l’art, l’amour et l’heure du cocktail


bonjour, allo, santé et tchin tchin. hi all, how’s your fall unfolding? i love when the weather gets that crisp fresh feeling and the air has just the slightest chill. not to rush the season and look too far ahead but it’s that time of year when we naturally start to hibernate and nest a little. for many of us that means entertaining and although i’m not a big drinker, i’ve been thinking about putting a bar together for the impending festivities. i got inspired when i heard from my friend and colleague, doni belau. she’s the editor and brilliant mind behind a girl’s guide to paris and has just released a fantastic book titled ‘Paris Cocktails’. she’s offered to host a giveaway here today on the blog so if you’re interested, you can either purchase a copy at the link above or enter your name in the comments and we’ll announce the winner next week.


all images on pinterest.com/parisapartment/bars


there’s something about the history of alcohol that has a hint of glamour and mystery to it and looking into it for this post led to a laundry list of its origns in early france. from the aperitif to wines, champagnes and liqueurs, the ways to inebriate ourselves seem infinite. the french alone were responsible for absynthe, anisette, bénédictine, cognac, chambord, cointreau, coffee liqueur, pastis, triple sec, crème de menthe, chardonnay, cabernet and dubonnet.


lots of great old books have been written on the subject of mixing, blending and inventing new concoctions over the years and some were even banned during prohibition. hard to believe that times could have been so very different and to think that it was actually illegal at one point to possess alcohol, punishable by imprisonment!


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as a lightweight, i don’t really indulge but do love the whole culture from the bottles to the barware. below are some of the ways creative people have used traditional bar carts as well as some innovative alternatives.


using a brass shelving unit allows for overhead lighting, and glass doors showcase pretty glass and unique decanters


using an old steamer trunk lets you pack it up when not in use


just a simple woven tray on a glass top table wth a few accents adds instant sophistication


who woulda thought?


any cabinet can be mirrored on the inside for a glam look that closes up tight.


a makeshift bar on a dresser for impromptu parties


and even a petite half table can make a luxe statement


the options are as endless and varied as the designers who are inspired to raise the bar




i think i could live with this one very happily. a lot of thought has been given to the subject and just digging around a little bit was an absolutely beautiful dive into this tiny table that packs such a punch. below are a couple dissections of what it takes to put one of these bad boys together:




so…to celebrate Doni’s new book hailing the cocktail culture, leave your name and email in the comments to be entered to win.

From the publisher: Bring the romance and elegance of Paris into your home with cocktail recipes from leading French mixologists and the signature drink recipes of Parisian hot spots. More than just a cocktail book, Paris Cocktails celebrates the art of drinking like the French, with entertaining tips for throwing a perfectly Parisian cocktail party, revelations on the latest trends in French mixology, reviews of the best bars in both America and Paris where you can find the true French cocktail experience, and musings from French and non-French alike who have mastered the art of French drinking.



et alors, let’s wrap it up with a big French toast, a vôtre santé!

October 18, 2015. Books, Cocktails, Decorating, Doni Belau, Girls Guide to Paris, Paris. 32 comments.

a french tradition: the gingerbread & ham antique fair


bonjour from paree~coming to you from a day of shopping on the outskirts of paris to visit a fair that happened to be happenning while we’re here. i’ve always wanted to check out the foire de chatou which is held on what’s affectionately known as ‘the island of the impressionists’ from a time when painters like monet and renoir created some of their most famous works here.


today chatou hosts a fair that’s been a tradtion since the middle ages, having moved around a lot and finally finding its home twice a year in this idyllic spot. it’s definitely worth a trip if you’re here at the right time of year.



how it became known as the fair of ham and gingerbread is another story and you can read all about it on the fair’s website linked above.


like all things in paris it’s taken on an air of a pleasant afternoon strolling through chic stands and trying to decide what to get when you want it all. well, almost all.


there was a mix of furniture, lighting and linens

chatou booth


with the displays full of smalls including glass, paintings and statuary



i guess i was a little obsessed with this vendor but there was so much creativity in his tiny space


i had an urge to leave with garden goodies, and maybe cause i just got a dog, fell in love with these.


but i had to be realistic about shipping this time, and sneaking these in with my carry-on was not gonna workIMG_5141

so instead we enjoyed the weather and ate like kings and queens


chatouchatou lunch

the food and desserts were gorgeous, but i was so busy eating that i didn’t get too many photos of the food


when we were fully nourished i vowed to stick with paper and ephemera starting with this old portable writing set, aka early laptop


these engravings were hand tinted, matted in gray and hung in coral frames


we found some of our own and decided to frame them at home


as both a book and handwriting lover i’m always looking for journals and ledgers. under a table was one from a boulangerie


and i couldn’t resist these artist sketchbooks from the 1800s


suffice it to say i wanted it all


puppet theater

French Books

i have a weakness for what the french call all things ‘gallant’, aka erotica to us, basically all things ‘boudoir’


even the silly postcardsIMG_5168

but as scarlet said, ‘tomorrow is another day’ and iit’s getting late. but before signing off, as promised, have hit the RaNdOm NuMbER Generator to give away the books from the last post. and the winners are Deborah McReynolds and Catherine. 

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if you can send me your addresses the books can go out next week when i get back. but if you didn’t win that one, we do have another, brought to you by richard nahem of i prefer paris. he’s a friend of mine living in paris and has started a monthly subscription of postcards featuring his beautiful shots around the city. the first month’s set is up for today’s giveaway so if you’re interested just say the word and we’ll do another drawing tomorrow. et alors, it’s time to shut it down, good night!



September 25, 2015. Tags: , , , , , . Antique Shopping, Chatou, Paris Flea Markets. 15 comments.

What to pack for Paris: Expectation vs. Reality



allo toute le monde, it’s been a real long time since posting last, the summer flew by and well, here i am heading back to paris tonight. it’s a quick trip with clients and I’ll be blogging from the markets so let me know if you’re looking for anything, i’ll be there till monday, staying at lorraine’s pied-à-terre in the marais. let me know if you’re interested in that too cause she rents it out and just did a makeover on it. i’ll take pics and blog about it if i get the chance.


in the meantime i’m doing my last minute packing. paris is a city of fashion and when it’s time to go makes you want to use your best stuff and be that girl (here’s where the expectation is way better than the reality). and since it’s been a summer of travel I’m on an austerity budget and want to use what i have.  it made me realize i’ve got what i need and didn’t spend much to get it.

google sesarch - what to wear in paris

i’m definitely not much of a clothes horse or label ho although i do love the workmanship and fabric of fine clothing. so after pulling up so many google images of pack lists that my head spun, i decided to make my own. the goal is traveling light and being ready for anything. my philosophy is ‘if you don’t have the dress, you won’t go to the ball” so here goes, what’s what and from where…

paris fall wardrobe

left to right and down, sorta:

Black velvet blazer by DKNY from Out of the Closet Thrift Shop

Black cashmere cardigan, J Crew

Navy sweater/shirt tail, J Crew

Black down vest, Calvin Klein, Marshalls

Navy silk dress, Tahari, TJ Maxx

Gray cashmere sweater, Tahari, TJ Maxx

Blue suede shoes by Gianvito Rossi, too small for Candy, a gift to me!

Black Nikes

Camel/gray/black jacket, Bloomie’s

Cashmere scarves, gray is calvin klein and the ivory is TPA

Black cashmere V sweater and Black tee, Helmut Lang,, Marshalls

RL travel set with blanet/eye mask/pillow, Xmas gift, thanks, Jean and Col!

3 jeans, Levis, Guess, Lucky

Black suede ankle boots, Adrienne Vittadini, TJ Maxx

Shoe bags/lingerie bag/nighty/socks

paris bags indian

bags from ethnic stores in paris


i fully expected to bring the muffin man but since i have clients, the reality is i’m afraid he’ll be too much of a distraction to bring this time. (i think he’s mad)…and of course since this is an expectation vs reality post, i have to include an ‘inspiration post’ of what i wish this one had turned into but that will be have to be another day when i have time to play on polyvore since i’m running out of time.  i’ll just use theirs as a cheat sheet and finish up:


finally in the spirit of the day, thought it would be a good time to offer two of my favorite books for a giveaway. both are by Jennifer Scott. the first is the original Madame Chic and her latest, At Home with Madame Chic.


If you’d like to be entered to win either of them, leave your name in the comments and we’ll draw on friday. Ok, i better get back at it, see you from the other side!

thanks for all the amazing comments, i do love and miss you all so much. here’s the all packed up pic a couple of you wanted to see. the bag is lucas and it’s lightweight, from tj maxx. packed up

September 23, 2015. Tags: , , . Fashion, Fleamarkets, Paris. 47 comments.

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