Sunday lunch at the French country side

After a exhausting week at work we hopped into a train at gare St Lazare and headed to Vernon to visit friends. These friends live in cute small village 70km from Paris where they are renovating their old family home. 

I admire this new generation of people who are leaving the hectic city life and choosing to live more close to nature and learning to do and build things themselves. After a certain number of years living in Paris, spending hours in crowded metro, being careful of pick pockets and raging lunatics a switch to more sustainable lifestyle becomes very appealing. 

At Sunday we had a delicious lunch and we ate a Salade Périgourdine with raspberry vinaigrette. So delicious! 





Onpas mukava viikonloppu takana ystävien luona maalla. Hyppäsimme junaan lauantai iltana mun töiden jälkeen ja pääsimme illalla heidän omin käsin rakentamaansa saunaan saunomaan ja sunnuntaina söimme kiireettömän herkkulounaan pitkän kävelyretken jälkeen. 

Tällainen elämäntyyli kyllä kiehtoo, monien Pariisin vuosien jälkeen. Ihailen tätä uutta sukupolvea, jotka ovat valmiita jättämään kaupunkilaiselämän taakseen ja opettelemaan uusia taitoja nikkaroinnista kasvien kasvatukseen tavoitteena jonkin asteinen omavaraisuus. Mielenkiintoista ja rohkeaa!


WE LOVE GREEN music festival in Paris

Last Sunday B and I went to Bois de Vincennes, where was held the We Love Green music festival. Cool line up, great eco conscious concept and the food..! The day passed very quickly.

When couple of months ago I saw the artists coming to We Love Green, I didn’t think twice. Air and PJ Harvey, both on a same day, and that day was Sunday (my day off). The tickets cost about 40 Euros so not bad at all. Also the whole event was a only a few metro stops away from us so basically we could have even walked over there if we had to.

First thing we did when we got in the festival area we charged a cashless card for ourselves. There were no cash circulating in the festival area (with few exceptions) and it was quite handy. Then we headed to see all the food stands and made a plan for the day. Besides food and drink they also got stands promoting eco friendly lifestyle and panel discussions on various themes. How mind blowing is that for a music festival!?!

The whole event felt very well organized and all the details were thought through. Even the toilets were eco conscious wooden dry toilets and you went in with a cup of wood chips to flush! Very interesting and relevant information about music festival isn’t it…

I made this little video to share our day with you, enjoy!

Wood and roses

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The weather has been really crazy these past days in Paris. Last week I went for a walk in Palais Royal and it was quite nice and summery… until it rained again.

Palais Royal is quite the basic tourist attraction in Paris but since I live here I don’t go there that often. Well I should! It so peaceful and beautiful and now they have two exhibitions going on. One with roses and another with wooden sculptures.

 

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The exhibition L’homme debout of  wooden sculptures were made of recycled materials by a Korean artist Chung Hyun. It’s still going on until the 12th of june.

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The roses are presented in jars and they come from the national park of Saint-Cloud just outside of Paris. It started 19th May and it will end the 5th of June and there are 80 different variety of roses in the garden. So short lasting but beautiful!

Among the exhibitions there are french men playing petanque and older ladies walking their little dogs, this is also a must see if you are a tourist in Paris!

The historical frame is perfect for rough and minimalist sculptures and delicate roses. The Palais Royale itself is so impressive and there are so many shops and cafés to discover under the arcades. Next time!

 

Domaine National du Palais Royale 

8 rue de Montpensier,

Paris

 

Gainsbourg in photographs 

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Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin on the walls of La Galerie de L’Instant in Marais

Enigmatic, inspiring, fashionable and so very relevant persona in French pop culture, Serge Gainsbourg, is the subject of the photographer Tony Franck. La Galerie de L’Instant is exposing a series of photos of Serge Gainsbourg until June 22nd. This little gallery is not at all standoffish or intimidating but just the opposite very intriguing and welcoming. I would say that anyone looking a very special gift or a souvenir from Paris should have a look because the prices were quite affordable. And for people like me who are putting their money to train and plane tickets they also sell postcards!

La Galerie de L’Instant 

46, Rue De Poitou

Paris 75003

Picasso Museum in Paris

Pablo Picasso. If someone got it, he did! One of my favorite artists and a very interesting persona. After many years of renovation the Paris museum opened again a couple of months ago. I have wanted to go for many times but last this Saturday, during the European Museum Night, I finally got the chance. It’s only 5 minutes with the metro from my house and because it was the museum NIGHT (no excuses about the opening hours and my work hours being not compatible) I got myself together, left the house and went to see if the line wasn’t too long. And it wasn’t!

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The building is just beautiful. I could go just for admiring the architecture. But of course it’s the work of Picasso that we go there. Classics and rare pieces, pictures and videos; it’s a real treat for any Picasso lover. They also host exhibitions and at the moment it’s the Miquel Barcelo ceramic sculptures that they have. It suits perfectly the space (also some pieces are in garden) and I discovered a new artist that I didn’t know!



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Musée Picasso Paris 

5 rue Thorigny 

75003 Paris

Salon des vins des Vignerons Indépendents, world’s biggest wine fair in Paris

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If you are in Paris this week-end I warmly recommend a visit to this wine fair. Not only it’s a very nice way to spend a day off, sipping wine and getting to know french viticulture but also you can make good deals when purchasing wine directly from the producer. I also love the fact that I actually know what I’m buying because I could taste the wine while the producer explains the characteristics of the product. And isn’t it nice to open a wine that has some kind of story behind and not just some random bottle you picked up from a supermarket?

I also like the values behind the label Vigneron Indépendant. Respecting the traditions, an independent wine maker does practically everything himself; he cultivates and harvests his wine yard and bottles his wine in is own wine cellar before selling it. I can’t imagine all the hard work behind it all. I think next time grabbing a bottle from my supermarket I will pay extra attention to choose a wine with the label Vigneron Indépendant!

Salon des vins des Vignerons Indépendants

from 27th November until 1st of December at Paris Expo in Porte Versailles

One day in Lille

I had a Saturday off (very rare) and was looking for train tickets to go to my second home in Brussels. 2 weeks in advance and the rates were high (around 80 Euros). After having a look in Google maps I suggested that my boyfriend B would come to meet me in Lille, we could spend the day there and then head back home to Brussels with our car. Also the train tickets were really cheap, 38 Euros in 1st class!

It’s an hour trip with the TGV from Paris and I arrived around 11 am to Lille. It was really sunny and warm for the 1st of November.

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B came with the car, we parked it and saw that the parking hall was filled with cars from Belgium. Apparently in Brussels all the shops are closed the 1st of November so people came to the French side to shop and spend the day off.

Our plan was to find a nice place to have lunch. We didn’t know Lille very well and just started to walk around without any specific destination. Then suddenly we saw a nice little street and a small terrace, we stopped there and decided to have our lunch at the Berliner. It was very relaxed and nice and simple menu; bagels, falafels and burgers.

Nice touch on the drink list was the German organic lemonade!

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After lunch we just walked around, visited some interesting shops. It is so nice to see independent shop keepers instead of chains. We had some ice cream on a sunny terrace and then after the sun started to go down around 4 pm (we almost forgot it was November with that lovely blue sky and 20 C!) we headed back to the car and drove to Brussels which was around 1,5 hours away. Every time we take the car in Belgium there is something strange with the traffic. This time it was a lost cow under a bridge one meter from the motorway! Scary and dangerous…

A fashionable dessert in Lille “le merveilleux”. These photos are taken outside of the boutique Aux merveilleux de Fred

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