It's been a ritual in Paris over the past 20 years or so, thousands of people all dressed in their best white outfit arrive at the same time to have a posh picnic in a prestigious Parisian location.
You only get invited by friends and the location remains a secret until the last minute (you get told once you are on the coach on the way). This year we were a total of 12000 people: 6000 in the Cour Carrée du Louvre (where we were) and 6000 in front of Notre Dame.
Live band music...
Champagne, foie gras, fresh fruits...all you need for a posh picnic.
My sister was dressed as an Angel. My mum made a fairy light hat!
The Louvre beautifully lit for the evening.
The diner ends with thousands of sparklers. It was very magical.
If you live on the other side of the Atlantic, be ready it's coming to NYC and Montreal soon.
The French Easter school holidays are starting today and we're off to l'Ile de Ré with friends. We cannot wait for a well deserved break (Simon and I have been so busy with work lately- we're exhausted!). I'll still be working few hours a day as I have a show coming up soon but at least the environment will be different and I can't wait to go for long bike rides with the children at the back in the trailer.
For now I leave you with this beautiful story on Paris by writer Amy M. Thomas in the New York Times. Amy is American, she spent 2 years living in Paris and she is now back in NYC writing a book about her time there.
Photo by Julien Goldstein for The New York Times.
Article seen in English Muse.
I wish I did this more often: yesterday I went to Paris to meet my friend Helena for a morning coffee in Merci (it's only 25mn on the train from my home so no excuse!). They had a wonderful selection of mix products in indigo colour: suitcases, bed linen, note books, cushions and more. Then I was off to Bonton (10m away from Merci) and for a nice walk in rue de Bretagne, Rue Vieille du Temple, rue des Archives (stopped on the way to have a hair cut) and then back home to pick up the children from school. The sun was out, the coffee terraces were full of people enjoying the lovely day. I love Paris in Spring time.
Deyrolle House rue du Bac in Paris 7th Arrondissement is a very unique place with a one of a kind collection.
It was founded in 1831 by Jean-Baptiste Deyrolle and his son. Both lovers of Entomology they developed a thriving business based on the sale of insects and hunting equipment for natural history collections while developing a parallel activity of taxidermy. Anything that is collected in Deyrolle in the atmosphere of a huge private collection of curiosities, is for learning and knowledge of natural things.
By 1870's the Deyrolle House was also well known for providing schools and universities with scientific equipment and educational charts.
In 2008 a devastating fire destroyed the first floor of the shop. Almost all of the collection was destroyed. It has now reopened and it has been beautifully restored. We went this weekend with the children as we were in the area. Ophelia was so amazed to see so many wild animals (tiger, elephant, polar bear...) in an apartment!
Taxidermy is definitely not normally my cup of tea, but a truly unique experience. It's worth a visit if you're in Paris.
A huge thank you to the Dutch magazine Ariadne at Home Kinderen for featuring our Paris map in their latest issue. When they contacted me before the Summer, they asked me if they could enlarged the Paris map into a wall sticker for the photo shoot. I really love the result!
The beautiful Papier Maché online mag has released a new issue. As always it's a pleasure to read and look at. I wanted to say a big MERCI to Emma Cassi for including our new coral pink Paris map in her photoshoot 'I fell asleep amongst the flowers.. for a couple of hours...' (love the title). This little blond curly hair girl is so cute!
We went for a very nice walk in Paris on May day. It was so nice to walk in empty streets, just looking at shops without spending a penny! The metallic fish mobiles caught my eyes in the Bonpoint shop rue de Tournon.
A very big THANK YOU/MERCI to Edition Paumes for asking us to be part of their new book Paris Family Style. I have previously mentioned their Children's room London, Stockholm and Paris on the blog. It is a real pleasure discover the homes of creative Parisian families (Petit Pan, Olivesle, The Collection, April Showers just to mention a few)
20 Rue Rambuteau in the 3rd Arrondissement of Paris is a magical tiny shop that has been frozen in time, the decor of the Roché sisters hasn't moved since 1930. The famous pastel Roché has been made in this place for the past 3 generations.
The story of La Maison du Pastel starts at the beginning of the 17th century, a time when working with pastel is very much in fashion. Henry Roché a chemical engineer, chemist and biologist is very interested in art. He decides to buy the old Maison Macle which sells at the time all sorts of materials for artists. In 1887 he proposes a range of around 500 colours. After the second World War, the shop has to be rebuilt (it has been occupied by the Germans and then bombarded).
Generations of skills and manufacturing secrets are carefully maintained by Dr Henry Roché's wife and daughters who work together at perpetuating the family tradition.
In 2000 the two sisters aged 80 years old decide to transfer their skills to their great cousin Isabelle Roché who is now in charge of the Maison du Pastel. She dedicates all her energy to the conservation of this wonderful national and family heritage.
I am heading over to this place ASAP. It's called Bogato and it's in the 14th Arrondissement in Paris. Anais, the super talented chef/mummy behind it used to work in advertising before she had 2 children and then got really hungry and decided it was time to do amazingly good looking and yummy cakes for children. I love cakes. Baking them and eating them. I need to learn to make them as nice as hers...:)
We went on Saturday to the launch of Edition Paumes new book 'Patisseries à Paris' in the culinary bookstore "La Cocotte' in the 11th Arrondissement (a treasure shop if you're looking for innovative and unusual cook books).
We're already big fan of their collection and we couldn't resist to buy the latest one about the best and most delicious Parisian patisseries. I love sweet things so just looking at the images makes me want to eat eat eat! Ok, it's still in written in Japanese, but it doesn't really matter as the address+website+phone number of the patisserie is mentioned in French/English, which is only what matters.I'm going to try them all!
When in Paris don't miss the Jacques Tati exhibition at the Cinematheque in the 12th Arrondissement. It's until August so no excuse!
Jacques Tati would have been 102 years old this year. He made during his career 6 long and 3 short films. Extremely modern for his time, Tati fought to impose himself (ruining himself in the process) The massive and ambitious set of Playtime left him destitute, explaining why we have so few of his films.
Just to name a few:Mon Oncle, Parade, Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, Jour de Fete...
You can view his films at the Cinematheque and younger visitors have films and guided tour especially for them.
Check TatiVille website for more info on the man and his film. I love the designs.
Just for the story, the two men getting ready to play tennis are my grandad on the left and Tati on the right. I have this picture on my desk and it was just appropriate to share it with you!
We had a lovely Easter week-end in Paris with friends from London. We went to spend the day in the 5th Arrondisement, on the Left Bank in the Jardin des Plantes. It's the most popular botanical garden in Paris. The flowers were all in blossom with stunning colours, and there is the most fantastic merry-go-round with hand painted endangered animals.
We actually headed there to visit the Natural History Museum, which is located within the grounds of the garden. The Grande Galerie de L'Evolution is located at the far entrance of the garden, opposite the beautiful Mosque (a great place to relax with tea and oriental cakes).
The kids loved seeing the variety of animals on display. The only thing is they wanted to stroke them which was not really welcome! I love the architecture of the building and the very subtle lighting of the main gallery.