A new Home for the blog, and a Give Away for you!

A new Home for the blog, and a Give Away for you!

All copyrights: Uderzo
All copyrights: Uderzo

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle !

Le Blog turns 4 in December, and this is an early blog-anniversary celebration.

Yes, it’s been 4 years since I started writing and building an online community of francophiles, students of the French language, and friends. Thank you for following me on the Blog, and on Facebook. Here’s to more good times together!

I went through several transitions in 2014. With change, comes opportunity. Le Blog, I decided, deserves a new home. What the Blog needs, the Blog gets. It is still French Girl in Seattle as you knew it, just… un peu different. I will continue sharing stories with you weekly; stories about la Belle France and French culture; and stories about my life as a French native in the Pacific Northwest. I will keep offering travel preparation and travel planning services in the Seattle area. It is my hope I will soon be able to bring some of these services online…

Bien entendu, you can also meet me daily on Facebook, where the community of French Girl in Seattle friends is growing fast!

I would like to thank two wonderful ladies, who have helped this non-techie French Girl make it all possible. Together, we created the new French Girl in Seattle. I hope you like it here.

Daria has been a French student of mine for many, many years. Lucky for me, she is also a talented graphic designer and photographer. Daria designed this beautiful website and was very dedicated in bringing my vision to life. You can visit her here.

Jeanne, a fellow blogger and Seattleite, is as creative as it gets. I always admire the beautiful watercolors she shares on her blog. Jeanne designed the new French Girl in Seattle mascot, Coco the French bulldog. Isn’t she precious? Visit Jeanne on her blog when you have a minute.

Merci, mesdames. It has been a pleasure working with you and watching it all happen.

So, here we are, almost four years after I started blogging. In a new home. This calls for a celebration, don’t you think? It’s been a while since I have hosted a Give Away chez French Girl in Seattle. Will you join us? Here it comes:

French Girl in Seattle 4th Blog-Anniversary Give Away

First, the prizes.

The winner, whose name will be pulled out of my favorite Le Creuset dish next Friday by Junior’s innocent hand, will get to choose between the following:

David Lebovitztrès successful new cooking book, My Paris Kitchen. If you follow David’s blog, you know you are in for a treat! The photographs alone are worth a detour. And the recipes, ah, the recipes…



Discover talented illustrator Jacques Sempé‘s take on life in France, his homeland. Delightful, and the perfect coffee table book!


Sempe a Little bit of France


Finally, if you think you know everything there is to know about French designer Coco Chanel, this little book will surprise you with an entertaining, often irreverent look at Chanel’s controversial life and career.




To enter the Give Away you must: 

1. Reside in the Continental United States.

2. “Like” the French Girl in Seattle page on Facebook (if you use Facebook) AND sign up for email updates, here, on the Home Page (look for the Mailing List on the right hand side.)

4. Name two favorite stories in the Blog’s Comment section, below. (Check out Les Categories, on the right hand side if you need help triggering your memory :-)) — OR list two reasons why you enjoy visiting the French Girl in Seattle Facebook page or le Blog.

5. List two topics you would like to hear more about in the Blog’s Comment section (e.g. more travel advice; more travel information; more about: fashion, food, French current events, the French way of life, the French language; etc.)

Are you ready? Hope you join the fun, and share with friends. The Give Away results will be published in next week’s blog post. Bonne chance !

Thank you for coming over here. Le Blog and I have to go for now. We have more unpacking to do…

A bientôt.

Coco the Frenchie (Copyright French Girl in Seattle)



44 Responses to A new Home for the blog, and a Give Away for you!

  1. Two reasons I enjoy the blog & Facebook page –
    1. I enjoy the interesting stories you share with us.
    2. I love the pictures from your travels in France.

    Two topics I’d like more of –
    1. French language tips & stories
    2. Daily life in France (especially my favorite city – Paris).

    Merci bien!

  2. I’m new to the blog, except as referred there from Facebook, and I love both. They both send me to my past, when as a college student I spent a lot of time in France, and to my future, where, even in my later years, I hope to spend a whole lot more time there. I’m a born-in-the-USA (Pacific Northwest, by the way) French girl at heart, even at my (*cough*) “mature” age. And for sure I hope to age as well as my French friends. And aging well in France is one topic I’d like to see addressed. I’d also love to see very simple recipes for very simple foods – mayonnaise, mussels, the real “French” dressing….. A bonus answer – I’d absolutely love to see a photo tour of the real soap makers factory in Marseilles, and in the “laboratory” of an excellent chocolate maker. Can’t live without that excellent chocolate.

    Congrats on your new blog site and thanks for all things French you have already brought into my life. I look forward to your future blogs and posts on Facebook.

  3. Happy 4th anniversary “french girl in Seattle”! I have referred your blog to a lot of people, particularly the story of Josephine Baker and the beautiful photos of her castle. I also loved the blog about Coco Chanel and your reviews of french movies. I personally enjoy reading about your life in the Pacific Northwest and when you are in France, taking the time to take photos and write about your day for our shear pleasure. Your blog or Facebook postings never disappoint.

  4. I love your blog. We lived in Europe in the late eighties for 3 years and we visited my husbands French friends who lived in Alsace many times. We had such memorable New Years dinners which lasted for many hours. I have some excellent recipes Kugelhopf and a Queen of Sheba cake and many others. We are planning to visit France in a year when my husband retires. I would love info on travel tips and any other. Would also enjoy some recipes

  5. I love your blog and your posts on FB. As a francophile and French teacher, I enjoy your articles on current French movies and French daily life. I often share this information in my classes. I would always like to see more on your travels in France and on how to experience France here in the US.

  6. My favorites were Coco Chanel and Croissants in Seattle
    I always appreciate when you find a new favorite patisserie or boulangerie in the Seattle area that I can try.
    I love the language tips, especially how not to sound like an American! ;-)

  7. Love the new blog design, Veronique! It’s very fresh, creative and classy. I love all your stories and information – it’s so nice to often get the true “French” perspective. Bummed – I can’t enter your giveaway…still a legal resident but yes, residing on the other side of the Atlantic can sometimes have it’s disadvantages….lol!
    Looking forward to reading more – Happy 4 year anniversary.

    • Merci beaucoup Jennifer. I am so happy you like the blog’s “new look.” I enjoy following your informative posts too. I feel as if I know the Bordeaux area a lot better since you started blogging, to tell you the truth. Keep up the good work!

  8. Two reasons that I enjoy visiting your FB page & blog are because since I have always been in love with France, Paris in particular, it makes me smile to read not only your adventures but your point of view. I get to relive my time in Paris when I read some of your posts.

    Topics I would like to see more of would be on the French way of life, living in Paris, renting in Paris,

  9. Congratulations on 4 years! And so wonderful that your blog keeps evolving and growing!

    Please count me in for the giveaway, I’ve been eyeing “My Paris Kitchen” for a while… I loved your Harry Potter post, and then one about waiters, which I couldn’t seem to find again. As far as future material, I always love posts about traditional food, but maybe you can also write more about the French in Seattle – influences, foods, people?

    Fingers crossed! And here’s to four more…

    • Bienvenue chez moi, Liene. Ah. Another Harry Potter fan. Glad you enjoyed -and remembered- my Harry stories! Good thing you left France and moved to the East Coast a while back or you would not have been able to enter the Give Away. Bonne chance !

  10. I traveled to Paris last year for several weeks – wish I had known about your blog beforehand – I would have been more comfortable and known more of the special places to see. I’d love to hear more about places to see in France outside of Paris and about aging well as it is done in France. Oh yes, and always those fabulous and simple recipes for the most delicious food.
    Thank you,

  11. Hello Veronique,

    I love your new web site and the bulldog watercolur is absolutely fabulous.

    I am unable to find the follow button, usually on right side of blog. I am trying to limit the number of emails to my inbox so am reluctant to subscribe by email. I do love your blog and hope there is a way I can still read it.

    Fond wishes


    • Bonjour my dear Helen. How wonderful to see you here. I knew you, of all people, would enjoy the cute Coco watercolor. Isn’t Jeanne talented? Don’t worry about joining my Mailing List. I believe my old blog is in your blogroll, on your homepage. Just update the address, and you will receive updates. See? Problem solved. Take care.

  12. Two reasons I like your blog
    1) It is about France/Paris—you enjoy showing us your native country and how to experience some of it in your new home, the USA
    2) your writing style is informative, interesting to read with out being pedantic

    • Eh bien merci beaucoup, ma chère Ruth. I aim to please, and am so happy you enjoy my stories – and my writing style. Please keep visiting. There is more information about Paris and France headed your way. Bonne semaine !

  13. I am a new follower!
    I would have to say that the posts on Coco Channel and the french way of life are my favorite categories.

    I would love to see some more fashion and food!

  14. Wonderful new site design, Veronique!

    1. Naming two favorite stories would be hard to choose as there are so many. I loved the sailing story around the Washington Islands. Stories visiting your folks in Paris with Junior. In NYC when you were getting an MA if I recall correctly. Also in the South of France your coverage from the Nice apartment was really nice. And especially cultural nuances like describing French elementary school particulars…deepens understanding of my favorite country.

    2. Really, I think you provide a great mix and are always interesting and informative. I actually love that you post just on Mondays and am thinking of doing that too. There are so many great blogs and not enough time. When it’s once a week can keep up!

    3. I do wonder about what you think of the future of France…will she change significantly with Fast Food (ugh), immigration. economic woes, poor political leadership. Or have the French been through all of this before and they will safeguard the basic culture we know and love.

    All best on your new slant…and congratulations on the four enriching four years past.


    • What a wonderful message, Suzanne. Thank you, for following French Girl in Seattle for so long. You have made some excellent suggestions for future posts. Thank you for your input. I am sure we will be in touch, here, chez French Girl in Seattle, or chez vous. A bientôt !

  15. Congratulations, Veronique! The new home looks great – I’m sure that you’ll be getting lots of praise over the next few days. Thank you so much for the very nice shout out! It was such a pleasure working with you and it makes me smile to see Mademoiselle Coco looking so right at home in her new space.

    Here’s to new beginnings! XOXO

  16. I have stumbled across your blog just today! Love every post and have signed up for weekly email. I loved especially reading about Julia and your lessons on behaivor when visiting france. and the fashions..fall.

    two topics for the future? Hmmm. always current fashion trends and beautiful pictures of food : ) Regards, cheryl

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16 Responses to Five *non traditional* events happening in Paris this month

  1. Et bien ne va t on pas désormais AUSSI voir les français comme inepte et fermé à l’art, après l’incident causé par l’oeuvre de McCarthy ? De l’eau au moulin du french bashing encore…alors que je suis convaincue que d’autres personnes, dans d’autres pays, auraient aussi sans doute réagi fortement. Pour ma part, je n’ai pas vu la chose,je n’ai donc pas d’opinion quant à son appeal sur moi. En revanche, en photo, bof, pas touché par son intérêt artistique. Mais de là à baffer le créateur et à démolir le truc, non c’est trop. Il y a aussi de forts chouettes expo actuellement à Paris, enfin je dis ça, je sais qu’il ne faut pas dire que les parisiens sont capables de penser hein..
    Honestly I am not sure that writing about the incident regarding the project crated by Mr McCarthy and what happened recently to it, will benefit in a positive way to the current strong french bashing. Because you know, of course french are illiterate and closed to art, it is so well known isnt’t it? I am not sure there will not have been another strong reaction elsewhere in the world about this “tree”? I have not seen it but from the pictures felt no appeal to it. True I do regret the smacking of Mr McCarthy do not support the sacking of his creation. And to finish my writing, may I mention that there actually are quite a lot of interesting and very good shows and art exposition currently in Paris (as it seems of course that Paris IS France, you know this small crazy ridiculous old Europe situated country…). Sorry but sometimes I have to rant, especially on THIS blog(sorry but sometimes I think you are just making too much of your american attitude as if you were ashamed of being french, which you are not of course, we are what we are, for best or worst).

    • Dear eveange66. You need to take a deep breath and keep smiling. It helps a lot in life. This blog is not famous for French bashing, quite the opposite in fact. Paris is not France, as I very well know since I was born in the beautiful southwest. You should go back and read some of the stories I have written about Nice, and more recently, Toulouse. Bien à vous.

    • I think that you are one of the best examples of France-not Paris not Toulouse nor Nice or Lyon-but of FRANCE– with grace, style and intellect and actually I should have put the intellect/sense of humor first….you are such a perfectly wonderful example of the balance of two countries in their diversity as well as their similarities you blend the two seamlessly and I for one MARVEL at the way/manner you have accomplished a very DIFFICULT task and make it look easy-a true sign of art and grace. On this site, the love and admiration and pride and joy which you feel and show for your beloved mother land is SO EVIDENT it is beyond me how someone cannot see it in black and white or feel it through your words-

    • To eveange66:
      I don’t think you have been reading French Girl’s blog for very long or you would know that she absolutely LOVES France. She lives here in the U.S. now and is explaining the French way to us from her very knowledgeable point of view being that she understands both the French and the American point of view.
      It seems like you don’t really understand what’s going on here. Maybe it’s getting lost in your translation.

  2. This was a GREAT read…as always-I was reading about said “Christmas tree” yesterday in the New York papers and is there any question as to what the tree really was… considering his illustrious work in Hong Kong– Oh La La-unbelievable-and on no Burger King– fast paced dining WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TOO!! Have a wonderful week and as always many many thanks for your very unique and interesting presentation!

    • Merci beaucoup, g. Glad you enjoying my coverage of the French… uh… Parisian news. I thought the *Tree* story was awesome. It certainly caused quite a stir. Yet, in this era of “fast-paced-everything,” and with the media’s 30-second attention span, I have no doubt nobody will be mentioning it again a month from now (that is probably a good thing.) Have a wonderful week on the East Coast.

  3. I had to laugh through this one. McCarthy’s work is new to me, but can’t say I’m a fan. I don’t understand why such things are considered art. ;-)
    Burger King in Paris????? Just returned from a delightful two weeks in France, most of which was spent in Paris. It makes me sad to see the number of Starbucks that are now spreading, even though I’m definitely a Starbucks fan here at home.
    Thanks for sharing the news. ‘-)

    • Bonjour Sarah. Welcome back chez French Girl in Seattle! So you went to France, lucky lady! I will visit your blog today in the hope you may have shared some of your adventures there. As for Starbucks, McDo, Burger King and the likes, eh… I guess there is room (and an audience) for everyone in a big cosmopolitan city like Paris. One can always choose not to visit them (I draw the line at having a Burger King or a Starbucks on the Eiffel Tower, though.) :-)

  4. Events happening this month in Paris:
    5-day SIAL professional event
    FIAC at the Grand Palais – huge galerie expo
    Hokosai is at Grand Palais
    Baccarat exhibit just opened at Petit Palais
    Huge Niki de St.Phalle retrospective at Grand Palais
    Huge Sonia Delaunay retrospective at Musee d”Art Moderne
    Women artists are being feted in Paris this month in a big way.
    Picasso museum reopens the 22nd
    Frank Gehry new Louis Vuiton art museum in Jardin d’Aclimation opens today

    FYI: Holybelly is one of many small new entrepreneurial efforts created by young French people trying to change things in Paris.i.e. no reservations, organic, relatively inexpensive.

    • Bonjour Carol. Long time no talk to (even I still visit Paris Breakfasts on a regular basis.) Thank you for completing the long list of events I started at the beginning of this post – You helped me prove my point: There is a lot going on in Paris in October. I know you visit many of those events yourself now that you are une Parisienne and report back on your blog.

      This story, however, is tongue-in-cheek (I admit it,) and meant to highlight *non-traditional* things happening in Paris right now. Paris is changing, it is a fact: I lived there for 10 years and notice it when I go back every summer.

      As for young Nico, the HolyBelly co-owner, he has quite the following. I enjoyed my organic meal at his restaurant in July, and spent some time observing the staff and clientele. I must admit I agree with the lady who complained about HolyBelly online this week. I do not care for long lines; no reservation policy; or being rushed out of my seat because “other people are waiting.” I know many French people don’t either — I realize Nico and his friends want “to change things,” (the intro he wrote on the blog would be deserving of an entire blogpost,) but I don’t see the point of fixing things that aren’t broken. Being able to linger at your table is one of them. Have a great week in Paris, Carol. I know I will get to visit many popular events, as always, thanks to your blog this Fall!

  5. Franchement, cet arbre vert, ce n’était pas très beau, mais cela ne valait pas la peine d’en faire tout un fromage. Ce qui est très beau, par contre, c’est la Fondation Louis Vuitton,
    Certains resto parisiens font deux “services” et prennent des réservations soit à 8 H soit à 9 H…comme cela on est tout de suite prévenu qu’il ne faudra pas s’éterniser.

    • D’accord pour *l’Arbre Vert* mais c’est fascinant, en même temps, de voir l’efficacité des Social Media… et, comme je l’avais prédit dans un autre commentaire, la rapidité avec laquelle tout le monde a tourné la page. La gloire peut-être si éphémère de nos jours. Quant aux restaurants avec deux services, je n’y vois pas d’inconvénient, dès lors qu’on est prévenu. Bon weekend!

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At home, at the Bistro

At home, at the Bistro

Bienvenue at the Hollywood School House Bistro, Woodinville, WA. Why the name?   It sits across from a local historic building, once the town’s schoolhouse.  Built in 1912, the venerable brick building hosts wine tasting rooms and private events.         Reminders of the town’s pastoral past surround the Schoolhouse…       A few…

10 Responses to At home, at the Bistro

  1. This place looks great and from your description of the food items prepared and presented….I’d say we have a winner-keep us posted on the menu changes etc-wishing many happy times and meals here-what a treat two posts this week we are fortunate indeed!!

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5 reasons why le Millefeuille is the star of French pastries

5 reasons why le Millefeuille is the star of French pastries

Photo taken at Café de la Paix, Paris “To be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”  Coco Chanel 1. Mille…what?  (Keep them talking.) Movie stars know the trick. Even if you don’t have a strong screen presence, adopt an exotic, even an unpronounceable name. It will get them talking, if nothing else. Millefeuille is one of…

19 Responses to 5 reasons why le Millefeuille is the star of French pastries

  1. When I saw the box of patisseries on Facebook, I knew mille-feuilles were in there. My favorite when I was young was “Paris-Brest” but I have such a sweet tooth, I frankly wouldn’t know which one to chose now.
    They have amazing pastries in Japan too. A lot of japanese pastry chefs apprenticed with french “patissiers”. I believe that french, japanese and austrian pastries are really the best in the world, though every country and culture have some amazing ones too. In one word, I love them all as long as they are not too sweet, like they are often in the US.

  2. Having been the recipient of a huge piece of that Millefeuille, yesterday, (to go with our coffee of course), I can attest to its incredible taste, gooey and crunchy, sweet, with that caramel taste on the puff pastry. Hmmmm, so good, I might just have another piece today… Thank you, Veronique, (or maybe not) for introducing us to the world of Nora and her amazing baked goods, and thank you for sharing all the intricacies of this beautiful pastry.

    • You’re welcome Françoise. So happy I could share Nora’s creation with dear friends on Sunday. Good times are so much better when you get to share them with friends, n’est-ce-pas? Junior and I did enjoy our “section” of the mighty Millefeuille. It took us two nights to finish it, but finish it we did :-)

  3. om……..what can I say but DELISH looking yum yum and yum– how many people actually benefited from your pastry-oh goodness I am speechless-I will stop at ines’s when I finally make it out there…one day! a work of art I tell you AN ABSOLUTE WORK OF ART! Have a nice rest of the week v-as always a delectable post and a joy to read -thanks for sharing!!

    • Dear g. The Millefeuille was big enough to be sliced in 3 generous portions, so on the way home, I visited two friends and gave them one each! Françoise (comment above) and her husband were one of them. It was truly delicious. Françoise liked it so much she is ordering one for a dinner party she is hosting on Friday. Since I am invited, I get to enjoy Nora’s Millefeuille yet again. Yessssssssssss! Take care.

  4. Beautiful and informative as always, Veronique! Despite so many excellent French bakeries visited over the decades don’t recall ever indulging in Millefeuille, will remedy one fine day soon after reading your thorough report! Mille mercis…and hope that all is very well. All best, Suzanne

  5. Le Millefeuille is a favourite of mine too (of course you know all about my sweet tooth!) and there’s a little pâtisserie in Boulogne which we always head to when we arrive in France via the Eurotunnel. We love their millefeuilles. Your photos have me craving one right now. Not only are they delicious but so atrractive too with the layers and feathered icing. You are so fortunate to be able to pop into Nohra’s. I’d never be away from there. Her version looks truly délicieux!

    • Bonjour miss b. Are the Millefeuilles you find in Boulogne the traditional kind, with the beautiful white icing on top? It is indeed a good thing I don’t live too close to Nohra’s, as I would probably end up camping outside her boutique ;-) Hope all is well with you and will swing right over to make sure you are out and about, as always.

    • Bonjour Véronique! I was delighted that you popped over to ‘see’ me as your comments are always so thoughtful and very much appreciated. I’m sure the White Rabbit would have been unhappy about your ‘lapin à la moutarde’ but I’m sure it was a very special treat for you! As for the millefeuille, it’s the traditional one. Bon week-end!

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23 Responses to 10 reasons Seattle is better than Paris

  1. I love Seattle….lived there in my teens, and the moved to Nothern Ca. Then then settle in Southern Ca.
    I so miss Seattle, would move back in a minute. But I do lové France as well, Seattle feels like home.

    Wonderful post.



  2. Really fun reading that, Veronique…to me what’s best about Seattle is the “Sleepless” film and the WA islands…. Did you know that San Francisco (where I lived for 20 years) is a Paris sister city? I’d have trouble choosing which is best considering those two…love both. Cheers!

  3. V I couldn’t wait to read this post-It was so entertaining as well as educational-I have never heard of the underground passages before-that is so cool. I have never been to your neck of the woods-I like the outdoors but am definitely a city girl who loves her coffee…I would love to spend some time discovering this part of the US. As ALWAYS a great post-You are so good at what you do here-love being a reader of yours-as you know! Have a wonderful week-I am recovering from having all the windows replaced in our home-now its the put back time-ugh-henceforth the lag in reading/commenting-till next time

    • Bonjour g, and many thanks for the compliments. I know you like it here, because you are one of my most faithful readers – I believe you found me during my first blogging trip, in Paris, December 2010! Wow. How time flies. You will definitely have to come out here one day. It is truly a beautiful area, and thank goodness – since I do not care for snow or rainy weather – we have all these wonderful coffee shops, the flying salmon, and the Troll. The troll is really cool. Straight out of a Harry Potter book! Take care, Philadelphia friend.

  4. Ah, this makes me miss Seattle all the more. I keep wadding in the nostalgia of the two great years we lived in Redmond. And what’s more, I embraced the rains too! :-)

  5. What a wonderful post, ma grande. As you know, Monsieur Dan was stationed in nearby Tacomah during his military service many, many moons ago, and we have visited Seattle many times, mostly for the fabulous Wagner “Ring Cycle” operas that they perform that I will stack up against any we have seen, and we have seen more than a dozen complete Cycles all over the world. Pike Street Market is just a joy, and I have such fond memories of a wonderful lunch w/you. Hopefully soon again???? Or in NY???

    All that said, however, Paris will always be my first love. It holds my heart. Just ask Monsieur Dan. His love affair w/Paris was a coup de foudre and he is still a faithful lover.

    Gros bisous, M-T

  6. I would compare Seattle — which I have only visited, but many times — to Rouen or Caen, but not to Paris. Even San Francisco, where I lved for more than 15 years, is a ville de province compared to Paris, with its long history and international status. De beaucoup de points de vue, Paris est le centre du monde.

    • Point taken, Ken, but this French Girl – as mentioned in the blog title – lives in Seattle, and hails from Paris so I had to make it work ;-) And you are right, it is hard to compete with Paris, but so much is written about the French capital every day. It seemed like a fun idea to give Seattle a bit more attention, for once. Thanks for stopping by!

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14 Responses to Fromage is cheese in French

  1. We save the cheese and wine nights for special occasions, mostly because the lightness of the wallet factor here in the US. Thankfully we have a good French bakery somewhat close, and when the occasion does arrive we splurge on a good baguette as well. Your post today seems to have created a special occasion to celebrate, wink, wink!

  2. Love the dinner you prepared. We are much the same when thinking Greece, France, Italy or Spain – pull out the dishware, then open the wine and have a taste of our travel memories . . .sadly, you hit the nail on the head about the cost of the cheeses.. .

  3. Wine. Butter. Cheese. Nothing wrong with that. What a perfect dinner, Veronique! I do love my fromage, wouldn’t mind a little for breakfast this morning. Glad you got to dine on a little bit of Paris.

    I’ve been sketching away on your project, playing with composition. As soon as I have a few favorites I’ll send them your way.

    Happy Monday! XO

  4. you know v I can get a bit word-ey when I converse here but tonight I am speechless because I am salivating at the photos of the scrumdelishious FEAST you prepared! chin chin as I raise my glass to yours!! AS ALWAYS A PURE DELIGHT!

    • My dear g, so glad you enjoyed my *scrumdelishious* photos (Right about now, JK Rowling is sorry she did not think of this word when she wrote the Harry Potter series…) — And I am raising my glass to yours in return. Santé, mon amie de Philadelphie!

  5. Love RIck, too, lucky you! And your selections. Fortunately, we have an excellent baker from Brittany here on the Monterey Coast who makes the most delicious bread. Also loved seeing the vibrant red and the beautiful rock in your photos…! Looks very French!

  6. Dear Veronique

    It must have been delightful hearing Rick in person and then to rejoice in dining on your favourite food. You have made me hungry and now I must go and get some cheese.
    Great images.
    Helen xx

    • Thank you very much Helen. Always a treat to welcome you chez moi. Hope life is good in Florida. The rain is back in Seattle, which had to happen, sooner or later. We almost forgot what it felt like after this long, hot summer! Take care.

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21 Responses to Revue de Presse (Press Review)

  1. I am so glad I live in the US; I would be spending a fortune if I still lived in France. Thank you Veronique! This was entertaining and also thank you to your parents for sending the catalogue.

  2. well….an absolutely delightful post….v- I personally enjoy all those books about French woman…not as any sort of bible to adhere to, but for a social stereotype type of perspective…I read, I question the picture presented and agree or disagree-Yes to really feel see and live the life of a Parisian woman one would have to totally immerse in that culture-but that is the same for anywhere-I was in New York city last week and engaged in one of our favorite activities in Union Square -people watching-the vibe- the air of the girls there is so different than Philly-so from someone who likes to view stereotypes I enjoy these reads-and as a side note I SIMPLY ADORE THE LEATHER LONGCHAMP BAG PICTURED-OH LA LA-I want one and may very well be in possession of one before we are in full fall mode-as always a pure delight have a wonderful week!

    • My dear g. Thank you for returning. Like you, I enjoy watching life in big cities anywhere I can find it, and certainly not just in Paris. Looking at women; what they wear; how they behave. I find people watching fascinating anywhere I go, but especially in cities. As for the gorgeous Longchamp handbag, all I can say is that it is a lot cheaper than a Chanel or a Hermès bag, so who knows? Maybe le Père Noël could be talked into dropping one off by your Christmas tree this year? ;-) Bonne semaine, friend.

  3. Oh I had such a good time here…Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I read your story from last year also… Truly enjoyed it.. All I can say is Marion Cotillard is a true lady, in every sense of the word.
    I agree with you about those who would learn something from her. How a lady gets out of a car.. How right you are.
    Wishing you a peaceful Sunday

  4. 20 years ago I would not have dared wear tennis shoes on a trip in to Paris (I live in Versailles) but things have loosened up a lot. If I’m coming in for a date with my husband at a restaurant, I dress up and put on my nice shoes. If I’m heading in for a coffee and a walk with a friend, jeans and comfortable shoes are just fine.

    • Bonjour Victoria. So wonderful to hear from you. I am like you; I adapt to my surroundings. See my comment above about wearing Converse in Paris. Yes, things – and rules – have loosened up a bit, and that is a good thing. Still, I will pinch myself the day I see a French woman wear big, white sneakers – the way some tourists do – outside of the gym (let’s not push it, we are talking about les Parisiennes ;-)

  5. Oh and Veronique, the real reason I stopped by today was to ask if you have read Trierweiler’s book. The buzz here is HUGE. Everyone is publicly saying they hate it (and wasn’t she a terrible person to have written it) but privately everyone is reading it (it’s a best-seller). Yes, I’m going to read it. :-)

    • I heard all the hoopla about the T. book (I watch Le Journal on TV5 religiously every evening.) I have decided I will not read it – won’t have to since excerpts have been shared in the media so generously – I don’t think she should have written the book. Private life should remain private, especially for political leaders. At least wait until he is not president anymore to publish it. She comes across as petty, inelegant and hysterical. And let’s not forget she once was “the other woman,” so hard to have sympathy for her. That is my two cents on it. Wish the French had not turn her opus into a bestseller. But the temptation was probably too hard to resist: François Hollande is such an unpopular president!

    • I was curious about the book too -I also watch Le Journal with minimal understanding and France 24 (English) covered it-I agree – seems like sour grapes…and you are right why do woman and men too forget that if they did it for you-they can do it to you-cheat I mean private is private-my mom always said “What happens in these four walls stays in these four walls” great topic for discussion-

    • also V I have been meaning to say I LOVE THE NEW PICTURE!- by your French girl in Seattle-your hair looks great you look so young -love it!!

  6. On parle beaucoup du magazine “Elle”, en France en ce moment : rédactrice en chef “poussée” vers la sortie, motion de défiance à l’égard de Denis Olivennes (le bras armé de Lagardère)…”Elle” serait un “navire qui coule”. Too sad !

  7. I am learning a lot from your post ! I grew up in Cite Condorcet in Paris, which is out of rue Condorcet and at the left end is rue des Martyrs – I never knew that this area was called South of Pigalle!
    Like you I get annoyed when I see French written grammatically wrong by businesses – on a painting I saw “Le petit fleur” … on a painting! And at my grandson’ school, above the door to the cafeteria it said “La Petite Café” – there I went to the principal and told her to change it because children should not see it written that way – she changed it to le petit café.
    My mother was very aware of fashion; she had been a seamstress and premiere d’atelier in the haute couture. She could reproduce any high fashion outfit for me. Once I took her to a Brigitte Bardot movie so she could copie her coat – she did, in a different color – my copines were amazed. When I worked in Paris I was always in high heels and top fashion outfits …. You can see one red outfit in my post here: http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/2013/06/recollection-being-in-san-francisco-in.html . That was a long time ago; now I enjoy the US relax style and being in the Deep South usually wear linen outfits in summer, mostly white … but I did buy a pair of “fashion” sneakers in Lisbon, Portugal – orange….

    • Bonjour Vagabonde. Wonderful to have you here.
      No wonder you did not know about “SoPi” — It’s a fairly new thing. Lately, Paris has been trying to imitate Brooklyn, or so they tell me ;-)
      How great that your mom was so talented and worked in the Haute Couture world. I bet she made some very pretty things for you and your siblings. My mom, who was self-taught, used to sew, and knit, quite well. It was a different generation, where people knew how to save money by making a few things themselves (food, clothing, furniture, etc.) Now we just go out and *buy* things that usually don’t last very long. Different times.
      I will go and see you red outfit on the blog. I love “seeing” my fellow bloggers once in a while, even if only on a computer screen.
      Take care.

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Why France has been my favorite travel destination for 20 years

Why France has been my favorite travel destination for 20 years

Somewhere in Versailles, France France was not always my favorite travel destination. First there was Spain, for a couple of weeks every summer. It was a family tradition. I always had fun there, on la Costa Brava, with my parents, my brother and our relatives. When that was over, we spent the rest of the…

26 Responses to Why France has been my favorite travel destination for 20 years

  1. I finally fulfilled my dream of visiting France two years ago ( after studying the French language for six years). It was everything I dreamed it would be… And more! I am sure I sounded like a caveman, but it was fun to “try” to speak French while I was there. Everyone I met was kind and patient with me (even if I was butchering their lovely language). From Normandy, to Paris, to Provence – I LOVED it all. I cannot wait to return someday (hopefully soon).

    • Bonjour Michelle. Thank you for stopping by. You did things in the right order: Learning about the culture and the language before visiting the country. As a result, you had a wonderful experience in France. You “hit” some classics on that first trip. Next time, venture out a bit and explore other areas. You will love it just as much, I promise.

  2. I recently discovered your blog and enjoy your insights ‘re French life. It’s a coincidence that I just returned from a trip to Nice which reminded me how nice France can be. I’ve tended to visit Italy more in recent years for all the reasons you cite but will definitely be back to France soon. Also enjoyed speaking french again.
    .Loved your photos Merci beaucoup.

    • Dear Anon. Thank you for your kind comment. I can see how many of the points I raised could apply to Italy and France. I need to spend more time in Italy myself, but la Belle France is forever tugging at my sleeve, pulling me in when I attempt to leave. Come back soon!

  3. This was the most tender of love letters to your homeland and ,I as so many others, could not agree more with each and every point! WELL SAI DEAR V and as ALWAYS well written well presented.

    • Dear g. How wonderful to hear from you again. You have been quiet lately, but I was hoping you were still visiting the blog or the Facebook page to check on me, as always. Thank you for the kind comments. A love letter to France. I guess that is what this story is. :-)

    • yes I read and re-read- including comments- I can never get enough… just has been a busy and not in the good way, not bad either- just business errands etc barely time to breath and after sept it should calm down I AM HERE always love your postings-YOU ARE THE BEST!!

  4. Beautifully written – you really capture why I love it here so much!! Especially the enjoy every moment and savor the delicious fresh wonderful food!! It’s really such a wonderful life and even though the French have “their ways” and often tons of bureaucracy – one can overlook so much of that for all the reasons you state! Have a great week!

    • Merci beaucoup Jennifer. I am so happy you enjoy your life in France– granted you live in a beautiful area. I always appreciate your positive outlook on things. You and I know that, as an expat, it is easy to go to the “dark side” — maybe because criticism makes for better copy? ;-) Good for you for keeping a positive – and open-minded – outlook. Bonne semaine à Bordeaux.

  5. Hello Veronique

    It is curious how absence makes us appreciate the land of our birth. I can see how you would return to France in a heart beat. There is so much to see and do and even in one lifetime once cannot do it.
    Have a glorious week

    Helen x

    • My dear Helen: Thank you for stopping by today. I always enjoy your visits. You are right: It would take a lifetime to see all the beauty France has to offer – and all the quirks too – Darn. I am going to plan to spend a lot more time there over the next few years. ;-)

  6. Dearest Véronique,
    Having just come home on a flight from Phoenix, AZ, where we made several trips throughout the state, this looooooooooooong post did make my eyes very tired.
    Lovely yes, I agree with all of it and mainly my online boutique clients mainly buy things made in France. Most of my things are purely French as the fabrics and everything is so unique. Sure there is a lot of fake French out there, made in China but the true connaisseur can easily tell the difference!
    Sending you hugs and you do look great by the way.

    • Merci beaucoup Mariette. Sorry the long post made your eyes tired. At least it did not put you to sleep. I would have felt bad otherwise ;-) Your store does offer a beautiful selection of fine French items. That is why you are so successful. A bientôt.

  7. Salut ma grande fille:je viens de lire tes reportages sur ton voyage en France et je comprends que toutes les personnes qui y sont allées soient d’accord avec toi car entre les photos et les commentaires on ait envie d’y aller!!! bravo ,ma grande et bisous de mom!!!!!!!!!

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32 Responses to The top 10 food products a French expat yearns for outside of France

  1. Oh Veronique! This brought back so many wonderful memories. I do miss real bread. “La Brea bakery” is good enough and my mustard has to be from France. I just think I have been in the States too long as I really don’t miss anything but my 19 year old son does. Thank God for “Trader Joe’s”, “World Market”… when cravings kick in. What I really miss are places where I can buy french books translated in english and french DVDs. “La Cite des Livres” in Westwood (Los Angeles) was wonderful but it closed down many years ago.

    • Bonjour Fellow Expat! You’re right: What would we do without Trader Joe’s and World Market? We would get ripped off online, that’s what ;-) As for French books and DVDs, best thing is to bring them back yourself – or have some kind relatives ship them. I have quite the collection of French DVDs at home. They all fit in a large plastic crate hidden under my bed so far. Bonne semaine !

  2. A l’étranger, la seule chose qui me manque vraiment c’est le pain (sauf en Allemagne , où ils en ont encore plus que nous!).Peut-être aussi le chocolat chaud, type Poulain ou Benco, on est loin d’en trouver partout, et j’en bois le matin .Pour le reste j’arrive à m’adapter .
    J’espère que ton été se finit bien et que cette rentrée, avec toutes les nouveautés qui sont arrivées dans ta vie , se passera bien . Pour moi, été “animé” , et j’en ai jusqu’au moins debut novembre ..
    Bises et à bientôt !

  3. Yes to all of these! Although we can find similar products in England nowadays, I always come back from France with the following:
    - a bottle of Teisseire grenadine (my personal favourite over the menthe a l’eau)
    - Saucisson sec. We currently have two ‘batons de berger’ from Justin Bridoux and a Cochonoux in the fridge.
    - Pistachio flavoured things, like the la Laitiere cremes.
    - Les flans Alsa: the powders to make ‘entremets’ (raspberry, chocolate, pistachio and vanilla) and also the mix to make flan patissier.

    • Thank you for stopping by, FrogAtLarge! Grenadine, of course (Lait grenadine makes a delicious summer drink too!) Saucisson: Fortunately, it can be found fairly easily in my neck of the woods, even if the selection is limited (I browsed the saucisson section at Monoprix in Toulouse this summer and almost had a heart attack!) And Alsa, of course. Classics. Thank you for your contribution. Bonne semaine.

  4. Etait-il VRAIMENT necessaire de signaler aux gens d’Albertson qu’ils pouvaient vendre leur beurre deux a trois fois plus cher..?? de facon a ce qu’ils le fassent…?? (leur beurre).. maintenant ils vont augmenter..
    A signaler, en Floride, (Wynn-Dixie, Publix), les biscuits Lu, avec entre autres les irremplacables “Pim’s”.

    • Point taken, Hervé Thomas. No, it was not necessary to remind Albertsons they could have charged twice as much for their French butter! Mea culpa. ;-) Lu biscuits, of course. As tasty as ever. Pim’s is a favorite of mine too (it’s particularly fun to try and nibble the chocolate layer and be left with the sweet jam filling…)

  5. Oooh, so delicious! Such mouth-watering delights. I used to make my own pâte brisé all the time. Getting lazy in my old age. I would love to find Marie’s version here. Do Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s sell it?


    • Great to hear from you, M-T. You are a brave woman. Why attempt a pâte brisée when our friend Marie does such a good job? ;-) Trader Joe’s may sell a French dough, but not the ones I know. They were so easy to use == and pre-rolled. Sigh. Merci de ta visite, ma chère.

  6. This is one of the many reasons we moved to France. I wish we had one of the pneumatic tubes between us like in the old office buildings. We could exchange food treasures back and forth. I could make a list of the top 10 US foods we miss… starting with sweet corn, BBQ sauce, Maryland blue crabs, (I guess I can take hamburgers off the list since they’re everywhere here now), okra, hush puppies… you probably can tell I’m from the South! Thanks for your wonderful post… it reminds us how lucky we are.

    • Stuart, you need to find the Paris Store imported foods shop (mostly Asian foods) over in Tours Nord. Okra (often but not always), pinto beans, black-eyed peas, corn meal, headed frozen shrimp etc. etc. And hushpuppies are so easy to make at home. I have recipes on my blog.

      Also, there is a little grocery store in Blois called Asia Store that has a lot of the same imported products (watch out: cash or check only). Finally, the Grand Frais specialty supermarket in the south Blois suburb of Vineuil is another place to find “exotic” vegetables like okra (des gombos in French) and other imported food products.

      Véronique, I’d have to add good hot Dijon mustard to your list. And lardons fumés. I never could find good moutarde de Dijon extra-forte or good lardons (slab bacon, for example) in California when I lived there.

  7. Wonderful photos! Luckily I live in Paris, so I can just run next door and buy these goodies. Years ago I first came to France as a student. We ate in student restaurants, and we always gave away the yogurt that was desert because all we knew was American yogurt, not worth eating. One day, my friend Jane said to me, Jo, TASTE this yogurt! And we never gave away our desert again. Josephine

  8. Very nostalgic article! I mostly miss “La Baguette”. I remember when I was growing up in a small village dans “Le Pas de Calais”, when I came home from school at lunch time, my Mom would always send me to the local bakery in our village to buy a couple of baguettes. I would eat half of one riding my bicycle back home the Boulangerie.

  9. I know I’m not a true French expat, but having lived in France and spent so many holidays there I think I qualify to miss my favourites! Firstly, only a baguette fron a good boulangerie in France has that very special taste and texture. I’m pleased to say however that our local little supermarket now stocks Président butter. We always return from France with mint syrup (and the grenadine flavour too!) and it has to be the Teisseire brand. It was during my first holiday at my penfriend’s that I discovered ‘un diabolo menthe’ at the village café. Happy memories!

  10. Bonjour Veronique. You made me miss my second home today. I miss my routine to the boulangerie. Oh man do I ever miss those baguettes and pasties! My mom would try and make baguettes when we lived in Saudi. Hee hee it didn’t last long. You reminded me of my youth with the menthe a l’eau… but I would have the fraise syrup with milk. Yummy! I haven’t had one since I was 18. I can’t believe I have never tried Kir? And creme fraiche avec un pue de sucre on top. Hurts my feelings just thinking about it. Bon Journee!x

    • Bonjour Sandy. Welcome back! I know you have experienced a lot of these when you were a child. Funny you should mention le sirop de fraise. Grenadine and Strawberry syrup were the only way my mom could ever talk me into drinking milk! Bon weekend du Labor Day in the 24 Corners ;-)

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Paris, that village… (Summer 2014 Travelogue – Part 3)

Paris, that village… (Summer 2014 Travelogue – Part 3)

Paris is a bustling, crazy city. Visitors often complain about the large crowds; Nobody has gotten lost in la Joconde’s smile (Mona Lisa) since the 1960s; La Vieille Dame (the Eiffel Tower) will keep you waiting, and waiting; Les Champs-Elysées look like a cosmopolitan ant world, day and night; Notre-Dame only gets quiet if you climb her…

18 Responses to Paris, that village… (Summer 2014 Travelogue – Part 3)

  1. Thank you for the lovely tour of this part of Paris!! I hope to visit it in the next year! You must have enjoyed it so much, being back in your native country! I think You are an ambassador icon of France! I do love Ines’ Little Diary videos.

  2. Thank you for a wonderful insight into this Parisian village. Our first few visits to Paris entailed seeing the usual tourist sights, now we just stay in one arrondissement and explore that area. However, we have tended to keep returning to the 4 arr and the 6 arr, but its definitely time to move on. The 13arr is a priority now! I agree whole-heartedly with Sketchbook Wandering – you are a wonderful ambassador for France. Merci.

    • Nothing wrong with the 4th and the 6th arrondissements, Elizabeth, except larger crowds (sometimes.) The 13th arrondissement is less touristy, but there are fun things to discover there too: The Beautiful Parc Montsouris (built in the late 19th century,) the Chinese district, and of course, la Butte aux Cailles make it worth a visit.

  3. One of my favorite places in Paris to wander Veronique. And I think that is one of the things about the city that charms me so – that in spite of the bustle and crowds, it really is just a tapestry of villages all stitched together.

    Hope you have a lovely week! XO

  4. Hello Veronique, I absolutely love when you escort us through the streets of your home town. Knowing an area, intimately, as you do, leads to surprising places known to the locals. The Ines de la Fressange video is fitting.
    Wishing you continued joy as we bask in summer’s sunshine.

    Helen xx

  5. This is such a charming area, full of character, which really does look like a village and it seems so compact too. It’s these hidden, lesser known parts of cities which offer so much to the visitor and I would be delighted to have lunch in L’Oisive-Thé too. I enjoyed taking a leisurely stroll with you and of course with Inès who epitomises the term ‘effortlessly chic.’ I believe there are several videos in her Little Diary series including Le Marais which I shall have to watch sometime.


    • You are correct, miss b. Inès shot quite a few of these little videos for Roger Vivier a few years ago. There are all entertaining, but the best part – of course – is to watch Inès ;-) I hope you are having a fabulous summer!

  6. As soon as I discovered you on Facebook ~ I have loved everything you post! Photos of Paris and interesting, out of the ordinary sites are my favorites. David Lebovitz’s original book has long had a special place on my shelf and I recently bought the new one, ready to try some fantastic recipes. Thank you so much for continuing to ignite my love for Paris and France <3

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