Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Happy Holidays From Julie’s Paris

December 18, 2011

Santa's landing strip: The Champs-Elysees at Christmas. Photo by Agateller, WM Commons.

The Experienced Travelers are primping the bows on festive packages in preparation for Christmas.  Oh, Père Noël.   Is this the year you’ll bring us the key to that mortgage-free flat overlooking the rue Cler?

We asked Santa to stop here after he finishes the Parisian chimneys.  Our list is short and heartfelt:  Christmas morning croissants from the rue de Champs de Mars, those thin, flavorful green beans from the market, one Bresse chicken, the pâté de foie gras that the Florimond makes from the recipe of Laurent’s grandmother, a case of Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Carette macarons for Nurse, and the leather briefcase I didn’t buy in the Marais.   And the key!  Santa, please… the key.

Last-minute shopping in Paris. Photo by Dhaun

So dear Readership, slip into your winter jammies, decant your cognac and come sit by the fire.  We’re having a little Christmas sing-along, and a holiday reading.  First, we dusted off the “12 Days of ET Christmas”

Twelve vintage bottles / Eleven lost Picassos
Ten chefs creating / Nine waiters waiting
Eight “Gordon” courses / Seven Marly horses
Six scarves from Hermès
Five Ma-ca-rons!
Four garden chairs / Three baguettes / Two camemberts
And a piedàterre in the rue Cler

Now top up your glasses while Nurse regales us with a holiday recitation:

T’was the night before Christmas, and the ETs slept well.
When at last, down the chimney came good Père Noël!
He set down his bundle, and spied with his eyes
A plate of fresh madeleines, piled this high.

“The ETs were baking” he cried with delight.
As the crumbs fell like snowflakes, he relished each bite.
Then he pulled from his pocket a box, with a bow–
A gift to the ETs from Bertrand Delanoë!

He placed it beneath the glittering tree,
To await Christmas morning, and delight the ETs.
For the box held the gift that they asked for each year.
The key to the doorway above the rue Cler!

As he took to the sky to continue his trip,
He cried “Merry Christmas, Oh dear Readership!”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the ETs!

Paris Quickpics: Happy Easter

April 22, 2011

Carrots any child would gladly eat

The Experienced Travelers wish you Joyeuses Pâques and a warm welcome to Spring!  These Parisian store windows with their voluptuous displays made us long for the Easter Bunny to grace us with baskets of luscious chocolates, merangues and subtle ganaches.

Happy Easter from A La Mere de Famille

The French gauge worthiness by one’s tolerance for pure dark chocolate – the higher the percentage, the better your chances are for immigration. If you can tolerate 70-85% and conjugate 7 irregular verbs, you’re in.
To celebrate the holiday, I’m sure there are roasts and pommes de terre gratinées in ovens all across Paris, with the promise of long afternoon walks and a rendez-vous with friends for a digestif at the corner cafe.

Choco bears and chickies and eggs from Carnot

While I work on “The No Wine Left Behind Tour Part Deux”, I give you David Sedaris’ “Jesus Shaves” from to enjoy (Click the link and scroll down about a third of the way to read the full story)

Eggs: not just for breakfast anymore

 We hope the weather is fine, the food is good and the tenor is restful on this Spring Easter weekend.  Watch for more ET Paris reports in our next post!
Relax and enjoy a leisurely Easter weekend!

Twelve days of revels

December 18, 2010

The City of Lights at Christmas (Agatellier, Wikipedia commons)

The holidays are nigh upon us, and the Experienced Travelers sleep with images of foie gras dancing in their heads.  Letters were duly posted to Père Noël at his atelier in the Rue Guillemites, so now we wait.   

Pere Noel forsakes the North Pole for the Rue Guillemites in the Marais

France is a secular country – unless the Church provides an excuse for leisure and dining.  Christmas is a twelve-day extravaganza, beginning with le Réveillon after Midnight Mass.  Imagine a table laden with roasts, salads, oysters, foie gras, champagne and the “bûche de Noël” or Christmas log cake. Paris will be awake all night, eating, drinking and visiting. 

Beware the hidden crown in this Galette des Rois

Twelve exhausting days later, the season comes to a close at Epiphany.  Naturally there is a meal, which features la Galette des Rois, a round cake containing a small hidden crown.  Whoever finds it in their slice gets to be King or Queen. (which can be a risky proposition in France)  We hope they chew carefully.

The ETs speculate that this tradition was started in the 14th century by the medieval guild of Baker Dentists, rivals of the better-known Barber Surgeons. Translated from the Latin, their motto reads “Bake a crown – Make a crown”. It’s still upheld by dentists across France.

We asked Pere for more time to visit this friendly fromagerie

We have been very, very good all year, so we hope that Père Noël will be generous.  Nurse wants time to explore the other fromagerie near our apartment, a Gordon Ramsay gift certificate, fresh radishes and haricots verts, Laduree macarons, the vintage Hermès scarf from the shop on the corner, and for me to get bored with Proust.

We both asked Pere Noel for dinner at Le Florimond

I asked for two chairs by the fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens, the view from the Centre Pompidou, the unforgettable omelette from La Fontaine Saint-Michel, to find Napoleon’s stuffed dog in the Musee de L’Armee and to gain entry to the bank conference room that was once Proust’s bedroom. 

Open late for last minute shopping (Noel Remi Jouan, Wikipedia Commons)

JuliesParis will be on hiatus until the New Year while we rest by the fire with a glass of wine and our Paris maps.  Until then, we invite you to join us in the final chorus of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, which will sound better once we open the wine:

Twelve vintage bottles / Eleven lost Picassos
Ten chefs creating / Nine waiters waiting
Eight “Gordon” courses/ Seven Marly horses
Six scarves from Hermès / Five Ma-ca-rons
Four garden chairs / Three baguettes / Two camemberts
And a pied-à-terre in the Rue Cler

This video features the bells of Notre Dame on Christmas Eve.  As you listen, imagine every church bell in Paris ringing out at midnight.  We wish all the loyal Readership the best of the season, and the best of Paris!

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