No language skills required!
You've got talent is a very successful TV show around the world. I though it might be fun to share with you an act that received rave reviews on the French series. Enjoy!
If you are looking for people watching at its best, then look no further than Kong.
Situated in central Paris, two steps from the Seine, rue de Rivoli and the magnificent La Samaritaine, Kong is the must visit restaurant/bar in town whether you are hungry for Sunday brunch, lunch, cocktails or dinner.
The panoramic views from the fully glassed walls, the refined (some may say quirky) contemporary artistic decor, the fabulous modern cuisine, carefully prepared cocktails, attentive service and chic hustle bustle around you - nothing disappoints.
Kong leapt to fame in 2003 when Sex and the City visited in the last famous - massively watched - last episode filmed in Paris. Since then, there have been renovations and the addition of the Terrasse Gallery designed by no other than Philippe Starck.
Not to disappoint, reservations are highly recommended.
Address : 1 rue du Pont neuf, 75001 Paris
Tel : +33 1 40 39 09 00
Fax: +33 1 40 39 09 10
Reservations for the restaurant are taken by phone only - and necessary
Valet Parking from 8 pm
Car Park Rivoli - Pont Neuf in front of the restaurant
Opening hours :
From Sunday to Thrusday from 12 pm to 4 pm and from 7 pm till 11.45 pm
Friday & Saturday from 12.15 pm till 4 pm and from 7 pm till 1 am
Brunch on Sunday
Everyday from 6 pm till 2 am
Friday & Saturday from 11 pm till 3 am
Christian Liaigre is one of France’s most iconic and prolific interior architects and designers. In my eyes, he is a real cut above his peers. His journey, to the pinnacle of his profession, has certainly been varied and diverse.
Christian was born and brought up in the west of France, not far from the Atlantic coast. His love of nature and natural materials stems from his childhood as he loved studying and drawing the sand, weather wood, tree bark and leather from the nearby stables.
So much so that he decided to refine his skills by first studying at the Paris Academy of Fine and Decoration Art, then teaching drawing at the Academy Charpentier. City life, at that time, was not for him though and he decided to return to his roots and he took over the running of his grandfather’s horse breeding stables.
His artistic creativity was never far though and the opportunity for him to develop his passion for design came 10 years later when La Maison Nobilis invited him to be their Artistic Director. This is a role he took on to great acclaim. Liaigre developed a furniture line for the company and was the first to launch interior perfumes.
An independent at heart, Christian started his own label and opened his first studio at 61 rue Varenne in the 7th in Paris in the 1980s. He has never looked back and now has offices across the globe.
Christian Liaigre designs private residences, yachts, hotels and restaurants of high profile individuals around the world. Yet, loyal to his roots, Christian’s signature is natural materials - linen, silk and cotton, saddle stitching on leather, wood as well as bronze and marble - all beautifully crafted and singing to the same contemporary tune of subtle opulence.
At 73 years of age, Christian is busier that ever.
You may recognise some of his work.
So many people have been talking to me recently about The Bouillon Chartier – more commonly known simply as Chartier – I thought I would write a few lines about it for you.
Chartier is an institution. The brasserie opened its doors over 100 years ago and is much the same today as it was then.
It opened to service the many workers in the neighbourhood who lived in small rooms or apartments with little or no cooking facilities. Chartier provided good, nourishing food for a very reasonable cost.
And not much has changed.
The décor is typical of early 20th century brasserie, lots of wood, brass and mirrors. The dining room is now heritage listed. Note the dumb waiters and rows of small drawers. These were originally for the regular patrons napkins. Rather than giving them clean napkins for every meal, they simply stored them in the nominated drawer and changed them weekly.
As for the menu, it really has not changed, it remains traditional and reasonable – a main course is around Euro10.
I always start with salade de carotte râpées, then have steak au poivre and finish with a mystère ice cream.
Be aware that you cannot make reservations and the queue for a table can be very long. Depending on how many you are, you may get a private table or you may have to share with others. You could make life long friends in the process!
I must have been to Chartier over 50 times, the atmosphere is always gay and lively and never disappoints.
7 Faubourg Montmatre, 75009
Metro: Grands Boulevard
Open 7 days a week
11h30am to midnight
No reservations taken
Sometimes you come across the work of someone and you just fall in love with it. Well, allow me to introduce you to Marc Antoine Coulon, the acclaimed French illustrator and artist. I fell in love with his work.
He has been drawing for as long as he can remember and his work has been seen in the world’s top publications, advertisements across the globe and in galleries and museum.
With the stroke – a magical stroke – of a brush, he succeeds in representing some of the most iconic figures of our times.
Here are just some of his portraits and fashion illustrations.
p.s. If you happen to come across any of his work at a trash and treasure - grab it!
Our podcast is now launched!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive it directly by email.
Our first episodes showcases one of my favourite shops in Paris - it is a secret no Parisienne would reveal.
Quick, don't miss out. Sign up now!
How iconic can a pair of shoes be?
Well you just have to look at the two tone shoes created by Coco Chanel to know.
Revolutionary when Coco launched them on the market 60 years ago, the concept has certainly lasted the test of time.
You have to understand that up until that time, shoes where monochrome. They simply matched whatever you were wearing. Coco wanted to bring out a shoe that was elegant, comfortable and durable. The two tone was born, beige and black, round slightly pointed toe, sling back with a 5cm block heel.
Women where going out and about a lot more, leading a more independent life - taking public transport, working even. The aim of her revolutionary shoe was to take you straight through from breakfast to lunch to dinner. Her idea with the black tip was to elongate your leg as well as camouflage any scuffs you may have made when running around town.
The two tone was an immediate hit.
From here, she teamed up with a renowned bookmaker Massaro and started to play around with the design. She introduced new colours - blue, maroon, gold - she elasticated the sling back, changed the height and shape of the heel and toe. She famously said, "All you need are four pairs of my shoes and you are set up!"
Since taking over as Design Director of Chanel in 1993, Karl Lagerfeld has continued the tradition. The icon is now available in more colours, flowers and padding have been added and is available in sneakers, ankle boots, espadrilles, ballerinas, thigh highs and more.
Now we can't call that 'fast fashion' can we?
When I first arrived in France ***** years ago (a long time ago!), I loved the names of everyone I met. They all sounded so grand. I had a friend called Marie Antoinette - and everyone actually called her Marie Antoinette. Another friend was Pierre Henri, who, yes you guessed it, was always called Pierre Henri. No-one ever used a diminutive. So after having been called Tricia all of my life, there was a new me 'Patricia'. I loved it.
I then noticed that the same names were used time and time again, perhaps just in a different sequence - Jean Pierre or Pierre Jean. There was not much variety.
There was in fact a reason for this. Up until the end of the 1960s, by law, the French could only choose the given names for their children from a fairly restricted list of saints names. Hence the lack of variety.
In 1963, the list was extended to allow regional names, foreign names, alternative spelling and diminutives. And it was only when a new law in 1993 came into practice that the French were given the freedom to choose the names they wanted.
So, whilst you still have some Marie Antoinettes and Pierre Henri there are also Violettes, Amber and Karim. Still quite traditional but loosening up a little.
As in all countries names go in and out of fashion and each year there is a list of the most popular. As you will see from the Top 20 names of 2015 below, times have changed.
Which are your preferred names?
Top 20 girl's names.
5. Inès / Ines
19. Adèle, Rose
Top 20 boy's names
20. Gabin, Maël
Not everyone seems happy about it!
Martell, the oldest of the great Cognac houses in the Charente region of France, is celebrating its tricentenaire this year.
Created in 1715 by the young 21 year-old Jean Martell from Jersey, the Martell house has maintained a standing of excellence and refinement from its beginnings to this day.
During the period of its creation France was under the rule of le Roi Soleil and already renowned across the continent for its art-de-vivre. Martell, with its respect for the nature, craftsmanship and the arts, fitted right in.
The house experienced rapid success across Europe at the highest echelons of society and in the mid 1800s crossed the oceans to the world – USA, Asia and Oceania. Martell’s reputation of refinement, culture and savoir-faire was second to none.
Working with the three core values of art-de-vivre – creativity, know-how and substance, Edouard Martell, the great grandson of Jean, created The Martell Cordon Bleu to rapturous applause. With the house continuing to be recognised not only for its respect of tradition but also for its innovation.
A strong patron of the arts, to celebrate its 300 year anniversary, Martell has published The Martell 300 list. A list of the 300 most innovative French nationals, living in France and around the world, in the areas of gastronomy, mixology, fashion and the arts.
The list was launched at a sumptuous gala dinner at Le Palais de Versailles followed by 300 local gala dinners around the world.
The list certainly showcases how France has successfully exported its art-de-vivre around the world. An interesting list. I would love to hear your comments and if there is anyone you feel should be add.
It is said, the pavements of Place Vendôme are paved with gold - not true (unfortunately).
The history behind this saying may be because Place Vendôme and the surrounding streets of rue de la Paix, rue Castiglione and rue St Honoré are home to the most prestigious jewellers in the world. Some names may be better known to you than others, such as Cartier, Chaumet, Chopard, Dior, Fred, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Mikimoto, Mouawad, Piaget, Buccellati, Harry Winston, Patek Philippe, Stern H, Mauboussin, Jaubalet. Each one of these 'Houses' is at the pinnacle of their trade and is a member of the very rare club of what is called 'High Jewellery'.
Some of the houses may also have their retail arm, which is already investment level jewellery, but the 'High Jewellery' is the jewels of dreams. Jewels made of the rarest, purest stones, crafted into masterpieces by the most skilled craftsmen who have mastered and perfected their trade over decades.
I love the jewels. Not because I am walking around in a tiara and dripping with precious gems but for all of the above - the quality, the beauty, the craftsmanship.
I always visit Place Vendôme when in Paris. There is, as would be expected, security around the shops and some may feel a little intimidated to go in. That is why I wanted to do this post for you. For one thing, to give you some eye candy and secondly to let you know that Chaumet, one of the jewellers on the Place has a pop-up museum in their store with an exhibition called Promenade Bucolic retracing the company's history until January 30th, 2016. A must visit in my book.
I would love to know which piece below you prefer - and if you get to the exhibition.
Very well travelled, Tricia has spent many years in the Tourism Industry and in France, and is perfectly placed to guide you on your own French journey into lifestyle, fashion and more...Stay tuned!