Monthly Archives: February 2014

Roca


In searching for a spot for a ladies lunch a few weeks ago, Gail of Perfectly Paris, Paula of Frenchy Rentals and Forest of 52 Martinis and The Chamber decided to trek to the depths of the 17th arrondissement to try Roca.

photo 1Roca is a new néo-bistro with talent coming from the kitchens of Le Richer and L’Office. We made our lunch reservation two days before and even added a 5th person into the mix and every time I called Continue reading

French Fashion Now : Where to Shop French Brands in Paris


Coco Chanel may have invented chic but contemporary French designers are to thank for keeping the flame of French fashion burning bright. You may already be familiar with major star labels like A.P.C., Isabel Marant, or the Maje and Sandro boutiques which have recently expanded into the USA and internationally. Despite the ever increasing homogeneity of the modern world there are still a few French clothing brands that you won’t easily find outside of the country. We compiled a short list of the best local joints to get your chic on, enjoy!

Many of these shops have multiple locations in Paris but – insider’s tip – everything listed here can be found on a stroll through the Marais.

Classic Chic

claudie pierlot

Claudie Pierlot

Decidedly Parisian in its conception Claudie Pierlot provides elegant classics updated for the modern city-dweller. Think pretty dresses and cardigans that transform flawlessly form day to soirée. Continue reading

The Pain of Paris


As your resident carboholic, I decided it would be my mission to look more closely into world of bread making and baguette buying.  No two loaves are the same and this guide will be of use to anyone who has been overwhelmed when they walk into the boulangeries.  Style and shape be damned, the pain de Paris is about about the flaky crusts and gooey interiors.  Here’s a list of the types of bread and their characteristics:

Pain2

Baguette is the most basic bread in France. It must weigh 320 grams real and it is characterized by it’s seven ridges on the top. Most people call any bread that is made ​​from a thin dough that is shaped into a long stick about 5 cm in diameter and about 60cm long, a baguette, but as mentioned, no two baguettes are the same.

Ficelle pain is like a baguette.  It’s about the same length of a baguette but it is much thinner. Ficelle means string in French and accurately describes the thinness of the bread.  These have to be eaten fairly quickly as their thin nature makes the inside dry out very quickly.  You have an hour or two to eat this type of bread  after you’ve gotten it at best, so get a move on!

Croissants are made ​​from a butter puff pastry and are crescent-shaped with a buttery glaze on top.  The best croissants have a flaky top layer and should have a fairly soft interior.  They should NOT, I repeat, not be flat.  They should be well risen and not over cooked.  Croissants are often a desirable type of bread for sandwiches.

Boule de pain is a traditional French bread shape resembling a crushed ball.  This type of bread comes in different shapes and sizes, and the crust is pretty soft.  It’s made of simple ingredients–flour, water, salt, and rising powder.  This is most commonly used as table bread and is neutral enough to go with any dish.

pain

Pain de campagne (brown bread) is usually a large round bread with a thick crust. The dough is fermented for several hours, thus, the natural yeasts and bacteria grow. It is rounded and placed in a banneton (linen -lined basket). After the dough has risen  it is slid in an oven and baked.  The bread is whole wheat flour and rye flour (where the bread gets its color).  This bread usually weighs a couple of kilos and is meant to feed a large group of people as it used to feed big families in the country.

Viennois de la douleur is as a baguette shaped bread but the crust is softer, with a finer texture and sweeter taste . It is glazed with milk and sugar before baking.  This bread has the cute horizontal criss cross shapes on top.  This is a  bread to mix with chocolate and accompany a child’s gouter.

Ordinaire douleur is sometimes called the peasant bread or as one French friend called it ‘plebian bread.’  It really just means that this is ‘ordinary’ bread.  It is easy to prepare and it is really just bread you’d have at the table at mealtimes.

Pain perdu isn’t necessarily considered a true type of French bread. This is the English equivalent of French toast  and can be made with any type of bread and eggs.

Douleur complet is made from of a mixture of white bread flour and whole wheat flour.  These types of breads include wholemeal breads, rye breads, and sourdough bread.  These breads can be found in supermarkets and not just the boulangeries because it is packaged and keeps of longer.

There’s the rundown! What are your favorite types of breads in Paris? What are the best dishes for each type of bread?

Ancient Paris is Hidden in the Latin Quarter


Way back in the year 360 CE the town of Lutetia, nestled along the Seine, was given a new name, Paris, in nod to the Parisii tribe who were early the Pre-Roman Gaulish settlers of the area. The city we know and love today has grown out and beyond its Gallo-Roman heritage but if you look closely modern Paris still bears traces of its ancient roots.

Thermes de Cluny (photo credit: Dominotic)

Thermes de Cluny (photo credit: Dominotic)

For those with a penchant for the archeological we have chosen three hidden spots in the 4th and 5th arrondissements of Paris that will surely inspire you to see this timeless city in a new light.

 

The Thermes de Cluny

The bustling Latin Quarter is a hub for students and tourists alike. At its center, dating from the 13th Century stands the Sorbonne University. Around the corner you will find the National Museum of the Middle Ages which harbors, in addition to a marvelous collection of medieval treasures, the Continue reading

Paris Shopping Guide | Buying Meat in France


Next to ordering coffee, buying meat seems to be one of most difficult things for recent arrivals to get used to and comfortable with. The simple reason for this is that French cuts of meat are different from British or American cuts. There are many more of them and they tend to not totally correspond to a lot of what we Anglos are used to.

Below are two diagrams of how Americans and British cut their meat and following that is the French cuts for you to compare.

British Beef Cuts – Image from Wikipedia Continue reading

Winter in Paris: A Survival Guide


It’s common knowledge that people don’t move to Paris for the weather.  I’m from the Midwest, so I am no stranger to snowpocalypses, black ice, and torrential hail.  But in Paris, the nature of the beast is different.  Much of the year is cold, wet, and grey.  In the words of the Asteroids Galaxy Tour, “the sun ain’t shining no more.” Fear not though, here at Savoir Faire we’ve compiled a list to help you beat the winter blues. After you’ve run out and bought some vitamin D and a sun lamp, check out our tips for fighting off the winter blues:

winter in paris

  1. Insulate yourself!  I know what you’re thinking, I’ll just go to Aigle and buy a doudoune.  No, actually I meant that you should insulate yourself from within.  That’s right! Put on a couple kilos to ward off the harsh winds Continue reading

Bar Demory | A Parisian Beer Haven


Having snagged tastes of the Paris-based brewery in bars across the city, a few beer-loving friends and I decided to check out the Bar Demory Paris that opened on a quiet street just off the bustling rue Rambuteau in the 4th arrondissement. The space is over 200m2 and after distributing their beers throughout Paris, opening two pop-up bars, and creating lots of buzz around their brand, their final location is definitely worth the trip.

photo 1The Parisian brewery Demory Paris is not actually as new as you might thing. The brewery has recently reemerged after it closed almost 60 years ago. Its re-branding came at a great time as local Continue reading

Romance A La Française


February is the month of the great thaw: hopefully just in the weather and not in your love live! Wondering how to spice up Valentine’s this year in Paris? We’ve got your go to list so that you aren’t scrambling to buy your honey wine or chocolates at the last minute!

Why not set up a romantic dinner and photo session to capture the your Valentine’s Day? In the afternoon, meet up with photographer Lindsey Kent at the Louvre Museum, where she’ll then take you around the city for a two-hour romantic photography session. Locations visited will include the Louvre, Pont des Arts “love locks” bridge, Pont Bir Hakeim and Trocadero (both with magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower).

couple

Couples in love in Paris! (Photo courtesy of Pictours Paris)

After your photo session, Lindsey will then take you to her Parisian home, where her husband Chef Justin Kent will prepare a gastronomic five course-tasting menu from fresh and seasonal ingredients, and paired with champagne Continue reading