Tag Archives: paris

Links & Likes ~ October. ♡

Wow we are really rushing through October!  Everyone has been up to some good stuff this month. So please make yourself a nice hot drink and settle down for a read of these lovely blogs. ♡ 
Apparently BottomlessBrunch is the New Afternoon Tea ! Kellie gives it a try. Yum. 🙂

Theres a Quick and Easy French Toast Recipe on Wonderfully Bookish.

I had no idea that in Scotland Mums To Be recieve  a very useful and cute  Scottish Baby-Box.  Nina shows us whats in hers…

Apples galore on Christine’s blog.

Eunice shares a Missing Pooch Story  with a Yappy Ending. 🙂 

 Christine searches for her favourite Apple varieties at an Apple Festival in the Gorse Hill Nature Reserve. 

Fancy a mug of tea and a hike round Rufford Old Hall.   Melodie’s blog Tea Bee’s Trips explore’s the English countryside, holidays abroad and her tipple of choice  ‘ Tea.’  🙂

An Idylic Hideaway  in Bodmin  ~  My Little Country Life.

Emma stays at the most perfect little holiday cottage in Bodmin . I really want to book this place ! 

 I love the look of  this wonderful journal reviewed on  Made by Mi. 

And this delicious Ginger and Syrup Sponge on Emily Llou’s blog.

 

The Breathe journal is reviewed on Made by Mi.

 Theres a great little review on the recent H is for Hawk documentary on Only Natural, which I still need to watch.

I really must get round to visiting the  Yorkshire Sculpture Park which appears  on Down by the Dougie.

Lets end with the cats of Monmartre Cemetery


  in Paris, who live and prowl amongst the graves of famous Parisians.  
 

 Thanks for reading and hopefully see you soon. 🍁

 

 

Arm chair Travel. :)

It might be just about now that your thinking about booking a foreign holiday, somewhere you can laze in the sun maybe,or take in the sights. Recently I watched one of my fave films ~ Under The Tuscan Sun , which never fails to make me long to explore the rolling hills and vinyards of Tuscany in Italy.  Here are a few movies that inspire me to journey to these places for real. Or just enjoy a spot of armchair travel. 🙂

image

Lost In Translation ( 2003 ) ~ A tired actor ( Bill Murray) and a photographer’s young wife ( Scarlett Johanssen) both find themselves in Tokyo and form a close friendship, whilst getting to grips with Japanese culture and figuring out what they want out of life. Love this movie.

image

Amelie ( 2001) Charming romantic comedy set in Paris about a young waitress ‘Amelie’ who dishes out good deeds along with her creme brulee.A magical film.English Subtitles.

image

The Way (2010) ~Tom an American doctor ( Martin Sheen) travels to France to collect the remains of his estranged son who was killed in an accident in the Pyrenees. He had died walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as ‘The Way of St James’. Tom decides to complete the pilgrimage for him and embarks on the 800Km trek across the top of Spain, meeting other troubled souls along the way. A road movie where the characters walk…..and the journey is also one of self discovery.

image

Roman Holiday ( 1953) ~ Why not discover Rome through the eyes of a Royal princess playing truant. Audrey Hepburn plays the princess longing to do normal everyday things in the city….and Gregory Peck is the undercover reporter showing her the sights, looking for a good story and finding himself falling in love. A fairytale romance. 🙂

wpid-df3ffd9406c37481fd764bce6c69a42c.jpg

Only You ( 1991) ~ To Italy again and Marissa Tomei plays Faith, who travels to Europe in a quest to find her one true love and destiny. A sweet rom com about mistaken identity and dreams coming true , with scenes shot in Venice and Positano and Rome.

image

In Bruges ( 2008) ~ Irish hitmen and dwarves in Bruges.This black comedy stars Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as assasins waiting on instruction in the historic Belgium city one Christmas, after a job goes wrong. Darkly funny.

image

Midnight in Paris (2011) ~ Discover the Paris of today and the Paris of the 1920s in this time travel romance directed by Woody Allen. A nostalgic writer ( Owen Wilson) finds himself mysteriously going back in time to the days of Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dali everyday at Midnight. A homage to the citys artistic history with a love story thrown in too.

image

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) ~ Based on the journals of ‘Che Guevara’ this is the tale of two medical students who travel through South America by motorcycle in the early 1950s. Enjoy the stunning scenery and find out how the Cuban revolutionary got his calling. English subtitles.

image

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) ~ New York is the setting for this iconic Audrey Hepburn movie.She plays madcap socialite ‘ Holly Golightly’ who lives in a Manhatten appartment with her cat with no name. George Peppard is the unknown writer who falls for her charms.One of my favorite films ever!

image

Under The Tuscan Sun (2003) ~ Diane Lane plays a writer who whilst holidaying in Tuscany after her marriage breaks down, impulsively buys a crumbling villa. Life changes for her in many unexpected ways.A fabulous little film. 🙂

Which films inspire you to book a holiday?

Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

241

Pere Lachaise is one of several cemeteries in Paris and I imagine, the most well known and frequently visited. This was apparently not always the case !  In its early days in the 1800’s the cemetery actually advertised for prospective clients and such famous names  as poet La Fontaine and doomed lovers and writers Heloise & Aberlard were reburied here with much publicity to attract potential residents. Soon everyone who was anyone were clamouring to be buried at Pere Lachaise.

You might think it strange that I chose to visit a graveyard on my trip to Paris , but I was intrigued by Pere lachaise’s list of ‘celebrity’ residents. So many distinguished names from the worlds of science,arts and literature reside here. Frederich Chopin, Moliere, Edith Piaf & Jim Morrison , to name but a few.  There are maps at the entrances to show you where they can all be found.  It is also a beautiful and peaceful space to come if you wish to get away from the hustle & bustle of the French Capital. Elaborate mausoleums and tombstones decorate the graves in this vast cemetery.

I quite liked the headstone of this particular grave.
I quite liked the headstone of this particular grave. A couple with their beloved dog.
There are many elaborate graves and statues.
There are many elaborate tombstones and statues.

The cemetery is also home to a number of monuments and memorials dedicated to victims of war and conflict. I did not photograph any as I guess it felt a little insensitive. But if you visit they are well worth a look, if only to reflect on how cruel and unjust human beings can be to one another.The memorials to the holocaust are particularly moving.

The avenues of mausoleums reminded me of actual olde worlde streets.
The avenues of mausoleums reminded me of actual olde worlde streets.

Because Pere Lachaise is so huge and I imagine quite easy to get lost in, I did not find every grave I was looking for. It is possible to buy a site map near the main entrance apparently. We took a photo of a map near the entrance we came in ( opposite the Pere Lachaise metro link) but still got confused. The best thing to do we found was look out for clusters of people ( live ones  😉 gathered round certain graves. This usually meant someone of note was buried there. We also noticed a tour guide ( who seemed quite a character ! ) , taking some American tourists round. Sometimes we literally stumbled on interesting tombs….but there was a lot of the cemetery we did not manage to cover.

The grave of French singer Edith Piaf. She is interred here with her family.
The grave of French singer Edith Piaf. She is interred here with her family.
Pere Lachaise is full of angels.
Pere Lachaise is full of angels.

If you ever visit , watch out for the graveyards other residents. Pere Lachaise is home to several cats who have regularly been sighted weaving in and out of the grave stones. Unfortunately we didn’t catch a glimpse of any ~ not even near the grave of Colette, a French novelist and renowned cat lover.

Colettes grave is said to be guarded at night by the cemetery cats.
Colettes grave is said to be guarded at night by the cemetery cats.

Maybe the most visited grave is that of the Doors frontman Jim Morrison who died aged 27 from a suspected drug overdose in Paris in 1971. His headstone has been vandalised many times and is usually guarded. Near where he is buried there is a tree covered in chewing gum ~ a bizarre tribute to this rock star legend.

Jim Morrisons simple headstone with pictures.
Jim Morrisons simple headstone with pictures.
Gum Tree tribute.
Gum Tree tribute.

We also came across the tombstone of Irish writer and play write Oscar Wilde who died in Paris. The unusual design is shielded by a glass barrier to protect it from ‘kisses’. Years of admirer’s lipsticked kisses had apparently started to degrade the stone and the glass was added in 2011. X

Oscar Wildes tomb.
Oscar Wildes tomb.
Pere lachaise in summer.
Pere lachaise in summer.

Our visit was certainly interesting and thought provoking. A hauntingly beautiful place that is full of history, art, nature and atmosphere. A must if you visit Paris.

Cats and Curiosities in the Marais. ^^

2014-07-26 15.02.46

When we decided to go to Paris I must admit I found myself hoping that we would stumble upon the Cat Cafe there. Le Cafe des Chats is an unassuming building on Rue Michel le Comte in the Marais district. It is a cafe and home to several furry felines.:) They are all rescue cats who have been chosen for their sociable and laid back natures. In the end I decided to take no chances ( the cafe recommends that you make a reservation) and I booked us a table online. We found ourselves in the 3rd arrondissement a little earlier than planned …..but spotted an interesting museum nearby to have a nosy around first.

2014-07-26 14.02.37

The Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature ( Museum of Hunting & Nature) at 62 Rue des Archives is well worth a visit if your in the area. Its packed full of interesting exhibits. Antiques, art,taxidermy and cabinets of curios. I am certainly not a fan of hunting….but the collection here is certainly eye catching and thought provoking. Relics of times past, the museum examines our relationships with animals and nature. There is much to see over three floors and on our visit there was also an unusual Danish Art exhibition mingled with the museums resident bears and wild boar2014-07-26 13.57.24.

2014-07-26 13.52.48

2014-07-26 13.50.55
2014-07-26 13.56.152014-07-26 14.10.372014-07-26 14.13.052014-07-26 13.56.01

2014-07-26 13.44.16

2014-07-26 13.57.10

Soon it was time to head for our table at Le Cafe des Chats and I pushed a rather reluctant Wil in the direction of said cafe. He is much more of a dog person ( though I have seen him playing with/tormenting our cat Slinky on occasion) but he agreed to go…..as the next day I would be devoting my time to watching ‘ The Tour de France’ with him. 🙂

We entered the cafe and showed the girl at the desk our reservation. She told us to wash our hands with the hand disinfectant provided and went through the rules which are : a) no feeding the cats , b) no disturbing any sleeping cats & c) no flash photography. We then could choose where to sit. There are two levels ~ so we headed down the stairs as there was no room on the ground floor. Downstairs is cozy and cavernous with sofas dotted around and a piano. There was no natural light so my photos turned out quite dark.

2014-07-26 15.52.47

The cats all seemed very content ~ some were asleep , curled up on cushions or in bookshelves. Some were being fussed over by the delighted clientele. One mischievous moggy took over a customers armchair ~ so she perched on the arm with her coffee, so not to disturb. Cats take precedence here. 🙂

The idea for ‘Cat Cafes’ started in the far East apparently. People in large cities who cannot keep pets due to their busy work lives , can find solace and relaxation in the company of these placid and affectionate kittys, dropping in after work for a coffee and purr therapy.

2014-07-26 15.08.56

2014-07-26 15.51.07

We both decided on the trio of petite desserts on our visit and a coffee or chocolate. The selection consisted of strawberries with cream, a macaroon and a chocolate cake. They were rather good! Because our reservation was quite late in the afternoon , only cakes and sweet things were available , so bear that in mind when booking.

2014-07-26 15.26.31

2014-07-26 15.11.05

2014-07-26 15.10.02

I think if I ever return to Paris ( I hope I do 🙂 ), I would love to visit the cafe again ~ perhaps booking an earlier time and finding a table on the more light and airy ground floor. It was lovely to see some of the residents snoozing in the window. 🙂

2014-07-26 15.55.05-1

2014-07-26 15.50.56

2014-07-26 15.03.30

Do not despair though, a cat cafe has opened in London too, so if you cannot get to Paris Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium may be an option for other crazy cat ladies like me. 😉

Thanks for dropping by.X

Paris is always a good Idea. :)

When my other half decided we should go to Paris to see the end of a certain bicycle race , who was I to object!  Somehow I had gotten through 40 years without visiting this iconic city. I dreamt of picnicking under the  Eiffel tower and gazing upon the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile. 🙂

We arrived in the French Capital on a very hot and stuffy Friday afternoon, having amazingly managed to master the railway and metro to our bijou studio apartment in the Levallois Perret district of North West Paris. We booked it through airbnb , a really useful site , where people list  rooms and apartments to let all over the world. It cost us £48 per night for four nights , which was very reasonable I thought.

 The nearest famous landmark to us was The Arc de Triomphe , about 25 mins walk away. But mostly we travelled on the metro which was so handy, quick and easy to use.  Here are a few photo’s from our trip. I’m sure I will devote a few more posts to places in Paris we were fortunate enough to visit. There is also much we didn’t get round to seeing. So I need to return!  After all  ~  Paris is always a good idea. 🙂

Inside our cozy and compact basement apartment.
Inside our cozy and compact basement apartment.
Arc De Triomphe.
Arc De Triomphe. We actually paid to climb to the top ~ the views are amazing.
The Eiffel Tower ,from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
The Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
I found a vintage carousel by the Eiffel tower. There is also another just over the river by the avenue de new york.
I found a vintage carousel by the Eiffel tower. There is also another just over the river by the avenue de new york.
Of course I had to have a go.:)
Of course I had to have a go.:)
Ferris wheel in the Jardin de tuileries.
Ferris wheel in the Jardin de tuileries.
Musee de la chasse et de la nature in the Marais district.
Musee de la chasse et de la nature in the Marais district. An interesting visit.
I went all crazy cat lady and dragged Wil to a cat cafe.
I went all crazy cat lady and dragged Wil to a cat cafe. ^^
A very content occupant of Le Cafe des Chats.
A very content occupant of Le Cafe des Chats.
Part of the crazy colourful Caravan of the Tour de France on Sunday.
Part of the crazy colourful Caravan of the Tour de France on Sunday.
The French version of the Red Arrows flew over Paris on the race day.
The French version of the Red Arrows flew over Paris on the race day.
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. well worth the climb.
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. well worth the climb.
A delicious lemon tart in a cafe ~ Montmartre.
A delicious lemon tart in a cafe ~ Montmartre.
Love locks on the Pont des arts bridge over the river seine.
Lovelocks on the Pont des arts bridge over the river seine.
I found Tiffanys in Paris. Alas it was shut!
I found Tiffanys in Paris. Alas it was shut!
A beautiful blue door in the Marais.
A beautiful blue door in the Marais.
Pavement art stalls by the river.
Pavement art stalls by the river.

I cannot decide which are my favourite highlights from our trip. Having a picnic in the shade of the Eiffel tower, viewing Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, Enjoying the last stage of the Tour, climbing the steps up to the Sacre Coeur. There are so many. Yet there is still so much I’ve yet to see. Theres only one thing for it, I will have to go back……..Paris really is a good idea. 🙂

This was July’s post for the #take12trips challenge organized by Clare at Need Another Holiday. 🙂

Teacup Winner :)

I recently posted a ‘Teacup Giveaway’ to celebrate my blogs 2nd Birthday.

Thanks for all my blogging birthday wishes and to everyone who entered my giveaway. :))

I’ve just got back from lovely Paris ( ooh la la ) so will be posting about my trip very soon.  ❤

image
Sacre Couer ~ Paris

Meanwhile  I  put all the entries into a teacup and got my other half to draw the winner. 🙂

image

And the winner will soon be sipping their Earl Grey ( or whichever is their fave tea/tipple) from this delightful duo……..

Ta daaa
The winner is ………….. Emmy , who blogs over at Emily’s Vintage World.

Congratulations!  Emmy please email me your postal address to shazzarob@hotmail.co.uk

Classic Chick Flicks ~ Gigi

gigi5

Gigi (1958) is a romantic comedy musical adapted from the French novella, written by Colette. I have recently read it and was intrigued when I found that this film had been made. The story is set in turn of the century Paris ( 1900), where society seems to revolve round men taking mistresses and women aspiring to become them. Leslie Caron plays the young and carefree ‘Gigi’, who lives with her Grandmother ‘ Madame Alvarez’ and her mother , an opera singer , who we often hear practising her singing but never actually see.

Louis Jordan is the rich and charming ‘Gaston’, a family friend who becoming bored of the playboy lifestyle, finds himself spending more time drinking camomile tea with Madame Alvarez and playing cards with the refreshingly naive yet mischievous Gigi.

Gigi with her friends.
Gigi with her friends.
Gaston loves nothing better than getting beaten at cards by Gigi.
Gaston loves nothing better than getting beaten at cards by Gigi.
Eva Gabor plays Gastons cheating mistress Leanne.
Eva Gabor plays Gastons cheating mistress Leanne.

Every week Gigi visits her Great Aunt Alicia ( Madame A’s sister) for lessons in etiquette and charm ( something she is not very good at! ). Her elder relatives believe she will eventually need these attributes if she is to become a celebrated mistress like her Aunt. Meanwhile Gaston has discovered his own mistress ‘Leanne’ has been unfaithful , and promises to take Gigi and her Grandmother to the coast after Gigi wins a wager at cards. The three enjoy a weekend by the sea where they bump into Gastons uncle ( Maurice Chevalier) who quite often pops up in the film ( somewhat annoyingly ) to give Gaston advice on how to be the perfect playboy.

Gigi fooling about playing tennis with Gaston.
Gigi fooling about playing tennis with Gaston.
Aunt alicia shows Gigi the types of jewels that are acceptable presents off admirers.
Aunt alicia shows Gigi the types of jewels that are acceptable presents off admirers.
And how to choose a gentlemans cigars.
And how to choose a gentlemans cigars.

When Aunt Alicia finds out about the seaside trip she is furious and points out to her sister that Gaston surely has feelings for Gigi and that her lessons and wardrobe need to be stepped up at once. Unaware of what’s going on, but delighted at the prospect of some new grown up gowns Gigi spends more time learning how to become a lady. Comparisons to My Fair Lady here, even down to the Cecil Beaton designs.

That ruffle is not a good look Gigi !
That ruffle is not a good look Gigi !
Gaston doesn't react well to Gigi's change of image.
Gaston doesn’t react well to Gigi’s change of image.

Visiting Madame Alvarez once again, Gaston is amazed at the transformation in Gigi who suddenly stands before him as a sophisticated young woman. Yet the change has disturbed him and he storms out , realising as he stomps the streets of Paris, that he has fallen in love. Returning to the apartment he asks that Gigi become his mistress and promises her a life of luxury and kindness. Initially Gigi rejects Gaston ( though she now knows she is in love with him too, she has spent time reading about all his mistresses , along with the rest of Paris), but then decides that she would rather be miserable with him than without him and accompanies him on their first date as a couple.

On their date at Maxims.
On their date at Maxims.

Gigi puts all her Grandmothers lessons into practice on their date at Maxims which instead of pleasing Gaston, only makes him uncomfortable. Happily it then dawns on him that actually he doesn’t want Gigi to be his mistress after all. He wants her to be his wife. Hurrah. 🙂 The film ends with the happily married couple strolling in the park ~ looking very much in love.

The Happy Couple.
The Happy Couple.

I really enjoyed the book and the movie especially the fact that despite all the meddling our heroine was able to marry for love….and not become just a mistress with a pouch full of expensive jewels from long gone lovers.

Have you read any stories by Colette?

Curious about……. Cat Cafes. ~^^~

Purrfectly positioned in the fashionable Marais district of Paris is a cafe which doesn’t only serves coffee and croissants. The Cafe des Chats is home to 12 furry feline residents, that offer ‘Purr therapy’ to its curious clientele. 🙂

Le cafe des chats ( Photo www.oh-I-see.com/blog/ )
Le cafe des chats ( Photo http://www.oh-I-see.com/blog/ )

The cats are all adopted rescues , chosen for their happy and affectionate natures. From the pictures I have seen and the reviews I have read , the kittys appear to be content and at home. Their contentment transfers to the customers, who have been flocking to the cafe for a cafe-noir and the chance to pet a puss-cat. Stroking cats has been proven to reduce stress and have a calming effect so ‘Cat Cafes’ have hit upon a great idea. Of course there are sensible rules to adhere by and at Le Cafe des chats ,customers must not disturb sleeping cats, feed the cats or use flash photography.

Chats in Le Cafe des Chats ( photo ~ The Local ~ France's news in English).
Chats in Le Cafe des Chats ( photo ~ The Local ~ France’s news in English).

Cat Cafes have also padded their way over to London. Originally a Japanese invention , the cafes proved popular , especially with people who loved cats but had restricted space to keep one at home. With this in mind, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium opened in Shoreditch, East london in March. Named after Alice’s kitten Dinah in ‘Alice’s Adventures Through The Looking Glass’ this is a tea room that serves tea and cake in vintage china and is home to eleven lovable moggies. The cats like their Parisienne counterparts are rescues. chosen for their amiable natures.

Wookie the cat makes himself at home ( photo~ www.ladydinahs.com )
Wookie the cat makes himself at home ( photo~ http://www.ladydinahs.com )

The cafe has proved so popular it is essential to book and there is a £5 entry charge for a 2 hour time-slot. Strict rules concerning the animals welfare apply and Dinahs is closed every afternoon for a short cat nap.

Have you ever been to a cat cafe? I must admit I find myself very curious. As an animal lover I would love to visit and see how the cats react around people. Cute cats and cake. Hopefully there is everything to love. 🙂

Thursday Favourites ’11’

Thursday soon comes around !

Here is a list of five things I have enjoyed over the past seven days. 🙂

Baking. 🙂

Believe it or not we have been living without an oven for nearly three months! We still had a hob and the microwave but our actual oven had broke and being lazy as we are , we couldn’t be bothered to go out and buy another. After numerous take-aways , trips out and the odd curry, Wil decided he needed to make a sunday roast quite soon….and even I’ve had a hankering to do some baking.As soon as our new cooker arrived I found a lovely recipe in the April edition of the Simple Things magazine, for Lemon & blueberry cake. Here is the result!

image

Mellow Yellow

I’m loving the spring colour of yellow at the moment. It just promises sunshine. I feel a yellow inspired post coming on soon.:)

wpid-20140326_110423.jpg

Sea Air.

There is nothing better than getting away to the coast , even for just a couple of hours. On sunday we drove over to Lytham for some bracing sea air to blow the cobwebs away. I love the sea side. 🙂

Marooned. :)
Marooned. 🙂

Airbnb.

We booked Paris! I never thought we would actually book it. Feeling extremely lucky as we have two amazing city breaks planned this year. Happy days. 🙂 Anyway we thought stopping in Paris would feel all the more authentic if we stayed in a french home rather than a hotel. Air bnb rent out rooms and studio apartments all over the world and we found this one 15 mins from the centre of Paris belonging to Aurelie. 🙂 There are all price ranges. We have paid £52 per night and are staying for four. Can’t wait!

large

Tea Cup Trinket Stands.

I put the other half to work drilling 🙂 as these trinket stands are proving very popular at the moment. I love them and they are a pretty way of upcycling old tea sets.
image

Bye for now.x

Thursday Favourites ~ 10.

Here I list five things I have enjoyed / appreciated over the last seven days. My Thursday Favourites. 🙂
image

It was my nephew’s sixth birthday at the wknd. I can’t believe he is 6 already ! Adore my niece and nephew. 🙂  He has totally impressed me by giving up sweets for lent too……and sticking to it. Way to go Roman!
image

My facebook feed is always full of pics of our friends Irish Terrier Digger. He must be the most photographed and photogenic dog in the world. Here he is all dressed up for st Paddys day on Monday. Very Cute!

image

Did my first Craft Fair of the year at the wknd , taking my teacups and other bits and bobs to the Artisan Market in Clitheroe. Really enjoyed it and got to buy lots of prezzies for upcoming birthdays, Mothers day etc. Fairs are fab places for purchasing unique gifts I always find. 🙂

image

Loving loving Audrey Hepburn on Pinterest and i’m delighted that i finally managed to post her Filmography on my little blog. 🙂

Which leads me neatly on to this Eurostar advert for Paris ( Audrey made lots of movies in The City of Light ) that apparently is five months old now, but I’ve only just clocked it. Showing the Quirky side to the French Capital, I find myself slightly in love with the taxidermy museum featured at the end.

Have you ever used the Eurostar?

Oh and Happy First Day of Spring!

Bye for Now x