Monthly Archives: August 2014

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

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

 
 
Food is life. Food is anticipation. Food is pleasure. 

Food is memories. Food is nostalgia. Food reminds you where you are from. 

When I meet French people in the United States, we may discuss French current events, or our respective American locales of choice; but without fail, at some point in the conversation, food is brought up. “Where do you find Maille/Antésite/Levure Alsa/La Comtesse du Barry, here?” “Where do you find a decent baguette?” Code names, exchanged by expatriates who need not explain: They speak the same language.
 
I have lived in the United States for almost twenty years. I have sampled great food all over the country. Because I manage a blog named French Girl in Seattle, followed by a fast-growing community of francophiles, I have made it a game – no, my mission – to look for French food during my travels. Driven and focused, this French Girl investigates… and scores.
 
 
Nothing stands between a Gaul and his boar… uh… food.
 
In the United States, I have sampled wonderful French products, some imported, some locally made: bread, cheese, charcuterie, salt, pastries, wine, and more. It can be a struggle to locate them locally, but there are online suppliers too. My favorites are the well-stocked d’Artagnan (as a Toulouse native, how could I not patronize a business named after the famous Gascon?;) and the more affordable le Panier Français and frenchybee.com. So if you absolutely need to purchase French food specialties – and are willing to pay at least twice what they cost in France – there are places you can go. Ah, the sweet taste of victory, when you finally get your hands on the prize!
 
 
 
 
What about cravings? What about instant gratification? Sure, it’s a great feeling to open the care packages shipped by your French relatives, but you often wish you had easy access to all these delicious products you used to find around the corner in your French neighborhood. And you think to yourself: “J’ai tellement envie de…” [insert the French product name.] I would so love…
 
So, without further ado, voilà this French Girl’s top 10: The hard-to-find, dearly missed food items that immediately bring her back home, as she savors them with sheer delectation. 
 
1. La Baguette Tradition
 
Not just any bread; a French icon. Supermarket bread can’t compete. Bâtard, flûte, ficelle can’t compete either. La baguette de tradition française is the Queen of the French boulangerie. Eat it alone, or with butter.  You must eat le quignon (the tip) on the way home. Buy two, just in case. 




Fellow expat, actor Olivier Martinez:
His Los Angeles grocery runs always include a baguette!
2. Le beurre demi-sel
 
Not sweet. Not salted. Just right. This is the butter that will make you forget all other butters. Spread it on toast in the morning; use it to make crêpes. Substitute for all other standard (boring?) butters in recipes. 
 
French butter is really good, folks. Do not take my word for it. Try it! This week, when I posted this photo online with the caption: “Incredible. Albertsons sells this for only $2.99,” French Girl in Seattle readers went mad. I stocked up. They stocked up. 


 

 
A few hours later, the folks at Albertsons were seen scratching their heads in front of empty shelves. They likely checked in with their chi-chi competitors at Whole Foods, who replied: “Are you CRAZY? Don’t you know you can charge three times as much for that French stuff?
 
 
 
 
3. La graisse de canard (la graisse d’oie.) 
 
Duck (or goose) fat. Sounds bad for you? But you use so little of it. Un peu. A smidge. How bad can that be? Besides, if you have ever sampled a serving of crisp, fragrant pommes de terre sarladaises, you know why you will never sauté dishes with anything else. 


 
 
 
4. Les pâtes prêtes à dérouler.
 
Store-bought doughs. Ready to use. Monoprix makes excellent ones. So do Marie or Herta. You’re not a baker? Not to worry. From now on, you will impress your guests with perfect pâte brisée, pâte sablée, or pâte feuilletée. It is that easy.
 
 
 
When I lived in Paris, my girlfriends and I had a favorite dinner:  Tarte aux tomates, fromage and herbes de Provence, served with a green salad, and followed by a cheese course, or dessert. Voilà. The most delicious dinner in the world, whipped in a few minutes. 
 
 
 
 
5. Les Rillettes de Canard (duck rillettes.) 
 
It’s not pâté. It’s not foie gras either. Find a baguette tradition (see above,) a good bottle of wine, and you’re in business. 
 
 
 
 
6. Les Yaourts. 
 
You have not eaten yogurt until you have had yogurt in France. Fact. The yogurt aisle in any self-respecting French supermarket is a beautiful sight. The photo below will probably make many French expats sigh. I get it. 
 
 
 
 
7. La faisselle. Le fromage blanc.
It’s not crème fraîche, it’s not cream cheese. La faisselle and le fromage blanc (whipped faisselle) is fresh cheese, with half the calories and cholesterol of cream cheese. 
 
 

 

“Fromage blanc à la louche,” served with a ladle at outdoor markets
It makes a tasty dip when mixed with fresh herbs. People cook with it. It was for a long time French women’s go-to *healthy* dessert on restaurant menus (maybe it still is?)
Faisselle au coulis de fruits rouges
8. Café Carte Noire.
 
The top-selling coffee brand in France. A couple of Carte Noire bags often find their way into my suitcase before I leave France. Oh, and the brand has produced some awesome TV commercials over the years!
 
9.  Teisseire mint syrup.
Because Vittel Menthe (mint syrup and mineral water) or its poor parent Menthe à l’eau (mint syrup and tap water,) is such a pretty, refreshing drink. In my childhood, kids were only allowed to drink soda occasionally. We were very grateful for the reliable Menthe à l’eau: It quenched our thirst on hot summer days.
10. La crème de cassis (currant liquor.)
A classic, and the indispensable ingredient to prepare the iconic French apéritif Kir (dry white wine and currant liquor.) My personal favorite, le Kir Royal, is the elegant, pretty drink that whets your appetite and makes your head spin before you order your meal.

 

There are so many more I could list here. But this is a Top 10. Favorite French (and European) candy could be a Top 10 by itself. I once wrote a story about the candy of my childhood. You can find it here

You know my selection. What about yours? Whether you are a French expatriate, or someone who still lives in their homeland, what are favorite food products you miss -or would miss – away from home? C’est à vous. Speak up.

A bientôt. 



38 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?

    M-T

    • 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 😉

  11. Excellent article, with one mistake, to my eyes at least important enough to be corrected :
    As stated, a Vittel-menthe is a 1/4 Vittel water with mint syrup.
    But the Menthe à l’eau is very far from being its poor parent. It is more like its rich uncle indeed.
    The Menthe à l’eau is mint liquor (like crème de cassis, but with mint instead of cassis), served with ice cubes and tap water. It contains alcohol and is not for kids, but imho it is a thousand times more refreshing than Vittel menthe.
    Beware though : this knowledge is being lost and many new bars will serve you vittel-menthe whatever you order. Better make sure they know the difference before to place the order.

    • Thank you for clarifying. I am familiar with the menthe à l’eau: I remember my dad being furious at a café waiter once, when I was much younger. We had ordered a “menthe à l’eau,” on a hot summer day (meaning a Vittel Menthe, since I was about 10 years old,) and the waiter finally came back with a menthe à l’eau… We will never know if the waiter did it innocently and assumed the drink was for my father; or if he tried to overcharge us!

  12. Thanks for the article. We are just coming back from France, and we’re hoping we can find some place in the Seattle/Bellevue area where we can get some fromage blanc. Have you been able to find one?

  13. I loved this article. We have biked in France for years and always miss the food when we return to the USA. Biking and good food go so well together–smile. Thanks for the memories.

    Earlene

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La Butte aux Cailles, Paris

La Butte aux Cailles, Paris

This story was originally published in August 2014. It has been updated.   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…

19 Responses to La Butte aux Cailles, Paris

  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.

    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

    • 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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Toulouse, la vie en rose

Toulouse, la vie en rose

Le Capitole, Toulouse   Je viens du sud. I come from the South. This summer, after a tumultuous and stressful year, I went back where everything started, to my hometown, Toulouse, or as it is known all over France, “la Ville Rose,” the Pink City, because of its magnificent red brick buildings.    The 4th…

26 Responses to Toulouse, la vie en rose

  1. Looks like lots of fun, Veronique. What a lovely place. So glad you got to visit home this summer.

    Apologies for not responding to your inquiry yet! It was a busy weekend. I’ll be in touch tout de suite!

    Have a lovely week. XO

  2. looks wonderful and so pleased you enjoyed your visit home….Toulouse is definitely on my travel agenda this year so thanks for all the tips…Greetings from Nice….

  3. Loved this post! So many gorgeous photos. I was there once, all too brief, too many years ago. Such a wonderful city. Merci Veronique!

  4. I can fully understand why you are clearly so proud of your beautiful home town which has so much to offer. Those amazing blue skies, the different styles of architecture, friendly locals and great shopping all appeal to me and magret de canard is a favourite of mine too! Toulouse is a city I have considered for a while and your detailed travel guide
    has confirmed that it’s well worth a visit. Great post Véronique.

    • Exctement, Elizabeth. Even after all these years; and all these locales I have lived in, Toulouse almost immediately felt like home. Almost magical! Thank you for your visit. Hope your “Petite Folie” is treating you well these days!

  5. So beautiful. I should definitely make a point of visiting my paternal grandfather’s hometown un de ces jours. You have inspired me. Wonderful post, ma chère. We need to have a good cyberchat very soon.

    Big bisous, M-T

  6. I am so happy to have found your blog and especially this post! I will be visiting Toulouse in September and will definitely make time for an hour or two at Les Augustins! Thank you.

  7. I enjoyed reading your blog on Toulouse now that we are here for 3 days. Cherie and I love your home town and I could easily live here and polish my French.
    Your blog is very helpful. Merci beaucoup!
    Your pictures are beautiful! We truly enjoy the locals. They are very friendly and helpful.
    Today we are off to Fondation Bemberg
    Thank you for your informative blog!
    Keep on writing! Merci! !!

  8. My adult daughter and I make trips to France every two years. This year is Barcelona and then Toulouse at the beginning of April. Will have an apartment just south of the Carmes district along the river and just north of the tram line. Any and all recommendations welcomed. We look forward to enjoying the Rose Ville

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44 Responses to 10 reasons why Paris is always worth another visit

  1. Hello Veronique

    Lovely to see you here this morning and to read about your visit to France. I love hearing about your observations following a year away. It is a joy to follow you on the subway and see local establishments where everyday people frequent. What colour and style repetto did you purchase?
    Continued joy as the summer continues.
    Helen xx

    • Dear Helen. Wonderful to hear from you. It had been a while… It felt good to return to le Blog and type away 😉 I confess I splurged on a pair of Repettos, but did not go for the ballet flats. Instead, I picked a pair of “Zizi” shoes, (once favored by French composer and singer Serge Gainsbourg,) in Camel. The leather is soft as butter, and they are hand-sewn. The shoe box alone is a collector’s item. As I said, a splurge! Happy summer to you as well.

    • Paris is not always “gai” especially with her temperamental weather. I have to say not many cities can pull off grey skies (“la grisaille,”) as successfully as she does! Thankfully, there are so many other things to focus on…

  2. You have put a smile on my face. When I first flew intro Paris I was taken back by my initial view of the city. As you mentioned, the northern high-rise apartments are very unattractive and the freeway trip into the heart of the Paris does nothing to enhance Paris’s reputation. However, the ride does not take the shine off this magical city. I haven’t found Parisians to be arrogant, dour or unfriendly and there is always something new to see and discover. This year a Parisian, whom we had never met took 5 hours out of his Sunday to show us around the area of Paris in which he lives……..Our must do list each trip is never completed as we are usually distracted by the gems we chance upon when strolling through the streets, or by people watching while sitting at a cafe. Warm regards.

    • Thank you for stopping by Elizabeth. Everyone should have a bucket list when arriving in Paris… even if you have to realize you may not be able to hit all the items. I am glad you found a friendly – and generous – Parisian to share his city with you. Not surprised. For all their complaining about Paris, they are pretty darn proud of their city. As they should.

  3. Dearest Véronique,
    Yes, you did sum it up very well! Like going back to Limburg on a bigger scale. The restaurants, the typical food, the culture, the pâtisserie (a HUGE point we miss here…!) etc. etc.
    So glad you and Junior got to go again and stay with your family in France.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    PS we did go home in 31 years 64 times… so one never gets cured I guess!

    • Bonjour Anne. I just looked up your blog. It looks like you have not written there for a while. I would love to hear about DC. That is another great city. But I am glad if this post brought back happy memories for you.

  4. This is a wonderful list. And your photos are gorgeous, even under gray skies. The photo of the patisserie reminds me of a related “love”: the intricate window displays, especially in chocolate stores at Easter, and papeteries before la rentrée. And of course, you know I’m a big fan of the metro. Only, your photos remind me how much it’s changed in the 15 years since I used it for my daily commute. All for the better, no doubt?

    • Bonjour Alison. Oui, Paris has changed a lot in the last few years. So has the Metro (in sections.) Lines 14 and 1 for example, are fully automated now. Older ones, though, remain as hot and as slow as ever. But Parisians (and experienced travelers) know which ones to pick. Hope summer is going well for you. It’s really HOT here in Seattle!

  5. Delighted to see that you had published a new post as it’s aways a pleasure popping over here. I lost count of the number of times I have visited Paris some time ago and it’s a city which will always be so special to me for many reasons. I find It hard to resist a visit to favourite, iconic places (taking yet another photo of La Tour Eiffel has become a ritual and yes I have climbed those steps to avoid the queues!) and I enjoy planning ahead ready to discover new spots. I’ve noted a few here including Le Musée de la Vie Romantique and Antoine et Lili….merci!
    Mais oui, Paris is always worth another visit! Great post, Véronique. A bientôt!

    • Dear Miss b, always a pleasure to have you here. I know you are an experienced traveler, always on the go, and I have no doubt you have many favorite spots in Paris. It’s so much fun to discover “new” spots, or even to re-discover old neighborhoods, though. This year, I spent a wonderful day exploring the old working-class Butte aux Cailles neighborhood. It was a highlight of this trip. Enjoy summer, wherever you may be.

  6. An annual visitor to Paris, a sometime visitor to your blog, and a fellow West Coast’er (although I’m a little further north than you and into another country) — couldn’t resist commenting when I saw that the receipt you featured here is from the wonderful l’Oisive in the 13th. I’ve visited a few times,having followed Aimée’s blog and watching her dream becoming a fabulous reality. Also happily recognize the bookstore from near the Place Contrescarpe. Thanks for the reminders of a charming city. Have a lovely visit!

    • Bienvenue, and thank you for following French Girl in Seattle. It is a small world, isn’t it? You are correct: The check is from l’Oisive-Thé, in the charming Butte aux Cailles neighborhood. A clever name for a unique eatery that stood apart from the other restaurants in that street. I will look up Aimée’s blog. Thank you for bringing it up to my attention!

    • Bonjour! I found your blog after a friend directed me towards it because she caught a glimpse of your receipt from my shop, L’Oisivethé. I loved reading your perspective on Paris.

    • Merci beaucoup, and thank you for a wonderful and peaceful lunch at your shop. I will add the address here so my readers can find you: L’OisiveThé et Tricot 10, rue de la Butte aux Cailles Paris 13e. (Great for lunch… and for ladies interested in knitting :-)) – A bientôt.

  7. Good thing I saw your list and advise here. These are very good tips. I will be visiting Paris again after many years. I am excited to go back there. Thanks sharing these tips. Merci Veronique!

    • You’re welcome Pamela. Make sure to plan your walks in advance, and you will have a blast… but remember to be flexible too. Sometimes, it’s just fun to sit down and do nothing but watch life go by in Paris.

  8. Taxi? Shuttle? RER B suburban city train for us. We visited Paris in June and made a point to ride a Vélib’ bike every day. Navigating the city in the bike lane gave us a keen sense of the city that we did not get on the Metro.

    • Bienvenue. Good point about the RER B, even if I would only recommend it to people who travel light. As for Velib’, yes, it’s a different way of seeing Paris. I am glad you survived to tell the story – I witnessed two biking accidents in less than a week while I was there in July!

  9. Oh such a lovely summary – it does bring the travel bug to life and makes me want to visit your wonderful city again. We came close this summer as one connection from Greece was via Paris; another in New York and we opted for New York (theory: closer to Seattle) – will never do that one again, so perhaps Paris in the spring. . .

  10. Paris is always a good idea, right!? Glad you got to get away Veronique. I see you visited some of my favorite places. I think the photo of the Jardin du Luxembourg best. How lovely! XO

  11. Thrilled to see your post pop up on my sidebar today. I’ve very much missed your presence in Blogland!
    I savored every one of these wonderful photos. Paris will always be a part of me, and I return in September for a short visit. I will be in touch for some special suggestions for you to add to my notes. ‘-)
    Welcome home!

    • You are so kind, Sarah, thank you. Glad to have you back chez moi 🙂 It’s wonderful you are returning to Paris in September. The weather should be perfect then. It has been so HOT in Seattle, it is starting to feel like Texas!

  12. Bonjour Veronique,

    Such a beautiful post and know exactly what you are saying. I enjoyed seeing all your lovely photos and looks like you did a little shopping at Repetto – lucky!
    I have been lucky enough to visit Paris three times, and love it more every time I go there.
    Happy week
    hugs
    Carolyn

  13. As a famous man once said, “Paris sera toujours Paris,” no matter what else changes in the world. Cela me rassure énormément. Paris me manque et toi aussi. How about a little randonnée together through the Marais un de ces jours??? We’ll include Monsieur Dan. After all, it’s his favorite city.

    Big bisous, ma vieille, M-T

  14. Hello there, my daughter (15 years old) and sister and I just came back from Paris 2 weeks ago. It was the first time for my daughter to fly on an airplane so I wanted to make sure we picked the perfect place … Paris. Even though it was high tourist season and everything was incredibly expensive, we had a most wonderful time. All Parisienne stereotypes have long since been debunked, including the way Parisiennes dress. From what I saw there isn’t much difference. In fact, I felt a bit overdressed at times. And I know the women I saw were Parisienne (or at least French). This was a bit of a let down because I wanted to see the chic I’ve always read about. Maybe it was the wrong season? It’s easier to dress more chic during the cooler months I think. Have you noticed a change in the way women dress now (more casual) than before?

    • Dear Anon. Thank you for your insights. I think Parisian women are like New York women, or London women, there are an eclectic mix; with many different personalities; tastes; and means. I have not noticed any changes over the last few years. In general, you will see more elegant women in specific neighborhoods, for example the 7th or the 16th arrondissements. I blame the media and these ridiculous “French-women-do-it-better” books for creating unrealistic expectations about French women (especially in the United States.) No wonder you were disappointed when you saw *real* French women in the street.

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