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A Royal Dinner in Paris

November 23, 2014 @ 8:37 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

Le Soufflé, tucked away on rue Mont Thabor

Our favorite restaurant in Paris is Le Soufflé, tucked away on rue Mont Thabor, just around the corner from The Ritz.  Blink, and you will miss it, as the restaurant appears quite modest from the street.  When you enter, though, it is as if you have arrived in a lovely home with quiet décor and refined tastes, with pleasant colors, paintings and objets d′art.

We enjoyed a most unusual dining experience, during our last Le Soufflé visit.  In a terribly un-cosmopolitan move, we did not make a reservation and arrived early for dinner, by Parisian standards.  We had been shopping for gifts to take home, and decided on a whim to see if we might luck out with a spontaneous seating.  Indeed, the early hour was the only reason they were able to not only accommodate us but tuck us in a wonderful little alcove just to the right of the entrance.  Our locale was perfect – private, romantic and with a view of the whole front room of the restaurant.

Our very personable waiter recommended a lovely dry white wine and took our soufflé, salad and dessert orders.  The menu offers a wonderful array of sweet and savory soufflés, from mushroom, cheese, spinach or asparagus to the Grand Marnier finale – simply a light, flavorful combination.

Grand Marnier Soufflé

By the time a stir buzzed at the restaurant entrance, we were “best friends” with our waiter; who served, chatted and stayed discreetly nearby to attend to our needs.  Suddenly, there was commotion; when a limousine pulled up to the door, and two solemn men entered.  They huddled with the maître’d, and two tables were quickly joined together across from us.  The men disappeared to the back room, returned to the door and ushered in 5 or 6 casually-dressed young ladies.  They were seated at the long table, one in a red baseball cap with her back to the front window.  The two men took a small table to our right, one facing the door (and our table), the other facing the rear.

Our waiter arrived with a lovely soufflé dusted with sugar, and a bottle of Grand Marnier.  He pierced the soufflé and poured just the right amount of liqueur to flavor our dessert.  Then, he leaned in and told us in a hushed voice, that the young lady in the cap was a Saudi princess.  Well, that added a touch of entertainment to our evening, as we watched the festive girls enjoy their meals.  Their trim security guards sipped Coca Cola’s and kept a close eye on us and other guests.  For one who enjoys drama, it was quite fun.

While we can’t guarantee that your visit will be quite as exotic as ours, we do encourage you to make reservations for a warm and savory dining experience at Le Soufflé.  And to top your evening, step around to Place Vendome for a nightcap at The Ritz.

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com
Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

“ANNE TOURAINE Paris™” Scarf – Magique!

November 22, 2014 @ 1:01 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

I am the proud owner of the world’s most beautiful scarf.  It is French – mais oui!  It is delicate silk with soft, hand-rolled hems. The colors are absolutely perfect with my eyes, my hair, my skin color.

Delicate shades of blue and violet play with equally subtle sea green.  The Eiffel Tower rises through the violet mist with charcoal gray lines and shades of ecru.  Notre Dame takes on a similar look with gray and beige, pale blue tones and lightly-shaded turquoise trees.

This magnificent scarf is “Paris je t’aime” by Anne Touraine Paris™.  I have to believe that my spirit was tucked away inside of Madame Touraine, when she created this elegant design.  “je t’aime” is not my first fine scarf, and now I know it will not be my last.  I’m sure I cannot explain the transformation my écharpe bestows … but I will try.

I don’t want to be too dismissive here.  I live in a world-renowned tourist destination, but the nearby cities somehow think that makes them grown up.  They take on a bit of a smug air, as if cosmopolitan visitors somehow transform them, make them world travelers in their own right.

Simply not so, no more than my seeing a photo of the Eiffel Tower makes me understand and appreciate the bold grandeur of The Iron Lady.  It is only the experience of stepping toward Le Tour, of walking in her sprawling shadows and watching children play in her grassy surrounds that fills me with real understanding.

And that is the effect of my lovely scarf.  It is like a crown around my head, casting a special invitation to see how much the colors emphasize the color of my eyes.  Or resting softly on my shoulder.  Or rolled and entwined ‘just so’ around my neck.  This is no ordinary scarf but an object that whispers beauty and quiet elegance.

When my masterpiece arrived, I was astounded at each step of the unveiling.  Anne’s handsome, understated white and charcoal box and personalized ribbon begged me to be careful in the unwrapping.  Among the tissue folds was “Le Guide” – my own 42-page booklet complete with gorgeous photographs and scarf tying methods.

Under the final fold of crisp, white tissue was “Paris je t’aime” and a small card advising me of special care instructions to keep my scarf beautiful.  As a person with years of marketing and branding experience, I applaud the perfection of details that have gone into designing, producing and presenting Anne Touraine Paris scarves.

Nothing replaces touching the fine silk and seeing the stunning colors.  The experience reminded me of the different outcome of printing a photo on plain paper or on fine photographic paper.  The latter defines and makes possible the imprint of true colors.  And so it is with the scarves.  Photos are remarkably representative of ‘the real thing’ …… yet……….

Paris scarves

Hand-rolled hems and vivid colors – Anne Touraine Paris

I tend to be a casual person – too casual – foregoing the extra accessory that adds the perfect touch to an outfit.  Sometimes “too casual” translates to lazy.  Now, my scarf simply won’t allow this, insisting that I find the right outfit to show her off.

Forgive my indulgence in rambling on, but I have discovered one of many secrets to raising myself up and enjoying simple pleasures in life.  Merveilleux!  By all means wander through Madame Touraine’s lovely website – Anne Touraine Paris to discover her ever-expanding collection of scarves and handsome accessories!

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC.   All rights reserved.

 

 

Critical Gifts of Christmas

November 21, 2014 @ 10:12 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
MSF Doctors Without Borderd

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Doctors Without Borders

We try to walk that fine line between enjoying today, relishing yesterday’s memories and looking toward the future.  And there’s another line we delicately tread – sharing joys with friends and loved ones, while recognizing and responding to the despair and need of others.

You needn’t look far to find a worthy organization to support.  So many stretch their resources far and wide to help those in poverty, in sickness, in war-torn countries and in altogether tragic circumstances.

We have chosen to support Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Doctors Without Borders. Regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, MSF provides medical aid in nearly 70 countries, offering help to those in dire need.

Medicins Sans Frontieres

The Greek island of Lesvos increasingly is the chosen destination of desperate Moroccans, Syrians and Afghans. They undertake dangerous maritime crossings to the Aegean Islands, often with deadly results. In December, only one known survivor of 28 passengers reached the destination, after their boat capsized. “The experience of the journey and of the arrival to a new unfamiliar environment seems to be an especially traumatic experience, particularly for children,” said a doctor with the MSF team in Lesvos. In spite of reported drownings and disasters, hundreds still wait to be able to cross to Europe in dinghies and small boats.

In the glow of our own holiday celebrations, we encourage you to visit their website, read their personal stories, recognize their good work and respond with a donation, if you are able to do so.  DONATE TODAY.

 

We’d love to hear from you!

swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

Black Friday Versus “Soldes” in France

November 20, 2014 @ 8:30 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

The vintage clothing shop “Didier Ludo” in the gardens of the Palais Royal – © ATOUT FRANCE/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry

As Black Friday consumer sales tear through America with cyclonic intensity, this day in France should be relatively calm.  That’s because French shoppers must wait until January 7, 2015, for the next round of “Soldes” – one of two annual sales events that last for five or six weeks.

The second round of sales will begin sometime in late June, prior to the mass exodus for holiday sun seekers.  The state-regulated sales events begin and end on specific dates, when shoppers find significant savings for all types of goods – certainly handbags, shoes and other fashion accessories – but also for linens, home décor and even rare old books.  Large and small retailers from department stores to tiny boutiques take the opportunity to clear the way for new merchandise.

During the current economic squeeze, the government has eased rules a bit to allow retailers to hold unofficial sales between the biannual events, but these are unannounced, as well.  Shoppers simply look for “Soldes exceptionnels” or “Promotion” signs, advertising the special sales in the store windows.

When the winter sales do begin, savvy shoppers will be well prepared to shop early, dress comfortably and scour the labels and tags.  Those well-dressed fashionistas will look for heavily-slashed designer clothing racks and accessories, perhaps waiting until midway through the events for the greatest discounts.  In Paris the popular department stores like Le Bon Marche and Printemps vie with chic boutiques and designer shops to claim shoppers Euros.

Classic Printemps department store, Paris

We won’t participate in the Black Friday maelstrom in our city, but we might even consider buying a lottery ticket for the privilege of shopping in Paris during the January “Soldes”.

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com
Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.