to camp out and wait for the fireworks. While fighting others off we managed to hold the fort for 5 other friends who joined us armed with rosé, baguettes, cheese and cold meats, so we could enjoy the evening with full bellies. The crowd got gradually bigger (if that was possible) as we waited in anticipation for the firework display. As the sun set against a backdrop of the iron lady and to a soundtrack of classical music ranging from Gershwin to Tchaikovsky, the clock finally struck eleven and the light display began, lighting up the sky for an intoxicating 40 minutes, in what was the best firework show I've ever seen in my life. You can see a snippet of the show on my Instagram here.  If you haven't seen them, I urge you to coincide a trip to Paris on Bastille Day, it truly is a feast for the eyes and ears! 

Summer Favourites

Saturday, 18 July 2015

I've been meaning to write this long overdue post for a while now, but what with all the travelling backwards and forwards to the UK recently (I feel like I'm currently living on the Eurostar, so much so that they should install a bed for me), my blog has (as is usually the case) has taken a backseat. 

So summer arrived rather abruptly a few weeks ago, when Paris was thrown into the depths of a heatwave. I usually love the heat - give me 30 degrees and I'm a happy girl, but the weather got a bit much even for me. And there's something that happens to Paris in the heat, it actually gets warmer in the evening. The small streets and Haussmann buildings insulate and keep the heat in, so by nightfall the city feels like a sauna, making it almost impossible to sleep. I've spent the nights tossing and turning trying to find a small available un-sweaty space on the sheets, to no avail. 

Since summer arrived I've been on a bit of a spending spree, yet still managed to be defeated by the heat. But when the weather's hit a cooler 30 (an oxymoron, if ever there was one), I've been literally living in this outfit. I'm happiest in a simple white tee - and this ASOS offering is a great option. White tees dirty and age easily, and I won't break the bank replacing this one, when the time inevitably comes. The skirt I picked up from the Zara sale. It's the perfect length, hitting just around calf level, but with buttons that go to the knee, adding a bit of je ne sais quoi and making it nice and airy, as well as easy to move in - perfect for cycling in (my newest obsession: I finally, after two years in this city, purchased a Velib pass!). 

The British brand, Whistles has particularly good to me of late.  The velcro sandals (another current obsession) and silver clutch are just a couple of things I've purchased in their summer sale this year. The clutch will be making an appearance at the rest of the weddings we have this year (three in a month starting the end of August!!) and matches a pair of silver heels that I bought from COS for the various occasions. The sunnies are Retro Super Future and have also become a summer staple, although I'm currently lusting after a pair of tortoiseshell ones. 

Along with a new wardrobe, I thought it high time I updated some of my make-up. I wear SPF 30 moisturiser every day, but I've also been plastering mattifying foundation over the top, in the hope of not looking like my face is dripping with sweat. But in a recent quest to feel a little lighter (especially in this heat) and not like I'm troweling on make-up every morning, I did a bit of research and decided to try the Bare Minerals Tinted Moisturiser. It's light (even lighter than the cream I've been using) and has a bit of colour, which I add to with some bronzer and blusher. I've been covering up any blemishes with Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage and suddenly feel a few pounds lighter! What's your go-to summer make-up regime? 

Notes from the Weekend

Monday, 6 July 2015

It's been crazy hot in Paris this last week - the canicule (heatwave) has been long lingering. I love the heat, but even I have been suffering. Living in the 4th floor of a Hausmann building, which is usually wonderful with the sun streaming in in the mornings, has turned into a greenhouse slash sauna. It's been so hot that I've been fantasising about air-conditioning (something that's pretty unusual for me - I'm used to expressing how cold I am on a daily basis, much to the boy's annoyance). Yet the heat didn't stop us getting out and about on Saturday, as my mum and her partner were visiting for the weekend. Opting for cycling over the equally sauna-like metro, we rented Velib bikes and cycled to the Pompidou in search of air con and art. We sauntered around the inspiring Le Corbusier exhibition, lingering to enjoy the cool air, and then headed over to Bob's Kitchen for lunch. We spent the rest of the weekend cycling and wandering around Paris in search ice-cream and air con, while I snapped a few photos. 

A few links/discoveries: 
- I drooled over this gorgeous post - we're off to Santorini the end of August of a wedding and can't wait!
- I started reading US by David Nichols and am already enjoying it
- I'm excited to see Cereal's New York city guide - I'll be helping with the Paris guide later in the year
- I checked out Ob la di cafe & Kitsune's newest cafe on Rue Amelot last week
- Ate at the new Grand Coeur in the Marais - bit pricey, one for special occasions, but beautiful interior (marble-topped tables and stone walls) and a huge terrace

The Parisian Kitchen

Friday, 3 July 2015

I’m a big foodie. I love to try different foods, discover restaurants and generally eat until my heart’s content, but I’m not a very inventive or well-practised cook. And I'm not one of those people who can just throw things together et voila! I have my go-to dishes that I return to time and time again, such as chili, or I consult one of my many cookbooks (25 at last count - which are admittedly more for decoration) and try to recreate a recipe, but often fail as I'll be missing a quarter of the ingredients.

So being invited to The Parisian Kitchen was a chance to get a little more creative in the kitchen and learn to cook some typically French dishes. Run by the lovely Bénédicte, she launched the venture earlier this year out of her love of cooking - a passion she'd inherited from her mother. Having worked in the luxury goods industry, Bénédicte wanted to do something a little more personal. Located in her gorgeous apartment in the 17th, she welcomed my friend Rachelle and I with tea and coffee on a Tuesday morning a couple of weeks ago. The first part of the morning was taken up by a trip to her local market and cheese shop to buy fresh produce (along with explanations from Bénédicte - who knew there were so many different types of onions!) that would be used for the three course menu that she'd planned for us to make together. We then spent the next couple of hours cooking (or they did, while I snapped away) before sitting down to the most delicious feast! 

We cooked & ate the following:
Cream of asparagus soup, foie gras froth and truffle oil 
Coley with a citrus dressing
Vegetable pie pastry 
Chocolate soufflé

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