The summer scarves from our favorite brand Inouitoosh have arrived from France last week ! Inouitoosh is known for their bold designs , beautiful materials and craftsmanship . They’ll give any summer white outfit a lift and keep you cozy on a cool foggy California evening .
Fish in love orange 100% cotton $109 (Sold out )
Fish in love mustard ( sold )
Moby blue 100% cotton $ 149 (sold out )
Moby pale pink $149
Thelma nude 100% cotton $135
Hesperide Navy 100% cotton $115
La mer canvas bag with removable cross body strap $180
April pink square bandanas 100% cotton $55 ( on shelf Thelma bandana $55 and April hand folded clutch $75
April Scarf 80% Cotton and 20% Silk $150 . Silk gives this soft scarf a little more fluff and colors will look good anytime of the year .
They are as many clafoutis recipe as people living in France …everybody has one … me included . You may even have one as this French classic has crossed borders !
I combined a few recipes , made a bunch of trial clafoutis and this is the final version that I always do now !
Basically a clafoutis can be a crepe batter poured over cherries ; a blend of eggs, flour and milk . Like crepe batters there are many recipes more or less rich . The richest the ingredients , the smoother and tastier . Try to switch the milk for a mix of milk and whipping cream and you will have even more delicious crepes . You can also ad an extra egg , a bit of melted butter …it only gets better I can tell you that!
I like to mix grounded almond meal and flour to give it an extra flavor that mixes very well with the cherries . Beside the cherries , you probably have everything in your pantry at all times except for the vanilla sugar which I always bring back from France when I go. Scrape the beans of a vanilla pod into some sugar and let it work its magic for a few days and it will be just as good .
Combine the following ingredients :
8 Tbs of grounded almond flour + 6 Tbs of sugar + 5 Tbs of flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 3 Tbs melted butter + 2 eggs + 200 ml of whipping cream ( 1Tbs of dark rum )
You can replace the flour by gluten free flour in the same proportions and ad 3 Tbs of tapioca starch if you want a gluten free version . We have started selling whole purpose flour imported from France . It is not gluten free but French flour does not give me the stomach ache that any American wheat products do . I found that my gluten sensitivity is always gone when I am in France …and it is the same when I use French imported flour or eat cookies from France 🙂 Butter a shallow mold and pour the batter over pitted cherries , the more the better ! Some people say that un-pitted cherries taste better but it is scary to risk braking a tooth over dessert so I pit mine .
Sprinkle a few toasted sliced almond on top and bake at 350F for 30 to 40 mns or until golden brown and a knife blade comes out clean when picked at the center .
This version of clafoutis does not have the rubbery texture that some have . It is light , flavorful and even more delicious a bit warm served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of crunchy brown sugar . Do not refrigerate and eat quickly !
Dear friends , clients , clients who have known us through all these years , new readers this post is more personal than usual, but this year is not a usual year . Today we should be flying back from Provence with tons of sunny photos of summer days , lavender fields in bloom and bustling farmers markets loaded with ripe fruits . But this year is not this kind of year . As many of us had to cancel our travels abroad and still have to shelter in place , I will bring you instead the last part of Alice and I trip to France in January …a bit of winter in the middle of summer ! We knew we were lucky to have gone then when Covid 19 hit us …but I did not know yet that this would also be the last time I would be with my mother , celebrating her 90th birthday surrounded by her entire family …the happiest of times … These memories fill my heart with so much love and I am so grateful to have had that time . As France got into a very tight confinement , nursing homes closed down to all visitors and as many other elderly through out the country , my sweet little mom started suffering from the isolation , eat less , lost her grasp on life , lost weight and within an unimaginable 4 weeks she was gone . I cannot lie that not being able to go and be with her hurt a lot until I accepted the circumstances and made the most of the last times I could speak with her and have a beautiful conversation that will stay with me for ever .
Provence was colder than Paris . The Mistral was blowing . We had flown down to Marseille at the end of our day at Maison et Objet Show and by the time we arrived home near Orange it was already 10.30pm …just to realize that the furnace had stopped working some time ago and the radiators were cooling rapidly . We immediately started working to prepare for the next day Birthday Party …Alice decorating , cleaning dishes and glasses while I was hauling wood up to the second floor to feed the fireplace first thing in the morning . We had 20 people coming over !
We played Bingo , eat delicious cakes , she opened presents and the 3 of us ended the day by the fire to recover from a busy , exciting day . Tomorrow Monday , I had to find a repair guy for the furnace …Well Monday turned into Tuesday , which turned into Wednesday late afternoon until someone could come and get the heater going again . We survived with an old electric heater , confining ourselves in the kitchen with my mum giving Alice her first cooking classes all in French ! Not only she was learning how to make a proper black truffle omelet but she also was getting a crash course in French ! We laugh , we eat and despite spending most of our time with our wool coats on , we had a great time ….maybe more than Alice was bargaining for but this was real life in Provence , Peter Mayle style more than Patricia Wells style …
Vaison la Romaine is a lovely Roman town as the name say … big enough but not too big very charming . I took Alice for a little hike up to the castle ruins one afternoon . The cobblestones were slippery , moss was growing everywhere , the light was winter grey just like all the stones …even the local seemed to be hiding !
Time flies …we drove to Avignon to buy some crepe pans at a big supermarket so i could ship them before to fly back to San Diego and took a quick tour of the city … L’Hotel d’Europe was quiet this time of the year …
I cooked one last Japanese meal with my mom , packed all the flowers , photos to decorate her room , took the chocolates and cookies left so she could share with her friends at the nursing home , her home away from home . We talked about her next big birthday party when she would turn 100 ; the sky was the limit … One last hug and I was gone once again . Love you Mom , you’re in my heart , always .
Le Savon de Marseille : The Grand Father of all soaps from Provence !
Pictured below are bars of this iconic soap we found at the back of a shelf in Pascal’s grand mother’s pantry …they looked so cool we brought them with us when we moved and use them as a display in the shop …now in plain site for people to see !
Grandma Gratienne had gone thru the first World War so when the 2nd World War started , she stocked up on soaps so they would not miss it this time around . They were using it for everything , from laundry , hair and body to cleaning furniture or floors . Today French people still use Savon de Marseille for everything . We have sold it since the day we opened our shop in 1996 . We’ve had to educate our clients who have now discovered how wonderful it is too ! Yes it is the best soap and I will give you a full course on it so you will be able to appreciate it even more .
Marseille soap has been produced in Marseille for about 600 years. The first documented soap maker was recorded there in about 1370. By 1913 production had reached 180,000 tons , and in 1924 there were 132 soap making companies in Marseille but now only four remain …Traditionally, the soap is made by mixing sea water from the Mediterranean Sea , olive oil, and the alkaline ash from sea plants together in a large cauldron . This mixture is then heated for several days, stirring constantly. The mixture is allowed to sit until ready, then poured into a mold and allowed to set slightly. While still soft it is cut into bars, stamped, and left to completely harden. The whole process can take up to a month.
There are two main varieties of Marseille soap , a greenish hued made with 72% olive oil and a white made of palm and coconut oil . At the time the common size bar was 1kilograms ( 2.2 lbs ) easier to rub on bed linen and clothes that were being all washed by hand in a ” lavoir ” a public basin . These soaps are unscented , free of coloring agents , preservative and additive , hypoallergenic and biodegradable ! What else can you ask for !? We prefer the liquid versions and use the bar only to treat wine stains or other kind of red stains in particular . Pre wash by hand the stain area making the soap foam ; let set for 10-15 minutes , do not rinse and put in your washing machine with your regular detergent for a cycle . Stain is gone ! Because there is no synthetic components to the soap you can use it to clean leather bags and sofas , swede shoes …wash with a soapy sponge and rinse well . Just make sure you wet the entire area or it will leave some wet marks when drying out .
The same wonderful liquid soap also come scented , a gentle wash for your hands that will not dry them out ! We carry all the liquid soaps in 14 different scents all created in Grasse and in 3 sizes : a small plastic pump bottle 10 fl oz $22 , a glass pump bottle 16.9 fl oz $27 and a refill bottle 33.3 fl oz $33
Using this high oil content hand soap will not dry out your skin . You can wash your hands over and over . We have a lot of request for a good hand cream from people with dry skin but truly it all starts by using the right soap !
Something nobody really talks about is that the use of hand sanitizers removes the hydrolipidic film (our skin natural barrier to bacteria ) making our skin more permeable and vulnerable to virus . Washing your hands as often as possible with a gentle soap is the recommended way to stay healthy .
Marseille Soap has gone hip and sophisticated with these 3 scents that are perfect for a bathroom or powder room ! Come in a small glass pump bottle ( 10 fl oz ) $26 and a refill $37
Black and white tea come in a matte glass bottle (16.9 fl oz ) $32 or refill $ 37
Last but not least this new version comes enriched with shea butter . Delicate notes of white flowers over a sweet musk scent . 16.9 fl oz matte glass pump bottle $28 , Refill $32 , lip balm $10.95 , Hand cream 20% shea butter $9.95 ( 1oz)
Panier des sens organic Olive Oil and Honey /Propolis lines have a very light scent without being scented . Both soaps are so gentle they can be used on the face . Favorite are the body butter and hand cream which we carry in a regular and purse size .
Mistral soaps are made with natural and organic ingredients and original perfumes from Grasse, France. These triple-milled bar soaps are long-lasting, luxurious and exquisitely fragrant. Here is our current selection wrapped in beautiful paper .
Mistral also has come up with a special line dedicated to men . We carry the large soap bars as well as the hair/body wash , after shave , Eau de Parfum and candles in 5 scents
Keeping it masculine but not musky , this is Pascal’s favorite and I love that it makes the bathroom smells like a Japanese spa !
Elizabeth W uses pure Lavender oil from Provence , it is natural and straight forward that’s why we carry it . We love the hand cream and I use the salve at night or take it on trips because it is compact and solid .
Panier des Sens also makes great scented shea butter purse size hand creams and triple milled soaps . We are often asked the difference in between Mistral and Panier des sens . Both are all natural , hard milled , creamy and long lasting soaps . Mistral uses some organic ingredients , complex scents and more fragrance than Panier des Sens which is more about the natural scent of the actual flower or fruit…Many love how fragrant Mistral soaps are but if you prefer a lighter scent go for a Panier soap . We carry different scents for that purpose , things like old fashioned Violet and linden , rose nectar , lemon blossom , peony , tuberose and best seller cotton flower .
Purse size hand creams $8.50
Pre de Provence soap selection $10.50
Pair a soap with a purse hand cream or a soap dish to have a little hostess gift always ready !
Honey , olive oil or plain shea butter
Not as gifty , just simply wrapped in cellophane these are bigger 8.8 oz $9 and will last you a very long time …
We started carrying Ode about 12 years ago . We had just discovered Mc Evoy Ranch olive oil just north of San Francisco . We loved that they grow their olives organically , and make their olive oil which they are using for Ode body line …plus the fact that the lavender oil is from Provence , true , pure essential oil and we were sold ! I have been using the hand and body lotion since . It moisturize deeply without feeling greasy which makes it perfect for a daytime hand cream . Combined with some of their body oil on those dry weather day and you will never feel more comfortable in your skin . I use the scrubs that contain so much oil on my feet all summer to keep my hills smooth and soft . The quality of all the natural ingredients and essential oils they use makes it a stand out and we have since added the Bohemian rose and Citrus Oro . Their scents are light and will dissipate after your put it on so it is not overwhelming to wear with your own perfume .
Sea salt scrub 10 fl oz $ 37.50, Tube hand cream $2.4 fl oz $16, Body oil 3.7 fl oz $45 , Body lotion with pump 10fl oz $33 , Balm 2oz $22
Ask us about their facial line made with tones of skin loving ingredients …we carry it as well . All my friends and I are using it now …it does not make me break out or cry like all other creams and is truly that wonderful ! Moisturizer cream , cleanser and face oil …the best of all !
Looking for Bath products ? Here are the ones from Mistral : Bubble bath , salts and shower gel in lemon verbena , lavender and sweet white flowers
Fragonard perfumed embossed soaps make the perfect gift as they come with a matching soap dish and a beautiful box $29.50 ( Eau de Parfum available in all scents $ 59 )
The shop is now open again ! For your safety and ours we recommend that you make an appointment so you can skip the line . We are taking this reopening one step at a time and are making all the efforts to keep all of us safe .
You can always order anything for pick up or shipping : email@example.com Call or text 619 518 0401
Can you believe we are on our 8th week of confinement ?! Things are easing up a bit , our door is open but we still cannot let anybody in and only take orders via phone or text on my cell ( 619 518 0401 ) Thank you for keeping us alive in this context ! Mother’s Day was a great day under this new normal ; we are grateful for your support , for having each other and just being healthy . Taking it a day at a time is all we can do and the best we can do sometimes …
I am taking a break from taking photos of products ( which I will post later to bring you more things that are hiding in here ) so that I can write this post to follow up on our trip to Paris . We thought January was not the best time to go when now looking back we realize how incredibly lucky we’ve been to have that time , totally unthinkable now …who knows when Maison et Objet will happen again or how ? Well , I am glad I can take you there now !
With the strikes going strong , we are lucky to even have a metro to take us to the show…it is packed like rush hour in Tokyo . First day and the world is coming to visit M&O …a scene from the past ?? This show is huge , many gigantic halls well organized in sections and despite not being able to see the end of it , we are planning to see it all in 2 days !
We start slow at the Object section where we can find things for our Maison …No matter if we carry the brand already or not , there is always something to discover . Tissages de l’Ouest is one of the brand we carry and we love to see what’s new !
There is a map for “Made in France” and we are following the thread …
Some ideas are very clever like these drinking straws being actual real straws !Some still clever but not for everyone …The French stationary line I fell in love with and that we will carry soon …a mix of Rifle paper and “Anthropologie” , a little bohemian “French style” !
Whether we call the trend Bohemian or vintage , prints are everywhere from wall paper to slippers ! We are very tempted to start the trend here too !
The new and improved market rolling bag folds so you can carry it easily when on your way to the grocery shop or to store at home or in your car ….and it comes in fun prints bien sur !
Price was the only issue that was and is still making me hesitate to order some …same for the bow ties ( noeud papillon or “noeud pap” ) that also came in so many prints !
Time for a quick break and for Alice to finally have her first “jambon beurre” sandwich Color color color …rich and deep just like we’ve seen at Merci shop the day before ! Unfortunately these twin sisters do not want to export yet as they are already too busy with the European market or we would have these already !
The original lavender sachet , Made in Provence just like my mom taught me …I use to make and sell mine during the summer at my parent’s gas station . I have been trying to give a class to show how to make these special wands but have a hard time finding enough fresh lavender to buy from the local farms who want to keep their production for their own sales or distillation …maybe this summer ! Let me know if you would like to attend and I will start a list .
Everything is inspirational …so much creativity !
Day 2 …we made it again with our suitcases this time as we will fly to Marseille tonight . Air France had a counter at the show where we could check in our bags and avoid hauling them around from the convention center to the airport just 10mns shuttle away . This allowed us to stay at the show until the last minute without stress . We are starting with the Metiers d’Art which include artists as well as artisans perpetuating century old traditional crafts like the Anduze vases
Or contemporary expressions of French style
3D frame of Gustave Eiffel in his studio working on a big project …
Taking a quick break before to move to the home section of the show . The trend is very much into 20’s style …small rounded shapes , lots of velvet , brass , funky browns, dusty pinks and copper tones . Every living space has to look like a bar or boudoir , even the contemporary brands like Ligne Roset are showing it . It is not my thing but I can see young hipsters going crazy for it !
On the other side , natural , linen and soft pastels are still current
Poetic lighting by N- Lobjoy
Love how creative the displays are …Showcasing farm style dishes in matte finish and muted colors
Even the traditional cafe chairs are coming in pastels too
We cannot resist a little Christian Lacroix inspiration again …How cool are these platters !
Merci Louis is still for me THE brand with the most unique style and creativity keeping a French identity and giving it a twist “The brand’s concept consists in juggling with the classic style codes of 17th and 18th century France and using them to create contemporary objects ” We carried some of their trompe l’oeil candle holders , whimsical chandeliers , trays, file boxes when they first launched the brand in 2013
Just for Alice …
This is the inspiration for a window Alice did after coming back ! It is still up even though the leaves have started to wilt but it reminds me of Paris so I have a hard time giving it up . We might have to do an other fresh one for you to enjoy …soon we hope !
My friend Lisiane is from the south of France just like us , but we met here in San Diego over 20 years ago . She makes beautiful dainty jewelry , all handcrafted right here in SoCal …local with a French flair ! Each piece is unique but since you cannot come in right now , I will bring our selection out of the case for you to choose from the safety of your home . These make wonderful gifts , birthday , graduation , mom …
Lisiane uses gold-filled , a much better quality than gold platted allowing her to hammer the thread and shape it as she wishes . She also uses sterling silver , semi precious stones and fresh water pearls . Necklaces unless specified are about 16″ long with an extension chain to adjust it to about 17″ .
Call or text me if you have any questions about a particular piece or to place an order : 619 518 0401 Marielle Giai
We never plan it but we often twin with matching looks !
Gold filled necklaces with side details , from the left : Apatite $55 , Turquoise $62 , Single stone $50
Small hoops with dangling stones $50
Mix Matched Hoops $39 but if you really want matching , Lisiane can make you an other set so you can wear them paired or not !
Same idea with fresh water pearls on sterling silver $50
Gold filled Nuage Hoops with side pearl $50
Gold filled and fresh water pearls with tiny turquoise detail $50 , Hammered gold filled hoops with tiny turquoise detail $42
Bracelets with adjustable length from the left : Nuage Sterling silver , Paper clip Gold filled both $45 , Sterling and gold filled beads $50 , Heart and Nuage ( sold ) both $45
Tarnished sterling silver necklaces with gold filled accents : Paperclip $62 , Heart shaped front clasp and sterling medal $150 , Lightning $55
From the left : Heart earrings with 1 chain detail $42 , Pampilles hoops with pyrite detail $65 ( sold ) , single earring with ear cuff $ $35 , heart earrings $39 (sold ) Pampilles earrings both styles $62 ( hoops size about 5/8″ diameter ) Sold From the top : Heart necklace $55 , Lightning with tourmaline $59 ( sold ) Heart with rose pearls $59
All earrings sets $42
Earrings $42 Bottom set $49
Yin Yang earrings $42 ( except bottom right pink/green $49 ) , Not matchy but complementary . One of the most popular new style this season ! But if you are more classic and want matching , we can make this happen !“Nuage ” Long necklace clasp in front ( length 21″ around neck + drop chain ) , cloud and crystal details $72 , Yin Yang earrings $42
Small hoops with cross $35, Hoops with hearts $42 , Yin Yang hoops $42
Hammered “leaf” hoops $39 “Nuage ” Long necklace clasp in front ( length 21″ around neck + drop chain ) , cloud and fresh water pearls details $72
Here are some of our latest accessories . I will keep uploading photos on our site/blog so you can see what is in stock ! Light grey crisp Linen dress size M ( 6-8 ) $145 , Super light weight Cross body bag in washable paper Made in Tuscany $79 , hat natural or grey/light grey combination $38 Grey and silver scarf ( left ) $69 . Baskets are back and in fashionable colors ! Lined with fabric and a drawstring so you can close the top off . Small 2 tone $49 , Boat shape with tassels $85 , 2 tone boat shape $79Gingham Baskets lined with fun plastic to hold wet towels, bathing suits, picnics or farmers market produce $80Assorted matching stripped pouches $12.50 /$14.50 /$16.50 . Light grey Cross body washable paper bag$65 incredibly light Made in Tuscany , Woven basket with leather handles from Ghana $129 Cotton scarves details further down. Cross body paper bag can also be worn as a fanny Pack $65 washable and super light.More colorsOne of a kind ultra soft modal scarves from Valerie $69 ( Sold )Shimmering powdered pink $69Indigo Handloom : A brand of textile with integrity . 100% hand woven , Made with love and respect for those who wear it as well as for those who wove it Soft pink 50% silk/ 50% cotton $109Same scarf in blue 60% cotton / 40% silk $109 ( sold )Blue and Pewter 90% cotton /10 silver Zari $72.5050% silk /50% organic cotton $85This intricate plaid design is made of 100% soft organic cotton . Comes also in black $65 ( sold )Very intricate weave 100% light weight cotton $85100% organic light weight cotton $109 100% Organic cotton blue stripes with red border detail $59 ( sold )100% organic cotton $87.50( sold )
Inouitoosh canvas Bag $149100% super soft and light weight wool scarf from Inouitoosh . This design comes in citrine yellow/charcoal and olive green/navy $215Roses Inouitoosh scarf 100% soft light weight wool $210100% silk extra large square 55×55″ scarf from Inouitoosh $255Ombre scarf very light weight sheer wool that feel like cashmere $79
Graf lanz bag $290 . Light weight felt wool, leather handles , beautiful details and craftsmanship , Made in LA , waterproof , does not pill…my favorite bags and why I made an exception to the French made !
Crossbody bag $198 , Large boat bag ( my favorite ) $220 ( chestnut w/brown straps or charcoal with black straps ) Eyeglass sleeve $28
This year is a bit different to say the least …if you cannot come in person , let us put together the perfect gift ! You know who you want to gift it to and we know our products so we can make the match ! Tell us about the person and we can do the rest . These are some ideas witch of course you can always modify to his or her taste .
Poppies and coffee : Towel by our friend French artist Valentine , silk screened by hand using natural dyes 100% cotton $22.50 , ” A coffee please ” mug $16.25 , Milk frother by Cookut , All you need to know to bake your own delicious madeleines at home Book $19.95 , Butter cookies made in Brittany $5.95 each This gift $95.50
Romantic picnic set : Make a chocolate fondue on a picnic or at home with a tea light candle $25 . Dip strawberries or marshmallows and have fun ! Melamine plates set of 4 $37.50 . Colored through taper candles from Bougie la Francaise do not drip or smoke . Each candle burn 10 hours , pack of 4 $16 . Use this towel as a tablecloth , made by our friend French artist Valentine , silk screened by hand using natural dyes 100% cotton $22.50 . Carry it all in one of our net bag made in France since 1860 $ 18.75. Total $119.75
Switch for an other towel or bag if you’d like
All about lemon : Lemon butter cookies $5.95 , Paper cocktail napkins $6.50 /pack Mistral lemon soap $10.50 , Panier des Sens lemon blossom soap $10.50 , Glass soap dish $13 , Wax botanical Lemon blossom /lychee $26.50 This gift $79.45
Vacances en France : A few things to make you feel like you were in Paris or on the French Riviera right now . Tissages de l’Ouest towels $20 and $18 ( let them soak in cold water over night and wash once before the first use to make sure they become soft and absorbent ) bag $24 , Sticky notes $15 , French Cafe music CD $18.75 , Paris tea ,a blend of black teas with floral and citrus flavors with a hit of vanilla $11 , Butter cookies with caramel $5.95 , Comptoir du cacao chocolate 72% dark $7.75 . Mug $16.25 . Total $136.75
Market baskets with leather handles : Short round handles $45.50 or long flat shoulder handles $42.50 . Pack them up with goodies for a special celebration . Pick a card from us and let me do the calligraphy note on your behalf making it more personal .
Ice cream ready kit : All you need to make special ice cream desserts at home , starting with home made whipped cream . Use the jar and the included silicon balls to whip cream in less than a minute $18.75 . Bee glass bowl $11.50 each , Chestnut spread is delicious with vanilla ice cream , top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate for a “coupe Mont Blanc ” a classic bistro dessert all over France (17.5 oz $11) , serve with milk chocolate dipped Gavotte cookies ( the crispiest , lightest cookie ever ) Other option is Vanilla ice cream and Griottines Merlot Cherries in Brandy ( not syrup ) a little whipped cream , shaved chocolate and dark chocolate Gavotte and you are in heaven ! Griottines $28.50 , Chocolate 72% dark $7.75 , Rose syrup to mix with drinks or champagne $17.95 . This gift $118.85
Ad Cocktail napkins of your choice for $6.50
Sunday Dinner : Roast a chicken with herbs of Provence ( $16 bag ) . Rub the herbs over the chicken and infuse the inside using the insert you can fill with broth , lemon juice making a moist chicken $25 , Fleur de sel from Camargue is the most wonderful finishing salt , crunchy but not very salty $14.95 , Melamine cheese platter $33.75 , set of 4 appetizer plates $37.50 , Fig and walnut confit $9.95 , Merlot jelly$9.95 to pair with cheeses , Branches knives spreaders $8 each , Book on cheeses with everything from cheese etiquette to recipes $37.50 This Gift $199.00
Lavender for foodies : We carry lavender everything but our most special products must be the lavender honey rich in flavor , creamy and the soft nougat also made with lavender honey we both get from Provence ( 8.8 oz $ 17.55 and 3.5oz $10.95 ) I use the lavender honey to sweeten roasted apricots or drizzle over a nectarine tart in summer ( make a search in the recipe tab ) but it also very good with the Camomille /lavender herbal tea from Harney and Sons 20 tea bags in tin jar $11 , Apricot/lavender jam $12 , culinary lavender to sprinkle over cookie frosting $10 , Lavender syrup $17.95 , Lavender towel $27.50 , Mini hand cream $8.50 , Dried lavender $18.95 This gift $134.00
You can always ad some cookies . All made in France and delicious $5.95 each
Home made pizza are delicious and fun to make ! Use a refractory stone for brick oven results . This one has holes throughout for an even better heat distribution $39 , Herbes de Provence 5.3 oz $16 , Towel $20 This gift $75
Drink like the French ! the new book from David Lebovitz $ 28 , L’apero towel $20 , Bee flute glasses $12.50 each , Bird bottle opener $9.50 , Set of 6 assorted coasters . Gift $97.50
Drinks and appetizers come together …new ideas for a perfect apero or Happy Hours at home $19.99
A perfect spring and summer gift idea with my favorite cherry blossom flavored green tea $11 Steep 1 tea bag in 2,5 cups of coldcotton water over night or at least 4 hours for a refreshing flowery drink . This cold brewing process eliminate any risk for bitterness . I always do my ice teas this way even for black tea . Violet syrup also makes for special drinks and cocktail , or just pour some over fruits and yogurt $17.95 , Rose and Violet candies from Flavigny , Made in France since 1591 $5.95 each , cocktail napkins $6.50 , cotton towel from Valentine ,silk screen by hand right here in San Diego $22.50 This package $69.85
Lavender hanger sachet ( linen and silk ) $22, Heart shaped soap $12.50 , Fragonard Eau de parfum Rose Lavender $59 , Purse size hand cream $8.50 , Natural lip balm $9.50 . This gift $111.00 Linen and silk rose bud drawer liner $38
Our best selling soaps in Cotton flower and peony/magnolia $10.50 , Bougies La Francaise taper candles in soft pink ( do not drip or smoke , cotton wick , set of 4 $16 ) , Pretty ceramic candle Thai Lily scent $28.75 , Ceramic Cicada from l’Atelier Louis Sicard , this is the modern twist of its original version created by this family in 1895 ; A good luck charm you can hang to decorate or use as a paper weight $35 This Gift $100
Lavender ( all natural essential oils ) : linen heart lavender sachet $22.50 , Shower gel $24 , Hand cream $25 , Bath Salts $18 , Maison Louis Marie Candle $35 This Gift $124.50 Natural and Earthy gift set with entirely natural fragrances made with pure essential oils in Vetiver/sage with notes of Bergamote : Room Spray $15 , Soy wax candle $27.50 , Our all time favorite natural liquid hand soap from Marseille in Olive wood scent $22 , Small embroidered pouch $15 , Set of 4 heavy linen napkins $49 This Gift $128.50Lavender Sachets : Linen and silk Pillow insert $33, Drawer liner $38, hanger sachet $22, set of 3 linen sachets $33 , set of 3 silk sachets $23.75 , Sachets by the yard roll $29.75
Mix and Match to your liking Soap dish $13 , Hard milled soaps , natural scent from Panier des sens $10.50 , Mistral $11.50Sets of 2 soaps $15 , glass soap dishes $13 , bird dishes $17.50 , purse size hand creams $8.50 , Tin Box set of 3 $27.50 Embroidered lavender sachets $18.75, Heart sachet $22.50Make your own Lavender gift ! Mistral lavender is more perfumy , Sonoma Lavender is straight forward lavender oil infused , same for Pre de Provence bath salts $ 17 , Mistral Bath Salts $17 Shower gel $23 , Bubble bath $23 , Sonoma line water $16.50 , Soy wax candle $12.50 “French Gourmet bag ” : Filt bag ( 100% cotton made in France since 1860 ) $18.75 , Lavender honey from Provence $17.55 ,Honey bee towel $22 , Paris Tea $11 ,Filet Bleu cookies in Chocolate/mandarine $5.95 , Macarons paper napkins $6.50 , Liquid soap from Marseille $22 Orange blossom , Purse size hand cream $8.50 Orange blossom This bag $112.50Fragonard perfumed soaps come with matching soap dish and beautiful box $29.50 ; 6 fragrances available from light floral to citrusy or woodsy .
Match the soap with the eau de Parfum $59
Jasmine Tea , light floral ,perfect summer scent
Perfect balance of floral rose and bright crisp lavender , woodzy tonka bean , incense and cedar ( left ) Light earthy sandalwood cardamon ( bottom right )
Bleu Blanc Rouge : “I am missing Paris “ bag filled with dark chocolate Crepes Gavottes $5.95 , Alibabette Journal $11 , New Fragonard scent of the year soap Magnolia $11.50 , Provence Hand Cream $8.50 This Filt Bag is $55.70 Also in Fragonard scent of the year Magnolia diffuser $59 ( Peony and Orange blossom ) Large 6.7floz will last you a long time !Boxed set of 3 purse size hand creams from la Chatelaine $27.50 , Natural lip balm $9.50 , Alibabette Journal to draw, write and keep all these ideas together $8.50 Total $45.50 La chatelaine boxed set of 3 hand creams $27.50 and an other favorite to take everywhere and specially when traveling Ode Olive oil Body Balm $22
Gardener’s care gift : Ode Olive oil Balm is great on dry feet, elbows , cuticle and hands who have been doing some gardening $22 , pair with a hand brush from Andre Jardin , Ash wood ~ all natural fibers ~ Made in France $16.25 , Sonoma Hand cream is rich but not oily , perfect day time treatment $ 22.50
For those who have everything , gourmet food and consumable are always best : Fill up a basket with our Herbes de Provence $16 , Any jam $12 ( apricot and lavender , sweet orange and orange blossom , also available wild blueberry, wild blackberry, blackcurrant , white fig, black fig , pear and dried apricot with honey ,seedless raspberry ) , lavender honey $17.55 or Orange blossom Honey $ 15.75 , Fleur de sel from Camargue our favorite finishing salt $ 14.95 , Liquid hand soap from Marseille glass pump 16.9floz $27 , Hand or dish towel $26 Garnier Thiebaut towels $26 , Mistral sets of 2 soaps $15
We gift bag , we can gift box to ship and we can ship for you too ! Gifting made easy and unique !
Already 4 weeks that our shop has its doors closed to the public …it is still surreal but we have been able to stay in touch via our social medias , emails , shipped birthday gifts and care packages to loved ones , have put in place a curbside pick up hotline on my cell ( 619 518 0401 ) and have received lots of heart warming support by our tight community of long time customers . It is overwhelming to feel so much love and we are forever grateful . In the meantime I will try to take you away from it all with this post ….lets walk and discover the hippest neighborhoods of Paris together. Sunrise from our room …traffic is already heavy as people cannot rely on public transportation and so can’t we . We’ll start with a nice breakfast at the hotel looking at Notre Dame before to head out . This hotel location has really been the best in these conditions , we can just step outside and stroll along the Seine . All of Paris is within reach !
Notre Dame reconstruction seems to be on the way We are crossing onto l’Ile Saint Louis oh so well known for its ice cream shop “Berthillon” but it is no weather for that right now and this little island has a lot more to offer ! We have just put a foot on the island and here is Alice’s favorite …Stationary ! I recognize some lines we sell and find a new one I love …reminds me of Rifle Papers with an “Anthropologie” bohemian look …
How cool is this “fan” journal ! So you can write in secret …
Fun old fashion surprise gift pouches There is even a Youth Hostel on the Ile and not so shabby too !
Around the corner some young high school kids are getting ready for some protest . In France you learn early to barricade and fight …it’s in your blood , our national anthem!
2nd on Alice’s list of favorites : Antique shops . L’Ile St Louis is also well know for that . You just wander and find hidden squares with shops everywhere but a whole remodel is going on right now , lots and lots of construction witch will make for an even prettier re-opening of all those shops . http://www.levillagesaintpaul.com/index-en.html
La Mâle d’Effeenne concept store , the concept of 2 very creative minds : clothes, jewelry, home accessories , part Couture , part steampunk , eclectic and probably the most unique, stylish beautiful shop we came across ( it was still closed when we walked by so google them to see photos of what’s hiding inside ) http://www.lamaledeffeenne.com/ One bridge crossing and we are stepping into the Marais . Fashionable Le Marais …little brother of New York SoHo, AKA SoMa ( South Marais ) versus even more hip Haut Marais / NorMa ( Northern Marais ) often compared to Nolita in NYC …you already get the picture !And here it is …my new favorite : combo chocolatier and patisserie , Japanese flavors and French know how !!! Never heard of them but it was love at first sight . You read about my love for Aoki patisserie in Day 1 blog post in Paris but this is the new updated and improved version of a French/Japanese patisserie . It has all the attention to details and finesse without the feeling of being overly fancy … totally approachable . You just want to eat that delicious cake !
http://les-trois-chocolats-paris.com/Yuzu lemon , Hojicha (roasted green tea ) , Sakura ( cherry blossom ) , shiso ( a leaf with very unique flavor used like cilantro garnish ) wasabi ?? so many discoveries to be made , if this does not excite your taste buds ?!I picked a bunch of chocolates for the road but I could seriously have bought the whole store ! How about these matcha “almond tuiles” . Tuiles are my mom’s specialty …no shop in Provence made better ones than hers …and she taught me how to …I just have to blend some matcha in mine now … Leaving inspired !
Popelini : I am not sure their Cream puffs are fabulous but the display was very clever and fun! We pass the elegant Place des Vosges and make our way up . Shops are getting interesting , more eclectic not that we would buy one of those shirts for our husbands but patterns , bow ties and old fashioned men’s underwear seams to be the new hype !
Made in France is also a big trend ! There is a “carte Francaise” that link all the small businesses who pledge to make everything in France to support french craftsmanship and old manufactures on the verge of closing . I will support France’s underwear industry and will buy a very well made old fashioned “slip” for my Valentine …after all why not ?!
Even the packaging is really well made ! But are American men ready to spend $40 for a brief to have ” La classe ” even under their jeans ??
Slowly but surely we are moving into the Haut Marais and you can tell . La rue du Pont aux Choux is where hip is starting to take shape . All the sudden you have an “appointment only ” showroom ; “Heureux les Curieux” a concept gallery that represent a new designer or artist every month http://www.heureuxlescurieux.com/ We miss the Made in France expo by a week but there is always something unique to see. Next door is an old shoe shop ” Cordonnerie” transformed into a coffee shop , a “Boulangerie” now a secret Boutique Hotel also designed by Christian Lacroix as the matter of fact http://www.hotelpetitmoulinparis.com/en/ and also what looks like the hottest place to eat some fried chicken Japanese curry bowls just by checking out the line of hipsters waiting … https://www.timeout.com/paris/en/restaurants/pontochoux
Merci is THE concept store that started it all , where trends have been made , where you see what’s in now , what’s cool . Despite having diluted the concept and becoming a bit more commercial due to its success , it remains a must go to .
My dream coffee shop ~ library
Recommended by the locals we keep walking north and encounter more professional showrooms where new up and coming designers are looking at making it in Paris fashion scene . But what made the Haut Marais a cultural destination is “le Carreau du Temple”. Once a semi-abandoned 19th-century covered market has now found new life as a beautifully redesigned center for exhibitions, performances, sports, exercise, eating, drinking, and people-watching ! And it just happened that there is a fashion show about to open …watching people waiting to attend the event is just as much fun as visiting the hall itself but I am too shy to take photos even though they all look editorial ready ! We figured out how to find a very coveted clean public bathroom without having to drink more or eat more … Public Administration Buildings ! City Hall , Libraries all have really nice ones and nobody goes there . We stop at the corner library which also offered a nice respite for our tired feet .Now we are on the hunt for one more specialty shop …a notion store because we both love to sew and get into craft projects of all kinds . Google shows one so we decide to give it a shot even though it had to take us back near the Opera . We sure did not regret… what a find !! Ultramod opened up here in 1832 and not much has changed . We are like kids in a candy shop but only have 15mns before they are closing for the day …
Actually there are 2 shops on each side of the street , the 2nd is all about hat making !
You probably know of the Jardin du Palais Royal right by Le Louvre Museum because of its “Instagrammable” striped columns courtyard . Yes this is the way some people travel …in search of Instagram spots !! I always walked through the Jardin not the covered alley surrounding the garden but at night only the Gallerie is open to foot traffic witch led to more discoveries . This is where the famous perfume creator Serge Lutens perfume house is …mysterious and enchanting …https://www.sergelutens.com/us/ And next door a costume jewelry boutique It’s been one of those extra long and exciting day and as we make our walk back across the bridge we know there is more excitement to come with dinner at this little Bistro On L’ile St Louis …We eat in one of their sister restaurants the day before …but this one is a step up ! Normally we would have had to make a reservation , specially for a Friday night , but the transportation strikes have hit restaurants hard …people just try to get back home somehow and eating out is not on the schedule . Tonight we will eat at “Les Fous de l’Ile ” Bistronomy is an etymological blend of “bistro” and “gastronomy” , a new breed of bistros run by creative young chefs with formidable haute cuisine training serving quality food at gentle prices instead of reaching for Michelin stars. Tonight will be all this and more . A casual cozy setting , tight seating so you can start conversation with the eater next to you ,wonderful food for an unbeatable price compare to anyplace in San Diego . For the 2 of us , the bill came up to 66E tax and tip included , that is barely $75 US . OK we did not drink wine just bottled water but still…I would drive miles for the same meal here !
beef bourguignon style with seared foie gras , whipped creamy mash and confit onions
Dessert was incredible as well !
The place is filled with locals and our only wish is to eat tomorrow at their other sister restaurant just a 10mns walk from our hotel too . Le Christine is more Gastro than Bistro , a casual elegant place witch 3 course menu will cost you 46E /$50 taxes and tip included Still a Steal ! https://www.restaurantlechristine.com/en/ Eating in Paris has been surprisingly reasonable if you avoid the tourist traps or tourist places in general …ask your hotel always and people in surrounding shops , they know best !
Tomorrow is a big day . We are going to Maison & Objet , one of the largest and most influential home and gift show in Europe …but this will be an other post on its own !
Merci for reading ! Until next post please Stay Safe and Stay Home !
To all of you who take the time to read my blog I wanted to thank you for doing so . I enjoy sharing our culture , our experiences , a bit of France with you . The hardest part for me is always to find the time to do it….and then overnight , here we are , confined at home with all the time in the world …Pascal and I are very fortunate to be able to take this pause and try to make the best of it . Is this a preview of what retirement could feel like ?? We love having this time for us , time to rest , to connect with friends in France via video chats , repaint the shop …but we realize that for many it will be a period of stress , pain , financial struggle so we will keep bringing you some happy images to brighten your day during this time of turmoil . Stay Safe Stay Healthy Stay Home please .
Philarmonie de Paris and Saint Germain :
I always look for special installations when going to a big city …I got to see some fabulous photo exhibitions : Richard Avedon in New York , Helmut Newton at the Grand Palais and these have made lasting memories . So going to Paris I was hoping for something special again . L’atelier des lumieres ( the Parisian version of the Carrieres de Lumieres we have in Les Baux de Provence ) was closed in January to prepare its new show . This is always fabulous and I would recommend you to see it https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/ or even better in the quarries of Les Baux . https://www.carrieres-lumieres.com/en/whats-on
The Cité de la Musique “City of Music” known as Philharmonie is a group of institutions dedicated to music and situated on the outskirts of Paris . It consists of an amphitheater, a concert hall that can accommodate an audience of 800–1,000, a music museum containing an important collection of classical music instruments dating mainly from the fifteenth- to twentieth-century and a music library . The architecture itself is worth going and the exhibition they have now is right up my alley !
Next to the concert Hall is the Music Museum
The exhibition from Pierre et Gilles is designed as a musical and visual installation through an assembly of more than a hundred of their photo-paintings . The 2 French artists have a vision that is unique to them . Since 1976 iconic musicians , singers or actors have come to their studio . Pierre takes the photo in a set they create , then Gilles paints over it ….all over it ! The final image float in between photo and painting in a bright color haze with crazy frames they also make. I’ve been a fan since the mid 80’s and always thought these were collages, mixed media when in fact it is all real props in a studio set up . What was so cool for me is that you would listen to the music from the artist photographed at that time . It gave a whole other dimension to this pop culture exhibition .
Fashion Designer Jean Paul Gauthier and his boyfriend below :
Some of the props from their studioThe exhibition is following us back to Paris It took time and some help from the locals to figure out how to get back “intramuros” The line we took to come had closed until 4pm due to the strikes , the other we could take just 10mns away was not stopping to all stations right now and not going all the way to the left bank …a couple of hours later we were finally in St Germain ! We had missed lunch but thought there would be plenty of temptations along the way…
Now is actually time to confess …that I delete ALL my photos from that day except for one I took with my phone .Why is the trash button next to the import button ? and why did it never asked if “I wanted to delete all 86 items” ? It only took 2 breaths to realize the check marks were not turning blue a usual when importing but just checked and all had vanished from the memory stick of my camera within 4 seconds . So now i will have to rely on my poor writing skills and a few photos that thankfully Alice took !
I always love St Germain . It has historical cafes , brasseries , bookstores as well as chic boutiques , designer shops big and small , Le Bon Marche department store , La Grande Epicerie de Paris , The Conran shop and many of my favorite patisseries from Pierre Herme to Angelina and Pierre Conticini’s Patisserie des Reves . But Pierre Herme fell short for me this time . His encyclopedia of pastries recipes is my bible but the shop felt corporate ,the half empty cases had pretty generic macarons …so we kept on going but we needed something to fuel up . Nothing better than a hot chocolate from Angelina . It is pretty small but I promise there is no way you can drink more . It is that rich , thick and creamy ! https://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/homeI discovered Angelina when I was modeling for a couture line showing during Fashion Week at the Intercontinental Hotel rue de Rivoli ( now the Westin Vendome ) I did not care for macarons much and sure had to stay away from them at the time… that was until I tried the XL version from Angelina . It was the smoothest texture with more ganache or creme au beurre, a real cake , decadent and addictive ! Now when I make macarons at home , I make them large as well …not to mention it is also easier to pipe Wondering through Le Bon Marche in search for products for our shop …I was happy to see that we sell some of the Brands they carry .
Their coffee shop had a real impressive table .
Wondering through the Conran Shop is always interesting .A lot of my favorite shops have changed style, some have closed like Blanc d’Ivoire (we sold their quilts and beautiful candles for years) , Christian Tortu the famous florist had closed and La Patisserie des Reves had closed just a few weeks ago …Things are changing and evolving … you can never rely on your success and let your guard down … people move with the flow and you have to be able to bring it or stay behind where you may die . Out the blue we stumbled onto this new store : Des Gateaux et du pain . A breath of fresh air in this world of traditional pastries . We are tempted by every single cake and after much deliberation , we finally settle for this beautiful and delicious one combining pistachio and rose . It was as delicate in flavor as it looked ! https://www.desgateauxetdupain.com/We walked 25 000 steps with a matcha latte , 2 croissants for breakfast , half a coke at noon to get some more caffeine , a hot chocolate at 4pm to warm us up as it is rainy and chilly … We are jet lagged , pretty drained and we need some dinner witch we found by accident along the way . Across an Alain Ducasse restaurant ( serving all things Alice will not dare to eat) Le Colvert is a tiny little bistro bustling with local patrons . We are happy to just seat down and enjoy some simple comfort food casseroles . The young couple who owns it also owns 2 other restaurants nearby .This one is the most basic , the others are bistronomie and gastro-bistro . We are intrigued and happy to think that we could have some real good food close by . Many of the places I wanted to go are way to far to walk to; taxis and Uber are slammed and it takes twice longer to drive than walk with all the traffic ! https://lecolvertbistrot.com/
We crash in our comfy pad with pretty fantastic views . Paris will always be Paris !The next day will bring a lot more fun and exciting discoveries as we spent the whole day in Le Marais and Haut Marais , the SoHo of Paris , the brewing area for new designers, small brands and shops , trend setters …we’ll have the best meal of the trip and I have ALL the photos !! Next post will have more visual and less talking so I hope you will stay tuned .