Archive for June, 2012

The Twilight of the Pharaohs – Paris

June 30, 2012 @ 8:39 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Large gold-plated and painted death mask of Ankhemmaat - 6th century BC © D.R.

Large gold-plated and painted death mask of Ankhemmaat – 6th century BC © D.R.

Allow me to suggest an outing to add to your itinerary, if you are in Paris or will be visiting between now and July 23.  Plan to spend a morning at the inviting Jacquemart-André Museum, where the current special exhibition focuses on Ancient Egypt and the last thousand years of Pharonic history.The museum itself is one of the most appealing in all of Paris, a Hausmann-era mansion that is at once refined and welcoming, as if you have been invited to someone’s home.  Just 400 meters from Place de l’Etoile, the museum is located on Haussmann Boulevard and is easily accessible by Metro – Line 9 and 13, Stations Saint-Augustin, Miromesnil or Saint-Philippe du Roule.

The Twilight of the Pharaohs: Masterpieces from the Last Egyptian Dynasties presents the special collection of Egyptian art gathered by Nélie Jacquemart with more than 100 items from temples or tombs on loan from museums ranging from British Museum and Metropolitan Museum in New York to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.  This special exhibition is particularly devoted to the period of artistic revival of the 1st millennium BC.  The three major subjects of artistic creation spread through themed rooms: Man, the Pharaoh and the Gods.

Jacquemart-Andre museum gifts, culture, books, jewelry

Jacquemart-Andre museum gift shop

After filling your spirit with this exceptional art, take the time to enjoy a salad and quiche lunch in the most beautiful tea room in Paris – The Café Jacquemart-André.  And stop in for a visit to the museum gift shop, where you will discover a feast of cultural gifts – ornaments, fashion items and jewelry inspired by the museum collections, as well as educational and children’s gifts. 

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.



Flavorful Dijon Mustard, Burgundy

June 29, 2012 @ 10:04 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Edmond Fallot mustard production, Burgundy

Edmond Fallot mustard production, Burgundy

When we think of Burgundy, exceptional wines readily come to mind; but there are genuine treasures beyond the beloved grape.  The Fallot Mustard Mill, for example is the last independent, family-owned mustard mill in Burgundy.  With the deft touch of culinary artisans, they have been producing savory mustards since 1840, and they have added interesting tours to their mills that allow vistors to see the painstaking production steps.

In the Napoleonic building of its origin, you see the sieves, drive belts, winnowing machines and millstones that transform the seeds into jars of mustards of exceptional quality.  Marc Désarménien, the grandson of Edmond Fallot, carries the family tradition forward with pride, explaining that their mill production unit was awarded IFS (International Food Standard) certification.

We recently happened by My French Neighbor and purchased a petite bottle of Dijon mustard.  Sylvain, the owner, explained that many companies produce what they call Dijon mustard, but the ancestral Fallot recipe is genuine and original.  And, of course, he is right on target.

The Fallot mustards, in varying strengths, mix black seed or brown seed – at least 28% –  with verjuice, essentially the juice of grapes that have not reached maturity or what we might think of as premature wine.  They mill and sieve the mixture to produce the smooth pale yellow mustard that mellows with time.  Using the traditional mill stones avoids overheating the seeds, so all of the flavor of the mustard seeds is retained.

Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard from Burgundy

Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard

My husband, in particular, can attest to the delicious attributes of the Fallot Dijon moutarde, as he adds the savory “paste” to ham, chicken and….well everything except peanut butter and ice cream!.  It is only fitting to offer a Fallot recipe that highlights their artisan products.

Chicken Fricassee with Fallot Dijon Tarragon Mustard

1 chicken


3 T butter

3.5 oz. small white onions

Chicken stock

Fresh cream

2 tablespoons Fallot Dijon Tarragon Mustard

Salt & pepper

Cut the chicken into pieces. Season & dust the pieces with flour. Brown them in a large casserole dish with hot butter. Add small white onions. Moisten with the chicken stock. Add mixed herbs of your choice.  Bring to a boil. Cook for 35 minutes. Set aside chicken & onions in a dish and keep them warm. Allow the sauce to reduce. Add cream & mustard. Bring to the boil. Season according to taste. Pour the sauce over chicken pieces & serve.

Bon Appétit!  And by the way, visit French Food Market for a wonderful selection of French food products.


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Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.


Rail Europe’s Exceptional Passes

June 28, 2012 @ 12:59 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Colorful carriages in Market Square in Bruges, Belgium

An afternoon overlooking the colorful carriages in the Market Square, Bruges

One of the things we particularly enjoy about traveling in France and in Europe, in general, is the exceptional rail network.  When we spent a summer primarily in France, we planned well in advance and secured a Rail Europe pass for multiple days of travel and a long-term rental/purchase plan with Auto Europe.

Though we mainly traveled in France, we purchased a rail pass that allowed travel in three countries.  We knew we would travel in France and Italy to visit my husband’s aunt and uncle in Florence. By adding “Benelux” as our “third country”, we were able to travel to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; as Rail Europe treats the three as one.  Though a whirlwind kind of scoop through the three countries, it was nonetheless a great experience to set foot in these extraordinary cities.

Bruges, in particular, was a warm and welcoming city laced with canals, steeped in history and entertaining with its assortment of beers. We walked about the beautiful city and spent an afternoon on Market Square overlooking the Provincial Palace – an absolute pleasure!

In Amsterdam, we were unfortunate in thinking that our choice of hotel by the station would be in the city center, when it turns out it was quite far away by a metro station.  Still, we enjoyed an evening along the canal and checking out the intriguing nightlife.  I admit to feeling like a little girl in patent leather shoes, as we passed along the red-light district.

Luxembourg City - historic site on cliffs overlooking two rivers

We enjoyed the cliffs and valleys of Luxembourg City

Luxembourg was a real treat, and this time our hotel was nearly across the street from the train station.  Luxembourg City is perched high on cliffs overlooking the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, so we wandered past pleasant neighborhoods down to the valley and found an elevator to return us up to the city center.  We found a delightful large square, where several restaurants offered open-air dining.

Though we only briefly touched down in these delightful cities, we enjoyed expanding our experience beyond France.  So – worth noting – if you choose to purchase a multi-country Rail Europe Pass, by all means considered adding Benelux to your itinerary.  And you will find complete travel information on Rail Europe’s excellent web site.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.


Beautiful Scenes of France

June 27, 2012 @ 4:53 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Île de Ré, France

A field of sunflowers on Île de Ré

An ongoing marketing project has kept me from my favorite passion – writing about France; but we are grateful for the work.

Now, I’ll place the spotlight on a dear friend from Paris, who takes such care in capturing beautiful and unusual sights with his camera.  One amusing shot was of me taking a picture of him taking a picture of me in front of the Chambord castle.  (Perhaps you had to be there?)



Today he provides two beautiful shots.  He and his wife often visit the family cottage on the Île de Réoff the Northwest coast near La Rochelle.  It is as if the sunflowers have gathered to pose for him.

Traditional Auvergne kitchen in France

Warm, traditional Auvergne kitchen

The other was taken in the central massif area of Auvergne, simply a very charming and traditional kitchen.  I’ve never seen as many beautiful old tables, as those I have seen in France.  And what can match gathering around an old burnished table with friends, wine and naturally a little bread, cheese and olives.  I’d love to have the table AND lamp shown here!

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.