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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Please visit this blog on my primary blog site -

24/7 in France  link (please follow me there)

Merci !

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive !


2012 BeaujolaisOddly enough, I happened to be in Paris for the November 15, 2012 release of “Beaujolais Nouveau” & was again in Paris this year on the legally regulated release day/time: the third Thursday of November at midnight.  The event is a world-wide celebration of a red wine from Beaujolais, located in the Burgundy region of France. By law, the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau is on the third Thursday of November at 12:01 AM.
Reportedly, in the 1950s the makers of the wine were keen to increase the sales of this young vintage – there wasn’t a huge demand due to ageing process of wines.
Beaujolais Nouveau wine isn’t really nouveau/new, since it’s been around since the 19th century.  Targeting Paris to carry the first bottles released in cafés and restaurants, as a marketing tactic, made this event an annual success since then, with the largest importers being Japan, Germany and the U.S.

Which promotional poster do you prefer?

November 21, 2013:
Beaujolais nouveau 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Themed Travel Packages on the French Riviera

Come join us!  We host travel packages on the French Riviera, based on a theme: antiques, regional products, writing, castles, etc.  Check out our videos, too, to get a glimpse of the area.  We look forward to meeting & welcoming you!

http://francefinesse.com

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How I did it!




video



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Change of blog site!

Please visit and/or follow this blog on the primary blog site (instead of here) - I will be closing this one in the near future.

24/7 in France  link (please follow me there)

Merci !

Monday, June 10, 2013

Re-direction

Please visit and/or follow this blog on the primary blog site (instead of here) - closing this one in the near future.

24/7 in France  link

Merci !




Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Launch Press Release

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Description:How To cover
A personal step-by-step guide for how to develop your ideas into a manuscript, focus on formatting, enhance editing, and pursue publishing, & more.  Follow the author’s footsteps, to help you achieve your writing success!

E-book Price:  $4.99 USD

More information HERE
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Friday, June 7, 2013

A Jet-Set B&B Near Nice

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Frank Sinatra, Aristotle and Jackie Onassis, Maria Callas, Princess Grace and Prince Rinier, Jane Mansfield, Maurice Chevalier, Anita Ekberg, Glenn Ford, Charles Aznavour, and Johnny Hallyday – to name just some of the rich and famous that frequented the house that was owned by singer and songwriter, Georges Ulmer and his wife, Betty.   Purchased in 1952 and for more than twenty years, the Ulmers hosted and entertained jet-setters on the large, sunny terrace of their home-cum-restaurant/night club, “Blue Moon.”  Betty took care of the restaurant, while George sang and played guitar on the terrace for guests; reportedly Frank Sinatra occasionally sang there too.

After the death of her husband in 1989, Betty decided to sell the house in 2002, and for the past 11 years, thanks to owners Catherine and Patrick Bouvet, this renovated, lovely stone villa has been operating as a successful and charming B&B, named “Les Terrasses du Soleil.”  I recently had the honor to spend time on the terrace with Catherine, re-living the bygone days of this historical place, imagining myself dining and dancing there as well.

The uniqueness of this Chambre d’Hôte/B&B is not only it’s jet-set past, but also the beautiful views from the grand terrace, and the homemade and varied breakfast specialties created by Catherine (yogurt, jams, unique pancakes, just to name a few).  There are two bedrooms and two suites in this three-story hidden treasure, situated near Nice in the medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes-sur-Mer.

This beautiful B&B is charming and has a warm, welcoming ambiance for year-round accommodation, except when closed from November 1st to December 20th.

“PIGALLE” – Composed in 1946 and sung by Georges Ulmer (video link)

Chambres d'hôtes Les Terrasses du Soleil                                    Photos credit: Terrasses du Soleil website
entree
terrasse
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brasserie in Nice

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I recently dined at Brasserie Alberti, located on the corner of rue Alberti and rue de l’Hotel des Postes in Nice. This used to be the Alsacienne restaurant that is well known for its sauerkraut garnished with a variety of sausages, ham, and potatoes.

Since the weather was cooler than normal, it was the perfect evening for this meal! I ordered the “Choucroute Tradition” and a “une pression (beer on tap) Grimbergen Ambre”. It was delicious, as usual – although this time, the chef added a lot more “baies de Genièvre” (juniper berries), which were easy enough to pick out.

Overall, it was a deliciously hearty, hot, and heartwarming meal!

(Of course, they have a wide variety of menu selections for those who don’t care for sauerkraut)


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Friday, May 31, 2013

Mediterranean Whale Watching



whale

If you are looking for something different to do, here’s an outing that fits the bill:

“Every Sunday, Decouverte du Vivant offers Naturalist Discovery Cruises aboard the boat La Croix du Sud V. During the nine-hour voyage you’re likely to see striped dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, pilot hales, sperm whales and the second largest animal on the planet, the fin whale. 

You can also expect to encounter seabirds, sunfish, loggerhead turtles, bluefin tuna, bonito and swordfish.

The season opens June 9 and runs through October 20, 2013. Cruises depart from Sanary sur Mer in the Var at 9:30 am and return at 6 pm. Prices are 55€ (under 13), 66€ (students and teens), 78€ (adult) and on demand for groups. “  For more info or to reserve, click here or call 06-10-57-17-11 or email to: info@decouverteduvivant.fr

Credit:  The Provence Post





Thursday, May 30, 2013

Le Mois des Gourmands

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gourmands-01
There’s still time left for foodistas and foodies alike!

“La Fourchette” is featuring May 22-June 16 as gourmet month, with substantial reductions on select restaurants.

For current restaurants offering discounts in Nice, click HERE
Buyer Beware -  I haven’t used La Fourchette (it seems to be like Groupon which I have used)

Do you think you generally get what you pay for?

BON APPETIT!
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

B & B – Guesthouse Near Nice

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I recently visited Villa Estelle and met Fiona, the on-site Irish manager for the owners of this charming B  & B, situated in the medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes-sur-Mer just outside of Nice.

This five-bedroom guesthouse’s facade and beautiful arched entrance hides a large interior courtyard inside the 14th-century building, where, historically, Jean Cocteau, Renoir, and even Modigliani used to pass by the front door of this authentic Provençal house.

Open all year long, the B & B has welcomed international visitors for the past fifteen years.  Since there were guests, I took photos of only the living room, breakfast room, and kitchen (to die for!)  – see the website link’s picture gallery for others.

Full of charm and warm hospitality, this unique establishment is inviting and ideally located – come enjoy the charming ambiance of this guesthouse in a lovely medieval village!


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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Riviera Woman

And you thought I was talking about myself, right?!

paperback photoWell....sort of…..since I am A Riviera woman, and am featured in THE Riviera Woman:  an online magazine, and as the author of “Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France.  Watch book trailer HERE.

A big merci to Anna Fill, the e-zine presenter and promoter, who I met a few years ago at one of her events.  Anna started the magazine to “develop a platform that allowed (her) to meet inspirational women and men on the Riviera who are part of the community, giving (her) the chance to raise their profile and hear their story.  (She) also wanted to have a website that promoted art and artists of all kinds.”

The Riviera Woman magazine’s slogan is: “Talk to us because we’ll talk about you. It’s what women do.”  And Anna certainly does it very, very well – Bravo!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gastronomic Restaurant in Nice

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Situated on Coco Beach just after the port of Nice,  “La Reserve” is a well-known “restaurant gastronomique, ” famous for its proximity next to the sea, high quality dining, and providing panoramic views.  The ambiance is formal, with a contemporary interior design, and sound effects from the waves lapping the shoreline.  The food was first-rate, service excellent (but not personable), and views spectacular.  But, I had a little reserve about La Reserve….a feeling that something was missing that I couldn’t put my finger on.  It wasn’t just the pricey menu (expected for this type of restaurant), but rather a lack of “soulfulness” – everything felt too robotic.  It was a black and white, rather than colorful, experience – figuratively speaking and difficult to explain.

Do you know what I mean?  Have you ever experienced this at a restaurant?

(The above is my personal opinion and not meant as a critique of the restaurant to sway tourists – your experience may be totally different.)














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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gourmet Restaurant in Monaco


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I recently attend a luncheon with the Riviera Gourmet Club, held at Le Benoit Restaurant in Monaco – a posh setting for a posh meal, and all in all, a delicious afternoon among friends. The restaurant is within walking distance from the train station, going down the hill and then taking a long flight of steps up to the parking garage level. The restaurant is on the 5th floor, providing a panoramic view of the Port Hercule – well worth a visit for a luxurious lunch (or dinner)!

photos (excluding the mixed fruit dessert – it was so enticing, I forgot to take a photo of it!)

Filet de boeuf
Brie cheese

Fish



Foie gras



View from terrace

Terrace

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sporting Beach in Nice

View article HERE

Metro Signs

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During a visit to the Washington D.C. area, I took the Orange Line of the Metro into the city.  It suddenly dawned on me,  how confused a non-English speaker could be, when faced with these transportation signs.  I immediately thought of the automated ticket machines in Paris, for non-French speakers, as a comparison.  We tend to take it for granted that things are easy, so I tried to put myself in someone else’s shoes – as a type of role reversal.  Have you encountered this type of situation?
metro map automation IMG_0003 entrance
bench seat
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Scream, You Scream…

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We all scream for ice cream — especially with summer and tourist season just around the corner here in Nice.
Berthillon” is to Paris as “Fenocchio” is to Nice
Here’s the scoop!
Berthillon is a well-known tea salon, located on the Ile Saint Louis,  offering 60 flavors of ice cream/sorbet.  In the summer, there are long lines at this famous establishment.
Address:
29-31 rue Saint Louis en l’ile (Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm)
75004 Paris

Métro :  
_ ligne 7 station Pont Marie
_ ligne 1 station Saint Paul
_ lignes 9 & 10 station Cardinal Lemoine
BUS : lignes
86 / 87 / 63 / 67 / 24
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Fenocchio, located in the heart of Old Nice at Place Rosetti, is a well-known and offers around 98 flavors of ice cream/sorbet  (one of my top five sites in Nice).  Long lines are common during high tourist season.
Address (two locations in Old Nice):

2, Place Rossetti near St. Reparate Cathedral – 9:00am – Midnight (non-stop)
6, rue de la Poissonerie near Cours Saleya market – 9:00am – Midnight (non-stop except Tuesday)
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What flavor(s) would you choose?
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New News Nuggets from Nice

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guide cover resized•        As of May 3, 2013, bus & tram fares are 1,50 € (instead of 1€) for a one-way ticket; however, buying a group of 10 tickets still costs 1€ each (buy at tram stops or at Lignes d’Azur shop)

•        The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15-26 and the Monaco Grand Prix is May 25-26, 2013

•        The Nice Jazz Festival will run from July 8-12, 2013

•        “Mirazur” restaurant in Menton is #28 in the 2013 list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants (http://www.mirazur.fr/en)

•        AutoBleue stations are under construction in Villefranche and Beaulieu, with 28 stations targeted to be ready in 2013

•        The newly constructed green park (Coulée Verte) in the center of Nice will be officially named the “Promenade du Paillon”

•        A new tunnel is being constructed between Nice and Monaco, projected to be completed in two years

•        By 2020, high speed broadband will reach remote communities in the PACA region, with all of France having Internet before 2022

•        The Musée Oceanographique in Monaco will host a permanent exhibition all year long, themed “The Mediterranean Splendid – Fragile Living”

•        Nice airport has a full body scanner for checking international travelers, reportedly the only French airport with one, so only volunteers are scanned, instead of the typical walk-through metal detectors

•        Nice’s airport is in the top ten listing for the world’s most scenic airplane landings, from a survey by an air charter company

•        Virgin Megastore in Nice will be closing

•        IKEA will be opening in the Eco-Nice Saint Isidore area, targeted for 2016

•        The Palais Mediterranée was voted 18th best luxury hotel in Trip Advisor’s list of best hotels in France

•        The Palais de la Mediterranée hotel and casino in Nice will be renamed Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranée, and Hôtel Martinez in Cannes will be officially named Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez,following a new management agreement under the Hyatt family of hotels; both hotels will also be renovated

•        A new site shows where you can drop-off electronic equipment for recycling, as well as where to donate other goods (www.eco-systemes.fr )

•        Renault Twingo and the Smart Fortwo are the two top cars in France for thefts

•        France has been repeatedly voted to have the world’s best quality of life by International Living magazine, with 79 million tourists last year

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Source: Riviera Times, Connexion, Riviera Reporter
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