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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A discreet and fun Trattoria

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Tigrane Seydoux and Victor Lugger opened East Mamma a few months ago

From the street, you could pass East Mamma a few times before realising it is a deep, beautifully decorated and very discreet  “ristorante”. The atmosphere is so much fun with great music (not too loud), and the eleven waiters and waitresses running around in their blue shirts and aprons, all pretty, all polite and all smiling. What a unique scene for Paris !
Tigrane Seydoux and his business partner Victor Lugger opened this new restaurant on 133 Faubourg St Antoine, opposite square Trousseau, a few months ago, and it is already the « talk of the town ». There are no bookings but if you go at 12.30 pm for lunch, or a little late for dinner, no problem.

Pizza veer bianca, with tomatoes, parmigiano and basil

Pizza verde bianca, with tomatoes, parmigiano, mozarella  and basil

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An American painter is back in Paris

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Remembrances from when he was a child in Paris, “2cv” by Joseph Keiffer


Joseph Keiffer was partly raised in Paris by his artistic parents and he is back with a charming exhibition at Jane Roberts Fine Arts. From his French years he has kept, beaches in the Cotentin, 2 cv cars racing in Normandy, but also a staircase at 93 rue du Bac and a series of very French landscapes.Read More

A Basque enclave near the Elysée

Gratianne and Amandine Bascans, what a team;

Gratianne and Amandine Bascans, what a team;

I was walking towards the Jockey Club where witty and entertaining Mickey Wolfson was giving a dinner party for a young couple of striking Byzantine scholars and I discovered that in the last two weeks, a new shop had opened in the spot of Jérome de Noirmont’s former gallery, at 38 ave Matignon. Two charming ladies, (hard to say who is the mother and who is the daughter) from Biarritz, are running this happy space, Gratianne Bascans,  of leather handbags and traveling bags.

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The Princess moves on!

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Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon runs her castle with an eye to the future

To own and maintain a large historical castle has become a gigantic adventure nowadays, and Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon, daughter of Marc, the seventh Prince of this French aristocratic family, knows all about it. She has decided to turn a new page at Haroué, her beautiful house in Eastern France, in Lorraine, and modernise her way of life. After exhibiting contemporary sculptor Beatrice Carracciolo and fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, she will soon show contemporary furniture and design, a way to tell her two children that life goes on and can be great fun.

Two Japanese XIX th century  falcons

Two Japanese XIX th century falcons

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