Monday, September 1, 2014

Remembering

photo  phbcatalyst.com


I grew up going to Miami Beach every winter to get away from the cold Chicago air. My parents enrolled me in the local school for four months a year and we lived in the warm weather.  You could do that in those days.

I followed up by going to the University of Miami where I met my husband and got married at the Roney Plaza Hotel oh so many years ago. 

The Fontainbleu Hotel, The Sans Souci and the Roney Plaza hold lots of great memories for me.
Miami Beach will always have a very special place in my heart.

It went through a slump a few years ago,  but I understand it is rebounding vigorously so I can't wait to go back and visit again.

No visit was complete without a stop at Joe's Stone Crab

photo miamipopmedia.com

Also Wolfie's delicatessen where I loved to eat the sour pickles piled high in bowls on the table.


Alas, those days are gone but surely there are new places to build memories.

It is no wonder I fell in love with these plates called Miami Beach back in the 1980's.  As I am moving soon, I am going to part with some of the many sets of dinnerware I have collected over the years.  Just click on the link below for details.

Miami Beach plates-SWID POWELL 1980's


I had a lovely trip down memory lane writing todays blog, I hope you enjoyed it too.

Audrey



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

These shoes were made for walking




Take a walk in the park, or anywhere else, in the most comfortable shoes ever made.  I have never had a response to anything as great as I had when I wrote about Bernie Mev Shoes before.  To those of you who have asked, I am sending the link again.

Bernie Mev Shoes

They come in almost every color you could imagine, I love my black and my silver ones.

Silver Bernie Mev shoes


They also come in flats and these black ones are on sale.

Bernie Mev flats


I could continue posting links and pictures but I think you have the idea. Just click on the blue links and choose your style, color and size.  You will thank me. 

Living in France I walk so much and needed shoes to let me do it comfortably.  I promise you, these are the ones.  They are a bit funky looking but I get tons of compliments on them as they are so unique.

Please let me know how you like them, so far the responses have been 100% love.


Kisses from my sweet doggie Skye..... She loves when I take her for a walk which I do several times a day.

A Bientôt

Audrey

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The best French Kitchens

Without a doubt, Hélène Darroze is the best. She has held two Michelin stars at one time or another in each of her two restaurants, Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in London and Restaurant Hélène Darroze in Paris.

Her restaurant is so fabulous and the homemade candy trolley after your meal has to be seen to be believed.




photos from Laissez Fare


From beginning to end the food is outstanding and sometimes I wish I could start with dessert to be sure I have room for it.  You will not be disappointed.

I have been eating at Lasarre for thirty years and am always excited to go there.


Lasserre’s rich history is definitely a part of the dining experience: notables like Audrey Hepburn, André Malraux and Salvador Dali were regulars; it harboured Resistance fighters during the war; and it was while dining with Malraux that Marc Chagall decided to paint the ceiling for the Opera Garnier. But its illustrious past is nothing next to the food: chef Christophe Moret (ex-Plaza Athénée) and his pastry chef Claire Heitzler (ex-Ritz) create lip-smacking delicacies to die for. The upstairs dining room, accessed by a bellboy-operated lift, is a sumptuous affair in taupe and white, with solid silver table decorations, and a retracting roof, which at night opens just enough for you to see the stars.

I think this is the most romantic restaurant in the world, especially when the roof slides open and you can drink your champagne under the stars.

Of course both of the above restaurants are for special occasions.  I eat out all the time when I am in Paris, even when I have an apartment there.  Why cook?

I find this link excellent as it gives you wonderful restaurants that serve healthy and artisinal food. This article is about the 7th arrondissement. Click on it and see if you agree.

Healthy food choices in Paris


I do love cooking and collecting French cuisine items for my kitchen.  When I am at my home in country France or in Dallas I cook most of  the time.  I would love to share my favourite recipes and cooking aids with you.

Very easy slow roasted chicken.....

In a heavy roasting pan on top of the stove, brown the pieces of chicken, bone on.  Season with spices you like, salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, mediterranean spice mix or anything to give it lots of flavour. To the browned chicken pieces add carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes ( any root vegetables you like) and enough chicken broth to come half way up the side of the pan.  Roast in a very slow oven for 2-3 hours.  Add more liquid if necessary.  I cook mine at around 200 degrees.  The chicken will fall off the bone.


I am very partial to the French kitchen towels, called Torchon.  They really dry your dishes and glassware beautifully.  I have several of them on my web site http://www.frenchvintagehome.com
Check out the linens.


Eton Mess



Eton mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue, and whip cream, which is traditionally served at Eton College's annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School. The dish has been known by this name since the 19th century, I love the name.

Easy, easy.  Just clean and quarter strawberries, add lots of whipped whipping cream and broken up store bought meringues.  That's it.  You can add other things but I love it just this way.  Actually it is a Pavlova broken up and much easier to make.

Another cute decorative item for your French kitchen.  This, too, can be found on the web site
www.frenchvintagehome.com under Kitchen Accessories.


I cannot close without mentioning Street Food in Paris.

Berthillon Ice Cream.  I have never tasted any better ice cream.  Walking around L'ile Saint Louis with a salted caramel Berthillon ice cream cone is my idea of heaven.



L'As de Fallafel in the Marais.
I've never thought of Parisians as patient and I've certainly never thought of them as the kind of people who'd wait in line for much, but the other day, there they were, waiting in line for elegant macarons from Pierre Herme, and then, there they were again, waiting for a pita stuffed to within a millimeter of bursting with falafel and all its messy fixings.
The falafel worth the wait was from L'As de Fallafel, the most famous, most written about falafel joint in Paris - which might not say much to some of you, but then that's probably because you've never walked down the rue des Rosiers and seen just how many falafel places there are!


Last but certainly not least of Paris street food is the Crepe, especially at the Creperie Josselin.

The star crêperie of the 14th arrondissement, and the one with the longest queues, is the prettily decorated Josselin, where the speciality is the Couple - two layers of galette with the filling in the middle. The savoury galette is followed by the dessert Crêpe de Froment, which comes in three varieties: classic (honey and lemon or wonderful caramel beurre salé); flambéed with calvados; or a fantasy creation oozing with chocolate, banana, ice cream and whipped cream. Wash it all down with bowls of cider, of which the brut is far better than the sweet. You'll be surprised how full you feel at the end and the bill should come to no more than €20 a head, a buckwheat bargain by Paris standards.




Bon appétit mes amis

Audrey








Saturday, July 12, 2014

Walking around Paris

Camille Pissarro - Rue Saint-Honoré, dans l'après-midi.

This gorgeous painting by Pissarro of the Rue Saint-Honore in the afternoon.

Living in country France, I grab every opportunity to go to Paris.  Sometimes just for the day.  I did that recently, to meet a friend, and couldn't resist a bit of shopping.  Nowhere are there more beautiful shops than the Rue Saint-Honore.  I shop other places too but this one has it all.

You can shop, have a tea at the Hotel Costes or the Mandarin Oriental and consider it a perfect day.

Of course, wear a pair of comfortable shoes.  While these may not be the most beautiful, they are a bit funky and fun.  I have several pair and was talked into them by a sales person in Beverly Hills.  I just couldn't see myself in them and now that's all I want to wear.

Here are a couple of them for you to see.

Bernie Mev .....for comfort


More Bernie Mev


Just click on the links above and you will see lots of different styles.

You will thank me for this just as I thanked the sales person who sold them to me.    I love the wedge but they also come in flats.  Let me know what you think.

I hope you can come to Paris and walk around.  It is the best walking city in the world and there is always something you haven't seen before.

A bientôt

Audrey

Friday, May 23, 2014

Small Pleasures



When I want a special treat, I head to the Cafe Errel in Perigueux, about 30 minutes from my home in France.  It is there that I have a cup of the most delicious Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.  If you know it, you will probably agree to its deliciousness, if you don't please try it as it is so special.  I love coffee but can't stand the bitterness, this coffee does not have it.

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The best lots of Blue Mountain coffee are noted for their mild flavour and lack of bitterness. Over the last several decades, this coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world. Over 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan.[1] In addition to its use for brewed coffee, the beans are the flavour base of Tia Maria coffee liqueur.



Click here for the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans


For those of you with Keurig coffee machines, they now make Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee for your machine.




 Click here for Keurig Blue Mountain Coffee Pods

I think you will love it.

In addition to this coffee the Errel cafe specialises in the best of the best.  I also love their Kusmi Tea.

They have many varieties but this is the one that caught my eye so I bought it today.  I came home and tried it and can truly say it is absolutely delicious and full of exotic spices. 



Click here for the delicious tea bags

It is a smooth and spicy blend of black China tea, liquorice roots, spices, guarana seed and pink pepper
Ginseng and guarana bring you energy and vitality, spices aid digestion, liquorice delivers a smooth taste.

It's the little things that count and find what pleases you and indulge.

Until next time.

A Bientôt

Audrey







Monday, May 19, 2014

A Beautiful Day In Brantome France the Perigord


When I want to experience a beautiful day in the French countryside I frequently go to the village of Brantome, about 30 minutes from my home in the Perigord.

It is a real living village with the beautiful Abbye, lots of shopping, restaurants and gorgeous views.

We went this morning and it was very hot but with my camera in tow and a hat on my head, I enjoyed every moment.


There is a beautiful house on the river that I adore.



We stopped for lunch on the terrace of the lovely Relais and Chateaux Hotel Le Moulin De L'Abbye and had a gorgeous meal.



 photo by tripadvisor.com

I love shopping at this antique linen shop in a cave on the main walking street.


Don't forget to bring the essentials, like a great tote to carry all your new treasures in.

French market tote

Darling Ann Taylor straw hat



Come to the Dordogne and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer, you won't be sorry. There is so much more to La France than Paris, Provence and the Cote D'Azur though I love all of them too.

A Bientôt

Audrey

Monday, May 5, 2014

From France with love


Another day, another market.  That's what we do in country France almost every weekend.

I am frequently asked what I do in La Tour Blanche so I thought I would just mention a couple of the things that fill my days.  

This market was in Aix en Provence a simply beautiful place to be.


There is nothing like the open air food markets where you can get local produce all spring and summer long.



The roses are in bloom in my garden and though I don't really do much gardening, thanks to my gardener I have the most beautiful roses ever.


Nothing is better than inviting friends over for lemonade and little cakes.  

We do a lot of entertaining in rural France.  Going to a friends home and having friends come to your home is how we spend many evenings here.

So we shop, we eat and we travel.  Not too different from what I do when I am in the US.

I have two web sites that keep me busy.  There are some different things on each of them. On www.frenchvintagehome.com  I can put new French items while on Etsy it is only vintage.

Thanks to all of you who follow French Vintage Home, I am thrilled and excited to see the number of you who have signed on to get my blog and newsletter.

Natural washed linen tote


The Flea markets of France


A visit to a flea market can be the highlight of a trip to France: a lively encounter with everyday French culture, an exciting way to spend a few hours, and a chance to pick up a unique souvenir or add to a collection. The Flea Markets of France is the indispensable tool for getting the most out of your visit. 

I hope you come to visit.

A Bientôt

Audrey