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Archive for February, 2014

Celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day!

February 10, 2014 @ 12:28 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Valentines French gifts

A colorful gift from Anne Touraine-Paris

Oui – Saint-Valentine is just around the corner; and if you are really savvy, you could hop on a plane and celebrate in Saint Valentin , where the inhabitants take full advantage of their good fortune each year with an annual festival.

Naturally red roses are first and foremost in the celebrations; the Jardin des Amoureux invites visitors and even those who might wish to be married in the garden gazebo. Just as we take the trouble to send Christmas cards postmarked from Christmas, Florida; visitors to Saint-Valentin visit the post office for the same reason.

Assuming for a moment, though, that you might not take advantage of this visit, might we suggest some last minute gifts with the flavor of France?

Naturally, a premium choice is an Anne Touraine – Paris scarf or gift certificate – the gift that would win any woman’s heart!

Or perhaps, a Provencal tablecloth or French sign from My French Neighbor.

My French Neighbor

Provence tablecloth

Or go to your local French bakery for a delicious assortment of desserts. Our local favorite is Gourmet Croissant. 

Two of our favorites are simple, elegant choices – Chanel perfume from your favorite department store and lavender soap from L’Occitane.

Whatever your choices, may you enjoy a day devoted to appreciating the love(s) of your life!

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

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

French Winter Olympic Notes

February 8, 2014 @ 11:25 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
France Winter Olympics

Skiers at the highest skiable summit at the Courchevel alpine ski resort – ©Atout France /Jean François Tripelon-Jarry

Just a few interesting notes today about France, fashion and – bien sur – the Winter Olympics!  France last hosted the winter games in 1992, officially at Albertville.  Though the opening and closing ceremonies and some skating events took place there, many surrounding villages were the sites for the bulk of the competitions.

Among the village hosts were Courchevel, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Les Menuires, Les Saisies, Méribel, Pralognan-la-Vanoise, Tignes and Val d’Isère – all rather spectacular locales in the breathtaking French Alps.  Long a stalwart participant and supporter of the Olympics, France also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1968 at Grenoble and at Chamonix in 1924.

A couple of historic events significantly affected the Albertville competitions.  A single team, for example, represented Germany; as East and West Germany were reunified in 1990.  The make-up of Russian athletic teams also changed, in that the Soviet Union had disbanded in 1991; and the USSR competed as a Unified Team.  This also was the last Winter Olympics to take place in the same year as the summer games.

If you watched the opening ceremonies, I’m sure you were not surprised to see the French team looking ever so chic!   The iconic Lacoste crocodile logo replaced the Adidas brand, as Lacoste became the official outfitter for the French team.  The company will continue to “dress” French Olympians through 2016 summer games to be held in Rio de Janeiro.

French Olympians

Chic French Lacoste uniforms

Much was made, and rightfully so, that United States uniforms in the last Olympics were manufactured in China.  Lacoste explains that their Olympic collection for the French team was designed in Paris and primarily manufactured in Troyes, France.

And, for those with a possible interest in Lacoste Olympic purchases, the designs will be available in French boutiques and in special shop with an Olympic emphasis in the flagship Lacoste store on the  Champs-Élysées.  Hmmm.  Shall we make a quick trip to the City of Light?

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

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

French Lavender Sights and Scents

February 7, 2014 @ 9:43 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris Je T'Aime scarf

Anne Touraine – Paris fashion finds

Lavender blue – it’s a color straight from the skies and seas and hills, and it’s also the color touted this week by my favorite scarf creator, ANNE TOURAINE Paris™.  Coupled with some very savvy fashion finds by  Givenchy, H&M, Helmut by Helmut Lang, Henri Bendel and Joe’s Jeans; Anne bestows the crowning jewel – her Paris Je T’Aime lavender scarf with delicate drawings of the many City of Light  iconic features.

Lavender – the color, the scent, and the sight – appeals to me in every way.  I use slender stalks in a Provençal ceramic cicada to welcome visitors.  I sprinkle loose bits of lavender, when I vacuum to spread the scent throughout the room.  Oh, and you can be sure big squares of lavender soap are fixtures in my bath.

One of my most delightful memories of lavender occurred during a drive north of Aix-en-Provence.  We rounded a bend in the hills and came across a roadside table filled with lavender bunches.  A simple family homestead was set in the midst of this family’s lavender fields, spreading back, back to the hills behind the house.  Naturally, we stopped and bought a generous armload of lavender and enjoyed a warm encounter with the young ladies who welcomed us.

French lavender

Lavender fields of Provence

Today, it is my Anne Touraine – Paris lavender scarf that becomes the perfect addition to many outfits.   The color makes blue eyes turn Elizabeth Taylor violet, and the soft drape of Anne’s design is a natural magnet for attention and compliments.

Wishing you days and days of lavender enjoyment!

Wine from Winemakers – Triennes

February 6, 2014 @ 9:28 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Aix en Provence

Triennes Rosé from Provence

Simple winemaking without the cosmetics.

Our son recently gave us a gift that yielded another – a bottle of delicate Triennes Rosé from the heart of Provence.   The added bonus?  Memories, appealing joyous memories of travel in southern France, of shaded river banks and cool sips of Provençal wine on warm summer days.

The Triennes Rosé is fresh,  satisfying and reasonable.  Just east of Aix-en-Provence, one of our favorite French cities, gently sloping hills are exposed to the South.  Situated a mere thirty kilometers from the Mediterranean, the lay of the land and mix of clay and limestone provide ideal conditions for Triennes’ wines.  The refreshing microclimate favors the acidity of Triennes wines and results in a variety of exceptional wines. I love the way they describe their process:  “We make our wines the way we like to drink them.”

Assuming you might want an opinion other than mine, let’s see how wine connoisseur’s describe this elegant wine –   70% Cinsault, 25% Grenache, and 5% Merlot ; night harvesting for temperature control; very pale in color and aromatic notes of citrus, raspberry and white pepper….elegant and fresh!

All of that descriptive, and my reaction was a simple, “Delicieux!”

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

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.