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Archive for December, 2015

Maxim’s de Paris – Gifts Galore!

December 29, 2015 @ 2:49 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris restaurants

The classic Maxim’s restaurant on rue Royale, Paris

Voila! The major gift-giving season of the year has just embraced us, before scooting out the door. Nonetheless, the entire experience made me think of the pleasure we take in shopping for gifts in France. Probably the surest rule of thumb for me is “I love it”, thus someone else will surely enjoy our gift.

In Paris, our foremost gift mecca is the delightful Maxim’s de Paris on rue Royale. Yes … of course you’re familiar with the legendary, regal restaurant that has welcomed ‘everyone who is anyone’ since its inception in 1893. But just a couple of doors away, their inviting boutique entices you to discover gifts for nearly every friend and family member on your list.

From extravagant gift collections tastefully tucked into an elegant, old-style hat box to handsome tins of candies, chocolates, biscuits, coffee, tea and cocoa; the boutique provides a panorama of gifts and price ranges in a very welcoming atmosphere. Naturally the tasteful packaging adds to the appeal with colorful tins for almost every gift. Maxim’s porcelain items also are available, from a simple sugar dish or espresso set to trays and bon-bon dishes. With stores now located throughout France and in Monaco, you needn’t be limited to the Paris location … but it always will hold the top spot for us!

Maxims of Paris gifts

Tins of coffee, tea, sweets and more

Beyond this appealing boutique, we also enjoy shopping in museum shops, where a lovely selection of books, prints and artistic treasures awaits. Wandering through the Marais reveals an entire buffet of quaint and artsy stores for everything from chic tee shirts to leather goods and gifts for the table and home.

As we all know from the season just tucked behind us, hunting for ideal gifts for those special people in our lives offers joys and challenges. I guarantee you will have more fun combing the streets of Paris than anywhere else in the world.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved


Please take a moment to browse through … and order … my book:

Autographed copies with notecard gift

Joyeux Noël

December 23, 2015 @ 9:58 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

Christmas past along the Champs Elysées

We look forward to this magical day….church at 4:30, preparing the Christmas Eve meal, sneaking about to get stockings ready and gifts under the tree.  Everyone we love is in our hearts, those on this earth and those in heaven, those nearby and those too far away.  Our hearts reach out to hug each and every family member and friend.

And, by the way, if you haven’t seen the wonderful film “Joyeux Noël”, make it a point to watch this incredible movie.  It takes place on Christmas during World War I, when French, Scottish and German troops huddle in their snowy trenches.  It is then that the love and magic of Christmas touches each and every one of them.

We wish you a joyous season and a heartfelt “Joyeux Noël”.

Happy Holidays and beautiful memories to all of our fellow Francophiles!

 

 

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

Please take a moment to browse through … and order … my book:

Autographed copies with notecard gift

Capture French Memories on a Wreath

@ 7:29 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
A natural hand-crafted wreath with mementos from Provence France

Small beginnings of big memories of Provence

Tis the season for wreaths, so this makes an ideal time for you to launch a special project that will grow through the months ahead.  Create a charming wreath for year-round use for yourself or for a friend by capturing the best of France in a “Memory Wreath”.  I launched my first wreath, when my children had passed the toddler stage; and I wanted to recreate some of those very special moments.

Our wreath quickly took flight with diecast cars and blue Smurfs, little teapots and sparkly hair clips.  Each year, I was able to add one or two mementos of our lives.

Since those initial efforts, I have focused on my fondness for France, including some of the best memories of travel or life in France.  Look over my wreaths (which I have given to family and friends), and you will discover an Opera ticket, a little street magnet from Paris, a miniature wine bottle from Provence, a silver spoon and – bien sur – a miniature Eiffel Tower.  Perhaps you even have some ribbon or one of those lovely accents shopkeepers add to your gift wrapping.

Memory wreath - a touch of provence

Whimsical details – antique demitasse spoon, Van Gogh magnet and fabric from Provence

The possibilities are endless, and I can promise you years of enjoyment for you, your family and friends!

Happy Holidays and beautiful memories to all of our fellow Francophiles!

 

 

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

Please take a moment to browse through … and order … my book:

Autographed copies with notecard gift

Farewell to a Fine Tradition

December 20, 2015 @ 7:40 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

The elegant charm of Pierre Deux

I suppose I am “under the 8 ball” in my timing – 5 days til Christmas? – but I wanted to re-cycle this post from 4 years ago.  Each year, as I pull out our lovely Pierre Deux ornaments, I think of artisans with abundant talent who failed on the business front.  Read on for the story, and I pray you are enjoying the holiday season!

This year we were not able to continue our tradition of purchasing Christmas decorations from Pierre Deux, noted fabric designer and source of fine French furniture, décor and dinnerware.  Sadly, the company ceased to exist in June of 2011, closing the doors to their 23 stores in 13 states and eliminating their e-tail operations.  Current economic conditions continue to impact the artisan and handcrafted luxury product arena that we hold dear.  In fact, we’ve recently learned that some leading manufacturers of fine French pottery and crystal have cut back their U.S. distribution centers.

As a point of reference, we began LuxeEuro LLC in 2005, with the intent of supporting artisans and promoting cultural awareness between America and France.  If you recall, relations between our countries were stressed; when France did not obediently follow or support the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  During that time we met with artisans of leather products, handcrafted jewelry, home décor products and fashion accessories in the sincere hope of extending markets and customers for craftsmen.  Again, sadly, the timing simply wasn’t right; and the exchange rates and shipping costs could not support the business, as the economy turned downward.

But our interest and passion remains. One organization that has promoted artisans since 1868 is Ateliers d’Art de France.  Through their more than 140 years of existence, they have evolved from a trade association defending craftsmen’s interests to an ever-evolving, dynamic organization promoting exceptional artists at international shows and in four boutiques and workshops in Paris.

Talents Boutique – rue Niel

Under the name of “Talents”, Ateliers d’Art de France created the boutiques to showcase the fine workmanship of over 300 craftsmen – fashion accessories and jewelry, tableware, furnishings, lighting and custom-ordered works of art.  The shops are located near l’Etoile on Avenue Niel, near Opera on rue Scribe and in the Marais on rue de Thorigny.  A visit to any or all delivers a wonderful gallery-like experience with some of the finest artistry available in France.  Each boutique presents a different mood to reveal the skills, excellence and designs of glassblowers, potters, mosaicists, coppersmiths and more.

And so, we encourage you to support French and American artists, those who practice centuries-old craftsmanship and those who stretch the boundaries of contemporary imagination.

Happy Holidays and beautiful memories to all of our fellow Francophiles!

 

 

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2016, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

Please take a moment to browse through … and order … my book:

Autographed copies with notecard gift