Browsing Category

Paris

Posted on February 19, 2015

Monochrome Parisian Style at Place des Vosges

Coats/ Paris/ Travel/ Wardrobe

Romantique street style Place des Vosges

Last week in Paris, Rebel and I strolled in the beautiful square of Place des Vosges, in the heart of trendy Marais. We spent girly sister time enjoying the glourious sunshine outdoors, popped into Marais’ plentiful boutiques and stopped by the cafes to warm up with a hot drink and watch the world go by.

How to dress when you’re in Paris? You want to be comfortable to allow for hours of sightseeing as well as looking chic to fit in with the stylish locals. Flats are a must, to allow for long hours of walking, a crossbody bag for free hands and a woolen hat to shield against the crispy cold winter air.

I’m wearing:

  • Flat ballerinas by Max & Co
  • Quilted crossbody bag a la chanel by LCredi
  • Monochrome Vichy gingham checked wool trousers by Max & Co
  • Blue silk blouse by Uniqlo for a splash of colour
  • Sunglasses by Fendi
  • Woolen hat by Corrective – to shield against the bitterly winter cold

Romantique street style Place des Vosges gingham vichy trousers MAx & Co

 

Romantique street style Place des Vosges black coat, pink quilted chanel bag

 

In the streets of Marais, Parais

In the streets of Marais, Parais

Posted on February 15, 2015

The Allure of the Eiffel Tower

Icons/ Paris/ Rebel

eiffel_tower_by_suzieann

It really is a magical feeling when you first lay eyes on the Eiffel Tower. If you do nothing else whilst in Paris, a trip to the tower is a must!

Last week in Paris, Romantique and I didn’t climb to the top of the tower, but visited the garden of Champ de Mars near the Ecole Militare. A relaxed way to see the Eiffel tower, strolling in the gardens, sitting on the bench taking in the view and jumping to take silly photos.

Romantique at Eiffel Tower

The allure of the Eiffel Tower is the best iconic photo shoot background you can have for your Paris photos. Have look at pictures of Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Romy Schneider or Catherine Deneuve with the masterpiece Eiffel Tower in the back.

Sophia Loren Eiffel Tower

Sophia Loren

Eiffeltower-Catherine-Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve

Audrey Hepburn - Funny Face, Eiffel Tower

Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire in Funny Face

Romy Schneider

Romy Schneider

 

Rebel at Eiffel Tower

Rebel wearing Prada Sunglasses

 

Posted on February 8, 2015

Adidas Stan Smith Style at Place des Vosges in Paris, France

Paris/ Rebel/ Shoes

 

As already mentioned by Romantique, Paris is the City of Adidas sneakers. In all of Paris, women as well as men are sporting the “Stan Smith” trainers. I find it fascinating, the global journey which has taken the shoe around the world. Adidas, a German Brand, designed the shoe in 1971 named after the American tennis player Stan Smith. 39 years later Phoebe Philo, a British designer, working for “Céline” (a French label), was wearing the classic white Stan Smith with green detailing in 2010. The retro Adidas sneaker became a global Fashion Girl “thing”. Last week,  I enjoyed a sunny afternoon with Romantique at Place des Vosges in Paris, France wearing the Adidas “Stan Smith.”

Stan-smith-adidas-street-style-2015

adidas-stan-smith-street-style-winter-2015

Outfit: Coat by Max & Co., Sunnies by Fendi, Denim by JBrand, Bag: Chanel look-a-like

adidas-stan-smith-at-paris-winter-2015

The Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris and one of the finest in the city. It is located in the Marais district, and it straddles the dividing-line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris.

map-place-des-vosges

Posted on October 8, 2014

Romantique’s Top 6 things to do in Paris

Paris/ Romantique/ Travel
Paris from Montparnasse Tower - Romantique

View over Paris from Montparnasse tower

The best thing about living in London? Being able to hop on a train and two hours later, be alighting in Paris, city of romance!

I’ve been to Paris three times and on my third trip, returned to my favourite spots. My tips, in no particular order:

1.     Take in the view from the Top of Montparnasse tower

The tower of Montparnasse is an ugly eyesore but being the tallest building in France,  it provides the most spectacular 360 degree view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower (above).

One of the best views of the Eiffel tower is from the boat

One of the best views of the Eiffel tower is from the boat

2.     Take a boat cruise with the Bateux Mouche

Imagine a hot, stuffy summers day in Paris, you are unwinding on an open deck boat on the Seine, enjoying the cooling breeze whilst marevelling at the breathaking views of Paris’ most iconic sights. For me, it’s the cruisiest way of sightseeing.

  Bateaux mouche paris sightseeing on the seine

3.     Have brunch & tea at Le Loir dans la Théière in Le Marais

Paris is all about café’s and tea rooms, of which we visited many. The tea room Le Loir dans la Théière, tucked away in the historic quarter of Le Marais on Rue des Rosiers, is the most chilled, homely of them all. Most importantly, the food is out of this world. For 21 Euros, you can eat a fully flexed brunch, gorging like God in France. On two mornings, we indulged in homemade jams (banana, mango, gooseberry), mini croissants, warm rye bread, fresh grapefruit juice and ouefs benedicte. The deserts are just as spectacular: Tarts loaded with yummy seasonal fruit and huge zesty lemon meringoues for the sweet tooths like me.

Le Loir dans la Théière peach cake and gooseberry cake

A selection of delicieux tarts, loaded with peaches, gooseberries and figs.

 

Mr romantique dans le loir dans la thiere

Romantique Le Loir dans la Théière

4.     Have a Falafel at L’As du Fallafel in Le Marais

Las du Falafel, situated in the “Pletzl” Jewish quarter of Le Marais, is hailed as the best falafel in Europe, and is easily spotted by its endless queue. I recommend ducking into one of the quieter alleys off Rue des Rosiers, to chomp into this delicious snack made of hummus, eggplant and chickpea fritters.

L'as du fallafel in Rue Rosiers, Le Marais

Spot Mr Romantique!

Caption pic with Brad: Le Marais features Jewish food from Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East

Le Marais features Jewish food from Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East

 

5. Stroll along the Alexandre III bridge

Leading to the Grand Palais, this exuberant bridge with its golden cherubs, nymphs, winged horses and iconic Art Noveaux lamps, is a popular location for fashion shoots. The bridge is named after Tsar Alexandre III whose son Nicholas laid the foundation. The bridge was a present from Russia to cement the Franco-Russian alliance. Tsar Nicholas was the last emperor  of Russia, his life ended tragically when he was murdered, alongside his wife and children, in 1918.

Alexandre III Bridge Seine romantique
Alexandre III Bridge Seine romantique

6. Shop at Les Néréides N2 flagship store 

What better souvenir can you take away from Paris than a Parisian themed pair of earrings or necklace? The whimsical French custome jewellery designer perfectly encapsulates the romantic and dreamy notion of Paris. The flagship store on 5, Rue du Bourg l’Abbé is an open plan office/retail space, and acts as the creative and retail nerve centre for this wonderful artesian brand.   

Les Nereides N2 Flagship store Paris on 5 Rue du Bourg l'Abbé

Les Nereides N2's new AW2015 macaron collection! Too sweet to resist.  IL PARAÎT QU'ILS SONT BONS

Les Nereides N2’s new AW2015 macaron collection! Too sweet to resist. IL PARAÎT QU’ILS SONT BONS

Les Nereides N2 Flagship store Paris on 5 Rue du Bourg l'Abbé

Posted on September 21, 2014

Weekend in Paris with Cat Macarons

Accessoires/ Cuisine/ Dresses/ Paris/ Romantique/ Travel
Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris

Badou Badou cat macaron and macaron bracelet by N2 Les Nereides Paris.

 

September has been a whirlwind month for me: a trip home to Berlin, rocked London Fashion Week with Rebel, started a new job in Marketing and last but not least, Mr Romantique whisked me away to Paris to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!

Paris romanced us with stunning weather, mouth-watering food in Paris’ most popular tea room and breathtaking views from Montparnasse tower.  My absolute highlight of the trip was a box of cat macarons from Parisian patisserie Lenôtre. Unlike Laduree’s Hello Kitty Macaron collection, which simply contains macarons in Helly Kitty themed packaging, Lenôtre offers macarons shaped like Kitty’s head. The adorable cat macarons, named Badou Badou, are offered in two delicious flavours: Cotton Candy and Strawberry Haribo.

 

Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris

 

Elodie Martins, writer and amateur pastry chef, created the feline macarons inspired by the girly universe of the movie “Marie Antoinette”, directed by Sofia Coppola.

Paris Street style pont Alexandre trois Max and Co vichy gingham dress. moschino bag. Street style Paris at the gorgeous pont Alexandre III.

I’m wearing:

  • The quintessential French Vichy Gingham dress by Max & Co
  • Green ballet pumps by Pretty Ballerinas
  • Brown cross body bag by Moschino
  • Shades by Ray Ban
  • Parisian themed hoop earrings by Les Nereides

Paris Street style pont Alexandre trois Max and Co vichy gingham dress. moschino bag.

The girly world of Sofia Coppola's movie "Marie Antoinette" inspired Elodie Marting to create her Badou Badou cat earrings.

The girly world of Sofia Coppola’s movie “Marie Antoinette” inspired Elodie Marting to create her Badou Badou cat earrings.

 

Paris Lenotre cat macarons Badou Badou Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris Badou Badou Cat Macarons Paris Lenotre

Posted on July 4, 2013

Book: Why French Children Don’t Throw Food

Current Affairs/ Movie & Books/ Paris/ Romantique
We bumped into Kate Moss in Notting Hill two years ago. Her daughter, Lila Grace, seemed very cute and well mannered. She was patiently waiting while her mum met with friends and chatted for a while in front of the shops.

We bumped into Kate Moss in Notting Hill two years ago. Her daughter, Lila Grace, seemed very cute and well mannered. She was patiently waiting while her mum met with friends and chatted for a while in front of the shops.

London, Muswell Hill: A toddler is throwing a temper tantrum in public, lying on the floor and screaming for his life, refusing to budge. It’s a far too familiar sight in London.  Crowds of people simply ignore the little screamer, as they tactfully sidestep or clamber over him raging on the floor.  According to Pamela Druckerman, a New Yorker author living in Paris,  this is typical behaviour of spoiled children of Anglophone helicopter parents, who have a completely different parenting style, compared with the French. Studies show that American couples become unhappier, once they become parents. Not really a future to look forward to, if you think about having children!
 
I was intrigued by the title of the book “Why French children don’t throw food”.  Are French children really better behaved? And if so, why?  The book is not only a parenting book but also an  incredibly entertaining and funny insight into the life of an American immigrant and her British husband living in Paris and the cultural adventure of becoming pregnant and raising a child in the city of love.  
 
This is a perfect book to read before you have children, as it provides wonderful information regarding coping with pregnancy and how to initiate your little one’s manners and behaviours from very early on.  Much of the advice sounds like common sense, yet too many young parents struggle with fussy eaters, children who don’t let adults finish their sentences and little terrors who demand immediate attention when they see fit.
 
Starting with the pregnancy, the author describes a noticeably more relaxed attitude to becoming a mother, in France.  French people eat pasteurised cheese, sushi and the odd glass of wine when expectant, much to the horror of their British counterparts. Yet, statistics show a 29% lower rate of stillbirth in France. Naturally, this can also be ascribed to the excellent healthcare in France, including care by gynaecologists, frequent scans throughout the pregnancy and epidurals at birth.  Still, these are only contributing factors, and parenting habits are the key ingredient to happy, health family life.  
 

Why French Children don't throw food - Pamela Druckerman

Why French Children don’t throw food – Pamela Druckerman

Once born, most French babies sleep the through the night, within days of being born (still in the hospital), with the most rebellious gaining this skill by the age of four months. Babies in general have an agitated sleep pattern and French mothers don’t habitually run to the crib, as soon as their baby utters a sound. French mothers let the babies cry and self-soothe until they fall asleep.  From a very early age, French babies have fixed eating times, with no snacking in between and no on-demand feeding availability during the night. This gives the children a “cadre”; a frame on which their overall childhood and upbringing is based upon. One of the pillars of a French upbringing, is childrens’ ability to be satisfied and content playing by themselves.  This works in concert with children learning delayed gratification; not getting what they want as soon as they want it; which results in them learning patience.
 
Thinking about my own and Rebel’s childhood, we definitely were raised the “French” way  – albeit in Germany.  According to Mummy R&R, we slept through the nights from a few months old, she was able to take us to restaurants, the opera and other public places without any tantrums. We always ate what was on the table  and as a result, today as adults, we are flexible eaters. None of this “no onions, no greens, no tomatoes, no garlic” that so many people seemed to be obsessed with these days.  I remember our parents were quite social and would often entertain friends at the weekend. Rebel and I always retreated to the children’s room, quietly playing by ourselves or with the visitors’ children, letting the adults have “adult time”.  In the mornings, my mother liked to sleep in until 10 am at least. We knew not to disturb her sleeping. Instead we’d play with the cats or watch TV.
Suri Cruise must be the most annoying kid on the planet. She is often seen throwing a tantrum in public.

Suri Cruise must be the most annoying kid on the planet. She is often seen throwing a tantrum in public.

Interested to hear more? Read this interesting interview by German Spiegel magazine (translated by me) with the author of “Why French kids don’t throw food”.

Clear boundaries and lots of free space

French children eat three course meals and let adults finish their sentences. How does that work? The American author Pamela Druckerman searched for answers.
Druckerman, 43, is a free journalist who worked for “Wall Street Journal”. For many years, she’s been living in Paris with her British husband and her three kids. In her latest book, she describes the mannerisms of French child rearing.
Spiegel: Mrs Druckerman, you say you wrote your book because your little daughter threw food in a restaurant. What was going on?
 
Pam: We were on our summer holiday in West France, my little one was 18 months old.  We ate in Restaurants for lunch and dinner and soon we noticed, this is hell.  Our daughter threw food, climbed out of the highchair…..
 
Spiegel: That’s the way it is with toddlers, isn’t it?
 
Pam: That’s what I thought. But only our kid behaved like this. All other kids, the French kids, sat nicely at the table. Sitting through 3-course-meals! The atmosphere on these tables was relaxed and friendly. That’s when I said to myself: I want this for myself too. I want to learn how to bring my child up like this.
 
Spiegel: Are French kids really better behaved?
 
Pam: Yes, the atmosphere in these families is calmer, more in control. Many little observations formed this impression.
 
Spiegel: What is your  impression?
 
Pam: For example, in the nursery two year olds sit at the table and eat salad, main meal, cheese and fruit.  How is that possible? Without a tantrum. I have never seen tantrums in France in public. Only tantrums of my own children. Why is that?
 
Spiegel: Maybe you have an especially animated child?
 
Pam: That’s how I explained it to myself in the beginning. That it’s within the child whether it eats well, what it eats and how patient it is.
 
Spiegel: But in the meantime you have changed your opinion?
 
Pam:  Yes. I noticed that the French think the right behaviour can be learned through the upbringing. For me, this was a new view. I spent the next three years to study the pillars of the French children education. I systematically asked friends and acquaintances: “How do you get your children to sleep? How do you deal with meals?” I met with paediatricians, psychiatrists and children education experts. After time, I saw the pattern.
 
Spiegel: One of the studies you cite in your book is that the parents in Columbus, Ohio find parenthood twice as strenuous as parents in Rennes, France…..
 
Pam: …..yes, to be a Mum and Dad in America has become a strain. According to studies, American couples become less happy once they have children. This finding comes after a new standard has been established in breeding:  The intense, molly-coddling way of bringing- up children.
 
Spiegel: You are talking about the so called “helicopter parents”, who are circling around their kids with care like a helicopter.
 
Pam: The phenomena is 20 years old. The first generation of this style of education  has just turned 20 years old. Now the debate started: Was this right? Did we take it too far with our concern? For the parents we can say for sure, this way of bringing up a child is not fun!
 
Spiegel: Also in Germany one thinks that the more the mother gives up, the better it is for the child.
 
Pam: In France people think this thought is absurd. The child must think that his mother’s happiness solely depends on the child. This causes a lot of pressure on both sides. An unhappy mother will never raise a happy child.
 
Spiegel: Many Germans think the French style of education is very authoritarian.
 
Pam:  I don’t agree.  Empathy is very important for French parents. To always talk to the child, to understand his emotions and accompany his experiences.
 
Spiegel: German and American parents will hardly see this differently.
 
Pam: The French do not forget where their own boundaries are. Just because you listen to a child doesn’t mean that you do whatever it told you.  If a French kid says: “I know we will be eating soon but I want a pain au chocolat”, then the parents will reply: “I understand you are frustrated, but you can’t have a pain au chocolat”. Period. No further discussion.
 
Spiegel: So it is authoritarian after all.
 
Pam: It’s not what you say but HOW you say it. It’s important that parents listen. The French paediatrician Francoise Dolto revolutionized the education style of French parents. She said: “Listen to the children. Take their wishes seriously”. Babies are already capable of communicating and understand their parents. Dolto ensured the emancipation of children. This is proven by the fine differences in language. If a mother is telling her son of, she doesn’t say: “Don’t beat up your brother”. But she will say: “You don’t have the right to beat up your brother”.  She treats her children as individual subjects with rights and duties.
 
 
Spiegel: Which rights for example?
 
Pam: A magic recipe of French education is the “cadre”, the frame. That means you give children clearly defined boundaries and the children will have their own space within these boundaries.  For example: It’s time for the children to go to bed. They have to stay in their room. If they like, they can be up for a bit more in their room and do what they like. A rule of many parents is called: A fixed frame but freedom within the frame. It’s the same with the food: You have to try everything, but you don’t have to eat up.
 
Spiegel: Did you try those French education rules on your own children?
 
Pam: At first, I was very resistant. It starts with French mothers not breast feeding for long or not at all.
 
Spiegel: What was your problem with this?
 
Pam: As Americans, we think breast feeding is holy. To not breast feed is as bad as not loving your child.  On the contrary, in Paris you hardly see women who breast feed in public. Many paediatricians advice to use the bottle from early on.           
 
Spiegel: Many parents don’t like the idea that their children are only supposed to be quiet and good.
 
Pam: This is not about being good but about having respect. You don’t disturb your child without it being necessary, for example while it plays.
 
Spiegel: You write about French children helping in the household.
 
Pam: I know a two year old who picks the lettuce leaves for the salad served at dinner. The 5 year old neighbours’ daughter is mixing the salad sauce every night. The parents view is to give the child self-confidence by giving them tasks, rather than just serving their children.
 
 
Spiegel: What would the American in you do? Send the children to their room to do an educational game?
 
Pam:  Probably. The focus of American parents is not autonomy but control and security. They guide their children when playing rather than encouraging them to play by themselves.  Studies show that children who help in the house hold will become an active part within the family.  This boosts essential attitudes like empathy.
 
Spiegel: Do you still see advantages of the American way of raising children?
 
Pam: The French could do with a bit more optimism and confidence. The French children stories always end sadly.
 

 

Caroline of Monaco with her impeccable mannered daughters. Drop dead gorgeous Charlotte and Alexandra.

Caroline of Monaco with her impeccable mannered daughters. Drop dead gorgeous Charlotte and Alexandra.

 

Posted on June 14, 2013

French Style Secrets by Claire

Dresses/ Icons/ Paris/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

French Style Topshop dress black

As part of our French Style weeks, our lovely friend Claire is sharing with us her French Savoir Vivre wisdoms for chic inspiration!

Who is your style icon and why?

Vanessa Paradis (before the Rococo H&M collection!) She represents for me the French class, elegant style, natural and simple, with always a romantic touch: all about black dresses, lace or light flimsy blouses.

Vanessa Paradis

How would you describe your style?

Simple: my friends always tell me my new clothes look exactly alike the old ones, but when I am happy with my basics, I stick to it!

In terms of style, Russian IT-girls are easily recognizable by their opulent outfits, British people are famous for their unconventional quirky style and French style icons like Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt are often associated with a minimalistic, typical French chic.  Living in London, do you agree with this description, do British people dress differently compared to the French? And what are these differences?

Definitely! Shopping in London is great to find a diversity of styles, unearth unusual pieces of cloth or bird patterned-dress to cheer up your wardrobe, but at the end of the day, I always go back to the French classics: a marinière – striped jersey, and comfy slim jeans or a plain mini skirt for the day, a little black dress or a lace top to go out. The only eccentricity I adopted in London: colourful ballerina shoes to wear on any occasion.

 The questions every lady would like to know: How do you stay slim and fit? Do you follow a special diet or workout regime?

Eating healthy: I love all kinds of food and I don’t restrain myself, I just try to eat as much fruit and veggies as I can, and not nibble between meals. Apart from that, I just thank my parents!

What kind of make-up (i.e. mascara or lipstick)  do you use for every day and for when you go out?

Nude: a bit of foundation, black mascara, and the essential: some terracotta- sun in a pot from Guerlain, to compensate the British weather! A touch of Chanel mademoiselle lipstick if I go out.

French style basics a la Claire: Little Black Dress, La Marinière (Breton Shirt), colourful ballet flats, Chanel Lipstick in colour "Mademoiselle" and a bit of Terracotta Bronzer

French style basics a la Claire: Little Black Dress, La Marinière (Breton Shirt), comfy skinnies, colourful ballet flats, Chanel Lipstick in colour “Mademoiselle” and a bit of Terracotta Bronzer by Guerlain

 

What are your favourite clothes shops in London and Paris?

Unlike most of French girls, I hate shopping! I go for online shopping as much as I can! But when I go back to France, I always visit Maje, Sandro, Les Petites or Comptoir des Cotonniers, my favourite boutiques, and Etam for the basics.

 You live in London, can you recommend your favourite restaurant or cafe in the city?

My favourite French restaurant in London is Le Sacre Coeur, in Angel, with great authentic French dishes for an affordable price.

http://www.lesacrecoeur.co.uk/

 

French is wearing a Little Black Dress by Topshop. Necklace: Handmade by herself!

French is wearing a Little Black Dress by Topshop. Necklace: Handmade by herself!

Posted on June 28, 2011

Over the roofs of Paris – Les Galeries Lafayette

Paris/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

The Galeries Lafayette are not just a must see for shopping, but the department store also boasts an amazing roof terrace on the 7th floor, providing a view formidable over the city of love. Enjoy a cafe au lait and a price- less view at the same time at the cafe.

The weekend of our visit was also the start of the sale which we didn’t realise until we spotted hordes of passionate shoppers almost getting into fist fights over 500 EUR Chloe handbags and 50 metre queues just to be allowed access into the Louis Vuitton shop.

Berliners will notice that the interior of the French department store resembles that of the Galeries Lafayette in Berlin. Jean Nouvel constructed the German copy in 1991. It is one of only three in the whole world – the two others are in Casablanca, Morocco and in Dubai.

I wear a Max Mara dress, sunglasses from TK Maxx und shoes from Pretty Ballerina.

 

Posted on June 27, 2011

Le Loir dans la Théière – Paris!

Cuisine/ Paris/ Romantique/ Travel

The biggest advantage and most postitive thing about London for me is to be in Paris in just two hours! Fuss free, from Central London to Gard du Nord.  So this weekend I headed over there for a very special occasion: To surprise our mother for her 60th Birthday! She had no idea I was coming. I directed our mum and her partner to go and wait for me in a little teahouse in the Marais where I hopped out of the Taxi to unexpectectdly  rock up at their table! A very successful surprise indeed!

If you travel to Paris, make absolutely sure to not miss this gem. Situated in the wonderful Marais, this is a little cafe with lots of character, exquisite cuisine and cakes-out-of-this-world!

We enjoyed an orgasmic berry cheesecake, the berries tasted like just picked from the forest 10 minutes ago and the “cheese” was an unexplicably light egg whipp, crowned by a caramelised top! In the UK cakes are often pervertedly sweet so it was great to induldge in these not so sweet but rather tasty and fruity little creations.

Back to top