Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Where's Bear?

You guessed right. Bear and I escaped on Sunday to Mont Saint Michel for an overnight break.
We've been wanting to go all winter. After reading David Lebovitz' omelette experience that was it. We booked ASAP and took the train from gare Montparnasse to Dol-de-Bretagne, a tiny town 30 minutes bus ride away. The driver kept pointing out MSM as soon as it appeared on the horizon. Everyone was shooting and craining their necks for a look. We were in the front row so natch we had ringside views.
This is low season so the throngs were managable and we got a reasonably price at La Terrasse de la Mere Poulard.
La Mere Poulard is the first thing you see coming through the archway on Grande Rue.
I was starving and headed to lunch immediately. A big kitchen is open for all to come and gawp. You don't have to eat there but I was glad I did.
These guys are beating eggs up a storm, rat-a-tat-tat. They keep a distinct rhythm going while staying completely straight-faced.
Egg pans heat up in the fire. Gobs of butter are thrown in and poured from one pan to the next.
Et voila! If this is a 3-egg omelette then they are using ostrich eggs in my opinion. I've never tasted anything like it except maybe a fluffy soufflé. The plain 'traditional' omelette and mine with smoked salmon and roasted potatoes on the side are the same price - 34€
Post-lunch I was in no shape to climb up all those stone steps to the Abbey. I made it as far as the small church and then turned back.
No matter where you go views are spectacular on the island of Mont Saint Michel.
Its a small climb up to the ramparts surrounding the town and worth it.
Just look up and gasp.
Plenty of Normandy snacks to buy like caramels
And those divine butter cookies. la Mere Poulard has a nice shop in Paris at 19, boulevard d'Opera. I checked it out before going looking for I don't know exactly what, but I noticed prices were lower than in their MSM shop! More selection too. Qui sait?
Bear was getting hungry around evening so we stopped in a simple brasserie called Les Terrasses(?) along the ramparts. The mussels, called Bouchot, are the same you get in Paris from the bay around the Abbey. I thought they tasted much better onsite. 13€ for this filling marmite.
MSM is like Venice. Part of the fun is experiencing the medieval town once day-trippers go home.
I tried to capture a night shot but my iPad wasn't up to it. Simply spectacular to see.
Back in my room time to paint watercolors.
Mont Saint Michel is so iconic, you get carried away and feel you can paint it any color you like and I did, even dreamy purples. If you enjoyed this post and want to support it, buy Paris letters, maps and Mont Saint Michel watercolors (there are 8 watercolors up on Etsy) or forward to a friend. Cheers!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Expo Jardins, Grand Palais

A new, enormous exposition, Jardins has opened at the Grand Palais, on till July 24th. A giant gold flowerpot sits in the waterfountain. To quote the notes, Jardins is a modest attempt to echo the words of Foucault, "The garden is the smallest part of the world and the whole world at the same time". Its essential definition: an enclosure, a delimited area within a territory, an orchestrated area that is a window to the world. 
Two floors of historic and current artworks (mostly French though this fresco is Pompeian), videos, paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, environments with sound and smell, photography, scrapbooks.

A detail of Cezanne's flower pots.

My favorite were these grand landscape overviews of chateaux with tiny red-coated gardeners at work in the foreground.
Another with rustic workers in the foreground while aristocrats romp in the manicured gardens.
All manner of garden tools for manicuring those gardens, beautiful objects in their own right.
Rooms are darkened so works act as windows where you can escape into a garden.
Even humorous old bits of film.
The elegiac garden photographs of Eugene Atget.
Karl Blossfeldt's unigue plant photography.

Of course books of exquisite botanical illustrations.
Contrast with wild Matisse paper cutouts filling an entire wall.
Monet's Sunday afternoon garden party
Samples of earth colors.
Paris earth along the Seine is not yet fully green but Parisiens don't mind a bit. I dug up some of my first Springy Paris letters. Do check out the Newest Anniversary special set and other Paris maps and watercolors on Etsy. I hope the snow melts quickly for those of you house-bound.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The New Paris, March patisserie map, an anniversary Special set!

I was going to do fromageries for March. Then a PBer requested patisseries svp. Bonne idee! I consulted Lindsey Tramuta's list of 'new sweets' in her THE NEW PARIS for an update.
It comes out April 18, but you can order it toute suite. It will be the new Must-Have source of Paris info.
With stunning photos by Charissa Fay.
I learned a lot doing pastry research. L'Eclair de Genie now has mini eclairs(3€). Just a yum too.
Have you heard about Karamel in the 7eme?
A plethora of caramelized goodies. These innocent-looking poached pears are plum full of molten caramel. I saw pictures on google...
A glorious looking caramelized eclair was calling my name.
But I went for this mini trio with a citron meringue tarte sneaking in on the left.
Fou de Patisserie on 45, rue Montorgueil, 75002 is the place to view and choose something from all of Paris' top patissieres. And now you can munch on their tiny terrasse.
Gilles Marchal, Cyril Lignac, Hermé etc. Not easy to choose.
Just accross the street at No.30, Les Artizans is a bistro-combo patissierie.
Outstandingly gorgouse pastries in my opinion. What do you think?
Rue Montorgueil is def a good destination to try new places.
Cafe Pouchkinette has opened one of the pretties tea salons in Paris just 3 months ago
We might be feeling iffy about the Russkies these days but their pastries are exquisite.
Cyril Lignac's Chocolaterie is both cafe and patisserie on 25, rue Chanzy.
And they have cocolate marshmellow bears! That's what I've been up to, between hanging out in museums and gawping at Chanel show-goers. There's a new Special anniversary pair on Etsy - the patisserie map and pastry watercolor letter come as a set for a limited time! 
Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you like this post and want to support it, buy the new Paris letter, map and watercolors or forward to a friend.
Bon week-End!