Monday, January 28, 2013

Les Soldes! Not just about the designer clothing

I am not a shopaholic. I like new things as much as the next person but just the thought of finding myself in a shop jammed packed with people desperately trying to find THE item at THE best price sends me into a claustrophobic fit. So when France has its annual sales you never find me out on day one before opening hours ready to pounce. I mean do I really need anything else?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Romancing yourself in Paris this Winter

Paris is for lovers. Or so they say and I tend to agree but you aren't limited to loving someone else, you can just love yourself enough to treat yourself to a special Paris holiday for one. This Valentine's Day doesn't have to be a sad one, not when we've got Paris.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

La Rallonge - A Montmartre Restaurant Opening

What Foodie hasn't dreamed of being part of a restaurant opening? Claire takes us to the opening night feast of La Rallonge, one of Montmartre's hottest new eateries. Who says so? We do!

La Rallonge - French gastropub opening - by Claire Thomas

I’d never been to a restaurant opening soirée before – especially not in Paris, food capital of the world - and had no idea what to expect. The words swanky, fancy, delicious come to mind. And terror, a little bit (what if I eat something in the wrong way?). But when Yetunde passed on her invitation to the opening at La Rallonge on Saturday night, I knew it was time to leave that trepidation at home.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adventures in shopping (Paris Sales) with Claire

Navigating Les Soldes (The French sales), can require the force of a titan. Claire takes us along for her adventures in shopping in the Marais. Not everyone gets what they want out of the sales but you can still have a lovely stroll through and dream for the next time.

Adventures in shopping - by Claire Thomas

She sells more than seashells at the Paris Sales. She sells more than seashells at the Paris Sales. She sells more than sea… all right, so it’s not as tongue-twisting as the original. But when the bi-annual sales come to Paris, you better make sure that tongue is up to the task… first-come, first-served, so speak up!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Luxor Obelisk

I recently had the most amazing journey to Egypt that has left me craving more. Our guide was Egypt's youngest Egyptologist (so he introduced himself), and was a well of information on our somewhat speedy trip down the Nile starting in Luxor.

Why am I talking about Egypt in a Paris blog you may ask? Well, you may have noticed during one of your trips to Paris that at the Place de la Concorde you have a giant obelisk that has now become part of the iconic landscape of Paris' architecture. But did you know that it's original home was at the temple of Luxor along the Nile. This is probably (at least to my knowledge), the oldest piece of art in Paris (not counting any of the works that are piled up in the museums of course). It is over 3000 years old.

The story of the obelisk is that Muhammad Ali Pasha (not an Egyptian), the then self-proclaimed Khedive of Egypt gifted the two obelisks that stood at the entrance of this great temple to France in 1829. The right, the Luxor obelisk has a twin brother. Can you imagine handing over 3000 years of history to a foreign nation as a gift? What was this guy thinking? The first of the two obelisks departed from Alexandria in 1833 and in 1836 King Louis-Philippe had it placed in the center of the Place de la Concorde. Luckily for Egypt only one made it to France but the other remained technically the property of France - I mean who takes a gift back right? But in the 1990s President Mitterrand officially renounced all French claims to the second obelisk in a symbolic gesture. We won't even get into the counterless other Egyptian treasures that have left its shores.

So if you can't make it to Egypt you can at least admire the one in Paris but believe me it's not quite the same experience. Take the time to admire the craftmanship and the hieroglyphs. A friend once said you had to see it at night to appreciate the writing.

On left Luxor Obelisk Paris. On the right Luxor obelisk Luxor, Egypt

sources: Wikipedia and my Egyptian guide Azazy
Photo credit: Yetunde Oshodi

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vegan pastries in Paris

In this Thursday's Food for Thought post, Monique takes us to a newly opened bakery in the heart of the Latin Quarter for a vegan baking experience. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Year begins - Welcoming in 2013

I have to say that taking holiday decorations down is hardly as exciting as putting them up. Something a bit sad about disrobing the Christmas tree that we so joyfully selected in late November. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

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