“Scaramouche” moves to Montmartre

Food writer Elizabeth Bard started Scaramouche with her husband

Food writer Elizabeth Bard started Scaramouche with her husband

When American food writer Elizabeth Bard and her French husband Gwendal Auffret moved to the Lubéron six years ago, they had no idea their lives would change so drastically. In Céreste, East of Apt, they bought the house of poet René Char,  who spent the war there, fighting in the Resistance. And they started a gelateria, ice creams and sherbets, called “Scaramouche” after the film with Mel Ferrer and Janet Granger.

at the bottom of the steps of S

At the bottom of the steps of Sacré Coeur

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From Catalonia with love

The little harbor of Collioure where Matisse painted

The little harbor of Collioure where Matisse painted

Paul_Signac_Collioure

Paul Signac painted in Collioure

There is an exhilarating feeling in landing at Perpignan airport, in the gentle warmth of early summer, and driving straight to Collioure, the famous little port where Matisse (Fenetre, 1914), Signac, Derain and friends used to paint at the beginning of the XX th century. The 3 000 population Mediterranean fort and beach are minuscule and so is the museum where an exhibition of French artist Pierre Buraglio is taking place this summer. I could not resist buying fresh anchovies on the way and realised that this busy little town has a dual attraction that of fish and Banyuls wine.Read More

Tapestries that speak of love

"Le monde mis en balance," détail of a lady having her tong cut, Brussels 1520-1530

“Le monde mis en balance,” detail,  a lady having her tong cut to prevent blasphemy, Brussels 1520-1530

The city of Beauvais, an hour North of Paris, has a long tradition of tapestry weaving since Colbert, Louis XIV th’s minister, established a Manufacture Royale in 1664. Three centuries later, French Minister of culture André Malraux decided to create a museum devoted this art. It was built in the early 70’s, just in front of the sumptuous medieval cathedral, by architect André Hermant, a student of Auguste Perret. And I visited there an intriguing exhibition of twenty tapestries lent by Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris on the theme of « Amours, Vices, Vertus » (Love, vice, virtue) until August 30 th.

Tancrède rend à Herminie

“Tancrède rend à Herminie la liberté”, 1645-1660

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Patrick Faigenbaum travels to India

Patrick_Faigenbaum_Madame Gosh, Kolkata nord, octobre 2014

You have certainly seen once in your life the fabulous and dark, black and white portraits of Italian aristocrats photographed very still in their palazzos ? Over the last 30 years, photographer Patrick Faigenbaum has accustomed us to dramatic images. After winning the Fondation Cartier Bresson Prize in 2013, he took the time to travel to India six times and came back with approximately fifty colour and black and white images. Two exhibitions celebrate him in Paris at the moment and his pictures will travel to the Aperture Foundation in New York in mid September.Read More

From Georges Brassens to Orange wine

The discreet entrance to "Gare au gorille"

The discreet entrance to “Gare au gorille”

Gare-au-gorille

The restaurant is very charming inside and the service is exceptional.

I almost cancelled the reservation when I drove past « Gare au gorille », a very small and unnoticeable restaurant on rue des Dames in the Batignolles. But Georges Brassens had sung « Gare au gorilla… supérieur à l’homme dans l’étreinte, bien des femmes vows le diront » (Beware gorillas, superior to man in hugging, many women will tell you) and my curiosity had risen. Very glad I went in.Read More

After ten years, “The Cost of Courage”

Author Charles Kaiser enjoying a gin and tonics in Paris in June.

Author Charles Kaiser enjoying a gin and tonics in Paris in June.

It’s about time for Charles Kaiser to celebrate ! He has been at work on his new book « The Cost of Courage » for ten years, including three in Paris for research. The result is a very authentic and clearly written story of the Boulloche, a typical high society French catholic family, with a very unusual destiny. Three of the children, André who survived three differents camps in Germany, Jacqueline and Christiane, were resistants during the war. Their parents and older brother, Robert, who were not, ended up being deported to Germany. Kaiser had privilege access to Christiane’s journal through family connections, and managed to convince her of the importance of her lifestory. He has mastered a gripping tale of daily life in Paris under the German occupation, which now fascinates her children and grandchildren. And his personal sensitivity has turned it into a literary masterpiece.Read More

A stroll on the left bank

 

Marie Hélène Beaurepaire in her shoe shop. She also sells the best scarves

Marie Hélène Beaurepaire in her shoe shop “Germaine Pratinette” on rue du Pré aux Clercs. She also sells the best Italian scarves

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Architect Rénier Pozzo di Borgo inspired his daughter for this new perfume

There is nothing I like more than having lunch in St Germain des Près (this time I returned to la Ferronerie on rue de la Chaise) and wander around for an hour in the bookstores and shops nearby. It is well known that since the Bon Marché became the trendiest food shop of the 7 th arrondissement, the rue du Bac has considerably changed. There are about five different pastry shops, all fighting for the first place, on one block, and also many little gift shops like

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Divorced at 10!

This is the village in Yemen where Nujoom is taken to live with her husband

This is the village in Yemen where Nojoom is taken to live with her husband

Sheikha Prohaska-Alatas and Khadija Al Salami met in Paris fifteen years ago. And it feels like the film, directed by the Yemenite documentary director, is the result of this long friendship. « I am Nojoom, age 10 and divorced » won the first Prize at the Dubaï film festival on December 16, 2014. It is based on a book published in France by Michel Lafon and subsequently in the US by Three Rivers Press (Crown).

10 year old Nujoom is made to work by her mother in law

10 year old Nojoom is put to work by her mother in law

This is the life of a young girl brought up in the countryside in Yemen and forced to marry at 10 for financial reasons. It is also the story of the director, Khadija, who managed to go to school as well as work in a local television after a judge granted her a divorce. The result is this beautiful and strong fiction film, which was shown at the Institut du Monde Arabe, IMA, in the presence of French minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, former Culture minister Jack Lang and Bettina Muscheidt, who is European ambassador to Yemen.

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