Thursday, February 26, 2015

Brunch, Boots, and a Beret...the Paris Planning continues.

Last Sunday Mr. HB and I were up early and the weather was sunny and warm so we decided to go for a long walk. We left our bungalow early in the morning and wandered downtown and before too long we had worked up appetite and we needed to eat...

The interior of The Atrium building on Yates and Blanshard Streets 
this picture was taken from our table inside the restaurant.

We decided to brunch at Zambri's, as it is one of our favourite spots to dine.
Poached free range farm fresh eggs on a bed of spinach atop a sliver of in house made bread lightly toasted
 served with a creamy bechamel sauce....
Oh my this was so delicious.

Looking at these daffodils blooming sunny yellow, they cannot help but cheer one's spirit.

The flowering trees that line Meares Street are a riot of blossoms...
their petals are falling like snowflakes...a westcoast version of snow!

Mother was under the weather and phoned me bright and early to cancel our weekly 
Mother and Two Daughters Shopping and Dining Date...

Mom thankfully is feeling better now, 
I checked on her... (so did my sister!)
It turns out she had a sleepless night.
Didn't I just write a post on this very subject?

 I took advantage of the time and got some domestics done around here...
laundry, sorting, cooking and a wee bit of Paris Planning.

 At Vanity Fair Antiques last week I mentioned that I was going to Paris...
I was thrilled to find out that one of the women who works there is going too.
She and her husband are renting an apartment for 6 weeks and it is conveniently located quite near my hotel. 
 We are planning a few outings and I hope one will be to go to the Antique Markets in Paris.

Uber comfy boots ~ Clarks Artisan line
for walking many kilometers along the cobblestone rues, avenues and boulevards of Paris...

a wooly beret just in case the days are chilly or damp

a feather in my cap..."ahem beret"...just because

The French lessons are helping but I have a LONG way to go...
it is a much steeper learning curve than I could have imagined...
Alors! I continue to press on.

I decided that I would take two cashmere cardigans...
the orange one and this one in a soft grey...they are light and offer cozy warmth.

Will need to decide which strand of pearls to take...

Want to take my perfume but this bottle exceeds Air France's limit for my carry on...

So much planning
details ~ details
it's hard to imagine how I will feel when I am in Paris.

Friends who have been to Paris say that the streets in Paris are alive with people.
The architecture, culture, and fashion are fabulous.
 They have been advising me to wander the avenues and soak in all the beauty.
Then stop for a bit and sit watching the people stroll by from an outdoor cafe.

"Paris is a place where, for me, just walking down a street that I've never been down before is like going to a movie or something. Just wandering the city is entertainment."

~ Wes Anderson ~

It's still weeks away so I have lots of time to dream.
The Paris obsession is becoming a daily routine on Pinterest.

What is your most memorable moment in Paris?


  1. Oh, so many. But perhaps walking back across the city at night, from a birthday dinner at a friend's in the 13th, all the way to our rented apartment in the 7th. . . Nope, maybe chatting with an older man, an Algerian-Parisien over a Kir Royale he and his wife had sent from their table to ours after he'd heard me admire the colour and wonder what it was. . . Or perhaps the argument with my husband in the Bois de Boulogne when I couldn't find a desperately needed toilet. . . .or . . . well, you get the idea. I know you will make so many wonderful memories of your own. Part of Paris's charm is that she can be so many things to so many people. She's well worth obsessing over!

  2. Hostess, I have seen these at Shoppers:

    Can't have you travelling without your perfume!

  3. Instead of bringing perfume, dash into Sephora or similar (one on every block, it seems) and ask for a sample--echantillon is the word, I believe. Then you can test perfumes on your trip and perhaps buy one before you leave.

  4. Oh, the planning is half the fun, isn't it? And I agree with frugal, you'll want to try perfumes while you're there. That brunch dish looks delectable. I love a good poached egg.

  5. My jaw is dropped at how similar my experiences are to Maters! Dinner at a highly-rated restaurant with my best friend (we were traveling together) where, when we took too long, they sent us to outside for our dessert. The couple next to us started talking to us, me in French, my friend in English, we shared a bottle of wine, and then my friend and I walked back through Montmartre where the streets were thronged with revelers. And, when I was young, my sister and I dragging our suitcases down the side of the Seine at midnight, looking for the houseboat we were staying in, not realizing that my sister had never gotten confirmation from her friend that he would actually BE there to let us in. Which he wasn't:). And stumbling into a service at Notre Dame where the priest said, in French, "Without love we are all like the wolves and the dogs...."

  6. There is a shop on La Place des Vosges that has enchantillons strips of scent for the taking. I always put a couple in my pocket as I passed. I did go back and buy at the end of my stay. My most amazing moment was when Maman and my sister came to visit and unbeknownst to me, my sister had made reservations for dinner at the Eiffel Tower to celebrate my graduation from the Sorbonne. You will enjoy whatever you do in Paris.

  7. I've only been to Paris once and we had two teenage sons with us (!), one 17 and the other 13. Needless to say, we didn't get to see all of Paris that we would have wished to see on our own. We did take in the Roland Garros and the cemetery where the lead singer for The Doors is buried. Of course we saw some wonderful museums and Notre Dame and walked the charming streets and ate quite well. I remember looking with longing at shops I would have loved to peruse. Remember that their daily openings and closings are not like ours, so plan your shopping accordingly. I know you are going to have a wonderful time!

  8. I am so excited for you. The anticipation is such a huge part of the enjoyment. Your grey cashmere, hat and boots are perfect. I had very cool and wet weather when I was there in May two years ago. Lived in my rain trench and a pair of shoes I had taken "just in case". Not as good looking as your boots! My favorite part of my trip is always the unplanned encounters, not something that I had put on a list. I am so so happy for you!!!

  9. Paris is such a wonderful city for walking. Walking and stopping in the middle of a bridge to look down or up the Seine, strolling through the Tuileries, taking the stairs down and up to the metro - walking really gives you the feel of the city. Wandering through the colonnade by the Place des Vosges and stopping to look at all the luscious chocolate shops. Ducking into interesting shops where a polite greeting in French will garner respect and attention from the proprietor. The colorful flower shops. So many wonderful memories.
    You'll make your own and they will be equally wonderful!

  10. A quick little message from me...I was thinking of you this week when I was at VV Boutique!! I stumbled across a "Lord & Taylor" cashmere turtleneck sweater, in a beautiful rose colour. I got it for $15 on 1/2 price day :) It's like brand new, and ooooh so soft, as cashmere is!! Wish I was going to Paris in it...LOL

  11. Those boots will be perfect! Paris is wonderful for walking.
    Hard to narrow it down to one favourite memory but I was in awe at times at the wonderful architecture. I would just stop and stare at buildings.

  12. Dear Leslie--J'adore this post! Can't wait to see you in Paris for the Ooh La La! Tour!

  13. So exciting to be going to Paris! Love your grey sweater, the boots look very comfortable for walking and your beret with feather - a perfect accessory.

  14. Another Paris tip for you ..... check out an article which appeared in the Feb. 19 issue of the Wall Street Journal .... "In Defense of the Notoriously Arrogant French Waiter." This is a must-read for every first time visitor to Paris and the best I've ever read about the French waiter. Dining out in Paris can be a wonderful and delightful experience, and the pleasure is entirely due to your experience with the waiter and an understanding of French table manners. The best experience you will have in Paris is playing the "flaneur."

  15. So many memories - I was just six years old when I first visited Paris and had a 'Paris Dress'. That's certainly a brilliant memory. There are others, some wonderful and some just plain funny - such as saving a Tuesday for a trip to the Louvre with our son, only to find that it was closed every Tuesday!

  16. Just enjoy the ambience.

  17. I'm glad your mother is on the mend. Mine has had a difficult day today as she lost a co worker and friend to Toronto. He was her favourite surgeon to work with, and a good friend. Doctors tend to stick together.

    But favourite moment was realising that my 9yr old Chloe and I felt (finally) like we belonged. Living there after a few months, we were walking beside the Seine, C was licking an ice cream, speaking with a Parisian accent instead of the Quebecois one of her latest immersion teacher, and I remember feeling at home, feeling happiness, feeling like we belonged. I snapped her photo and it's in a frame on the bedside table here in Vancouver. A few months more and I moved us to Geneva and the process began all over again. :D

    1. Some of us take our Québecoise accents with us to Paris, and some strain to sound Parisienne, but whichever the accent, the ability to live in French feels great. Greetings from Montréal, where there are plenty of French accents.

    2. Hello Duchesse. Absolutely true! Chloe's father is Montreal French Canadian too. :D Chloe and I tend to live in, rather than visit, Geneva and Paris, and have found that as visitors the Quebecois accent is fine, but to live there is sometimes a small handicap. The same sometimes goes for my Canadian accent in my second home in Oxfordshire UK. Sometimes I'm discounted as "non-British" and not worth bothering about. This is particularly annoying if it cuts into my work and dealing with galleries. I'm grateful though that Chloe is a French immersion child and has the option of both languages. Oh, side note, we have a visiting student from Togo Africa, and her French is so unusual and really lovely to listen to.

  18. Greetings from Ireland. I love the name of your blog!

    Love Paris - I hope you get to visit the Jardin du Luxembourg where Hemmingway killed pigeons(!)

    Have a great trip!

  19. Greetings from Chicago! I'm quite utterly charmed by your blog!
    Paris is full of many memories, but one of my favorites is sitting in the garden at the Musee Rodin, eating an incredibly satisfying lunch of bread and fruit and cheese with my mother. Workers were setting up for an event and testing the sound system...with Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose. Too perfect.

  20. I'm considering a move to a much more walkable neighborhood and would love to be able to do what you do! So pleasant to wander around and pop in a restaurant with no specific plan. How exciting that your Paris trip is so soon!

    1. Your move to a walking friendly area will not be in vain...Barbie will thank you with many many wet kisses!

  21. I agree, just wander! I'm with Megan, the Musée Rodin is magical, and I always break into tears standing in front of "The Burghers of Calais". I hope you get there, but am sure you will have a wonderful time where ever you go.

  22. Thank you all for your wonderful comments!
    One cannot possibly see and do everything Paris has to offer in one visit...