Tag Archives: roses

Paris

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here.  Even though it’s late in the three o’clock hour and I have a 5:30 wake-up call for a early high-speed train to Marseille.  With all the passport drama I began to lose faith that I’d never get here.

I love love love Paris.  We are staying at Hotel Verneuil in Saint Germain des Prés, which is a lovely little place, though I’m convinced we got the smallest (/least desirable) room (the only one on the ground floor).  Still it’s charming and has a really great shower.  And tripping around the bed, which takes up most of the room, sort of reminds me of staying in a really expensive hotel room in lower Manhattan–you know the kind–practically $500/night and the only place to be is on the bed?  Like I said, for one night, c’est trés amusant non?  Anyway…

[also to the hotel’s credit, the service is impeccable.  To answer the mighty question of tripadvisor.com, yes, I would recommend this hotel to my best friend]

But the best part about Hotel Verneuil is the fact that it is right around the corner from one of my favorite florists in Paris, Olivier Pitou.  I couldn’t believe it when I walked out the door and found it right there.  It is a beautiful place to visit.  This time they had out of this world peonies of course, but also hydrangea that I couldn’t believe–like nothing I’ve seen in the States.  The roses weren’t necessarily designated “garden” roses, but they all smelled beautiful–like real roses!–not like the farmed scentless variety you find even at the most beautiful florists stateside.

red peonies

sarah bernhardt

Above you can see some of the most wild hydrangeas in the upper left-hand corner–bright pink and green!  I actually though they were silk…and of course luscious Sarah Bernhardt peonies in the foreground.

roses

arrangement

I love this little arrangement with the mint leaves emerging from between the roses.  The little store was a cool reprieve from the street affected as much by air conditioning as the scent of mint from a huge urn filled with it in the front of the space.  mmm…

After a visit to Olivier Pitou we walked, and walked, and walked.  First across the Sienne, through the Jardin des Tuileries (stopping for iced coffee), along Rue St. Honore, past the Louvre, up Boulevard de Sebastepol (little seedy, not my favorite), and up to the 10th to visit some friends in their new office.  By five thirty I was having a hunger crisis and we’d logged 6 miles on the new pedometer (thank you Brookstone Logan Airport).  We cabbed it to the Ile St. Louis knowing for sure it would be a welcome reprieve.

My mother lived on Ile St. Louis for years as a young adult.  This tiny little island on the Sienne was her home, with its charming narrow street running from one end to the other and of course the original Berthillon.  The charm is still there, one hundred percent, though the real estate has skyrocketted since those bohemian days in the late sixties and early seventies.  Ile St. Louis is a super chic place for an apartment, but the tourists traipsing over from Notre Dame keep it down to earth.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Brasserie de L’Ile St. Louis, which has been on the island as long as anyone living can remember.  It is the perfect, perfect place to sit, relax, watch the world of Paris stream by in front of you, but without the noise and congestion of so many of the city cafés.

ile st

st

watching the sun get low with a little glass of Chablis

lardons

frisée aux lardons

leeks

leeks

au poivre

steak au poivre

Not pictured here is my husband’s favorite–the cassoulet.  I thought it was crazy to order cassoulet on such a hot day, but he did, and it was delicious as always (though I have to admit to preferring eating it inside the old brasserie on a chilly evening).  But it was worth it–the cassoulet really is excellent here.

Off for a nap till Gare de Lyon in a few hours, then onto Provence.  Vive la France!

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Roses from my garden

straight on

buds

for a friend’s birthday

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My Table, Friday May 29, 2009

A story in pictures, and a few words.

lunch

bread

Acme Bread Company Baguette

fleur verte

From left: Harley Farms (Pescadero, California) “Monet:” goat cheese with a layer of Herbs de Provence and decorated with edible flowers, the infamous Fleur Verte: goat cheese coated with dried thyme, tarragon, and crushed pink peppercorns, and Fresco Italia’s Quattro Stagioni soft cow’s milk round with edible flower

txacolian close

Some readers might remember my adoration for txacolina, a mineral-rich white wine from the Basque region of Spain.  Urki’s Getariako Txakolina is a new discovery from Paul Marcus.  It is a beautiful experience.  The cork smelled of vanilla and flowers, and the txacolina was crisp and dry as expected, and citrus-y too, yet gentle (perhaps gentler than the Xarmant Txakolina), effervescent, but without any sour bite.  

bubbles

The light bubbles as seen through William Yeoward’s Pearl goblet

empty

Et fin!

All photographs taken with the Canon Powershot G10, an amazing camera I borrowed from I.  Highly recommended.  It makes everything and everyone look beautiful. 

New linen placemats and napkins with hummingbird pattern from my mother.  Towle “Old Lace” silver.  Mottahedeh plats with raised swan design.  Laguiole cheese knife.  Roses from my garden.

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arrangement21

Roses, ranunculus, flowering sage, unknown branches (wegnia?)

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More Spring Awakening

Spending the first evening of day light savings time gardening already payed off!  Or, more likely, last year’s efforts.  Here is an old, old, OLD, rose that I thought about taking out of the front garden because it was so sickly and dead, and because it produced strangely mottled-colored roses last year (that ranged from pale yellow to pale pink, not in a good way):

rosesyellow

Look at all those buds!  I see seven just in this weird-angle shot.  In spite of the one mildewed trio of leaves I missed when I was pruning on Sunday, most of the foliage is the deep bright green of new growth.  The red tint is still there when the buds emerge, but the roses are a much more robust, healthy dark yellow than they have ever been.  And so many already!  I’m so excited the rose garden will be in bloom again soon.  Nothing is better than harvesting your own materials for casual posies around the home.

roses1

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