Category Archives: Tuileries

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Paris has been much on my mind the last few days, probably because of the senseless tragedies that continue to be inflicted upon Europe. While missing Paris, I am also reminded that this time of year can be difficult there. You are sooooooo ready for spring (which according to Instagram has arrived in just about every other place in the world), and yet there you are, still wearing your tired sweaters and boots and hating them. It was also difficult to be so far away from home on Easter, and so I’m extra happy to be home to celebrate Easter with family this year. I’m making jambalaya for our Easter feast, because I am ready to swap out the ham tradition (never been a big ham fan, myself) and I think jambalaya could be up to the task of supplanting the pig in the middle of the table. I hope so, anyway.

So shall we lose ourselves in some Paris for a few minutes?


See- don’t they look cold under that stunning tree?



Yep- there was a reason those chairs were empty on April 4.


Eventually the lighter scarves come out again!

Eventually the lighter scarves come out again!




Ridonculous ranunculus.

Ridonculous ranunculus.





OK. Enough of that. Don’t we all have grocery lists to make? Eggs to stuff? Jelly beans to eat*?

I know I do. Can’t wait to see myimage

*Just reminded me of the time one of my precious kids all dressed in Easter finery took my hand, opened it up, and spit a sticky mass of half-chewed black jelly bean pulp in my palm. I totally understood the impulse but ick.

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Filed under flowers, France, Parc Monceau, Paris, springtime in Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized

Sunset In Paris

One of my favorite parts of summer in Paris is the lingering daylight. Even though it really messes with my sleep patterns, I love how it stays light here now until 10:00. Paris is beautiful in any light, but there is something magical about the glow from the waning sun.

Mark was out of town on Monday night and I ventured out to the Pont des Arts (which has now re-opened with the temporary panels) to watch the sun set from the Seine.

The inside panels of the bridge have been decorated by several different street artists. As you can imagine, not everyone approves.



of course the graffiti has already begun

I kind of like the melting locks

I kind of like the melting locks

The Pont Neuf was particularly lovely in the changing light.





As you can see, the little park at the tip of the island is not only a favorite picnic spot, it also is popular with the sunset crowd. Not that you can’t do both simultaneously.



I loved the numbers on this  bouquiniste  box.

I loved the numbers on this bouquiniste box.

The buildings turn toasty gold in the setting sun.



Now facing west from the other side of the Pont des Arts, toward the Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower.






I crossed back over the river at the Tuileries, which was trying to close for the night.


looking to the other side of the Tuileries at the Louvre

Looking straight down the middle of the Tuileries, as the obelisk slices through the Arc de Triomph.

Looking straight down the middle of the Tuileries, as the obelisk slices through the Arc de Triomph.


Finally, I strolled up Rue Rivoli to catch the metro home.



I was tired and a little chilly, as I had neglected to bring a sweater, but pleased to have seen the show.


C’est fini.

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Filed under Eiffel Tower, Isle de la Cite, love locks, Musee d'Orsay, Paris, Paris sunsets, Seine, Tuileries

That Day I Drank Champagne In The Morning And Dined In The Orangerie At Night

Bonjour from Houston, where it is currently colder than it is in Paris! My days at home are quickly winding down, as we fly back to Paris on Sunday. These three weeks have flown by quickly and have been too much the boring stuff of real life- car maintenance, doctor appointments, etc. I think this is the first time that I don’t quite feel ready to return to Paris, not having had my fill of friends, family, and Texas Hill Country. But alas, this is the life I have been given. So I will board that Air France jet on Sunday and I predict that by the time we drive by that amazing view of Sacre Coeur from the airport, I will be “all in” for Paris once again. I will definitely be excited to hug my mom and niece when they arrive at our apartment an hour after we do. Another Spring Break in Paris- where there are no umbrellas in the drinks but there are umbrellas everywhere else. Yippee!

Shortly before we left Paris I had the most amazing day. It started out like this.


An early morning with snow flakes the size of dinner plates! The snow stopped by the time my group and I boarded our small bus and headed for Reims, home of the The Bubbly.

Our destination was the Ruinart champagne house, which was established in 1729, making it the oldest of the champagne houses. Now owned by the LVMH conglomerate, Ruinart has a much smaller production than other LVMH houses like Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, and Moet & Chandon. Ruinart has just recently entered the American market, albeit discreetly. Look for it in select restaurants and specialty wine shops. After visiting and tasting Ruinart, I know I will be on the hunt for it. It was delicious.

The Ruinart house sits above an elaborate series of caves dug by the Romans in the 4th century A.D. The Romans wanted the chalk found down there to build their homes. That same chalk in the cave walls is ideal for storing champagne. The temperature remains at 53 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. The chalk is sponge-like and soaks up moisture, keeping the chambers at a constant 88 percent humidity. Additionally, there isn’t much light or vibration going on down there. Perfect, as it would turn out, for storing those elegant bottles of bubbly goodness that I have grown to love so much.





Lets descend to the old chalk caves, excavated by the Romans to build their homes.






looking up

looking up




After our very interesting tour, we rode the elevator back up and enjoyed a lovely tasting.



Hey Handsome....

Hey Handsome….

Our guide was excited to tell us that scenes from the upcoming film “The Widow Clicquot” will be shot in the beautiful caves of Ruinart. I plan to read the book  and will look forward to seeing the movie when it’s released.

We were treated to a very nice lunch after the tasting, which helped all of us to doze on our ride back to Paris. The nap was much-needed, because our day was not yet complete. That night we had the fabulous opportunity to experience the Orangerie Museum all to ourselves.

Located in the Tuileries gardens, the Orangerie is a small art gallery best known for housing the much-beloved Water Lily panels by Monet.  I have toured this gem many times, and although the water lilies are pretty fine, my favorite part of the museum is its collection of early twentieth century paintings. Never did I dream that I would have a private tour of the gallery, followed by  a lovely candle-lit dinner in its foyer. But guess what? I did!




I hope that man doesn’t block my view of any of these paintings.




love these gals


Yep- all in all that was a pretty good day.

I guess I am kind of looking forward to getting back, now that I think about it. Champagne in the morning and Monet at night- who could complain about that?

I’ll be broadcasting from Paris next week- same Bat channel, same Bat time. Bring your own bubbly.


Filed under art, champagne, Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris, Tuileries

Too Busy To Blog!

The great thing about having family and friends visit is that we are always out seeing and doing and eating and sharing the joy of Paris. The bad thing about having guests is that I don’t have time to spend at the computer, downloading pics and describing our adventures. I had intended to write a post tonight, but it’s now 10:00 and I have packing left to do before our early morning departure for San Sebastian, Spain. I hope to find a few quiet hours while I am away to get caught up, but here are some photos of Paris from the last couple of weeks. It has been very hot, very pleasant, sunny, and rainy, sometimes from one hour to the next. We got our there and sweated with the best of them, although I do confess to drifting off into fantasies of mountains of crushed ice from Sonic. Not much ice and not much air conditioning- the perils of heat waves in Paris. Fortunately, they do not usually last long.

beautiful flowers in the Tuileries

beautiful flowers in the Tuileries

goats grazing in the Tuileries- first time I ever saw that

goats grazing in the Tuileries- first time I ever saw that






boat ride sunset

boat ride sunset

cute girls on the back of the boat

cute girls on the back of the boat

Assemblie Nationale all lit up

Assemblie Nationale all lit up

and of course….

and of course….

I hope to be back on track with regular posts soon.

But for now—vamos a la playa!!!

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Filed under Eiffel Tower, family, flowers, gardens, Grand Palais, Paris, Paris sunsets, Seine, Spain, travel, Tuileries

The 14th of July- Bastille Day

I was thrilled to be in Paris on the 14th of July, which we Americans call “Bastille Day”. To make the celebration even more memorable, my sister and her family were here, too. We watched a little of the parade on the Champs Elysees, strolled the Tuileries (including the carnival- whoop!), make a quick spin in the Louvre (saw the Mona Lisa and used the bathroom), walked on the river bank and then watched the fireworks at 11:00 pm. Did I mention that we were pretty tired when we went to bed that night?

I walked up to the Champs Elysees at 9:30 AM, hoping to snag a view of open sky for the fly overs. I stood at a traffic circle that I thought would be directly below the flight path. I also had a small window of parade view. Sadly, the planes flew directly over the trees I was standing beneath, and I saw nothing at all of them. Mark, however, walked to the parade after it had started and got some great pics. Go figure.


my view

this guy right above me had a better view

this guy right above me had a better view








It’s a rare day when you can walk down the middle of the Champs Elysees with no cars to dodge.


my sister and her family

my sister and her family

carnival at the Tuileries

carnival at the Tuileries

a cloud of cotton candy for my niece

a cloud of cotton candy for my niece

I never miss the ferris wheel when it appears in the Tuileries.





That evening we took a walk on the Seine before going to watch the fireworks.




Some good friends invited our entire motley crew to watch the fireworks from their apartment balcony. It was a good place to be.

Paris is always a good idea. But particularly on the 14th of July!


Filed under Bastille Day, Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, family, Paris, Tuileries

Seasonal Cooking in Paris (but what season is this?)

A dreary and wet day at the Tuileries today

A dreary and wet day at the Tuileries today

Spring has made a come-back in Paris this week in a very wet and chilly way. Yesterday was an unusual day of almost constant rain, some of it heavy. I actually had to close windows because the apartment was too cold, this less than a week after I was sweating profusely in a grocery store on the Champs Élysées. My sister has understandably been in a tizzy about what to pack for her family of 5, who are boarding a plane for Paris any minute now. I have a thousand things to do in preparation for their much-anticipated visit, but I thought I should get a short post out while I have peace and quiet.

The Paris markets look like summer, despite the current crazy weather.

Early this week I made David Lebovitz’s French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts. The recipe is from his new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, which I adore but was not able to lug with me from Houston. Happily, the recipe appeared in my inbox courtesy of Splendid Table, and I bookmarked it and made it toute de suite. It’s delicious and keeps very well, which is a good thing because it’s a large portion and we are only two. I omitted the goat cheese because Mark is not a fan of the goat, but I added it to my plates and found it added a nice tang.



those are just water droplets on the counter, I swear

Tuesday’s trip to the Marché d’ Aligre provided these lovelies:


I have always admired these gorgeous pink, speckled beans. I think they are borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans. When out of their flashy pink jackets, they look like this.


Unfortunately these babies lose their ruby tinges when cooked, turning rather drab and grey. I mixed mine with pearl barley and lots of fresh sage and garlic, using a recipe from another beloved and new cookbook, The French Market. I don’t have a picture of the finished dish because it is more tasty than it is photogenic. You know how that goes.

Cherries have been everywhere in the market, and were really inexpensive at Aligre. I pitted 6 cups of them and cooked them in apple juice, sugar, and lemon, as David Lebovitz directed me. They are delicious on ice cream or as a topping for other desserts. Like the peach crisp I made with drippy and sweet peaches. Oh yes I did.


I gave a jar of those cherries to the concierge of our building, because it’s always a good idea to take sweets to people who do helpful things for you, like speaking  French v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y so that you have a fighting chance of understanding. I wish I knew more people like that. Maybe I should buy some more cherries. But next time I will know to pit them in the shower. Those suckers spray juice everywhere!

As Paula Deen used to say, “I’m sending you love and best dishes, from my kitchen to yours.” You did read that with a big southern drawl, didn’t you?

If you see my sister, tell her to pack some umbrellas.



Filed under cooking, food markets, Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized

Happy To Be Back In Paris

I love how the light fixtures kind of look like hearts!

I love how the light fixtures kind of look like hearts!

Bonjour y’all! We have finally made it back to Paris, and I know you all are as happy about that as I am. The skies have been sunny for the most part, and have warmed us up nicely in the afternoons. I am still adjusting to the time zone, but have managed to stay awake all day. I made a visit to the Wilson Market early this morning and was happy to find the last of the green peas and some very nice rhubarb, which I have already whipped up into a crumble. Just the rhubarb, of course- the peas will be steamed with a little (or a lot) of butter and a dash of sea salt. So glad it’s almost dinner time.





Yesterday when I awoke from my deep post-flight nap, I made myself take a long walk in the sunshine. I walked to the river and then along the newly developed river bank, and then back home through the Tuileries. I snapped these pics as I went, so that you, too, could enjoy my first walk back in Paris.


Quick aside- Mark and I went back to the river bank last night after dinner and it looked like this:



Finding a table at a cafe was out of the question, so we stood in line for a drink and then perched on the curb and watched the masses go by. Some were in high heels, some were attempting to jog through the crowd, and a few brave souls were even on bikes.

Back to my afternoon walk-




tether ball with paddles?

I crossed back over the river at the Musee d’Orsay bridge. Before leaving, I took this short video of the scene on the Seine, because I found it so charming. I regret not getting more of the musicians, because they were wonderful. I hope to find them there again.

I love this temporary “gallery” of famous people whose photos were taken on the Seine.


Paul and Joanne!

Paul and Joanne!

I did finally make it over the bridge and into the Tuileries, where a carnival was set up on the Rivoli side.


I was impressed that stands were already being set up for Bastille Day. These were at Place de la Concorde, facing the Champs Elysees.


Mark asked if I would mind sitting there for the next few weeks to save our seats. Somehow I don’t think we would qualify for those prime viewing spots.

So that’s pretty much what my first two days have been. Our first visitors arrive tonight, so I have some housework to do today. I probably will not take photos of that.  You will just have to use your imaginations.

Au revoir!



Filed under food markets, gardens, Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized