April 11, 2013
As I very much enjoy drinking natural wines in London, I thought I would probably enjoy drinking them even more in France. So my thinking went when planning my trip to Paris last month. I can’t remember where I first heard about La Buvette, but it was on my list of natural wine places and also on my list of places that have been opened by ex-staff of Le Chateaubriand or Le Dauphin, where the owner of La Buvette, Camille Fourmont used to work.
That part of rue Saint-Maur is uninhabited enough at night that, as I stopped outside La Buvette to take a photo of the neon lit sign spelling out its name before going inside, my friend E coming up behind me and saying hello made me jump and let out a small shriek.
It’s actually not that far from Parmentier metro, but it seems so when you’re walking up the street in the dark, not knowing where it’s going to be. E, who knows the area well (and shares a surname with the owner Camille Fourmont – but is no relation as far as we could all discern) said she thought Camille was forging interesting new territory by opening there.
Once inside, it was pleasantly refreshing to be in a wine related space that had clearly been put together by a cool girl, rather than a man. Not that it’s girly. It wasn’t dark and there were no ancient dusty bottles gathering mold as décor. Instead, the white tiled walls with shallow wooden shelves held bottles of mostly natural wines, with the prices clearly written on them (add €8 for corkage). There were vintage glass light fixtures, each one slightly different, and a pot containing a fresh arrangement of white flowers and eucalyptus. The whole effect was light, unfussy and modern. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 7 Comments »
March 22, 2013
Paris wouldn’t be Paris without a bit of romance, right? The Parisian Male, that charming, well-coiffed pillar of French seduction, sometimes gets mixed reviews from visiting females. Do you like the attention you receive from men on the streets of Paris? Or is it all a bit too much? Claire, ever the English lady, takes a closer look at the men we love to hate to love. -Genevieve
I recently had a chance to observe the Parisian Male in his natural habitat over the course of a month or so. After many years of coming to Paris, I have managed to form and retain the view that the Male is more often than not charming, attractive, stylish, intelligent and appreciative of women. Oh, and romantic of course.
When I started to delve deeper (in the name of research, of course), what I discovered caused me to go from “hmmm” to “ookaayy” to – on one occasion – “eeeeewwww.” Obviously I’m coming from a northern European female perspective, so what might be off-putting to me might be delightful to someone else, but if you’re a foreign woman in Paris, you’re going to meet this type of Parisian Male.
You might have guessed by now that this is not the post to read for tips on how to meet Parisian men. The truth is, no tips are necessary. You just need to be a female and go to Paris.
The Parisian Male will not hesitate to approach you. And your friend, and your friend’s mother, and her friend, and anyone else who’s wearing a skirt. While this ardent pursuit may be flattering at first, you will soon realize it’s not that you’ve been singled out because you’re particularly enchanting, it’s just that you’re now part of an age old citywide sporting match. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »
December 6, 2012
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London (flatworldsedge)
In the run up to Christmas there are sample sales, holiday markets and pop-up shopping events all around town. London is literally glowing at the moment. It seems as if there are twice as many Christmas lights as usual; so a walk around Mayfair to Hyde Park or the Southbank and Somerset House can’t fail to put you in the Christmas spirit. It helps that, at most events, people will want to ply you with mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. To round out your winter itinerary, make a trip to a restored landmark grand café, admire a curated selection of haute couture by Valentino, and don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: Through January 6, 2013
At this time of year, Hyde Park is transformed into a winter wonderland and festooned with Christmas lights. The giant observation wheel could be mistaken for the London Eye, and the ice skating rink is the largest in the UK. There are two circuses, as well as a Magical Ice Kingdom where you can be pulled through an ice forest by a unicorn. Specific events are ticketed (unicorns don’t come cheap), but if you just want to wander the grounds and browse the Christmas market, entry is free. Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Events, London | 4 Comments »
October 10, 2012
As autumn draws in, the cultural goings-on of London start to head inside and ratchet the pressure up a few notches: bigger, heavier hitting fairs and events are scattered throughout the season. October brings out the big guns of Frieze Art Fair and the BFI London Film Festival. There are major, in-depth art shows, classic ballets and of course, fireworks lighting up the sky on Bonfire Night.
Royal Academy: Bronze 15 Sept – 9 Dec
The Royal Academy calls it “a celebration of bronze on a scale never attempted before.” This means works in bronze spanning the last 5000 years from every continent. Arranged thematically in groups, the exhibition includes Ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan bronzes, rare Medieval examples, the Renaissance (Ghiberti, Donatello, Cellini), all the way through to the present day via works by Rodin, Boccioni, Picasso, Jasper Johns, Moore, Beuys and Bourgeois. Continue Reading »
Posted in Events, London | No Comments »
September 26, 2012
I was born in London, and have lived here all my life apart from extended sojourns to other parts of Europe that are more conducive to joie de vivre, and, well, Paris. I can’t help but compare the two lifestyles and poor London always comes limping in at second place, looking all harassed with its suit creased and carrying a can of lager and a half-eaten burger.
Left: Paris, right: Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House in London (Andrew Griffith & Laurabot_wrigh)
The aspect of quotidian life that gives me the most pleasure in Paris and that has the potential to have me hopping on the Eurostar to Paris from London on a whim is… lunch.
At Le Comptoir in Paris (pussnboots)
In Paris: At 1pm lock up the office, switch your phone off and go for a two and a half hour lunch with your colleagues at a charming local restaurant, dining from the three-course prix fixe menu. After a leisurely coffee and some more chitchat, pay the reasonably priced bill (probably with luncheon vouchers), and it’s back to the office well rested and energized for the rest of the day’s work. (Note: I did say stereotypical.) Continue Reading »
Posted in London, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »
August 7, 2012
Jeremy Deller: Sacrilege (hellojenuine.)
August is a funny old month in London, and even more so when we’re hosting The Olympics. I’ve decided it’s impossible to escape the O word, even though I said last month I wasn’t going to mention “The Games” as we’re supposed to call them.
Where cultural events are concerned, a lot of those that would normally be scheduled to take place during “The Games” had to be scaled down or were cancelled because all the funding went to Olympic events. Continue Reading »
Posted in Events, London | 2 Comments »