This & That: August 14, 2020 – French Week

Aug 14, 2020

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Here we go! French finds galore! Oodles of books, cookbooks included, two French films that I highly recommend, a pop-up sale on French Brocante finds, an upcoming new series set in Paris on Netflix and well, that is just the beginning. Enjoy!


Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso and More by Christina Henry de Tessan

Released in 2012, “take a stroll through Édith Piaf’s Belleville, dine at Napoléon’s favorite restaurant, and explore the late-night haunts of Ernest Hemingway, Josephine Baker, and Pablo Picasso. From the author of the best-selling City Walks: Paris deck, this lively collection of walking adventures follows in the footsteps of more than 25 of the city’s iconic former residents.”

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean

While below, I share with you a book all about what many people associate with modern Paris, in Joan DeJean’s book released in 2016, she makes the argument that actually the foundations of modern Paris began far earlier. “Though most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the public works of the nineteenth century, Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first complete design for the French capital was drawn up and implemented. As a result, Paris saw many changes. It became the first city to tear down its fortifications, inviting people in rather than keeping them out. Parisian urban planning showcased new kinds of streets, including the original boulevard, as well as public parks and the earliest sidewalks and bridges without houses. Venues opened for urban entertainment of all kinds, from opera and ballet to a pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping. Parisians enjoyed the earliest public transportation and street lighting, and Paris became Europe’s first great walking city.”

Let Them Eat Pancakes: One Man’s Personal Revolution in the City of Light by Craig Carlson

Released this past July, and a follow up to Carlson’s Pancakes in Paris, Let Them Eat Pancakes shares even more hilarious adventures and anecdotes from his journey of owning a diner in Paris despite never having before own his own business. “Craig chose to open his diner in a foreign country, with a foreign language that also happens to be the culinary capital of the world. While facing enormous obstacles, including convincing French banks to give him a loan, finding ‘exotic’ ingredients like bacon, breakfast sausage, and bagels, and dealing with constant strikes, demonstrations, and Kafkaesque French bureaucracy, Craig and his diner, Breakfast in America, went on to be a great success―especially with the French.” If you are looking for a light-hearted, engaging read about overcoming the odds, and set in Paris, this is the book for you.

My Four Seasons in France by Janine Marsh

On September 1st, London expat Janine Marsh will release her second book detailing her new life in Northern France. “In the Seven Valleys, each season brings new challenges as well as new delights. Freezing weather in February threaten the lives of some of the four-legged locals; snow in March results in a broken arm, which in turn leads to an etiquette lesson at the local hospital; and a dramatic hailstorm in July destroys cars and houses, ultimately bringing the villagers closer together. With warmth and humour, Janine showcases a uniquely French outlook as two eternally ambitious expats drag a neglected farmhouse to life and stumble across the hidden gems of this very special part of the world.” Preorder your copy now.

Paris: The Biography of a City by Colin Jones

Covering over 2000 years of Paris history, Colin Jones will whet the armchair traveler’s curiosity and historians will revel in nearly 600 pages of Parisian history. All of the detail complete with “numerous photographs and feature boxes—on the Bastille or Josephine Baker and so much more.

Paris Reborn: Napoléon III, Baron Haussman and the Quest to Build a Modern City by Stephane Kirkland

As mentioned above, while debatable as to when the foundations of the modern Paris began, it was in the mid-19th-century that the Paris we know today, the grand avenues and building façades, came to fruition. “The vision for the new Paris belonged to Napoléon III, who had led a long and difficult climb to absolute power. But his plans faltered until he brought in a civil servant, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, to take charge of the implementation. Heedless of controversy, at tremendous cost, Haussmann pressed ahead with the giant undertaking until, in 1870, his political enemies brought him down, just months before the collapse of the whole regime brought about the end of an era.”

The Villa des Violettes by Patricia Sands (three book series)

Novelist Patricia Sands captured fans’ hearts with her series The Love of Provence, and if you haven’t read those books, you may want to start there, but you can also dive into her latest series The Villa des Violettes as the third in the series was just released this past May. With Katherine Price, a women in her fifties who’s life abruptly changes, at the center of all of the novels, in The Villa des Violettes series discover how Kat’s new personal odyssey which brought her to Provence continues. “Discover the ongoing trajectory of Kat’s life and embrace once more the extended family and friends, along with some new personalities. Celebrate the joie de vivre!”

Book 2 in the three-part series (thus far)


Auberge of the Flowering Heart by Roy Andries De Groot

Published in the 90s, and highly praised by Julia Child, Roy Andries De Groot, upon discovering by accident the little inn L’Auberge de l’Atre Fleuri was so I”mpressed by the devotion of its owners to perpetuating the tradition of supreme country dining, that he “returned to the inn to record their recipes for natural country soups, hearty winter stews, roasted meats, pates, terrines, and fruity and spirituous desserts—the best of French cooking.”

Crepes: 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes by Martha Holmberg

Trained at the renowned La Varenne cooking school (the founder of the school’s latest book is shared below!), Martha Holmberg has been a food writer, editor, and cook in the United States, England, and France for the past two decades. Her cookbook just arrived at my house, and I cannot wait to dive into her trusted recipes of the classics as well as her creative exploration with “ambitious and fascinating flavor combinations and ingredients.” Below is a look at the Table of Contents to give you a taste.

La Maison du Chocolat: Timeless Classics with a Twist by Gilles Marchal

If you are already a subscriber to TSLL’s Free Monthly Newsletter, you discovered/will discover a giveaway today of a full box of 30 truffles from La Maison du Chocolat. Having a box of my own currently in my house, I will attest, they are delectable and oh, so worth purchasing. However, maybe you want to make your own delicious chocolate creations, and in his cookbook Timeless Classics with a Twist, master chocolatier Gilles Marchal shows you how.

Paul Bocuse: The Complete Recipes

Another classic French cookbook to have in your library, celebrated chef Paul Bocuse “shares 500 simple, traditional French recipes. Aimed at the beginner but with enough breadth to entice the confident chef, these recipes can be readily prepared at home and emphasize the use of the freshest and simplest ingredients. The book is divided into twenty-two chapters, fourteen covering savory recipes and eight covering sweet recipes, with everything from soups to soufflés, by way of terrines, fish, meat, and vegetables. Practical appendixes include average cooking times for different types of meat, conversion tables, and a glossary of key French culinary terms.”

Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today by Anne Willan

Just released this past Tuesday, founder of the famed French cooking school in Paris La Varenne, and multiple James Beard award winning cookbook author and historian, Anne Willan’s new book opens the lives of 12 female cookbook writers that changed the way we eat. I enjoyed listening to her interview on the podcast In Julia’s Kitchen, and one of the handful of similarities each of these women share is that they are all extremely intelligent and savvy. However, there are many differences, most were lovers of food and cooking themselves, but not all, which makes it all the more intriguing to see how they indeed changed the course of food history. From Alice Waters to Julia Child, Irma Rombauer, Fannie Farmer, Edna Lewis, and Marcella Hazan, and many other cooks most of us have never heard of, discover not only their history but a handful of selected recipes by Anne Willan herself and why she chose them.


Change of Plans

Scrolling through my Hulu movie feed last week, I came across the French film Change of Plans which was released in 2009, and continuing in the vein of what I appreciate most about French films is that they refrain from “fairy-tale-izing” the plot. Have a look at the trailer below, and enjoy. I know I did.

Force Majeure

If you watched Downhill this past February with Julia Louise-Dreyfus and Will Farrell, you will already know the premise of the story Force Majeure. Downhill was the Americanized version of writer and director Ruben Östlund’s story about a comedy-part-psychodrama centered around a Swedish family visiting a luxurious French ski resort that is confronted with an avalanche-scare revealing a moment of truth that challenges the bonds of marriage.

Critics were not a fan of Downhill, but contrastingly raved about Force Majeure, and I have to agree about the latter review (having not seen Downhill). I thoroughly appreciated the exploration of each of the characters, the stunning scenery videography that is not filled with constant words and movement, but rather leaves room for the viewer to think about what they are actually watching. Force Majeure is certainly a film that will provoke much discussion afterwards.

Watch it on Amazon Prime or Hulu as well as other movie streaming services, and check out the trailer below.


Eric Bompard Cricket Cable Stitch Cardigan (more colors) Sale

Known for their talent making cashmere sweaters, French company Eric Bompard is a recommended source for quality sweaters, and currently, there is a worthwhile sale taking place on a variety of styles and colors.

Gien Azur Teacup & Saucer

When I first saw Gien’s Azur design, I sighed a little. Of course it was the butterfly (le papillon) that sold me, but the entire design is extraordinarily peaceful to gaze upon. Available in dinnerware, their classic mug with thumb rest, this cup and saucer would be a simple luxury indeed to use each morning or evening or afternoon or . . . anytime.

J.Crew Linen V-Neck tees, sale

Linen was included in this week’s Summer Style Essentials for visiting France, and these simple v-neck tees from J.Crew are available at a wonderful price point and a variety of colors.

Nordstrom’s Semi-Annual Sale

The sale has begun! I have shopped a few items below, but be sure to check out the entire sale here.

Rabbit Hill French Lifestyle Pop-Up Shop, August 15th

Cat of Rabbit Hill does a wonderful job of sourcing Brocante finds for the home from markets around France. Her copper is always on my list to check out, as I have a couple of her refurbished pieces in my kitchen. Tomorrow her monthly Lifestyle Pop-Up shop will take place, so be sure to stop by and seize the opportunities quickly as items move fast.


Emily in Paris

Coming this fall to Netflix from the creator of Younger and Sex and the City, Darren Star brings viewers Emily in Paris. Starring Lily Collins as a young American woman from the Midwest who is hired by a marketing firm in Paris to provide them with an American perspective on things, tune in for 10 episodes for the first season of this romantic comedy. Initially scheduled to air on Paramont network, Netflix now has the rights, and the premiere date is forthcoming as well as a trailer. Stay tuned.

Bienvenue to the annual French Week’s This & That! What a week it has been on the blog, and it is not over yet!

Be sure to stop by later today (noon – Pacific time) for the reveal of the Grand Giveaway. You will not want to miss it, especially if you are someone who loves to step into the kitchen. Make sure you have entered all of the giveaways (there have been four so far – see them all shared at the end of this post), and enter by tomorrow at 8pm (Pacific time). The winners and the final round-up of TSLL’s 5th Annual French Week will be posted on Sunday.

The week has flown by for a variety of reasons, and from a morning paddle with Norman which found us entirely alone on the river aside from the birds and the fish, to seeing my potting table area in my garage be completed and me giddily organizing it (a reveal will come in the later months but TSLL Monthly newsletter subscribers had a sneak peek today), with the most lovely moments prompted because of TSLL readers. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments, receiving your feedback and kindness as you shared what you enjoy most about the blog when you stop by to read and peruse. Thank you to everyone who took time to share feedback in last week’s survey. While I will share more in the coming weeks about what is ahead regarding the changes and improvements to TSLL blog, today let us continue to celebrate all things French. Pourquoi pas! So far 11 posts have been shared this week with four more to come.

I will be stepping into the kitchen today to make and capture the recipe that will be shared tomorrow on the blog (Saturday). One that I think many have enjoyed either while in France or at your favorite French restaurant, and the good news is that it is simple and absolutely delectably scrumptious – perfect for breakfast or dinner or lunch. 🙂 Be sure to stop by as tomorrow there will be two new posts, but especially do not forget to stop by later today beginning at noon to enter the Grand Giveaway of French Week.

As well, be sure to take advantage of TSLL’s Boutique Sale which runs through this Sunday – 20% off everything (a few exclusions apply – learn more here). And below I have gathered up many different articles, most of them French-inspired, but not all, and one video, I think you will love! Thank you for choosing to stop by the blog today, and bonne journée!

—Having visited two of these on the lists and concurring with their assessment, I look forward to visiting the rest – The Best Markets in Provence [HiP Paris]

Discovering French Bread and the Rules of ‘Baguetiquette’ [France 24]

Why Constant Self-Improvement Might Be Bad Sometimes [Life Hack]

7 Quick Reminders to Help You Simplify Everything [Become More With Less]

13 Reasons to Always Be Kind [Live Bold and Bloom]

Paris is Always a Good Idea, But Will the City of Love Ever Be the Same? [Telegraph]

Life in France During a Pandemic [Washington Post]

25 Soft Skills You Need to Be Successful in Life [Life Hack]

Notre Dame’s organ’s dismantling has begun after the 2019 fire [Guardian]

Paris’ Best Hidden Gardens [HiP Paris]

Why It Matters to Take Care of Yourself First (And How to Do It)

~And while not French-inspired, I think we all need this video (shown below). I hope it lifts your spirits and perhaps inspires you to get up and dance. With so many great classic and contemporary scenes pulled from favorite films, from My Fair Lady to Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and soooooo many more! [Compiled by John Jannuzzi – check out his other montages as well – so much fun. I think this one might be my favorite, and that was not an easy choice.]

PREVIOUS POSTS from TSLL’s 5th Annual French Week

Welcome to TSLL’s 5th Annual French Week & The First Giveaway!

10 thoughts on “This & That: August 14, 2020 – French Week

  1. Another wonderful TSLL French Week! Thanks to your suggestions, I now have several books requested through my local library. I plan on enjoying them with a cup of tea and a croissant.

  2. You have shared so many great resources today, merci! Thanks to you I now have my eye on the Crepe cookbook, it looks tres magnifique!

  3. Thank you for sharing Women in the Kitchen, I am looking forward to diving into It when it arrives. Do you have any of Anne Willan’s other books? From my Chateau Kitchen is lovely as is her book about the country cooking of France.
    Also have you ever read Eat my Words, by Janet Theophano? It’s another book on culinary history and the roles of women.

  4. This has been such a wonderful week that you’ve presented for us. A much needed respite during this Pandemic. My deepest gratitude for all of your work to put it together.

    1. Janice, thank you for stopping and for your comment. I am tickled to hear I could help in some small way make this time in all of our lives easier. Wishing you a beautiful weekend. 😌💛

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