Spring Book Giveaway

Two are better than one: I am offering readers a chance to win a personally-signed paperback book (in English) :  your choice of either:

“Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France” (original cover)

OR

“Sun, Sea & Savoir-Faire – A Travel Focus”

Just enter a comment below, stating which paperback you would like to have and why.  Two winners’ names (one winner for each book) will be drawn randomly on April 1st & Non, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke  (Poisson d’Avril)!

Bonne chance!

CONGRATULATIONS/FELICITATIONS TO

ANNE MARIE & SHANNON MARIE

(from a random drawing on April 1st)

amazon coverpaperback cover SSS

Each book’s trailer video can be viewed by clicking on the sidebar corresponding book cover image & reviews can be read on Amazon.

Renoir – An art exhibit en famille

It was a warm, sunny day in Nice, after having had so much rain, so I decided to visit Place Garibaldi in Nice before heading to a vernissage in the port area. The square is famous for its number of trompe l’oeil frescoes, which are truly amazing – can you tell the difference?

Pl. Grimaldi

Place Grimaldi

I had an invitation to attend a “vernissage,” hosted by the artist, none other than Monsieur Jacques Renoir, the great grandson of the famous painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (museum link).

invitation

In speaking with Monsieur Renoir, I noticed his soft-spoken and gentle demeanor – notably humble for having such a historically-famous relative – I couldn’t help wondering what that felt like.

Jacques Renoir

I noticed a couple of his Americanized works of art, with his use of Budweiser labels and Nevada license plates, as well as the 3D effects that played tricks on the eye in his other pieces – curiously, not unlike the building façades I had just viewed.

Budweiser collage

buffet

The event was well attended, and Monsieur Renoir was a gracious host.

His great grand-father is quoted as saying: “The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself, carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion; it is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.”

Merci bien to both Messieurs RENOIR!

Charlotte – A Nice Restaurant

Situated on rue d’Antibes Alberti in Nice, this is a charming restaurant where I had lunch with a friend who has eaten their many times. The carnaval was taking place on the Promenade and in Place Massena, as we meandered to avoid crowded and barricaded streets.

We ended up on rue d’Antibes, as I followed his lead, passing a shop that had a carnavalesque entryway in keeping with the festivities. I had worked near this neighborhood but, surprisingly, had never heard of the restaurant, named Charlotte – It had recently changed hands, and I was excited to try it out.

There was a fixed menu of either three or two courses, with a variety of choices to choose from – the risotto with blue cheese & walnuts and topped with bacon was uniquely delicious, as were the other courses. The coffee and after-dinner macaroons were served in/on beautiful porcelain, adding to the charming ambiance of this cozy place. Definitely worth remembering for a followup visit!

Cooking Classes in Monaco

It’s hardly a secret that I am a less-than-enthusiastic cook, but I do try to keep learning and even took a cooking class with a Michelin-star chef.

If you would like to try your hand at hands-on cooking in a luxurious environment, classes are offered at both the Hotel de Paris and at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco.

One cooking class starts in the afternoon (link in English) and the other begins in the morning (link in English), providing schedules that should delight everyone’s ‘taste’!

After the class, you will enjoy a gastronomic meal from the fruits of your labor – bien sûr, created by top notch chefs.  Time spent in their kitchens would indeed be a gourmet “authentic cooking experience”!

Bon Appétit!

LouisXV-AlainDucasse_Coquilles-Saint-Jacques-de-Normandie-dorées-au-sautoir-pulpe-de-laitue-et-de-cresson-de-fontaine Photos courtesy of official Hôtel de Paris website

Tourrettes-sur-Loup & Les Violettes

The medieval town of Tourrettes-sur-Loup is known as the “City of Violets.”  The city celebrates the end of the flower harvest in March, with the “Fete de la Violette,” an event that was started by Victor Linton, a jeweller who came to the village in 1947.   The “Victoria” violet, characterized its five petals, long stem, and deep violet color, is a fragrant, winter flower used to make ice cream, jam, candy, beauty products, perfume, cosmetics, & more.  The leaves are cultivated later to make the essence used in many famous perfumes.

Food stalls and violet-themed products were front and center with crowds mingling throughout the town’s cobblestone streets and enjoying the weekend festival – taking time to smell the roses violets!

violets

Language Lundi #1

On any given Monday, I will post French language exercises of various levels, to help you improve your language learning – bonne chance & stay tuned!

C’est en forgeant qu’on devient forgeron! (Practice makes perfect)

Unscramble the letters to find four verbs:

eanhrtc

sadrne

rotirs

laclieciru

(all answers below)

crossword 2-24-14

Credit: LivingFrance

Answers:

Verbs: chanter, danser, sortir, accueillir

Crossword:

Across: 1-sourd; 4-obeir; 7-geste; 11-taupes; 13-litteraire; 14-essence; 15-magasin; 16-deja; 18-etes; 19-herbace; 21-athee; 22-belge; 24-pluie; 28-sentier; 29-haïr; 30-vent; 32-dejeune; 34-disparu; 36-toutlememe; 37-rasoir; 38-etant; 39-fumer; 40-annee

Down: 2-orage; 3-repassage; 5-bellemere; 6-intime; 8-epais; 9-tyran; 10-peigner; 12-singes; 17-entre; 20-chien; 23-grandpere; 25-livraison; 26-mesurer; 27-briser; 31- devenu; 32-droit; 33-jeton; 35-utile