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French culture

Dîner en Blanc

by Kasia on June 13, 2014

This year I finally made it to the annual Dîner en Blanc. This invite-only secret dinner party began 25 years ago by a man named François Pasquier. He invited a few friends to the Bois de Boulogne on an evening in June, and asked that everyone bring another friend. All the attendees wore white in order to find one another more easily. (My friend Delphine’s parents were among the first dinner guests!) The event was a grand success and each successive year friends invited friends and it grew into a 10,000+ dinner party. I’ve always loved the idea of it, even given all the preparation ahead of time. Everyone attending must provide their own food, drink, even tables and chairs, and all must be white! Considering it’s not exactly legal, the prestigious location is disclosed just before the dinner actually begins. This year the grand event took place along 6 bridges. Our designated spot was close to Pont Alexandre III, with gorgeous views of the Grand Palais and Eiffel Tower.

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IMG_2563 IMG_2575 IMG_2586It was one of those magical nights spent with friends both old and new, wrapped in warm summer air and the setting sun, surrounded by the grandeur of Paris, that remains with you forever.

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Could there have been a more perfect setting? We’ll see where next year finds us.

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wine on the Seine

by Kasia on March 26, 2014

 What better place to sample French wines than in a boat on the Seine?

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On a recent overcast afternoon I experienced Wine Tasting in Paris, started by wine connoisseur Thierry Givone. Admittedly, I didn’t know too much about the many wine regions of Paris, other than which regions produce my favorite wines, namely Bourgogne and Bordeaux. And the Champagne region of course! This was the perfect occasion, not to mention setting, in which to educate myself.

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I was joined by friend Amy Feezer. Following a glass of bubbly we all became better acquainted.

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One glass of wine followed another, from the Loire to Bourgogne to the Côtes du Rhône. And with each glass a thorough description of the grapes, the notes, the tastes… even a lesson in the way wine should be savoured. Thierry has a particular affinity towards Bourgogne, that region being his home, but he is an expert on all regions of France and certainly has developed a nose for wine! I was pleased to taste wines I would otherwise not have thought to try, and was impressed with Thierry’s expertise and attention to detail when it came to French wines.

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After over 3 hours of tastings and conversation, with a view of the sun setting over the Seine in the distance, Amy and I left the boat a little bit tipsy and a lot more knowledgeable. Santé!

For more information: www.wine-tasting-in-paris.com and Facebook and Twitter

 

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pique-niqueing & pétanque

April 12, 2013

TweetWhen the sun comes out, so do the Parisians. On a recent spring-like day, moods were high and there was a lightness evident in the air. Now this is what spring is meant to feel like! My Italian and I joined a group of friends at the gardens of the Palais Royal for my favorite […]

L’Amour (or less)

February 22, 2013

TweetOne of the great joys of living as an expat in Paris is that it has exposed me to other like-minded Americans, who equally find their creative voice and pursue their dreams, on French soil. Whether it be in the form of American-style cupcakes, sweet stories, designer pillows, or even treasure hunts in the Louvre, […]

tastings with a view

October 14, 2012

Tweet Every Fall I look forward to the wine harvest in Montmartre, the Fête des Vendanges. An annual event during which I don’t mind braving the crowds surrounding the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, eager to sample the various regional wines, paired with plentiful samples of cheese and fois gras, bien sûr! This year my friend Sarah was […]

nuit blanche 2011

October 4, 2011

TweetA white night following a bright blue Indian summer day. The ideal mood and climate for Paris’ annual Nuit Blanche, the one night of the year that the city ceases to sleep. One of my favorites, allowing those brave enough, to explore museums and churches in the early morning hours. Our adventures took place in […]

history vs modernity

October 20, 2010

TweetWhile the Italians were in town we took them to Versailles. Just in case they weren’t thoroughly impressed from day one in Paris. As excited as they were to visit this 17th Century Château, I was equally excited to view the current Murakami exhibit, a source of controversy since its inception in mid-September. I was determined […]

time to celebrate!

July 13, 2010

TweetNearly 700 kilometers, a dozen fresh fish, 5 spectacular sunsets, 3 shades lighter in mind, (and 2 shades darker in body) and many adventures later, I am back in Paris. For those keeping track. I have a lot of thoughts to share about these recent days in Corsica, and many images which even more accurately […]

art on the canal

June 28, 2010

Tweet I’ve been feeling a bit homesick lately, missing the cultural activities of NYC and most of all my creative-minded accomplices to indulge in them with. Not that Paris lacks in art, music or film festivals, particularly in the summertime. I simply need to dig a little deeper to find them, and often that means […]

the sounds of summer

June 28, 2010

TweetThe summer sun has finally reached Paris. It took a while, with chilly temperatures until just last week. To celebrate the summer solstice on June 21st, Paris holds an annual event in which music fills the air. This musical celebration began in Paris 28 years ago and now takes place around the world. I first […]