Archive for March, 2014

Please Your Palate at Meert in Lille

March 18, 2014 @ 3:00 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Royal waffles in Lille

Extravagant, historic Meert in Lille

Today we seem to live at the speed of  light, hooked to little electronic gadgets that nag us – with our permission, thank you – throughout every waking moment.  That’s all the more reason  to appreciate Meert. 

Nothing happens in France overnight, least of all a blossoming friendship or a thriving patisserie.  No, the maturation of either requires patience, tender care, growing trust and a touch of vision.  And so it is with Meert.  Over 250 years ago – in 1761, to be precise – a sweets and chocolate shop was born at 27 rue Esquermoise in Lille. Some ten years later, the addition of Meert’s famous ice cream inspired the reverence of the Count of Lille and transformed the establishment into one of Lille’s most fashionable sites, proving once again that the touch of royalty ‘gilds the lilly’.

Flash forward to 1839, when the decision was made to renovate the establishment.  The creative team included the architect César Benvignat – the official architect of Old Lille, painter Stalars and sculptor Huidiez; who combined their brilliance to create the impressive, ornate oriental style you find at Meert today.  Ten years later, Meert became the official supplier of King Leopold I and concocted one of the stellar products of the store – the famous vanilla-filled waffle.

Lille France

Dining under glass at Meert

Along the way, the house added a first-in-class restaurant poised along a sun-bathed interior courtyard with a 19th century glass roof.  Now, the distinguished clientèle enjoys the multi-faceted historic boutique, traditional tearoom and gastronomic restaurant all presented in the extravagant and tasteful surroundings of Maison Meert. A second restaurant at Lille Printemps has been added, as well as two Paris locations in the Marais and Saint-Germain, in Bruxelles and Roubaix.

Now, about that infamous waffle….

Ten years ago, the EphéMeert waffle appeared beside the traditional vanilla waffle that is particularly known for its’ flavorful Vanille de Madagascar.  Flavors range from praline and puffed rice, pistachio and morello cherry to blackcurrant and violet flavors.  You can be certain that the enticing combinations are tucked away quite carefully in the little tattered notebook that guards the Meert’s cherished secrets!

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

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

 

Help Médecins Sans Frontières

March 13, 2014 @ 2:49 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
French medical organization

A newborn baby receives care from an MSF nurse in the neonatal unit at the mother and child hospital in Irbid, Jordan – Jordan 2013 © Enass Abu Khalaf-Tuffaha/MSF

The news of Syria is constant, but just yesterday I read about children whose parents had died or were missing. For a year the children lived off of boiled weeds. Naturally, they are starving.

We have our daily concerns, but they are nothing compared to the plight of children and families in so many war-torn countries of the world. I tend to be an upbeat person with, I believe, a balanced view of the world; but I cannot shuffle past these kinds of desperate stories.

So let’s do something together …. Today. I will introduce and suggest a fine organization – Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), but there are many agencies doing their best to help. The important thing is that today or tomorrow, we move from our sorrowful reactions to our meaningful action. Let us try to make even a small difference.

If you aren’t familiar with the work of MSF, it was founded in 1971 by French doctors – specifically Bernard Kouchner, future Minister of Health of France – and journalists. Kouchner is well known throughout the world for his passionate declarations on human rights and the need for intervention to protect those rights. He once said that by founding MSF, “we were establishing the moral right to interfere inside someone else’s country.”

MSF is working in and around Syria to help refugees in a number of ways:
Emergency room consultations: 49,083
Outpatient consultations: 94,389
Surgical procedures: 6,895
Maternity deliveries: 1,962
Emergency measles vaccination campaign: 75,000 children (April to June 2013)

More than two million Syrian refugees need help, but neighboring countries are stretched to the limit, creating serious shortfalls in health and other humanitarian services. We urge you to visit the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders -MSF) site for more information.

In appreciation for the incredible work of MSF; as I finish this post, we will make a donation to their organization. I hope you will do the same. [Click here to donate.]

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

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

The Eiffel Tower’s Changing Glow

March 6, 2014 @ 9:47 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

Celebrating the presidency of the EU

Perhaps we should take lessons from the French and pump up the personality of our Washington monument.  You see the Eiffel Tower dresses for “the occasion”, changing her illumination and “jewelry” to reflect current events.

It was way back in 1985 that a new lighting system provided normal and “sparkle” lighting for the tower.  Over a period of 5 months, some 25 mountain climbers worked to install the intricate lighting configuration.  In a nod to environmental conservatism, the amount of time the tower sparkles now is cut in half.

The grand dame of Paris has celebrated many important events through the years.  In honor of the millennium, she sported “2000” on her face and a new twinkling effect, originally for ten minutes every hour from nightfall to 2 a.m.

In 2004 the tower glowed with scarlet red lights for 5 days in celebration of the Chinese New Year.  And when France claimed the presidency of the European Union, the tower beamed blue lights with a giant circle of stars in yellow.

Les Français N’oubliement Jamais

Should you ever doubt the “brotherhood” shared between France and the United States, in 2011 two towers stood sentry by the Eiffel Tower in a melancholic salute to the ten-year anniversary of our fallen twin towers.

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

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