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Back from Paris, France……..

April 12, 2013 | Filed under: Uncategorized

We are back from 6 days in Paris, France.  It was a full and wonderful trip, felt like we were gone for much longer.  Our favourite restaurant was Les Pipos on rue de l’Ecole Polytechnique.  Fresh oysters from Brittany and tartar…..fabulous food.

We visited the George Pompidou Centre for Modern Art…which I have decided is my favourite period.  Art work there dated from about 1905 to the present.  The building itself was an artwork.  Went to the Paris flea markets, one of which is the largest antique market in Europe with over 2000 vendors.  I love Lea Stein pins and came back with 2 but there were so many more.  Lea Stein who is in her 80’s designs resin pieces that are wonderful.  Paris, france 002Pictured is one of her 3 dimensional cat pins.  I also found a cicada which I had never seen before.  Only budget restraints kept me from getting more if these wonderful pins.Paris, france 003Click on images to enlarge.

I arrived home inspired and with some wonderful stones to work with.  So begins my Paris collection.

Had an unusual experience in Paris.  We were participating in a food tour which was called “a Market Tour with a Chef”.  We are foodies and have done these tours in Chicago, San Francisco and New York.  Lots of fun and great food!

This was billed as an escorted tour with a French chef in the Batignolles quarter….there is a market street there.  Then followed by a tasting in the Chef’s atelier.  Sounded great!  This was booked through a Paris tour company that offers local walking tours.

Well, we did meet the chef for about 2 minutes.  Then were taken on the tour by a Theatre Arts student who had an “interest in food”……but definitely not much knowledge.   Called a zucchini a cucumber, said that jerusalem artichokes were only grown in Jerusalem and didn’t know what celery root was……I think that you get the picture.  We did visit a Fromagerie(cheese)…..a disinterested owner who didn’t know our guide and didn’t have time for us, a Boulangerie (bakery), more interesting and we got samples, and toured the bakery to see how the bread was baked….also info about what type of bread Parisians buy during the week and on week ends (there is a difference).  Then on to a Charcuterie for meat.  Here the owner was very enthusiastic and his shop was so filled with wonderful food that I could have stayed and sampled for hours.

Instead of going to the Chef’s atelier for our tasting, we were led to a wine shop down the street with a separate room that was cold and very dusty.  There our guide cut up the food on plastic cutting boards, all the while sniffling, and we were invited to partake along with some wine.  Napkins only, uncomfortable stools, wires hanging down……just a real mess.   There was nothing to talk about and naught to do except to taste and begone.  The tour was to last 3 hours and we managed 2 only.  For this pleasure our fee was 179.CAD per couple.  Now you may think how sad and bad and yes it was at the time but this story does have a good ending.  Our contact at the tour company that we had made arrangements through was absolutely shocked!  Deleted this tour from their website, (only the 2nd time it ran), cancelled their contract with the chef, apologized profusely, of course, and refunded our entire amount.  Now this is an ethical company owned by an astute businessman.  Also offered another tour gratis upon our return to Paris.  So we had an unusual experience and ended up with an amusing story to tell.

 

The Dundas Valley School of Art auction is tomorrow.  I have a number of pieces there and I am happy to say that almost all have bids already.  Scott Barnim, Paull Rodrigue have pieces in the live auction and Angela Sirrs has  jewellery and glass work in the silent auction.  These are members of the Beyond the Valley Studio Tour as I am – coming up May 25 & 26. I hope that they do well and thereby benefit the school.  We are going to go to the auction and hopefully get some artwork.  I was there yesterday for what I call my pre-preview.  Today, another visit for the preview and then tomorrow for the main event.

Posted by Stephanie @ 10:15 am

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