Wednesday, April 13, 2016

France, French Food and Friends...

This month is the anniversary of my trip to Paris and the SW of France...
While recalling the details of my trip...I cannot help but smile.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit Paris.
It was a dream come true.

I looked at all the France travel snapshots that I have on my lap top...
and they brought tears of joy to my eyes.

The love locks now removed as they were causing the railings to break.

Notre Dame

Saint Germain Des Pres is where I stayed and it was a lovely neighbourhood for walking,
 shops, boutiques, cafes, bistros, boulangeries and markets.

This classic bookshop is popular with tourists and has been in business for many years.

My love for Paris is very much alive and while a future trip is not in the works
 I want to read a few books that are set in Paris.

"Armchair travel" can transport you if you use your imagination...
Looking for books and novels that are set in Paris online has been fun and I and have complied a substantial list.
Many are available at our local library and a handful are in stock at my favourite book shop, 
Ivy's on Oak Bay Avenue.

Auvillar France
this wee house is where our friends John and Cheryl live.
They are moving to France on a permanent basis and we went to Vancouver to say our goodbyes...

Cheryl is a very talented artist.
She had a sale and sold most of her paintings and all her supplies from her studio.
They have sold their boat, car and are selling or giving away most of their things.
This week they are finishing up the packing and will be flying off to France.

We snapped up one of Cheryl's paintings as soon as we heard that she was having a sale.
We will miss them dearly.

The weather was sunny and hot while we were in Vancouver.

We walked for many hours exploring the city.

I had a "bee in my bonnet"
looking for a sunshine yellow printed silk scarf 
to wear with my new navy and white polka dotted trench coat.
(and my sunny yellow walking shoes)
Shopping for a scarf proved difficult as the shops are not showing much yellow.

I might have found one at Hermes 
but thought I would be patient 
and look in the consignment and thrift shops for a vintage one.

Candles were an easy fix.
Holt Renfrew keep these lovely scented Diptyque candles stocked on their shelves.

Laduree opened on Robson and there are line ups out the door!

Macarons are a sweet indulgence and now that they are readily available 
one has no excuse not to enjoy them on a regular basis...
a wee bit of Paris has come to Canada!

We dined at Vij's at their new location on Cambie.
Vikram Vij was on hand to greet us and we savoured a delicious meal.

The Bistro Wagon Rouge is the tiny little French restaurant where we enjoyed a flavourful feast.
The bistro is very popular and they do not take reservations 
so they send their diners down the street to a distillery called The Odd Society 
to have a cocktail until the table is ready.

We spent the weekend walking, shopping and eating with our friends.

My current novel...almost finished.

My Paris Book List

The Hotel on the Place Vendome
Tilar J. Mazzeo

Lessons in French
Hilary Reyl

Books, Baguettes and BedBugs
Jeremy Mercer

I'll See You in Paris
Michelle Gable

A Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway

My Paris Dream
Kate Betts

Bonjour Tristesse
Francoise Sagan

Madame Bovary
Gustave Flaubert

The Flaneur
Edmund White

The Dud Avocado
Elaine Dundy

The Only Street in Paris: Rue de Martyrs
Elaine Scilini

I have read so many books on Paris but there are lots still to discover.
I have a favour to ask...
if you have read a book that is set in Paris that you would recommend  
please mention it by sending me an email or by writing a comment.

Merci Beaucoup

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Have you read 'Paris' by Edward Rutherford. A tale of the intermingled lives of Parisian families through history. A brilliant if long read.

    1. I have not read it yet...we have a copy on the bookshelf.
      Will add it to my list!

  2. Paris Letters is lovely, isn't it? But it's not a novel. It is now my go-to book that I send to friends who are feeling a little bit under the weather.
    Margaret P

    1. Indeed it is...and you are correct about it not being a novel.
      It would make a lovely gift!

  3. the books by Stephen Clarke tell the story of a Brit expatriating to France - there are many comical situations in there!

    1. I read one of his books...and I agree they are very entertaining.

  4. Hi, Leslie. You would enjoy Into a Paris Quartier by Diane Johnson. It is a group of stories and articles about St. Germain des Prés. Paris, Paris by David Downie who lives in the Marais and leads walks through the city, gives snapshots of life in the different arrondissements. Paris:The Biography of a City by Colin Jones is a very readable history of Pars. These are a few of the books on my bookshelves. They transport me to The City of Lights. Paris Letters is dear to me because I first heard of Janice MacLeod when I was studying in Paris and I had sat at the coffee shop on Mouffetard across from the butcher shop where Christophe worked. A sunshine yellow scarf would be great with your raincoat.
    My daughter, who is meeting me in London in September, tried on a Novelti polka dot trench today and I really like the look for home or travel. I am reading Lizette's List right now because my sister-in-law recommended it. So many books to read!

    1. Thank you so much for your suggestions and I will add them to my list.
      The polka dot trench gets so many compliments...more than anything I have ever worn before and I am not sure if it is the dot pattern or the style...single breasted, with a belt and made by London would be fun to have one in red! many books but it is fabulous that we are never at a loss for a great book?

  5. You will always have those lovely memories.
    Have you read The Paris Wife?

    1. Memories...they can pop up and surprise us when we least expect them.
      I nibbled a buttery croissant the other afternoon and it brought me back to Paris.
      I really enjoyed The Paris Wife and my husband just finished Paula McLain's latest novel Circling the Sun.

    2. One of the best books I read last year, was Circling the Sun - loved it.

  6. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank. A very sweet memoir.

  7. So nice that you loved your trip so much. Do you think at all about planning another one?

    1. I do think about it...and wonder IF?
      My husband and I have a few trips in mind before a return trip.
      If I had a windfall that might change my thinking!!

  8. Your artist friend is very talented. Happy that you got one of her lovely pieces. Hope she continues with art of some form in France.

    Your photos make me need a trip to Vamcouver. Vij's food is so good.

    1. Cheryl has a studio in Auvillar and paints when she gets time...her paintings are well received in France and she may have an opportunity to show her work in a Gallery in Paris.
      Vij's is delicious and I have both the cookbooks and can assure you if you follow the directions and use all the spices and ingredients they will taste exactly the same.
      A trip to Vancouver would be nice though!

  9. happy paris anniversary leslie. i do the same with my photos - they get better and better as the years pass. i didn't know you stayed in the St. Germain area. that's where i stayed too. xo

    1. Paris was divine...
      What Hotel did you stay in Janet?
      I love the area for walking and those fabulous galleries and shops...did you go into The Bon Marche? I loved the food floor...sampled some of the tasty cheeses and I brought home some Mariage Freres teas.

  10. May I suggest Almost French by Sarah Turnbull, Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, Books Baguettes and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer and Paris on a Plate by Stephen Downes. The list is endless because everyone loves Paris and reading about Paris, don't they ?

    1. I have read several of those titles and am adding the others to my list...
      merci beaucoup Kerrie!
      Paris does have an enchanting and magical much history beautiful boulevards, architecture and the food and cafes...oh I could go on and on...

  11. I am currently reading and enjoying Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon; it's a book of essays detailing when Adam, his wife Martha, and son, Luke lived in Paris - personal reflections on his time spent in Paris.

    1. I read Adam's book before I went to Paris and really enjoyed it.

  12. I think you might enjoy "France, A Love Story - Women write about the French experience". Twenty-five women describe the country they love and why they fell under its spell.It is a collection of essays edited by Camille Cusumano.

    1. I haven't heard of that book...will add it to my list.
      Thank you!

  13. A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable is my all-time favorite "Paris" book. If you enjoy the Belle Epoque this one is a must.

    July is my anniversary month for visiting France. I've been twice, once in 2002 and again in 2014. I'll treasure the memories forever. I try to bring Paris to my life here in California. For instance, my husband came home from work last night to Edith Piaf and Charles Trenet crooning, while my daughter and I were cooking crepes in the kitchen and all candles in the house were lit. He got a kick out of it :)

    1. Embracing French cuisine and adding French touches do help to keep the memories alive. I make French omelets for lunch, drink my cafe au lait out of bowls, use linen tea towels, wear a linen apron and light scented Diptyque candles to add ambiance...
      Perfume everyday and I try to wear a scarf or pearls most days, even if I am doing domestics...I must find some French music as that sounds like fun!

  14. Whenever I go to Paris I bring a new Cara Black detective story based on a different quarter of Paris. Always entertaining to read after a day of walking, sitting in cafes & "licking windows".
    Also, for a different perspective, when I am at home, I read David Leibovitz's blog. He's an American pastry chef, living in Paris who travels & cooks & explores the highs & lows of living in the city. His writing is particularly evocative & his recipes are often staples in my own repertoire. I never miss an entry

    1. Another great culinary/lifestyle blog is Manger (Mimi Thorisson). The photos are beautiful.

    2. I read David's blog and have his cookbook. Mimi's blog is so beautiful and I love her cookbook...I think her husband takes the is a feast for the eyes!
      I have read a couple of Cara Black mysteries...there are a few more I have not read.

  15. Rick's has some lovely scarves that feature yellow, so pretty!

    1. Thank you, I found a bright yellow silk scarf on Salt Spring Island today!

  16. I never tire of looking at Paris, and your photos are beautiful. How excellent to have Laduree in Vancouver, and aren't they the sweetest shops? Love the sound of your yellow scarf with the navy spot trench: so chic! Happy weekend Hostess.

  17. I just came across the perfect article for you on
    The City of Literature: 40 Books Set in Paris

  18. I'm so happy that you had your trip to Paris and show so much gratitude for it. It's wonderful to read about your experience and memories.

  19. What a fun getaway to Vancouver. Lovely that there are little reminders of your Paris trip everywhere.